Update on Shockwave in Norman

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    Doug Welch

    We have been here since Thursday. Greg was on track Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The other team members showed up Friday, Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Most got in at least two days of running. We have Blake Gorden, Grant Copple and Charlie Craig under the tent. Blake and Grant are in MiniMax, Charlie in Junior and Greg in Senior.

    MiniMax has 41 entrants, Junior 39 and Senior tops them all with 44. The other classes have significantly fewer entrants but I’m sure the fast guys will still be very fast.

    In practice, our two minis are moving along well and working very hard. They got in both dry and wet sessions. Their times have put them firmly in the middle with some sessions, very near the front. At one point, Blake was only 4 tenths off the quick time. We’re still working on Grant’s consistency. Looking at his data has proven interesting. His theoretical best in one session would have put him down for the fastest time! Now if we could just get it down all in one lap!

    This is Charlie’s first national and he has a lot to learn. But they are having a ball and he has been improving every session.

    Greg has been near the front in most sessions. In two, we had him quickest. By the end of practice on Monday, he was one of the few in the 46s. But we still got more work to do. Our best was 3 tenths off the quickest time we caught. Close, but we have to do better.

    We’re lucky, our pit is one of the best to avoid the rain. We have one of the only spots that drains in this place. Some guys have paid to bring in gravel to raise their pits. Speaking of rain, the forecast has changed. The storm that was here last weekend didn’t like Arkansas and is coming back! Depending on who’s forecast your looking at, there is at least a 50% chance the rest of the week. As high as 70% tomorrow.

    If it rains, I like our chances.

    Doug Welch

    Cracked frame, no wonder it wouldn’t handle.

    Rick Schmidt

    We have been here since Thursday. Greg was on track Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
    Greg has been near the front in most sessions. In two, we had him quickest. By the end of practice on Monday, he was one of the few in the 46s.

    Cracked frame, no wonder it wouldn’t handle.

    Sounds like a repaired crack and the competition is in deep trouble!

    Go Colorado!!!

    Doug Welch

    Looks like its time to go wet!

    Doug Welch

    A very long week and way to little to show for it. On Monday, Greg was very quick. Starting WEdnsday we never worked harder for very little result. WE tried everything to get hte kart to come off hte slow corners. WE tried 3 different engines, two different brake systems, changed the chassis from full soft to full hard, nothing, zip, nada. It was like it had decided how fast it was going to go and that was it.

    We were convinced that we had a cracked frame. But we had to prove to the officials it was cracked, not just suspect. I searched the kart over 3 times, Al, our tuner, 3 times, Jeff twice, none of found a crack. Just before the LCQ, I looked one last time. I found it. The cross rail behind the seat where it joins the 3rd rail by the motor, about a 1/2″ long just at the edge of the heat affected zone. I had looked at the joint before but it must have been hideden under hte poweder coat. It had finally flexed enough to break the paint.

    We quickly stood the kart on its nose, Greg G. welded it up and we took off for parc ferme 5 minutes late. Al and Greg got it on track only to have another racer spin directly in front of Greg on the formation lap! This forced Greg off track to avoid and when he bounced it off the curb, it knocked the chain off. While Greg frantically got the chain back on, the formation was getting close to taking the green. Greg cut the track to catch back up but by then, the field was already in turn 1. In two laps, Greg not only closed the entire front straight, he passed three guys. YES, we had finally fixed the kart. It was flying. I have no doubt he would have passed the entire field had he had a chance to race.

    Now it was the officials turn to get involved. They wouldn’t let us switch to the back up chassis after Tuesday unless we could prove a crack. We were stuck running it. In the LCQ, the officials made two mistakes. First, if a racer is forced to stop on the formation lap due to no fault of their own, the officials can hold the formation to allow the affected racer to take their position. That didn’t happen. Secondly, they decided to black flag Greg for cutting the track on the formation lap. The rule book shows clearly that the correct penalty is to dock the racer a time penalty of one lap. Such penalties are assessed after the race ends, not during. He should have been allowed to complete the LCQ, then assess the penalty.

    At least we found the problem.

    Joe Rosse

    Man, that sucks. Did something happen between Monday and Wednesday, or did the crack just pick that time to occur?

    Bites when the officials goof in something that big. 😯

    Jon Romenesko

    Dang…bad luck. When it rains it pours, right? Greg..stop driving so fast, you’re cracking frames from the speed! 😯

    Doug Welch


    In retrospect, we think the frame cracked at the summer shoot out on Sunday in the main. The kart slowed a bit during the main but at the time, we thought it was due to the front end contact Greg had with the kid who stuck his engine in front of him.

    At a club race after that, Greg had trouble getting of the slow corner at The Track but he thought it was due to his using our practice motor. Now we think that it was the first indication we had an issue.

    In Norman, the kart was running fine on Monday but not as well as we thought it should. While we laid down some smoken times, the kart wasn’t responding like it should but more importantly, Greg wasn’t as consistent as he usually is. He was off his theoretical best by a half second or more. Very unusual for him. At the shoot out he was off his theoretical best by only .002! Was it the driver? The kart? The motor? You question everything but no firm answers.

    Before Norman, we stripped the frame bare and examined every weld. No sign of any thing unusual. Like I said, I think we had a very small hair line crack that didn’t finally break the paint until the LCQ on Friday.

    By the way, since we had a welder in our pit, the word got around quickly that we could weld frames. Greg G. ended up welding quite a few frames, including a brand new CRG that had a seat strut break when they tried to bend it to fit a seat!

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