Weekend Updates - 2017
WHAT AN END TO OUR SEASON!!!!!! First, we had cone races on Friday night. On the way there, I told mom I needed a win for my Senior Animal. After all, the Fast Time and Track Record at Jay Butler were awesome, but a win in BOTH cars would be over the top!! Guess what? I DID IT!! I won!!!! That was after Cookie WON, TOO!!!! We were so excited to be going in to Turkey Derby with TWO WINS!!
My poor Animal, though, did NOT have the type of Saturday that it had Friday night... as a matter of fact, I DNF'ed it both heat races - upside down both times. In the first heat, my shock broke and I rode the wall. People offered to help get me back out, but we decided it was better to get it ready for the next heat. For that one, I got wrecked three times, the last I landed on my lid - so to the rear I went for the A Main. I worked my way up through the field for that race and ended up on the podium with a third - not bad for how the weekend had been going.
In Senior Honda, I was ON FIRE!! Started both heats mid-pack (due to the # I drew in pill picks) and I made my way to the lead in both - and held it!!! It was so much fun racing with Jackson side-by-side for laps on end. I am thankful to my team for giving me a car that handled on the outside groove in the turns like it did. In the A main I started first thanks to winning the two heats and my passing points. I got shuffled back but came up to second. With just a few laps to go there was a caution and I was hoping for the chance to catch Jackson, but there were two lapped cars between us. The first car I got by easily, but the second car raced me hard as if he was working for position, by the time I got passed him, I didn't have time to catch Jackson though and ended up second - still our best Turkey Derby ever - two podium finishes for me (most of the past years I have ended up wrecked).
Still not the best part of it all!!!! COOKIE WON TURKEY DERBY!!!! She got second in her first heat and won her second heat - with those finishes and her passing points, she started first in the A main and never looked back!! OUR FIRST TEAM TURKEY DERBY FLAG!!! Oh we were so, so very excited!!
Dad raced in his own Turkey Derby Thanksgiving weekend - he came home with two 11th place finishes and had a great time racing!! He's looking forward to next season, too (and my brothers are still hoping to find a ride in a 4 cylinder as well).
Until next season - well, actually, until we start asking you to vote for Shanon "Cookie" Schwarz for #TeamChampion -
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Travis' friend Krysten captured Cookie with her Turkey Derby win flag!! We love this!!!!!!
Regular season ended two weeks ago.
I finished 4th in both my A mains and didn't really have a great day. I did try and we worked on the cars, but it wasn't our best day. Cookie finished 2nd in her heat and her A main - she looked pretty good for most of the day but, at the end of the A main, she quit running her line. We have a lot of video watching to do between then and Turkey Derby.
Shanon doesn't have points because GSQMRC doesn't do that for our novices. I, however, did. I guess it wasn't too bad a finish for my first full year as a Senior - 4th in Animal (behind third by 30 points) and 5th in Honda (behind third by 31 points). I wish I had made the podium....but now we aim for that next season.
Speaking of next season, we got GREAT NEWS last month and can finally share it today!!!
I am SO EXCITED to be a part of Champion Parts and #TeamChampion for another year.
Speaking of the "Search for a Champion" - stay tuned here for more announcements.
I'll be back to report on Turkey Derby and our fun Cone Race next week!
Did I say 'What a weekend!' last week? I should have saved that...
THANKS TO MTBOYD PHOTOGRAPHY
What a great job catching the late lap pass for the win!! Mom says she can't wait to order something she just doesn't know what yet!!
JAY BUTLER WEEKEND
(and some updates from August)
WHAT A WEEKEND!!!! Considering I was 9-10 days post surgery and only on day 2 and 3 of 'real' food:
Cookie raced Friday night and I opted to sit and rest. Cookie ran second in both her heat and feature and was running much better than the last time out.
We stayed at the track; got a decent night's sleep for me and Cookie (while the architect major - my big brother and crew chief Travis - went over every little detail on all three cars, scaled them, and all the other things a good crew chief does, until going on 2 in the morning).
Cookie qualified second and was only 2 hundredths off of the fast time for Novice Blue Plate. She would start first and finish first in her heat; but started last in the A main and came in second. She was happy - and, truly, that is all that matters.
Then I went out to qualify my Animal - I was out first and ran one helluva lap! We went clear through to the last driver before someone ran times that appeared 'better' as the laps went on (we do 8 laps; at our track, we count all - then, suddenly, the last lap for that driver was over and he was 0.006 SLOWER!!! Not only did I get Fast Time, I set the TRACK RECORD!!!! 11 years of racing, we've never even SNIFFED a fast time in anything other than novice divisions!!!!! It was AMAZING!!! That put me starting last in my heat. I ran between 2nd and 4th but ended up 4th. That put me starting 3rd in the A main (lowest number of points started first and so on). Right behind the kid whose qualifying time was second fastest. This race would also be a back and forth race and, with three to go, I was in third place - on the restart, the only lapped car was between him and second - the race director, the head race director, and my crew chief all PLEADED with them to pull their driver in and then send him back out (this would have put him to the tail end of the field - he had no chance to win and could not advance his position from where he was)...they refused. It is what it is and it is only a courtesy and not required. So, I started in 4th position, but was in third. The fourth place car hooked me coming out of 4 at the throwing of the green, allowing 5th place to pass us both. Now, on another day, I might have let the car that hooked me go - NOT TODAY! I kept it to the floor and straightened out and went after the car that passed me, staying in front of the one that hooked me. I just couldn't get to that car but....the podium finish was in my stars because the leader spun all by himself coming to the checkers! I avoided him and came across third (I WAS catching the car in front of me, but three laps on a 1/20th mile track goes by in just about 21 seconds....) So Podium FINISH!!! The kids that beat me are 11 - so just one year older - and 14...not too bad.
For the Honda - I was out second to last and grabbed the fast time on my last lap!!! Then the last qualifier came out, and, it was looking good for grabbing two fast times and two track records, but on that last lap he grabbed it away by 2 hundredths of a second. So second fastest, which put me second from last AND on the outside line for the heat. I think I did a great job in 20 laps and finish 2nd. The qualifier behind me finished 1st, so, while we tied in points, that put ME to the pole for the A main because of timing. I grabbed the lead right from the green, but an accident behind me bunched the field again - now a single file restart. I kept the lead for about 6-8 laps and then second and third lined up to pass me...the three of us ran several laps going back and forth - good tight, side by side and bumper to bumper, no hitting or smashing each other. Eventually, I ended up third with all of that and, with a race that went green the rest of the way, I ended up staying in third - though gaining on second as the laps wound down. Overall, two third places and a good points weekend!!
One other exciting thing also happened. All the drivers got to do laps on the inner oval at Big Wall Stadium Speedway on Saturday night - just moments after finding out about Ted Christopher's loss in a plane crash that afternoon. We ran some 'at speed' laps (though Cookie and I had orders to take it easy since we don't have the resources for new engines) and then we lined up to carry the flags for the National Anthem and to do parade laps during it. I was not originally selected to carry one - but our tech director called me over and I got to have one! Iwas SO PROUD of this - I was the youngest one to get to do this that night.
So, you can see - it was a great weekend! That win IS COMING!!
Mom here: Late July into August was quite busy for us - we raced every weekend; we visited family in PA; we worked Harvest Home at our church (including displaying our race cars); we went to Charlotte, NC (where we met Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Kasey Kahne); we went to Charlotte; we dealt with doctors for Lil Red's tonsil and we prepared for surgery. I, as mom, did a horrible job of keeping you all updated on our racing exploits. I promise to not get us behind again, and will give you a little recap of those racing weekends in this paragraph. Here goes:
July 30th - Senior Animal - SECOND!! Senior Honda - fast, fast, fast - then wrecked, wrecked, wrecked - wrecked so badly (while sitting on the track, he was hit by a car that never slowed for the yellow from half a lap back) that we pulled him out of the race and it ended up being a DQ because the rear bumper was bent so far that the tail pipe was exposed). Cookie Marie came in FIRST for the first time in Novice Blue plate (she moved to a different restrictor plate) - Travis finally got to give her the flag!!
August 4th - Friday Night Lights - well, the heats and the first A main in the Animal were just terrible. But I reminded him he had one more race and to keep his head. Started 9th and moved forward, after one of the cautions he made a three wide pass and stuck it; at the last caution, he started third and ended up third. Pretty decent night in the end. This was ALL in the car that was wrecked so bad the Sunday before that we had to take it to Storm Chassis for repairs and Dad and Travis thrashed until very late Thursday to get it up and running for Friday. Special thanks to Curtis Pepe and his workers at Storm for getting it back together for us!!
August 11th - Well, this was an interesting one. He was up to third in his Honda race with a caution at 3 laps to go. He went on the green and was passing second when they wrecked. While video shows differently (and the handlers in the pits felt differently), the judges made the call on Lil Red and sent him to the back of the 10 car field. With just three laps left, he was a man on a mission - brought his car back in 5th. We were proud of him because he kept his head in the race even as upset as he was.
August 20th - This day was disappointing enough that the only thing I can tell you (by looking at our reports to Champion) is that he came home with two 5th places.
August 25th - Friday Night Lights again - Our drivers did some studying and had some pep talks during the week. 20 laps into the Animal A main he made a beautiful pass to take first, but then slid too high and was freight trained, managing to come back to finish 4th. In Honda, on the opening lap, he made one heckuva a power move from his 4th place, outside starting position to take over third - unfortunately, it was taken back due to a wreck behind him before the lap was finished. He restarted 4th and stayed there.
Cookie had pretty good weeks in there, too - she finished second twice and garnered another A main win during those last 3 weekends - giving her 6 A main wins on the year!!
PHOTO BY JOHN JOHN LANE FROM BIG WALL STADIUM SPEEDWAY!!!
Why, you ask? BECAUSE I WON MY FIRST SENIOR DIVISION A MAIN ON SUNDAY!!
Yes, you read that correctly - I WON!!! I made a last lap pass to win the 30 lapper on September 24th, 2017!!! My FIRST A MAIN WIN STICKER FROM GSQMRC (even though I won a few A mains in novice, they didn't give me the stickers)!!! I was so excited; even more because, at intermission, I thought about asking mom, dad and Travis about not racing in the A mains because I wasn't feeling very well. Boy am I glad I didn't!!!
I also ended up 5th in my Animal A main. The car didn't 'feel' very good - we had a shock break in the heat and, thanks to the Morrisons, we were able to go out in the A main but didn't get to rescale or anything.
Cookie had a good day, too. They took her restrictor plate out and she actually led a lot of her race - then her chain came off and, even though she got back out on the track, she just couldn't get past the other car - but she was RIGHT THERE!!
This coming week is another regular points race.
On a final note, Dad wasn't scheduled to race last Saturday night, but he did. He finished 12th in his feature out of 20 cars - not too shabby. Unfortunately, his teammate Nicole got wrecked on lap one and was out with radiator problems. They will both be back at it on Saturday night for double points - and the end of the season champions will be decided there.
I made Champion Parts #WeekendRewind, too! SO PROUD to be a teammate to these great #TeamChampion racers!!
I was also mentioned in last week's #WeekendRewind for my two podium finishes at Jay Butler.
It's time to catch up
Mom has been behind here
Today I will catch you up on
regular season, Grands and our plans!!
Awesome photo from Maddie Boyd (mtboydphotography) before Cookie's A main
Hitting your 'funny bone' is NOT funny!!
If you look closely, you can see the smoke coming out the right rear - yes, those other cars are stopped - I had no brakes and a stuck throttle....it wasn't stopping!!
May 21, 2017
A New Chassis
Feeling a little better this week so I ran both cars this past Sunday. I drew the pole for Senior Animal, and last for Senior Honda. I pulled out to the lead for the first three laps in the Animal, and then got nudged out of the groove and freight trained. As I was pulling back up to the four cars that passed me, I suddenly felt something odd in the right rear and managed to get stopped in turn 1 - with my right rear shock in pieces behind me! Dad and Travis took me and the car back to the trailer for repairs. Then I went out in the Senior Honda - it just doesn't have the get-up-and-go the other cars in that division have - they all have the UT-2 engine; we still have the old UT-1 and it gives up about a .10 a lap to the newer version. Our engine supplier told dad he may have a UT-2 for us this weekend; but definitely for Grands next month.
Those finishes put me starting last in the A mains (small fields this week). During hot laps, the Animal was bouncing everywhere - mom says I came off 2 on the first at speed lap and the front bounced about a foot in the air! All I knew was, it was tough hanging on, but the car felt fast - and it WAS! We started and I was right there with the other drivers - even passed two cars in the first couple of laps - but the car spent more and more time on three wheels - and then only two. I hung on to finish the race, but man, my arms were tired!! Turns out, my front left shock completely broke on that bounce - or, well, maybe it broke and made the car bounce. Anyway, mom waiting until now to have me write because she was hoping someone got pictures - but it doesn't seem anyone did.
The Honda ran a little better than the heat race but still just couldn't keep up with the other engines.
Next weekend is our States race at DQMRC in Honey Brook, PA. Hopefully we get everything all dialed in.
My baby sister 'only' managed a second place finish in her novice class - lol Cookie was able to get up to the first place car in both her heat and the A main, but then she would back off and not pass. She KNOWS how to pass - so everyone had a long talk with her.
We also added a new car to our team (pictured on the side). A BIG THANK YOU to my Pap for helping us out! Shanon will now drive my black car (we had to remind her that it is the ONLY car we own with a Grands win) and I will be driving the one on the side as my Senior Honda. Now she will have a car she fits better in - and that we already have parts for. We are thankful to Tony and Donna Ciccone!
Good luck to everyone this upcoming weekend.
Mom here: Sorry we have been so bad at keeping the website updated - no real excuse except we've kept up everywhere else but this. So, in the words that we have reported each week for Lil Red's #TeamChampion pages, here are all the updates since May. Thanks for sticking with us through our poor reporting; I promise that Tommy and I will report on here every week in a timely fashion!!
States Race Weekend:
This was just NOT my weekend - we got to the track and finished up the cars - got out for practice and felt 'okay' but not great.
Qualifying Saturday morning didn't go well as I timed last in my Senior Animal and, just as I was coming to the green flag for the timing laps that counted in my Senior Honda, the car sputtered to a stop - my handlers forgot to turn on the fuel - crew chief error - and I went in the pits - driver error; because now I couldn't go back out. Those both put me at the end of the fields for the heats. In Animal, the car just kept getting tighter and tighter - I could keep up and even pass with the others for 5 laps, then it was just too much. In Honda, I started last and worked my way up to third at the end of the 20 laps. We felt pretty good on that, but still had some work to do. Even with that good finish, I still had to start 9th in A main because of the points system.
A main day just did not go our way. Even with all the work my crew did, I still couldn't keep up with the other cars with long green runs. Then in Honda, I spent too much time battling with a car in the back and by the time I freed myself of the crossovers, we were being lapped. My arms were really tired from handling the tight Animal and we ended up with a 4th and 10th for the day.
My little sister had a rough weekend, too. It started off with her getting fast time in Junior novice; during heats she got put into the wall twice (once under yellow during hot laps) and ruined three rims and a tire (cut it completely on some bolt in the wall) and finished 4th. She still had the most points so that made her start 6th in her main. She worked her way through and was leading with 9 to go when her throttle stuck, and then broke...she went in the pits and got it fixed and managed to move up two spots. But it all ended up being for nothing because there was a gasket missing in the engine - so it was a DQ. They said it didn't help her any, but the rules are the rules.
So - we had a lousy weekend.
I'm off the next two weeks for my family to do some 'family-stuff'.
We'd also like to ask for your prayers for members of our racing community. Our friend Mark passed away, from cancer, while we were at the track yesterday. His daughter Maddy raced with my older brothers and also raced some of our cars during her last year of racing. Mark was a good friend to all and Maddy and her mom Marlene can use all the support our racing community can give them.
Thanks! Go #TeamChampion
...my dad, my brother and I went to Dover this weekend ... but my oldest brother and mom took my little sister to the track, had another team loan them an engine (hers is being rebuilt after being torn down due to her fast time last week )....and this is the picture they sent us
Father's Day Race:
We got to the track and tried a new set up in both cars. The Animal wasn't very good; and my driving matched. I didn't run my line; I didn't keep my foot in it; and I was disappointed in myself. I got in the Honda and drove my heart out - but it just didn't go anywhere (well, at least not very fast). Mom and my brother both said it sounded 'flat'.
Dad and Travis worked on both cars before the A mains. The Animal handled better and ran a little faster - but the longer the race went, the tighter the car got. I ended with a 4th place finish.
The Honda wasn't really much better when I started racing the A main with it. I managed to hang on to a 4th place finish on the day.
Overall, it certainly wasn't the best of days; but it could have been worse, I suppose. We will not be racing on Friday night as the cars will be heading out to Columbus, Ohio for the 2017 QMA Eastern Grands next week.
On a cool note, my little sister won AGAIN in her Junior novice class - coming from third to the front in about 5 laps; and lapping up to 4th place before the checkers.
Here's a picture of us with Dad at the track today.
...not quite the week we had last year....and that's an understatement!!
We chased the set-ups with the new track and new tires (QMA had to change from Dunlops to Hoosiers at the beginning of June - and our track didn't start with them until this upcoming week). We also had a new engine (our engine builder has loaned us the new engine for the remainder of the season) and my little sister's engine had been refurbished and some weird stuff was done to it). First practice out all three cars (my Senior Honda and Senior Animal and her Junior novice) were okay, but felt slow....during the last two sessions we slowly got some speed in the cars.
I timed 18th of 26 cars in Animal and 19th of 27 cars in Honda. We wanted better, but, in the long run, it's a little better than we often do in qualifying. There wasn't much time difference between first and last so we were in there. Cookie's car (my chassis that I won the Grands Junior Honda in last year) was SLOW and she timed last of the 8 cars in her division. We had to also go through heats to get our starting positions for the mains.
Cookie started first in her heat and finished 4th. She wasn't listening and didn't run her line...but we knew if she would listen, she'd be okay in her A main - even if she was starting last. And she did!! She ended up on the podium with a third place finish. A few more laps and she probably would have won since she was really the only driver out there who could pass other cars!
As for me, well, let's just say I've had better days, weeks and luck.
After qualifying, they ran a few of the heats that evening. I was out in my Animal and moving along when there was a wreck in front of me and I couldn't avoid it. I went over one car and another one had it's front wheel come in my right side of the car. I drove another lap but stopped on the track near the wreck as I could not really feel my hand and I had some shooting pains into my shoulder. The EMT's came to my car and wanted to cut my fire suit. Mom said NO! So she carefully helped me get my arm out of the suit (she was an athletic trainer for many years)....for some reason, even though it was my elbow that hurt, the EMT's thought my wrist was broken (mom just kept shaking her head 'no') and they wanted to transport me for X-rays. Dad and mom decided to take me themselves. We got there and the people asked all about racing - and the one patient had even been at the track when I got hurt (we never did find out why she ended up there nor did we see her again). The doctor came in and saw the swelling at my elbow, checked me over, and refused to 'give me radiation I didn't need'. He gave me ice and ibuprofen and told me "Good luck tomorrow".
Wish his 'good luck' had come through. My finish in Animal was 8th so that put me in the C main. In Honda the next morning, I ended up finishing 7th - that also put me in the C main; but gave me a bit of a break since there was also a D main to be run. Animal C main was first and I was in a transfer spot when, on a restart, I suddenly felt my right shoulder getting hot! There was quick caution and I realized I had no brakes AND my throttle was stuck. Turns out, it was because my brakes exploded and the brake fluid was causing a fire that then caused an issue with the throttle cable - nothing was working!! I did my best to go slow and make my way through the cars stopped on the track (they threw the red because of the fire). Mom says it was like fireworks when the brakes went up - but no one got a picture and you can't see it really well on any of the videos. Needless to say, we were done with that car for the week. Anyway, while I was TRYING to get the car stopped, Dad, Travis and Mr. Homnick jumped over the wall - Dad and Travis stopped the car, and Mr. Homnick put the fire out with the fire extinguisher!! I don't think I ever got to thank him for that. While my suit didn't catch fire, I did still have a 'heat mark' on my shoulder that was a little tender for a few days.
I still had the hope that Honda would go well. Unfortunately, I was in a good position to get a transfer spot (5th on the final restart), when one of my buddies hooked my left rear and sent me up and out of the groove - by the time I got it gathered in, I was back in 7th and, with only two laps left, that's where I finished.
So, as you see, my week wasn't that great....oh, and our other teammate, Nicole, also got wrecked in her C main and got hit in her LEFT elbow....it's still pretty bruised up, but she was able to race her other car (a 4-cylinder) that Saturday night.
Here's to hoping our luck changes this weekend!!
Finally back at my club track! Friday Night Lights started off much like all my last few weeks - me not getting the most out of my cars. We had a long team talk and I vowed to buckle down...and I did. I started third in my Senior Animal A main and fought hard for second - finally grabbing it around lap 10 of 30. With about 3 to go, the third place car nudged my left rear and pushed me out of the groove and got past me; I fought back to catch him but just didn't have enough time. Finally a podium finish in the Animal!! For Honda, I started 5th and was fighting for third when I washed up into the other car - he spun, and the judges gave me the call for charging, so back to the end I went. With about 8 laps to go, I fought my way back up into 5th place - wish it had been more, but it was definitely a better night than I have been having.
My little sister didn't have her best night. She inherited the lead after bumping the first place car and sending him spinning. Because they had no judges, it would have left her in first place. But my dad and big brother decided to pull her in - making her go to the back - as a learning decision. With only a few laps left, she didn't move up further than 4th.
We race again on Sunday - but before then, we get to see something that only my older brothers ever saw (and don't even really remember) - my DAD is going to be driving a 4 cylinder on Saturday night at Wall Stadium!
Podium finish for the second week in a row!
Started off the day in my Senior Animal Heat on the pole...I got freight trained to the back and then put in the wall. My dad and brother worked quickly and got me back out. I was able to come from the back and finish a very strong second in the heat. Since we inverted today (the top 5), my 2nd place garnered me the 4th starting position in the A. The outside is tough at our track, so I slid back to last on the start. I picked my way through and finished with a third after being put three wide late in the race. I KNOW a win is coming in this car soon.
In my Senior Honda Heat I started in the last row on the inside. I picked my way through the field and ended up 5th - which put me on the pole for the A main. Unfortunately, the car didn't feel very good to me (mom and dad said I wasn't running the car well - looks like I have some video watching and work to do this week before we have Friday Night Lights). I ended up a disappointing 7th in this car for the day.
I'm very proud to be doing so well in my #TeamChampion Senior Animal as this is the car we had to repair after the fire at Eastern Grands!
Also, my little sister, Cookie, finished third in her Novice race today - but she moved up to a 'faster' division (different plate). This was actually 'last' but she stayed with the second place car. Unfortunately, her week at Grands taught her the Harry Gant line - High Wide and Handsome; more unfortunate, that line does NOT work in quarter midgets....so she wasn't running a good line AND she decided to follow her friend Kalena instead of passing her.....she will also be watching video this week!!!
And this wouldn't be complete without telling you about my DAD!! Dad got a 6th in his 4 Cylinder heat Saturday night....he was coming up too high out of the turns (don't worry, I had no problem telling him - LOL). And then he finished 13th in his first A main - with a tire that corded about half way through the race and gave him a terrible vibration - he was actually catching the 3 cars ahead of him before that happened! He will be racing again this Saturday night (July 22).
We race Friday Night Lights this week!
ANIMAL TROPHY RACE
COOKIE'S 2nd WIN
Senior Animal Trophy race qualifiers: Front: Daniel Braman, Lil Red, Ryan Kuhlthau, Ethan Brown Back: Ryan Stangle, Ryan MacConnell, Jared Kreider, Zach Lenardo
Bottom photo: Driver Intro
Regular Season Opener
Cookie passing two cars - the first in turn 3 and the second coming out of turn 4.
GARDEN STATE CLASSIC
Crew Chief Beanstalk talks shop with Cookie before her first time on the track with another car.
Season Opener - Oaklane
Sponsorship Announcement for 2017
After still feeling sick from some medical tests, I asked mom, dad and my brother to only run one car this week - the Senior Animal for the trophy race - and they, of course, agreed.
We practiced and I was running times that I ran last year - 7.6's on the 1/20th mile track we compete at. We did some changes and talked about some things - and checked the car weight because I lost 5 pounds from being sick.
Well, let me tell you - I went out and shaved 6/10ths off my previous fastest time and qualified 3rd fastest - I have NEVER qualified in the top 5 for a race with timing - and this time I was only 0.04 off the fast time for our track!! I was really excited! We did a pill pick for the top 5, though, and I ended up starting 4th on the outside - just about the worst starting spot for our track.
Coming to the green, I tried to move around the second place car, but got shoved into him and the wall. This moved me to the back of the pack. I did manage to move back up to 6th but the car got tighter and tighter and I just couldn't get it up there. We were happy with our progress though, and we know we made a mistake for the race set up because we were expecting clouds - and they didn't come until after the race was over.
And, on another good note, my sister Cookie won her second novice A main! She finished 2nd in her heat race - at the line - after spinning 4 or 5 times (since it is novice, they don't black flag after 3 spins). Her friend Chris was doing really well, but he wrecked his car and wasn't able to finish the race. So, she brought home another win sticker for the team.
We have a LOT of exciting news, too!!! We gained a new sponsor - Nicole's Auto Sales!!! Please visit them if you are in the market for a new used vehicle! Chuck will take great care of you - tell him Lil' Red and Schwarz Racing sent you!!!
Our other exciting news - we are adding to our stable of Storm chassis this coming weekend - Pap is sending money to help purchase a 2011 from Ciccone-Lenardo Racing so that Cookie can get out of the car that is just a little snug for her...
Racing this weekend at GSQMRC and then Memorial Day we will be at Honeybrook for the Region 2 States Races.
Photo to the right is of Cookie with her checkered flag - photo is
by Maddie Boyd - GSQMRC driver and owner of mtboyd
photography on Facebook!! Visit her page and like it - she takes
Not what we were looking for at all...but it's what we got...
With my pill picks at sign ins, I started last in both the Animal and the Honda...and, while I moved up a spot or two in each race, I ended up in the same spot I finished. Some of it was the car - a lot of it was 'me'. This put me starting in the same position for the A mains. And, yes, it's where I ended up. Since we had small fields this weekend, I will get season points for 4th in the Animal and 5th in the Honda.
We came home with the cars all in one piece - and knowing what needs to be done on the cars. As for me, I think I learned that my mom is smarter than I want to admit and that, just maybe, I should start listening to her when she tells me how to get stronger for racing the cars now that they go faster in this division.
Here's hoping that we ALL make the right adjustments for next Sunday.
Go #TeamChampion!! Can't wait for next week!
PS - All was not bad, however, my little sister ran her first real races this weekend - 5 cars in the heat and A main. She started last in the heat and finished 3rd one lap down - but when the leaders lapped her, she suddenly found the gas pedal and stayed right with them. She started third in the A main and drove up to second, just not quite able to make the pass for the win! She lapped the other three cars at least twice! So, she kept us from having a completely rotten day!!
A podium and a fourth for me this weekend at the Garden State Classic at Lil' Wall Stadium.
Our two day event turned into one after a rainy Saturday that not only cancelled our quarter midget track, but Big Wall Stadium's opener as well.
Sunday was bright and sunny and we had a big agenda - 2 25 lap heats (for both the Senior Animal and Senior Honda) and 40 lap A mains for both as well. The day didn't start off well as my Animal was not handling and then the chain came off - three times and I was out. Then into the Honda I went (after it was dropped on mom's foot - but she refused to do anything but ice and head back to the tower to work - just like everyone else on the team has done when something has happened to them). That didn't go well either.
Neither car was handling well - we did figure out it is our spring configurations, but, the way the day was going to run, we didn't have time to put on different springs and scale - so my team did the best they could. After two last place finishes in the first round of heats, I got to start on the pole in the second (because of a reverse of pill picks). The Animal was a little better, but I still finished last. The Honda I managed a 5th place - still not what we were looking for.
Our big excitement of the day was my little sister, Cookie, winning her first Junior Novice Red Plate 'A main'. She did a great job and can't wait to get back next week.
I started 2nd in the Animal A-main after the pill draw. It was better, but I still just didn't have enough and managed a podium finish on the day.
In Honda I started last and slowly made my way through the field, though I did get lapped by the top 3 cars. In the end, I was able to stay ahead of the other lapped cars to finish with a 4th. I guess it wasn't a bad points day, but we certainly went away feeling a little disappointed.
Next week is a regular racing week for us!
Congratulations to all of my #TeamChampion teammates for their weekends - and here's to those of us who had some issues getting them all thrashed out this week and back to the winners circle!!
And, finally, I was featured on #WeekendRewind by my sponsor Champion Parts!!!
Finally got to shake down my Champion Senior Honda and Champion Senior Animal this weekend - at Oaklane Quarter Midget Racing Club.
We went out for practice and my Honda immediately threw a keyway - so my dad took it back to the trailer to fix while my big brothers got me into my Animal. First time out it was loose, loose, loose. So they made some adjustments and I went back out. A little better this time. Dad brought the Honda back and I had just enough time to do a 10 lap shake down.
After sign-ins and pill picks, I started second in Animal and 5th in a six car heat in Honda. The Animal was even worse during the heat and, after two spins, my brothers pulled me off the track to prevent damaging the car and to get busy working on it In Honda, I realized I should have listened to my mom and done some pushups and pull-ups over the winter - my arms were tired! I finished 4th in the field.
Not only did my brothers and dad do a lot of thrashing, my Pap was helping out to. He doesn't get to see me race very often, so it was good to have him with us. He used to own dirt cars in western PA.
I started last on the field in my Animal for the 40 lap A main. The car still wasn't handling well but I managed to pull off a second place finish in my first time as a Senior at this track. It felt GREAT to have a podium finish in my first A main of the season - and it made me forget how bad my arms were aching.
I started 8th in a full field of 11 cars for Honda. Slowly I made my way up through the field to 3rd. My car still wasn't handling well and had a bit of a push but I held on. With about 5 laps to go, the 4th place car pushed me up to the wall and I lost momentum as I went to fourth...the loss of momentum let the 5th place car catch me and he, too, hit my left rear and moved me out of the groove and into the pebbles. I held on to get the 5th place finish.
The best part of the night, besides my second place, was my Pap coming to me and telling me, "you can really drive a car. And I'm not just saying that!" It meant so much to me for him to be there; for him to tell me he knows I can drive a car, it made me so proud!
My club opens this weekend with our Garden State Classic.
Congratulations to all our #TeamChampion winners this week!!
I am PROUD to announce that my relationship and sponsorship with Champion Spark Plugs will continue for the 2017 racing season!!! Happy to be a part of #TeamChampion for another year! The team is looking forward to representing Champion and their parts throughout the year.
I am also PROUD to announce that ALL of our previous year's sponsors are back on board with us at Schwarz Racing!! Hammerhead Promotions can provide you with your photographer needs - including team t-shirts (available for purchase for $15-20 - just use the contact information). Hungry? Check out Olsen's BBQ (my personal favorite - pulled pork and pulled chicken - always good on a race day). WildBill Productions and Uncle Wild Billy can help you with your graphics needs. If you are in the South Carolina area, please check local venues for Al G's Roadhouse Band - you won't be sorry! In the need for a service dog, Stone Creek Shepherds just might fill your needs. And, local peeps, G and T Landscaping can help you with all your landscaping needs - and much, much more!
Thank you to EVERYONE for your continued support!
We are still looking for sponsors as we would like to extend our travels/race venues for the 2017 season. I have been asking mom and dad to go to Florida for the Little 500 - and maybe even to the race at Pocono if the timing is right. The 2017 QMA Eastern Grands are near Columbus, Ohio this year and even our other local tracks have races I would like to attend - but they often require us to take both trailers - more money out of pocket. If you know of any business - or even individuals - who would like to get a big bang for their buck, please let them know about me! Mom can give them all the details. And, we still have the gofundme page open for those who can, and would, like to help.
This weekend is our banquet for the 2016 season - I'm sure mom will have plenty of pictures to share sometime next week.
Thank you, again, for everything!