The "Big One" at Jukasa Brings Early End to 2017 Race Season
August 26-27, 2017
With a short turnaround after the last event at Sunset Speedway, the Double D Racing team put in some long hours to prepare the #2 West Brant Window World Chevrolet for the season's biggest event, the grand opening of the Jukasa Motor Speedway, featuring a pair of 75 lap events.
Saturday's on track activity at Jukasa featured three practice sessions and group qualifying. In the opening practice session, driver Rick Burbridge made a single run of about ten laps, reporting back that the car was a little bit loose on corner entry. The team made an adjustment for round two, where Rick reported that the car was more comfortable. In the third and final session, Rick made just a single five lap run to work in a set of tires for one of Sunday's 75 lap events. After the three sessions were completed, the team recorded the 21st fastest lap of the 39 cars in attendance.
With the high number of cars in attendance, the 26 fastest would lock themselves into the first event on Sunday, with the remaining teams heading the the last chance qualifier. When Rick hit the track, he put himself 6th fastest on the leaderboard. The team then held it's collective breath as the remaining cars hit the track for their qualifying attempts, all of whom were faster than Rick in practice. When the dust settled, Rick had recorded the 22nd fastest qualifying lap of the day, safely qualifying the team into the first event on Sunday.
Sunday morning dawned with a beautiful August sun, as a massive crowd of nearly 10,000 fans poured through the gates at Jukasa to see the day's events. When the field finally rolled off the grid for the first 75 lap event of the day, Rick would start from the 20th position. When the green flag flew, Rick struggled with a loose race car on the outside lane. Rick faded back through the field on the outside, and continued dropping positions until the first caution flag of the day flew on lap 9 for a crash in turn one. The Double D team took advantage of the caution to bring Rick down pit road and make a panhard bar adjustment to help tighten the car in the turns. When racing resumed, Rick began moving forward through the field, finding some speed after his handling adjustments. Rick was up to the 23rd position by the time the second caution flew on lap 23. The field would barely get going on the restart before another caution flew on lap 24 for a crash in turn two. Rick once again started from the 23rd position, and used the inside line to his advantage, moving forward and heading for the top 20. As the race passed halfway, Rick moved into the top 20. An exciting moment occurred just past halfway as Rick was battling the #27 of Mat Box. The pair approached the lapped #5 car of Paighton Jacobs. Coming off turn four, Rick attempted to use the apron to get around Jacobs, but got very loose, nearly losing the car and dropping a couple of positions while getting himself straightened out. Rick once again found his rhythm and worked his way back into the top 20. With the race looking like it was heading to the end under green, the caution flew with five laps remaining for a spun car in turn four. Rick was running in the 18th position when the caution flew, and moved up a pair of positions to 16th as two cars ahead of him opted to pit under the caution. When the field restarted, just one lap was put on the board before the #87 of Willie Reyns spun out of the pack coming off turn two, hitting hard into the inside wall on the backstretch and bringing out the caution once again. Rick would restart from 18th this time, and struggled on the outside. Rick would fight as hard as he could, but would fade back to the 20th position by the time the field received the checkered flag.
In between races, the Double D Racing team made a number of adjustments to the rear of the car, looking for increased speed in the 2nd event. The team was confident that the adjustments would lead to an improved result in the following 75 laps.
Rick would start the 2nd event from the 30th position, as the field was lined up based on each driver's fastest race lap during the 1st event. On lap one, Rick picked up a number of positions, until all hell broke loose as the field completed the first lap. Up in the top 10, the #72 of Shawn Thompson hit the wall coming off turn four, and a number of cars piled into the back of him. As the field attempted to scatter, a number of different incidents unfolded. Rick would attempt to sneak through the incidents in the middle of the track, but made contact with the left rear of the #15 of Derek Lynch. The contact would send Rick airborne, and as the car landed, Rick made significant contact with the #8 of Jason Parker, who was stopped on track after being involved in a separate incident. The crash resulted in a significant amount of damage to the #2 machine, and the team's day ended on the hook.
The cost of the damage from the Jukasa incident has forced the Double D Racing team to cut the 2017 season short. The team will now look to the offseason to fix the car and make plans for the 2018 race season. Stay tuned to the site as we head into the offseason for future updates.
Mid-Race Incident Ends Race Early at Sunset
August 19, 2017
The APC Racing Series headed to Sunset Speedway this weekend for the second time this season. After an early race crash took the Double D Racing team out of contention in the spring race, the team headed to the track with some unfinished business to take care of.
The race day got off to a slow start, with rain showers causing a long delay to the start of practice. When cars finally got on track, driver Rick Burbridge reported that the #2 West Brant Window World Chevrolet was loose off the turns, and also smoking from the engine compartment. The team made a bump stop adjustment to the left rear to help the handling, and found a power steering fluid leak to be the smoke culprit. The team remedied the issue in time for the final practice session. In the final session, Rick was happier with the car. After a small bump stop adjustment to the left front to help a tight condition in the middle of the turns, Rick returned to the track and made a long run, feeling comfortable with the car's handling for the evening's race. Despite the comfort level with the car, the team lacked speed, coming in 18th fastest of the 21 cars in attendance.
With four new tires bolted onto the car for qualifying, Rick looked to improve on his speed. Once his five laps were completed, Rick had turned a fast lap of 14.36 seconds, a half second improvement over his practice speeds. That time was good enough for the 7th place starting position for the evening's race. The team was feeling confident that a strong top 10 run was ahead of them after the strong qualifying effort.
When the green flag dropped on the main event, Rick was in for some tense moments early. Heading into the first turn, the #17 of Josh Stade clipped Rick's rear bumper, causing Rick to head into the corner sideways. While saving the car, Rick would lose a number of positions, finally settling in to the 10th position. When Rick settled in and found a rhythm, he began catching the cars ahead of him. By lap 20, Rick had moved past the #10 of Tom Gibbons, gaining the 9th position. Rick would then quickly catch the side-by-side battle of the #32 of Treyton Lapcevich and the #8 of Jason Parker. With nowhere to go, Rick followed the duo until things got hairy on lap 34. Just ahead of Rick, the #24 of Nick Goetz made contact with the #22 of Jamie Cox coming off turn two. The two cars hooked together and spun to the inside of the backstretch. Rick was able to avoid the incident, and was now running in the 7th position under the race's first caution. During the caution, Parker would pit for adjustments, moving Rick up to the 6th position for the restart. Restarting from the outside, Rick would struggle to find grip, and began losing positions. Rick once again faded back to the 9th position before falling in line. Rick again found himself riding behind a side-by-side battle up ahead, but this time with pressure from behind from the #31w of Rick Walt. Things went sour on lap 43, when Walt clipped Rick's rear bumper heading into turn one, sending Rick for a spin. As Rick spun up the track, the #23 of Shawn McGlynn spun sideways into the front of the #2 machine, causing heavy damage to the front of the car. When Rick brought the car back to the pit area, the team found that the left front suspension was bent, and the front bumper was pushed back into the right front tire. These two things would result in the team parking the car for the remainder of the event, leading to yet another DNF at Sunset Speedway.
The Double D Racing team will now put in some long hours to repair the car ahead of next weekend's two day event at Jukasa Motor Speedway, feature twin 75 lap events on Sunday, August 27th. See you at the track!
Team Struggles to Find Speed at "The Beach"
August 5, 2017
After a three week "summer break", the Double D Racing team was back in action on Saturday at Sauble Speedway in Sauble Beach to kick off the second half of the 2017 APC Racing Series season. The team was looking forward to the event, after having showed solid speed and scoring a 7th place finish at the track in 2016.
The day's on track activity began with three rounds of practice. Driver Rick Burbridge made a single run late in the first session, and came back to the pit area reporting that the #2 West Brant Window World Chevrolet was tight on corner entry and through the middle of the corner. The team made a trailing arm adjustment and bump stop adjustment for the second session. In the second session, Rick reported that the car was now better on corner entry, but was tight from the middle to exit of the turn. The team decided to add a spring rubber to the right rear to fix the issue. In the final session, Rick found the feel his was looking for, reporting that the car was now rotating through the corner well and had strong drive up off the turn. Despite the comfort level, the team seemed to lack overall speed, being scored 18th fastest out of the 20 cars in attendance.
When group qualifying rolled around, Rick hit the track as part of the first group of cars. After his five laps on track, Rick was scored 2nd fastest of the four cars in his group. In each successive group, every single car put down a faster lap than the #2 machine, leaving Rick exactly where he practiced, 18th fastest.
For the start of the main event, the team knew that they would be in for a tough start with a position so deep in the field. Crew Chief Dave Burbridge told Rick to settle in and not use up the car early on, saving the tires for a late race charge through the field. When the green flag flew, the field quickly settled down into single file, with Rick holding the 18th position. By lap 10, Rick worked under the #7 of Brandon Verhoeven in turn three and four, moving up to 17th. Over the next couple of laps, Rick quickly caught up to the #27 of Mat Box, who was working to make his way past the #32 of Treyton Lapcevich. Rick would settle in and ride behind Box for over 20 laps. As the race continued to run green, the leaders quickly began closing on Rick's rear bumper on the small 1/4 mile oval. Rick stepped up the pressure, eventually diving under the #27 of Box off of turn four. Rick completed the pass down the back straight, moving up to 16th position. As Rick closed in on Lapcevich, leader Brandon Watson caught up to Rick's rear bumper. Rick would let Watson by, falling a lap down just past halfway. Rick then followed Watson, hoping to follow the leader past a number of cars up ahead. Watson would struggle to get around Lapcevich, allowing second place Matt Pritiko to catch Rick's rear bumper. Once Rick let Pritiko past, the remainder of the race would feature a similar pattern. Rick would catch up to the cars in front of him only to have to cede the racing line to one of the leaders catching him from behind. The race would run from green to checkers without a caution, a first in APC Racing Series history, leaving Rick with a 16th place finishing position.
After the race, Rick offered up his comments on the event. "While we struggled for speed in practice and qualifying, I feel like we had a good setup for the race. The car cut great in the middle of the corner, and I drove right under the #27 when I needed to go. The way the race played out just didn't fall our way. If we had a couple of cautions and stayed on the lead lap, I'm sure we could have made some passes on restarts and got up to the back of the top ten. But once you go down a lap on a track this small, there's not much you can do. Today just wasn't our day."
The team will now look ahead to the next event in two weeks, the AP Exhaust 100 at Sunset Speedway on Saturday, August 19th. Racing will get underway at 6pm. See you at the track!