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Dover Recap

There was enough that went on this weekend to take some time to write about it. Hopefully this also gives you some insight as to some of the things that go on during race weekends.

 

The weekend in Dover started well, with an uneventful practice session with the Sprint Cup #87 Toyota, leading into the setup of the Nationwide #87 Hostgator Chevy, which was going as expected. We got the car through inspection OK, and were able to get out pretty early in the only practice session scheduled. Unfortunately on I believe it was my second lap out we blew a right front tire and went straight into the wall. I was able to take the car back to the garage, but knew as hard as the hit was that we killed it. Back in the garage, we started taking it apart to see the extent of the damage and to find out what went wrong. We pretty quickly saw the result of the hard impact, with a broken brake rotor and damage all the way back into the exhaust manifold. So off to the backup car.

 

Because of budget constraints, we did not have the backup car fully set up to run Dover. So we used the rest of the practice time (and then some) to move the setup from the primary car to the backup. Springs, shocks, carb, etc. That was still going on when I headed to the other side of the infield for Sprint Cup qualifying. That went well, so the evening ended with a bit more work on the Nationwide car and watching a bit of the K&N Series race.

 

Saturday morning started with Nationwide qualifying, with a car that had not yet been on the track. That went well considering. Got a decent starting spot, and learned just a little about the car to be able to know what to change during the race. Then back over for more Sprint Cup practice before getting ready for the Nationwide race to start.

 

The Hostgator Chevy felt pretty good in the beginning. Then we had some trouble with the right rear in a pit stop. Our chain was too long or something else was wrong with the suspension, as we had the spring pop out during the stop. That set us back some time, and then we were very close to being in the middle of it when the 27 hit the 88. We were able to sneak by on the high side, but not without hitting the radiator bouncing across the track. When I hit it water came up on my windshield, and I wasn't sure if that was from my radiator or not. So we got to pit road after the red flag and checked things out. We were able to fix things up pretty good, and make a decent day out of it.

 

After the race, the crew took me out to dinner for my birthday. It was good to unwind and tell stories over a good meal. I got to talk to John Hunter after he finished 6th in his race that night. Then we were kicked out as those nice folks in the restaurant had to go home for the night. I got printouts of all the birthday wishes and stories that were sent in through the websites, and was able to read most of them that night.

 

Thanks to all for the great birthday wishes and your continued support!