A tough weekend for many… They’re right, it’s not just another race. It’s June Sprints. It’s a preview of what the national championship runoffs might be, with many testing their A game and new whizzy bits. Lee was the class of the field the entire weekend, hats off to him for the overall pole once again. The air was thick the entire weekend and unfortunately turn 14 seemed bumpy as ever. So times were a bit slow, but CSR made a huge leap forward IMHO. Especially Jason Miller. He and his team deserve it. The Kohler car was flying and would have won if he did not have a crank failure, again, IMHO. The top 5-6 C Sport Racers were all in the 2:02′s with a funky orange WF-zero leading the way driven by Lee Alexander, then yours truly and Bootz and Garrett in the 2:04′s. The roughest weekend ever award definitely goes to Garrett K. 1 motor and two wrecks in 2 different cars is rough, but what’s most important, is he’s ok.
So, I can’t complain too much. But the engine we struggled with for the runoffs has baffled us again. I’m just looking for the appropriate lake to deposit it in. I was thinking Elkhart Lake since that’s the track it was being built for, but with Elkhart Lake being such a beautiful, clear water lake, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. The only thing constant in the probably 10 times Moon has built this engine, is the block, crank, and drivetrain. Different pistons, rings, cams and 3 different heads. All 10-15 whp down from his usual builds. Frustrating to say the least. So extra special thanks to Greg and Moon Super Cycle for his “super stock” engine recipe, he whipped up and delivered on Wednesday night around 9pm. Stock rods, stock pistons, stock decked head, new valves, and some cams. Down a few hp from an average MSC full fledge DSR motor, but at this point, it was the best we had. I never ran a motor like this, but he explained he’s built several for budget-minded DSR racers and for years for his bike customers.
In she went. We arrived Thurs around 8 pm and set up camp in the upper paved paddock. It was nice to see Devins, Brian, Dave, Jim were all paddocked close and Critter, Locke and the French’s in the garages below. My daughter said she wanted to go with daddy, so this was her first full weekend at the track and it was wonderful! Just wait until she’s old enough to drive, she already worn the tires off her modified, 24V power wheels! Yes, it is true, I can’t leave anything stock! Practice was just to shake the car down, some new bits we were testing, so had to make sure we had a good race car. I was impressed with the power but could see I was down a few mph from the monster Moon built me last year for the Sprints. Man, if only I could have that motor back. So the rain dance began. Qualifying was good, but it was busy out there. Lots of traffic seemed we all kind of evenly split up around the track, so it was tough to get a clean lap. On one of my laps, I exited the kink and was catching Jon S, Jeff Miller and another SR into 12. It looked to me as Jeff Miller was already beside Jon, on the inside, well before the brake zone. When Jon got on the brakes, the rear end started wagging its tail (I believe tapped Jeff M), spun 180 degrees slamming into the outside wall and finally backing into the gravel trap. One thing that was VERY impressive, the next lap, of course, there were yellows. The following lap the crane had Jon’s car in the air. The following lap, no yellows. Wow, that was an awesome quick clean up and they kept us out there. Toward the end of the session, I was able to lay down a flyer and a couple of times took some risks. I had a real oh-sheet moment exiting 13 as I used too much inside curbing but was able to crack off P1 for DSR… Until the checkered lap and Lee laid down the hammer, taking P1 for DSR.
Q2 we decided to skip. I didn’t think it was worth going out and beating on the car and we had an oil line that had us concerned. So we went to watch in T5. Jason Miller was flying followed by Steve Foerr the entire session and Jason ran a low 2:02 to take pole. And then, Lee once again, nabs it at the end of the session, with a 2:02.0 and takes overall pole. Well done, Lee, well done.
That put me P6 and I knew the bigger CSR’s were going to eat Lee for lunch on the start. I was hoping to get a good draft to try to race with Lee. I was also hoping for rain. Well, Jason did get by and soon JL and they all slowly motored away. Our race was delayed due to a crash at the kink in the session before us and the clean-up was fantastic but they shortened our race to 10 laps and used what seemed to be baby powder for oil dry. When I exited the kink, the lead pack had a bit of a lead on me and Jason hit the baby powder first. It was like the movie, Days of Thunder, because when the last car of the lead pack went in there, whoosh, they were gone. Here I am going 145mph, foot to the floor, hoping no one was on the other side. Thank god, all was well. But this went on for a couple laps until the baby powder stuff wore away. You could not see 12 at all, just a big white cloud.
Back to the race… At the end of the first lap, Bootz motored by up the front straight leaving us in P3. Well, I thought, P3 isn’t bad at all considering the week we had (again). So, I go into conserve mode. Shifting at 12,500, slight lift in the carousel, watching temps, flipping through the menu on the dash…. And surprise!!! David Locke passed me into turn 1, taking Brian French with him. So I got a nice run out of 3, drafted Brian and started using all of Moon’s Super Stock DSR motor, revving to 13,500 to catch David. I knew he had a sweet Moon motor in there and I just sold him my V1 header, so it was going to be a challenge. I also learned after the race, David is an ex-can-am driver and it showed!! He was movin!! It took a few laps to real him back in, pulling out all my bag of tricks of RA and I returned the favor passing him in T1. Then it was playing a traffic game and eventually was able to put a bit of a gap on David. He reported later his engine was getting a bit hot, driving in my draft, so he had to back off a bit. Man was it hot and muggy out there.
A couple laps later I see orange parked on the inside of the hill leading to turn 5. Lee was looking under the rear bodywork making sure his beauty wasn’t going to go up in flames. Which moved us up to 2nd in DSR.
With a couple laps to go, I notice a WF1 on top of the hill as I exit 14. Is that Bootz??? I pressed on.
Next lap I was closer and I saw the yellow…. IT WAS BOOTZ!!!
We got the one lap to go signal and I was pushing and could see Bootz slowing in the corners and braking. His tires were gone!!
I got closer into 5.
Then even closer into 8.
Flat around the carousel and through the kink at 145mph and 2.5G’s and I was within a couple car lengths going into 12!!!
13….Get 14 right, up the straight, Go! Go! Go!
….Just not enough. Well done champ, you knew what you had to do…. Great race, great job Mr. Bootz. You can never feel bad losing to the defending champion.
Maybe with one more lap… Or no shortened race because of delay… Or maybe rain…. Who knows, that my friends is racing.
IN-CAR video coming soon!!!
Until then, here are some awesome pics by Dale Sand can be found here and you can almost see the race unfold.
More pics by Dale Sand during practice and qualifying.
The next day was my long-time friend and teammate, Mike Moser’s turn to race in H-Production in his stellar Honda CRX. And it was surprisingly a very similar race, except he got the last lap pass done in 12 for the lead and won the race! Three years in a row, winning the June Sprints! Awesome job Mike, awesome!! Special thanks to ETE Reman, Moon Super Cycle, Stohr, WRD, Jongbloed, Goodyear and my fantastic crew, friends, and family!
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