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Mar 24, 2010 / reports


Take a read of Zach’s blog, detailing his weekend at Homestead-Miami in our #75 Honda, as well as his Mustang Challenge race on Saturday. Over to you, Zach…

“Well, it’s been two weeks since the Continental Challenge race and the Mustang Challenge race at Homestead-Miami Speedway and I suppose I’ll fill everyone in on what went down.

Racing has the highest of highs and the lowest of lows� that is without question and I think every driver, crew member, team owner and fans alike have felt this way at some point. This past event gave me a chance to feel both the highest and the lowest in one fell swoop.

We decided to run the Mustang Challenge car to support the Continental series and get some extra track time. This was my first time running the NASCAR 3 & 4 layout rather than the slightly different layout which Mustang Challenge utilized last year. This provided me with a great advantage as I was able to get gobs of track time which translated to excellent lap times in both the Mustang and the Civic.

I’ll focus on the Continental side of things for a moment and then hop on over to the Mustang. Compass 360 always brings the best for us and this weekend was no different. Every practice session the car felt great and neither Ryan nor I had any trouble getting it in the top 3. I ended up qualifying outside pole (P2) next to Sarah Cattaneo in the Mini Cooper. Hey, I’ll take an outside pole! I was pumped to be starting in the front row and wasn’t going to hold anything back in trying to get to the front and set the pace for the ST field. I got a great call on the green dropping from our crew-chief Ray and was able to pull Cattaneo to turn 1 and hopped in the lead. I led the race for the first hour and 15 minutes picking up a 6-8 second lead twice, once before the first full course yellow and then once again following that. We had our second full course caution and decided it was time to bring the car in to the pitbox to do our tires, fuel and driver change. The pitstop went super great and Ryan pulled out on track right in the front of the pack. Unfortunately this is where things went sour� Ryan was ready to take the green flag when an engine failure caused us to have to park the car for the remainder of the race.

This is where the highest of highs meets the lowest of lows. Qualifying outside pole = High. Leading the race for 35 laps = High. Getting out of the car to the cheering of the crew hoping for a win = High. Having to park the car = Lowest of low. It’s funny how all those highs don’t add up to overpower the low. Even with the highs of doing well, our number one goal is to be in the front when the checkered flag falls and when this doesn’t happen it really puts a damper on things. At this point all I can do is look forward to the next event at Barber Motorsports Park and hope we can repeat the excellence that was apparent during the majority of the Homestead weekend.

I’ll chime in on the Mustang Challenge event briefly before wrapping up here. Running in both series had me super busy all weekend. I had almost zero time to sit back and relax� but what would a race weekend be if not hectic? The new reformulated 2010 BF Goodrich R1 tire is awesome with loads of grip, so it was fun to get out on track with the new tire and throw down some quick lap times. I ended up qualifying P7 which isn’t quite what we were hoping but all hope wasn’t lost. The car felt like it had some fuel pick up issues in NASCAR 3 & 4 during qualifying so afterwards John jumped in and put in a new fuel pump which cured the issue. It ended up being a great race and I diced with Dan Aweida for P3 quite a bit but ended up finishing P4. Gaining those spots earned us the BF Goodrich Take Control award for most positions gained which got us two free tires!

Even with the lows experienced, racing is something that I live and breath and I’m not going to let this weekend bring me down. We’ll just keeps our heads up and keep pushing for that elusive win we’re chasing! I’d like to thank the whole Compass 360 Racing team, Ryan, Dad, John, and Stephen for all the hard work they put in.