The 50-lap race started and, after a few laps of settling in, Willy began his march up through the field. Every lap was faster than the last as he ran down each car ahead. A few passes were made over the course of two or three laps with side-by-side action. I have to say, the car was a rocket ship those last 10 laps as he pushed hard. We were challenging for fifth when the checkered flag fell and ended up sixth.
The lack of sufficient stagger caused the car to be a little tight off, but we had great speed through the middle and the car turned well due to the proper front-end geometry we had designed. It all worked out as planned. Our first trip to these racetracks was a huge success if you look at the fact that this was a brand-new car and the drivers were not regular competitors at these racetracks, although both could, and did, drive the wheels off the car.
We want to thank Dalton Zehr Racing, with Dalton, Marty, Sonya, Mary Ann, Kenny Hellyer, and Mark Jones, for all of their help in making this happen. We couldn't have done this without their help and dedication.
We also need to say thanks to Evernham Motorsports with Willy, Willie (his dad), mom Barb, along with crew chief Sebastian "Ski" Skierski, Pete Daus, and Jacob Davis, who crewed the car and helped us set it up. They are a very good group to work with and we all had so much fun. Thanks to all of you for helping to make this happen. And thanks, too, to one of our very own, Jeff Huneycutt, for coming to the track to take photos.
Now that we have completed our mission and raced this car, we feel it only fitting that we turn over the "title" to Zehr Racing in recognition of all of their investment in time and money to get this car completed and to the racetrack. We will follow them as they continue to race the car and compete at different tracks around the southeastern United States.
If you have any questions about the car or how we set it up, write to us either by e-mail or USPS and we will be glad to answer. Read past and future issues of CT to learn the technology we used to prepare our own car. What we did was no different from what we have preached over the past four years in the pages of Circle Track. Good luck, and we hope to see you at the track sometime soon.
Willy gets ready to practice...
Willy gets ready to practice for the very first time at Tri-County Motor Speedway. His suit colors match our car perfectly. This talented 17-year-old gets needed encouragement from his dad, Willie, as well as his uncle Ray (you know who).
Willy passes one of the cars...
Willy passes one of the cars coming off of Turn 4 at Hickory. Although our car was tight off due to insufficient stagger in the rear with the tires we had to run, we could turn against it and complete the pass off the turns. Most of our passing was accomplished with fast entry and midturn speeds that got the job done very well.
Here is our combined race...
Here is our combined race crew. From the left is Sebastian "Ski" Skierski, Willie (Sr.), Willy, myself, Dalton, and Marty Zehr. This team really came together to provide us with a great first experience. This car will end up in the winner's circle very soon.