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smithpr
05-07-2006, 11:04 PM
Great day at Gateway. When I started racing at Gateway in 2003 it seems that any 1:09.XX would be good for a pole. Well ladies and gentlemen those days are long gone. If you want the Pole you better run a 1:08.xx.

We were group 6 and the weather was very nice, partly cloudy and with a temp in the high 60s.

The T2 boys ran first and this reporter was a little worried after seeing their tires. They wore through the cords on the right front. Goodyears GSCS and Kumo's. That made it a little interesting since the track was going to be even hotter for our race. Let me say they were very lucky to not have lost a tire. I didn't even know that there was that much stuff under the rubber.

We had 5 cars that Qualified. I am too tired to go get the sheet for qualifying so this is from memory.

Philip Smith 1:.08.9XX
Jim Wheeler 1.09.05X
Jim Stevens 1.09.188
Otto Roberts 1:XXX
Jonathan Ricker 1:XXX

We were racing with the EP cars again which will go down in my book of the top 10 dumb things that the SCCA has ever done. We run similar lap times but do it totally differently. The EP cars Brake and Turn and the A/S cars go fast in a straight line.

The flag was late and there was a fair amount of locking up of tires. I got an ok start but Stevens went by me like a rocket. I knew the way the race started that someone could have gotten a great start and he did. It was one of those starts were everyone kinda goes but there is no flag. Just when everyone decides that the flag is not going to come and starts braking, the flag waves. I continue to believe that the "late green" is one of the most dangerous things is racing. Does anyone remember the crash at RA last summer during the group 6 vintage race? That was the cause of a late green. Right up there with doing fuel testing, slamming on the brakes when being lapped or when there is a standing yellow on the course.

Jim S timed it perfectly and got in front of me at turn two and then he just kept going. Wheel was behind me and we ran close for about 4 laps and then a GT1 car that we all blew by on the start catches me in turn one. I go wide and Wheel follows the GT1 and goes by me. The Jims race neck and neck for about 10 more laps and I am sitting in 3rd driving hard as heck and am not making any progress. I am constantly be bugged by the EP cars. I am sure that they hate this as much as I do. They can get in side you on the corners but do not have the power to pass. Their brakes are really good also.

Next thing I know is that Wheel misses turn one and is sitting in NASCAR 1 trying to get going. I go by and then Jim W spins again at turn 7 leading on to the back straight. I am guessing that his tires were not as round as they were at the finish as the they were at the start.

That's how we finished.

Jim Stevens 1:08.785 new track record. CONGRATULATIONS
Philip Smith 1:09.308 2nd race in the new car and very happy
Jim Wheeler 1:09.059 Great race lap
Otto Roberts 1:12.471 I think that that is his fasted lap at GIR
Jonathan Ricker 1:13.768 Nice drive and sorry that I did not stop by and say hi. I did some damage to my hip playing golf so I was limping around and stayed home in bed on Saturday and slept.

Jim Stevens was super fast and Dennis my crew guy said he did not put a wheel wrong the entire race. I look forward to Memphis in a couple of weeks and lets see if I can turn the heat up a little and make you work for it next time ;-)

My right front was worn down and has no more life in it. Nothing like the T2 tire but I would not want to race another 10 laps on it.

I had a great time and the times are really moving down this year in MIDIV.

Philip Smith

jimwheeler
05-08-2006, 09:32 AM
Phil, great report. I'll add my two cents worth. Phil was walking wounded with extreme pain in his left hip and hobbled around the paddock all weekend. He did a hell of a job just getting into the car, much less putting it on pole.
The grid was a nightmare.
starting with the 4th row
GT 2 1.07.8
GT 1 1.08.0
EP 1.08.7
EP 1.08.8
PHIL 1.08.9
EP 1.09.0
WHEEL 1.09.0
JIM 1.09.1
EP 1.09.1
EP 1.09.7
T1 1.09.7
EP 1.09.8

We came off of the banking and the GT 1 guy on pole started a gradual acceleration, as did everyone else. We were all starting to move and Ted yelled green green in the radio and I hammered it. Everybody in front of me stopped. I was boxed in and stood on the brakes, flat spotting a brand new set of tires. I think it was like the deal that Phil mentioned at RA with the vintage cars, a real late flag with everyone in front checking up then going, causing an accordion effect. Anyway, Jim was able to avoid the slowing cars and he never lifted.
Several laps later, I managed to get by Phil with the help of a dog ass slow GT1 car who got in the middle of the three AS cars for some reason. She then cost me a chance to get by Jim, so she givveth and taketh away. I had a good run on Jim going into 1 and he made a perfect move over to take away my line. I was so committed that I had to lock them up or hit him. The left front locked on the same spot as before and from then on it was way too scary going through the oval with all the shaking and bouncing around. I tried to make it up by driving harder on the rest of the track, but I just got sloppy and had a series of spins and near spins and one go up the oval in turn one when two EP cars got together and I miss-read the yellow flag situation.
Anyway, still on track for my four races to qualify so Ted can take over and score three more so we can both go. Glad to get out of that mess with my body and car both whole.
Jim drove smooth and fast and it was a total hoot the first several laps when we were all nose to tail, running faster laps than any ASedans have ever run there as a group. Good race, great track record.
Licking my wounds until next time.
wheel

jericker
05-08-2006, 10:59 AM
Thanks for the kudos, Phil, wish I could have shown a little better. You guys were awesome! I obviously have a lot to learn in the car, but hopefully will be there in the next couple of years or so. Had some header bolts back out with a couple of laps to go otherwise not too eventful and a big learning experience. I know that I don't have the cahungas to race oval track and stare at a big white wall every time I exit a turn. I have alot to learn shifting this car from my IT car as well. Need new brakes!!! Thanks, Wheel for the info on tire temps, worked to perfection, 38-40psi all four tires after race. Hope I stayed out of everyone's way all weekend and didn't cause any major issues. Other than that, the only major issue was I sheared a wheel off my trailer just west of Evansville, IN and spent about an hour repairing that and limped on in about 1:00am this morning....thankfully off today. Repairs in order for the next couple of weeks.

Thanks again for all the help guys, nice talking to you Ted, Wheel. Phil, I'll catch up with you next time. I never did see where you were paddocked or I would have come to see you as well. Hopefully will try to shoot for the August GIR race too. I'm open for any driving suggestions as well...hint, hint!

Jon

smithpr
05-08-2006, 09:49 PM
Jon:


I never noticed that there was a wall there. I just keep my eyes closed and floor it ;-)

Gateway is not far the faint of heart. Most time if you go off you hit pretty hard.

I takes a while to get going in A/S but keep at it. Nice finish and you got a few points.

See you soon.

Philip

jimwheeler
05-08-2006, 10:43 PM
Phil, I'll catch up with you next time. I never did see where you were paddocked or I would have come to see you as well. Hopefully will try to shoot for the August GIR race too. I'm open for any driving suggestions as well...hint, hint!

Jon[/QUOTE]

Phil was down in the garages with all the hoity toity formula guys, not out in the elements like us knuckle draggers.
wheel

jkopp
05-08-2006, 11:27 PM
The fact that I watched the race from the sidelines kinda sucked but what a beautiful day at the track. You couldn't ask for a better one.

I could see a great deal of the track from the place I picked out to spot Mike from. The only turns I couldn't see were #1 and #2. Needless to say, I was very surprised to see Jim S. in the spot he was when the field came into view for me after the start. Great start Jim and congrats on the track record and win!

After the start, I was excited because it appeared we would get to see a great battle of fast AS cars. Unfortunately, Phil got stuck in the middle of an EP battle and fell back some early as he mentioned. Phil mentioned after the race that he didn't want to tango with the EP cars too much in fear of making his beautiful new car not so beautiful so soon. I don't blame him - it is a great looking 3rd gen Camaro. Matter of fact, it is very close to the color I am planning refinishing my car with soon (hopefully).

Stevens and Wheeler had plenty of good racing laps until Wheel had his issues. I was timing both of them and they would both give and take back tenths each lap. It was disappointing to see Wheel have his troubles. Better luck next time Wheel!

The McGinley Motorsports Team had a down and up day. Mike spun in the CSR Radical and couldn't get the 'Busa to refire. He did get a finish though and it wasn't really an issue since he ended up in the same spot he would have if he had run the whole race (2nd). The newest CSR car in Midiv is a wicked fast Swift tunnel car - Hans Peter. He set the all-time club racing track record at GIR this past weekend - yes, even faster then the actual FA cars. Mike did great in the T1 Corvette however setting a new T1 record at GIR.

I won't be able to make MMP either since I'll be in Charlotte hoity toiting (as Wheel would put it) with the Hendrick Motorsports Teams the whole weekend. I think it's a fair trade-off ;). Maybe I can sneak a Hendrick SB2.2 into the AS car without you guys noticing :p.

Later!
-Kopp

Ted Johnson
05-08-2006, 11:39 PM
Phil, great report. I'll add my two cents worth. Phil was walking wounded with extreme pain in his left hip and hobbled around the paddock all weekend. He did a hell of a job just getting into the car, much less putting it on pole.
The grid was a nightmare.
starting with the 4th row
GT 2 1.07.8
GT 1 1.08.0
EP 1.08.7
EP 1.08.8
PHIL 1.08.9
EP 1.09.0
WHEEL 1.09.0
JIM 1.09.1
EP 1.09.1
EP 1.09.7
T1 1.09.7
EP 1.09.8

We came off of the banking and the GT 1 guy on pole started a gradual acceleration, as did everyone else. We were all starting to move and Ted yelled green green in the radio and I hammered it. Everybody in front of me stopped. I was boxed in and stood on the brakes, flat spotting a brand new set of tires. I think it was like the deal that Phil mentioned at RA with the vintage cars, a real late flag with everyone in front checking up then going, causing an accordion effect. Anyway, Jim was able to avoid the slowing cars and he never lifted.
Several laps later, I managed to get by Phil with the help of a dog ass slow GT1 car who got in the middle of the three AS cars for some reason. She then cost me a chance to get by Jim, so she givveth and taketh away. I had a good run on Jim going into 1 and he made a perfect move over to take away my line. I was so committed that I had to lock them up or hit him. The left front locked on the same spot as before and from then on it was way too scary going through the oval with all the shaking and bouncing around. I tried to make it up by driving harder on the rest of the track, but I just got sloppy and had a series of spins and near spins and one go up the oval in turn one when two EP cars got together and I miss-read the yellow flag situation.
Anyway, still on track for my four races to qualify so Ted can take over and score three more so we can both go. Glad to get out of that mess with my body and car both whole.
Jim drove smooth and fast and it was a total hoot the first several laps when we were all nose to tail, running faster laps than any ASedans have ever run there as a group. Good race, great track record.
Licking my wounds until next time.
wheel

My initial thought when I saw the smoke (which was from wheelers brakes on the start) was thinking it was wheel spin from a busch grand national car running in GT1 with some mondo horsepower. Or maybe it was Jon Rickers Ford Mustang with a big motor, coming through to the front?? ;) I couldn't see what really happened at the time until he told me. Great drive by Jim Stevens. Standing on the wall at Gateway with 3 of your friends about to duke it out with only a tenth between the 3 of them with EP cars all around will make you hold your breath. In the end it wasn't the EP cars that got mixed up with us, it was a slow dog gt1. Gateway claims many cars with concrete barriers EVERYWHERE. Glad were done with that one.

Ted

92AS
05-09-2006, 10:36 AM
Thanks to everyone for the well wishes. It was a fun weekend.

No doubt, the start was an abortion. Prior to each race group going out, the top 3 of each group was "invited" to the stewards office to discuss starting proceedures. They were told to hold the speed to EXACTLY what the pace car was running. They were also told that deviating from the pace car's speed would have dire consequences. Not so on the Group 6 start. After the pace car dropped off, I was hard on the gas and upshifting to keep up. I'm sure Darrell, the starter, took a dim view of this and "late-greened" us. The start should have been waived.

Congrats to Phil, Jim, Otto and Jon on their finishes. It's a good weekend when everybody loads up their cars in one piece and under their own power... Especially at Gateway!

Jim Stevens
#92 AS

jericker
05-10-2006, 12:13 AM
Thanks for all the kudos guys. Wow, Ted, don't think you were watching the same Mustang that I was. I saw brake smoke and went for the middle pedal in a big way! Loved racing with you guys, clean all of you. Phil, I need to keep my eyes closed more I guess. Hope to see you guys at the August race in GIR and maybe at Topeka in Sept and again at the Runoffs.

Jon