Ventura Race Report 10-16-10

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Ventura Raceway
    It was a cold and wet Saturday night at Ventura Raceway. It felt great to finally be back in the car again since our last race was over a month ago. 30 Midgets were in attendance.
    We were decent in hot laps. For the heat race we made a gear change and some minor chassis adjustments.
    I predicted the track would slick off more and come to us, but it was so wet out the track stayed the same. I was way too tight on entry, causing my exit to be too loose. Still I was able to come from last up to 4th and transfer straight into the main event.
    In the main event, I was starting way back in the back of the pack (14th) and the track being so tacky and locked-down, it would be a long hard fought way to the front. The green dropped, I immediately began picking them off one at a time running the bottom. I moved up top for a couple laps to try to gain a few positions but the top hadn't come in yet, I moved back down low before I lost any positions.
    It was an extremely tight race. Everyone was on top of each other and there was no room for error. A spinning car just in front of me in turn 2 caused a chain reaction. I bumped into the car in front of me and was hit hard by the car behind me in the left side nerf bar sheering my brake line and also bending the front end. I had to park it for the night.
    A 19th place finish is frustration and beyond words. But I keep looking to the future and I can't help but be optimistic for what's coming in the near future and a bit further down the road. This Honda Steath is so close. We have excellent power, in fact the most power I've ever had now thanks to Dan Crower and Crower Performance. Our new and improved and upgrades seem to have fixed what we wanted to fix.
    We'll be ready to give them a run for their money in Tulare November 13. Special Thanks to all of my awesome sponsors; Goodwine Glass, Orange County Tank Testing, Lucas Oil, K&N Filters, Crower Performance, Oakley, One Day Signs, EgoTactics.net, Zanzabuku Sports Lounge, New York Upper Crust Pizza, Mothers Polish and Socal Performance for their support this season.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 October 2010 08:44 )

Jake Gets Top 5 at Calistoga Speedway

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September 4th-5th
The Louie Vermiel Classic at Calistoga Speedway
    The Swanson Motorsports Team headed off last Friday for the beautiful wine country of Calistoga. The big half-mile oval might as well be named Calistoga Super-speedway. It's massive. 18 cars attended the 3rd annual Louie Vermiel Classic.
    Unfortunately engine issues challenged us all night. No matter what we changed, we could not fix a poping/4-cycleing problem that would pop up about mid-straight-away and continue to get worse all the way until the car would get in the corner. It was a terrible problem to have for these long straight-aways. Despite our problems, the car was so fast through the corners and I was able to salvage a 6th place finish.  I almost passed the 5th and 4th place cars going 3 wide at the finish line when we crossed it. Cameron and Dave LaMott put one heck of a setup underneath the 05 Honda. Not too shabby considering, but extremely frustrating. The set up was so good, I could only imagine how well we could have ran if we had the engine running at 100%!
    If you all don't know who Dave LaMott is, here's the scoop. Dave owns another one of the four Honda Midgets in the U.S. (it's us two dirt cars in California, and two pavement cars back east in Indianapolis). Greg Bragg, a good friend and previous driver of the #05 Honda, now wheel's Dave's #0 machine in the BCRA division. You may remember from the last race in Placerville when Greg won and I finished second to him giving Honda it's first 1-2 finish. Dave was generous enough to offer up his car for me to run on the second day of the Louie Vermiel Classic since Bragg doesn't run the USAC Midget series and was busy racing the 410 sprinter that night for Moose Racing Team.
    Dave made a 2 hour trip back home to pick up his car and brought the car down Sunday for me.  We got to work throwing a setup under it, gear and tires. The night went much smoother. After starting 10th in the main, I lost a couple spots at the start. I knew as soon as I hit the track that I had made the wrong call on shocks.  I should have put on a stiffer tie-down shock but it was too late now. Soon I was moving forward though. I fought hard to end up finishing 5th.

A 6th place finish on Saturday and a 5th place finish on Sunday has put me in strong contention to finish off the season with a top 5 in over all Western USAC Midget points. I’m only 4 points away from 4th place with my cousin Cody only 2 points ahead of me in 5th and then Randy Pankratz 2 points ahead of Cody in 4th.  I will be a close battle for a top 5 in year end points. 
    I can't thank Dave enough for letting me run the #0 Honda and Cameron for his helpful setup knowledge. Thanks to all of my great sponsors; Goodwine Glass, Orange County Tank Testing, Lucas Oil, K&N Filters, Crower Performance, Oakley, One Day Signs, EgoTactics.net, Zanzabuku Sports Lounge, New York Upper Crust Pizza, Mothers Polish and Socal Performance for their support this season.
    We've got another little break, then it's back to racing on October 16th at Ventura. We'll have this Honda figured out so we can knock down a win at this track. Hope to see you there!

Last Updated ( Friday, 10 September 2010 16:27 )
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