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I grew up attending races at Raceway Park in Blue Island,IL. and Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, IN. After 40 years sitting in the stands, my wife encouraged me to get on the track. She had no idea what she had gotten herself into. We strolled into the pits after opening night at Illiana and purchased a car. The following weekend we were racing. It didnt take long to find out that its not as easy as it looks from the stands.
The first season started off slow. We raced mainly at Grundy County Speedway in Morris, IL and Plymouth Speedway in Plymouth, IN. At Grundy we ran competitive, picking up a few top fives early on. Then in early June, things clicked one night. We got our first win. After that things just rolled. In 2006 we earned 9 feature wins from three different tracks. We got Rookie of the year at Plymouth Speedway along with second in points. At Grundy we had a total of five feature wins along with three heat race wins. We easily could have gotten ROTY there also but we missed five race nights due to prior commitments and got beat out by 4 points. We still managed to finish fith in the point standing at Grundy.
In 2007 we took a different approach. We built a new car based on a new division started by the CRA. It was the first year for the CRA FWD division and we wanted to try more tracks so we focused on that series. We loaded up and headed off to the high banks of Winchester Speedway. WOW, that place is intimidating at first sight. Our first race there was not as good as we had hoped. I finished sixth in the feature. After watching videos of the race, it was clear the problem was with me. I simply did not know how to drive the track. Our next trip down, I focused on learning the lines,and how hard I could push the car there. When the feature started, again, I started to fall back. I kept pushing it a little harder each lap. Soon I found myself fighting for the lead. That day was perhaps the most exciting day I have ever had behind the wheel. I came back and picked up my first win at Winchester. We went on to earn two more wins that year in the CRA series along with the season championship. We also picked up wins at Bearfield, New Paris Speedway, and Grundy while running a very limited non CRA races.
As the 2008 season approached, I was injured at work resulting in back surgury. It appeared as though I would not be racing in 2008. I even had a driver on stand by to take the wheel . After surgury, the doc said maybe I would be able to race if rehab went well. Thats all I needed to hear. I worked hard and made it through rehab with flying colors. In May I got my release from the doc and took the car to Baerfield Speedway that weekend for a CRA race. The guys were all great and welcomed me back whole heartedly. Too my surprise, we won that day. It felt great to be back in the car. Though we were no longer in any points races due to missing the first part of the season, we still raced a few select races in 08. We managed to pick up a couple of more wins and had a lot of fun.
2009 was a disappointment to say the least. The car got a fresh look, and fresh rebuild on the chassis and suspension. We took it out for a ffew test sessions and it was awesome. Our expectations for 09 were through the roof. The first race of the season at Winchester looked promising. I picked up a lot of time over prior runs there. We went out for the heat race and started fifth. Coming out of turn four while trying to pass for the lead, the transmission exploded. It only got better. I had one week to fix it before the next race. I got a hold of another trans and put it in, only to find out it was no good. The day before we were supposed to leave, I found another. I got it put in, got the car loaded and off we went. Because we arrived late, I had to start last in a 30 + car field. I had worked my way up to fourth and could see the leaders. with four laps to go, a lapped car chopped down across my nose, taking out the right front tire. Two races, two dnfs. A few weeks later we headed for Winchester for a 50 lap CRA race. All day long the car was good. We qualified a little off and ended up starting 10th. The car ran great that day. we climbed up to third. Myseld and the second place car had managed to run down the leader. With around 10 to go, it looked like we had a shot. A few laps later a light shined bright on my dash coming out of turn four. I looked down to see the temp guage pegged. That same lap the flag man was holdin up five fingers. I decided to go for it. Well I finished the race, however with two laps to go, she started to loose power. Just as I crossed the finish line, she blew completely. I ended up loosing a couple spots those last few laps and finished fifth. However, it was clear, any chance we had at running for another championship in the CRA was over.
For the remaining part of 2009 I helped other drivers in the pits and building their cars. I also was asked to race cars owned by someone else in Enduro races at Kalamazoo Speedway and Rockford Speedway. I had never run an Enduro before. Holy"insert explitive" 130 cars, 250 laps. Some how I managed to finish each enduro I raced. At Rockford, I ended up finishing 9th. I cant complain about that since I did have to pit twice due to cut tires.
For 2010, the plan is again to run the CRA series with the Saturn. We are also building a car that will be more competitive at the non-CRA races. After the fun we had with the enduro racing, I can guarantee we will find a way to get a few of those in in 2010.
Currently we are looking for sponsorship to help with the 2010 season. We have a full season planned if things fall into place. This can be a great partnership . PLease chek out our webshight for more information. www.canusaracing.com
CRA Series = Saturn
Local Short Tracks (non CRA)= Acura GSR
Enduros = Toyota Celica
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