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Spira – Post Race Update #2014-14 – June 29, 2014 Peterborough Speedway

The #86 team was up and ready to go to their third track in as many days as they prepared the car and headed out for the 2 ½ hour trip east to Peterborough Speedway for the Chase for the Colours event. The top four finishing cars would automatically be qualified for the prestigious Autumn Colours Classic event that will take place on October 10th – 12th. The #86 team was hoping to qualify for the Superbowl of stock car racing, sponsored by Lucas Oil Products through the chase as it would save them an extra day at the track in October to qualify and the possibility of getting caught up in a wreck at that time.

The team arrived after a small detour caused by missing the exit off the highway by the co-pilot and that caused them to miss the first of three practice sessions. Using the set up notes from last years event, the car was pretty good in the first practice session with only minor tire pressure adjustments required, however the driver was requesting that air conditioning be added as the car was extremely hot due to the very hot weather. A minor carburetor adjustment was made along with additional air pressure adjustments and, despite the heat, Billy was pretty happy with the handling of the car after the second practice session for the team.

Starting 5th out of nine cars in the first of two heat races, Billy maintained his position throughout the ten laps as the very competitive field ran with very few position changes throughout the race. In the second and final heat race, the #86 lined up to start 3rd, behind the #17 and #54. At the halfway point, Billy moved into 2nd behind the #33 who had made his way to the front early in the race and on the final lap, Billy made his move to the inside on the very narrow, one racing line track and took over the lead for the race win.

The #86, Victaulic sponsored machine lined up to start 6th in the 30 lap feature, as the crew watched from the stands with their now red skin from three days in the blistering sun. In front of Billy were some very fast cars that were also trying to get those final four finishing positions to qualify for the big race event in the fall, so Billy would have his hands full trying to gain positions on the track that did not really have an outside lane that could be used to pass. The #33 lead the field to the green flag followed by the #41, #10, #89, #35 in front of the #86. On the 5th lap, Billy remained in 6th as the #41 took over the lead up front. Very few changes were made by the halfway mark as the #41 was still leading the field, followed by the #89, #10 #35 and Billy in 6th. Billy gained a position and was now in 5th on lap 13, where he ran until the caution came out on lap 20. Billy should have been put up to 4th for the restart, however the track left the #15, who was a lapped car, up front, causing Billy to restart on the outside despite him running in the 5th position that would have put him in the inside lane. The tracks decision to leave the lapped car up front did not do Billy any favors, as being stuck behind a slower car for the restart and being on the outside, he quickly fell back to 9th within two laps.

With just five laps remaining, the caution returned for two cars getting together on the track and with one of them that was ahead of Billy going into the pits to replace a flat tire, the #86 would restart 6th. Billy gained one position through the final laps and despite pushing the car to the limit to get by the #12 on the final lap, came up one position short of pre-qualifying for the October event. A very tired and sunburned team loaded up and headed home for a well deserved rest on the upcoming Canada Day Holiday.

Finishing off the weekend with two heat wins, two feature wins, a 2nd and a 5th place finish would have been a complete success for the team with a 4th place finish in Peterborough, however the team and driver were very happy with the results of their busy three day schedule.

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