Race Track Weather: Let's Talk Rain.

So, if you've been around racing for even a little while, you know we are at Mother Nature's mercy when it comes to racing. Long range forecasts can be great to help make plans, right!? Well yes and no is my answer. It is pretty much my job to do as much as I can to inform myself on the weather forecast for event day ahead of time.

Aside from the obvious that we can't be racing cars down the track as it rains, there is so much more to it than that. Is it really obviously going to rain as soon as we get everyone in the gate? Is it going to rain overnight and us arrive to a wet track in the morning? What about event prep.... Before any big events we have a big scrape day where the guys scrape some of the rubber off the track. Doing that while it rains is a bad idea. Also, a bad idea, scraping for the track to just be rained on after.

"Ok so if you can't race in the rain, should I just stay home if there is a chance of rain?"
Oh my goodness, no. The weather forecasting is so sketchy it is ridiculous. They might say there is a 100% chance of rain. They could be right. But what you didn't know based on that is that there was a 100% chance of rain at 10 PM and we were going to be done racing at 6 PM that day anyways. The forecast says 60%? We live in Michigan, of course it does. Remember, the weatherman's job is to try to be right for the whole 24-hour period of the day. Our job is to look deeper and figure out if that prediction will affect us.

"If it rains during an event, is that it? Is it over?"
Not necessarily. We have methods to dry the track so that the show can go on, it will just take a little or a lot of time depending on the weather conditions after the track gets wet. On a 70 degree, no cloud, breezy day that track is going to cooperate very well and the water is going to get moving out of our way. There are times when due to the weather conditions or the situation as a whole that we cannot dry the track or it is not a practical option so the event will be cancelled, but it is always our goal to race. It is kind of what we do.

"Sometimes it is SO obvious it is going to rain, but you guys still start a race."
True, sometimes the goal is to accomplish a certain amount of racing or as much racing as possible before the rain. In the case of something with a points chase, we do not reschedule a rained out points race so we want to try to get some rounds in before the day has to be cancelled so that there can still be points earned for the day.

There is SO much connected to this topic because of the huge range of situations that can arise along with the variety of programs we offer. If you have any weather-related questions, drop them in the comments below!

Final 2016 Heads Up Story

October 2016 Aeroquip Heads Up Story:

Last night’s final Aeroquip Heads Up Race of the season was a beautiful event even though it was cut short by rain. Luckily none of the championships were up in the air so they were unaffected by the classes that weren’t able to finish the race and even though that was disappointing not to name winners in every class we were excited for solid champions and a good day of racing.

Ricky Adkins took the win in Mechanical Heating & Cooling Run What Ya Brung with his 4.09 at 177 pass in the final. Dave Sullivan who did not make it past first round had already secured his championship so he remained there with Don Walsh Jr sitting in second and Brandon Wakeling in third.

Amsoil Open Comp created a surprising evening for us, not because of who won the championship as Erin Freese was more than qualified to take ownership of the “Open Comp Champion” title after last year’s “Masta Performance Pro Champion” and “Female Driver of the Year” status, but because the battle ended so early in the night. With Will Crawford and Chelsey Hinton on her tail Erin Freese knew she would have to go rounds to protect her #1 status, but as first round played out Freese took the win while Crawford and Hinton went out first round along with Chelsey Hinton’s brother Mitchell Hinton going out first round. It is not a common sight to see all three of those competitors out so early, but Erin Freese got to have a victory dance and claim her championship position a little earlier as a result. There was no race winner for October in Open Comp as Robert Laskey, Tyler McCurry, Dennis Livingston, and Chris Cadle were just getting ready to pull out of the lanes to take on their semi-final round.

In Liberty’s Gears All Motor, we were waiting to watch the final round face off of Frank Cervelli and Dave Theisen. That would’ve been a race too as Cervelli had been running 7.96 and we saw Theisen put down a 7.86 pass. Brian Wolfe who went out in the second round remained at the top with Dave Theisen right behind him in the number two spot and Van Geibel in third.

Darren Hilterbran, Scott Carter, Trace Meyer, and Karri Beebe were getting ready to roll up for their semi-final round before the rain hit us. We saw all of those competitors lay down good passes throughout the day and any one of them could’ve been the winner of this race, but none of them the champion as Mike Barran who wasn’t able to attend this final race locked up the championship prior to last night. David Harmer who didn’t have the best night here landed in second place with Karri Beebe 3 points behind him in third. The second through fourth place finishing spots only span across a 10-point range with Dale Arbogast in that fourth place spot.

If we didn’t hate Mother Nature for that rain before, once we realized we were going to miss the matchup of Anthony St. Bernard and Mike Barackman in the final round of Diamond Pistsons Outlaw 10.5 we officially hated her. In the semi-final round we saw Barackman lay down a 4.24 pass and St. Bernard a 4.17. Barackman’s don’t lay down and take a beating so we know they would’ve come up swinging and giving Anthony St. Bernard everything they had as that crew just LOVES racing and putting on a show. Regardless of that final round outcome, Barackman had the points championship locked up as Joel Wensley broke earlier in the night making Barackman the champion, Wensley second, and St. Bernard third in the points chase.

In Team Z Motorsports Motor city Muscle Challenge, we were reminded of the lesson that even if you are the slower car you should always show up prepared to go into battle as class leader Tony Veresuk was taken out in the semi-final round by Shawn Staniszewski who went on to win the race as he defeated Dave Yurgelaitis in the final with his 9.43 pass being enough to win over the 10.00. But that didn’t worry Tony Veresuk much as he had the championship clinched.

It has been an amazing season for heads up racing at Milan Dragway and I’m bummed to see it wrapped up after last night, but can’t wait to honor these champions at the Awards Banquet on Friday, February 3, 2017 (2017 already!?!?!?!!) at Crystal Gardens in Southgate, MI. After that, it is time to rock and roll and start another BOMB A$$ SEASON of heads up racing.

Sunday September 11, 2016's Bracket Race Results

Sunday September 11, 2016's Bracket Race Results

Terry McKenzie took out Warren Smith in the first round of Masta Performance Pro when he left the line with his .013 light followed by Warren Smith leaving the line with a red light giving McKenzie the automatic win. Why does this come up in the race results? Because we saw these two meet again in the final round after Warren Smith bought back into second round. Warren Smith took off after almost a half second wait leaving the line with an .022 light, but that wasn't enough to catch up to Terry McKenzie who took the race win and a second win against Smith for the day thanks to his perfect (.000) reaction time! What a great start for Terry McKenzie heading down to Bracket Finals in Indy!!!

In Insurance Man Super Pro, Will Crawford, who we are used to seeing in his dragster on Sundays, took the win in the Camaro we normally see during Open Comp. Crawford and Richard Kirchen met up in the final round where they left the line almost 1.5 seconds apart but with the same reaction time. But Crawford ran closer to his dial with a 6.133 on a 6.11 dial compared to Kirchen's 4.683 on a 4.63 dial making Crawford the winner. Hopefully, this will be a good start to him for the Bracket Finals as well!

Louis Jeffery "defended the old guys" as he put it with his win over Codie Balcom in Sportsman. From the starting line it looked like Balcom would be the winner with his .005 light while Jeffery was .044. But the finish line is just as important and Balcom went through with a 12.363 on his 12.38 dial, while Jeffery ran an 11.511 on his 11.51 dial. You know what that means, break out for Falcom gives Louis Jeffery the Sportsman win.

With three classes down, we have one more to go. Super Pro Motorcycle saw another Joe Novak Sr. win making that two weeks in a row! Not even a buy back along the way to either of those wins. Mike Mullendore left the line first with a red light, but Novak Sr. would've been tough to beat anyways with his .012 light. Can Joe Novak Sr. make this a triple up in Indy this weekend as he will have two chances to do it first with the Race of Champions on Friday night and then with the main race on Saturday & Sunday!