David Makes His First Start At Motormile Speedway
The David Polenz Racing Team headed into the weekend with a lot of anticipation and hope for David's debut at Motormile Speedway. It became apparent in practice on Friday the team had their work cut out for them.
This was the first time David hit the track in the FDJ Motorsports car and it didn't take long to figure out that this was a completely different feel then his Old Dominion car. David hit the track several times and was able to make it into the top ten quickest out of the 20 cars that were there. But David never really got comfortable in the car and at days end David and the crew chief new they had plenty of things to work on to improve the car for Saturday night's race.
Saturday morning the team headed to the track early to be prepared to work on improving David's lap times and handling. David and his crew chief came up with a plan for some changes, the crew went to work and hit the track for the first practice. David thought the car felt better but still wanted it to turn better. The crew chief and crew went back to work and made some more changes. David hit the track once more and was much happier with the car, but still felt it was too tight. With 34 cars on hand David was struggling to make the top 20 on the speed chart. For the last practice they do what is called a scuff in session which is to get your race tires ready for qualifying and racing. The Guys made a few more changes and David headed out for the scuff session, he said the car felt better but he was just struggling to get the feel for the new car and new track.
By the time qualifying began the track had cooled off some and David was going out 25th and all of the cars in front of him were putting down laps much faster then he was all day. The team was nervous and the anticipation was driving them crazy. When David finally went out, he hit the track hard and fast and ran the car for all he could and even though he was quite a bit quicker then he practiced, he was still a couple tenths off the pole speed and he ended up 22nd out the 34 car field. Not the finish the team had hoped for, but with the best of the best in NASCAR Late Model racing on hand, the Polenz team was happy to make the race.
Motormile Speedway 150 Lap Race
With David starting 22nd, he had a tough night ahead of him. On the initial start of the race things went smooth but David got hung up on the outside and lost several spots. By the time he got down to the inside he was back to 28th. As David does every week he patiently started working his way forward. The race had several cautions and on lap 53 he was one of them when he got tagged from behind while running 18th and spun around; luckily there was no damage to the car. On the next restart he was in 23rd and started working forward again, by lap 100 he was up to 17th. He was still not comfortable in the car and was having a hard time getting it to turn through the corners. The plan at this point was to stay out of trouble and try to make it to the end and see what kind of finish he could salvage. On lap 144 the caution came out and David was still sitting 17th, so that close to the end the team just wanted to make it to the finish. Unfortunately the guys up front thought it would be a good time to mess around on the start, they sped up down the back stretch and then slowed a little which caused everyone to jam up, causing wrecks . From about 13th place back everyone was involved in the wreck, including David, who was hit from the back and pushed into the car in front of him. The Impact caved the nose in and knocked off the radiator cap ending his night. Four other cars were knocked out of the race from the wreck.
Obviously finishing 23rd made for a very disappointing night for David, FDJ Motorsports and the rest of us on the team. This was one of the races the entire team was hoping to have a good showing at but the whole weekend was a bit of a struggle. But as they say, that's racing, and the team is taking it in as learning experience and will try to improve on it for next time.