NLS Racing #977 and #799 VIR-North Race Report:
We’ve been determined to end our bad luck streak at VIR. Maybe this is the weekend after our recent success at other tracks. We only ran the 300 on the test day to get our 2 new renters some seat time. Both had oval track experience but have never been on a road course. They both did great, and the car was ready to roll.
Saturday began wet and only got worse. It was mayhem, cars crashing and spinning all over the track. We struggled in the 240 and pitted to unhook the sway bar. That helped but conditions didn’t get any better and tried a swap to our rain tires. Big mistake, they were terrible, locking up under almost any braking. So bad in fact, we had a little incident with Team Rhinoceros, spinning them and collecting our buddies in the wicked fast FOOS Racing 350sx. While all this is going on, our driver in the 300 drove up to 1st and then promptly spun down into turn 1.
The success in the 300 was short-lived. After our first driver change, 3rd gear decided to blow out of the gearbox ending the day and what we thought was the weekend. More on that later. We threw in one of our best wet weather drivers in the 240 and he wasted no time getting up to speed. He had us back into the top 10 by the end of his stint. The rest of the day was smooth sailing, slowly working our way up to P3. Just not enough time to catch Pinkies Out or RVA. Great job guys.
We did our standard post-race prep for the next day. Meanwhile one of our guys had apparently bought yet another 300 with a gearbox still in it, but it's 3hrs away. Couple of phone calls later and it's en route. We’ve done this a few times now, so we made short order of the trans swap.
Both cars back in action and ready to charge ahead on Sunday. Less than an hour into our stint in the 240, driver reports he thinks he has a flat. He keeps pushing to feel it out before we make an unnecessary pitstop. He stays out but says something just doesn’t feel right. Upon inspection during our next stop, we found the RR toe link has snapped off. We had the same thing happen 2 years ago and finished 4th that day. So, we decided to let her eat. Lap times were still right there w/ the leaders. We pushed hard all day slowly reeling the leaders in, but we missed on every pitstop, code 35 would come out every time right after our stops. The stars didn’t quite align, but we managed our way to our best finish yet at VIR, 2nd.
The 300 had some good pace with our new renters. They were pleased to say the least. They’re ready to build their own car now. After our second stop, we noticed the RR wheel was bent, but let it go. On our in lap after the next stint our guy lost brakes. RR caliper had spit out the pads and pushed the pistons all the way out. We determined it was actually a bent hub, not sure when it happened. We put on a new caliper hoping to baby it to the end, but about an hour later it was losing brakes again. So as not to damage our car or anyone else, we parked it.
Everybody had a great time, our best weekend yet at VIR. All the renters got their stints in. Congrats to Huggins and all the Pinkies Out guys. Great racing w/ Danger Racing among many others. We had a blast hanging and racing w/ the FOOS 350sx guys. Alan and Nathan, love chilling with you guys. Scott, Ryan, Kevin, Dan, Ben, and the rest of our NLS family, we love you all. Couldn’t do it without you. We even managed to buy a new car at the track. Our guy Ryan picked up a VW Golf turbo for a deal. He got it for all the guy's kids to get a little seat time now that they’re getting older. Maybe getting them into a race in the future.
Thanks Champcar Endurance Series and all the support staff. As always, the best racing anywhere.
Now onto Road Atlanta. We’re bringing our A game. See you all in victory lane…again