Choosing to get back into the game after an absence of about three years, Linc Brown knew things were bound to have changed. The NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model field at Kawartha Speedway is one of the most competitive in the province, but the 46 year-old from Colborne, ON, vowed to do everything possible to keep pace. First on the agenda was putting together a marketing plan, then it was time to get his 2012 Dodge Charger ready for action.
“I was excited about the start of the 2012 season and the rainout June 1 was a double-edged sword. First, there was the disappointment that comes with not finally being back at the track. But, it also gave us some extra time to go over the car,” said Brown. “It always amazes me at how quickly the time seems to go by. Maybe its part of getting older, but it didn’t seem like 2 weeks had passed before we were rolling the car into the trailer and heading to the track.”
After the night’s practice sessions wrapped-up, it was finally time to strap-in for battle. Scheduled to start outside the front row in the show’s second qualifying heat, Brown wheeled the #99 Kawartha Metals/Rousseau Automobile Communications/The Wolf 101.5/Don Butt Auto Body/Mayhew Graphics/Clarke Motorsports Communications machine to a solid runner-up finish and advanced to the semi feature. That’s where his night took an unfortunate turn. Coming down the backstretch, the car mysteriously lost power and while sitting prone on the racetrack – with another 8 cars charging toward him – he was hit from behind.
“I stuck my hand out the window and tried waving my arm to warn the others, but there just wasn’t time. It all happened so fast, I didn’t even know who’d hit me until just a few minutes ago,” admitted Brown while relaxing after the 100-lap Late Model feature. “Both ends of the car slapped the concrete and the contact with the wall broke the panhard bar, but a broken shaft on the distributor is what started the ball rolling.”
Not just frustrated by having to watch the first main event of the year from the grandstands – instead of contending for the win – Linc Brown was forced to take a damaged racecar to Mark’s Work Wearhouse in Peterborough the next day for the Five Counties Charity Barbecue, presented by The Wolf 101.5. There is also a chance he may have to miss the second week of action at the Fraserville, ON, oval. The engine will need to be taken apart to check for any foreign matter that might be floating around inside and because of the hard hit, the team will be checking for damage to the right-rear hub and a possible bent axle tube. They’ll look for potential issues with the suspension parts and steering components and giving the piece a general once-over before making any decisions about heading to the track. Brown says he’d like to get some laps on the car before the Summer Sizzler on July 6.
“It’s certainly not the way I expected the season would start, but this sport is all about something called ‘racing luck’ and things could have just as easily worked the other way,” said Brown. “It’s not a long season, but the main point now is to stay positive. I’m sure the team has the experience and ability to bounce back from a tough start.”
From Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications