I ran a Silver Crown qualifying session just before the race, setting a 30.415 time. My qualifying time placed me in sixteenth position out of the eighteen runners, but with an iRating of eleventh, I expected to finish in that position, or better.
The guy infront bogged down at the start (he apologized afterwards, which was nice) and I was boxed in. I passed him in turn two, but was down in fifteenth place. Unfortunately I also had nobody to draft with and was caught fairly quickly by the group behind. I wanted them to stay in line and let me lead them back to the pack infront, but unfortunately they wouldn’t, so I ran high and let the guy behind pass, then tried to draft him… This worked pretty well because the third guy in our train understood what I was trying to do and as I followed the pack leader, he followed me.
On lap thirteen of sixty, we caught a guy who had just been in an accident. The guy infront (who didn’t know about drafting, remember?) started racing with him and their battle (which slowed us as a group enormously) raged while I sat there in total dismay. The new guy to the group was also putting his car in places that didn’t really sit well with me… I knew that if I attempted to pass, I’d be risking an incident.
After a few laps, I knew that my race for the top ten was over. I knew that the two guys infront wouldn’t stay in line so there was no chance of catching the lead group. The two guys infront also seemed to be all over the race track so I thought I’d try to get by them to stay out of the accident I thought would happen sometime soon. Lap thirty I made my move for twelfth and went to the inside of the guy infront (the guy who had been in an accident earlier) and he came down on my in turn three. I had to pull down onto the apron to avoid contact and fell to the back of the pack I was in.
I sat in fourteenth place for another thirteen laps, unwilling to risk my race by getting side by side. With seventeen laps to go I started to push and in the next three laps I passed the three cars ahead of me in our group. Unfortunately, the same guy came down on me, again, in turn three. After I passed the leader of our group, the guy who had came down on me then ran into the back of group leader and he crashed out… I led the ‘lucky guy’ back to the flag and finished in eleventh place.
I had two incidents in the race. My car contact, of course, and an off track penalty when I cut the tri-oval grass. My fastest lap was forty-one, this was when I started my charge to pass those infront.
It’s kind of frustrating when people don’t draft and seem more intent on racing for the position they can see. I guess I should be qualifying faster and I wouldn’t have to worry about this problem… But I qualified as fast as I could, don’t know what else I could have done… I’m faster in traffic.