Well, there goes my reputation as an outspoken voice against cheaters. I've now been associated with one, but there's an easy explanation. No, we didn't put nitrous, a blower, dual carbs or anything like that on Miller's car, and we didn't use the old excuses that what we did was "safer" or "more affordable" either. What we did do was use an unapproved shock on one corner of the car to use as a testing tool to find the problem with the car. This shock was an adjustable gas shock (which is perfectly legal) that would allow the adjustments needed to pinpoint what the car wanted. The problem was that the shock was the canister type, and even though other cars show up with 4 of these installed, one of them will get ya in trouble when you blast away the existing track record apparently. ;-) The good news is the testing did show what the car wanted, and it was a fuggin' rocket even though it still wasn't "perfect". The bad news is that the new record was taken away (for now,,hehe) and he had to re-qualify with a standard shock. That run was over-fueled by pure adrenalin but still the fastest laps he's turned in over a year. Early in the night the car was looking strong and Mike was certainly on his game as always. He was taken out of the inversion as a penalty for his shock incident so he would start 13th in the feature. That's not where you want to be with the way things have been going on the track lately. The feature last week took 5 tries just to get one lap in and well over an hour to run 25 laps, while destroying some pretty damn good cars. This week things started smoother, but soon went back to "destruction mode" once again.Mike did his best to stay out of trouble but some contact in the right front would end his march to the front and his string of top 4 finishes for the season. He was running 4th when the white flag waved but a little ugliness dropped him to 6th at the stripe. After that wreckfest, it's nice to just bring home a complete car I guess. The focus for next week will be to try to match the setup that damn illegal shock gave him while using a legal shock. With the help of Chet Alexander, we're well on our way. There aren't many nights left to dial this thing in but there's no chance in hell Mike's gonna stop looking for more now. He's felt the speed the car is capable of,,,, and it was goooooood! ;-)
I got to make the trip to Lakeville this Friday and it was a much better experience than my last trip a few weeks ago. The track was in better shape, and the racing was better most of the night. Hell, I actually saw the black flag fly for rough driving more than once, and that's something that's been missing too often in the past there. Did they get them all, or make perfect calls all night? Hell no, but if you find a track that does all that, please let me know so I can witness this miracle. At least calls weren't made from the cockpit of one of the cars to black flag a guy for making contact with a certain car. I hear that happens at another track and that's not only bullshit, it's a real shame. On a related note, I stumbled onto a "conversation" in the pits Friday night that actually took me by surprise. All I can say is Randy showed some real balls and it also showed me that he's actually trying to keep things straight down there. It won't be easy and it won't happen overnight, but somebody has to make it clear that ALL people should be treated equally on and off the track. Keep it up Randy and the job will actually start to get easier. You'll see........
Now since the rumors on Hilltop have been flying wildly, I thought I'd cover some of them for your amusement:
Ernie Coffman has bought the place and will turn it into a pig farm to piss off the neighbors. FALSE
Jeff has decided to take all that profit from owning a race track and retire in some African village. FALSE
The neighbors of WCS have complained that they can see the dust from there and are taking legal action. FALSE
Tony Stewart bought the place because his other dirt track is too damn big and hard to keep smooth. FALSE (well partially true ;-)
The Amish community has finally figured out what all "dat der noise" was and has shut the place down due to those evil rubber tires and electric lights. FALSE
Area dirt track racing has taken a serious hit by the loss of a great track, and the guy that had the balls to make it happen has taken an even bigger hit. TRUE
Hilltop will be back in '09 better than ever. We'll Have To Wait & See......