Note From the Owner (9-2-13)

Race Fans-
The final weekend of the 2013 Grundy Racing Season was somewhat fitting.  Friday we were rained out just before qualifying – the second rainout of the  summer, but fitting this summer’s Friday pattern of threatened rain, or a wet  track because it had rained. We had more Friday weather threats this year than  any summer in memory.
Sunday provided more of the same, although we did get the show in. It was  warm and sunny for the afternoon practices, and we had a good practice session,  getting the car pretty well balanced. We qualified a 15.506, one of our better  qual times this summer, but only good for 17th  of the 27 cars there.  Another 0.1 seconds would have moved us up 6 spots, so the times were very  close.
We started the feature (it was the annual Night Of Features, so  there were no heat races) inside row 9. We ran 5 laps before the caution came  out for rain, and during those 5 laps we moved up 4 spots to 13th. During the  caution they pulled us onto pit road in running order and we were not allowed to  work on the cars. We waited for the rain to stop and the tornado threat to go  away (a tornado touched down 15 miles west of the track around this time), and  we eventually got back out once the rain stopped and they got the track dried.  We got as far up as 12th at one point, but the #28 car got a big run on the #23  who was outside in front of us, and then he came down on us – either thinking  (or not) he had us cleared, or planning to make us move down so he could go up  the middle 3 wide. We ended up stopped in the turn 1 infield, got back out on  the track, but had to resume the race from the back. The car started handling  poorly after that, and ultimately the engine started losing power so James  pulled into the infield.
It turns out when we got spun into the infield we got a hole in  the  radiator, but we didn’t know that because we couldn’t see the water against the  infield like you can when it is on the track. The engine wouldn’t restart in the  pits – it backfired and we quit trying. I pulled it into the garage with the  mower today and checked the Oberg. It looked good – some very small stuff, a  little more than normal, but it had 2 days worth of racing instead on 1. The oil  itself didn’t look bad, and did not smell burned, so I don’t think we spun a  bearing or anything like that (we never lost oil pressure, either). The next  step is to pull the carb and headers and look inside with a boroscope to see if  a valve is bent or stuck. We need to rebuild the engine this year regardless, so  I’m just hoping we didn’t damage anything that would prevent that.
Despite the unhappy ending to the season it was still a good season for us.  We finished Sunday’s race in 16th, which was good enough to maintain our 6th  place position in the points – our 2nd season in a row finishing 6th – and there  was tougher competition this summer than last.
I want to thank everyone who helped crew the car, worked on it during car  nights (and in-between), and provided support – from our sponsors to our fans!  Thanks for another good season!
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