Whitesville, KY – It was a bright and beautiful day as the haulers pulled into Kentucky Motor Speedway for the first race of the 2017 RTFT Allstar Racing League on July 2nd. The #36 Chevy Camaro -Total Speed Racing’s Amateur series entry for the season – rolled off the truck and was full of speed from the get-go, looking to capture a good finish in its debut with the series – and hopefully secure an invite to Monday night’s RTFT Allstar Pro race, which features NASCAR drivers Ray Black Jr, Ryan Ellis, Darryl Wallace Jr, and more.
Practice went well, with driver Tim Burns opting to run only 13 laps in total, finishing practice in P8. Qualifying came next, with Burns securing a 6th place starting position for the race.
The race itself was 75 laps in length, and Burns knew he was going to have to be up on the wheel for the entire event, as the series features some pretty stiff competition. He fell back to 7th on the start, and rode around as the field started to spread out. By the first caution of the race on lap 25, Burns had slipped back to 9th but battled back to take the yellow, right back in 7th place. It was pit stop time – about time too, as the tires were completely gone. Burns took 4 tires and came out of the pits having maintained track position.
Just a few short laps later, the 2nd caution of the race came out and the #36 was still holding strong in P7. Most of the field pit again, and the team opted for right sides only. Unfortunately, Burns missed his box and had to back up, resulting in a change to 4 fresh tires. The #36 rejoined the field in P9, but caught a lucky break when 2 drivers had to go to the back of the pack, resulting in a P7 restart.
Narrowly missing contact resulting in a spin directly in front of him on lap 43, Burns found himself running P8 – however there was no caution, and the #36 quickly fought its way up to P6.
The next caution of the race came on lap 61, and the entire field was begging for fresh rubber. Burns, having saved early in the run, had found himself now running P5 heading into pit stop #3, where the team opted for right sides only. This gamble would leave the #36 starting P2 on the field with 10 laps to go.
On the restart, Burns missed a shift and by the turn 1, he was running 3rd. however the lead cars had a full second advantage. As luck would have it, however, the caution would come out for the 4th time just one lap later, the #36 was back restarting P2. We had another shot at a good restart, and possibly the lead, with 4 laps remaining at the green.
Once again, however, the restart did not go Burns’ way, as he misjudged the leader and found himself on the bottom, in a 3-wide situation for P2 just past the line. Regardless of fighting hard, Burns would bring the #36 across the line P5.
TSR congratulates Dallas Pataska on the win – and got themselves an invitation to run with the “big boys” on Monday, July 3rd.
Stay tuned for that race report…