TRUCKIN' WITH TWISTER - PART SEVEN by Mike Twist
A Few More Good Finishes and the End of Summer is Near
In the first race, held just days after the completion of the Oxford 250, things were fairly uneventful.  A passing shower washed out practice and got everything pretty wet, but only had a minimal delay on the night’s racing card.  I was placed fourth on the 19-truck grid and I had what I thought to be a good plan for the race.

One the faster trucks in the division is the #99 of Jerry Goss, who was starting out back in this particular race.  Before we got into our trucks, I joked with Jerry that it would probably take about six laps before he would be passing me.  However, I figured that when it did happen, I would try to tuck right in and follow him to the front.

When the green flag dropped, I went for it.  My truck likes the outside groove and I went three-wide at the start to try and take the lead.  On lap one, the #73 truck at Patrick McKinnon had a fender on me, but for the second and third laps, I was leading.  I’ve got to admit, I really liked the view back there.  But on lap three, the caution came out.

Goss’ truck was involved in the wreck that brought out the caution and his right side door was ripped away.  Running

without a door is good for a black flag, so it looked like my prediction of getting passed six laps in wasn’t going to happen.  However, Goss wasn’t out yet.  His crew managed to re-secure the door with bungee cords and he got back out without losing a lap.

When the race restarted, I was stuck down low and my #51 truck just didn’t like it there.  I felt back to fourth almost instantly.  Then I lost another spot.  I thought that I was ready to settle in when all of a sudden, I saw the familiar white and orange nose of Goss’ truck looking beneath me.  It was lap seven.  The wreck that he was involved in only threw off my prediction by one lap.
I have now moved into 19th of the point standings despite missing two weeks of races.  That will be as good as it gets this year, because I’m missing next Wednesday night’s show as well due to a prior commitment.

The summer is winding down and there are only two races left on my schedule – this Sunday is a non-Summer Racing Series show at Oxford and my schedule will allow me to tow to that.  Then, it’s the season finale on Wednesday, August 23rd.

But that might not be all.  I’m hearing rumors of a big 50-lap event that will be held as a support race to the PASS 300 at Beech Ridge in September.  If that comes to fruition and my truck is still in one piece by that point, I will definitely be there.
passed tech and was officially credited with fifth.  Best of all, I had some real fun out there.  My pal and mentor Marvin Hamilton won the feature and all was well.

The best part of the night?  Standing around in the tech corral and talking with all of the other top five finishers, comparing notes of our races and going on and on about what a great time we all had.
The skies clear up after a rain delay.  (51 Photo)
When I last checked in, it was on the heels of my career-best second place finish in the Sport Truck division at Oxford Plains Speedway.  Since then, there have been two more races for me and while lightning has not struck in the same place again, I’m very satisfied with a pair of strong finishes in those events. 
I started eighth and hoped to use the outside groove to make some passes at the start.  I rocketed into the outside groove, I set myself up…

And I fell back to around the 14th position.  That didn’t work so well.
I tried to tuck in behind Goss, but couldn’t hang with him.  I watched him get up to second before the checkered flew, while the rest of the race was pretty much uneventful for me.  I finished sixth.  Two weeks before that, I would have been thrilled with the result.  After a runner-up finish though, it felt a little bit disappointing.

The next week was anything but uneventful or disappointing.  It was probably the most fun that I’ve ever had in a racing machine.

The pressure was on me for this race – Kristin “The Cookie Girl” Wilson was on hand with her boyfriend, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Sports Series point leader Chris Smith.  Kristin made a cool sign to cheer me on and with a fan or two in the pit stands, I had to put on a show.
So I worked on my line a little bit and started to reel the field in.  Things got exciting as the racing was three-wide through the pack.  But everyone raced clean and for the third week of the last four, we ran without a caution flag.

That didn’t mean that there wasn’t any contact.  Two of my competitors got together right in front of me and that required a trip over the Oxford curbing to avoid the mess.  After that incident, I soon settled into the eighth position.  But I could see more trucks ahead of me and I wanted to advance even further.

I started reeling a few more trucks in and man, was it exciting.  A pair of passes got me into the sixth spot and on the final lap, I just barely made it into the top five.  I

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CLICK HERE FOR PART FOUR OF TRUCKIN' WITH TWISTER

CLICK HERE FOR PART FIVE OF TRUCKIN' WITH TWISTER

CLICK HERE FOR PART SIX OF TRUCKIN' WITH TWISTER





The #51 truck on Oxford's backstretch.  (Jamie Williams Photo)
A little fan support and a racing doughnut.  (51)
Marvin Hamilton has helped me out a ton, so it was nice to see him win - again.  Check out the Speed51.com decal.   (Trudy Marshall/Jarracing Photography Photo)