Coming off the recent double header in Sonoma, CA, little time was had to diagnose and fix the power train issue that snuck up on the #40 during the beginning of the 2nd race. With Labor Day weekend closing businesses, we were strapped for time between races. It was determined that the pressure plate had gone out and was the issue. Our amazing partner CenterForce Clutches, went above and beyond over the holiday weekend and ensured we had what we needed in time. I can't thank Will Baty and his team enough for coming through.
Five laps into testing, the car kept slipping out of gear and its power was horribly down. Finally, it wouldn't produce any drive to the rear wheels at all and I had to get towed back to the paddock. Once again Dave and Stefan descended on the car, pulled its transmission and found the problem. This time the transmission was failing and the fuel pump filter was clogged. The call was made to put in an older used clutch and transmission. They weren't the best for performance, but their strength and durability would definitely last the weekend. At this point, that is what I wanted. I didn't want to have an issue in the middle of the race and not be able to finish.
It was a qualifying session plague with problems. In the 30 minutes we had 2 red flags from broken or stalled cars on the track. It was a great example of the necessity to go out and throw down your best lap as fast as possible. I finally got my tires up to temperature and I was in the groove with some space to run. Then, as I was about to complete a full lap,an Audi TT was on a cool down lap driving on the racing line. I was on pace to beat my best time by 1.5 secs... it wouldn't happen.
It took about 5 laps of full course caution to clean everything up. I have seen smaller wrecks take longer. At one point they had us drive through pit lane so our tires could avoid any sharp pieces while they cleaned. Luckily, that was the only problem the whole race.
A BIG thank you to ALL of my sponsors for helping me this year. Each of you are extremely important. Racing doesn't happen with out you and I look forward to working with you more next year. Thank you to my teammate Andy Lee, #20. What an incredible driver and person he is. Can't wait to do it again next year buddy! I would also like to thank JourneyBlueMedia for following the team this year and taking incredible action shots of the car and crew. Each weekend goes by so fast and you capture amazing moments that I look forward to seeing once it is all over. You have a great eye!