Saturday, April 4, 2009

Top 10 in Race 1

I had a very busy Saturday. I had qualifying for Race 2 this morning, and then the hour long Race 1 this afternoon. I am pretty tired now, but in general I feel good about everything.

First- Qualifying. I still had limited laps around the track in the dry and went out straight away to try and get a good time on the board. There was a yellow after about 5 laps, so we put another set of new tires on the car. That way, we would have some scrubbed tires ready to go for the race start. I was just getting to the point where the tires give me that 'new tire extra grip' when there was another yellow flag to end the session. My time only put me 9th in my group, meaning I will start 18th for tomorrow's race. I had a small part in causing the final yellow as I passed a car on my quickest lap. He was trying to keep up with me when, 3 corners after I passed him, he spun and parked the car in the tire wall. Oops.

So on to Race 1. I started 12th from yesterday's qualifying and we had made some serious changes to the car from the morning. I was pretty hopeful of a good strong showing. And that we did. I was very careful into Turn 1 on the rolling start (my first in 5 years) and lost about 3 positions. I passed a car back into Turn 4 on the opening lap and from there worked on catching the train of cars ahead of me. It didn't take me long to be right behind them and stuck. I was quicker, but couldn't get out of the last corner quite well enough to get a run on them. Finally, the car ahead of me had a small moment through the last corner and I went laaaaaaate on the brakes into 1 and passed him on the inside. It took me less than a lap to catch up to the next car in line and I was stuck again. He wouldn't make a mistake and even on the two yellow flag restarts, I couldn't find a way past. I ended up 10th which is very respectable with my limited track time and the new team. (Picture Note: Your helmet definitely stays cleaner when you are out in front!!!)

I said coming into the weekend that I would be happy with two finishes and a top-10 in one of them. We have made some more improvements and I am sure that there will be more chaos in tomorrow's race. So I will have to be smart, look plenty far ahead and take good opportunities to pass when I can.

On another note, my blood glucose numbers were pretty close all day. I was a little lower than I wanted 45 minutes before the race so I had some Gatorade, a banana, and a Clif bar. Checked just before I got in the car and I was good to go!

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