Strong Peterborough Run Results in Top 10 Finish
June 16, 2018
The Double D Racing team headed east this weekend for the APC Racing Series' annual visit to Peterborough Speedway. The team has historically run strong at "Canada's Toughest 1/3rd Mile Oval", and was looking for another strong run this weekend to get the 2018 season back on track. Some front suspension re-design following the last race at Flamboro Speedway had the team hopeful of a better handling car through the turns.
Under extremely hot and sunny skies, the day began with a trio of afternoon practice sessions to allow teams to get their cars dialed in for the evening's event. In the first practice session, driver Rick Burbridge reported that the #2 West Brant Window World Chevrolet was fast, but was suffering from a loose condition on corner exit. Before the second session, the team pulled a spring rubber out of the right rear spring. In the second session, Rick felt that the car was better, but now a little bit tight in the center of the corner and still a touch loose on exit. For the final practice session, Crew Chief Dave Burbridge called for a right rear trailing arm adjustment, as well as a right front camber change. In the final session, Rick reported that the car was rolling through the corners well, and had good forward drive onto the straightaways. The team had the 13th overall practice speed in the 24 car field, but were looking forward to qualifying and racing later on.
When group qualifying commenced, Rick would roll off in the third of six groups. Despite a brief brush of the wall coming off turn two on one of his laps, Rick would post the 3rd fastest time once his group was finished. As the remaining groups of faster cars took to the track, Rick would began falling down the leaderboard. Once all cars had turned their laps, Rick wound up with the 11th place starting position, narrowly missing the top 10 inversion. Despite missing the invert, the team was happy to have an always valuable inside starting position for the 100 lap main event.
Shortly after 7pm, with the sun still shining down, the stars and cars of the APC Racing Series hit the track for the main event. From the drop of the green flag, Rick used the inside starting position to his advantage, moving up to 9th position by the time the first caution flag flew on lap four for a spin in turn four. Restarting from the inside once again, Rick jumped his way up to 7th on the ensuing restart, and the field settled in for some green flag laps. On lap 12, Rick slipped past the #3 of Shae Gemmell down the back straight, moving up to 6th place. Rick was still running in 6th on lap 21, when the two leaders got together coming off turn two, resulting in another caution flag. With two leaders out of the way, Rick found himself up in the 4th position. Before the next restart, Rick moved up to 3rd as the #81 of Andrew Gresel hit the pits under caution. Rick would maintain the 3rd position on the restart, and settled in to run with the leaders. The race would go to lap 32 before another caution flag waved for a spin on the back straight. Another restart would see Rick maintain the 3rd position. Under heavy pressure from the #84 of JR Fitzpatrick, Rick slipped up the track in turn one, allowing Fitzpatrick to slip past. Rick would manage to squeeze his way back into line right behind Fitzpatrick to limit the damage. Shortly after falling into 4th, the caution flag flew again on lap 37. Rick was now forced to face his first restart of the race on Peterborough's tricky outside line. When the green flew, Rick would battle hard, and had slipped back to the 6th position by the time another quick caution flew on lap 40. Another bout of good fortune would come Rick's way, as second place runner Ryan Kimball brought his #29 car down pit road, moving Rick up to 5th for the ensuing restart. Rick would maintain his position on the start, and run in 5th until the final caution flag of the night flew on lap 54 for a spin in turn four. On what would turn out to be the final restart of the evening, Rick would hold on to the 5th position, settling into line as the leaders began to run away from the field. Around lap 70, the top five cars began encountering heavy lapped traffic. By lap 80, Andrew Gresel had closed up to Rick's rear bumper. On lap 88, Gresel would find his way under Rick coming off of turn two. Rick slipped back to 6th, settling in behind Gresel with almost a full straightaway back to the 7th placed car. Over the final ten laps, Rick would closely pursue Gresel and Fitzpatrick as they navigated lapped traffic, but was unable to find an opening to move back forward. When the checkered flag flew, Rick would bring home a 6th place finish.
The 6th place finish was the team's best of the season and their best ever result at Peterborough Speedway. The team will now look to use the strong run as a momentum builder as they prepare for the next APC Racing Series event, June 29th at Delaware Speedway, which is a track where the team has historically struggled. See you at the track!
Early Contact Leads to Short Night at Flamboro Speedway
June 2, 2018
The Double D Racing team made the short trip down the road to Flamboro Speedway on Saturday for the second event of the 2018 APC Racing Series season. After struggling in both events at their "home track" last season, the team was looking for a reversal of fortunes to continue a solid start to the 2018 season.
The day's on-track activities began with a trio of afternoon practice sessions. In the opening session, Rick reported that the #2 West Brant Window World Chevrolet was suffering from a tight condition in the middle of the corners. The team would make a couple of adjustments to help the handling, and Rick headed back out on track for the second session. Despite the changes, the same handling issues would persist. Throughout the day, this cycle would continue, as the team tried a handful of adjustments, but none seemed to be curing the tight handling conditions in the middle of the turns. The team would make one more big swing at adjustments before sending the car off to impound for qualifying and the evening's main event.
When teams took to the track for qualifying, Rick would roll off in the second of five groups. When Rick completed his five laps on track, he had posted the 2nd fastest time out of the 10 cars that had qualified to that point. As the final three groups hit the track, Rick began to slide down the leaderboard, eventually settling for a 15th place starting position for the evening's main event.
With the sun still shining above Flamboro Speedway, the field of 24 APC Late Models hit the track for the evening's 100 lap main event. On the opening laps, the field began to settle into line. The #10 of Tom Gibbons made an aggressive move to drop down in front of Rick. Contact ensued heading towards turn three, but Rick backed out and followed Gibbons. A few laps later, Rick would slip under Gibbons in turn three, moving back up to his starting position of 15th. At lap seven, Rick would move under the #31 of Rick Spencer-Walt, moving into the 14th position. Rick then set to work on the #72 of JR Farrelly. On lap 15, Rick nosed under Farrelly heading down the front straight. Rick would work his way up beside the #72 through turns one and two. As the pair headed for turn three, Farrelly came down into Rick, causing Rick to head toward the apron to avoid hard contact. This allowed Farrelly to jump back ahead. Rick would continue to aggressively pursue the pass, gluing himself to Farrelly's rear bumper. The window of opportunity for a pass opened again on lap 20, as Rick moved under Farrelly in turn three. Coming off turn four, Farrelly would make contact with the outside wall, causing him to dart to the left, where Rick was already up alongside him. The ensuing contact caused Rick's car to jump over Farrelly's left rear tire, sending the car airborne. As the car landed, Rick went careening through the infield grass. As the caution flag waved, Rick brought the "Blue Deuce" pitside to the attention of the crew. After assessing some major cosmetic and suspension damage, the team repaired the car as best they could, and sent Rick back on track just in time for the restart. Despite the repair attempts, the right front suspension was dragging the track significantly, and Rick was forced to bring the car back to the pits after just one lap, ending the team's evening after just 21 laps. The end result would be a 24th place finishing position.
The Double D Racing team will now spend the next two weeks repairing the damage from the Flamboro incident, in hopes of making it back to the next APC Racing Series event, the Hy-Grade Roofing 100, scheduled for Saturday, June 16th at Peterborough Speedway. See you at the track!
Solid Start to 2018 Season at Sunset
May 20, 2018
The APC Racing Series opened it's 2018 season with the Kleen-Flo 100 at Sunset Speedway, as part of the track's Victoria Day Weekend "Spring Velocity" event. The Double D Racing team headed into the event with a new chassis for the 2018 season, and was looking to see if some of the team's past success at the track could be rekindled.
The day started out with a series of practice sessions. In the opening session, driver Rick Burbridge reported that the #2 West Brant Window World Chevrolet was handling fairly well, with just a slight push in the middle of the corner. Before the second session, the team made a bump stop adjustment. Rick reported that the car did not feel any better, so the team reversed the adjustment and opted for a panhard bar adjustment for the third session. After turning about fifteen laps in the third session, Rick reported that the car was very comfortable, with just a slight tight condition in the middle of the corners. The team opted to add a spring rubber to the right rear, and sit out for the fourth and final practice session in the day. Despite having a comfortable feeling car, the team lacked overall speed, timing in with the 24th fastest lap of the 28 teams in attendance.
With four brand new tires bolted onto the car for group qualifying, Rick was looking to improve on his speed and score a top-18 time to lock himself into the evening's main event. Rolling off in the first of six groups, Rick posted the fastest time in the group, with a fast lap of 14.329 seconds. This time would prove to hold up well, as Rick would remain in the top five through three groups of qualifying, before being bumped down the board by faster cars. When the dust settled on qualifying, the team wound up with the 13th fastest time, solidly locking into the main event with a mid-pack starting position.
As the sun set and temperatures were dropping, the field of 26 late models took to the track for the evening's main event. Rick would roll off from the 12th position on the grid. The outside starting position would prove fortuitous, as it allowed Rick to avoid a spin on the bottom in turn two on lap 6, bringing out the first caution of the event. Starting from the outside once again, Rick would take the green from the 10th position. Rick quickly picked up another position, and battled hard with the #51 of Mike Bentley for several laps, hoping to pick up the 8th position. Rick would eventually fall into line behind Bentley, riding in the 9th position until the second caution of the event flew on lap 19. Restarting on the inside this time, Rick was just as strong, swapping positions with Bentley to move into the 8th position just before another caution flag flew for a spin on lap 21. Restarting from the 8th position, Rick was hoping to gain more ground on the outside and move forward. On the restart, Rick was hit heading into turn one by the #5 of Jerry Artuso, causing Rick to slide through the turn attempting to save the car. Rick would get the car straightened out, but lost all momentum, falling to the rear of the pack as the field roared past. Rick would eventually settle into the 24th position, and began attempting a march toward the front of the field. The race settled into a long green flag run, and Rick began moving forward, jumping up to the 20th position by the midway point of the race. At this point, Crew Chief Dave Burbridge radioed to Rick that the leaders were on his tail, looking to put him a lap down, and Rick needed to pick up the pace. The driver of the Blue Deuce would heed the call, picking up a pair of spots in a single lap to move into 18th, and then another pair of cars a few laps later to move into the 16th position. On lap 70, Rick was eventually forced to give way to leader Brandon Watson, falling a lap off the pace. Rick would quickly tag onto the leader's rear bumper, following him around the track for several laps. While tailing Watson, Rick was able to pick off another pair of positions, moving up to the 14th position with just ten laps remaining. At lap 93, the caution flag flew once again, just as Rick was attempting to pass the #47 of Jordan Sims for the 13th position. Rick would have another shot at Sims on the restart, lining up on the outside of the #47 for the restart as the first two cars one lap down. Mayhem would break out on the restart, as a crash in turn two would take out a few lead lap cars, and Rick would sustain some left side body damage navigating through the chaos. With a pair of cars seeing their nights ended as a result of the incident, Rick once again lined up beside Sims for the restart, this time in the 12th position. For the final seven laps, the two cars battled door-to-door, with Rick eventually nosing ahead to steal the 11th finishing position as the checkered flag flew.
The Double D Racing team is now left pondering if a top five finish was in the cards if not for the restart mishap, but will shift focus to look forward to the next APC Series event, the Interstate Batteries 100 at Flamboro Speedway on Saturday, June 2nd. See you at the track!