Madd Maxx: Our Project Car Hits The Track After Life Changing Event

Our project car, Madd Maxx, was getting fine tuned for the track finally and our driver was getting enough experience where the car was getting around the track pretty quick.  Our crew  was looking at a stretch of three races on consecutive weekends.  Normally this is not unusual for dirt track racers but our driver was experiencing some anxiety pending the birth of his first child.  As luck would have it, the future dirt track racer decided to make her debut to the world on August 19th.  Keeping things in proper perspective, we cancelled our planned trip to the track on August 21st so that new daddy/driver could spend some quality time with his family.  Some things are just more important than racing.  We often forget that.

After a few days of interrupted sleep, our new daddy/driver decided that making the August 21st race would be a great get away from the wonderful world of fatherhood.  So the team prepped the car and loaded for a fun filled day at the track.

Baby Taylor reminded us that some things are more important than racing.

Your author had decided to maintain a safe distance from the new daddy/driver, being the only member of the onedirt dirt track team with child rearing experience, I decided to take the night off.  I mention that because the events represented in the following segment are based on hearsay and not actually observed in the first person.  Having clarified that point, this is the story as it was told by the people that were there.  None of the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Our new daddy/driver was feeling pretty good about the prospects of racing on Saturday.  After all, he was riding on an emotional high of bringing a new life into the world.  When you get on the peak of that kind of an emotional wave,  it’s hard to come back down to ground zero.

The crew started making the long tow up to Victorville Auto Raceway as our driver practiced his after race winner’s speech.

After unloading and going through tech inspection, the crew prepped Maxx for the heat race while the driver continued practicing his victory speech.  Finally, the call came for street stocks to line up for the heat race and our car lined up second row, inside.

Two crashes at the same time. Tim Foster on the outside and our crash at the bottom.

The heat race began with a slow start by the leaders which led to the cars going four wide into turns 3 and 4.  Tim Salch’s #76 ended up in front with our driver settling for third after one lap.

The track appeared to be slick which made catching the lead car tough.  After two laps, our street stock managed to get by the #83 of Kevin James.  Our driver was roping in Slach’s #76 when the laps ran out and the checkered flag waved.  Not a bad start to the day.

The street stock main event was a disaster.  Starting near the back of the field is never good because it increases the chances of getting collected in somebody’s wreck.  With a handful of laps completed, the #4 of Tim Foster and Salch’s car tangled on the outside line while the #16 of Ricky Lee tried to get under our project car.  Contact was made, slowing the momentum of the two cars when the #44 of Mike Miller bulldozed through the pile spinning the #29 while Ricky Lee was able to get his car back under control.  The spin dropped our car back to 12th place for the restart.

Our car and driver spinning into the infield.

In the next four laps, our driver worked his way back to 9th when the #55 of Malcom attempted a pass on the inside and slide into our #29, popping the left rear tire and spinning our project car in the infield.  Finishing 14th, our driver would have to wait for the next event to give his well rehearsed victory speech.

The damage assessment between races included two bent rear axles, a bent lower A-arm, bent tie rods, bent center link and a bent rim with a cut down tire.  Ahhh, such is racing.

Our crew went back to work in the next week, repairing the damage while the driver continued to work on his victory speech.  Because of the extensive damage repair, our crew did not have time to make too many changes to the car.  The only upgrade that was made between the races was adding Red Line Oil’s Heavy Shockproof Gear Oil to the differential.

Watch the video of the August 21st race here:

Red Line’s Shockproof gear oil is advertised as having film thickness greater than an SAE 75W250, yet low fluid friction like 75W90 and is designed specifically for heavily-loaded racing differentials and transmissions.  According to the folks at Red Line Synthetic Oil, the Heavy Shockproof Gear Oil is used in many performance racing applications like Sprint/Midget/Dirt Late Model Differentials, Detroit Lockers and spools, NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car rear ends.

We strictly use Red Line Products in all of our project cars so it only made sense to try the gear oil that many of the Dirt Late Model teams use.  Upon opening the bottle you can tell this is no regular gear oil.  The pepto-bismo pink color of the oil and the absence of the normal gear oil stench was clear indication that we were dealing with a beast of a different color.

Red Line Synthetic Oil's Shockproof Gear Oil.

When the September 5th race came, our car, crew and driver were ready.  On the haul up to the track, which is a two hour tow for us, our driver was practicing his latest version of the victory speech. The crew was thinking about the three day labor day weekend shot with the race scheduled on Sunday.

After going through tech the car was prepped for hot laps and heats.

The heat race started with our driver being a little concerned about the last race’s crash damage repairs and feeling out the car’s integrity early in the race.  With the car responding as it should, our driver started to push it a little more at the end of the 8 lap heat race.  During the intermission, the crew made a tire and air pressure change on the car for the track conditions.

We drew the second row outside starting position for the main event, sitting behind the very fast cars of Danny Queener and Tim Foster.  Both Queener and Foster jumped out to an early lead, but Foster went a little high in turn four, opening the door for our driver to pass for second place on the completion of the first lap.

Reeling in the #3 of Queener on the second lap, our driver pulled along side of the leader going into the first set of turns on lap three.  Coming out of turn two our driver was snake bit again when the right front tire rolled off of the bead.  Not realizing he had a tire down, our driver took the car into the next set of turns where the car pushed up and fish tailed toward the wall on the exit of turn four.

The crew changed the tire during the caution and managed to get the car back onto the track as the green flag waved.  Coming from the rear, our driver made his way back through the field, gaining five positions before overdriving the first set of turns and spinning out.  The spin put our car a lap down.

See the video of the main event here:

Finishing the event in 16th place, our driver still had a good feeling about the evening.  We chalked this race up to the “one that got away” because the car was hooked up.  If not for a tire coming off the bead, this race might have turned out dramatically different and our driver could have been giving his well rehearsed victory speech.

There is always next race.

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