September 8th, Barberton Points Race


Sunday was another great day for racing as we returned to Barberton for the second week in-a-row. This time it was for a regular race DAY though instead of the previous week's night show. When we arrived at the track in the morning, there was a lot of oil-dry on the surface. That made our first couple practice sessions a little hairy until the oil-dry got worked in, but everyone made it through ok. We had 8 karts that signed-in for the sr. oval class which were basically the Barberton regulars and me. So, for the 1st heat we started 4th out of the 8. On the start, the pole sitter, Shawn Middaugh, got a little loose down low in the 1st and 2nd turns. The outside pole sitter, Bobby Gindlesperger, and I took the high-line around him to lead the pack down the back-stretch. The kart was handling real well, and as I able to close on Bobby down the straight. I followed him through 3 and 4, and came off right on his bumper. Down the front-stretch, I gave Bobby a little tap to let him know I was there. I backed off just a bit going into the 1st turn, so I could get a better run off the corner. The strategy worked great because I came off below him in 2 and was able to take the lead down the back-stretch. I opened up a pretty good lead, but then the caution came out with about 3 to go. On the re-start, I got a pretty good bump in 3 from the 2nd place runner, Justin Kilgore. I took off right then, but Justin layed back a little bit I got a run going into the 1st turn where he passed me. The excitment wasn't over yet though because in the 3rd turn Shawn stuck his nose under me really late. I gave him room, but he wasn't able to keep his momentum up, I believe he got passed then. So, the heat ended up with Justin winning it, we were 2nd, and Dave Mumaw was 3rd. For the 2nd heat we lined-up 5th. Mumaw started on the pole, and he just took off at the start. I came out of the 2nd turn in 4th right behind Kilgore. We hooked-up and quickly dispatched of the 2nd place kart and tried to run down Mumaw, but we couldn't. So, we finished 3rd in the 2nd heat. By the heat race finishes, the front two rows for the feature would be Kilgore and Mumaw, and then Me and Shawn. We had made some gearing adjustments for the 2nd heat which really helped coming off the corners, so we stuck with that for the feature. And of course, we tweaked a little here and there as well. My marching orders were: If I was able to make a pass on the bottom early, don't hesitate. Alright, so the feature start was great. I was able to stay up with the front row, and pull a little bit ahead of Shawn coming to the green. Mumaw took the early lead on the high side in 1. Everyone seemed to want to follow Dave off of 2 which opend the bottom for me. I came off the bottom of 2 beside Kilgore, and was able to pull him down the back-stretch. I held the position through 3 and 4, and I was able to stay with Dave. Mumaw was flawless around the whole track, and as the race went on, we were a slight bit loose on entry, but the big problem was in 3 and 4. That's where I lost the most ground because the kart was binding up a little. We held on in 2nd while Mumaw just pulled away. With about 5 to go though, Shawn mounted a challenge to us. He could get through 3 and 4 better, and passed me there with about 4 to go. I was able to stay with him though which became a great advantage. In 1 and 2 we were nose to tail, but he made a mistake entering 3 this time which caused him to wash up the track. I capitalized on the mistake, and was able to get in front of him off of 4. He had a pretty good run going though and got on the inside of me going into 1. I stayed on the high side though and was able to keep the momentum up. This also put my kart exactly were Shawn wanted his to be on exit. Being a great and smart driver, he wisely backed off so we wouldn't hit. I was able to hold him off in 3 and 4 for this lap, but we repeated our 1st and 2nd turn battle on the next one. Again, I held him off in 3 and 4, but he had a great run down the stretch as we came to the checkers. I was able to edge him by half a kart length at the line to take 2nd place in the feature. It was a great day of racing, and we already know how to fix the problem we had in the feature. I don't know if we'll be back to Barberton this year, but we learned regardless.
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