The #86 pro late model was the only team car in action the past weekend as Jake and Samantha joined Billy and the #86 team as they made the long trip east to Peterborough Speedway for the fifth round of the APC United Late Model Series. After spending the week going over the cars set-up and doing a thorough bolt check, the team was looking to build off their momentum from the previous race at Delaware Speedway as they now found themselves back in the top-10 in the series standings.
Though Billy had raced at “Canada’s Toughest 1/3 Mile Oval” in the past, including the Autumn Colours Classic this past fall, he has made it known that the track is not one of his favourites and after a discussion with his crew chief, the game plan was to be patient, try to stay down low in the inside groove and try to bring the car home in one piece with hopefully a respectable finish. During the first two practice sessions the car was handling well; however it was not rotating as good as it could through the centre of the tight corners before breaking loose on late exit. The team made changes to the right-rear spring, left-rear bump stop as well as both front bump stops before heading out for one last practice session. Billy was now quite happy with the handling of the car and the team went to work getting ready for their two lap qualifying run. Pulling out from lucky pit stall #13 to hit the track 13th, Billy put himself in the top-10 with the 10th fastest time of 13.661 seconds. Though the team was hoping to start on the inside lane, they would find themselves moving up a couple of more positions after two of the top qualifiers had their times disallowed due to some creative taping of their spoilers awarding the #44 of Steve Laking with the pole position while Billy would move up to the outside of row 4 in 8th.
As the field took the green flag Billy and his spotter David were looking for the quickest opportunity to get the #86 down to the inside lane so they could start making their way towards the front as the track does not have an outside lane that works well for moving forward. On lap 5 the opportunity presented itself as Billy moved inside the #23 and up to 7th. On lap 18 Billy followed the #17 inside the #15 and up to 6th as the field strung out nose to tail. On lap 44, contact between the #17 and the #24, who was a lap down, sent the two of them spinning down the front stretch as Billy went high to avoid and move into the top-5. After the #10 locked up his brakes and ended up in the turn one wall bringing out the caution, the ensuing restart would see the third caution of the night as the contact between the #22 and the #89c who was running 2nd and 3rd sent the #89c spinning off of turn 2 causing the field to scramble behind them. Billy went right up to the wall managing to just squeeze by and would now find himself running in the 2nd position after the #22 was black flagged and sent to the back of the field. Starting outside of the #31 the #44 moved inside Billy dropping him back to 3rd where he started for few more quick cautions that would slow the pace of the second half of the race. Billy would soon battle alongside the #83 for a number of laps as the two fought for 3rd before the #83 would complete the pass on lap 55 dropping Billy back to 4th just before the #71 made hard contact with the turn 3 wall collecting the #3 and the #24. After the restart and as the field came into turns 3 & 4, there was contact between the #31, #83 and the #44 that would send the #31 around causing the field behind him to take evasive maneuvers to avoid piling in. With David perched at the top of the grandstand, he had a great view and told Billy to go as high as he could as the other cars wrecked below him and were quickly coming up the track. The #83 made his way to the pits and as a result, the lead position out front was given to Billy in the undamaged #86.
Over the next twenty laps Billy would continue to lead and after battling with the #27, he was able to pull away giving him a six car length lead before running into lapped traffic. With just 23 laps to go, Billy tried to make his way around the outside of the #23 who was a lap down, but the outside groove was just not working for the #86 allowing the #27 to hold off Billy’s pass. Contact between the #86 and the #23 would send the #23 spinning to the infield after Billy tried lap after lap to pass him, bringing out the caution. With the #89c now on his back bumper for the restart on lap 80, the #89c would nudge Billy from behind going into turn three and despite getting him sideways and making the pass, Billy kept on the throttle and was able to hang onto the 2nd position. The #81 was soon able to make his way by Billy putting him 3rd and left to battle with the #27 who finally spun himself out after trying to stick his nose underneath the #86 who was keeping the car as low as possible in the corners. As the #27 sat high in the centre of turns 3 & 4 the #10, #2 and the #24 all made hard contact with the turn 3 wall bringing out the red flag and a short delay for the cleanup and driver assistance. Running 3rd, Billy would have the preferred line starting on the inside with only six laps to go, however he spun his tires that normally would have cost him the position, however the 11th and final caution of the night would quickly come out giving Billy another chance at the restart as the #10 spun down the backstretch. Billy wasn’t going to waste another opportunity and he nailed the restart moving up to 2nd leaving the #81 to battle with the #22 for 3rd. The last six laps would run caution free as Billy put some distance between himself and the #81 to bring the #86 home in 2nd and obtain his best late model career finish to date. Billy and the team were ecstatic as they celebrated in victory lane behind the #89c as all of the hard work this season had finally paid off with a top-3 finish at one of the toughest tracks in the series. With their confidence at an all time high the team is looking forward to heading to Sauble Speedway for the Spira Fire Protection 100 on Sunday July 30th.
Billy has the next weekend off but he will be with Carson at Flamboro Speedway on Saturday July 23rd for a regular night of racing. The front gates open at 5:00 PM with racing getting underway at 7:00 PM. Jake and Samantha return to Sunset Speedway that same night for a regular night of racing with the front gates opening at 4:30 PM and racing getting underway at 6:00 PM.
With Samantha’s wrist fully healed, she and Jake made their way to Sunset Speedway for a regular night of racing as Billy, Ken, David and Hags loaded the #86 pro late model and headed to Victoria Park East Golf Course in Guelph for the annual Guelph Wish Fund for Children Charity Golf Tournament. Since the #86 team had the weekend off, the foursome would be competing in the tournament and arrangements were made to put the car on display at the golf course. During the week the spare hood was prepared to display the larger Guelph Wish Fund decal to match the hood on the #86 mini stock. Over the years that Billy drove the #86 mini stock at Spira Racing, all winnings were donated to charity including the Guelph Wish Fund for Children and that tradition continues this season with the winnings of young Carson Nagey who is now driving the #86 mini stock in his rookie season being donated to the Guelph Wish Fund for Children. With Billy’s only golf experience being at the driving range and Ken, David and Hags having played golf together for many years, the afternoon proved to be interesting and a lot of fun. Billy had trouble making consistent contact with the ball, however he accomplished his goal as he had the longest drive of the team on one hole as he crushed one that out distanced his seasoned teammates. A great afternoon was had by all and after draining some long distance putts the team came home with a respectable score of six under par.
At Sunset Speedway the mini stock class hit the track for practice and both Jake and Samantha were happy with the handling of their cars as they were fast throughout the practice sessions. The #88 required no adjustments while the #81 tried a few minor adjustments including air pressures to see if they could squeeze more speed out of the car for the heat races. Jake and Samantha would both go out in the first heat race with Jake in 6th out of 8 cars while Samantha would start on the pole at the front of the field. Samantha got a great start putting herself up front while the outside lane didn’t get as great of a start resulting in Jake falling back to the tail-end of the field in 8th. On lap 4 Jake had made his way up back up to 6th while Samantha battled with the #85 who finally made it past the #81 dropping Samantha back to 2nd. The race would run caution free with Jake coming home 6th and Samantha hanging onto the 2nd position. The ‘Dash for Cash’ was up next as Samantha lined up on the inside of the second row in 3rd while Jake started on the inside of the same row in 11th. At the green flag Samantha dropped back to 5th while Jake started to make his way towards to the front. By lap 7 Samantha had fallen back to 7th as Jake moved up to the 9th position where they would finish.
After a brief rain delay, the mini stocks took to the track for their feature where Samantha lined up on the outside of the second row in 4th while Jake started 12th. The feature was a quick one as it ran under green the entire race with Samantha dropping back a few positions to 7th on the 3rd lap while Jake moved into the top-10. As the laps continued to quickly tick by, Jake made his way past Samantha as the two ran nose to tail in the 10th and 11th positions respectively. Jake picked up a couple more positions to move up to 8th as Samantha slid back and was now running in the 11th as they moved past the halfway point. Both Jake and Samantha were able to battle back in the later stages of the race with Jake finishing 7th despite running on a broken spring that was later discovered back at the shop, while Samantha was able to bring home a top-10 finish finishing 9th. At the conclusion of the race the skies opened up again and rain cancelling the remainder of the night’s events.
Billy heads to Peterborough Speedway on Saturday July 16th for the fifth round of the APC United Late Model Series as Jake and Samantha have the weekend off. The front gates open at 4:00 PM with racing getting underway at 6:00 PM.
After a late night returning from Delaware Speedway for the fourth round of the APC United Late Model Series, Jake was up early to head to Sunset Speedway for a regular night of racing on Saturday night with the #88 mini stock after having a week off. While Jake headed north, Billy made his way to Flamboro Speedway where Carson would return to the #86 mini stock for a regular night of racing. Without his mothers knowledge Billy also drove his own Honda Civic Si to the track as he was planning on running in the ‘King of the Hill’ event that was scheduled to run during the intermission. Sunset Speedway: With the regular series’ having the previous weekend off; the Formula Drift Canada series was at the track and according to Jake the track had a great deal of rubber build up on it and due to that, Jake was loose throughout the practice sessions that were spent doing the necessary adjustments to try and tighten up the cars handling. Jake started last in his heat race lining up in the 7th position and after running caution free, Jake picking up a couple of spots to finish 5th. The ‘Dash for Cash’ would be up next and Jake again started towards the back in 10th place out of 12 cars. With another caution free race, Jake was again able to pick up a couple of spots to finish 8th including a great battle with the #83 that saw them swap positions back and forth over the last five laps.
With 15 cars lining up for the feature race Jake started mid-pack in the 7th position. On lap 4 while running with the #84, the #84 got into the #88 spinning Jake and sending them both to the back of the field. Jake started to make his way back up through the field before they was slowed by another caution, this time for the #51 who had spun. After restarting in the 9th, Jake was involved in yet another incident as the #83 spun on the front stretch collecting Jake in the process. The damage was relatively minor with just some cosmetic damage and fender braces that will have to be replaced. Restarting back in the 10th, Jake was able to pick up one more position before the end of the race finishing a disappointing 9th.
Flamboro Speedway: Carson is showing some improvement each and every week in the #86 and this weekend would be no different. As he took to the track for practice he reported that the car was loose going into to the corner and after an adjustment and by the time the second practice was over he was saying that the car was loose coming off the corner. After adjusting the car to tighten it up on corner exit, the seasoned veterans at the track were running 15.3 second lap times while Carson was running consistent 15.6 second laps and he was quite happy with how the car was now handling. The team had a special guest helping out in the pits for the night as Scott Simmons, tire specialist for the #88 of Matt Crafton in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for ThorSport Racing was home for the Canada Day long weekend before heading to Kentucky Speedway this coming weekend.
Carson started on the pole for the first race as has been the case in the past few races and he did a great job holding off the front runners as long as he could but they were able to make their way by eventually dropping Carson back to 8th where he would finish. For the second feature of the night Carson started on the outside pole and again tried to hold off the front runners as long as he could, however they continued to be three tenth’s quicker, and the result was Carson would finish 6th although he ran very smooth and consistent lap times that were well ahead of the majority of the field behind him. During the intermission Billy hit the track in his own car for the ‘King of the Hill’ event. After making it through the first two rounds, he found himself in the finals facing off against a Ford Mustang which coincidentally, is the same Ford Mustang that went toe-to-toe with a Tesla last year at Delaware Speedway during their ‘King of the Hill’ event. Although he put in a valiant effort, Billy found himself losing in the finals but he had a lot of fun including taking the track announcer around with him during one of the races with a live microphone that was extremely entertaining for the fans.
Samantha makes her return in the #81 mini stock as she joins Jake at Sunset Speedway on Saturday July 9th for a regular night of racing. The front gates open at 4:30 PM with racing getting underway at 6:00 PM.
Billy, the #86 team, Jake and Samantha all made their way to Delaware Speedway on Canada Day for some rare Friday night racing and the fourth round of the APC United Late Model Series. With only a six day turnaround between events the team was kept busy during the week to make sure that the car was ready to load in the trailer Friday morning.
The car was good in practice and Billy was unsure if he wanted to make any changes to the setup that he and the team had put into the car during the previous week; this was mainly based on the setup that was in the car during the 2015 season that saw Billy take home ‘Rookie of the Year’ honours at the track. The only issue seemed to be with the brakes as the pedal was a little softer than Billy would have liked. The team had a few issues with the right front brake caliper Thursday night at the shop so practice was cut short so that the brakes could be bled again. The second and final practice session was used to confirm that the brakes were good and a minor adjustment was made to correct a slight loose condition on the exit of the corner. With Billy happy with the handling of the car and the replacement carburetor working much better than the one at Sauble Speedway; the team prepared the car for time trials that would set the order for the 28-car field. The #6 of Adam Quarrie was the first car on track for time trials and he made a blistering run of 18.310 seconds to set the bar high for the cars that were to follow. Billy hit the track and laid down a lap of 18.422 seconds in the #86 that would put him comfortably into the top-5 until the #44 of Steve Laking edged him out by .008 of a second to put Billy back into 6th after which the #81 of Andrew Gresel took the pole with a time of 18.304 seconds barely missing out on the track record.
As the field took the green flag, the plan was for Billy to get into a good position to run some smooth consistent laps in order to save the tires for the end of the race as the team was confident that they had a good setup that would last throughout the 100-lap feature. Starting on the outside lane, it took a few laps of side-by-side racing before David was able to clear Billy down to the inside lane in 10th. A couple of early cautions in the first 20 laps would allow Billy to start making his way through the field putting him up to 9th and then 7th. On lap 23 Billy was knocking on the door of the top-5 as he battled hard with the #89c of Shawn Chenoweth. After a great battle Billy was able to make his way past the #89c and into 6th. During the next caution on lap 29 Billy came on the radio and reported that the car was running awesome and that he felt he could be running up front by the end of the night as long as he didn’t overdrive the car. That would be easier said than done as David had to come on the radio a couple of times to remind Billy to just take it easy and run some nice smooth laps in order to save his tires and that there were still a lot of laps remaining. As the field took the green flag Billy made his way inside the #71 of Dan McHattie and then followed the #27 of Mat Box to the inside of the #44 on lap 35 to get into the top-5 behind the #27, the #83 of Dale Shaw and the #81. Billy was able to hang on to the 4th position through multiple cautions until lap 57 when he got hung up on the outside lane dropping back to 6th where he ran until the next caution on lap 83. As the field took the green flag on the restart Billy reported a large vibration in the front end that felt like he either had a tire going down or a brake caliper hanging up. As he slowed to try and feel out where the vibrations were coming from, he dropped back into the 10th position with 7 laps to go after gingerly getting back up to speed as he was confident that a tire was not going flat and the vibration had lessened. Two cautions came out in the final laps that saw the race finish under caution and despite hearing something dragging underneath the front of car, the car handled well throughout the final laps and Billy was able to gain a position to finish 9th. Returning to the pits the crew jacked up the front end of the car to find what the issue was and it was quickly discovered that a large piece of heavy aluminum that was mounted below the oil pan to protect it when the car bottomed out through the bumps, had come loose and was dragging on the track only being held in place on one corner. The violent movement of the metal swinging under the car under high speed at the ½ mile speedway was definitely the issue and Billy did a great job in judging the impact to the handling of the car to bring it home with the first top-10 of the season.
The APC Series has the upcoming weekend off until round 5 at Peterborough Speedway on Saturday July 16th so the #86 team is putting together a foursome for the 29th annual Guelph Wish Fund for Children golf tournament on Saturday July 9th. Ken, Hags, David and Billy himself will be playing in the golf tournament at Victoria Golf Course in Guelph as well as proudly displaying the #86 pro late model on site in support of the charity and to provide some additional exposure for the rest of our valuable sponsors.
Samantha, who just had her cast removed and Jake who had the weekend off from racing at Sunset Speedway headed to Sauble Speedway to cheer on Billy in the third round of the APC United Late Model Series. The #86 team had a busy couple of weeks repairing some front end damage after the last race at Sunset Speedway including replacing the front bumper for the second time in as many races. The team also went over the entire car in fine detail as they would only have five days between the race at Sauble and the next round of the APC Series at Delaware Speedway on Canada Day.
With temperatures reaching the high 20s, Billy took to the track for the first of two 30-minute practice sessions where was very happy with the handling of the #86 St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market pro late model. The only issue that he had was being the choice of rear gears as the motor was not reaching the desired RPM that the team wanted. The gears were changed and Billy returned to the track for the second and final practice session where he said the car was better but still lacking RPM. Without a higher set of gears, the team hoped that with new tires, the car would pick up some additional speed that would ultimately help though they did not think that their gear selection would hurt the car as they were close to what they were looking for. If anything, Billy felt that the car was a little loose on throttle through the corner so he was instructed to come back to the pits so the team could put on a bigger left rear tire that would be closer to what they could have for qualifying and the feature. The practice tires from the last race at Sunset Speedway had 4” of stagger across the back and the biggest spare tire would put the stagger at 3½”; however, it looked like they would only get 3” of stagger on the new set. The staff from Grisdale Racing Products that select and mount the tires for the series were very helpful in trying to rectify the tire size problem at the track by un-mounting and mounting tires with Ken and Hags going through a number of tires from the tire truck trying to get the correct amount of stagger. Unfortunately there was a very limited amount of tires to choose from and the team would have to live with what they had. With their new tires mounted and the air pressures adjusted to hopefully help the stagger issue, Billy lined up 11th for time trials where he ran a 14.775 second lap that would put him deep in the field back in 17th out of 21 cars. Although the team were extremely disappointed with their qualifying run, they were more disappointed in the lack of tire selection as the lower stagger was creating a big push in the handling that was hindering the car from rotating and therefore not allowing Billy to get back into the throttle as quickly as he wanted. With the car now impounded, the only adjustments that could be made was to the air pressures and with the big lack of stagger the team was not confident that this was something they would be able to overcome. Last season the individual teams were allowed to go to Grisdale’s and pick out their own tires but some complained about an unfair advantage and a rule was put in place putting all teams at the mercy of the Grisdale staff and their tire selection.
As the field took the green flag it wasn’t long before Billy was on the radio complaining that the car had an even bigger push than in qualifying and that he could not get on the throttle through the corners dropping him back even deeper in the field. As the first caution came out on lap 25, Billy made his way to the pits for a quick adjustment that consisted of putting shims into the left front as well as taking more air pressure out of the left rear in the hopes of minimizing the push that Billy was experiencing. Upon returning to the track Billy was back on the radio complaining that push was still pretty bad and on top of that the carburetor started to act up with a big hesitation as he first got on the throttle. With a series rule in place that didn’t allow a car to come into the pits to change a tire unless it was flat, the team was not able to put on the smaller spare tire that would have corrected the stagger problem. With also not having a quick fix to correct the issue with the carburetor, Billy was told to do the best he could to stay out of trouble and bring the care home in one piece. David did a great job as his rookie season continues as Billy’s spotter to guide the driver through multiple cautions that happened right in front of the #86. Billy was able to bring the car home without a scratch although it would be with a disappointing 14th place finish.
Billy returns to Delaware Speedway for Canada Day on Friday July 1st for the fourth round of the APC United Late Model Series. The front gates open at 6:00 PM with racing getting underway at 7:30 PM. Jake returns to Sunset Speedway on Saturday July 2nd for a regular night of racing with the front gates opening at 4:30 PM and racing getting underway at 6:00 PM.
Jake was the only driver from the Spira Racing stable that would see the track this past weekend as he returned to Sunset Speedway for a rare Friday night event. With the NASCAR Pinty’s Series set to take over the track for the weekend the usual Saturday night showcase was moved to Friday night and with two consecutive top-5 finishes Jake was looking to continue his string of strong finishes heading into an off week. With their cooler packed full of ice courtesy of sponsor Northern Ice, Jake and his dad Wade loaded the #88 and headed north Friday afternoon.
With the sun high in the sky and the heat radiating off the pavement Jake took to the track for practice. The car continued to handle well right off the trailer as Jake was again happy with the handling only having to make minor adjustments through air pressures to keep up with the changing track conditions. With the temperature being very high, the track was very greasy resulting in the cars sliding all over the track looking for more grip wherever they could find it.
In the first heat race of the night Jake lined up in the 5th starting position out of 7 cars. By lap 2 Jake moved into the 4th while the last five laps were a battle with the #17 and the 76 for 2nd, 3rd and 4th , Jake would come out on the losing end of that battle finishing 4th. Due to time constraints there would be no ‘Dash for Cash’ so the team went to work prepping for the 25-lap feature.
With the sun setting in the distance, Jake lined up for the feature back in the 13th out of 18 cars and it didn’t take long for him to begin his march towards the front. As Jake cracked the top-10 just before the halfway point the caution came out on lap 12 as the #36 spun on the backstretch and the #6 and 76 came together on the front stretch simultaneously. Restarting in the 7th position, the caution would come back out once more on lap 22 before the rest of the feature would run caution free. Now starting 6th, Jake would pick up one more position before running out of laps to pick up his third consecutive top-5 finish. As the cars went through post-race inspection the 1st and 2nd place cars would be disqualified handing the win to the #17 for his first career victory while moving Jake onto the podium with a 3rd place finish. With two weeks off before their next race Jake and his dad Wade are looking to do their homework and see what they can do to finally put the #88 in victory lane.
Jake has a rare weekend off as Billy is back in the #86 pro late model at Sauble Speedway on Saturday June 25th for the third round of the APC United Late Model Series. The front gates open at 5:30 PM, qualifying is at 6:00 PM with racing getting underway at 6:30 PM.
Jake returned to Sunset Speedway for his second back-to-back feature and he was joined by Billy in the #86 pro late model for the rescheduled second round of the APC United Late Model Series. After a rough start to the Series, Billy and team were looking to build some momentum as the series started to pick up steam with four races in five weeks.
After almost picking up his first feature win the previous evening, Jake continued to be happy with the handling of his car with only minor air pressure adjustments required during practice. In his heat race Jake started in the pole position but he got caught up in the outside lane, ultimately dropping him back to 5th where he would finish. Due to time restraints the ‘Dash for Cash’ was cancelled and the cars lined up for their feature where Jake would start back in 8th. Jake had another great start and had moved his way up to 5th but that’s as far as he would get once again as he would finish there as the race ran caution free. With back-to-back top 5 finishes Jake continues his successful start to the season and finds himself 4th in the standings.
Billy and team struggled with the handling of the #86 throughout practice with Billy spinning out in turn 4 after drifting through much of turn 3 on the first lap due to a very loose handling car. Despite making numerous changes throughout practice, Billy felt like he was burning up the right rear coming off the corners as he wasn’t able to get on the throttle until almost halfway down the straightaway. At the conclusion of practice, the team threw a mixed bag of changes at the #86 hoping to tighten up the car before qualifying. Billy hit the track for time trials as the 15th car to qualify and laid down a lap of 14.330 seconds jumping up to 2nd on the board while also picking up almost three tenths of a second from his practice times. As the point leaders made their qualifying runs after Billy, he would ultimately end up in the 7th starting position picking up his second consecutive top-10 qualifying run.
As the field came to the green flag the #24 missed a shift causing the field to stack up behind him and for the second consecutive race, Billy would find himself in the wrong place at the wrong time as when the field stacked up he looked to the inside of the #81 but launched the #86 off the left rear tire of the #81 as the two made contact sending Billy into the air before landing just past the start/finish line against the inside wall. The #86 was hooked up to the tow truck and brought down pit road so the crew could go to work. Unfortunately the field took the green flag before the crew was finished putting the #86 one lap down. A quick caution did come out shortly thereafter so after pulling off the hood, pulling back the front fenders and straightening out the front bumper thanks to a large pry bar borrowed from the #44 team of Steve Laking, Billy was sent back out to join the tail-end end of the field just as they were heading into turn 3 to take the green flag. The crew did a great job fixing the damage that including damage to the air box and with just the valence dragging on the track, Billy was able to get back to up to speed and was running lap times that were comparable to those of the lead lap cars. Despite being able to pass a few cars and avoid contact with others spinning in turn 4 late in the race, Billy would finish a disappointing 16th. As Billy brought the wounded #86 back to the trailer, the team was left to think about what could have been and what could they do to get a little bit of luck back on their side as this was the second straight race that they had suffered collateral damage after another car had trouble getting up to speed.
Both Billy and Carson are off this coming weekend as Jake returns to Sunset Speedway on Friday June 17th for a regular night of racing with the front gates opening at 5:30 PM and racing getting underway at 7:00 PM.
It was a busy week for the Spira Racing team as both the #86 mini stock, the #88 mini stock and the #86 St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market pro late model were all set to be in action over the weekend. Jake would be doing double duty as he would be racing the #88 mini stock at Sunset Speedway on both Saturday and Sunday while Billy would be with Carson running the #86 mini stock on Saturday night at Flamboro Speedway before joining Jake at Sunset Speedway on Sunday for the rescheduled second round of the APC United Late Model Series.
Flamboro Speedway: During the first practice session Carson thought that the car was handling fine; however, Billy thought differently after talking to Carson he determined that Carson was changing his driving style to suit the car instead of pushing the car to suit how he wanted to drive and then making changes to the car. After making air pressure adjustments to correct a loose in condition, Carson lined up on the outside pole for the first of two scheduled features. After clearing the pole sitter on the opening lap, Carson made his way into the lead pulling ahead of the field by more than six car lengths. The #97, 61 and 71 were gaining fast as they came through the field eventually moving past Carson by lap 7 dropping him back to 4th. The caution came out on lap 14 dropping the #91 and the 71 to the back of the field and moving Carson up to 2nd. Through the remaining laps Carson lost three positions while battling hard for position until he made contact with the #03 that caused him to lift off the gas resulting in losing two more positions bringing the #86 home in 7th. Prior to the second feature of the night the track hosted an on track autograph session for the large crowd on hand including approximately 80 children from the Help A Child Smile group that are currently receiving cancer treatment at McMaster Children’s Hospital. A big thank you goes out to Audrey Mast who supplied the team with more than enough teddy bears that were handed out by Carson to the kids in attendance as he signed hero cards for them courtesy of Dave Franks Photography. At the conclusion of the autograph session and before the second set of features could hit the track, the track itself was hit with a power outage that would eventually end the night early after a long wait for the power to return.
Sunset Speedway: Jake was very happy with the handling of the #88 during practice with the handling carrying over into his heat race where he starting 7th out of 9 cars. Jake was able to gain two positions to finish 5th as the race ran caution free. In the ‘Dash for Cash’ Jake started back in 11th of 13 cars again he was able to gain a couple of positions finishing 9th. Jake drew the pole position for the feature that saw 18 cars take the green flag. Jake would pull away from the field at the start and with a great handling car it looked like he was going to walk away from the field. On lap 18 the caution would come out for the #79 that had blown his motor. Jake continued to run strong at the front of the field until just four laps remaining when the #33 was able to make the pass and put Jake back to 2nd where he would finish while picking up his best ever feature finish and putting him ever closer to that elusive first feature win. Jake earned praise from veteran Warren Paxton who drives the #33 and stated “Shout out to that kid. He can drive and he ran me clean”.
Billy and Jake will be in action at Sunset Speedway on Sunday June 12th for the rescheduled second round of the APC United Late Model Series. The front gates open at 11:30 AM with racing getting underway at 1:00 PM.