Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday - Afternoon Racing

Although the repairs to the truck had been made, the bumper was short and the front grill had not been replaced. The truck was now sporting one of its original chrome wheels in place of the wheel with the shredded tire. Mark was doing a good job and he was staying clean. The next time sheet came out at 3:50 p.m. and we had dropped to 21st place, obviously due to being off track for 30 minutes for the repairs. We were on lap 94 with a total race time of 3:20:29.133.

At 4:05 p.m. it was time for the next driver change and Mark was given the sign with 2 fingers which meant to pit in 2 laps. The driver change was made in the fueling area. Dennis Gros was next up as the #5 driver for today. After only a couple of laps Dennis was flagged by the officials to come in. The team headed for impound to meet him and find out what was up. It seems they were looking for red paint on the truck. This would have been from a "supposed" incident while Mark was driving. When they couldn't find red paint, they called to T&S who said that a red car came into contact with another car numbered 11. OK, we were a truck with a large number 51 on the doors. The officials said it was a mistake and we were free to go. I couldn't resist and asked if we could have 5 of our penalty laps back for our inconvenience. I got one of those "looks" and was told to get out of there. Hey - it was worth a try!

So Dennis went back out for the remainder of his hour. The team continued to watch from the fence in our paddock and from the top of Mark's motor home. Everything was looking good. At 5:00 p.m., "Rowdy" #6, Robbie Poupart, was up for his stint and, as he exited the truck, Dennis helped Robbie get strapped in. The truck was refueled and Robbie was on his way.

The next timing sheets were posted at 5:00 p.m. and between Mark & Dennis, we had worked our way back up to 18th place. We were on lap 127 with a total race time of 4:29:52.068. I walked back over to the condo to get photos of Robbie from the balcony. Robbie had a good battle with the #68 Miata of The Bum Steers and the MooPoo Crew. It was a white Miata with black spots to look like a cow complete with a tail flailing in the air drafts behind the car. Robbie got close enough to it several times that he could almost reach out and touch it!

At 6:00 p.m., Robbie was shown the "meatball" flag and had to come in because the tailpipe was hanging. A temporary repair was made for that by Dennis and Mike. The O2 sensor had come loose and the truck was idling rough. Can't do anything to do about that now.

An announcement had been made earlier that because the race got such a late start, they would run until 6:30 p.m. tonight. We had an extra half hour of racing that we hadn't expected. So, since Mark had his session shortened due to the repairs being made after Phil's fender bender, Chris had Mark suit up and be ready to take the last half hour session.

Mark's session was somewhat uneventful and he kept the truck out of trouble. Mark took the checkered flag at 6:38 p.m. The Professionals were scored in 15th place with 182 laps and a total race time of 6:04:06.536. Robbie had recouped the team's fastest lap time of 1:21.428. We were down 24 laps from the leaders, The Schwing Team.

The truck made it through the entire day, was still in good shape, and the team was excited about their position at the end of the day. A couple of things need to be repaired on the truck to be ready to race tomorrow and we hope to party while we work!


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