NLS Racing Charlotte 14hr Race Report
The Charlotte race being delayed was the only positive side of this whole Covid crisis for us. There was no way we were going to make it to Charlotte in April after our engine let go at VIR South in March. After countless engine failures over the last year and a half, we had enough of junkyard engines. Rebuilt the bottom end with fresh rings and bearings, nothing fancy, store bought dingleberry hone and a little patience. Slapped it together, test drove it, all is well. The day before our entire team was scheduled to go on vacation for a week, the engine developed an issue. Spitting and sputtering, hard starting. Almost pulled the plug on this race but finally resolved the issue with a few days to go. Crank position sensor was out of adjustment. Never been an issue in 2+ years of the swap.
Fast forward to race day, we got our standard draw at the back of the field. No worries, plenty of time to catch up. By lap 2 our driver reported low power, engine missing. Came in, swapped 2 different Mass airflow sensors, no luck there. Back to the pits to play with the crank sensor and wouldn't ya know it, that was it. Back on track 10 laps down and pressing on. Set 2nd fastest lap of the day during our first stint(excluding EC cars). All is well, up to 5th by the end of our second stint.
3rd driver in and soon reported lack of power. Left him out there while we searched for a solution as his lap times hadn't fallen off too much. We continued on thru our 4th drivers stint as one team member ran to the parts store for a new crank sensor. Swapped it during a scheduled pitstop. Engine was better and worse at the same time, now instead of high RPM lack of power, it was lack of power anything under 5000 rpm. Oh well, nothing left to do but keep calm and carry on. Slowly gained on the front runners, eventually taking the lead and never looked back. Other than the sensor issues, it couldn't have gone better. Zero contact, everybody out there drove respectfully, at least those still running as this was a typical Charlotte race of attrition.
After 5 long years of trying we finally brought home the victory. We are stoked!!! We wish all our friends and family could've been there to celebrate,
Thank you all for the love and support. Shout out to the Running Bulls team, wish you guys could have survived to make it more interesting at the end. Congrats to all that finished, it was a hot one out there. Thanks, ChampCar for putting on the show amid these trying times. Thanks to everybody else that makes this happen and allowing us to fulfill our racing passion. And thanks to all our fellow racers that reached out to congratulate us.
We would also like to thank Woody at Buxton Auto and Marine for the sponsorship and Golf Cars of Hickory for the golf car.
Next race will be the Lifeline 24-hr Classic at Virginia International Raceway on August 8-9, 2020.