WOW, What A Weekend — This recap is going to be about like our weekend – LONG! I’ve been racing since I was 10 years old, across many disciplines of motorsports and have NEVER experienced a weekend quite like this one. Racing is an interesting sport with highs and lows felt on an emotional, physical, and psychological level. The B&B team traveled 10 hours to Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg, OR on Friday for a day of practice. I had never been to DCS and immediately loved the track. It’s a fast, flat 3/8’s of a mile oval that drives differently at both ends of the track. I tend to really enjoy tracks that have some quirks. We were preparing to go out for our final run of the day when we found out that as I shut off the motor from the prior practice, the motor had broken. It was beyond what could be repaired at the track. Devastating.
The WESCO Series President, and team owner, Brian McLees came running, literally, to the rescue. The McLees team had a rough weekend in Wenatchee the week prior, wrecking two of their three cars. They had scrambled all week to get one fixed, but the other remained in pieces in the shop. At about 8:00 pm, the call went out to one of the McLees team members to bring the motor out of the still wrecked car, the 53 team was in need.
So with a motor in route from Olympia, WA, the B&B team removed the broken power plant from the car and prepared to put a new one in the following morning. Saturday morning came early; we were at the track at 8:30 and got to work with the McLees motor. No two racecars are exactly alike, so we had to take many of the parts that mate the motor and car off our motor to be attached to the new one. Kily and I ran all over Roseburg, Sutherlin and outlying areas in search for different pieces while Loren, Mike, Jerry and Bob thrashed at the track. We got the motor in the car just in time to fire for the first practice.
Practice went fairly well, we had lost about half a second from the day before with the motor change, but we were still running! We scuffed a new set of tires in the final practice and lined up for qualifying, confident that we would be in the hunt. Our weekend of tumult continued - coming to take the green in qualifying a bolt that runs through the pan bar on the front axle (locates the front end side to side) sheered off. The car spun on a dime and I couldn’t steer through it as the front end was bound up. On the reverse rotation the car got up on two wheels and I thought, “Awesome, I am going to have call Tracy Deyoung for more graphics for the top wing” – then it finally set back down on all four. To demonstrate how awesome the B&B team is, the car got towed back to the pits, with a new bolt stuck in the pan bar, a radius rod partially straightened, and a few deep breaths, we pushed back off for a qualifying attempt. The car was a little off, but we still managed to qualify second quick behind a car with an NSRA, not WESCO legal motor.
In a bit of foreshadowing, the trophy dash was the only straight forward trip on the track. We started inside the second row having qualified second and quickly was pressuring the leader. I nearly got the win on the outside at the line, but hey – at least I didn’t have to relay an issue to the team when we pulled in.
We pushed off for the heat race, lined up to take the green and the car just stopped driving forward. It felt like it had come out of gear, or broken something in the drive train. My guys took everything apart, searched over everything that would stop the car from driving forward and found nothing. So we tried to push off to start the car before the main events to determine the problem. The push truck pulled up, we pushed off and… nothing. We figured out that the bolt that holds the throttle linkage together had come out while we were lugging around under yellow; a simple fix. We pushed back off, the motor lit, and the fans cheered as they could see the struggle that we had been going through all day.
The main event began with a four car invert, which meant I started inside of row two. On the initial start the car outside of me tried to pinch me down and made contact with my right front tire at the worst possible time – I spun into the infield, but kept the car running and lined back up for a complete restart. On the ensuing green flag, we fell into single file racing running third. I slipped back to fourth, but we were set up to go on a long run and the race was playing out as anticipated. The leader of the race was spun a handful of laps in by the overtaking car and the yellow came out. Racing resumed, but the car directly in front of me spun in the middle of turns one and two, I tried to go around outside of him, but got tagged in the left rear corner and drove off the track. I was able to lock it down and not hit anything so we lined back up at the end of the field. I quickly got to fifth, but the race for third was two-wide and tough to pick a lane. They finally settled it among themselves and I moved up to fourth. I tried multiple laps in a row to keep my momentum up and go around the outside for third, but had the door closed on me down the backstretch each attempt.
We ended the weekend fourth, sore, tired, a bit sunburned, but having raced. You hear people say the cliché all the time that they have the best crew in the world. I truly wouldn’t be racing without my crew; this past weekend or otherwise. People stood around all weekend watching this group work – it was pretty awesome.
Again, a big thank you to Brian McLees for loaning a motor to a competitor; that just doesn’t normally happen.
Kily got some awesome on board video with the three Go-Pro’s we had mounted. Special thanks to Tyler Randolph for donating several cameras to us this weekend. We’ll get the video up soon.
The next WESCO race is in Yakima, WA in two weeks. The B&B team would surely like to be there, but we need to get our motor repaired. This is a call to action – please help support our first class operation, get your name in lights, talk to friends, and help share our story. If you’d like more information on becoming a marketing partner and helping