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To Da Front with Mitch - 5/23/19

     It's a new year and while we've had some uncertainty with our beloved Speedbowl, (with the help of others) we haven't stopped chasing races.

 

     Over the winter, we were offered a ride in an ice racer.  So on a cold morning in February, we set out for a pond in New Hampshire to take on a new challenge.  It was different, but a very fun experience.  The heat race went pretty well,  (I can't remember exactly at this point but) we finished around 4th.  The feature however didn't go so well.  While we started last and took it easy into turn 1, the visibility was so bad from all the snow spray, and that's where everything went wrong.  After reviewing our footage, we had 1.5 seconds to react from seeing the car that spun in the corner, to the point of impact hitting him head on.  That's where we decided to retire from ice racing.  However a month later, the car was repaired for another driver, and we were allowed to take it out in the mechanics race.  We fared much better, with much less snow spray, to finish 2nd on the tail of a "Street Stock" with our little Nissan Sentra.  Big thanks to the Cavallaro family for this opportunity to try something new.

     After that, up next was another potential once in a lifetime experience.  A trip to Virginia to compete with the Mini Stocks at Richmond Raceway.  What was the first of a few races in the #54 Clavette owned Integra,  proved to be a good learning experience.  Unable to make the trip, the crew had to learn almost everything about the car on the fly.  Most of the scheduled practice day was spent chasing oil leaks, and chasing an "overheating" problem that was never actually a problem (just a faulty gauge).  There was some issues with the tune that was in the car too, which we didn't get a chance to modify until race day.  We made a change from heat to feature to try and clear up the fuel delivery issue, but we overshot it.  Under the first caution, the crew learned how to tune it, live!  We tried to split the difference but were still off on our guess.  So the whole race we were never really under full throttle. After going a lap down and with a transmission that was leaking all over the right side tires, we ended up 19th in a field of nearly 40.

 

     With the Speedbowl plans still not clear, and with the drive to compete, Mitch and Tim paired up again to take on the Oxford opener on 4/28, then again this past weekend.  The first race the car was out to lunch the whole day.  We got slower with every adjustment made as the day went on.  Thanks to attrition, we ended up hanging on to a 12th place finish.  This past weekend however, we were on to something.  We changed a bunch of stuff in the shop to try and improve this next outing.  Starting the day almost where we left off in lap times.  But the car felt much better.  After the last round, and before the heat race, Tim changed a couple more things on the car and it made a world of difference.  Thanks to Pops drawing nearly last place for lineups again, we picked up about .6/.7 of a second in the heat race.  The car was able to keep up, and even be faster than those in front of us, but was still a little on the loose end so we couldn't make any moves.  Come the feature, after another change, we simply missed the mark on it making it so loose it was nearly undriveable.  We went a first lap, but on the first caution we came in to change it back to where we were in the heat.  Well, the race went back green almost immediately giving us no time to even jack the car up and we went down a few more laps during that.  Re entering the track, we were fast again, and keeping up with the competitors, once again faster than some.  But at that point it was all about staying out of trouble and just finishing the race.  We finished 13th, but now have something to work with for next time.

     Up next, we get to take out the #54 Integra again to White Mountain Motorsports Park in NH.  This checks another track off our list to cover all of New England.  This leaves just Spud Speedway on our list to complete this, if anyone has any leads to be able to compete there in anything it would be appreciated. 

**Andover Used Auto Parts, Biggins’ Auto Repair, So Sorry, Lucky Strike Lanes, Thirty Marketing. **

Mitch Bombard, driver of the #10CT Super X, X Car, and Enduro, or #54 Mini Stock,  is the writer of the weekly recaps, and expresses the views of his own from his viewpoint behind the wheel, and after watching video (if available).

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