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Journal Update, 05/11/2011
Racing at Daytona International Speedway. Set a new lap record and won both races.
Racing at Daytona is always special. This event was even more so.
My friend Buddy Hendricks attended the event with his GT1 Camaro. It is the car that was featured on several episodes of 'Horsepower TV' back in the 2008 season.
(for those of you unfamiliar with Buddy, he was co-host of Horsepower TV, with Mike Galley and Joe Elmore, and technical producer during the 2007-2009 seasons. He is now back at his business, Florida Performance Machine in Sanford Fl and Crew Chief for Deland Fl - based Grand-Am team, Racers Edge Motorsports)
We both ran this event last year and neither of us finished. I broke my transmission on my out-lap. Buddy broke his transmission after 3 laps.
This would be our chance to excise the "transmission demons" that tarnished the event last year.

Tammy, Trinity and I arrived at the speedway about 6pm on Friday night. It was about this time I realized I had left my wallet at home! Oh well...
I had my SCCA license and Log-book, so that was all I needed to race.

After going to registration outside the track, we proceeded through the turn 1 tunnel and into the Blue Garage area. My garage was #6. (I have had the same garage at Daytona since they re-built the infield back in .....?) Buddy had already parked his trailer across from my garage and would be running his car out of the space next to his trailer.
We unloaded the car, golf cart, and spares and tools then drove the RV to UNO's for dinner.
This race at Daytona always falls on the first weekend in May. Our anniversary is May 2nd. So for the past 11 years, we have celebrated our anniversary by having dinner at UNO's in Daytona. After dinner, we ventured down the street to the International RV Resort, just west of I95 on Speedway blvd to settle-in for the night.

The next morning we arrived back at the speedway and set up the RV. The race car just needed some final checks on air pressure and torque the lug and it was ready to go.
I still had a couple of hours before qualifying, so I took some pictures of Buddys race car as they were unloading it from the trailer.

Buddy and Marilyn Hendricks are my daughter Trinitys Godparents. She can't wait to see them when we race together. That's Kim Hendricks in the black shirt in the back of the picture. She just finished scraping the sound-deadener off her 1994 Mustang GT that she is build for the SCCA American Sedan class.

Time for Qualifying. Here are some shots from the qualifying session on Saturday morning.  I qualified first in class, and 14th overall out of 26 cars. I was the fastest non-tube-framed car on the track. My qualifying time was 2:11.945. None of the other STO cars entered in the event showed-up. I was the only STO car on the track.

The car ran great, except the transmission was stubborn about shifting into 5th. I'm sure it cost me at least a second a lap. Also I found out that 29 psi cold tires on the banking is not a good feeling. It felt like a wheel was loose! That went away after a couple of laps as the tires temperature and pressure increased. The new track surface was great. No more bumps at all in turns 1 and 2, and just a small bump over the turn 4 tunnel.

After qualifying, I put the car up on jackstands and did my usual post-race checks. Everything looked fine. The new brakes were fully bedded-in & performing great. I was able to brake much later into turn one. Almost down to 150ft! When I ran the Cobra PBR calipers and rotors, 300ft was it.
Buddys race car ran well too. He qualified 2nd in class, third overall wit a 2:01.127
He did complain of  getting some motion-sickness while in the car, however.

I had some more time to kill before the afternoon race, so I went out to turn 3, the International Horseshoe, and took some pictures of the start of the Florida Endurance Series race. Over 80 cars in 5 different classes took the green flag. That usually means there is some close racing in the first couple of turns.

The time had come to  for the race. Tammy and I got the radios set and the Go-Pro HD camera installed and went to the grid. This was a 20 minute race. The action was frantic right from the start as the top 4 cars all had difficulty navigating turn 1 and the pole-sitting Camaro of Tom Keleher went off in the grass and was un-able to continue. This brought out a full-course yellow.
We restarted on lap 3 and the battles continued between a GTA stock-car, A SPO Panoz GTRA, A GT3 BMW M3 , and a 1958 Corvette SPO.
Here is the video:

I ended up first in class, and 8th overall, as several cars in front of me broke or had other issues. I also set a new lap record in class, a 2:11.968
Yes, that is slower than the qualifying time, but official records only count during a race.
Buddy's car ran well, but he had problems as the motion-sickness returned and he had to pull in from the lead with one lap to go! Hopefully he would be better for tomorrows race.

We parked the RV outside Buddy's shop in Sanford Saturday night and went out for Mexican food with his wife Marilyn. Kim was not able to join us as she was working at the Route 46 entertainment district in Sanford, one of Buddy's sponsors. We all turned-in early after dinner, as it had been a long day.
We were able to sleep-in a little on Sunday morning, as our only race of the day did not take place till 1pm. We arrive at the track around 9:30am to make sure the car was ready and to eat a light lunch, as Buddy was still a little 'green'.
My finishing position for Saturday determined my starting position for Sunday, so I was 8th on the grid. This meant there were at least six very quick cars behind me, including Buddy and yesterday's pole-sitter that would be coming through the field.
Here is the video from the race:

It was a fun race. Cars were blowing-up and pulling-off all over the place. The leader was right behind me as he came up to take the checker flag. So, I wanted to see if I could run-down any of the cars in front of me to gain a finishing position. It almost worked as I was on the tail of the stock-car as we crossed the finish line. I ended up setting my fastest lap of the race on that final lap!
Buddy had to retire after 6 laps. His car was running a little hot and he was not felling good. I hope he has better luck next time.
I be racing at PBIR this weekend, May 14th and 15 in a Double SARRC, while Buddy is off to VIR for the Grand-Am race.

All images are property of Titanium Motorsports and may not be used without permission.
Last Modified: January 7th, 2013.