Auburndale Sportsman - 10-25-14 - Lots of Candy !!!

The 75 lapper at Auburndale for the Sportsman featured some of the cleanest driving I have ever seen at this track. Although Dorer in the #71 led the entire 75 laps he was constantly challenged by Thomas in the #25, Morris in the #56 and Rendell (?) in the 157. 22 cars started. I believe there were 7 cautions during the race. One red flag for a fire on the M5. Patrick Thomas tried and tried and tried to get by Dorer time after time but to no avail. From my seat I saw Dorer get a little sideways coming out of four several different times and thought for sure that Thomas would take the lead but Dorer always came through with the lead. Kudos to Dorer for a race well run and to Thomas who could have spun Dorer many times but drove him clean. Morris #56 was a contender as well but body damaged forced him to back off the pace towards the end of the race. Daniel Webster in the Z left the race about midway. Very good race and I really like the cone. Congrats to all 22 drivers for a job well done. Dora Thorne had a great looking Sportsman #48 out for the first time. Thanks to A’Dale for the trick or treating for the young ones (and old ones) Very well arranged and a nice night at the Dale. Sure hope they report the race results (in case of DQ’s) as there was some good racing in all divisions. See you at the races !!!

An excellent summary Mr. Denman, and I agree with all of it. Who can saw that those “commitment cone” restarts are not excellent? It added a lot to this interesting race. Morris got up there and gave it a try, so did Jason Rendell. Sometimes it helped, sometimes it didn’t, but it certainly mixed things up. The race itself was done in an hour, and I enjoyed it very much. Here was a huge purse for a more affordable class…sounds like a good format to me.

The trick or treating was really popular, and they got it done in 45 minutes. Some tracks would have dragged that on and on.

One question remains: early in the race, the M5 caught fire. The fuel cell was engulfed in flames, so it looked like it was going to be a bad one. However, the driver popped out and the track crew on quickly on hand. They put it out in no time, but to my surprise, the driver climbed back in and finished the race. I thought for sure he would be sent to the pits to investigate the cause of the fire and make repairs. Why wasn’t he checked out? Did they find and fix something obvious like a loose gas cap?

Good job Auburndale!

All the cars teched, we’re found to be legal. Ricky Brooks checked the top 3 motors top to bottom, front to back,and inside and out. They started by checking the carb, then valve spring pressure, then rocker arm ratio, then Ricky Cam Doctored the cam, then they P&Ged the motors which checks for cubic inch displacement, then they whistled the motor which checks for compression, then, they pulled the timing chain covers to check for cam advance, and to make sure they had stock timing chains, then we pulled the oil pan, so they could inspect the crank, Rods, and bottom of the pistons.

Ricky Brooks is the best tech man around, and if you can make it through his tech, your car is legal.

It was a good race, the cone restart made it interesting. Let cars that had no chance of passing anybody move forward and challenge people from the outside.
The cone did not effect the outcome at all and only caused 1 caution, on the first turn after the restart.

I had a really good car on the bottom, but it was really bad on the top side. I tried the high side the first 2 restarts, and was very lucky just to get back down into second from the outside. I had 1 good run off of 2 and into 3 on Dorer early in the race, but he slammed the door and we hit getting into 3, after that I never had a good run on him again, because of the defensive line he ran. I don’t blame him for driving that way. It was his only chance to win that race, he is a champion super late model driver in a good sportsman car, at a track he runs well at. I won’t hang my head for my finish, and I am not the kind of driver that will punt you to pass you. We bumped several times but not the kind of bumps that were intended to spin somebody out.

It was a good night for the sportsman class, and hope we will get more of these big money races that make super late model drivers want to run a support division.

1 Steve Dorer in Earl Beckners 71 Newsmyrna car crate motor
2 Patrick Thomas 25 crate motor
3 Jason Rendell 157 crate motor
4 Brandon Morris 56 crate motor
5 Mark Nelson 111 built motor

Patrick Thomas 25

I was told the fire on the M5 was due to the gas cap being left off.
Easy fix.

Patrick Thomas 25

Just a thought/suggestion. Do you still have to run the factory oil pan? If you don’t get one that has a inspection hole/plug in it. If not have a authorized rebuilder pull the pan and put 1 in. Sure saves a lot of time and money.

Oohh denman. We missed you!!! We were there…didnt see you. Maybe see ya next time!

Agreed. Denman gave an excellent report.

Additional thoughts:

>Mr. Thomas, a job well done. There were a few times going into three that I thought “don’t lift, you’re in there!!”, but, ya know, it’s easy to make judgment calls from the stands and that may have resulted in a restart from the rear or a free tow to the pits…

>BTW, I thought the track did a good job with track “calls”, better than I can remember.

>The track announcer was amusing and kind of hip, but maybe a listen to MRN for a few races might be a good thing.

>What happened to the rosin?

ps–Patrick, thx for including the “crate motor” info. I was wondering how they would do on that short track with serious rpm changes. They sounded good to me!

Patrick Thomas is one of the nicest guys in the racing game… a very good driver who runs his competitors clean… Also always around to lend others a helping hand too… Can’t believe this race attracted just 22 cars… Glad to see my buddy Junior Beckner get the win with his car after putting a real driver in it! - Sorry, JR… just kidding you know…

great race

Was a great race. Lots of clean driving and a ton of room and courtesy given by everyone I was around. I think I worked harder in tech after the race though. Very thorough tech is a good thing. Didn’t get to see any of the other races though.

Jason Rendell #157