August 11th, 4th Annual Nofzinger Pontiac Archibold Grand Prix


Sunday we went over to Archibold to race at the Nozfinger Pontiac Archibold Grand Prix. It's a race that is in the car dealership's parking lot. The temporary track was about the size of Fremont, maybe a little smaller, but was super smooth. There was just a little bump in 3 and 4 because of a seam in the lot. Eighty-three karts signed-in for 11 classes. Seth and Rex were both there along with a lot of other people we know pretty well. We decided to sign-up for two classes because we'd never been there before. The more track time, the better. Well, we went out for our first practice sessions, and there was a huge push entering both turns, just like the night before. We made some adjustments and went out for our 2nd runs with some improvement, but the push would come back. During the break between the practices and heats, Seth came over to see what was up. He suggesting making a caster change on the RF which was what I was thinking too. When I went to make the adjustment, I noticed something. Apparently, when I set the caster for Fremont, I rolled it the wrong way! So, I corrected the mistake, and we got ready for the 1st heat in Lights. Due to the amount of entries in our classes, 15 and 16, they split the heats into 2. That way everyone would actually have a chance to run the feature. Because if they put 15 karts on the track for heats, it would be absolute carnage. Anyway, we started 6th, but came home in 8th even though the kart handled much better. When we came off the track, we only had two classes before our Medium heat. We made a quick adjustment to the caster again. We started 4th in the heat, and when the kart stuck in the first turn we came out 2nd and stayed there. The caster adjustment really helped. Before the 2nd heat, we made a some adjustments to the gearing and motor. For the 2nd Light heat, we started 3rd. The kart handled pretty well, but was a little loose now in the center of the turn. We ended up 4th, right up with the lead pack. We didn't have time to make the adjustments we needed to before the 2nd Medium heat, so I'd just have to drive it like it was. We started 5th for that heat, and about 3 laps in, they went 3-wide in front of me. Coming out of the turn, I had a huge run, and they practically stopped in front of me. I let up, but it was a little late, and I jumped someone's left rear with my nose, slowing me down greatly. I tried to regain momentum, but the two behind me had runs already. I put up a fight, but couldn't hold them off. Then, those two really got into it. Slamming into each other and what not. On the white flag lap, they rode each other down the whole length of the back-stretch. I was just trying to avoid them as the both went into the straw bales in 3. They both got out of their karts and confronted each other, but were restrained. As I came off the track, I noticed something was kinda amiss with the kart acceleration-wise, but I quickly forgot about it because one of the pissed-off guys "grazed" me as we entered the pits. Actually, he hit the bumper bending it in about 2 inches. He was too mad to be paying attention though. So anyway, we made our adjustments for the features. We lined-up 14th in the Lights, and I found out on the start we had a pretty big problem. There was no pick-up at all. The kart took about 3 laps to really get up to speed. What didn't help was there were a lot cautions in the race. I think we ended up 11th or 12th. I say the because in the driver's meeting they said they would motion us to move over if we were getting lapped. I was racing with another slower kart and passed them. The leaders came up and I let them by. The next lap the moved me over again, I guess to let faster karts by, but I ended up being passed by who I was racing with again. I thought I just had to give room to the leaders, but I guess not. Anyway, that was no big deal. The big deal was the clutch was pretty much toast. We did get it changed in time for the Medium feature were we started 7th. I Medium feature was kinda uneventful. There were cautions and the like, but I raced hard with a guy pretty much the whole race. We kept swapping back and forth. Afterwards, Seth told me the secret on preventing that. The kart handled great, and I think we finally figured everything out for the day then. We ended up coming home 8th. Seth ended up coming home with a 2nd and 3rd I think in the lites and mediums....don't exactly know which was which. And Rex ended up in the straw on the final lap of the mediums. That was pretty much the week-end.
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