“It’s not pretty. There isn’t a corner on the car that didn’t sustain some sort of damage, but it still rolls and we finished what we started,” said Brown, while talking with family members and supporters. “It’ll mean some more time in the shop, but we have another off-week before the next show – Friday, July 20th – so we shouldn’t be too rushed to get everything ready.”
After scoring a 5th place finish in his qualifying heat, Linc Brown rolled to the line in 9th place to kick-off the first 50-lap segment of the big money event. The car performed well on the high side during the early stages, but it was tough to get through traffic and gain position on the track. After running alongside another car three times, he was finally able to make a clean pass but contact hooked the car, damaging the back bumper and caused the right-rear quarter-panel to act like a parachute. Brown says that made the car tight and difficult to turn.
“I think the same guy got into me a couple of times, but there wasn’t much either of us could do about it,” said the driver. “We were all trying to get ahead of the next car in line. I could’ve wrecked him, but that’s not how I race. I was disappointed that we didn’t finish higher than 10th in that first segment, but not discouraged. There was still time to make changes to the car and 100 laps remaining on the agenda.”
By luck of the inversion, Brown’s #99 Kawartha Metals/Rousseau Automobile Communications/The Wolf 101.5/Don Butt Auto Body/Mayhew Graphics/Clarke Motorsports Communications Dodge Charger started the second Summer Sizzler stage from 8th spot. Within a couple of circuits, he was running strong enough to take a shot at the lead but got into the corner too hard and checking-up let another car slip by. Brown made a couple of restarts on the outside of the front row, but the car lost power that was the result of a blocked fuel cell vent tube after the back bumper hit. That dropped him back to 9th – one spot behind where he had started – as the checkered flag fell.
As the final 50-lapper came to the line, Brown fired from the 6th starting position and again had a top five car. Contact in the second turn put the #99 into the infield wall. Following a quick visit to the pits, the crew sent the car back to action minus the nose and rad duct to turn some decent laps before pitting again at the next yellow. After running half a lap behind the leaders, he was able catch the pack on the final caution and make-up some more spots. From there, Brown settled into a pace that allowed him to turn some steady laps and even though his battered ride was running well, a 7th place finish was all he could muster.
“Despite the issues we experienced, I was okay with the way things went over the 150 lap distance,” said Brown. “Finishing 10th, 9th and 7th gave the team an overall run of 8th. With no hood or nose for downforce, it was a good effort. I started the night 14th in points, but finished ahead of several drivers who were higher than me in the standings. That makes us 11th overall...and that’s after only running 2 of this year’s 3 main events. No matter what happens, you need to keep looking at the big picture.”
From Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications