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Team D.I.R.T. .. The 2016 race season starts for Tucker 
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Post Team D.I.R.T. .. The 2016 race season starts for Tucker
Race report from Tucker’s Tool box. 30th April 2016

Well the season has begun with a great start. Team Dirt, had a great time at GingerMan, MI. this past weekend. The 5 hour drive to the track was uneventful, but Saturday am turned nasty, cold, high 40’s, you could see your breath, then followed by a steady then heavy rain. In the morning practice, I tapped a new student in his first race, had to go to the driver’s stewards, fess up, shake hands with the driver, and apologize. Fortunately that was the end of it, but I felt sorry for the fellow in his first race someone hit him, but now he’s got tire marks on his car, kind of a badge of honor, so he can drive it harder now. Went out to qualify, doing about 4 laps and with nobody behind me decided to pull in before I did something stupid, I mean it was slippery. Packed up early and headed for a nice restaurant with our friends, the Henry’s to eat some good food, get warm and a good night’s rest. Sunday morning arrived and the rain seemed to be gone, I elected to skip the morning warm up and reconfigured the car for a dry track. Went and picked up a grid sheet, only to find myself next to last! So I find out if you don’t finish the qualifying session, you’re not qualified!
I am gridded next to last out of 23 cars, saying to Ajmir my assistant “It’s good to race angry sometimes” and to Erika my daughter, “I’m going to have fun passing cars”. Well I think I passed 5 cars on the first lap, ending up 9th OA after 15 laps. I had the best race of my current 9 year career passing and lapping cars. I had a long battle with a TR-4, Mini and a Volvo 1800, of which trying to stay ahead of me spin off and that was that. When the day was over, the car started right up and we drove her on the trailer. I gave her a pat on the back and told her she was a good girl and that I had a lot of fun with her. So it looks like my dream of having a non DNF season has started. Next we go to Black Hawk farms in Beloit WI. In June, haven’t been there in a few years so that will be fun.
I really want to thank my crew, Ajmir, Erika, and especially my loving wife Lynne, who made some great chili served warm in a crock pot, love portable generators. The car had absolutely no problems for once, now we do maintenance, clean everything up after the wet weekend and repair the trailer awning, so much easier than rebuilding it all. Until then, be safe out there and we’ll see you at Black Hawk farms in a month or so.

File comment: Tucker at the much warmer NJ meeting
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Thu May 19, 2016 2:50 pm

Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:52 am
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Post Re: Team D.I.R.T.; The race season continues for Tucker
Tucker’s Tool Box
Race report from Grattan, MI, 8/19-21/2016
Race fans,
I’m really happy to report I had my best race weekend this year, well actually in the 8 years I’ve been racing. Went out to practice, the car felt really good, but the rear end stepped out on me a couple of times, so we changed tire pressures and that helped. On to the first practice and we placed 8th out of 40, which was surprising. From there ones place on the grid is determined by that time, so I’m gridded 8th, turning a 1:37.388, OK, I’m beginning to feel better, got a great start passing 2 cars on the first lap. I finished 6th with a 1:37.2, a little faster, we tuned the car up made some little changes and started the main race on Sunday am, finishing up 6th and! For me I am thrilled beyond my meager means, we’re all so happy, my wife, who does my timing & scoring has a big grin on her face when I pull in, my daughter Erika has a big smile on her face and says ”Wait until to see how fast you went”, and Ajmir my assistant & crew chief gives me a big thumbs up, Wow, I must have done well, turning my best time at Grattan ever with a 1:36.007. I did have a good start, but in the middle of the race it started to rain and got really slippery, I passed a couple of cars then, the track dried out and we all started going quickly again. There was a TR-4 that qualified ahead of me and we had a great race after the rain, with him filling my mirrors on the last 5 laps everywhere on the track. I had a slight power advantage so he couldn’t get by me on the straight. Coming out of the hairpin, I slipped a little and he caught me, stayed with me, got a great exit from the last corner onto the straight and we ran side by side, lapping a car and played chicken into turn one. When he braked, I counted one thousand one and hit brakes hard, he tried to stay with me but went way wide which gave about a 100 ft. advantage, catching me near the end it was over and I what can I say except it was the most fun I’ve had racing. We met up in the pits afterwards, introduce ourselves, shook hands and laughed about the race. This is what Vintage Racing is all about.
OK, enough hero stuff, Ajmir and I did a lot of small changes to the car, lowering it, fixing small problems, re-jetting the Weber, new brake pads, realignment, and a good tune up. It really is the small things that add up to a better product in this case a better race car. We borrowed a digital pyrometer from a competitor and did a tire temp check at the end of the second race, and to our surprise were not far off the mark. Ajmir went to the Toyo website Saturday night and looked up the tire we’re using, and we’re at the lower end of the acceptable scale, which means we’re on the right track.
On the mechanical side we used about a half a quart of oil, no coolant and a couple of table spoons of brake fluid to compensate for wear.
Now the story at the track. We all knew it was going to rain Saturday afternoon, but nobody knew that was to include nearby tornadoes, high winds and torrential rains. It tore our canopy, not bad fortunately, but enough to warrant a good repair, everybody got wet and I mean almost everybody at the track. For some unknown reason the storm spilt and the tornadoes went to the south of us, barely, we could hear sirens going off, all of our phones were constantly sending out warnings to seek shelter, where at a race track? In the trailer like a mobile home after a tornado, we figured the best bet was to get into the race car, helmet and all buckle oneself in and what a ride it would have been. Not! After it calmed down in a couple of hours, the races where canceled and the beer and wine came out. We went to nearby tavern to dry out, have some adult libations, dinner, and talk about the day’s events. Saturday night everybody slept soundly.
The next day Sunday, arrived with the sun out no clouds in the sky, very little humidity, and a breeze coming out of the north. The races were in progress when we got to the track, so we were able to watch a race which is always fun. Got into the track, got ready for our race, warmed up the car and discussed the set up. Off we went, the rest is history.
So almost through the 8th season, we’ve come a long way, had many ups and downs, which is part of it, wondering if we’re in over our heads, but not wanting to quit after all the effort we’ve put into the program, we finally shined. I’m really proud Team DIRT has stayed together, become a force at the track, help other competitors out and have begun to be recognized as an honest foe to be reckoned with.
Our last race of the season this year is Elkhart Lake, WI, or Road America, where they held the Indy car race this year and a NASCAR Bush race, one of my favorite tracks, a professional track, very fast, with a couple of pucker up corners. Beer, brats and corn, and racing, doesn’t get much better than that. We’re already planning next year, with one of the tracks being Lime Rock Park in the north eastern part of Connecticut, my old home track when I lived in the east. Also Summit Point, W. Virginia. It’s a good thing I’m not getting any older. See you on the grid.
Team DIRT.

Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:19 pm
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