The Spira ‐ Wix Filter Team worked all week on the #22 that received heavy damage to the front end last week and as a result, many bars, the rad, rad fan, nose, body panels, tire and wheel had to be replaced before Jake could return to racing. Scotty did not bring the #44 to the track as he preferred to leave the Sunset set‐up in the car for the following week and instead of racing, would haul Steve Laking’s second Late Model to the track and spot for young Cole Timm. Cole and his family were up from North Carolina where Cole drives his own Late Model in the Pass South Series. Cole is also the nephew of Steve and Nancy Laking.
Dark clouds entered the area as the Spira‐Nuco Team finished up their first practice session and before a second one could get underway, the track was doused with a short burst of heavy rain. After a short delay, practice sessions resumed and with only minor adjustments required. Jake’s #22 looked as good as new as all three Spira Team cars lined up in the same heat race with Samantha starting on the pole, Billy 2nd and Jake 7th. Billy moved to the front of the field quickly and was followed by the #18 and #71, putting Sam 4th. As Billy continued throughout the ten lap race for the win, Samantha lost positions to the #31, #13 and #64, finishing 7th and Jake finished at the tail of the field where he drifted early in the race.Billy returned to the pits and informed his crew that he had completed the race with no brakes and that he was lucky he could stop at all when he coasted through the pits. The crew went to work looking for the problem and quickly found that a clip had come off the master‐brake cylinder. After checking with every other mini‐stock team in attendance looking for a spare, the crew went to work trying to repair the master. Although they thought that the cylinder was now junk, they did get the clip reinstalled and after bleeding the brakes with very little brake peddle, Billy wanted to give it a try and see if he could get out front where the brakes were used the least.
Billy started 5th, Samantha 11th and Jake 15th in the 20 car field for the 25 lap feature. Billy went into the first corner and it was obvious that he had no brakes as he went into the infield to avoid contact with the cars in front of him. A caution came out at the completion of the first lap for the #26 & #50 who got together and Billy quickly realized that he was looking for nothing but trouble if he continued, so he slowly exited the track and parked the car for the night with his second mechanical failure of the season. Samantha was 9th and Jake 15th as they took the green for the restart and both cars gained positions over the next five laps before the caution returned. Samantha was up to 7th and Jake 12th as they restarted for the final time in the feature. Sam moved up to 6th where she ran consistently until the #64 got into the #71 and spun him around in a battle for the lead on the final lap. With the two front cars going to the back and the checkered flag coming out with the caution, Samantha would finish 4th as Jake finished 12th. The Team quickly loaded the cars and headed to the grandstands to watch Steve Laking in the #44 and his 14 year old nephew, Cole in his other car that now had Cole’s usual number 57 on it. Cole started 12th and Steve 13th as they took the green flag for the 75 lap Grisdale event. With Scotty spotting for Cole, the young driver moved his way through the field as if a veteran with Steve just a few positions behind him until lap49 when things went terribly wrong for the two car team. As Cole was on the tail of the #22 entering turn one, the flywheel exploded and knocked off the oil filter in the #22 dousing the track with oil that sent Cole and the cars behind him into a huge pile up. Cole went hard into the wall causing major damage to the #57, followed by Steve who after making contact with the many cars caught up in the wreck, rode the wall and flipped over onto the roof of the #44. The special event that Steve had graciously arranged for Cole to drive in as a life long memory had gone as wrong as it could for the Laking Motorsports Team. The badly damaged cars were removed from the track and it took many members of the Laking‐Spira Teams to load the damaged cars into the trailers for the ride home. After a late night at the track, both teams returned to the Spira shop where they had pizza, refreshments and a birthday cake for young Jake in celebration of his 12th birthday. Despite the results on the track, the two teams enjoyed each others company in what is a big part of what attracts people to the sport of racing.
Next up for the Spira ‐ Sloot Construction Team will be a trip north to Sunset Speedway for the second half of the Sauble ‐ Sunset Home and Home Series. Pit gates open at 12:00pm, the grandstand gates at 4:30pm and racing begins at 6:30pm.