June 4th, 2010
Made the show in Jersey! Better than that, I don’t look like a total idiot any more. I’m not saying I’m Final Four material yet, just that I’m looking better. Thanks to everyone who came up to congratulate me – you might not know how much that means.
Although I’m really happy, I feel really badly for the guys who didn’t make the show, because I know how that feels tonight. Strong drivers like Mordaunt, Maeng, and Aono, and great grassroots guys like Robinson, are licking their wounds tonight.
But I made the show! Thanks to Samuel Hubinette and the whole team for making it work, and having faith in me. NOS Energy, too, for letting me be here instead of the rally in Pennsylvania.
Now the downside: I have Tuerck in the first round. He’s a bit good, especially here. But anything can happen, and I’ll be wide open trying to give him a run for his money tomorrow.
Funny – I remember Dave Mirra, then a relative rookie to rally, drawing against me in a rounda at X Games a couple of years ago. He came up to me and said “go easy on me, eh?” Yeah, well, sure enough, we had him by several seconds by midcourse, but then I went and flipped end-over-end. Needless to say, Dave won.
So tomorrow, maybe I’ll tell Tuerck to go easy on me, eh?
June 4th, 2010
Wow – every one of the drift events and venues has it’s own challenges. Just as I was getting used to Atlanta – 90mph entry, wide smooth track, grass runouts, lots of fun – we come to New Jersey and have a small oval with a banked 60mph first corner, then a sharp transition into infield, then some major whoops through the transition in midfield. Actually more like rallying!
Took me a lot of runs to get the bank right. Could still be a little higher, but at least I’m on the right line. Thanks to the other competitor who told me to get back in the throttle a little earlier. Always something to learn.
And Samuel Hubinette Racing and crew chief Brad Manka are working hard to trim the car to suit me better. So now I have twin rear calipers with a set devoted to the handbrake. This is really good, since I kept locking the handbrake on by using the footbrake and handbrake at the same time. Not actually the feedback problem that a lot of people feel and that we actually get in our rally cars, but actually fully locked on, have to pump it to unlock. Caused one of my spins in Long Beach. So the good thing is that on the infield right-hander here at New Jersey I can slow the car down a little after the left flick with the footbrake, then breathe on the handbrake to increase the angle and skate the car out to the white line.
Every corner and every event I get a little better. Wish me luck here.