SEPTEMBER 27 - Calistoga,CA. I was excited the series was headed back to beautiful Calistoga. The series last raced there in 2012 where I had a strong eighth place finish. I always feel very confident that I can run up front at all the clay stock car state tracks on the series and was ready to have a great day. In the first practice session we had tried a few things a bit different to see if I liked them or not, ending up 12th in the first practice I was surprised because I felt horrible on the bike.
For Q1 we adjusted the bike back to our baseline set up. One lap into the session I knew we had the bike dialed, ending the session in third position. Going into the last qualifying session I was bound and determined to be the fastest guy at the track. It was a wicked feeling to walk over to the computer screens after the session to see my name atop everyone on the board! We were on the pole for Heat One!
I knew the track would change a bit from qualifying into the night program, but I felt I could adapt to the conditions as they would change. I got a decent jump in the heat and was hot on the leaders' heels but could not make my move to the point, finishing the race second which would put me directly into the dash for cash and main event. The dash for cash races are always intense: the fastest six guys, four laps, all out. I was right on pace in the dash, finishing a solid fourth place.
They'd watered the track prior to our main event and I knew the track would be much different. As we took off I had a decent jump but as the early laps unraveled I was having a hard time adapting to the track. I finally got it figured out around lap eight, but sixth place was what I was good for on the night.
OCTOBER 11 - Pomona CA. The finals in Pomona! The loose Pomona track is always fun to ride and I wanted to end the season off with a Top 10 finish. I've always had bad luck at the last round but before things went south I was always running inside the front ten. Qualifying went better than planned, landing me in the 11th spot! I struggled in my heat race ending up a disappointing seventh place, bound for a semi. We made a few changes to the bike before my semi and I was confident I would be able to comfortably make the transfer into the main event. Getting a good jump I ended up second in the super fun semi race.
It was going to be tough coming from the back row, but if I could put it all together I could finish in the top ten. I got a good start and made some nice moves to pick some guys off in the early laps, steadily passing guys throughout the 25 lapper. I ended up in the ninth spot! I had a blast, I definitely made the best of my last laps really hanging it out knowing they would be my last for a few months!!
From: Doug Lawrence Racing
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