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|Big Win and new Track Record||Monday, June 4, 2018|
|We had not raced the car since the Runoffs last September since we were all pretty busy with two new babies and getting the Texas house ready to sell. Kevin and Carrie were in the throes of finding a new place to live while Kev had already started his new job with Honda Research of America. We had also made some substantial changes to the car (new head). We were not even sure we had a car to race until after the dyno session at SloMo on Monday before the race. There was good competition in the FP race with 4 National champions and 7 other great cars/drivers.
Kevin and I did the setup on the car on Wednesday night and we loaded it all up on the trailer, even though one of our scales decided not to work and the batteries in the camber gauge finally died. On Thursday I took the whole rig up to Mid Ohio and got a great spot just across the grass from the Hoosier guys. I took the Honda Elite to Mansfield to a new Mexican restaurant just for the drive on a gorgeous day. Friday morning Kevin came up and we got her ready to go out for the practice session running the tires from last years runoffs. The car ran very well and Kevin was the fastest car on the track. We were both very happy to see Carrie bring Walter and the Twins up to the track. They left before the afternoon qualifying session. In that session Kevin ran under his own track record and was on the overall pole since Joey Moser had blown his engine - until the last minute when Chima ran faster than Kevin in his Lotus Super Seven. Kevin went home to help Carrie put the kids down for the night. I took the Elite into town to Bucks Bar & Grill.
On Saturday Kevin came back up and I had the car mostly ready to go. I took a couple sticker 100s to Hoosier Tire Midwest and they mounted and balanced them for us. We bled the brakes and put on a set of new Hoosiers so we could temper them for use in Sundays race. Carrie and the kids showed up and we all went to the esses to watch daddy qualify. Since he was tempering tires he went out last and did slow laps to load heat into the tires gradually. In his last lap we took the pole briefly until both Super Sevens went faster. Grandma and Sheryl arrived just after noon and we all played with the babies.
The race was at 3:30pm and we were all ready for it. At the start of the race Chima immediately accelerated when the pace car pulled off and then jammed on the brakes in the middle of the carousel. This was related to me by several drivers who were pretty upset about it because it nearly caused some severe accidents. However, it worked for him because he jumped out to a heavy lead. Most people wondered why he thought he had to do that since his qualifying lap was the better part of a second faster than Kevin’s. Kevin was in only 2nd gear and the transmission popped out of gear when Chima brake checked the field. Then he had difficulty finding the right gear at such a slow speed. He fell back to 7th in the field. As he has done so many times before he charged back through the field to get to 3rd behind Chima and Campbell. We were all surprised that Chima did not pull away from Campbell but for some reason he kept falling back to stay close to Charley. Just as Kevin got close to the leaders Chima’s British vehicle had mechanical problem which took him out of the race. With Just Charley left, Kevin stood on it. He made up over 10 seconds in the last few laps and would have easily taken the lead but for a gaggle of B-Spec cars. Kevin finished less than a second behind Charley. Third place was taken by John Walker in his Super Seven followed by Bednarz and then Gallagher in our old Integra.
Grandma and Aunt Sheryl took Edwin and Cora back home while Kev, Carrie, Walter & I went to the dinner at the Honda Pavilion. After Kevin & Carrie left I was by myself so I took the Elite out for a ride on a beautiful evening.
Sunday morning I fueled the car and removed the windshield to fix the non-working tachometer. Kevin and family arrived and we waited to see what the weather was going to do. At Lunchtime the skies opened up and it poured hard for a few minutes. Fortunately it stopped raining and Race group 5 ran and dried up the track. Our race started pretty much clear completely. After the pace lap Chima in his surprisingly fast Super Seven pulled off, supposedly due to some mechanical problem, although he appeared to be running fine. Several of the drivers speculated if the Data Box installed in his car before the race had anything to do with his decision to drop out…….. Kevin followed Campbell for 6 laps before getting a good run on him going into the keyhole turn. By that time our tires were coming in and getting faster and Charley’s were starting to go away. So much so that Kevin broke his own track record in the 14th lap and won the race by a 14 second gap.
It was a fantastic weekend. The car was excellent, the driver was excellent, the weather cooperated nicely, and the babies were all very happy and had fun.