Damon Racing - Overcoming Adversity at VIR
September 28, 2017
TEAM RELEASE - The weekend started off slightly frustrating. Tom Sheehan? received a phone call on Tuesday from the Damon Racing?'s truck driver that he had been cut off by a clueless driver. A small import crossed over two lanes late missing a safe lane change to exit the Pennsylvania turnpike. To compound the error the car slammed on there brakes forcing our Semi Hauler to make a life or death decision for the driver of the import. Our truck driver chose life. The irresponsible driver was spared death by truck. Unfortunately, the cars in the hauler broke loose causing significant damage in the blink of an eye.
"We are a team, we all felt sick for the situation Jeff Barnes?; LTK Insulation Technologies? very own truck driver and lead mechanic, was put in. We are grateful that he was safe." Sheehan explains.
Damon Racing just got to work, we all felt fixing a car to race was a better position to be in than being involved in a fatality on the interstate. That would have been a lot worse.
That kind of set the tone for the team. The team had to overcome a damaged car but had solid pace in practice and felt like a top 5 finish was in the cards for the weekend. Struggling with improving the set up and keeping the car out on the race track. VIRginia International Raceway? is tough on the cars they travel a great deal and just couldn’t find the balance of travel, springs, and shocks. Ultimately, No. 97 Chevrolet Camaro? would struggle in the race on a slick track. Sheehan qualified 6th but knew the car would give up on a long run. Race day had the team making final attempts to improve the car to work over the course of the entire race. Needing a car that could last 100 miles, and ended up getting 70 good miles out of the set up, the front splitter and cross member had a long day. The last caution put the nail in the fate of the finish, the gap Sheehan had worked for was given up for the restart. "I was just hanging on to what I could." States Sheehan. The #97 would fall from 5th to 6th in the final laps.
Coming away with the 6th place Tom Sheehan picks up a spot in the season points and now under a blanket with five good cars. "As a team we feel like we got out of there in better shape than we showed up. We can take the finish and keep digging in for the final three races of 2017." Sheehan explains.
Again Damon Racing was recognized for the Pitbox’s crew of the race, it’s a great honor and receiving it twice in a row is pretty cool. Jamie was awarded the crew chief of the race for his leadership and efforts. He rebuilt the front of that car twice in one weekend. Jamie then passed the watch along to Jeff Barnes for all of his hard work.
The car came home a war horse, covered in track grime and oil, full flakes of hay in the grill and the interior, multi colored panels, racing has that you have to overcome something and get the most out of the opportunity. The team will have the No. 97 ready for battle at New Jersey Motorsports Park?. The team is strong - getting stronger, and is fired-up the opportunity is there and making the most of it.