Team Tigges Reading Preview

Discussion in 'System One Pit Buzz' started by MaineAlkyFan, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. MaineAlkyFan

    MaineAlkyFan Active Member

    Oct 8, 2006
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    Reading is a rain magnet. Nestled deep in the oxygen rich farmland of eastern Pennsylvania, it attracts precipitation like white shirts attract tomato sauce. They have tried August, July, September October… the rain seems to follow the date. Drive 20 miles away from the track in any direction and you are likely to find clear blue skies.

    For the spectator, rain demands preparation… a poncho, maybe an umbrella, always the blind hope that the rain will not show up, or will stay away. Even if you bought tickets in advance, the worst that can happen is you lose your ticket money if you can't stay for extra days. Many a weekend, I sat in the stands at Reading, explaining away the drizzle with the thought that a lousy day at the racetrack is better than a good day at work. Even the track management tries to spin a good story with emails like this.

    For the racer, it gets a little more complicated. Two weeks before the event date, you can't resist looking at the extended forecast. A week out the picture starts to get clearer (or more overcast in the case of Reading). This October, the ten day forecast showed a slowly advancing spot of intermittent rain moving from the week after the event towards the week before the event. If the forecast declares 'chance of rain' anywhere remotely close to Maple Grove Raceway, you can be sure it will be at least drizzling at the track, more than likely right after they have dried it.

    The past two weeks of hard work is in the books, the car is in the trailer ready to go. The tow vehicle has been serviced, the RV stocked up, the pre-entry paperwork & fees are all submitted, the crew tickets have been purchased. Over on the crew side, hotel reservations are all set, vacation days acquired, bags packed & ready to go. My Boston Sweet Chili is all cooked and resting in the fridge for Thursday night's team dinner. Money is spent, we are all ready to go.

    So this morning I get an email from Mark with no words, just this picture. I laughed right out loud. That image just about sums up our season this year. I didn't miss the irony of the word 'depression' in the forecast. The problem is you can't risk not going… it might not rain. For us, the memory of qualifying #2 in Richmond this spring, then not going back to the re-run because it looked like a definite rain-out is still fresh. We didn't go back, it didn't rain.

    Of course if it rains before the event, the ground at Reading gets saturated, then turns into trailer swallowing vise-grip mud. So it behooves you to show up early to get a decent pit space away from the mud bog, then sit in the rain for three days (maybe) waiting for a chance to run. You can't even use the 'wait it out' method, if you show up any later than Friday morning, they will turn you away. If you don't cancel before Wednesday noon, you lose you entry fees. So even though the ten day forecast looks like this, you gear up, swallow the $1,000 worth of gas & tolls and head south.

    This late in the season, the race will not be rescheduled. The weekend after our race the track hosts the Pennsylvania Dutch Classic, then the weekend after that is the Dallas National. That means if it clears up Saturday they will run through Monday or Tuesday to finish the event, which means more juggling of work, travel, and motel schedules.

    Fun, fun, fun… and we really have it easy. Imagine having to tow down from Canada. Hopefully we will run, and run well. We think we have the electron issue figured out, and the Maple Grove track surface, when dry, will hold just about all you can throw at it. Let's go racing!

    Chris Saulnier
    Team Tigges
    Mechanic Falls. Maine
  2. Jimbo17

    Jimbo17 Member

    Feb 23, 2009
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    Thanks for another great insight into a racing weekend.


    I always enjoy your accounts of just what goes into planning for a few day's of racing.

    I cannot blame you for not wanting to travel from Maine to Maple Grove to sit in the rain. This weekends weather picture is certainly a question mark.

    Best of luck this weekend.

    Jim Hill

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