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Post Race Update from Peterborough & Flamboro Speedways June 17, 2017

Despite rain with thunderstorms in the forecast, Billy Schwartzenburg and the #86 team headed east to Peterborough Speedway for the third round of the APC United Late Model Series and the Hy-Grade 100. Samantha Shaw headed north with her #81 mini stock to Sunset Speedway for a regular night of racing and Jake left the #88 mini stock back in the shop.

Peterborough Speedway: Twenty-four pro late models were in attendance and just as the cars took to the track for practice, the skies opened up resulting in a three hour rain delay. During the break, the crew from Hy-Grade Steel Roofing System arrived at the track and had plenty of time to visit with Billy and the #81 of Andrew Gresel who are both sponsored by the #1 metal roofing company in the province. Once the track was dry, the pro late models would be split in half for just one 7½ minute practice session each before heading back to their pits to ready for qualifying. Billy felt that the car was pretty quick; however, it was very inconsistant from lap to lap with it being loose into the corner and good off and then good in and loose off. With only the one practice session the crew would not have a chance to see how the changes worked on the car so they put in a round of swaybar and a shim in the right front to try and tighten it up and hoped for the best. Despite the weather, there was a pretty good crowd in the stands as the cars took the green flag for their five lap group qualifying seessions. Billy reported that the car just didn’t feel right as he qualified a disapointing 18th but the team was trying a different setup in the right rear that should save the tire for later in the race and they were confident that the car would be good in the long run.

The race got off to a shaky start as the caution came out on lap 1 for the #17 who started on the pole but had mechanical issues slowing the field and bringing out the caution putting Billy on the inside lane for the restart. The field sorted themselves out after 20 laps and as the #35 and #89c got an inside run on the #10, Billy followed putting himself into 16th and then 15th as he got by the #35 on lap 29. Just a few laps later, Billy got impatient with the #71 and bumped him just a little too hard heading into turn 1, sending the #71 into a spin and bringing out the caution. Restarting at the back of the field for spinning the #71, Billy quickly started moving forward as he was up to 14th by lap 47 and then passed the #32 into 13th before passing the #8 at the half way mark putting him 12th. On lap 60 there was a lengthy caution as the #21 slowed down the back straightaway causing everyone else behind him to stack up. A couple of cars ended up in the grass down the backstretch and the #37 ended up making hard contact with the outside wall. Under the caution Billy reported that the car actually felt really good desite a small push in the centre of the corners but he was able to get a real good run out of the corners and the car felt now felt very consistant. Unfortunaly Billy restarted in the outside lane and by the time a spot opened on the bottom he had shuffled all the way back to 18th in just 3 laps. After clawing his way back up to 13th the caution returned for the #32 who had stopped high in turn 3 & 4. Even though he felt like he had a top-5 car, Billy was having a hard time getting through traffic fast enough to run with the front pack. With 25 laps remaining Billy made it into the top-10 in 10th as the caution returned on lap 76. Billy dropped to 12th on the restart but was able to get cleared into the inside lane one lap later and quickly regained his position in 10th. With 20 laps to go, Billy got by the #72 and then with 16 to go, passed the #27 into 9th behind the #48. With just 5 laps to go, Billy passed the #48 to take over 8th but he was well behind the #22. Despite being able to close the gap and catch the #22 he wasn’t able to make the pass finishing 8th.

Sunset Speedway: Before the rain hit Peterborough it made a stop at Sunset Speedway. With the rain, Samantha only ran one practice session where the car was tight going into the corners. A sway bar adjustment was made before the first heat race with the hope of loosening the car up on entry. Samantha lined up on the outside of the third row in 6th and the car felt a lot better as the field took the green flag. The heat race ran caution free and Samantha was able to pick up a few positions to finish 3rd. Another sway bar adjustment was made before the start of the second heat and despite the car stumbling badly on the start Samantha managed a 2nd place finish.

In what was becoming a recurring theme over the course of the day yet another adjustment was made to try and loosen the car up before the feature where Sam would start in the outside of row 3 in 6th. Multiple cautions over the first five laps slowed the pace down considerably but Samantha used what green flag laps she had to move up to 2nd. After a restart, Samantha took over the lead but the caution came back out. On the ensuring restart she was able to get the lead but was quickly passed by the #51 dropping her back to 2nd. Samantha ran in the 2nd position for a number of laps but the car was starting to tighten up going into the corner and loose off so she gradually fell back to 5th where she would finish.

Both Billy and Jake have the weekend off so Samantha will be the lone car in action on Saturday June 24th as she returns to Sunset Speedway for a regular night of racing. The front gates open at 4:30 PM with racing getting underway at 6:00 PM.

Post Race Update from Flamboro Speedway June 10, 2017

Coming off of two feature wins at Flamboro Speedway the previous weekend, Billy Schwartzenburg headed back to Flamboro with the APC United Late Model Series and the Meineke 100. Samantha Shaw decided to bring her #81 mini stock to run with Jake Watson in the #88 mini stock instead of making the longer trip north to Sunset Speedway. The #86 team kept the same setup in the car from the previous weekend with only a bolt check, replacement of the front brakes and regular maintenance required during the week.

Over the three practice sessions, the #86 team adjusted the car for a minor push in the centre of the corners that resulted in the car being loose coming out of the corners. They were cautious not to go too far as they knew they had a good baseline set-up and had a feeling that the cause of their handling issues were the worn out tires that they were using for practice making them only the 15th quickest car in practice. After trying multiple adjustments to mainly see how the car reacted, the crew went back to their base line set-up with a minor change to loosen the car up in the centre and then tighten it up on exit that if anything would help save the right rear tire for the end of the race. Full of fuel and with new tires bolted on, Billy entered the track with the third group to qualify that started with the slowest cars in practice for the first group and fastest cars in the sixth and final group. As the new tires took hold during the five lap qualifying session, Billy would pilot the #86 to a new track record of 15.083 seconds that would put him at the top of the board. Twelve other cars would also break the track record but Billy would untimatly qualify 6th out of the 26 car field.

With the APC Series qualifying completed and the cars impounded unil their feature race, the mini-stocks took to the track for their twin 20 lap features where Jake started on the pole position followed by Samantha in 9th. Jake fell in behind the #71 on the second lap and Samantha also lost a position but she quickly recovered and was up to 8th just one lap later. After a caution on lap 4, Samantha made the outside lane work to her advantage and moved up to 5th before passing the #38 one lap later to take over 4th. With just 3 laps remaining, Samantha moved up to 3rd behind Jake as the caution came out for the #03 who spun setting up a green, white, checkered finish. The #71 took the win followed by Jake in 2nd and Samantha in 3rd. In the second feature, Jake started 12th and Samantha all the way back in 17th. Just five laps in, Samantha took over 11th and Jake moved into 9th before the first caution on lap 7. At the half way point, Jake moved into 3rd and then 2nd two laps later as Samantha continued moving forward into 5th on lap 16 and then made a final pass on the last lap to finish 4th as Jake held on to finish 2nd.

After driver introductions in front of one of the largest crowds seen in years, the #15 led the field to the green flag starting the 100 lap feature followed by the #17, #81, #9, #87 and Billy 6th in the outside lane. The top six cars ran side by side for the first three laps before Billy was able to get by the #17 and move into 5th before the caution came out for the #89c and #36 who got into the wall. Under the caution, Billy reported that the car was just a little tight in the center to which the crew chief replied that it should get better as the car would loosen up as the fuel level went down closer to the end of the race; at least that was the theory and it sounded good. Billy ran side by side with the #15 for a number of laps and then on lap 29 moved into 4th behind the #37. Five laps later Billy took over 3rd coming out of turn 4 as he passed the #37 settling in behind the #81 and #9 who where battling for the lead up front. With 30 laps remaining, the #9 took over the lead from the #81 and then the caution came out, bunching up the field with 20 to go. The #9 once again pulled into the lead on the restart followed by the #81 with Billy still running 3rd and it would be the #9 who slowly pulled away from the #81 to take the win with the #81 finishing 2nd and Billy maintaining his podium finish in 3rd with a great run for the #86 team. All three cars were in good shape at the end of the night that finished at 9:30 PM making it a well run event for the many fans in attendance.

Next up for the team will see Billy head to Peterborough Speedway for the Hy-Grade Roofing 100 and the third round of the APC United Late Model Series on Saturday June 17th. The front gates open at 4:00 PM with racing getting underway at 6:00 PM. Jake returns to Flamboro Speedway and Samantha returns to Sunset Speedway that same night for a regular night of racing. The front gates open at 5:00 PM with racing getting underway at 6:30 PM at Flamboro and the front gates open at 3:30 PM with racing getting underway at 6:00 PM at Sunset.

Post Race Update from Sunset and Flamboro Speedways June 3, 2017

Plenty of sunshine greeted all three teams as Samantha Shaw headed to Sunset Speedway with her #81 mini stock and Jake Watson headed to Flamboro Speedway with the #88 mini stock as did Billy Schwartzenburg with the #86 pro late model. Little did the team know that the rare sunshine may have been a sign of brighter things to come later that evening.

Flamboro Speedway:    The pro late models would have triple 30-lap features as they ran their second race from two weeks ago that had been rained out while Jake would run his usual twin 20-lap features. After two practice sessions neither Billy or Jake would require changes to their cars as both drivers were happy with the setup they had right out of the trailers.

Billy lined up 3rd on the inside of row 2 for his first feature of the night with 17 pro late models in attendance. Being in the preferred inside lane, Billy quickly made his way up to 2nd by going by the #9 on the 2nd lap before taking over the lead from the #50 a short time later on lap 10 followed by the #63 and #89c. On lap 17 the #89c made his move past the #63 into second but Billy was able to maintain a 3-4 car length lead over the closing laps to pick up his first ever pro late model feature win.

Jake started in the pole position for his first feature of the night with the #03 to his outside and the #72 and #7 in the row behind him. Jake and the #03 ran side by side for three laps before Jake pulled ahead and into the lead. Despite the car getting loose on exit, Jake would pull ahead of the #03 and #71 by six car lengths as the race ran caution free and Jake picked up his second feature win in as many weeks.

Billy lined up on the outside of row 4 in the 8th position for his second feature of the night and despite the field sorting themselves out into single file, Billy was held up behind by the #27 and #99 who were battling side by side in front of him. The #89c moved into the lead as Billy finally got the opportunity to pass the #27 and move into 7th but by then he was already well behind the front pack of cars. With just five laps remaining Billy finally ran down the front group and just as he moved inside the #39 to challenge for 6th, he ran out of laps and crossed the finish line side by side with the #39 but he would come up just short finishing 7th.

Jake lined up back in 9th for his second and final feature of the night but quickly started moving forward on lap one as he took over the 8th position. On lap 3 Jake continued to forward as he moved up into 7th and then on lap 5 he would move inside the #72 into 6th behind the #38. At the half way point Jake cracked into the top 5 as he got by the #38 and then three laps later would pass the #84 into 4th. With just two laps remaining Jake got inside the #76; however, the car got loose exiting turn two and he had to back out of the throttle giving the position to the #76, finishing 4th.

Billy would once again start 3rd in his final race of the night behind the #50 and #97. Getting by the #97 on the second lap, Billy would be on the bumper of the #50 until the caustion came out on lap 14 when he reported the car was handling really well except for the brakes that were starting to fade away and that explained why he was bumping into the back of the #50 as they went into the corners. Restarting on the outside of the front row, Billy slid back into 3rd before the caution returned on lap 16. The #27 got by the #50 on lap 19 to take over the lead and Billy followed in behind to take over 2nd with 10 laps remaining. With just 5 laps to go, Billy was on the bumper of the #27 with the #89c on his tail and with 4 to go, Billy passed the #27 and went into the lead but was still closely followed by the #89c. Despite a couple of attempts by the #89c to get to Billy’s back bumper, Billy was able to maintain his lead over the waning laps to pick up his second win of the night.

Sunset Speedway:         Samantha finally had a full weekend off from work so she was able to participate in all the practice sessions where the car was tight going into the corner and then loose on exit. Despite many attempts with air pressure and spring rubber adjustments, the car got worse through the two sessions, so they went back to the original setup – which had been the fastest  of the day and then took some sway bar out as well as a small air pressure adjustment before the first heat race.

Samantha started 5th in her first heat race and made her way up to 3rd with three laps to go when the leader spun by himself bringing out the caution. Restarting on the outside in 2nd, Samantha made her way to the front and picked up the heat win. Before the 2nd heat race, another air pressure adjustment was made to try and loosen the car up some more and it did help as she finished 4th after starting 6th. Starting on the pole for the feature, Samantha led the entire race and when the #35 stopped high up in turn 2 bringing out the caution flag on the last lap, due to NASCAR rules because Samantha had taken the white flag before the caution, she would take the combined yellow and checkered flag bringing home her first feature win of the season.

After a busy night at two tracks, a very happy group of drivers and their crews returned to the shop with 4 wins out of 6 feature races resulting in Spira Racing’s best ever night of racing.

Billy and Jake return to Flamboro Speedway on Saturday June 10th for the second round of the APC United Late Model Series. The front gates open at 5:00 PM with racing getting underway at 6:00 PM. Samantha returns to Sunset Speedway that same night for a regular night of racing. The front gates open at 4:30 PM with racing getting underway at 6:00 PM.

Post Race Update from Sunset and Flamboro Speedways May  27, 2017

It was a fairly quiet week for Spira Racing with the #86 pro late model team only having to touch up some damaged paint from the previous weekend at Flamboro Speedway. Billy Schwartzenburg and Samantha Shaw with her #81 mini stock made their way north to Sunset Speedway for the first round of the APC United Late Model Series while Jake Watson headed to Flamboro Speedway with the #88 mini stock for a regular points night of racing.

Sunset Speedway: With a threat of rain in the forecast, Billy piloted the #86 onto the track for the first of three 20-minute practice sessions. Despite being 9th quickest in the first sesson, Billy complained about a push in the centre of the corners that then caused the car to become loose on exit. Despite making multiple changes for the second session and after a rail delay before the third session, the team was unable to get the push out of the car. The team went to work making more changes before the new five car group qualifying hoping to improve on the handling as the car was steadily getting harder and harder to drive as it would not rotate through the corners. Shortly after Billy took to the track for his group qualifying session he found that nothing that the team did to loosen the car was working as he ran a disappointing quailfying time that would put him back in the 18th starting position out of 24 cars. With a few other cars heading to the pits to make last minute adjustments because they were already at the back of the field, the decision was made to pull Billy out of the car impound area and the team went to work making even bigger changes to the setup hoping to give Billy a better handling car for the feature.

Samantha missed her first practice session with the #81 mini-stock due to a work commitment; however, she did arrive in time for the second and third sessions where the car handled well with only a minor air pressure adjustment needed before the first of her two heat races. Samantha started third last in her first heat race and despite the car tightening up quite a bit she still managed to gain a few positions and finished 5th. After making a wedge adjustment Samantha lined up 3rd in the second heat where she would finish as the car was progressivley getting tighter over the longer runs. More wedge was taken out of the car and Samanatha started 11th out of 28 cars. There were numerous cautions over the course of the 25-lap feature, mainly for cars spinning out on their own and Samantha seamed to always struggle behind the slower cars running two and three wide in front of her, holding up her run towards the front of the field. Getting visibly frustrated inside the car, Samantha took it four wide towards the end of the race to pickup a few positions before the checkered flag to finish 9th.

Billy only lost one position for working on the #86 after qualifying and lined up 19th after going through pre-race tech a second time. Before the first lap was completed cars started spinning heading into turn 1 and Steven Simmons, who was filling in for Billy’s regular spotter David who had a wedding commitment, guided Billy through the spinning cars to restart in 18th. Billy made his way up to 17th on the second lap and then up to 15th on lap 23 as the #24 made contact with the #2 sending him into the inside wall on the front stretch. Under caution Billy reported that the was car was handling the best that it had all day despite a very small push that remained in the centre of the corner. Billy gained two more positions by lap 33 but it was all for naught when he got spun by the #3 bringing out the caution and sending the #86 to the tail-end of the field along with the #3. Billy pulled the #86 down pit road to notify the team that he had pulled the wires out of his push-to-talk button as has he tried to get the #86 under control during the spin and while in the pits the team made an adjustment for a loose condition coming late out of the corners. Although the team could not hear their driver, Billy could still hear his spotter so he went back out on track to rejoin the field in 19th. Billy made his way back up to 13th before the next caution on lap 46 and then cracked the top-10 on lap 61. Billy hung inside the top-10 in 9th but over the last 14 laps the #32 and the #22 got past him dropping him back to 12th where he would finish. Although they didn’t get the finish they wanted the team came home with a clean car and plenty of notes on setup for the next time that they return to the track.

Flamboro Speedway: Jake Watson took to the track for practice and was happy with the handling overall as only minor changes were needed such as changing shims, removing a spring rubber from the right rear and some air pressure adjustments. Jake lined up in the 11th position for his first 25-lap feature and on lap 2, made contact with Billy’s brother Rich coming out of turn 2 sending Jake into the infield. Jake pulled the #88 to the pits as the right front fender was pushed in and rubbing against the tires preventing him from being able to steer. Jake came back out on track and was able to finish the race incident free in 12th. Before the second feature the toe had to be reset and the right front fender had to be pulled out again before Jake lined up to start 12th. Jake was on a mission at the drop of the green flag and made his way up to 2nd by lap 3. At the halfway point Jake took over the lead heading through turns 3 & 4 and despite the #71 trying to keep it close Jake maintained his lead bringing home his first ever feature win.

Billy and Jake return to Flamboro Speedway on Saturday June 3rd for a regular night of racing. The pro late models will be running their second 30-lap feature from Saturday May 20th that was rained out so they will now be running three 30-lap features on Saturday night. The front gates open at 5:00 PM with racing getting underway at 6:00 PM. Samantha returns to Sunset Speedway that same night for a regular night of racing and Fan Appreciation Night. The front gates open at 3:30 PM with racing getting underway at 6:00 PM.

Post Race Update 2017-3 from Flamboro Speedway May 20, 2017

With the Victoria Day long weekend and the unofficial start of summer, it was cold and windy with a threat of rain as Jake and Billy arrived at Flamboro Speedway on Saturday night for a regular night of racing. Samantha had planned on running the Spring Velocity event at Sunset Speeday over the weekend however, with her dad at Bristol Motor Speedway with Steve Laking for the U.S. Short Track Nationals and having to work on the Sunday and holiday Monday, the #81 stayed in the shop.

Jake was first on the track for practice in the #88 mini stock and he was happy with the handling with the exception of a slight tight condition that he adjusted with tire pressures over the course of their two practice sessions. Billy and the #86 pro late model hit the track and the team worked on the same tight condition that Jake was fighting but the tight condition on the #86 was as much a result of the lack of stagger in the practice tires compared to what they would be using for race tires so the team was hesitant to change too much.

Jake lined up on the outside of the third row in 6th out of 15 cars for the first 20-lap feature of the night and after going to the outside and making it four wide, made his way up to 4th by lap 3. After a caution for the #03 who blew his second motor in as many weeks, Jake would restart 3rd however; he got stuck in a 3-wide battle and slid back to 6th by lap 12 where he would remain until the finish.

Billy drew the pole position for his first 30-lap feature consisting of 17 cars and would pull well ahead of the field for the first half of the race when the #15 started to slowly close the gap as the laps ticked by. On lap 21 the #15 had caught up to Billy and despite being a faster car, he did not take his time looking to make a move around the #86, and instead got into the back of Billy coming out of turn 4 sending him around in a cloud of smoke. Billy was sent to the back of the field as a result along with the #15 for spinning him. After the restart Billy was able to make his way back up to the 9th position and with just two laps remaining, the #97 and the #5 would make contact going into turn 1 with both cars ending up against the wall with the #5 being flipped upside on top of the #97. After a long red flag delay to get the cars apart and off the track, Billy restarted in the 7th position for a green, white, checkered finish where he would battle with the #32 for the 6th position but he would ultimately come home in 7th. Billy brought the #86 back to the pits and the team went to work repairing some minor body damage and make an adjustment for a tight condition that was sending Billy up the track and closer to the wall than he would have liked as he exited the corner.

After making a spring adjustment to hopefully fix the tight condition that he had in the first feature, Jake started in the 5th position for the second 20-lap feature of the night for the mini stocks. As the field took the green flag, the #55 who started on the pole and the #45 who started on the outside pole, made contact sending the #55 hard into the outside wall and spinning the #45 to the infield. On the restart, Jake would now take the green flag from the 3rd position and on lap 2 he passed the #84 for 2nd before making a move on the #77 and taking over the lead on lap 3. Jake maintained the lead until lap 8 when the #71 took Jake on the inside putting him 2nd. Jake dropped another position on lap 14 as the #61 made his move dropping Jake back to 3rd where he would come home with a podium finish.

As the pro late models took to the track for the second feature of the night, Billy lined up in the 3rd position and just as the field ran a few hot laps to warm up their tires, the skies opened up and the rain started to fall ending the night for the #86. As of right now it looks like the feature race that was rained out will be run on Saturday June 3rd to start the evening and then the regular two features will be run during the regular portion of the program.

Jake returns to Flamboro on Saturday May 27th for a regular night of racing. The front gates open at 5:00 PM with racing getting underway at 6:00 PM. Samantha joins Billy at Sunset Speedway that same night for the season opener of the APC United Late Model Series. The front gate opens at 3:30 PM with racing getting underway at 5:00 PM.

Post Race Update 2017-2 from Flamboro & Sunset Speedways May 13, 2017

Inclement weather the previous weekend delayed the debut of the #86 pro late model so the team took advantage of the down time to take pictures of the #86 for the 2017 hero cards. A special thank you goes out to Tyson Wentworth for all of his time and effort to help make the #86 look its best. Jake was back in action at Flamboro Speedway on Saturday night as Samantha made her season debut at Sunset Speedway that same night. Ken and Billy considered taking the #86 mini stock back out to Flamboro on Saturday night but because they are not registered at the track for that class, they decided against it but went anyway to help Jake and Billy’s brother Ricky. Arriving at the track, they were told the tracks policy had changed and even if you’re not a registered car, you can still compete for the nightly payout but you will not be eligible for the season points standings. Flamboro is hoping that this will attract more cars from other tracks and increase the car counts.

Flamboro Speedway: Jake was happy with the handling of the #88 over the course of practice with only a few minor adjustments being made including air pressures. In the first of two feature races Jake lined up in the 8th starting position and although the car was handling really well, Jake felt that the #88 was lacking a bit of power. Despite the lack of power Jake brought home the #88 in 4th picking up his third consecutive top-5 finish of the season. In the second feature of the night Jake again lined up in the 8th starting position and it would more eventful than the first as he had to dodge a few wrecks as he made his way to the front of the field. At the halfway point the car started smoking and then the caution flag came out for an incident shortly thereafter. Jake found himself restarting at the front of the field inside the #71 and despite giving it everything he had, he had to settle with the runner-up position and yet another top-5 finish. With the motor starting to show signs of aging, Jake is hoping that their new motor is going to be ready in the next couple of weeks so he can continue to battle with the other front runners for a feature win.

Sunset Speedway: Due to a work commitment, Samantha would miss the first practice session of the day so her uncle Steve Laking jumped behind the wheel of the #81 to practice it as she was concerned that she wasn’t going to make the second practice either. Steve found the car to be extremely tight over the course of the first practice so the right rear spring was changed with the hopes of loosening it up. Samantha arrived just in time for second practice so she jumped in the car and took to the track. Despite changing the right rear spring the car was still quite tight so they moved a spring rubber from the left rear to the right rear as well as took some preload out of the sway bar. After making the changes, they took the car over the scales and found that it was heavy so they took some lead out of the car before the first heat race. Samantha lined up 8th in the third heat race but quickly made her way towards the front. Just as she was making the pass to move into 2nd the caution came out with three laps to go. Now restarting 3rd the leader did not get going on the restart dropping Samantha back to 4th where she would finish. In her second heat race of the night Samantha lined up in the second row in 3rd and soon found herself at the front of the field as she would bring home her first checkered flag of the season. As the top qualifier of the night, Samantha had to line-up back in the 18th position out of 29 cars and despite multiple cautions over the course of the race for single car incidents, Samantha was able to gain a few positions and bring home the #81 in 12th without a mark on the car.

Samantha returns to Sunset Speedway on Saturday May 20th & Sunday May 21st for the annual Spring Velocity event. The front gate opens at 3:30 PM with racing getting underway at 5:00 PM on Saturday while the front gates open at 1:30 PM with racing getting underway at 3:00 PM on Sunday. Billy and Jake return to Flamboro on Saturday May 20th as the #86 pro late model makes its season debut after being rained out on May 6th. The front gate opens at 5:00 PM with racing getting underway at 6:00 PM.

Post Race Update from Flamboro Speedway April 29, 2017

Leading up to the season opener, the #86 team was kept busy as they took the pro late model to Sunset Speedway on April 14th for an open practice session where they would shake down the car after the winter rebuild and get a good baseline setup for the first race of the APC United Late Model Series that would run at the track on May 27th. After discovering that the car was set too low at the front end wearing off the valance from hitting the track, the team went to work on the ride height to get the front end of the car up off the track and above the minimum ride height rule. Billy was generally happy with the car and after running a total of six practice runs, the team was very happy with the handling through the corners, bringing their lap times down .3 seconds from where they started and in a range that would give them a good baseline for when they returned in May. After returning to the shop to do a complete bolt check, replace the front valance and changing over the setup, the team joined Jake in the #88 at Flamboro Speedway for their practice day on April 22nd where both cars made significant gains on improving the handling throughout the day.

The 2017 season got underway Saturday night as the #86 and the #88 arrived at Flamboro for the first race of the season. However, Billy would not be in the #86 pro late model as the class won’t be running its first race until the following weekend, so Billy would compete in his first event of the season in the #86 mini stock as he joined Jake to run the twin 20-lap features that would open the season. Billy and Jake took to the track for the first practice session and on the first lap the #5 spilled a substantial amount of oil on the track that Jake spun in before making hard contact with the #71 sending both cars to the pits for repairs while the oil was cleaned off the track. The #88 team went to work on the left front corner of the car and fortunately it was more body damage than structural and the car was easily repaired in time for the second practice. Billy was happy with the handling of the #86 with just a loose in condition that was fixed with adjustments to the sway bar and tire pressures. Jake was also happy with the handling of the #88  and no adjustments were required despite only having one practice session.

Billy lined up on the outside pole in the 2nd position behind the #07 for the first of two 20-lap features with Jake starting back in 12th and Billy’s brother Ricky would start at the tail-end of the field in 16th as he just managed to get his car together enough that morning at the shop to make it to the track. As the field took the green flag Billy took the lead heading into turn 1 and was followed closely by the #03 as Jake moved his way up inside the top-10 in the 8th position before the first caution on lap 15. The final caution came on lap 17 setting up a great side by side battle over the final laps between Billy and the #03 with Billy just edging ahead to take the win as Jake finished inside the top-5 in 5th.

For the second feature Billy started in the 8th position and as they took the green flag, Jake immediately charged forward from his starting position in 12th to the 9th position on lap 2. Billy also gained positions early and moved into the 4th position where he ran until the first caution came out on lap 10. With Billy restarting in 4th and Jake restarting in 7th, the leader would have mechanical issues as the field came to the green flag but both Billy and Jake were in the right lane that moved forward as Billy jumped into 2nd behind the #71 and Jake moved up to 5th. Over the closing laps Billy was all over the bumper of the #71 while also having to defend against the #03 making it a three car race to the finish with all three trying to gain a position while also trying not to lose one in the process. The top-3 would finish in that order giving Billy the overall victory with a 1st and a 2nd while Jake maintained his 5th place position to get his second top-5 of the night.

Samantha makes her season debut on Saturday May 6th at Sunset Speedway. The front gate opens at 3:30 PM with racing getting underway at 5:00 PM. Billy and Jake return to Flamboro that same night as Billy switches gears to the #86 pro late model as the late models take to the track for their first race of the season. The front gate opens at 5:00 PM with racing getting underway at 6:00 PM.

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