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Line Star Grand Prix TWS

TWS Qualifying Race

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#1
MPR22

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Off to the track for another fun weekend of SM racing. Yesterday's practice was hot and windy, more of the same expected today. 97 in the shade, track temp must have been 110+. It felt like walking in sand during the 4:00 pm session.
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#2
MPR22

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Have to stop typing on my I-phone, it auto corrected the title. Should read Lone Star Grand Prix.

Sat Qualifying,

Strong headwind down the front straight so everybody tried buddying up with some drafting partners. Phillips Race Prep managed to put together a nice little 4 car draft. McAllion, Ross, Haldeman and Bickham. Other groups worked in pairs or just used a competitor as a rabbit. The plan for PRP was to run a hot lap and have the lead guy peal off and slip back to the end of the line very much like a pelaton on cycling. It seemed to work well and that way the stewards could only furl a black flag at one of us at a time.

1. Reynolds 1:59.67
2. Udell 2:00.31
3. Bickham 2:00.34
4. McAllion 2:00.36
5. Haldeman 2:00.38
6. Ross 2:00.48
7. Agha 2:00.51

Reynolds went out solo from what I could tell and put down a great lap. He had Mr. Ed tune up the 74 and he is back in front, go figure. Nice drive.
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#3
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Any 1.6's in that crowd?

I know, I know, those in the know, know.
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#4
MPR22

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Saturday Race Small field so there was not a ton of cars to bunch up and the leaders got on the gas pretty early. The high side had a hickup and the low side got several cars through by turn in to one. Reynolds, Haldeman, Udell, Bickham and Rushing lead into turn 3. Reynolds built a gap early and crusied most of the race. Haldeman was charging up with about 3 to go but missed a shift and gave back most of what he gained too late in the race to make a serious charge. Bickham and Udell had a good battle going for the final podium spot. Bickham missed his turn in at 14 and Udell gapped him with 1 to go. Rushing was running by himself about 2-3 seconds back of 3rd and 4th and I worked my way back from 11th to finish 6th about 2-3 seconds back of Rushing with the trail group another 2-3 secounds back of me. That group had some big time racing going on as they must have had 10 cars in that group. Maybe York of Agha or one of the others in that group could describe the racing. It looke chaotic, evertime i looked in my mirror I saw more cars.
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#5
MPR22

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Any 1.6's in that crowd? I know, I know, those in the know, know.


Udell 1.6
Rushing 1.6

Both some of the fastest 1.6s I have raced. The drivers are top notch also. Andy would admit he is not at the top of his game right now as he is busy with work and his new family. Udell has been racing Pirelli World Challenge and regularly wins the NASA races he attends at any track.
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#6
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Sundays Qual

Timing and scoring didn't have a sheet showing times so we all went to lunch not knowing what the grid would be like. I wandered the paddock and tried to poll drivers about their lap times and from the info I could gather Reynolds was on the poll and with 1:59.7. Our little groups lap timers showed a wider spread than the day before. Ross 1:59.8, McAllion 2:00.0, Haldeman 2:00.2, Bickham 2:00.3.

While we were at lunch we get a grid sheet, it does not reflect our lap timers info.

1. Reynolds
2. McAllion
3. Haldeman
4. Ross
5. Rushing
6. Bickham
7. Agha
8. Collings

Still no times at this point, we just go to grid knowing what this cryptic sheet said. Frustrating.
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#7
MazdaSteve

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Not sure of the names or the players as I am new to the region...

I was flagging in T8 on Saturday and T1 on Sunday. Reynolds had a slightly different line entering 8 than most, tending to stay more center track on entry than driver's right like most cars. His braking point appeared to be 2-3 car lengths deeper than all except for the 72 car who mirrored his line. All in all Saturday was clean racing through our station. There were a couple 2 & 4 wheel offs and one car burried in the bushes, but he was able to extract himself. No metal to metal and some good give an take.

Sunday's race up front was pretty much identical to Saturday. The 74 & 72 cars checked out early. Race control did throw a furled black at the 72 car for bump drafting the 74 on L2 or L3. There were a couple other calls for bump drafting as well, but no one got parked. The second group of cars had a good race going, often entering T1 2 & 3 cars wide. Lots of give an take. Not sure where the silver 57 car came from, but he caught and passed the entire group of cars he was chasing. Some mad ponies under the hood of that car.
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#8
James York

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Saturday Race Small field so there was not a ton of cars to bunch up and the leaders got on the gas pretty early. The high side had a hickup and the low side got several cars through by turn in to one. Reynolds, Haldeman, Udell, Bickham and Rushing lead into turn 3. Reynolds built a gap early and crusied most of the race. Haldeman was charging up with about 3 to go but missed a shift and gave back most of what he gained too late in the race to make a serious charge. Bickham and Udell had a good battle going for the final podium spot. Bickham missed his turn in at 14 and Udell gapped him with 1 to go. Rushing was running by himself about 2-3 seconds back of 3rd and 4th and I worked my way back from 11th to finish 6th about 2-3 seconds back of Rushing with the trail group another 2-3 secounds back of me. That group had some big time racing going on as they must have had 10 cars in that group. Maybe York of Agha or one of the others in that group could describe the racing. It looke chaotic, evertime i looked in my mirror I saw more cars.


Michael,

Chaotic describes it well. I held off the pack to finish whatever position it was (seeing how we had no results printed as timing and scoring seemed....absent?) I think everyone wanted to lead and pass attempts were made constantly at very difficult places slowing the group down signfiicantly. Good run by your group up front.

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#9
James York

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Not sure of the names or the players as I am new to the region...

......Sunday's race up front was pretty much identical to Saturday. The 74 & 72 cars checked out early. Race control did throw a furled black at the 72 car for bump drafting the 74 on L2 or L3. There were a couple other calls for bump drafting as well, but no one got parked. The second group of cars had a good race going, often entering T1 2 & 3 cars wide. Lots of give an take. Not sure where the silver 57 car came from, but he caught and passed the entire group of cars he was chasing. Some mad ponies under the hood of that car.


No. 57 is Rushing and he drives well when his car is set-up. In addition, I would expect his motor to be a very good package, but nothing of suspicion. The number 19 on the other hand...........

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#10
MazdaSteve

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The 19 was one of the cars called for bump drafting. James, you and he seemed to have a pretty "spirited" race going on there Sunday.

I wasn't implying anything negative about Rushing or the 57 car - just that the engine is stout and the driver is a wheelman.
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#11
James York

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The 19 was one of the cars called for bump drafting. James, you and he seemed to have a pretty "spirited" race going on there Sunday.

I wasn't implying anything negative about Rushing or the 57 car - just that the engine is stout and the driver is a wheelman.


I didn't suspect you were saying anything about Andy, I just wanted to make sure anyone reading didn't get the wrong idea. He is a good guy and great driver.

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#12
MPR22

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Sunday's Race

Again the low side freight trained the high side into turn one. The lead 5 were: Reynolds, Haldeman, Rushing, Bickham, McAliion. Bickham did a good job of going low early and became part of the low side train shutting the door on McAllion and me through turn 2. Reynolds and Haldeman had a small gap at the end of lap 1 and they bump drafted away from Rushing who couldn't hang on to the train without a push from behind. McAllion charged through Bickham and Rushing to take P3 by lap 2. My car was handling well and I started to move forward also, getting by Bickham then Rushing. I started to make a little gap on them but I was "down on power" and they would suck back up to me by the turn in to one. Trying to break them on the infield only lead to a greasy right rear and I almost spun in turn 6, which let McAllion go bye-bye and put me back in the clutches of Bickham and Rushing. Bickham got by me and I fell in behind and let him lead a couple of laps to cool my tires. A couple of laps later Bickham didn't hit his turn onto front straight perfectly and I was able to draft around him back into 4th. As the race wore on my tires started to go off again and the car was becoming a handful. Rushing got around Bickham and was now pressuring me and I made a mistake exiting onto the straight and Rushing drove around me putting me back to 5th. Watching a 99 from behind is like watching paint dry, watching a 1.6 pilot go at it as hard as he can is like watching a circus. I could get a run on him with my torque from turn 4 to 6 but never commmitted to sticking it in all the way and he wasn't going to back off. I didn't know how many laps we had left so I decided to wait till the 1 to go. Meanwhile Reynolds and Haldeman had an OH SHIT moment when a lapper spun in the esses leading on the front straight. Reynolds went low and Haldeman went high and Haldeman lost about 5-6 car lengths. Haldeman realed Reynolds back in but could not find a way by him. Heading out to the front straight with one to go, I tried to nail the last set of turns and get on the gas as early as possible, huge mistake, pushed out and had to lift big which let Bickham by as we got onto the front straight. Bickham couldn't pass Rushing and I had to settle back to 6th.

Things to take away from this race.

1. Don't make mistakes and you stand a good chanced of winning. I watched Haldeman's Sunday race video and the Matt and Chis didn't make a mistake the entire race. Sure there were little moments of imperfection but no mistakes that would allow a competitor to get a nose in on you. Great race gentlemen!

2. This class is so close when the cars are at their top prep level. You can't afford to bring less than your best and expect to podium, much less win. My car wasn't at its best and I didn't drive smooth enough to hold onto my leads. I had a 4th place car and I manged to put it into 6th by not taking care of my tires and making a few big mistakes.
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#13
MPR22

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MazdaSteve,

57 was in 3rd through 6th the entire race on Sunday. The 19 However went from 14th to 7th and could have passed any one of us for 4th if he would quit lifting on the straights. 3 times he lifted and fell back 3 car lengths. I'm not sure why he didn't want to get 4th, must have wanted to save the car for another race.

74 Reynolds
72 Haldeman
90 McAllion
57 Rushing
666 Bickham
22 Ross
15 York
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#14
Mike Asselta

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Matt - this is a great report. I feel dumb, but where were you guys racing? MSR Houston?
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#15
MPR22

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Matt - this is a great report. I feel dumb, but where were you guys racing? MSR Houston?


TWS
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#16
HoneyBadger - BrianW

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It was a good weekend. I spend most of the race on Sunday racing with York. We were back and forth from about lap 6 to the end. I was on 5 heat cycle tires which appears to be pretty much the end of useful life on the Hoosier's. I did manage a decent (for me) qualifying lap on Sunday morning on the 4th heat cycle.

I was disappointed to see how the tires performed in the heat (about 94 deg temp). After 4 or 5 laps they started dropping off a second or two, after 10-12 laps they were pretty much wasted and times started dropping off to the tune of 4 to 5 seconds a lap from fast lap of the race. Granted we were racing pretty hard during much of the 16 lap race, so we didn't exactly do the tires any favors by trying to control the pace... but still. I was hoping the tires would last a bit longer than they do.
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#17
MazdaSteve

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What kind of engine temps were you running Saturday & Sunday afternoon in the heat of the day?
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#18
HoneyBadger - BrianW

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I have a springfield radiator and a 180deg thermostat. I was running 195 (normal no matter what the outside temp) when I had clear air. My temps crept up to 220 in the draft, but that was only after about 8 laps of bumper to bumper racing. Then it cooled back down when I either split the draft or broke contact.
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#19
Matt Reynolds

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Great racing with everyone again this weekend! I have to thank Race Engineering for providing me with a great motor and Ed Gilfus for the last minute tune up. I know he had a lot going on that weekend so it was great he could help out. Also, I had quite the crew this weekend because the EP car has been giving us fits, so much appreciation goes to Chris Campbell, Jim Johnson, Joey Hladek, and of course my father.

The car felt great all weekend except for about 7 laps into Sunday's race. Seemed to understeer in the right handed corners and Chris would constantly gain on me there. It was a fun clean race, and I can't wait to do it all over again!

-Matt
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#20
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Congrats Matt.

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