Our little racing team in Del Rey did big things at Buttonwillow Raceway by winning Round 4 of the National Auto Sport Association Honda Challenge series April 22, 2018.
Double Nickel Nine Motorsports, based right here near Sanger, entered two cars in the event and when the checkered flag fell both of the DNN Motorsports cars earned trophies. It was a double victory for Double Nickel Nine.
Our team has been busy during the off-season building a new car, our No. 33 car, which unfortunately wasn’t done in time for the race weekend. I could give you a bunch of excuses why we didn’t finish the car, but I assure you it had nothing to do with drinking too much Double Nickel Nine IPA from Tactical Ops Brewing in Fresno, who named their IPA after our race team.
The real reason the car wasn’t done is because we are perfectionists who want the car perfect before it hits the track. The delay meant we had to run our two older, and already proven cars, the No. 38 car, and the No. 88 car.
Keith Kramer, my partner at DNN Motorsports, piloted the 88 car, sponsored by J&B Farms and Economy Stock Feed, and drove an outstanding race keeping the fans on their feet as he fought his way through the field and made a last lap, tire smoking, deep braking pass to earn third place in the race. His lap times were very quick, as close as two tenths of a second from the fastest lap in the race.
I drove the No. 38 car in a pretty uneventful race. I started on the front row, got a great start and drove all by myself until the checkered flag flew signaling that we won the race. Yes, it wasn’t very exciting for the fans, but it was good for our team, earning another victory in the Honda Challenge series and some much needed contingency money from Toyo Tires.
This means the guys at Sanger Tire will be busy mounting brand new Toyo race tires on our wheels before the next event. What was also nice is that we won the race and don’t have to send the car to Olson’s Auto Body in Sanger for body damage repair. Randy Olson, who owns Olson Auto Body, appreciates that. He did a great job painting all of the team’s cars, but that doesn’t mean he wants to paint them after every race.
During the last two seasons of Honda Challenge our team has won the NASA Western States Championship which means lots of other teams are looking at us as the team to beat.
At Buttonwillow the largest field of Honda Challenge racers in the country arrived to try to challenge our team, but luckily we had our cars prepared in such a way that we were able to stay out in front and continue our domination of the series.
This year we will travel to Austin, Texas, to race in the National Championship at the Circuit of the Americas, known as COTA. We have never raced there before so we need to bring our “A” game to the event to ensure we bring that national championship trophy home to Del Rey.
One of the things that really separates our team from other racers is our pit crew.
At Buttonwillow Brandon Lindlahr, James Byrum, Roy Lindlahr, Jim Krider and Travis Kramer really stepped up to help get the cars battle ready. This is important to a driver who needs to know that as he is risking his life out on the track to try and win that the car is ready.
When a driver trusts his crew the car is ready, then he can push the edge of the envelope and run hard. Thanks to our crew Keith and I were able to run really hard and we now have the trophies to prove it. So it’s back to the laboratory (our shop in Del Rey) to finish the new car, and get ready for the next round of Honda Challenge at Buttonwillow on June 23-24.
Then we will be off to Texas for the Nationals in September.
Wish us luck!