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Shriver & Swiger Team up for 7th at Winchester 200

09/25/2010 - Winchester - Finished 7th - Started 12th - 16 cars - In Car Video - Slideshow

In Car Video!!! (Feature):  9/25/10 Feature

Slideshow:  14 Picture Slideshow 

(Winchester, VA) Two years to the day since the last time I wheeled a racecar and my phone rings about 3:30 PM on Friday afternoon.  David Shriver needed someone to shake out his 05 Chevy Monte Carlo in the Winchester 200 to prepare for the Virginia Nationals in two weeks.  The usual driver, Dave’s son Justin, had work commitments.  “I know its late notice, but if you can get here, you can drive it.”  That’s all it took and I raced home from Gaithersburg, MD, picked up the SKS Equipment and Diesel Repair race fuel and two tires from Boyer Racing, grabbed my racing gear at the house and made it to Winchester at 6:30… about 15 minutes before practice!  Hopped in the car right away and the driver’s compartment fit great and the top notch car had a full containment seat.  The car felt great and looked sharp.

Thanks Jason!  Photos can be purchased from WRTPhotos.com 

Two years ago during my last race with my unibody Ford Thunderbird, my 408 cui Windsor motor blew during qualifying in the Shamrock Small Car Nationals in Hagerstown.  Bobby Taylor of the Shamrock Inn returned the favor from earlier in the year when I let him drive my car after his engine blew in qualifying and he let me pilot the #3 Chevy Monte Carlo at the Winchester 200 at the end of 2008.  We brought the car home that night without a scratch and with a respectable 9th place finish.  Since that night, we took a year break from racing, then began building my new Ford LTD and I just wasn’t able to get it finished in time for this year, so it has been two years exactly since I last belted in to a racecar.


Practice went really well and that is unusual for Winchester.  From my experience, the track still needs worked in and that is usually the Pure Stocks job with our 17” wide tires and 3,000 pounds.  However, the track was tacky and I was able to get a great feel for the car during practice.  It felt like by far, the best handling car I have ever driven.  The car was balanced, rotated through the corners nicely and gave good feedback in the wheel and the seat.  After not racing for two years, it was nice to step into a car that drove so well!


Look at them www.walrussignsandembroidery.com decals!

We had to start shotgun on the field because we didn't pull a pill in time.  No worries, this allowed for additional practice time in the heat and to help diagnose the miss in the motor.  I passed one car and another wrecked or broke can't remember, so we finished 6th, which placed us starting 12th in the feature for Saturday.

Dave had spent Saturday morning working on the motor miss.  We arrived much earlier Saturday than Friday and that was nice.  Don joined me, as well as Scott Parsons from our adult soccer, Bobby and Farith came down from the Shamrock Inn and Eddie and Carl McClellan joined us from Winchester.  Everyone pitched in and we were hoping the motor problem went away.  It ran great for 2 laps in practice, but then it quickly reared its ugly head again.  It just breaks down and won't start running until about 5 grand.  It is really tough getting on the gas coming off the corner or going back to green, you can see the other cars pull away in the in car video.  I promise the gas pedal was being shoved through the firewall! 

So after inspecting the motor again after practice, looking at the spark plugs, float level, etc, we made some minor adjustments and crossed our fingers.  We were about the fourth race of the night and the track was really going away.  We were starting 12th. 

Went green and stayed bunched up for a while, but could tell the motor just wasn't happy.  Definitely a lot of wild driving and cars breaking down saw us gain spots early in the race.  By halfway, I think I used up the tires or the track was just going away, I had tightened up way badly in the middle of each corner and I had no drive off the turn.  I don't think I was the only one though, everyone was struggling for grip out there.  In hindsight, in the pits we had a brand new D55 tire and a like-new RF tire we borrowed from Bobby Taylor and Jim Boyer respectively, and I would have loved to seen what those two tires would have done.  I will take the blame for that, that comes from taking two years off from racing and I just didn't take into account the laps on the tires we were running and how the track was changing.  Also, I think I was running out of talent from being off for a couple of years, I think I was just over driving the car.  It was one of those deals where I needed to slow down to go faster.  We were up to 5th with two to go and my good buddy Ricky Edmonds was right in front of me and I wanted to get around him badly!  I ended up blowing turns 3 and 4 on the final two laps and that led to two cars getting around me, placing us 7th on the night.  I will be the first to tell you I didn't do anything too impressive, but the motor was hurting a little bit and I just avoided the carnage. Bobby probably summed up the race and in car video the best and may even threw in a compliment. "Good to see ya back out there Swiggy, did ya pump some iron watching this video, probably kissing yur muscles too!  You da greatest buddy"

I can't say thanks enough to the Shrivers, wow, thanks for the opportunity. It is a top notch car, best handling car I have ever driven. It has been exactly 2 years to the day that I last drove a racecar and that car made it feel just like riding a bike, you never forget. The motor does have a stumble and they are looking into it right now. But the chassis, wow, that thing is dialled in and balanced.

Thanks for the Shamrock Inn's crew for coming down to help and supplying a tire for the Shriver's, Mercer Oil Company, Sam's Masonry, Chip "N" Scratch Dr., Chevy Monte Carlo #05!  Also BIG thanks the Edmond's Garage for making all of this possible, you guys looked great last night. And finally Jim and Kevin Bowyer for providing the
SKS Equipment and Diesel Repair race fuel and a couple of spare tires.

WRT Photos and Jason Walls, WOW, that is all I can say, you make the cars look great with your photography!


But again, the biggest thanks to the Shriver's. You guys have built and maintained a top notch car and I truly appreciate the chance to drive it.




In Car Video (Practice):  9/25/10 Practice


In Car Video (Feature Race, opens in separate Media Player):  9/2510 Feature

 Slideshow:  14 Picture Slideshow