Wedge Racing in 2018

Sebring - January (MAJORS Hoosier Super Tour)      

 The Sebring race this year conflicted with our previously planned ski vacation, so we missed the race.

NOLA -  March (MAJORS Hoosier Super Tour) - First weekend in the Month

  An additional circuit is planned to mirror below the existing track.
That's a Kart track at the top right. The paddock area is the large paved area just right of center. Track length is 2.75 miles.

Thankfully, the repairs I made from last year's fiasco are still holding up and we made the trip without incident (tow wise, anyway).  Arrival, registration and parking also went reasonably well.  This year, though, we ran the Friday test day for a couple of reasons.  Seemed like a good idea since I hadn't been in the car since the previous August *and* I had been asked to test a new tire/wheel combination for a possible 'Spec Tire Series' that was in development.  This was a treaded street tire on an aluminum wheel with the same size, weight and offset as our current stock rims.  The testing went quite well, although I did feel that I put more wear on those tires in 2 sessions than they had received in the previous 12 or so.  Times were significantly off from our regular slicks, but that was to be expected.  Two cars were testing the new combination. I put 3 sessions on the new set and Mitchell put 2 sessions on before swapping over to regular slicks.

Q1 - Sat morning.  The weather was nice and the session was decent.  Mitchell took the pole and I was second about 0.3 secs back with Charlie and Sherman filling out the small 4 car vee field.  I ran some pretty old tires and was thinking I was in good shape for the races.

Race 1 - Still good weather with all vees at the back of the group.  At the start, everyone stayed pretty much together, but at the beginning of the second lap, Sherman made a bonzai move down the inside, trying to move from 4th to 1st in one fell swoop.  We all dodged him as he went well past his braking point and off the turn to the outside.  When he tried to come back on track, he nearly crashed into me and I had to move well off line to avoid him at T2.  Amazingly (to me), he made a nearly identical move at T3, trying to take the lead from WAY too far back and nearly took all 4 cars out again as he slid across all of us to be well off line again.  He was 4th again entering T4 and once again tried to make a move from an impossible position and managed to put his right front tire between my left front and rear.  This was a right hand turn and I was unable to move right, but he kept coming until his right side tires climbed over my left side tires and launched him into the sky above me.  I looked up to see the complete bottom of his car and dove left (which was now clear for me since he was in the air) and into the grass so that he would not come down on top of me.  I'm told he spun around and over in the air, bounced and rolled over, then rolled over again back onto his tires.  I was busy trying to get back to the track and, unfortunatley hit the OUTSIDE of the rumble strips as I came back to the track (they were'nt visible from where I was) which practically DESTROYED Bullet's nose.


 Somehow, Sherman was still running at this point and as I came back onto the track, he dove inside of me and started blocking SERIOUSLY to keep me behind him.  As we got into the esses, he was still trying to hold me off as he slid off track to the right and I was finally able to clear him.  He went into the pits at the end of that lap, leaving me to continue though I was now some 30 or more seconds back.  The rest of the race was uneventful until I came in after I had completed over half the laps.. all I needed to achieve 3rd place.

The worst part of all of this was that my camera failed to record and I had no video to back up my version of what happened.  Even more amazing was that NOT ONE CORNER WORKER from Turns 1,2,3,4,5,6, or 7 saw ANYTHING according to the Series Chief Steward.  Although I wanted badly to file a protest, with no 'admissible' evidence, I had no basis and had to let it go.  I spent the next several hours working on Bullet trying to find and repair all of the damage.  We were not able to finish in time for the 2nd qualifier on Sunday morning and so missed that as well.

Race 2 - Needless to say, it was with some concern that I started the 2nd race ... next to Sherman since both Mitchell and Charlie had turned really good times in the Saturday race.  Thankfully, Sherman played 'nice' this time and we filed into T1 in order and stayed that way till we made it around to the front straight.  I was still in a quite close 3rd position when Sherman passed me into T1 on the second lap.  I wasn't going to take any chances trying to pass him again until we finished that lap.  I retook the position (3rd) going into T1 easily; starting the 2nd lap and was pleased to see him spinning on his own behind me.  From there on, I was 'almost' able to keep pace with the leaders .. but I had already lost about 10 seconds having to follow Sherman for that one lap.  So... relegated to 3rd once again.  I did feel that the engine wasn't winding up quite as well as it should but that was possibly simply due to running with NO draft.  I passed Sherman with no problem on the front straight, so it's probably nothing.  2 weeks to Atlanta, so I'll find out more then.

Road Atlanta (#1) - March - MAJORS weekend

The Road Atlanta event was quite unusual that it was a 2 day event with no Friday practice day.  Someone (with $BIG BUCKS$) had purchased that day and blocked the Region from access until the end of their day.  So, the 'land rush' was ON.  About 75 rigs sitting outside a good portion of the day waiting to try to find a decent paddock spot as we were all let in at once.  Although it took some time, it turned out to be 'not as bad' as I had feared and we got a half way decent spot ... though no A/C power available other than our generator.

Saturday - I had decided to go ahead and change to my other engine .. old #7 just didn't seem quite right, so time to test out #6 again. I'll send #7 to the Butler 'hospital' later. The first session was a practice .. and it was almost raining .. just enough to keep the track wet and mess up my shield .. and plenty wet enough to create some serious car damage if one got too 'frisky'.  So .. I just took it easy.  We had worked on a few things .. and changed the engine... since NOLA.  I went out just to make sure everything seemed to work OK and came in after a couple of laps.

Q1 - The second session was our only qualifier and .. guess what?.... it was STILL raining, though just barely.  I've reached the point where FIXING MY CAR is getting on my nerves a LOT more than being qualified poorly, so I again took it easy despite the fact that the rain was almost non-existent by the end of the session and the 'line' was beginning to form.  I got in a decent lap and was looking for a considerably better one on the next lap when we got a BlackFlagAll due to 2 cars in the gravel at T1.  Considering that the session was almost over, I went directly to my paddock spot rather than wait for the official 'call' of the session.. which came just about the time I got to the trailer.  Later I found out that I had qualified 3rd of 5 cars and that Megan Gilkes was on the pole - Congrats, Megan!

Race 1 -  By now, the rain had passed through and the track was dry. I talked with Megan and then proposed to the Chief Steward that all the vees be put to the back of the group - a 'split grid'.  There were 3 cars qualified either among or even behind the vees that were only there due to the rainy Q session and it's never good to have cars that are ~20 seconds faster trying to pass all the the vees at once on the start.  MUCH better to just put them in front to begin with and save a really dangerous condition for everyone .. and the Stewards have finally started to agree with this idea.  Megan was on the pole, but it didn't last long.  Donnie got the drop on her and I was in position to make a move at T1, but opted to hold off.  It was Megan's first start from the pole and I was in no hurry to end it in T1.  Donnie also managed to get by the slowest F5 and put him between us and him.. then proceeded to put considerable distance on all of us as I struggled to get by Megan and then the F5. It took most of the 2nd lap to get by the F5 and set out for Donnie.  Mitchell had also gotten past Megan and then Laura made it too.  It took me about 5 laps to catch Donnie (seemed like an eternity), but I finally did and took the lead (with a little help from Mitchell).  At the end of that lap, Donnie came back by and brought Laura with him.  On the next lap, I repassed both of them for the lead .. just before the F5 came back onto the track (after having come into the pits) RIGHT IN FRONT OF US.  This guy was a total disaster!  He was all over the track .. and being in an F5, was CONSIDERABLY faster in a straight line, so there was certainly no profit to trying to pass him in a turn (a VERY dangerous move to say the least... I watched an FF plow through all the vees and then take him going into T7.... only to have that same F5 drop the FF like a stone on the back straight).  Finally, after about 3 laps of following him around, he spun in front of all of the vees going into T7.  At that point, Laura had suspension problems and dropped out. Leaving Me, Mitchell, Donnie and Megan to fight it out.  Megan did an excellent job of hanging onto the back of the pack and NOT doing anything 'bad' during the race.  Very impressive for a relatively new racer .. at least new to the lead of a vee pack.  She was close the whole way.  Donnie and Mitchell, were content to sit back and let me lead till the very last lap .. as soon as the LAST LAP flag was shown, they were going to blow me away on the back straight.  Down towards the end... Linda calls me on the radio and says 'WHITE FLAG'.. followed a few seconds later with CHECKER FLAG.. repeated .. CHECKER IS OUT *NOW*.  I look in the mirror coming down the back straight and see Mitchell and Donnie "a ways back" and wonder . can I make it?  Coming into T10A.. I see Donnie attempting a 'move', but I don't think he can make it.  I take the turn as I normally would and hope Donnie handles it properly.. HE DOES.. I clear the turn, and then see Mitchell making the move back past Donnie coming into T11.  FINISH!!... ME, Mitchell, Donnie, Megan .. all pretty close together.

Race 2 - A beautiful day for a race.  We had a 10 minute warmup and I opted to use it to scrub in a set of new tires for VIR and then changed back to my set from the Saturday race.  They still looked like they could finish another race.  I'm on the pole today since I set fast lap of the weekend in yesterday's race and I went to the stewards and confirmed that the Vees could once again start from the back without other class cars behind us.  At the start we were fairly close .. too close actually.  That F5 that caused us grief yesterday had gotten 'a talking to' from the Stewards and assured that he would stay out of our way this time.  He pointed everyone by during the pace lap and stayed behind on the start, but the cars in front didn't pick up the pace like I expected and we were "amongst them" going into T1.  Fortunately, nothing untoward happened and they pulled away almost immediately, leaving us to 'race on'. At the end of the back straight, Donnie and Laura both passed me - I tried to get them back at T1, but they held on until I got the lead back at T10. A couple laps later, Mitchell joins the fray and takes the lead - still a 5 car lead pack though, so anyone's race so far.  Now, Donnie's back in front, then me, Mitchell, Laura and Megan, but Laura and Megan are just a tad off the pace. Donnie's dropping oil, clouding my visor and camera. Finally I get around him again, but not for long .. and this time he brings Laura along with him.. back to 3rd again. Now Laura is dropping oil .. a good bit of it coming out of her left side valve cover in right hand turns.  Between the 2 of them, I'm being drowned in oil... I see the lead FF pack coming up behind me.. going to be a string of cars.. I get by Donnie and Laura, then let the lead FF through at T10A and jump in behind him.... then another 5 cars go by in T1 and Mitchell tags along with them. Finally, it seems it's only Mitchell and myself.. although I can still see Donnie back there .. then, here Donnie comes again to take the lead.. back to 3rd again.  Laura is missing now, but Megan is still holding on.  Tough to find enough time to wipe my shield of Donnie's oil.  I pass Mitchell to take the lead again into 10A. WOO.. almost lost it there.. and Mitchell takes it back at T1 with Donnie on my tail. Now Donnie seems content to hold position and wait until the last lap again. An FF spins in front of us at T5 but spins clear, then 2nd and 3rd place F5's come through.  I have a small gap to Mitchell.. gotta keep the pressure on. Nope.. he closes up and makes the pass into 10A again.. and I retake him into T1. WOW .. lotsa passing goin' on. Gotta be getting pretty close to the end now. Here comes the lead FF again.. and then 3 more cars... THEY BLOCK off Mitchell and Donnie at T12 .. now Mitchell is about 6 car lengths back as another pack of FF comes through . now my gap is bigger and we've GOT to be near the end. I have a gap.. make CERTAIN that you don't make a mistake.. .. but KEEP THE GAP!  Another FF, then another and 3 more.. USE THEIR DRAFT!  I've got him.. through T10A/B and out - 2 more FF go by into T1 and one of them goes off .. I still have the gap to Mitchell.  T5.. I can see him back there.. I still have the gap.. NO MISTAKES!  A clean 10A/B I see the white.. ONE MORE LAP... give up some ground if need be to avoid error. This will be it. Another FF passes into 10A and Mitchell closes .. but not enough.. I hold it and TAKE THE WIN!  Then Mitchell, Donnie .. not sure where Laura and Megan are .. ahhh, there's Megan coming into pit lane behind us for another good finish.

FANTASTIC!  Two great wins at Road Atlanta .. and fast lap in both as well.  I hope we can hold onto this momentum for a couple more races happy.

VIR (Virginia International Raceway)- April - MAJORS Hoosier Super Tour event











Coming soon....


Anything else? - not sure yet.... Maybe Daytona in May?
Roebling Road Majors

Barber  'Regional' Races - August?

Runoffs - Sonoma (California) - September  - I'm not planning to go to this one either.. but waiting to hear more from SCCA.  Maybe THIS year, they'll provide a little more information about how it's going to work.


Thanks as always to Rollin at, JR at Roxannes Headers - Exhaust components for FV and other racing sports cars and ... Mike, John, Tim and Bruce at Hoosier tires ( and Dietmar at  Quixote Racing - FV and FST parts and service.  Not to forget my wife, Linda, who travels with me to almost every race, and suffers me the joy of racing for all these years!

Regular Season team stats (EC races in yellow)

Race     Qualified Finished Points
NOLA MAJOR#1 2nd 3rd 18 Crash on lap2
But continued to finish... slowly
NOLA MAJOR#2 3rd 3rd 18 Just not fast enough
Atlanta MAJOR#1 3rd 1st 25 Just fast enough
Atlanta MAJOR#2 1st 1st 25 Fast enough
VIR MAJOR #1        
VIR MAJOR #2        
Season Total   SouthEast/Nationwide 86 3rd in conference


Runoffs/Divisional Finishes for the Wedge Racing Team

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