Sunday, December 4, 2016

Columbus Indoor Winternationals

Because we are evidently crazy people, we decided to head to Columbus Ohio to race indoors on 12/3. It ended up being very different but also a lot of fun.

In Jr Honda, Dillon had quite possibly one of the craziest heat races I have even seen. Dillon did an AWESOME job passing and looked great on the track. He started 4th and finished 2nd, making it straight into the Jr Honda A Main.

Dillon ended up starting 4th in the Jr Honda A Main because another car had to come off the track before the start. He fell back a little on the start and was able to work his way back to 5th, but the car was too tight so that was a far as he could go. We'll take a top 5 finish out of 25 cars!

In the Jr Animal heat race, Dillon started 7th and finished 4th. Unfortunately the car was too tight, so he wasn't able to make it into a top 3 transfer spot before the end of the race.

Dillon did awesome in the Jr Animal B Main! He started 2nd, took the lead about half-way, and kept it until there were just a few laps to go, losing it to our fellow NCQMA driver, Ethan. He finished 2nd, which meant he started 8th in the A Main.  In the Jr Animal race, Dillon started 8th and finished 4th. He drove an awesome race and we are so proud of him!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

2016 Carolina Fall Nationals

For our 2016 Carolina Fall Nationals, we did driver introductions, photos with our special guest from Charlotte Motor Speedway, Lugnut, and also group photos of each class.

We also did a special dual qualifying format that included both batch qualifying and heat races. Dillon qualified 4th in Jr Honda and 5th in Jr Animal.

In the Jr Honda heat race, he started 5th and won! Dillon started 1st in the Jr Animal heat race, but spun early in the race and had to go to the back. He raced his way back up to finish 3rd.

Dillon started the Jr Honda feature race 3rd, but was involved in a wreck on the start that sent him into the pits, so he had to restart in the back. He raced his way up to the middle of the field twice but then was involved in wrecks each time that again sent him to near the back. He was able to pass his way back up to 5th, but didn't have enough laps to make it any further forward. He finished 5th but we are so incredibly proud of him for making passes and doing his best.

In the Jr Animal feature race, Dillon started 5th and was running 4th when he got caught up in a wreck and had to come in the pits. He came back out to the trail of the field with 9 laps to go, but there just wasn't much he could do with dirty tires and a bent up car. He finished 8th. As with the Jr Honda race, his finishing position doesn't tell the true story of how well he raced. He did a great job and we are super proud of him!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

2016 September - November Race Recaps

9/10 (NGQMA): We decided to race a regular club race at NGQMA, to try to get some practice in for the next week’s Dixie Shootout regional race. Dillon qualified 5th in Jr Honda and finished 4th. He qualified 3rd in Jr Animal and finished 2nd. Overall it was a good day and we were able to get in some really good practice with some different setups. Everyone in GA made us feel so welcome and we are very appreciative of their hospitality!

10/15 (NCQMA): In Jr Honda, Dillon qualified, started and finished 3rd. In Jr Animal, he qualified and started 2nd, finishing 3rd.

10/22 (NCQMA): In Jr Honda, Dillon started 8th. He was making his way up through the field when his chain came off and he had to go to the back with just a few laps to go. He finished 7th. In Jr Animal, Dillon started 6th and finished 4th. After the races, we enjoyed our Halloween celebration at the track.

11/12 (NCQMA): In Jr Honda, Dillon started 2nd in the heat race and finished 4th. This gave him an 8th place starting position for the feature. He finished 4th. In Jr Animal, Dillon started and finished first in the heat race. He started 2nd in the feature, fell back to 5th on the start, and worked his way back up to finish 2nd.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

2016 Dixie Shootout #10 - MAQMA & Banquet

11/5 (MAQMA): In Jr Honda, Dillon finished 7th in the B Main and didn’t make it into the A Main feature race. In Jr Animal, he finished 6th.

11/6 (Dixie Shootout final results and banquet): It was a roller coaster of a weekend for our final Dixie Shootout regional race, but we did manage to bring home a super awesome trophy for 4th in the season points for Jr Animal. Unfortunately, we ended up finishing just 3 points outside the top 5 in Jr Honda.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

2016 Dixie Shootout #9 - NGQMA

On 9/17/2016, we traveled in NGQMA in Cumming, GA for round #9 of the Dixie Shootout regional series. Dillon qualified 6th in Jr Animal so he started 6th in the A Main. He qualified 7th in Jr Honda (just .002 out of 6th), so he started on the pole in the B Main to try to make it into the A Main. He won the Jr Honda B Main which put him starting 7th in the feature race. In Jr Animal, Dillon finished 3rd. In Jr Honda, he finished 5th.

Monday, September 5, 2016

2016 Dixie Shootout #7 & #8 - HQMA

For Labor Day weekend, we traveled to Huntsville, AL for our Dixie Shootout double header races at HQMA.

9/3 (HQMA): This was day 1 of our Dixie Shootout regional series double header in Huntsville, AL. Dillon didn't have a great qualifying run, which was disappointing since the qualifying from Saturday was used for both days of races. He qualified 8th in Jr Animal and 5th in Jr Honda. They rolled a 5 for the invert for Saturday’s races, so he started on the pole for the Jr Honda race and 8th in Jr Animal. He ended up finishing 4th in both races.

9/4 (HQMA): For day 2 of our double header at HQMA, Dillon started 2nd in Jr Honda and 7th in Jr Animal (using the 2nd fastest lap of his qualifying times). Dillon wrecked in the first laps of the Jr Animal race, had to come off the track for repairs, and wasn't able to make it back out before the field took the green. He ended up finishing 7th. In Jr Honda, Dillon started 2nd, but the fuel switch somehow got turned off, so he had to go to the back of the field. He raced his way back up to finish 5th.

We did get Dillon some custom ear buds done. Watching Butch Lamb (Radical Racegear) do the molds was a pretty interesting process.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

2016 July - August Race Recaps

7/30 (NCQMA): Dillon qualified 3rd in both Jr Honda and Jr Animal. The Jr Honda race was pretty crazy. Dillon ran second for a lot of the race, but ended up having cars wreck in front of him multiple times, had to come off the track twice and finished 7th. In Jr Animal, Dillon finished 3rd.

8/6 (NCQMA): Dillon qualified 9th in the Jr Honda, started 3rd in the B Main, and finished 2nd. He started 8th in the feature and finished 6th. In our Jr Animal cup race, he qualified and finished 5th.

8/13 (NCQMA): In Jr Honda, Dillon qualified 9th and finished 3rd in the B Main. He started 9th in the feature. Unfortunately, it was one of "those" weekends. In the Jr Honda race, Dillon was involved in an early wreck, came off for repairs, the car didn't handle well and he ended up striking out and finishing 9th. In Jr Animal, he qualified 2nd, started 4th (due to the 5 car invert), was involved in a wreck on the start that ended with him flipping, came off for repairs, and also ended up striking out, finishing 9th in that race, as well. This was also our rookie cup race day. The rookies had 5 total races. Since Ron was the rookie director, and the rookie races were back to back with Dillon’s races, Ron ended up being pretty much run ragged trying to help Dillon and help the rookies all at the same time. It was also ridiculously HOT. It ended up just being a really hard and frustrating day.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

2016 Dixie Shootout #6 - MAQMA

For round #6 of the Dixie Shootout, we headed to MAQMA in Braselton, GA. It was a hot weekend that found us dodging rain showers as we tried to get all the racing in.
Dillon qualified 3rd in Jr Animal, making it straight into the A Main. In Jr Honda, he qualified 8th, which put him starting 2nd in the B Main. He finished 3rd, so he started 9th in the feature race.
After a very long day, they weren't able to get all the races in, so we ended up coming back to the track on Sunday for Dillon's races. He ended up finishing 7th in Jr Animal and 6th in Jr Honda.

Monday, July 11, 2016

2016 Lap of Legends

Photo of the cars lined up to start by Larry Chen Photo
As part of the USAC .25 Battle at the Brickyard, the quarter midget drivers were given the opportunity to take a lap around the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was such an awesome experience for Dillon!

They did a drone fly over video of all the cars lined up before the start. It was really cool to see all those cars on the track together. Dillon is to the far left, just behind the bright yellow car (red car with the black and white V design on the front). You can see him at around 3:10 in the video.

Dillon managed to make his way to the front of the pack by the end of the lap so it's cool to be able to see him on Butch Lamb's video taken from the pace truck.
If you look for the red car with the black and white V shape on the front you can find Dillon starting at around the 5 minute mark in the video. Here are some screenshots from the video where he is seen. You can see him at first in the upper right-hand corner and then he makes his way to the front of the field.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

2016 Battle at the Brickyard

We decided to race the "Battle at the Brickyard" as our first USAC .25 National race. We traveled to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, IN, to enjoy a whole week of racing between Mini Indy and the Brickyard (with a little vacation in between). There were a record setting 550 cars registered, with 58 Jr Hondas and 44 Jr Animals!
It was a very memorable experience. Once inside the gates of IMS, we enjoyed getting to explore a little bit of the IMS grounds around the area where we would be racing. Interestingly, the race would actually take place at a temporary track set up in the parking lot.
The opening ceremonies were really impressive with bagpipers, all the drivers walking a lap around the track grouped in their regions and a balloon release. Dillon also got to meet professional race car driver Max Papis (creator of our MPI steering wheels).
USAC used heat races to set the starting order and lower mains. Dillon started 6th and finished 4th in his Jr Honda heat race. He started 1st and finished 4th in the Jr Animal heat race. He made some good passes but had to come up from the back after a spin. There were 69 heat races.
There were 56 lower mains and Dillon needed to finish 4th or better in each of his to guarantee him a starting spot in the next one to try to work his way into the feature races. In Jr Honda, he started 5th in D Main and finished 4th. That resulted in a 10th place start for the C Main. He finished 5th in the Jr Honda C Main, making him the X car for the B Main.
In Jr Animal, Dillon started 4th in the D Main and finished 5th, but someone left that was supposed to be in the C Main, so Dillon made it in and started 10th. He ended up with a 5th place finish in the Jr Animal C Main (just inches from 4th - it was a photo finish), which made him the X car for the B Main in that class, also.
Unfortunately, Dillon ended up not making it out for either B Main since all the other cars were able to complete the first lap in each. We'll finish our first Battle at the Brickyard experience 17th out of 58 cars for the Honda and 17th out of 44 cars for the Animal. Not too shabby for our first try at this event! 
The really cool thing about this event is that it also gives the quarter midget drivers an opportunity to take a lap around the famed IMS track. It was such a cool experience for Dillon! Over the course of the lap, he managed to make it to the front of the pack, finishing up front just behind the pace truck.

You can see some of the videos from the "Lap of Legends" here.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

2016 Mini Indy

This year we decided to travel to Indianapolis, IN, to race at the "Mini Indy Speedway" (CIQMA) at the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds. This is a Midwest Thunder Regional race, and they do things quite a bit differently than our own regional series. They do heat races, instead of batch qualifying, and they run the Honda cars on the first day and the Animal cars on the second day.

Jr Honda - 7/02

Dillon started 8th in the 3rd heat race to try to make it into the feature (starting positions based on pill draw). There were 24 total Jr Honda cars trying to be one of the 10 that made it to the feature.

Dillon finished 4th in his heat race which meant he started 2nd in the B-main. He finished 3rd in the B-main which earned him a 9th place starting position in the feature.

Dillon started 9th and was super fast! He made it up to 6th in just a few laps, but unfortunately got caught up in a wreck and ended up in the wall. All the dads jumped in to try to get everything fixed, but they just didn't have enough time to get him back out before the race went green. He finished 10th. We are so proud of Dillon for how he raced today and for making it into the A-Main while racing again stiff competition at a brand new (to us) track!

Jr Animal - 7/03

Unfortunately, the only winner for Sunday was Mother Nature. All racing activities were canceled due to rain.

So, instead of racing, we headed into the city of Indianapolis to enjoy some Italian food and wonderful company at Buca di Beppo!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

2016 June Race Recaps


6/25/16 - Dillon did an awesome job qualifying on Saturday! He qualified 2nd in Jr Honda and 3rd in Jr Animal (just 0.002 out of 2nd). They inverted the top 3, so he started 2nd in Jr Honda and 1st for Jr Animal. This was our Jr Honda Cup Race, so Dillon got to be pulled out onto the track to music and was interviewed before the race. During the race, he tried to go for the lead a little too early and ended up spinning out. He finished 9th. In Jr Animal, we were unfortunately wrecked under caution before the race started, which knocked off the chain. After coming off the track to get the chain fixed, Dillon had to go to the back of the field for the start of the race. He ended up finishing 5th. Dillon has improved so much since the start of the year and we are so proud of him!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

2016 Dixie Shootout #5 - MCQMRA

For the fifth race of the Dixie Shootout series, we were back at MCQMRA in Nashville, TN, and it was HOT! Dillon and Caroline spent lots of time hanging out in the trailer in front of the fan trying to stay cool.
In Jr Animal, Dillon qualified 4th and with the invert, he started on the outside pole. At the beginning of the race, he got shuffled back to 5th. The race went green from start to finish, so he ended up just riding it out to finish in 5th place.

In the Jr Honda race, he qualified 7th in a very tight field. He was running in 5th when 2 cars ahead of him got together and he had no where to go, ending up "inadvertently involved" in the wreck after the initial contact. Unfortunately, a bad call sent us to the back of the field with just 4 laps to go. Dillon finished 9th.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

2016 Dixie Shootout #3 & #4 - NCQMA

We hosted a "double header" Dixie Shootout regional race at our home track on Memorial Day weekend. The race on Saturday, 5/28, was also a local race for our Championship Series. Due to rain on Sunday, we actually ended up racing on 5/28, 5/29 and 5/30.

The qualifying on Saturday counted for both race #3 and #4. The fastest lap would determine the starting position for the first race and the 2nd fastest lap would determine the start for the 2nd race.

Race #3 - 5/28

Dillon qualified first in Jr Animal and 3rd in Jr Honda.

Then he WON in Jr Animal! We are so proud of him!

He finished 4th in the Jr Honda. He was fast and got up to second at one point.

Race #4 - 5/29 & 5/30

Dillon raced the Jr Animal on Sunday. He started 4th and was trying to pass for 3rd when he spun out and had to go to the back. He finished 5th.

In Jr Honda, Dillon drove the race of his life! He started 6th, but 2 cars wrecked in front of him and he got caught up in that and ended up being sent to the back. Then he passed his way up through the WHOLE FIELD to finish 2nd. It was an awesome weekend and we were so, so PROUD of Dillon!
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