By Bill W
May 9, 2011 – First lap carnage in Saturday’s 360 A main at Knoxville Raceway collected driver Chad Humston, but a lot of help from fellow racers got the Mark Burch Motorsports #1m back out on the track. The Giltner, Nebraska driver was able to restart at the tail and work his way up to an eighth place finish. The team plans a return to Knoxville this weekend.
With 31 cars on the 360 side, qualifying would be important. Chad was able to wheel the Wolfweld chassis to third quick in time trials. “There were a lot of cars,” he says. “It feels good to qualify well, but at the same time, the twelve (invert) was drawn again. That puts you in the middle of the pack. They love those twelves.”
The heat race went without incident. Chad maneuvered the Bananawagon from fifth to a fourth place finish, setting up a starting spot outside of row five for the feature. Though opening night saw a rubber-down surface, Saturday’s track was faster and narrow, and competitors were itching for the green. “I had this feeling before we even started that things were going to get weird,” he says. “I talked to Tom Lenz about it afterwards and he agreed. Guys were banging on each other coming into (turn) four (before the green was thrown).”
All Hell broke loose down the front stretch. “Sure enough, there’s a guy flipping on the left and Jon Agan is turned over right in front of us,” explains Chad. “Wayne Johnson was flying by me too. I caught Agan’s front end, and that sent me into the wall. I was just trying to get my motor shut off at that point.”
When everything settled, six cars were heavily involved, with four of them suffering heavy damage. Chad was towed to the pit area, where several teams lent a helping hand to get him back in the race. “The front axle was taken out,” he says. “The front shocks were done. Some radius rods, the front wing was bent up and some other stuff was broken too. We were lucky to get through there with what we had. There were some cars just crushed all around us.”
The sprint car community showed its true spirit again, as several 410 competitors and teams chipped in. “I’ve got to thank all the people that helped get the car back out there,” says Chad. “I don’t even know who all was there…there must have been about twelve people. (Terry) McCarl’s crew was in there, Lynton (Jeffrey) was banging on the wing, Don Droud Jr. was in there too.”
The grandstand crowd cheered as the #1m was pushed off to restart at the tail. With fifteen cars remaining, Chad climbed to eighth at the checkers in a non-stop event. “You are always wondering if everything is tight and bolted down after something like that,” he says. “It took us a couple of laps, but we took off from there. It was hard to handle with the shocks we had. We moved up a few spots, so it wasn’t terrible.”
The team plans to return to Knoxville this Saturday night. “I think Knoxville’s on the schedule, and really there isn’t much else running if we wanted to,” says Chad. “We’ll be back. I’ll talk to Mark this week, and we’ll get things put together.”
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Partner of the Week: Wireless Amber Alerts
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Mark Burch Motorsports
The mission of Mark Burch Motorsports is to be an innovator in the unrefined business of Sprint Car racing on dirt, while representing our sponsors and manufacturers in a professional and positive manner both on and off the track. It is our goal to develop and improve our winning spirit and carry on our winning tradition by utilizing the growth of close personal relationships throughout our organization. This pursuit of excellence is the fuel that feeds the fire of our souls.
Mark Burch Motorsports would like to thank the following Primary sponsors: Engler Machine and Tool, Inc., Wireless Amber Alerts, Wolfweld Chassis, OE Parts Megastore, Hoosier Tire Great Plains, Smiley’s Racing Products, Whitetail Paradise and Triple R Tire.
Mark Burch Motorsports would like to thank the following Associate and Product sponsors: Arrow Truck Sales – Kansas City, MO, Morgan Farms, Burnett Rock & Landscaping, Donovan Blocks, Diamond Pistons, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, MSD Ignition, Vortex Racing Products, King Racing Products, S&S Welding, Inc., Lee Power Steering, Gessford Machine, Diversified Machine, Inc., Afco, CV Products, Wulff Pumps, Schoenfeld Headers, Red Devil Brakes, Total Seal, Dyers Top Rods, Huggins Cams, Speedway Motors, Weld Racing, Harris Decals, Eckley Racing Engines, Goodridge and Shaver Wesmar Gear Drives.