TRUCKIN' WITH TWISTER - PART FIVE by Mike Twist
Finally!  A Race For the #51 Truck
Once again, I was glued to the weather reports on the day of the race.  In fact, I can’t remember ever paying this much attention to weather forecasts except for when a snowplow has been attached to the front of my truck.

On the previous week, my races were rained out on Wednesday night and rescheduled for Thursday.  That presented a problem because I was already committed to covering a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour/Busch East Series doubleheader at Thompson International Speedway (CT).  As luck would have it, both tracks had very iffy forecasts for that evening.

I did not want to waste a trip to either place and I didn’t want to give away a chance to race my truck.  Although my priority was to cover the Thompson races, I made

sure that my bases were covered in either event.  My truck and trailer were loaded up and pointed towards Oxford.  My daily driver was fueled up and pointed for Thompson.  I kept track of radar all day long and at the last possible moment, I made the trip to Thompson.

That turned out to be the right choice.  All of the features got in at the Big T, while Oxford fell victim to the weather once again.

But that was two weeks ago, last week the weather was close to perfect.  A little warm for my tastes, but as long as it didn’t rain I really didn’t care if it was 120 degrees.
As it turned out, the evening went well enough that I got to race twice and on paper, there was not a darn bit of difference in either feature.  Both races were 20 laps in length and both times I started second and finished seventh in the feature.

And at the end of the night, I was able to drive the truck on my trailer with all four corners intact.  That is the ultimate definition of a good night of racing.
The night did have its less than fun moments too.  I still have not gotten the rear suspension to do what I would like it to do yet since having to add an extra leaf to the rear springs.  New springs are stiff and the rear end of my truck sits up like a four wheel drive model.  I found this especially true on one side and after some examination by another team’s crew member who knew what he was doing, it was determined that I accidentally installed the spring backwards.
The #51 truck gets into turn four at Oxford a little bit hot and gets a little help going forward at the same time.  (Jamie Williams Photos)
After two rainouts and a week where I was on the road covering other people race, the #51 Speed51.com/51 Designs Truck finally got the chance to run its first race of the 2006 season last Wednesday night at Oxford Plains Speedway.  That is where I compete in the Sport Truck class as part of their popular Summer Racing Series.
and at least I don’t have to worry about being disqualified for being too low!

In the first race, I started on the outside pole and actually went into the record books as leading the first lap.  I know it sounds corny, but that really meant a lot to me considering some of the heroes of mine who have led the way at Oxford through the years.

In any case, I didn’t get much time to enjoy being out front.  By lap two, I was backsliding through the field.  The rest of the race was uneventful.  I fell back to 10th, made a last lap pass for ninth and found out later that two trucks ahead of me did not pass tech.  The mathematical answer to all of that was a seventh place finish.
As it turned out, the evening went well enough that I got to race twice and on paper, there was not a darn bit of difference in either feature.  Both races were 20 laps in length and both times I started second and finished seventh in the feature.

And at the end of the night, I was able to drive the truck on my trailer with all four corners intact.  That is the ultimate definition of a good night of racing.
Oops.

That wasn’t going to get fixed at the track, but I was more concerned with the way that the rear end was sitting in the truck.  After marking where it sat, I went out for practice and hoped that nothing fell out of the truck.  I was very careful in practice because I half expected the rear end to go its own way while hot lapping, but it didn’t.  Upon further examination, it didn’t move at all.  So for the feature, I had a newfound bit of confidence.

After getting the truck home this week, I spent some time fixing my problems from the first time.  The truck still sits up high, but it is put together the right way now
A few trucks passed me as well.  Again, they may or may not have been on my lap.  I had no clue where I finished as a pulled in.  But once again, it turned out that I had collected a seventh place finish.

All in all, not a bad night.  I did not have the fastest truck out there, but it wasn’t the slowest one either.  That’s fine with me.

I’ll be back on track tonight (Wednesday) and hopefully the weather will cooperate again.  Predictions of scattered thunderstorms could mean just about anything and I know that I won’t be making the rain date of Thursday night due to being at New Hampshire International Speedway once again covering the Mod Tour and Busch East Series.

Another night when I can drive on the trailer and have finished somewhere in the top 10 was be a success in my book.  After all, this is my idea of fun.  I’m not going for a championship and planning to move up the racing ladder.  I’m just enjoying being out there and getting the chance to share my stories about it.


CLICK HERE FOR PART ONE OF TRUCKIN' WITH TWISTER

CLICK HERE FOR PART TWO OF TRUCKIN' WITH TWISTER

CLICK HERE FOR PART THREE OF TRUCKIN' WITH TWISTER

CLICK HERE FOR PART FOUR OF TRUCKIN' WITH TWISTER





Race two had a little bit more drama to it.  I started on the outside pole, but did not lead a lap this time.  I did however go for a ride through the infield.  I think that it was lap two when a was already lapping a wounded truck going into turn one.  I was in the middle lane and another truck passed me on the outside.  He came down a little bit too early and we hooked bumpers.  He spun and since my front bumper was attached to his rear bumper, I went along for the ride.  We both ended up in the infield before getting unhooked and moving on.  There was no caution and I lost a lap.  From there, I just drove on and passed who I could, unsure of who was on my lap or another one.