Leinninger.com

May 26th, 2008:
First race of the year: podium finishes for everyone.

Chris “Cat Killer” Childs, Glenn “Father-in-law” Gehrke, and I raced at Grattan last weekend. Since both Glenn and I were racing, Gina was the crew chief. She took care of timing, radio communication, setup, fuel and everything in between. Without her help, I’m pretty sure I would have missed at least one of the sessions. We got out there on Friday to get some practice time in. Chris came through with some wheel spacers that allow me to run Hoosiers and I was able to try out the new setup on the last 2 practice sessions. Unfortunately, Chris also realized that his exhaust was beginning to leak and was cooking the steering rack in his Neon. He ordered a new rack and installed it Saturday morning. Later that day, Glenn qualified second and placed first. Chris qualified first and finished first, and I qualified third and finished third. This was my first podium finish ever. The good news was mixed with bad. Even though Chris finished first, he did so without power steering for the last 7 laps. With no other steering racks available in the area, he was forced to retire for the weekend. The next day resulted in a second place finish for Glenn and a second place finish for me as well. (Since Chris was unable to partipate.) The work on my Neon this spring really paid off. I’d also like to think that I’ve improved as a driver. I recorded by fastest time at Grattan to date (1:36.973) but I still have a long way to go. The fastest guys (including Chris) run in the 1:32 range. I think I have a second or two yet to find in my driving, but the car still has a long way to go too. I still need a coilover suspension, wider front tires, a limited slip diff, and an IT-prepped engine.

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