ASA LEFTOVERS: BERLIN Presented by CITGO / MDA by Jeremy Troiano
Leicht Stuck In The Pits, Porter's Bad Luck Continues & More
LUCKY #80 DOESN'T DO IT FOR PORTER
Toby Porter is #11 in ASA competition. But all of his life, he's been #80. So he took a page from Kevin Cywinski's notebook and put a time little #80 inside his #11, hoping to change his luck.
Just past halfway, it looked like it was working. Porter had raced his way to third-place after starting 26th and was one of only three cars on the lead lap. However, the next green flag run killed Porter's chances for a victory.
“We took left sides on that pit stop when we were one of just three cars on the lead lap and it tightened the car up bad,” said Porter. “I couldn't do anything with it. It tightened the car in us so bad. When I could put rights back on it., the car was good again.
“We went from being one of the top three cars and one of only three on the lead lap to three laps down in one quick stretch. Damn the luck.
“The car is in one piece tough. We can take it across the street (from Porter's shop in Greenville, South Carolina to Greenville-Pickens Speedway) and do some testing. We have some things we want to be testing at least.
“I think I had a second place car tonight. I’ll win me one of these before the year is out. You just wait and see.”
BIG TIRE PROBLEMS PLAGUE STUMP
For the second-straight race, Kris Stump proved he was a man on a mission. Then again, for the second-straight race, problems, this time with his tires, slowed his top-five hopes.
“We got pretty aggressive with camber,” said Stum. “We weren’t used to having this many green flag laps in a row. All year long, it has been green-caution-green-caution. So tonight, the camber just destroyed the tire.
“We just got whooped tonight. Eddy was fast. I’ve never seen anything like that in ASA.”
Stump finished 14th.
WRONG CALL IN PITS DOOMS SORENSON
Reed Sorenson qualified second, but never got to show the strength of his Target Dodge as he too fell victim to Mike Eddy's torrid pace and went several laps down early in the event.
“We thought we had a good car qualifying second,” said Sorenson. “The car was tight and we came in a got gas and everyone else stayed out. Then we stayed out when everyone else came in and took on tires. After that, we went straight to the back.
“We almost blew out the right front. I don't know how we didn't. The right front was chartering all the way around the race track. We were just hanging on. (The crew) said the tire wouldn't have lasted much longer on the track.
“We probably would have still went a lap down because Eddy was so fast, but we should have come in and got tires during the long run.”
Reed finished 16th.
SONTAG THE ONLY GUY TO HIT THE WALL ALL NIGHT LONG
Kris Stump's tire looked more like a grooved street tire than racing slick.
With only five cautions, and two of them being comp yellows, there wasn't much wrecked machinery sitting around after the checkers flew. In fact, the only car that made contact with the wall (that brought out a caution) was that of rookie Brett Sontag.
Sontag spun on lap 28 and bounced off of the wall. It damaged the rear of his Terry's Automotive car but not bad enough that he couldn't' continue.
“The car, the driver... who knows,” said Sontag in response to asking what happened in his brief brush with the wall. “We changed some shocks and springs before qualifying. It was a little malfunction with the team. I just got in and cranked a bunch of rear brake. I couldn't get the thing to turn for its life. So I backed her in.
Brett Sontag's team made quick repairs to the rearend of his #71 after getting into the wall early in the race.
“We stayed out to get our lap back and that was a big no no. We ended up losing five or six out of it. The tires are unbelievable. I passed all of the faster guys when we went back out. We'll figure it out.”
LEICHT LEFT SITTING ON PIT ROAD
When the jack drops during a pit stop, that is the sign for a race car driver to leave. Well, that simple movement might have been what cost rookie Stephen Leicht a chance at his first career ASA victory on Saturday night at Berlin Raceway (MI).
Toby Porter thought his luck might change in Berlin... it didn't. (51 photos)
Leicht came into the pits in the top five just around lap 50 on Saturday night, but left the pits over four laps down. The #4 crew didn’t get the lugnuts tight on the right rear of the #4 WalTom Racing Developments ride and as Leicht took off, the wheel came off, leaving Leicht and is ride stuck in the middle of pit road.
“The rear tire changer’s hose came off of the gun,” said a disappointed Leicht after the race. “When he went to put the tire on, he realized something was wrong. By the time he turned around and was getting ready to fix it, they dropped the jack and I drove off.”
Leicht finished 12th, three laps off of the pace.
“We can’t have this happen every week. We have to get together and make sure everyone is on the same page, because we need some points.”
A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS
Teenager Casey Smith was frustrated following practice at the very tricky .438-mile oval. He couldn’t quite figure out the line around the track and struggled mightily, practicing near the bottom of the speed charts.
However, with a little advice from a former ASA champion and a bunch more laps on the track, things turned around and Casey bounced back with a 17th place finish.
Stephen Leicht's car sits in the middle of pit road after losing a tire while pulling out of the pits.
“Saturday morning when I got here, I thought it was the worst track I’d ever been on as far as me trying to figure it out,” said Smith. “I kept trying to get behind different people, like (Mike) Garvey, (Kevin) Cywinski and others and they were all running different lines. It was messing me up. Then, in qualifying, Joey Clanton came over and helped me out quite a bit. He told me how to get around here.
“Come race time, we had a good car at first then the tires started chunking out. I was just out there holding on for dear life. I think I went three or four laps down right there. We came in and made some adjustments and was the fastest car out there.
“We were very fast with the exception of that long green flag run when the tire came apart. I was just trying to hold on to it there. I was even passing Butch when we made the last adjustment.”
OLD MAN SAUTER TURNS 100
Tim Sauter took his Lester Buildings Ford to its third-straight top-10 finish on Saturday night, coming home sixth at Berlin. But despite the good run, Sauter said the team still has plenty of work to do.
"I don't know. You can call this one luck I think,” said Sauter. “Call it luck or call it whatever you want, but i'll take it. We are working on the things. We have to do more testing and figure out why we race good but for some reason, can't just qualify too well."
It was Tim's 100th career ASA start. He won the championship in 1999.
CLICK HERE To View The First Part Of ASA Leftovers: Berlin
Casey Smith got a little help around Berlin from a former ASA champion.