The short track double kicked-off in Thunder Valley.

Hello again race fans, and welcome to this week’s edition of Burnin’ Rubber & Cash!  It has been a long two weeks for our race team as we battled with Bristol and Richmond in consecutive weeks, but I’m pleased to say we survived and made some money in the process!

You might recall that we ended our last edition with a dominating win at Texas.  I’m pleased to report that, while we didn’t exactly continue that high level of success, we did have a great finish at the World’s Fastest Half-mile as well as under the lights at Richmond.  We started out our race week by being introduced to the crowd at Bristol to AC-DC’s “Highway to Hell.”  I felt it was appropriate seeing as how we have a new sponsor for the next couple weeks.  Marvel Comics beat DC’s bid and offered us a two month deal to promote their new releases this summer.  First, we’ll be running an Avengers Age of Ultron scheme, then we will move on to Ant-Man and Fantastic 4.  It’s going to be a great summer!

The team and I had a meeting before the race at Bristol to decide on our strategy  We weren’t hitting on anything special in practice as we had last year, where we blew the field away by over two laps.  So, since we weren’t going to outrun anyone without a lot of luck, we decided to go for a car that was stable in traffic and able to run pretty quickly in both the high and low groove.  This worked out great since the race ended-up being filled with cautions . . . nine to be exact.  We started out P15 with a qualifying time of 16.596s.  The pole was taken by Jonathan Smith8 with a 16.420, and P2 went to Colton Davis with a 16.493.

Not the best way to break-in a new sponsor . . .

As I’ve said, the race was a wreck-fest.  We started out on the very first lap with #6 Uwe Kwerton self spinning off of Turn 2, and ended with our front-end buried in the side of Ryan Hedrick’s #15 Chevy.  But it was a good race overall.  We spent most of our time inside the to top 10, and even got up to third for awhile.  The car just wasn’t fast enough to hang with the really fast guys though, and after the last crash with five to go, we were lucky not to end-up in the pits with a meatball flag for repairs.  In the end, we finished in eighth place and went home with a solid paycheck and a car without any real damage.

Ouch! Nor the ideal way to finish a race.

We replaced the front clip and got the car all spiffed-up for Richmond the next week.  Again, we didn’t hit on anything really special in practice.  The car rolled nicely through the centers and had good power out of the turns, but if you didn’t watch it the car would take off down to the inside wall without warning.

Daniel Smallwood started on pole and finished in Victory Lane at Richmond.

We qualified P16 . . . again not the best place to start.  I’m always nervous being mid-pack.  Daniel Smallwood took the pole here with a time of 20.75s, followed closely by Aaron Budka at 20.810s.  We came in at 21.428s, so I knew we had little chance of hanging with the leaders again, this week, but danged if we weren’t going to try!

13 cautions for 63 laps at Richmond pretty much qualifies as a wreckfest.

Richmond was a another wreckfest: A total of 13 cautions for 63 laps!  That’s over a quarter of the race spent going under 60 mph!  After all the beating and banging at Bristol though, it was nice to ride around in relative comfort and keep my nose clean.  I finished the race under caution in P3, my third top five of the season!  Also, looking at the stats, I’ve finished in the top 10 in my last six races straight.  If I keep this up, I should have my five million dollar loan paid off in no time!  Maybe then the crew will stop bothering me about buying a new hauler.  The one we have now smells like a family of Ewoks are reproducing in the ventilation system.

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