Greg from the race team. I was in Dillon S.C. on Saturday for their annual New Years Race that was rained out last weekend. There were 42 cars that started, and that's a huge field on a 4 tenths mile track. I qualified 23rd which was not where I wanted to be with that many cars on the track. After seeing the qualifying times there were a lot of cars that were running the same times, within thousandths of a second, as where I qualified. The race started and 4 cars crashed before they even made it to the start finish line. The race turned out to be more like a demolition derby than a race, everyone was racing like every lap was the last and there were so many cautions I lost count. I was involved in a crash before the halfway that tore up the car but was still raceable and wasn't all that bad. The front suspension was bent up and needed some serious adjusting and it was at the halfway break, 50 laps. When the second half started the front suspension was in much better shape, not perfect, but much better. I dodged many crashes and spins but through it all picked up damage along the way but was just cosmetic. With about 30 laps to go I lost oil pressure and shut the engine off and loaded the car in the trailer, our day was done. The engine gave no signs of damage, it was running fine and never acted like anything was wrong, but when I saw there was no oil pressure I couldn't take a chance on ruining the engine, It could have been a faulty gauge but I have too much in the engine to take the chance. The end result was a 22nd place finish, only 12 cars finished the race and a few of them were many laps down. I doubt I will run this race next year because there are too many cars on a small track and too many inexperienced impatient drivers that have no respect for fellow drivers. I think the trunk lid and the drivers door skin are the only panels on the car that don't have damage, so the car needs a lot of work, cosmetic and mechanical. I have video's of the race I am currently editing and will post soon.
Race Update 9/22
(See the Race Here)
Greg from the race team. Dropping in to give results of this past weekend's race results. Friday nite at Kingsport Speedway it was the season finale. The car handled well in practice and was hopeful for a good qualifying run, but I qualified 7th of 12. The race was caution free and could have really used a caution. I spent a lot of time getting around the 6th place car and the top 5 got away to almost a full strait away lead, by the end of the race I had closed in on the 5th place car to only a few car lengths, but by then the race was over. Saturday nite at Lonesome Pine Speedway in Coeburn VA it was their season finale also and the results were almost a carbon copy of Friday nites race. The car handled well but just didn't have the speed in qualifying to get a good starting spot, 9th of 13. I ended up finishing 6th after the winner was dis-qualified for refusing post race inspection. I will be running a few more races at various tracks before the end of my season and will keep everyone posted on the next race.
Race Update 9/1/14
Greg from the race team. Just dropping by to give the fans an update on this weekend's race results. Friday nite at Kingsport Speedway: Man what a difference 10" wheels made over 8". The car handled much better and was a lot faster. I was looking forward to qualifying and thought I had a good shot at a pole position start but just as we were lining up to qualify the skies opened up and it rained for about 30 minutes and by the time the track was dry enough for cars to get back to racing it was a time schedule issue and the line up was set by points. Since I hadn't ran many races there I don't have many points so I got to start in 9th spot. When the race started it was very competitive and intense. Seems like everyone was running the same lap times, we were all bunched up and it was difficult to pass because the cars were so closely matched. I ended up with a 6th place finish. I really wish I could have got the chance to qualify and had a better starting spot, it would have probably resulted in a much better effort since it was so difficult to pass, but nevertheless we were able to gain positions and be rite there with the leaders.
Saturday nite at Lonesome Pine Speedway: Practice started around 3:45 and the car felt pretty good, so, I thought maybe there is some more in it so I loosened up the chassis before second practice and that resulted in the car being too loose, so I put it back where it was in first practice. Our qualifying effort resulted in a 5th place starting spot, 0.157 seconds off the pole speed , compared to week before last's 0.854 second deficit. 10" wheels made a huge difference. The race started and I made it to 4th place on lap 2. I ran there rite on the tail of the 3rd place car for the entire race until about 5 laps to go and my car got very loose coming off of turn 4 and that allowed the 5th place car to get a run and pass by. I tried to chase him back down but I had really made my tires mad and they lost grip coming off the turns and had to settle for a 5th place finish. All in all not a bad weekend. I won't be at Kingsport or Lonesome Pine next weekend because of my work schedule. Both tracks only have 3 more races this season, however there are other tracks that run a little later than that so I may be racing at a few different tracks before the end of this racing season
Race Update 8/28
Just dropping by to let the fans know that the Grindstaff Racing Team WTOE Monte Carlo will be in action tomorrow nite at Kingsport Speedway and if all goes well I will be at Lonesome Pine Speedway in Coeburn VA on Saturday. I have found out that there is no engine problem with the car and the problem lies in the wheels. A rule change made this year allows us to run 10" wheels. Recent years we were limited to 8" wheels. The tires are 10" wide and with them mounted on a 8" wheel the tread is crowned, not flat. With 10" wheels the tread will be flat on the track and the grip will be much much better and lap times should be greatly improved. Come out and support us and have a great time at the races, it's always a great show.
Race Update 8/19
The race team was in action Friday nite at Kingsport Speedway and Saturday nite in Coeburn VA at Lonesome Pine Speedway. During the week I did wholesale changes to the suspension to try to get the car to handle better. As soon as I hit the track I knew it was going to be a long nite. The car didn't handle good at all in first practice and I was second guessing the changes I had made. I made some adjustments before second practice and it really didn't do much better. A friend of mine that used to help me until his son started racing came over and lent me a hand and advice. We changed rear springs and made drastic wedge adjustments just before qualifying that made a 180 degree change in the car, instead of the car pushing in the turns it was so loose I could hardly drive it and had to really baby the car to keep it under control. So needless to say, the qualifying effort was not good at all, started 9th out of 12. We had some time to work on the car before race time and we made wedge adjustments to tighten up the car, it was a shot in the dark but I could not race the car the way it was. The race started and the car handled much better, almost perfect. There was a few cautions and a couple crashes that helped our run toward the front. It was a decent finish, 5th, but man it was a hard nights work.
I had it in the back of my mind that I might be down on horsepower, well, when we got to Lonesome Pine on Saturday, it was obvious. The car handled decent in practice but was loose coming out of turn 2 onto the backstretch, everyone had the same problem though so I was not in the boat by myself. The car did well in qualifying but I was very disappointed with the result. There were 10 cars and I qualified 9th, almost 1 second off of pole speed. My engine has not lost any power from the last race I won, everyone else has found more power, so I have my work cut out for me. I don't know if I will be able to gain the power I need to keep up before the end of the season or not, unless I can find a quick fix, it may be a winter time project and start off '15 with a fresh package.
Just dropping by to let the fans know that I will be racing this Friday nite at Kingsport Speedway and Saturday at Lonesome Pine Speedway in Coeburn VA. Invite everyone out to support the WTOE, Grindstaff Racing Team Racecar. I will send updates as soon as possible
Greg from the race team. dropping in to give an update of this past weekends race results. Friday nite, 8-1-14, I ran at Kingsport speedway. The car felt good in practice and I was optimistic about a good qualifying spot. I over drove the car and pushed it just a little harder than I should have during qualifying and it didn't produce the best of results. Out of 12 cars I started 7th, the car was much better than that. Qualifying is so important at Kingsport because it is so difficult to pass. As the race went on the car seemed to have a slight push and that makes the car seem down on power when it really isn't, all the motor in the world doesn't do any good if it isn't matched with a chassis that can use it. I ended up finishing 6th and with no car damage, so I guess it was a decent nite of racing.
Saturday I went to Lonesome Pine Raceway in Coeburn VA. I got there early to get a little extra practice since I have never ran there all track time would be valuable. I learned that there is a huge difference between the two tracks, you cant stomp the throttle coming out of the turns like you can at Kingsport, you have to ease into it or you will spin the car out. It rained just before the first scheduled practice and that delayed things while they dried the track. When things were all dried up we only got one 5 min. practice. The car did fairly well and handled decent. The track had some water seepage coming up at the exit of turn 2, this made it very tricky because it was rite in the middle of the racing groove, it wasn't much, but it was enough to cause the cars to fishtail when you went through it. Just before qualifying it rained again for about 30 min. The announcement was made that when the track was dry that there would be no qualifying and the races would start by points standings. That meant that I would start dead last since I had never ran there. Luckily after about another 30 - 45 min. they called off the race, there was more rain on the way, so that ended our weekend.