Odessa texas 2024

The third stop on the Chaos tour was in Odessa Texas. This is a race track the team has had success on in the past, winning this event in the A field the past 3 years in a row.  This track is in West Texas and previous years we have battled grueling heat, wind, dust, and rain during this event. This outing would be no different.  Although not as hot as previous years, mother nature was not kind this weekend.  Despite mother nature’s poor attitude this weekend, the car was performing as expected.

Friday for Q1 the team decided to take the right lane off the trailer. The right lane is historically not as good as the left, we wanted to get going down that lane out of the way. We wanted to take the left lane later in the day when the track was cooler. For the first session that west Texas sun was out, and the track was hot, at roughly 120 degrees. The track was still fairly tight. So, the plan was to be conservative due the nature of the right lane and see if we could traverse the lane in some way. The car left good, and made its way out of the trouble spot, where Kirk had to do some driving. He said it was a little unexpecting “The car hit the bump hard, and it bounced my hand off the steering wheel, I got my hands back on the wheel and got the car pointed back in the groove and shifted to get it settled down.” Later we could see where the car went air born as the driveshaft graph was extremely erratic.  That pass was 3.93 at 194 this would be good for the #2 qualifying spot. Doug Schneider would claim the #1 spot after Q1 running a 3.927 at 192 mph

With a little data and the plan to run Q2 in the left lane the goal here was to take the number 1 spot. During the turnaround time, mother nature took her first shot at us, with a dust storm. The winds picked up and dust filled the air covering the track with dirt, and we were delayed until the wind and dust would settle down. This storm lasted for about 2 hours, and we were called up for Q2. The track crew did a good job at cleaning the track to get all the dirt off. It was now cooler at 89 degrees and tight. As drivers began to suit up to take the track the winds had begun to pickup again. Bringing in more dirt. The pairs in front of us had trouble getting down the track causing them to get out of the throttle for one reason or another. It was now our turn to take a shot at the now dirt road. Kirk brought the car into the lights with the RPM high and swapped feet. The car left good, and Kirk was able to stay in it. Running a 3.892 at 195 mph. This would be good for the #1 qualifying spot.  At the other end of the track when asked about the run and why he stayed in it, Kirk said, “When I left, I felt it stick and thought okay here we go… and it stayed pretty straight. The car was trying to drift towards the center, and I was able to guide it back. So I stayed in it!” From the outside it looked far more impressive, based on the troubles that all the competitors had. That run was definitely a crowd pleaser.

Saturday the schedule was pushed up two hours in an effort to beat the weather. This would place Q3 at noon. In Q3 based off the data we had from the previous runs, we had plans to make an improvement on the 3.89 pass. We were going to take the Left lane again to setup the car for the eliminations, however that didn’t pan out. When it cam time to run we were pushed to the right lane to keep pairings going down the track. This changed the plan a little bit, we were still able to make a good pass down track. This time Kirk knew what to expect and was ready. Kirk still had to drive the car and it did not beat the 3.89 like planned, but its sill respectable for the lane conditions running a 3.94.

This would be the last pass down the track, as mother nature had different intentions. During the turnaround time another dust storm rolled in causing a delay.  That storm would end, and we would be called to the lanes, getting 2 pairs down track. When it began to rain, it was light rain at first. Which turned into heavy rain mixed with small hail. There was a tornado watch issued and we would witness wall clouds around us. This would continue from 4:00pm to about 6:00pm with more rain behind it. The system dumped so much water that the track was waterlogged and could not be dried in time to finish the race before the second system would hit. That system was supposed to be just as large as the previous one. With large hail possible there as well. For the safety of everyone on the property the race was called.

Even though the race was called the team was on target to achieve their goal. They qualified number 1, ran low ET of the event, had top MPH, and was going to head into first round with a bye run. Giving them an automatic birth to the Semi-finals. In a few weeks the team will be back inaction at their hometown track Eddyville Raceway in IOWA. Come out to the track and check out the action, it is going to be great!!

Nap Time...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *