After cooling off and watching Saturday's video again my perception of the weekend has changed. Go figure. Steve, I sincerely believe you did not intend to punt me. In hind sight I should not have protested you. It was a racing incedent, that is all.
I left Saturday's race very frustrated with how hard fought every corner was with Mark, Bill and you. It seemed like everyone was determined to block, out brake or in general force everyone off line the entire race. I couldn't understand why Bill kept going inside at turn 6 no matter how much of a gap there was between us. This is where track knowledge or the lack thereof comes into play. Our data from Friday clearly showed the outside-to-in line was faster. So we ran that in qualifying and at the start of the race. Next thing we know here comes Mark and Bill on the inside. We interpret this as attempt at a late braking pass on the inside. What we didn't know, is that it appears to be the racing line for the locals. We thought we were going to have to start defending every hard braking zone inside if anybody was close. Saturday I was absolutely overdriving the car and trying to defend any attempt at a late brake dive bomb. Saturday night we watched the race video and Chris and I both commented what a solid driver you are, never saw a mistake out of you and you never attempted any over the top passes.
Sunday rolls around and we change our set up a bit. We qualify well and hope to control the pace of the race best we can by changing to the more inside lines of the locals. Race starts, we go Texas 1,2,3 though turns 1,2,3 Mark out motors me down the straight and I fall back to fourth by turn 4. No big deal, I go to the local line in 6 and get punted. This knocked the toe out of the car somehow (you say you got bumper I trust you). I catch back up when Chris and Mark get together in turn 1, letting Reynolds get away again (WTF doesn't anyone want to win this race besides Matt?) I get a run on you into 8, Bill was inside me and coming up hard and I tried to take it a bit deeper. I dont get the car shut down enough to turn tighter and run wide and push you off. COMPLETELY MY FAULT. Now I'm even further back but feel I can catch up because Mark and Chris are racing each other hard. Turn after turn the car won't do what I tell it to and I eventually understand it's not the extra fuel but the toe in the rear. Now I'm pissed my race for the podium is done and in my mind I was taken out, or at a minimum roughed up. Car got progressively worse and I faded.
It sure seemed to me there was some home cooking going on and I was not in the mood to hear, I'm sorry I punted you on lap 1.
But after watching the videos and cooling off I sincerly believe it was just a case of us not knowing how each other well enough to just say sorry I owe you one. Hope we get to race again. As Chris and I said on Saturday, you raced well and kept the car under control so that will be the impression I have of you and the one I should give others about you.
Charlie James, chris haldeman and CruzanTom like this