24 May, 2016
Story: Kent Owens
Photo credit Peggy Linneman
There’s a reason that Road America is one of my favorite tracks. Not only is it my home track, but it has also been the site of some great races for the CMC gang, and this last weekend was no exception. Usually we run in the Thunder group, making us the slowest class in a very fast race group. The last few years at RA we’ve been moved to Lightning to balance out the groups, and I have to say that being the fastest class in the race group makes the racing absolutely spectacular! You wouldn’t think that it would make a difference, but it really does change strategy and how you approach the race. Saturday was a classic example, as my continuing electrical gremlins caused me to miss warm up and qualifying. In yet one more example of “one for all and all for one”, my fellow racers actually finished putting my car back together while I was in control officiating the Thunder race. I said it last race, and I’ll say it again….one of the reasons we keep coming back to a sport that can be quite cruel at times is the competitive comradery between racers. Nice job guys…. thanks!
Missing Q meant starting DFL for the main race on Saturday. Normally at a blazingly fast track like Road America that would be the kiss of death. However, because we do standing starts, we gridded at the very back of a field of slower cars. Hummmmm…there might be some opportunities to catch the fast guys….and there was! Working though the field on a caution free, sunny Saturday made my month, and got the #30 the win. It also caused a slight bit of commotion in the paddock, as there was a little midnight oil being burned Saturday night changing set ups so I didn’t get away with the same thing on Sunday. And I didn’t. Derek Wright in the #913 Camaro had my number by a couple tenths all day long, taking the win from pole on Sunday, and Bob Denton in the #67 Firebird absolutely snookered me on the last lap, last turn to take 2nd, leaving me actually laughing out loud at my idiocy going up the hill to take 3rd at the checkers. What I can’t really adequately describe are the last two laps of the race. We had had 3-4 full course caution laps due to a wall slapper at the Kink, and ended up doing a green-white-checker finish (if you know me, you know how I hate writing that phrase!). With the yellow being so long, the field was really bunched up at the restart, and the three of us were plunked right in the middle of about 25 slower cars. It may be the most fun I’ve had for two laps…and I finished third! Perhaps the finishing margins will give a clue…. Derek edged Bob by 0.180 at the line, and I was only another .583 back, putting us all well under one second apart at the checkers…. on a 4-mile race track. In traffic. Great race at a great track on a great day! Once again I need to give a shout out to NEO Motorsports and Hawk Performance ( #hawkperformance ) for providing first class stopping power at a track that can be hard on brakes. I’m really looking forward to our first stop at Gingerman Raceway June 25-26 in South Haven Michigan, as it’s a fun track in a beautiful location. I can think of no better way to spend a couple of early summer days than bangin heads and rubbin fenders with this bunch of knuckleheads!