There is nothing so good that it couldn’t be better. Few things are so bad that they couldn’t be worse. It’s how you handle the different levels of success or adversity that determine your strength. Coming back to Kawartha Speedway’s headline NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model division for the first time since 2008 has put a lot on Linc Brown’s plate.
The pressure of getting his 2012 Dodge Charger ready for action at Ontario’s premiere motorsports facility is taking time and effort behind the scenes and in the race shop. That’s in addition to a full-time job and responsibilities as a husband and father. No one could blame the 46 year-old racer from Colborne, ON, for being a little distracted. Before starting each season, the 3/8th mile oval at Fraserville, ON, hosts an evaluation session to allow drivers a chance to check the performance of their equipment before the drop of the year’s first green flag. Call it a ‘test’ or a ‘practice’, the concept is the same. Find out how the car performs under varying track conditions and learn what needs to be done to make things better. While he was looking forward to the opportunity to get on the track, Brown and his team were thrown a curve before even turning a lap.
“We were just a couple of blocks away from the shop, when the trailer developed a flat tire,” said Brown. “That allowed us to ‘practice’ our pit stop skills and ‘test’ our tire changing abilities. Getting the trailer off the ground with the racecar, pit cart and all our supplies inside is no easy task, but luckily we were able to call a friend who pitched-in to assist and we were back on the road without having to unload everything.”
Even with their arrival at the track delayed, Brown and the team were able to put the #99 Kawartha Metals/The Wolf 101.5/Don Butt Auto Body/Mayhew Graphics/Clarke Motorsports Communications machine through its paces to work toward achieving a baseline set-up prior to the June 1st season opener. That’s where another issue – this time with the racecar – cropped-up.
“For some reason, the car was hitting the rev limiter way too early,” said Brown. “We tried to increase the range, but it didn’t make much difference. Then during the last couple of sessions, I found the car was extremely loose. My crew chief Ed saw it was sitting very low in the right-rear corner and high on the left-front, which is exactly the opposite to what you want. The right-rear coil-over sleeve had slid-up to the top of the shock. Luckily, we encountered both problems during the test and not on opening night.”
Brown says he was also hoping to put a fresh set of Goodyear rubber on the car, but the practice wrapped-up before he had the chance. It’s a change that will have to wait until the first round of hot laps before the season opener Friday, June 1.
From Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications