Spring has arrived and along
with it a very busy schedule at Kryderacing.
HANS Trip to Atlanta
Getting ready for the year
included a trip to Atlanta for Reed and Sandi. The purpose was training
in usage and installation of HANS devices. The half day program was
very educational. It has been a big help in our selling and installation
of HANS devices. Reed and Sandi also visited old friend Jim Downing
and received a tour of his shop. The shop initially seems big.
But when you stop and think about the types, quantities, and quality of
vehicles which have come from its confines, you start to wonder how they
managed to do it all in what now appears to be a small area. And
they are still working on new and interesting projects.
The Neohio Region of the
SCCA held their Competition Clinic a couple of weeks following the Atlanta
trip. Kryderacing shared a booth with Nelson Ledges Road Course.
We promoted HANS, The 2007 Kryderacing Regional Series at Nelson Ledges,
and our trackside assistance activities. The comp clinic was well
organized. While Sandi watched our area and socialized, Reed was
focused on the chassis set-up talks given by Bill Mitchell, Dave Weitzenhof,
and David Finch.
The first SCCA race of the
year for a Kryderacing assisted vehicle was a National at Memphis Motorsports
Park. David Pintaric entered his T-1 class Viper. This was
going to be an educational weekend. Last year David raced a Corvette
at this race and set a new lap record. Since then he has switched
to the Viper as well as improved his own driving skills. But the
SCCA has also detuned the Viper significantly. Kryderacing employee
Matt Carson spent many hours working on an exhaust system which we hoped
would get some of the lost horsepower back. Matt traveled with David
to Memphis. David bettered last years record time in practice, but
clutch problems kept him from going for a win.
Nelson Ledges Test
Next up on the schedule was
a test day at Nelson Ledges. Bill Pintaric’s GTL-class Nissan 200SX
had had a frame-up rebuild over the Winter. “Frame-up” means we stripped
the old frame, powder-coated it, and basically re-built the car from scratch.
The car looked brand new. David’s Viper had a new clutch and flywheel
and we wanted to make sure everything was okay. Bruce Keillor brought
his SSC-class Mazda for a pre-race test. Kryderacing wanted to put
a few laps on their Infiniti pace vehicle which is made available to all
SCCA Regions running the Kryderacing Regional Championship Series at Nelson
Ledges. No one made a lot of laps. Both Pintaric vehicles tested
well and were loaded for the next race. Bruce ran long enough to
wear out his old tires, and the G20 passed all its tests.
Summit Point National
The following weekend found
everyone at Summit Point for what is becoming known as the Bad Weather
National. For several years this event has featured warm (at least
seasonal) weather during the Thursday and Friday test sessions. Saturday
and Sunday feature high temperatures in the low 40’s and rain or snow.
2007 was no exception. The forecast called for dropping temperatures
through Saturday, rain coming during Saturday afternoon, and major rain
or snow storms throughout Sunday. Shortly before the first group
went on track Saturday morning there was a driver’s meeting. A vote
was taken on trying to do the entire event in one day and be gone by the
time the storms hit on Sunday. There were a few negative votes, but
the vast majority wanted to be done and gone by the evening. Every
group received a qualifying session and then a race. David’s Viper
qualified fifth, raced to second, and then was on the wrong side while
lapping a car with two laps to go. This dropped him to third where
he finished. Given another lap or two he probably would have retaken
second. Along the way he set the fastest race lap for the group.
Bill qualified second with his GTL-class Nissan 200SX and quickly became
involved in a four car battle for second on what was a wet, but not soaked
track. This battle became so fierce that by race mid-point they started
to close the gap to the leader. Summit Point is extremely slippery
when wet and Bill has never been known as a wet track racer. But
on this day he found something extra. Positions changed constantly
and as the race entered the final lap it was down to Bill and another driver
for second. No one was going to give at the end of the long straight
leading into the tight first turn. Bill made it through while the
other driver slid off a little bit. Bill ended up with a hard earned
second and a lot more confidence in his wet weather driving capabilities.
Kryderacing extends two thoughts to the organizers of this event.
Based on what happened weather-wise on Sunday, the stewards made the right
decision to finish everything on Saturday. We also heard a great
worker/participant party had been planned for Saturday evening. Don’t
drop it next year because of poor attendance this year.
Iowa Koni, Nelson Ledges Double Driver’s School, Mid-Ohio NASA
Yep. All on the same weekend. David Pintaric took his Viper to Mid-Ohio for the NASA weekend. He was joined by Jerry, a mechanic who has done some dealer type service on the Viper. It was an interesting weekend and from what David has told us we will be asking Jerry to join us at future races.
Sandi was race chairperson for the Mahoning Valley Region Double Driver’s School at Nelson Ledges. Several Kryderacing clients participated as instructors. The event was a great success and hopefully will be repeated next year. One humorous story concerned a crashed racer. When asked what happened, the uninjured student said he had been told he could probably drive full throttle through the first couple of turns. He proceeded to try it, successfully. Having made it that far without slowing, he decided to continue this approach through the next turn, also known as the “tree bend” for those of you familiar with Nelson Ledges. If you are not familiar with the track, note that most drivers brake hard and downshift for the “tree bend“. Enough said.
The rest of the Kryderacing
crew was at the new Iowa Speedway for the Koni ST race. Team Sahlen
consisted of Joe Sahlen and Will Nonnamaker driving a Dodge SRT4.
The Kryderacing trackside crew consisted of Reed Kryder, Matt Miller, Matt
Carson, Donny Huberty, Brent Walton, Steve Ahlgrim, and Ken Stonecipher.
The new facility is beautiful. The road course is 1.3 miles long
and includes a lot of the oval with a tight infield section. The
first caution came out about 45 minutes into the two and a half hour race.
It was doubtful we could make it to the end of the race if we stopped but
we were still on the lead lap and decided to pit for fuel only. Most
of the competitors did not pit. Joe stayed in the car and the early
pit decision started to look good. We stayed on the lead lap and
moved up to fourth place as others pitted. As the race neared it’s
end we decided we needed that last splash of fuel and the mandatory driver
change. The second full course caution appeared just as Will left
the pits. We still finished tenth after qualifying seventeenth.
If we had stretched that second stop for another lap or two we probably
would have finished sixth. Or maybe the SRT4 would have coasted to
a stop out of gas before making it to the pits. Everyone did a great
Nelson Ledges Double Regional and Gingerman National
Here we go again. Multiple events on the same weekend. Actually this was the third weekend in a row where Kryderacing has provided trackside assistance to our clients. And in no case (other than David’s Viper at Summit Point and then at Mid-Ohio) are they the same clients. It has been a very busy time and the upcoming weekend includes no races (so far). One other thing you may have noticed is a lack of wins so far in 2007. We were amazed at our two-dozen plus wins in 2006 and knew repeating that success this year would be a major challenge. While there had been some great races and results so far in 2007, wins had been elusive. That changed on this weekend at Nelson Ledges and Gingerman.
Matt Miller traveled to the Gingerman National to provide assistance to the two John Buttermore’s and their T-1 Corvette (driven by John the father) and T-2 Cadillac CTS-V.(John the son). He was also keeping an eye on Gary Martz and his E-Production class Mazda RX-7 and Rob Piekarczyk’s T-3 Class Mazda RX-8. Gary left before the race with mechanical problems. John finished fourth in T-1 against some tough competition, including last year’s national champion. His son drove the Cadillac to an impressive win against what is normally tough competition. Either the competition has lost their edge or John has found something extra. Meanwhile, Rob completed a Kryderacing sweep of two of the three Touring classes with his win in T-3.
While the above success was going on at Gingerman, Reed and Sandi were at the Neohio Double Regional at Nelson Ledges. Both Kryderacing rental vehicles were being run and Bruce Keillor was running his Mazda. Bruce easily won his class both days. Greg Alley was driving the ITA class Nissan NX 2000 and had an interesting weekend. He spun off in the last turn during the final lap of qualifying. No harm was done other than getting stuck in the mud. Prior to the race Reed suggested he weave the car during the pace lap to remove any remaining dirt/mud residue. Greg is a rookie and slightly overdid the weaving part going through the carousel. The resulting off-course spin added mud instead of removing it. He drove a good race after starting a half-lap back. Sunday saw him improve his lap times, pass a competitor with a great start and end up fourth in the race.
Bill Schauer is not a rookie and has many races in the Kryderacing ITS class Nissan 240SX. This car has had many wins as a Showroom Stock class car but since being convert to the faster ITS class in 2004, victory has always been just out of reach. The best finish had been a second by Reed last year. Bill duplicated the second place result with a good race on Saturday and then bested that with a win on Sunday. The win didn’t come easy. After qualifying second it was obvious the pole sitter was a faster car on the straights, but Bill probably could out handle him in the curves. Bill got a great start and led into the first turn. Lap after lap the other car tried to pass Bill on the straights. Lap after lap he almost made it. Bill was never blocking and, while faster on the straights, the other car never had enough of a run to complete the pass. From the pits we just prayed the other car wouldn’t do something crazy in a effort to force his way by. It was a good race by two quality driver’s. Bill’s start was the deciding factor.
Reed was also coaching second-year driver Eddy Eckert. Eddie was driving in the tough Spec Mazda class. This class is tough because the cars are very close in speed capabilities and it has become the most populated class in SCCA racing. A lot of drivers racing equal cars means little things can make a big difference. Eddy does a great job and his only significant weakness is a lack of experience. Reed did pass on several suggestions, some of them targeted at improving lap times and others involving race craft. Eddy did well during Saturday’s race but really improved his skills on Sunday. You don’t really learn how to race by reading books and practicing lines around the track. You learn how to race by dealing with traffic. On Sunday Eddy quickly became involved in a four car battle. He never led the group but he did alternate between the other three positions. Along the way you could see him try different approaches to passing. Most of the attempts didn’t work (they usually don‘t between equal cars) , but like any good racer, he didn’t give up. An inside move going into turn one with a couple of laps to go netted him second in the group of four. We plan on continuing this program at Mid-Ohio in June.
We also reached an agreement
with Nelson Ledges management to install a cement pad at the track.
The pad is for Kryderacing usage and will be conveniently located near
our gas pumps. We will be able to park our trailer beside the pad.
The pad will be level enough to perform alignments. Kryderacing is
paying for the pad and will have exclusive use of it when we are at the
track. Track Manager Scott Lane will make it available to others
when we are not there. Scott has had a couple of other requests for
pads and may be receptive to similar arrangements. Call him if you
want a pad.
* May 5-6 is an “off” weekend
for the entire Kryderacing crew. The next one is in August.
* May 11-13 will see Kryderacing visiting Grattan to help the Buttermore’s in their second National of the season. Hopefully Gary Martz will have his Mazda repaired by then.
* May 11-13 will also see the second weekend of the Kryderacing Regional Championship Series at Nelson Ledges. This event will be put on by the Steel Cities Region.
* May 18-20 will find Reed and Sandi at the Road America vintage races. There is also a NASA event at BeaveRun that weekend but our involvement is tentative at this point in time.
* Memorial Day weekend will find a large contingent of Kryderacing clients participating in the Mahoning Valley Region Nationals at Nelson Ledges while another Kryderacing group will be assisting Team Sahlen at Lime Rock Park in both Koni ST and GS races.
* June 1-3 will find everyone at the Mid-Ohio National and Regional weekend. With the client line-up for this weekend we will need everyone.
* June 8-10 features a double Regional at Nelson Ledges and possible assistance to a Rolex team at Watkins Glen.
2007 Kryderacing Regional
Championship Series - Standings as of 4/30/07
AS Ron Hutter
ITC Bill Shearer
EP Jim Llwellyn Chris Turkali
Cathy Alexander Joe Gumkowski
F 500 Ned Barefoot
ITE Brian Jules
FA Dennis Sideri
ITS Bill Schauer
FC Terry Myr Pat Kane
FV Jeff Mosher Abdulrab Aziz
David Satterly S2000 Bill Kasmer
SM Charles Campbell
GP Chris Himes Tex Melotti
John McFarland Ron Kucera
Barry Wills Bob Kucera
Jim Sloan Rodney Sizemore
GTL Dave English Robert Doernberg
ITA Rick Jarrett David Jones
Scott Nutter Tom Minuto
Mike Petrusko Eric Stoller
Reed Andrews Patrick Jones
Tom Nutter Jerry Cabe
SPU Bob MacDonald
ITB William Johnson John Hinkle
Jeff Rizzen SRF Greg Grucella
SSC Bruce Keillor