Well that was tiring. These saturday night races are short weekends, but full of long days apparently. A short halfish day on Thursday, just to get the car through inspection really. A long long Friday, including both practice sessions and qualifying. And a late starting but long lasting Saturday.
Thursday was useful for getting everything setup, without the pressure of any track time, and a nice early 6 pm garage close. We went to a place called Bone Daddy’s for dinner, it was as close to anything ‘local Texas’ as I got sadly.
With 2 day weekends, we have only two practices, both prior to qualifying. Which makes practice an interesting balance between Q trim and Race trim. We struggled with long run pace, though the car took off pretty well on short runs. Then we shifted to Q trim and were ok, not great. Qualifying went similarly, ended up P15, missed out on the last round of qualifying by .02 seconds. But we didn’t really have a better car than that, so no worries. My new toy for the weekend was wired internet on pit road. Qualifying was the first chance to try it out, and it worked well. We were the first team to connect to it, and one of the few to use it during qualifying. And then there were still almost 3 hours after ualifying before the garage closed, and it just wore me right out. We left the garage at 9:30 pm, and the cops routed us every possible direction away from our hotel, so we didn’t get back until close to 11 pm. As you may have noticed, we have been in the habit of having a team dinner the night before the race, it has become superstition. What do you do at 11 pm for team dinner? Stop at a 7-11 for Shiner Bock beer and grab pizza from the place across the street, and you serve it out of the back of the van in the parking lot.
Today (Saturday) started late, garage didn’t open un til 12:30. So Pete (the Aussie race engineer) and I played racquetball at 9 am, it was good to do something physical. We were worried all day about the weather, it was supposed to rain , though the forecast looked a little better today. The race went well for the most part, we were about an 8-10th place car for most of it. Ran as high as 3rd, and as low as 15th I think? Sadly we were unable to get the car good enough to really compete for the top 5, and ended up 9th. Give how the race went, I am pretty happy with it, another top 10! And even better, a Sunday off!
Missed the race last weekend on tv so thanks for the update. Always love the trackside analysis of the raceway, conditions etc…keep up the good work and look forward to reading about next weeks race.