2011 – Race #5 – Sh!#@

Derek Eldridge

With Race 4 canceled, race 5 brought us back to Canaan on July 22. Hot with excitment from the last points race at Bear Ridge, and a great time at Boondocks Raceway in Skowhegan, ME, it was time to work it hard.

What was extra nice about this race, was that we had a volunteer to run the video camera in the stands. A special thank you to Deana for taking some great footage!

You can view the heat race footage at this link. The start of the heat, Drew and I would lead the front row, Drew on the pole. On the first lap, I was off to an early lead while Drew lost position to Spencer Allen in the white #22 car. Lap one was then quickly followed by a caution and we restarted.  But that wasn’t going to disrupted the good run I was having. On the restart I maintained the led. Drew struggling with handling issues dropped back as the race went on.

On what would have been the completion of lap 5 I was surprised when my engine shut off coming out of turn 4 and I quickly drove it to the infield as I lost speed to get out of the way. What I didn’t realize was that I unplugged the charging system early that morning to change the oil. It was in the way. The mistake was that I forgot to plug it back in. The battery could only carry the car 5 laps plus uncounted caution laps.

For the feature, which can be viewed here. Drew and I once again started on the front row, Drew on the Pole. At the start, the hammer dropped and I grabbed hold as my car did a little dance. A bit scary when your feet come out from under you, and you know there is a pack of cars on your heals. There was a patch of slick clay coming out of turn 4 for the green flag, making my car dart sideways. I quickly chopping the gas and then right back on to get the car straight again. Catastrophe averted.

With that, Drew took the first lead and I struggled to catch back up. A quick caution brought us back together and gave me another chance to beat my brother to the line. Though it wasn’t going to happen that way. Drew managed to pull away from me again to maintain his lead. With that first lap after the restart, I looked to go around Drew on the high side. That turned out to be a mistake as I opened the door for two cars to get under me.

For the next few laps, Drew struggled to hold the two cars, Rich Crooker #21 and Dylan Menditto #29, off. On lap 4, a second caution brought us back together again.

Drew now 3rd, and myself 4th, we took the green once again. Drew looking to the inside of Crooker tried for the pass in turn 4 while I looked for a similar path. Drew succeeded for only one lap, and Crooker took second back. Meanwhile back in 4th, I searched for the proper groove. By lap 8 I had found it, and pass Drew to take 3rd place.

Crooker had almost a full straight away on me by now, and leader Menditto was half a track away. By lap 14 Menditto had taken his first lapped car who Crooker, running second, didn’t pass until lap 16 and I didn’t catch at all.

Then, while taking the white flag, my car started to skip exiting turn 4. I got off the gas a bit hoping to make that one last lap, but before I could even think about it, one of my connecting rods shattered through the engine case ending what would have been a solid 3rd place finish. With that, I finished 8th, out of 10.

Drew, on the last lap, got caught in my oil making it hard to stop, got tangled with another car’s bumper, and tipped over on his side. Drew landed a 5th palace finish.

With a blown engine, it will be hard to be ready for next weeks race. But that doesn’t mean we wont try.

Derek Eldridge #8
600cc Mini Sprint

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