Jakes Takes Home Another 6th Place at Calistoga Speedway

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September 5th-6th Calistoga Speedway
    We went up to wine country last weekend for the Louiville Classic at Calistoga. This was a two day race on a very fast half mile track, and one of the biggest races of the year. On the first day, I went out for hot laps, and just tried to figure this track out. We soon realized that we were not turning near enough rpm. So after hot laps we changed the gear for qualifing, but it still wasn't enough. There were no heat races since all cars were going to the main, instead we just had another little practice session before the main. The car felt pretty good in this session, and we were much better on gear this time. I felt we were good to go for the main.
    For the main I was starting last row, inside. Once they threw the green, I slowly started picking them off, one-by-one. We were flying around this huge track. The track was clocking us at 130 mph at the end of the straights. It was alot of fun! I tried the outside for a lap, but soon realized that was not the fast way around for my car. I could only run people down on the very bottom of the track. I had an awesome battle with Jerome Rodela. We were going back and forth swapping positions. I finally got up to 5th. But then with just a few laps to go, I was going into turn three, and went for the brakes, but the pedal went right to the floor. Without brakes, I couldn't keep the car on the very bottom where it needed to be. It slid right up the track and into the cushion. I had to really pitch it loose to keep it from biking and maybe going over. Luckily right after that the red flag came out. The car slowly came to a stop on the front straight. My dad started checking things out, and found that the pin that held the brake pads in the rear caliper had broke, and kicked the pads out. Since there was only a couple laps left, I decided to try to finish the race (against Dads advice). I adjusted the brake adjuster so it was all front brake and went for it. I had to really pitch the car sideways to get it to slow down, but still couldn't quite keep it on the very bottom. I fell back to 6th when the checkers flew. I was pretty happy with our finish.
    On the second day, we fixed the brakes, and went out hoping with brakes we might be able to finish even better. But in hot laps, the engine wasn't running right. It sounded like it was sputtering all the time. It would run good for a second, it was cutting out like it was out of fuel or something. We spend the entire day chasing that problem, by replacing, cleaning, and checking everything we could possibly think of. Then finally, the final practice before the main, I went out, and the first lap it seemed to run great. It ran great until about a lap and a half later. I was coming out of turn four, and I heard this aweful noise, like the engine was coming apart or something, so as quick as I could I took it out of gear, and pulled to the inside of the track. But I could still hear the noise, bad. So I shut off the engine. Luckily, I had shut it off just in time because we later found that it was not the engine that had blown, it was the driveline that came from the engine to the rear end that had broke. The yoke, which is surrounded by the torqe ball and torqe tube, broke in half, which also shredded the torque ball in half. I was extremely lucky it stayed somewhat together just long enough for me to shut down the car, if it would have let go completely, it could have taken out both my ankles. We weren't able to make the main event. It was a bummer but we were definently lucky nothing else was hurt on the car. A very big thank you to all the sponsors that made this race possible for me. Goodwine Glass, Mike Walker, Crower, Orange County Tank Testing, Ego Tactics, Lucas Oil, K&N Filters, Mothers Polish, Oakley, One Day Signs and Socal Performance. If it wasn't for all you guys I wouldn't have been able to race this awesome race. I can't thank you all guys enough. The next midget race is October 3rd back at Kings Speedway in Hanford, where I made my very first USAC Midget start. Hope to see you there!
Last Updated ( Monday, 14 September 2009 15:33 )  

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