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Deja Vu

4/05/2008 - Hagerstown - Finished DNQ - Started DNQ - 30 cars

2007 had a devastating start with failing to qualify for the first race of the season.  That DNQ relegated us to a 14th place finish at the end of the year and 2008 started with the same bad luck.  A cut tire in the heat race and a broken caliper in the consi had us failing to qualify again for Opening night for two years in a row.  This DNQ won't hurt as bad as last years because last year was a double point race.  Still, it leaves no room for error for the rest of 2008.

Besides a cut tire and broken caliper, the motor problem last week wasn't the fuel pickup, as I again fought a stumbling motor  all night as well.  After tearing apart the carburetor Sunday night, it was clogged in two places and was failing intermittently.

The night started well,  as we were fast in practice, keeping on last weeks race winner's rear bumper, but two laps in the
motor started breaking down and I was forced to pull in.  Steve Kent Sr of SKS and Steve Kent Jr of XLR8 Race Engines were at the track and jumped in to lend a hand.  Because the carb appeared to be shooting fuel when pumped, we looked elsewhere and changed the coil.  Hoping the problem was fixed, we went out for the heat.  The motor ran okay for the first couple laps, but because of the chassis changes in the off season, the RR quarter panel rolled on top of the RR tire and my heat race ended a couple laps short because of a blown tire.

The Kents and myself then went to work changing the rear end suspension to make sure the body wouldn't roll on to the tire during the consi.  But bad luck struck us once again- the caliper mounting bolts on the left front backed out and the brake fell into the wheel locking up the LF tire after a red flag condition.  The locked left front wheel ended our night and it was deja vu all over again from 2007.  After the many long hours in the shop over the off season and last two weeks, it was hard to take.  But now we just need to look at the positive and try to win races.  Being back so far in the points will let us start up front in the heats when we stop drawing pills for qualifying after this week.  I really feel if our Ford is out front, we will be hard to pass.  The car is rolling through the turns so well.

Again, I want to thank everyone who helped out this week.  I was on my own with my boss in Taiwan and my girlfriend in the grandstands with our kids.  The Kents, Shamrock Inn, Vegas Radio, Walrus Signs, Ecolab, XLR8 Race Engines, Ricky Edmunds, and just everyone from Tony Catlett to Bobby Taylor, Fareth, Joe, etc etc., thanks so much.  We will get this car turned around and everyone is welcome in victory lane when they are taking pictures of our race winning Ford.

-Brian