FRASERVILLE, ON – At the start of the 2012 season, Linc Brown had some unwritten goals for his return to Kawartha Speedway’s NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model division. The first piece of the puzzle came together
when Kawartha Metals signed-on as the team’s primary sponsor.
From there, attention focused on making the car a contender in the Fraserville oval’s highly competitive headline division. An 8th place run in the Summer Sizzler saw the 47 year old from Colborne, Ontario finish the night with a battered and bruised racer, but also close to climbing to the next rung on the ladder.
From the season’s first green flag, Brown knew he’d likely be in for an uphill struggle to bring the team back to the level of performance that saw him record back-to-back top 10 point finishes in 2007 and 2008, but overcoming obstacles is one of the characteristics that separates a driver from a racer. His first event win – albeit in a consolation round – gave the team a boost and was followed 2 weeks later by a heat race victory and solid run in the August 17th 100 lap feature race. A qualifying event and semi feature win, followed by a third place ‘A’ main effort Friday, August 24th saw Linc Brown elated with his ride’s performance.
“I don’t know who was driving tonight, but they did a heck of a job,” joked Brown as he climbed from his #99 Kawartha Metals/Rousseau Automobile Communications/The Wolf 101.5/Don Butt Auto Body/ Mayhew Graphics/Clarke Motorsports Communications Dodge Charger by McColl Racing Enterprises. “We’re still not all the way back, but this is about as close as we can get without heading to victory lane after a feature race. There is just one show left on the schedule and we have nearly 2 weeks to make sure everything is ready.”
Linc Brown’s night wasn’t incident free. Late in the practice sessions, the team detected a braking issue that was eventually traced back to a worn pad on the left-hand side that would cause the right front calliper to grab and almost de-wedge the car, while the left front wheel continued to turn. The driver was able to compensate for the issue by using the on-board bias adjuster to put some extra rear brake in the car and back out of the throttle a little earlier when entering the corners.
“I was almost floating the car into the corners,” said Brown while doing the post-race debriefing session with his crew. “It wasn’t a huge problem, but it wasn’t going to go away and during the feature, it was almost a blessing instead of a curse. The leaders were having quite a fierce battle just in front on me and if anything happened, I wanted to be in a good spot to be able to capitalize, but didn’t want to get too close and be part of someone else’s mess. Luckily for everyone, there was no problem and the fans got to see an amazing race. I have to congratulate Ryan Kimball on his first win.”
With his heat and semi feature race wins added into the mix, Linc Brown’s 3rd place showing in the main event – on a night where Late Model teams earned double track points – leaves him 8th in the NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model standings. Only the Friday, September 7th show remains on Kawartha Speedway’s 2012 schedule.
By Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications