I held off responding because of mixed feelings for the outcome. Challenges aside, we had a fun week.
However, the week ended with a significant amount of controversy and it is extremely unlikely that our division will return next year. The facility was great, the racing amongst our peers was fun, and the overall race venue is something to behold.
As for the way they officiated our division, that is a story that is not so appealing. The promoters (Hahn) got their winner (Blake Hahn) and he has another driller trophy on his shelf and an additional count of drillers on his resume.
Its a shame it went down the way it did as Korey was one of the best there in a strictly legal car. Had things run by the rules he had a legitimate shot to bring it home to NJ as he led over half the race and was pulling away except for Hahn's car.
Wrench commentary about the state of racing on the other thread was on full display. The mix of true racers that have the scars of scraped knuckles and the kids (literally) playing their Playstations in their Nascar sized haulers was on full display. It was an astounding testimony of money spent on racing and an interesting mix.
Korey is a novice with setups. He works hard to understand it but without my brother Joe around to share his wisdom, he is guessing at best. He often just runs a single setup at every track with some rudimentary tweaks because he is not clear on what to do otherwise. For what he doesn't know in setups he makes up in his hard-charging, but with clean driving style. He sat on the pole due to his preparation and focus which I think speaks volumes since there were 40 cars there.
I think you offered, and I would be humbled if you would entertain the notion to help a driver in need.... if you ever wanted to help out a driver who could use a review/person to consult with on setups and such please consider Korey. I am sure he would listen like a sponge and appreciate whatever there is to offer.
As an aside, to have the fortune to take a week off and hang out with family and friends - during January no less, to race is a blessing in itself. We had a great time and accomplished our goals in spades. Once in a lifetime experience.
PS. I suppose some will wonder what went down, I didn't spell it out. A short list...
:: The winner would not permit the series director to tech the car prior to the race.
:: The winner likely shifted during the race - against the rules.
:: According to our promotor, the winner had an oversized wheel which gave an advantage - against the rules
:: The winner had an illegal computer, as he did not present the computer for tech like the rest of the drivers - against the rules
:: Winner did not have an operational shift light to demonstrate if they shifted or not - against the rules
:: Winner went to his trailer after the race and not to tech.
:: Doug Borger was supposed to tech the cars as the series director however, he was informed he was not allowed and the promoters teched the car. They were right behind us and did not tech anything. One of our east coast drivers, who finished third, asked if they were going to do any tech as they hadn't touched any of the cars and they told him he was disqualified for questioning an official.
:: They did not pay every feature starter like we thought they should. They paid the 'finishers' - which is really unlike anything we've seen anywhere else.
One direct thing has to be shared to illustrate the oddities we saw.
We suspect the winning team parked a wingless sprint car next to us with their people and spied on our pit the whole week. It was a peculiar thing that the guys next to us didn't seem to be racing yet the driver said he worked for a motor shop and they were trying to fix their motor all week. He said he had a broken spark plug and bemoaned that he could not figure out how to get it out of the block. Spent all week staring at the motor.
The 'quote un quote' motor shop employee/driver of that car was in Hahn's victory lane presentation at the end of the week. Additionally one of their crew kids did laps on a scooter for hours Saturday morning, watching us for what we were doing to prep the car for the A Main. Maybe we shouldn't be surprise but for us country bumpkins, well we are not used to tactics like this and it was eye opening that this stuff goes on.
It is sad to say that there was more but it already sounds like serious sour grapes.
If you want to listen to an interview of the XCEL promoter talking about the discrepancies I shared, listen to this podcast. Doug Borger was interviewed and what I mentioned in the list above and more was discussed.
If you want to hear the XCEL coverage, Doug's interview starts around an hour and 10 minutes in.