Spira Racing - Post Race Update #31 - October 11th-14th , 2013 Peterborough Speedway “Autumn Colours Weekend”
After Oktoberfest weekend at Flamboro Speedway was postponed for two weeks due to rain, the Spira-Lucas Oil Team decided to move into the newly constructed race shop and then Billy and the #86 would go the following week as the only Spira-Wix car to the 21st annual Lucas Oil - Autumn Colours Classic in Peterborough.
The format for the three day event, consisted of 43 cars fighting for 30 positions through one heat race on Friday, one on Saturday and the combined finishes would be used to set the top 18 for the 50 lap event on Sunday with the balance of the 30 car field set through a 20 lap B-Main event on Saturday night.
Starting out with a tight race car, the team made spring and sway bar adjustments prior to the eight lap heat race, where Billy lined up 7th. After quickly moving up to 5th by the half way mark, Billy wailed the car into turn three on the outside to attempt a pass and it was way too fast for the car to stick on the rarely used outside lane, resulting in being washed up the track and into the wall. The caution came out to allow Billy to limp off the track with a flat right front tire, a badly damaged wheel and minor body damage. The crew went to work fixing the damage and removed all components of the suspension to ensure that nothing was bent. Seeing nothing, the team loaded the car and would have to wait for the practice session the next day to see how the handling would be.
After a late night of socializing and a short nights sleep at the motel, the crew returned to the track to find that the car was good during the practice session. Billy lined up 5th and once again was bit by the wall as the #26 would come up the track pushing Billy into the front stretch wall, causing body damage to the right front. With no other damage, Billy was able to continue from the back of the field to finish 8th, requiring him to enter the 20-lap B-main in order to race his way into the main event. Starting 5th, Billy only had to pass one car throughout the 20 laps as the top four would advance, however after moving up to the transfer spot early in the race, Billy moved into 3rd where the crew thought he would run out the balance of the race, but Billy was determined to make the outside lane work and with his crew nervously watching from the stands, went to the outside to take over the lead and get the win by passing the final two cars. With the win, Billy advanced to the main event and with no practice sessions scheduled the next day, the crew were happy that the car was working very well and no changes were required.
The team woke to rain the next day and despite getting the thunder car race started, the days events were cancelled and rescheduled for Thanksgiving Monday at 11:00am.The team returned to the track where Billy lined up the Spira-Artik Ice Ford to start 23rd in the 30 car field. A first lap crash worked in Billy’s favor as it would move him up to 18th for the restart. Gaining slowly, Billy was up to 17th on lap three, 16th on lap ten and then up to 13th by the half way mark. Unfortunately with just ten laps remaining, the #36 who was running in front of Billy, lost all power and although Billy slowed to avoid contact, the #12 bumped into his rear bumper that caused him to lurch forward and spin the #36. Being labeled an involved car, Billy was sent to the back of the field as the #36 pulled to the pit area with his night finished. Billy drove his butt off through the final laps and was up to 14th when the #49 broke, bringing out the caution with eight laps remaining. On the final green flag run to the checkered flag, Billy was up to 12th with five laps remaining and then gained two more positions to finish 10th in his first Autumn Colours experience at Peterborough Speedway. After a long four day stay, a tired race team headed home with what is sure to be a lifelong, memorable experience.
Next up for the Spira Team will see Billy head to Delaware Speedway for the 35 lap Pumpkin Smasher Special as Samantha, Scott and Jake return to Flamboro Speedway for the rescheduled Oktoberfest event. Pit gates open at 10:00am, grandstands at 12:00pm and racing begins at 3:00pm on Saturday for qualifying and at the same times on Sunday for the features at Flamboro Speedway and pit gates open at 9:30am, grandstands at 12:00pm and racing begins at 1:00pm at Delaware.