2016 Pro Series Oval/Road Course Series Championship presented by Ed Clark - President & GM Atlanta Motor Speedway
2016 "David Ragan Sporstman of the Year" award presented by Ken Ragan - Director Legends of Georgia AMS
Yesterday was the third and final road course race. It was at Atlanta Motorsports Park, and I had a ball! It was 30 minutes of practice, a 6 lap heat race, and a 10 lap feature race. The king of Legends Cars, Doug Stevens, was also racing in that race. In practice, we were about the same speed. After that, he changed the gear ratio in his car so he could get off the corner a little better. We left ours where it was. In the heat race, I drew to start last. After the first few laps, I was in second, right behind Mr. Stevens. On the restart, I was able to hang with him, but I dropped a wheel in the grass and locked up my brakes, which allowed him to get away. I ended up finishing second.
iRacing video: Dylan late model qualifying Caraway July 23, 2016
These last two weeks have been both busy and exciting. I have had a couple of Thursday Thunder races, a late model race, and watched the NASCAR Xfinity race with Spraker Racing from their pit box at Daytona.
On June 30, I had a Legends race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The car has not been gone over or nut and bolted in a while and we were not very fast. I ended up qualifying 5th out of 12. In the race, I worked my way up to 3rd. I fell back down to fourth and finished the race in 4th.
On the first of July, Jeff Spraker invited us to come down and watch the Xfinity race in Daytona from his pit box. I had a great time and Spraker Racing did a great job building, working on the car, and running it in the race.
July 6th and 7th was a double header at AMS. I qualified in 7th on Wednesday. In the race, it started raining, and I was one of the fastest cars out there. On the first restart, I tried to avoid a big pile up in front of me, but was pushed from behind and spun right into the wreck. When they restarted the race, I was running mid-pack and gaining positions, but then my exhaust fell off. It lost power and I took it easy for the rest of the race, because I didn’t know what was going on and didn’t want to hurt the motor. I finished 10th. Thanks to Doug Stevens and Advanced Technology Motorsports, we were able to have the car fixed for the race on Thursday.
On the Thursday race, I qualified 6th out of 13. The race had many red flags due to non-intentional reasons. I worked my way up the field, but spun in oil and got sent to the back. I ended up finishing fifth right behind the leaders.
I also had a late model race at Motor Mile Speedway on July 9th with Spraker Racing Enterprises. We had to adjust the car to make it looser in practice. I qualified 8th out of 14. It was a 150 lap race, so I tried to conserve my tires. I was running 7th for a while and made a couple of passes throughout the race. I was running fifth on the lead lap right behind the leaders, and on lap 123, the 3rd and 4th place cars ran into each other and I had to go low to try and avoid the crash, but they both came low and I got wedged between the wall and the other cars. I was lucky enough to finish the race, but my right front caliper was dragging my brakes so I didn’t have any straight line speed and finished 7th.
I also got some good news. NASCAR called and after only a few late model races have approved me to run the K&N series on ovals up to 1/2 mile. It normally takes a full season in late model racing to advance to K&N. This is very exciting as the NASCAR K&N series is one of the top tier NASCAR series and very well respected by everyone including the Cup teams and drivers.
All in all, these past few weeks have given me a lot more experience. Winning the Gorsline Scholarship with Performance Prime has helped me a lot.
Last week I had a Thursday Thunder Legends race and a late model race at Motor Mile Speedway.
I had a Legends race in Cordele, Ga last Saturday. It's a 3/8 mile oval and we used 4th gear instead of 3rd like AMS. We were almost 100mph top speed.I really liked the track. We practiced during the day and raced that night.
We drew for heat race starting position. I started 6th and finished 3rd. Since there were two separate heat races with half the cars in each I started 5th in the feature race. My car was loose in the heat race so I adjusted it with cross weight but we went the wrong way and made it worse for the feature race. Watch the video and you can see how loose it was. I was still able to run a close third and even tried a pass for second but didn't have enough rear grip to make it work. I still won the semi-pro class.
Next weekend is my final winter series Legends race at AMS. I still have the points lead and this race will determine the championship.
I am working hard on driving a K&N car at Watkins Glen, August 5 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend. We are planning to drive with "Spraker Racing" there and a Late Model at Caraway, NC May 28. Fingers crossed it all happens and goes well.
Thanks to all that have and are helping me. You know who you are!
This last race started great but didn’t finish as I would have liked. It was at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the 3rd Winter Flurry race.
In practice, we were about a tenth of a second off the pace. We came in and adjusted tire pressures. The next time we went out was for qualifying. As usual, it was a green-white-checkered. I got the pole by about a tenth at a 16.3. In the feature race, I led the entire race until the last lap. The second place car kept giving me really hard bumps from behind all race (you can hear some in the video). On the last lap he finally got by me going into turn three. I tried to pass him back coming out of four, but we think he hit is brakes when I was behind him, which caused me to spin. As you can see in the video, I was pretty frustrated at the time. The car that kept bumping me was disqualified for rough driving. I ended up in fourth, but it also gave me a huge lead in points.
This race gave me a lot of experience, as I will know what to do for next time.