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Team D.I.R.T. .. The final outing for Tucker 2016 
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Post Team D.I.R.T. .. The final outing for Tucker 2016
Team Dirt Final race report, Elkhart Lake, WI
Road America ELVF : 2016 VSCDA

Hello race fans,
Well we’ve done it for another season, this by far being the most successful in the 8 short years of Team DIRT. I will have to say that the Courier 'Elva Girl' was tired after a whole season with the original piston rings that were finally worn out and was down on power by about 25%.
We soldiered on regardless, had some good races mid pack and in the final race on Sunday, the Kimberly Cup, started 13th or 14th, finished 8th and had a great race with a Mini.
This was one of the biggest fields in VSCDA’s history with just over 350 cars, 76 in my race alone, which is where the problems started. It is impossible to get that many cars started equally, particularly when the start/finish line at Elkhart lake is on an uphill straightaway and can’t be seen from the mid pack back. Halfway up the hill was flagman who displayed a double yellow meaning caution and absolutely no passing, Honestly, at the start of the race there is no passing for those of us who weren’t in the first third of the grid. So I got a lousy start in both practice and races, which made me angry and it’s lucky I had a helmet on stifling my four lettered worded screams about the start. I did as well as I could, finishing in the first third, only to be snarled at the start. In the main feature race for our class with over 70 cars, some fool crashed in the first turn on the second lap, so we did the Nascar parade for four laps around a 4+ mile track at an idle while they tried to get the car out of the kitty litter on the outside of turn one. Why they didn’t just push it off the end of the corner and let us race is one reason I won’t be going back to Elkhart Lake. That said, it's too bad, because it’s a professional fast track, fun to drive, with good passing opportunities and in a beautiful location. Another important reason to go is the beer and brats, which we had in excess and they were just like we remembered.
We came very close to having the " dream season" with no DNF's other than the June Blackhawk Farms event with broken valve springs, a first. Other than that, we had no problems all year, were placed high up in class, and in top ten overall at every race except Elkhart lake, for the above reasons. The tire's are also worn out, not down to cord but pretty smooth. We installed a new set of brake pads in the middle of the season, so they will last a season and a half. We used all of a 50 gall drum of race fuel, so we came very close to now knowing what it takes to do a season competively. This winter we'll go through the car to make sure it's safe and reliable and do some small upgrades. One thing we need to address is the failure of the Harland Sharpe roller rocker arms. We'll figure that out and that will be one more failure eliminated.
Aside from the one brake failure in our big Chevy truck, resulting in an hour roadside repair, the truck and trailer behaved. We have to make a decision on the canopy as it's getting tired after 8 years as well, but they aren't cheap, so we'll see if we can't effect a repair.
I'm now trying to figure out the schedule for next year, but it will definitely include Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, my old home track where I started my racing career in a 850 Mini in D sedan 50 years ago. It's also the 60th anniversary of Lime Rock so that should be a lot of fun and since you can't race on Sunday, there is a concours auto show, including some of the race cars.
One other nice thing this year was the recognition from other drivers for my consistant quick driving, a wonderful compliment. They know they can trust me, and I them, a big difference in the way we approach each other on the track and in a corner. When I started I would get lapped and passed at all races, now I'm the lapper and passing is fun.
As always, I couldn't do this without the help of my family, Lynne and Erika, my assistant Ajmir, and my groupies Charlie and Nancy and other loyal customers who follow me around. It also take's a network of machinists, manufactures and racing aquaintances to make this happen, my helmet is off to them as well. So my thanks to all that help me do this, as it's the most fun I have and there are not too many of us that do it, especially at my ripe old age of 49 !!
See you on the grid,
Tucker


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Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:59 am
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