FRASERVILLE, ON – Short track racers are bound to have their ups and downs, but nothing beats a good night at the speedway to boost a driver’s self-confidence.
Coming back to action in Kawartha Speedway’s headline NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model division for the first time since 2008, Linc Brown knew there would be some things that had changed about the sport. It didn’t take more than a few laps to bring the 47 year-old up to speed. What remained to be seen was how he’d perform on a regular basis against some of the best runners in the business.
“On any given night, Kawartha has close to 15 drivers who could steer their way into victory lane,” said Brown. “Experience and the access to some top-notch equipment have allowed a number of teams to move their program to the next level. One minor hiccup can turn a solid effort into some long hours in the shop, searching for more speed.”
Having the scheduled Friday, August 10th event rained-out gave teams an extra week to get their equipment ready for the next night of action. Linc Brown and his crew used the extra week to their advantage and it didn’t take long to see that the added time had paid off. Before the pre-race practice sessions, the group made a gear change on the #99 Kawartha Metals/Rousseau Automobile Communications/The Wolf 101.5/Don Butt Auto Body/Mayhew Graphics/Clarke Motorsports Communications Dodge Charger and from their first laps of the night, Brown says he noticed a difference in the car’s performance.
“We traditionally run the practice sessions on old tires, but the car still felt fast,” said the driver. “It was still very early in the night, but a great way to start things off. I came back into the pit area and we didn’t have to scramble looking for things to change on the car. That was a great feeling and certainly took a lot of pressure off the team.”
Equipped with a fresh set of tires, Brown took to the track for the night’s first qualifying heat. He’d selected the inside front row starting spot and winning the preliminary round would give him a front row starting spot for the 100 lap main event. The car still performed well and Team 99 picked-up their first qualifying event win of the season. Wanting to save the new tires for the feature run, the team went back to the scuffed rubber and scored a mid-pack run in the semi feature. Back at the hauler, they switched their focus on getting the car ready for the 100 lap main event.
From his pole starting position and going into the ‘A’ main 10th in points, Brown lined-up with most of the field’s heavy hitters in his rear view mirror. This would be the true test of his equipment and when the car broke into an early lead, the driver and crew could feel their confidence build. The pack ran 25 laps before the first caution flag
and although he was challenged, Brown didn’t relinquish the top spot.
“I looked to my right before we restarted after the yellow and saw the #71,” said Brown. “Even with my car was running as well as it had been, holding off the point leader was going to be a challenge. I decided not to think too much about what ‘could’ happen and just deal with what ‘would’ happen. Just before the green flag I cleaned the tires, got a last bit of encouragement from the crew over the radio and set off to run the rest of the race the way I’d run the first 25 laps.”
While he initially maintained the lead, Brown surrendered the top spot a few laps after the restart. From there, he used slower traffic to perfection and held onto second place until the car lost power about 10 laps from the finish. A frustrating end to a great race, but Brown looked at the entire show as a sign of things to come.
“I was definitely pleased with the way things came together,” said Brown after the event. “A number of drivers and even some fans came around to visit after the race and said it was just like turning the clock back to 2008. That makes me feel great about what we’ve been able to do. We’ll find the problem that knocked us out and be back next week.”
Fans can meet Linc Brown and see the #99 NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model during Wolfstock 2012 – Saturday, August 25th. See www.thewolf.ca for all the details.
Prepared by Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications