Dwayne Baker Makes It Right
Ashley McCubbin Photo
There Was An Apology, An Explanation, No Intent To Wreck, Just Trying Hard To Win
In this controversial incident, many racers, fans and those truly concerned about the sport in general wondered what happened to create this very bad wreck. There was severe damage to a few cars, and damage to others caught up in the melee'. Everyone from the Sunset Speedway area knows of the feud between Tom Walters and Dwayne Baker, from an incident 2 years ago. Maybe what some don't know is that Dwayne and Tom had since made amends, it was over. This past winter and the since the season began they had been talking, and socializing, with no issues on the table at all. This wreck certainly caused many to think that maybe the feud wasn't over. Even Tom got out of his car and had to be restrained by the officials to stop him from going after Dwayne Baker to at least yell at him. Adrenalin fuel does amazing things. Getting wrecked while leading a 75 lap race certainly produces even more adrenalin. Many of us were left to our own conclusions. Our assumptions from what we saw were the same opinions used by any human whether on staff, promoting or being on one of the two teams involved. There would be some who were adamant it was deliberate, there would be others who blamed Walters, some Baker, others just kind of stunned by it. The fans would have the right to call it like they seen it. After all, that's what referees, umpires, judges and race directors do, they call it like they seen it and sometimes they get the agreement of the majority, other times they don't, sometimes they are right, sometimes they're not....I phoned Dwayne because I do respect him as a racer and I really believe he cares about the sport and all the aspects of it, and I wanted to know what happened. He said sincerely that it was an accident, he got into Tom. He got high, thought maybe he got loose coming off four and on correcting, his front end got into the rear bumper of the #47. He also said it was an accident, his fault perhaps, but not intentional. He said Walters door slammed him in one and two, but that was racing as they both touched a few times trying to get the win.......coming off four Dwayne had no choice but to surrender the lead, or give it all he had. He still wanted to win. Tom had the outside and preferred lane, so Dwayne jammed the gas as soon as he could to stay close. In doing so his car broke loose, and resulted in the two cars locking front and rear horns, as shown in this great shot by Ashley McCubbin.......in the picture below, I felt that if this was the case, that Dwayne should apologize if he felt it was his, and to his credit he did do that, although he felt it was a racing deal. The apology was more because it happened rather than admission of full guilt, because much of this was from hard racing. The most amazing news is that Dwayne offered his spare car to Tom for next weekend, if his does not get fixed in time. What a gesture by Baker, first class all the way, and such good news to hear......maybe a lesson to be learned by many racers, crew members and those on teams that get messed up. When someone apologizes, understand the humility expressed and accept it with grace. Maybe the person has no car to offer, no garage to fix it, but it shouldn't be a political thing, it should be a sign that a racer made a mistake, or at least felt the need to make it right. When you don't accept it, you leave it on the table kind of simmering, and you disrespect the one apologizing. Remember, none of us are perfect.
Was This Exactly What It Looked Like Or Different?
Alain Thiboutot Photo
Chris Morrow Get's Caught In Front Chute Wreck...That Should Never Have Happened
This mess happened with three laps to go. Walters lapped all but 7 cars before a caution on lap 58. He was much faster than he was the night before, not even close. On about lap 62, he was spun out by Mike Bentley with 13 to go. I don't get that either. How Mike would not be able to race hard against Tom and not spin him is puzzling. Most racers when they get a car sideways a little back out. when any of these guys hit someone it's over, someone gets turned, mostly because they don't really care. Both cars went to the rear (6th and 7th). Walters was clearly the fastest car on the track, by far, no one had anything for him. He moved from the 6th to 2nd in less than 10 laps passing some very fast cars like they were broke. He got into 2nd and was quickly running down Dwayne Baker with 6 to go. Baker was fast but we all could see Tom was quicker. It looked like the 47 would catch him at the end but maybe not have enough time to pass. However, with three laps to go the yellow came out, making for potentially, a very exciting finish.....On the restart they ran hard into one, side by side. Going down the back chute Walters moved slightly ahead as the cars flew into three. Tom got a good run off four and Baker was inside but just before the start finish the 48 moved up catching the rear quarter of the 47 turning him into the inside cement wall. Walters bounced off the wall and was t-boned by Chris Morrow #11 who could not stop. Baker spun out going into one.......First off, Tom didn't cut down. He was ahead by 3/4 of a car. All he had to do was go into turn one, leave the bottom open for a hard dive by the 48 and then smoke Baker down the back chute. Dwayne had to settle for 2nd, he was the 2nd fastest at that point, Bentley was the 2nd fastest, but didn't have enough time to get up with too many cars between him and Baker.....so why did this happen????....was it an accident, really? Who was spotting for the 48, why was he up in the high lane when there was no room? He's a Champion, and surely would know there was no room, unless he was told it was clear and it clearly wasn't.....Walters was furious after the wreck and tried to get at Baker, but was restrained....the worst part of this deal was the wreck of Chris Morrow #11, he got caught up in it. As much as Walters detests me, because I want fair racing, I feel he this deal was just as wrong against him. It was his race to win and he should not have been turned, mistake or not. But was it a mistake, a spotter error, or a driver not listening to the spotter? I think it had to be, because the only other conclusion was that Baker deliberately turned Walters. They've been buddies since the winter, or at least have shown that in public and at the track, laughing, talking. I suspect Baker will call Walters and apologize. I hope so, he should, but what's more important is that if he doesn't we could see retaliation and that kind of garbage hurts innocent racers who go to have fun, like Morrow. I get that it's racing and stuff happens, but deliberate stuff should be punishable by a suspension. If it was an accident, then lets hear it, from both sides. Hopefully Tom gets his car fixed, and the apology as well, then we all can move on.
Out Of Sinc At Sunset Speedway
Pamela Guppy Photo
What's Wrong With This Car?????
To look at it, maybe nothing seems amiss, it's a great looking race car, but stats from the first five nights, and watching us on the track, has raised concerns, and prompted some to ask ďwhatís wrong with the carĒ. So far in 2013 we have not finished better than 10th in the feature, or 4th in the heats. Our car was suffering handling problems the first few weeks, but we seem to have the handle on that now....we think! What seems clear to us, to me, is the power. Our car can run with the pack, at the back, explaining why no feature better than 10th, but has no power to maneuver past other cars. We canít beat cars we passed in 2012, and our car should be a much better piece, we invested in all the right places. Hereís what we think is wrong, or at least the cause of our ineptness. Iíve been complaining most all of this early season, that I can barely keep up with the competition. Weíve finally got the handling very close, but at times I have been over driving the turns, causing issues with getting our car to turn. I drive too hard in and the car pushes up, or I get on the gas too soon and the car washes up. So why am I overdriving? The reason is simple, to make up for not enough power. The impressions and feedback from our crew, fans and sponsors is that we are close, but lacking that jam needed to get in the hunt, to battle for an elite position, in our case anywhere in the top 10, although the magic number for me is top 5. I want so bad to be competing with the best cars, but we're not there yet. This week we've made some changes to the car suggested by VDL carb expert Dan. If these donít work, our next move is to do a leak down test of our new 602 Crate engine. If the numbers show more than 6% loss in pressure, we may be looking at either replacing or fixing our engine. If that's the case, it would be kind of a shock to me. The motor only has 6 nights on it, one last year and the rest in 2013. I did the break in process exactly like the book said, time consuming, but exactly to the letter of the steps to properly break in that engine. Our hope for this weekend is to be competitive. Itís possible Dan may have turned us around, because weíve done exactly everything he said to do, but we wonít know until Saturday. Itís been such an incredibly frustrating season for my awesome crew as well, and for their sake I want to see us run competitive. Talking to one of our crew members, he has suggested that I take my eyes off everything and just have fun. He sees my stress, in fact all my crew do, and all have tried to get me to take it easy because this has really got to me. My crew now are suggesting not to worry about points, finishes or what anyone thinks, just have fun and we'll keep working at it until we get our car to where we should be. They all know very well, that having fun is not usually attained by the way we've ran so far this year, but their point is well taken. Once we find the main culprit, we think itís to do with the engine now, we will be having fun because weíll find ourselves potentially getting a chance to hold the checker flag, or certainly a podium finish. Any solid run will bring a smile, and smiles are consistent with fun. Our hope is that we get it right this weekend, and put the first five nights behind us, and to this point in the season, there hasnít been anything weíd want to remember in those first five nights.........Saturday morning we are on display in Hamilton at the West Highland Baptist church classic car show. We will be there from 9 until 12, drop by and see all the beautiful hot rods, and our awesome looking Quaker State Impala........oh and maybe give us a hug, it should help, although a good night at Sunset Speedway will do wonders.
As Si Would Say...."Wrong Way Jack"
Pamela Guppy Photo
Troubles Continue As A Brake Caliper Pin Let Go.......Lucky No Other Damage....Good Heads Up Andrew
I've been in slumps before, many over the years, but this one is so puzzling. We may have turned the corner with getting the car to handle, it seems better, but overall we are still not even where we were last year. Our car is lacking power punch. We've made some changes in the HP department and intend to make a few more. We are flat on the straights, and have needed to put more gear and tend to over drive to make up, but it's not the answer, nor is it working. My crew are amazing, they know we can do better and none are giving up. I'm trying not to make my disappointment an issue, but it is very frustrating to say the least, and I think if you get punched enough, soon you just get use to it, and I'm almost there. I would hate to accept the fact that not being competitive is the norm for this year, but that's been the story so far in 5 nights at Sunset.........in this awesome Pamela Guppy shot, Andrew Kamrath #35 hits the dirt and both #19 Jason Witty and #35 Scott Beatty go around and all is well.......the crew got the car ready for the feature and though we handled perhaps the best yet, we were clearly suffering in the power department, not a lot, but enough to only allow us to keep up. Maybe next week we find the cause, we're working on it, and we'll get it.
Arctic Ad For Friday June 7th
West Nipissing Tribune
We Headed North To Sturgeon Falls For Show #4, To Support Our Sponsor Arctica Mechanical Services
Last year, as part of our sponsorship agreement with Arctica Mechanical Services, we agreed to come to Sturgeon Falls to put our car on display for their special promotional event with Reliance, the home heating product supplier. It was a good day, considering the threat of rain was in the forecast, however we were blessed to get the day in with the sun coming out a few times and many people dropping by.....thanks to West Nipissing Tribune for supplying us this Ad.....we have two more events coming up this week to celebrate Fathers Day. One at West Highland Baptist church, and the other at Clearview Community Church in Wasaga Beach.