Sunday, April 20, 2008

A weekend at the races

On the weekend of April 11th and 12th i had the opportunity to follow the 358 race team of Tim Wagaman II. Tim Wagaman Racing has ben racing 358's for the past 2 years at Trail Ways and Lincoln Speedway. The 2008 racing season has the team really excited for the possibility of their best season yet. The team is starting strong with 2 fully prepared cars with 2 race ready motors, which the team hopes will bring that first ever win for the team. And with a little luck, maybe even a points title at the end of the season.

Friday April 11th sees the team heading to Trail Ways Speedway for the season opener for the 358's. the team is excited about their chances of running good this year at TW and have already run 2 shows with the car, and they feel they are ready for the bullring that sits just outside of Mcsherrystown PA. I got to the shop at 4:45pm and found team members Justin Reese and Brent Lawrence there already with the car parked and strapped into the hauler. Justin was mixing up the spray that they use to coat the car to help keep the mud from sticking to the car. As Justin is mixing it, they joke that he has the mixture down pat, as he likes to use it the baby oil on the Chinese prostitutes that he loves so much. (the first thing you learn hanging out with the team is they have a wicked sense of humor, and love to have fun at the track.)

Tim shown up to the shop at at 5:05 and it's off to the track. It takes us about 20 minutes to get from the race shop to the track. They sign in and the night could not have started off any better for the team as Timmy pulls the number 2 pill, which should give him a front row starting spot for his heat, which should make their chances to make the feature invert that much better. The team is ready for that first win, especially now for the teams new car owner Timmy's new born son Timmy Wagaman III. As the rest of the crew shows up at the track, they start checking and rechecking the car to make sure everything is right with the car.

As the race grows closer everybody is keeping an eye on the clouds that are seen in the distance. The team starts to discuss how they should set up the car for the start of the night, as TW has added more banking to the back straightaways and the 3rd and 4th turn. At 6:35 there is the first sign of rain at the track. At 6:45 the officials call the drivers for the drivers meeting. At the end of the meeting the officials ask the teams to load up the cars for now and wait to see what the rain is going to do. No sooner does the team get back to the hauler the clouds let loose with a heavy down pour that gives TW no choice but cancel the races for the night. As the team loads the car into the hauler the feeling of dejection hits as they had a great starting spot in the heat wasted because of the rain. The team heads home at 7:00 hopping the the good luck they started with on friday night carries over to saturday night at Lincoln Speedway.

Saturday April 12th sees the team at Lincoln Speedway for the second 358 race of the season. The team shows up at the track at 3:20 and are signed in and in the pits by 3:35 pm. As the crew files into the track Tim Sr. shows up with supper and the team devours it. As they eat and talk with other teams making their way into the pits, Tim Sr. is hard at work mounting tire for the race night.

Timmy goes out for warm ups and when he gets back to the pits, tells the team that the car feels great. Timmy starts his heat race from the 5th starting spot. he makes his way up to 4th during the race but on lap 6 Tim and Kevin Nouse make contact coming out of turn 2. With the track surface making it a one grove track, passing is difficult. Kevin had a run on Timmy on the outside as they came out of turn 2, and Timmy pushed up the track and his left front made contact with the Kevin's right front causing Kevin to spin and then flip. When the racing resumes Timmy restarts 4th, but Chad Criswell got by him for 4th and Timmy settled for 5th, on spot out of a qualifying spot.

The team decides to change just about everything on the car for the consi. Timmy started 2nd and finished 2nd to Nate Berwager to make the feature.

The feature saw Timmy starting 19th . The car was feeling perfect at the start of the 20 lap race and Timmy was able to pass quite a few cars during the race. As the laps where winding down the car started to get tight on Tim but was still able to make a bold pass with 2 laps to go and get by 2 more cars at the end of the feature and finish in 9th place. The team was ecstatic with how the car and driver did in the race tonight, passing 10 cars in 20 laps on a one grove race track. It gave the team hope for what the rest of the season has in store.

After the race the team breaks open the cooler, and have a much deserved beer or 2. All in all a great weekend spent with friends and family (which is what this sport is truly about) and Tim Wagaman Racing is looking forward to a great season at the races. The team finally leaves the track at 1:30 am. They head home to get the car ready for another assault at the track next weekend.

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