The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect those of Oswego Speedway.
Life Wide Open
By: Bryan L Haynes II
What a weekend! There were plenty of ups and downs to go around! So let’s get started because this might take a little while…
First, over 400 views of this blog registered last week!!! Thanks to everyone who takes the time to read what I have to say. That type of response will push me to give you the absolute best writing with an edge. Keep it up and at the bottom, I will explain how you can help spread the news of my blog and win an autographed Haynes Racing T-shirt.
This past Friday my Dad, Will, and I represented Haynes Racing at the Oswego County Republican Committee Golf Tournament. I understand that we all don’t have the same political beliefs, hell I am a registered republican but not all of my views come down on their side of the line. In fact to me the line is blurred. The point was we had a great time golfing and the three of us came in with a Captain and Crew score of 79. Not bad for three guys that don’t golf a whole lot. Oh and Will got dumped out of the golf cart by both me and my dad, it is a wonder he was able to race this weekend. By the last hole we were ready to play bumper cars with our two golf carts. I chased my dad through tight turns and trees. I pulled a slide job on him then chased him down and spun him and Will. We quit before we really wrecked something. (History has not been kind to racers on golf courses with golf carts. You see racers with race anything, anytime, anywhere. We got it really bad!)
Back in the race shop, we were thrashing to put Brad’s new Hedger together. We got it together Saturday morning and he was off to Morrisville for Ray to put the final touches on it.
For the second week in a row, rain threatened the racing action. It also canceled the 2-seater ride for my dad for the second week in a row. Roy Sova text me and said he would move his ride to the intermission.
So there we were at the racetrack, Brad made it from Morrisville and everyone slowly unloaded while we were under track dry. It is a good thing Pitt Watson was there to take my truck out on the track for track dry because I was a one-man show this weekend. If they had forced me onto the track, I would have had zero time to get my car ready. Same thing goes for the drivers meeting…”Drivers and Owners to the tech barn, crews get the cars ready for warm-ups” says Chuck Handley over the PA system. I stood in my pit box wondering where I should go!
Well I went to the meeting and just barely made it out for the first warm-up session.
Warm-ups went ok, the track was green and the car still felt loose off. I caught my brother and passed him in the first session but that isn’t saying much as it was his first time out in the new car. We found a bent steering rod between practice sessions and thrashed to fix it. It was a complete cluster and the cars hit the track with my car owner trying to put the nosepiece on the car. Eight laps into the session I knew I wasn’t going to make it out but sat in the car anyways.
I heard on my radio that they were going “Red” and I saw both Pitt and Will jump up and take off like they were about to fight someone. I yelled to Chris, “What happened?” “A car flipped” he replied. I said “Who?” and as calm as possible he says “Your brother.”
At that point, I set a record for exiting a car in full race gear. I heard people yelling, “He’s upside-down”, “He’s not moving”. The rumor mill stirs up quick at the racetrack. I bolted to the back straightaway and cleared the wire fence in true Olympic hurtle fashion. I stood on the edge of the track and saw that he was moving and getting out of the car. I slowly walked back to the pits and took off my gear. I think someone said “it was cute how you jumped out of your car”. I didn’t think it was cute at all. That is my little brother, he has never flipped a racecar in all his years racing and he just flipped a 2300 pound beast.
Fans see us walk away from wrecks all the time and some fans are there just to see the wrecks. Well I can tell you just because we walk away doesn’t mean we don’t feel it. It hurts you physically, mentally, and emotionally. It then ultimately hurts our wallet with all the bent up parts. Brad’s car was brand new with the exception of some older body panels. Now we have a car that needs to be fixed.
It was determined that the set screw for the power steering box backed out and the car shot straight for the wall coming out of turn two. We are not sure if the car will be back this week or next week.
After that mess, we had our heat races. I finally got a break and drew the third heat race of the night. I also got to start in 3rd which I like better than starting on the pole. Coming to take the green flag my car went completely sideways on the front stretch. I saved it and the rest of the field missed me. The race went green the entire time and I never caught back up. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t fast. I turned in a 19.8 during the heat race and I was the slowest car! That shows how tight the competition is this year in the SBS division. Usually a 19.8 will put you in the hunt during the heat race. I wasn’t too tore up about it but we still needed to make some big changes.
I got out of the car in time to watch Keith Gilliam take my dad out in the 2-seater. I even saw them get loose coming out of turn two one time. Dad said that got his attention real quick! I ran over to Keith’s pit when they pulled in to see them and ask him how it was. When he got out, he told all of us drivers that we are “bleeping nuts!” He also quipped that in his first time on the track he has gone faster than both Brad and I. He might be right but I am sure if he got in my car I would still be the fastest Haynes on the track with the exception of Bobby Haynes Jr., obviously he has a bigger motor!
Since Brad didn’t have a car to race he helped me get the #87 ready for the feature. He swapped the tires around to see if we could get better stagger. Brad does great work when he has the time to concentrate and put all of his energy into it. When he does that, he has always given me good cars.
I started in the back because of my last place finish in the heat race. This was fine with me, as I wanted to see what I could do with the car back in traffic.
At the drop of the green, the outside lane moved quickly and I took advantage to pick up about three or four spots. It was one of the best starts the SBS series has had all year as we ran a lot of green flag laps before a caution. During that time, my buddy Andrew Schartner pulled to my outside and challenged me for position. I knew it was only a matter of time before he got to me. I unfortunately had my hands full trying to get by Jack Patrick. So coming off turn four I tried to use Jack as a pick to slow Schartner so I could get to the inside of Jack and pull away. I was too loose off the corner and lost my momentum. This allowed Schartner to get a great run heading into turn one. I let him in and hoped he would open a hole big enough for both of us. I knew I had the car to follow him however; the doors were opened and closed too quickly for me to capitalize.
We had a caution and I found myself trailing Jack Patrick. So remembering last week, I pulled up and let him know I was there. The green dropped and I went to work on Jack. He gave me plenty of room all over the track and I could get a great run going into the corner and through the center. I would get right alongside of him and the car would snap loose. I never lifted while I drove it as hard as I could to keep on his bumper. I am sure more than a couple of times Jack looked over and wondered “What the hell is he doing???…he is sideways trying to pass me!!!” Even Barry Kingsley told me after the race he was sure I was going to spin it.
Folks I didn’t do this once, not twice, but four times off turn four and I lost count coming out of turn two. I even pushed him around the track for a few laps. Jack gave me a ton of room so there was no need for me to get him loose through the corner to get past him. That isn’t how you earn respect. If he was leading the race that would have been a different story. But we were having a spirited battle for 13th.
Now I knew I was fast in the racing groove, but I really upset the car when I pulled out to pass. Luckily, I think I know how to fix this for the next race. If I could have gotten by Jack I am sure I could have gotten by the cars in front of us. After checking lap times online my thoughts were reaffirmed as I clicked off a 19.6 my fastest lap at Oswego and I did it while in traffic. The car is coming around, now if we can get the car to stick when I try to pass the car should be right where we want it. I wasn’t able to get by Jack before the end and had to settle for 14th. I talked with Jack after the race and told him it was fun racing hard but it was too bad we were doing it so far back. He said he should have let me go and I told him that wasn’t necessary, I want to race.
The continuity in the SBS division this year is staggering, everyone is fast! Anyone who finished in the top 15 could be top 10 or top 5 on any given week. The cars are just that close.
Before I wrap up this edition, I have a few shout outs and some announcements…
First I want to say thanks to my team, Brad, Will, Pitt, and Chris for the hard work to keep me on the track.
Second, Cameron Rowe continues to carry the mantle for our team with another podium finish. I promise before the season is over both of us will be on the podium and one of us will be the winner. I hope it is I. I’m pretty sure Cameron might be ok with that.
Third, Mike Rowe, Cameron’s brother is an ace in the hole. I am lucky that he takes the time to help me after he gets Cameron squared away. Mike your attention to detail and commitment doesn’t go unnoticed. Thanks for the help, support, and letting me steal your tools!
Fourth, Congrats to Dave Danzer on a commanding victory! If you look at the pictures on the Oswego Speedway website, you will see me in the red hoodie dumping a whole bottle of water on Dave. The Danzer’s are great people and I enjoy spending time with them every weekend I come up to race.
For this week, I will be stepping out for the car. I have asked my best friend Nick Barzee to fill in for me while I attend a Bachelor party in Ocean City, MD. Nick Barzee races the #31 ROC modified and brings a wealth of knowledge with him this weekend.
This also means I will not be there to sign autographs. You can get Nick’s autograph and take one of my new hero cards. If you bring it by the pits on June 30th when I return I will be more than happy to sign it.
And my final announcement…Who wants to win an autographed Haynes Racing t-shirt?
We had a great response last week using the like button so I want to see 30 “likes” and if you click like send me a message at any of the contact methods below. I will put all the names in a hat next week before my next post and draw one at random. Winner will be announced in the next post! So get “liking”!
Good luck to my teammates Brad, Will, Cameron, Nick, and Nate this week!
Until next week, I’ll see you track side!