2005 WAS A GOOD YEAR WITH BAD RESULTS FOR FLEMKEby Mike Twist
#10 Team Shows That Results Aren't Everything
In 2004, Eddie Flemke finished a strong second in the NASCAR Modified point standings. In 2005, he finished 12th in the standings. In 2004, he won a pair of races. In 2005, he went winless. In 2004, he had 12 top five finishes. In 2005, he had only four.
So judging by the numbers, Flemke had a terrible season right?
Far from it. While the on track finishes aren’t what Flemke or his car owner Gary Teto had hoped for, they weren’t bad considering that Flemke joined the team two weeks before the start of the season and the #10 team was not a full-time operation before that.
So in this case, the numbers do lie.
“It wasn’t the most successful year, but the only thing that I’m disappointed about is that we broke our string of
top 10 finishes in the points,” said Flemke. “But you know what? In the big picture, what is the difference? 10th, 11th or 12th? They all stink. But somebody has to finish where we finish and a lot of people would love to be in our position.”
Flemke thinks that there was enough promise shown by the marriage of driver and team to warrant another year together in 2006.
“I think that we’ll be back together. I really do,” said Flemke. “We had a very good year when it came to working together. There are a few things that need to be ironed out, but there’s nothing that can’t be overcome.
“You’ve got to remember, we got into this late. I got into it half-assed to be honest with you because I didn’t know what I wanted to do, if I wanted to continue, all of that. Did I want to start over again or just call it a day? I didn’t want Gary to go out and mortgage his house to go racing. We kind of went into it cautiously and conservatively.”
Cautious and conservative sometimes means not having all of the resources possible at your disposal. An example of that came in the season finale at Thompson, where the team lost nearly 60 laps after repairing accident damage.
But there is no lack of effort from the #10 team and Flemke appreciates that.
“They are wonderful and I wouldn’t trade them for the world,” said Flemke. “That is why I’m disappointed. I feel like I let them down. They say that it wasn’t my fault, but I don’t seat anyone else driving the car. I’m in the car, so who else put it in the world. Regardless of what happened, I did it.”
The #10 at New Hampshire.
“When it came to changing the right front, if this had been the #79 team or any team that’s going for a championship, you would have a whole assembly there ready to go. You don’t take a hub and rotor off one hub and take the spindle and put it together. You lose 100 laps doing a job that should take you 20. So, there will be some stuff to address, but I’d say that we will probably be back.”
One of those things that needs to be addressed is under the hood. As some teams are spending over $50,000 for race motors, the #10 team has struggled just a bit to keep up.
“We’re down a little bit in the horsepower department and we’ll address that,” said Flemke. “Gary will do whatever we need to do to get it right. He did that this year. He extended himself to get whatever help that we needed.”
2005 was Flemke's first season in the #10 car.
Things didn't go on course all the time in 2005 for Eddie Flemke and his team. (Mary Hodge Photo)
Flemke said that car owner Gary Teto was satisfied with the bottom line of the race team this past season.
“Gary said that this was the best year that he ever had. It was the most profitable year even considering. He spent a lot of money, but the expenses were down too.”
So 2005 was a building year for Flemke and the #10 team. That means that there could be big dividends coming in 2006.
“Better days are coming,” said Flemke. “This is what racing is all about. You take a chance every time that you go out. If you are going to measure your success, by one day you are going to be disappointed a lot.”