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To Da Front with Mitch - 4/17/17

We made our return to the Mini Stock season at Thompson Speedway's annual Icebreaker.  We literally took the car out of the backyard since it didn't sell, changed the oil, a few other odds and ends, and shipped it out on the track.  

With fresh tires all around and a winter of uncertainty underneath it (lets not forget how it wouldn't start at the World Series), we took first practice very carefully.  We turned very slow times, but that wasn't all that was up our sleeves.  Also affecting round 1, there was a slight vibration caused by a bad motor mount.  Come round 2 we picked up a bunch more time, nearly a second, with room for improvement as well.  Like we've come to learn and accept with this new car, there's no good gear ratios for our engine/tranny combination that work almost anywhere.  We had to shift gears every lap, every corner, all the time.  Good thing it's only 15 laps!  Doing so made our corner entry unsteady, but our drive out VERY powerful.  

As we were getting more acclimated to the car and what it wanted on the long blistering cold Saturday, we had renewed excitement for the little Saturn.  However, after starting nearly last in the heat, and having a decent run for a couple laps, tragedy struck as we lost our right rear wheel hub (pictured).  This is a failure common to Saturns and Cavaliers, and cannot be prevented and caught beforehand.  The car slid out of turn 4 with no control over the brakes (as the brake drum was bouncing down the track attached to my tire) to a stop just at the grass line on the front straight.

The car was then hooked into the pits, and repairs were immediately underway.  Mitch worked at removing the broken parts, while Terry handled the cosmetics, until Interim Crew Chief Christine got done ordering a new replacement part on the spot, and also began work on the cosmetics.  By the time we left Saturday, the car was on all fours, race ready.




Sunday was the day, and after running around all morning trying to resolve bent wheel issues from the incident (shoutout to Christine also for taking the car out to the fan appreciation party then subsequently driving it back into the pits afterwards), and then installing the new part, we were ready to race.

The car went really well for our expectations, we had a decent run, had to check up a few times.  Pitted once for a little bit of overheating (just to remove tape), and worked our way to a solid run getting more comfortable each lap.  We had some good side by side racing with the 31 and the 97CT, and was knocking on the door of the 19 to the finish.  We hope to keep this momentum up as our plan is to run a full Thompson Season in 2017, but as we've learned with this car, anything is possible.

Reminder that she's still for sale, the whole operation, car, parts, and all, go with it.

Until May 21st, stay safe my friends.

On Board at Thompson:

**Andover Used Auto Parts, Biggins’ Auto Repair, So Sorry, Lucky Strike Lanes, Thirty Marketing**

Mitch Bombard, driver of the #10CT Enduro, NEMST Car, Mini Stock,  is the writer of the weekly recaps, and expresses the views of his own from his viewpoint behind the wheel, and after watching video (if available).

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