Tuesday, August 26, 2008

August 22-24 Kent Washington

During Fridays practice sessions Andrew’s crew just couldn’t give him the car he needed to get around the track until the final session of the day. In the final session the Napa sponsored, MCR powered Birel car jumped to P3. Finally the crew had given Andrew a car he could drive.
On Saturday during the qualifying run Andrew’s brakes failed taking him from a possible pole position to P7. It was a great disappointment, but Andrew knew that he could drive to the front despite this finish.
There were three heat races, but starting on the third row of each heat was a challenge. In the first heat race Andrew worked his way up to fifth, after giving up two positions in turn one to avoid a crash and a possible DNF. In the second heat the 02 car spun in turn one collecting the 01 car and Andrew. Andrew kept the engine running and drove from 11th to 7th to gather more points towards the mains. The third main was almost without incident and Andrew finished a respectable fourth.
Andrew had gathered enough points in the three heat races to start the mains on Sunday in P4. Being on the outside row in cadet racing generally guarantees the loss of several positions after turn 1, but in the first main Andrew drove the car in deep and only lost one position to come out of turn 2 in fifth.
In the next 12 laps Andrew worked his way up to the lead.
While leading the race with two laps to go the 74 car drove around Andrew on the front straight and took the lead. Andrew took a defensive line as he had to beat the third place car (Trent Hindman) to close his points chase for the championship. This allowed the 74 to get away and win the race, but it was more important to close the point’s gap as the 74 was not in the race for the championship.
Fifteen minutes before the start of the second main, the skies opened up and it started to rain heavily. At the green flag, Andrew drove it in deep again and managed to stay in 4th position coming out of turn 2. With the
rain coming down Andrew took ten laps to get up to second position by which time the leader Trent Hindman driving the #64 car had pulled out by a second and a half. Despite gaining on Hindman in the closing laps, Hindman had gained too much of a lead for Andrew to catch him.
Andrew has put the Napa sponsored, MCR powered Birel on podium every race he has finished in, at the Stars of Karting, this year.
With just two races left in the season, Andrew is only 30 points behind Trent Hindman for the National Championship.