By Bill W
September 12, 2017 –
Things started Friday with the heat race. “We drew the back of the heat,” says Mark.
“Right at the start, the guy who started on the pole position decided to drive across the track and ran the guy beside him into the wall. That guy had no steering, and I ended up clobbering him going into turn one.”
The crew has been lucky this season in not having torn up equipment, but they went to work quickly. “It broke the rear-end in half,” says Mark. “It trashed everything in the driveline and the back half of the car. The hard-working crew went to work and replaced the front end, the driveline, the torque tube, shocks, rear arms…basically the whole back of the car.”
Mark would win the B and start 19th in the main event. “I was confused when the back row challenge was, I guess,” he says. “I thought it was on the first night. The feature was frustrating early. The first five laps, I couldn’t get a hole to open up anywhere. Once we got going, we were fast and we were able to get up to second. There was a yellow in the middle and with two laps to go. Those helped us.”
The second-place finish locked him into Saturday’s Dash. “We had a fierce race with (Thomas) Kennedy, sliding back and forth,” says Mark. “We were able to finish third. First and second got the option to start from the last row. We would have been eligible to start in the second to last row, but Jade Hastings chose not to take the challenge. That gave us the opportunity to go back and start 23rd.”
Mark took full advantage of that. “The race was the exact opposite of Friday,” he says. “Any time I looked for a hole on Saturday, it was there. The seas were parting. It was probably the fastest race to the front that we’ve had. They had worked the track, and everything worked our way. I think we had the lead by lap eleven. The car and equipment was spot on.”
He was appreciative of the folks at Buffalo Wild Wings for putting on the event. “It was nice of Buffalo Wild Wings and Todd and Susan LaHaise to do that and put the money up,” says Mark. “For us to have that big of a race with that kind of money is huge for River Cities. They’ve helped us out quite a bit here over the years. We’ve come close a couple times in the past, but this was the first time we’ve been able to pull it off.”
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