Friday night started out really well. I got to the race track at a good time. My car passed the safety inspection. I timed in with the second fastest time in my class. That means I started the trophy dash in the back of the pack (they do inverted starts here with the fastest cars in the back). I finished that race second (out of 6 cars).
Again, for the heat race, I started in the back of the pack. This time, I made it past everyone and won the race. Things were going really well. We’d adjusted air pressures in the tire and I’m getting a better feel for what the car needs to get around the track quicker.
So we get started in the main. The last race of the night. I was in third place and really pushing the guy in second (not literally). I was a little faster and just waiting for the right moment, when he’d bobble a little and leave me enough space to get past. As we went into Turn 1, he slid up just a little and I darted into the open slot below him – just as he recovered and decided he wanted to drive in that same patch of asphalt. We banged side to side – no damage, no loss of control – and kept racing.
I’m now in second, and I just had my first contact with another car. I didn’t really know the guy and wasn’t sure how he was going to respond. As the laps wound down, I got to thinking a lot more about where he was behind me and less about keeping my car on the the right line around the track. Honestly, I was afraid he might retaliate and try to spin me, so I moved up on the track a little bit to make sure there was plenty of room if he thought he could pass.
The problem is… someone had spilled a bunch of oil up high and there was still a lot of track dry up there. Track dry is great for soaking up oil off of asphalt. It’s lousy for creating traction on asphalt. I started to slide around turn 4 and slid right into the wall. My first crash!!! The front end’s all bent out of shape and the car wouldn’t start back up because the battery cable actually popped off the terminal on impact. My night was done, but the car should be ok. I should be able to get it bent back into shape (mostly) by this Friday night and be back out there. Fun, fun, fun…