I had totally forgotten that Will ran this track last year and thus, never took a look to glean info. I forecast that the north part of the track, from Toyota to Tecate would be hell in traffic, so I would try to stay out of it in the first half of the race. You can either battle to get out in front of traffic or hang back and hope for some clean air in the back. The latter is becoming my preferred method of racing, so from the back it is. Build
A 20 SS would give me the opportunity to build a strong car and LOTS of wear. I’ll need it to eventually pass cars.Bid
Not surprisingly, Rando also built a ‘from the back’ car so I threw in a skill chip to maybe get 5th row ahead of him and also save myself a start push. Turns out it was Doug with a 60 SS behind me and Rando sitting in front of me. Actually, that turned out perfectly. Rando would pull away with his slightly larger engine and Doug would pass me with his SS – I get the back all to myself.Lap 1
The mission is to spend as little wear as possible. As Rando points out above, 3 wear used and, more importantly, without great loss of pace on the field. Excellent! It takes commitment to do this as uncertainty fills your head, especially as cars get way ahead of you. By the time I was on East Seaside, the nearest car was SEVEN spaces ahead.
Regards the engine push on T2: That was a mistake. I had two sets of orders for the first few turns based on Row 5 and Row 6 starts. I plotted from the wrong column. Lap 2
Doug, Rando, and I were three-wide going into Toyota. Renaud would obviously be squatting the line, leaving room for only one of us as the track narrowed. With Doug’s lack of top-end speed, it would be Rando or I. As soon as I dropped the 180, I started to 2nd guess myself as I knew Rando would do the same. If Rando gets in there first, I would have to late brake by 40. I left the card down. Fortune smiled on me and not on Rando. His engine test failed, giving me the initiative. I passed both the engine and late brake tests, poised to defend my new-found position through the grinding part of the track.
A little bit of fortune getting through the corner onto Seaside (thanks for leaving room, Joe) allowed me to pass my benefactor (waving to Joe). I pulled off a late brake to save wear in Firestone, setting me up for a move. T25 was huge. I plotted 120, looking for the outside lane in Indy Left since I didn’t care about the line in Le Gasomet (the line wouldn’t be open and I had plenty of wear to blast through on the outside lane of the hairpin). Brent goes and puts himself in my way so after a late brake, I still find an opening on the inside lane of Indy Left. I'm in second place now and, with plenty of wear, I knew I could catch Russ for a possible race win!Lap 3
I was most worried about Stephen with one less wear than me. While I do have a bigger car, he is really good at this game and knows when to play for a win. Case in point – the forced pass on a spun Russ was impressive. I’m wondering, Stephen, if you could have cleared Tecate and been onto Seaside in the subsequent two turns? I can’t recall your wear position so I’m not sure. Anyway, you pulled up and I bulled my way past you. I didn’t really work out your potential if you’d pulled off that 160 + slip on Seaside but perhaps you could shed light on that as well. Regardless, the failed roll by Stephen put it out of reach and I was home free.
– A decent chance you would have won but for that spin in T2 in the first lap. Nice racing thereafter.Doug
– You ran a quiet race right up until the last complex of turns at the end. Boom! You take a podium spot – beautiful.Russ
– I have no idea how you came in 4th place on bald tires for the entire last lap. Just, wow.Rando
– You might very well have been in my position if you had made the engine test at the start of lap 2. Nice job holding back to gain a few positions at the end.Newcomers Joe & Brent
– Welcome to the shark tank that is Thursday Night Lights racing! I enjoyed racing with you and look forward to seeing you again in a month.Renaud
– A rough ride and you’re a better player than your finish indicates. And you have 55 inches of racing glory to play on. Kevin
– What can I say? It’s near impossible to run this track on 20 brakes. Better luck in Detroit!Final note:
I believe there is a correlation between my finish and how much I write in these EOG's.