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After my 1st round -.001 exit in the points series Friday night, I went out Saturday to "Club Clash", a trophy series run at Bandimere. No payout, no division points, mostly for fun (and practice). A quick description of the series: Street legal cars, DOT tires & mufflers required, no electronics, no tranny brakes. 9 race dates a year, usually Friday evening but they had this Saturday date this year for the first time. They have season championships for total club & individual points, and a "5 man" team (each club designates 5 racers before eliminations begin on a particular race date, and these 5 earn one point for each win for the club's season "5 man" team). This year they split it up into two classes, "Top Street" for 10.50 to 13.99 sec cars (must dial between those times), and "Hot Rod", 14.00 sec and slower. Since I run about 13.8's when the weather is cool to 13.9's when warm, I decided to run in Hot Rod and watch the top end (several people I know are doing that) - stiff head winds on hot days are common at Bandimere, which would slow me to over 14.00, so TS wouldn't be smart. I've only been out to 2 of the 6 races held thus far, as part of my " partial withdrawal" this year, so I'm not in the individual season points hunt (I was season runner up 2 years ago).

This thing draws a lot of cars, so it can take a lot of rounds to finish it off. I've seen 9 rounds in past years with the one big run-off, this year Hot Rod is typically 8 rounds. Dialing was easy for me today, I just put a "14.0" on the window before the 1st round and left it that way. I won the 1st round fairly handily with a poor light in the other lane (mine wasn't great, but much better than his). 2nd round my light was decent & I still got treed, but he couldn't run his number so that took care of him. 3rd round was a .25 RT to my .009 after I waited for 1.34 seconds, the PA announcer said, "And that's why he was the 2004 Div V Sportsman champion and national runner-up." Well, not exactly true, but, whatever. By this time I've figured out if I backed off right after 1000', I'll run just over 14.0. Next round another .25 RT in the other lane, 5th round mine is .05 better than his. 6th round, I thought my light was okay, but I hadn't caught the 16.58 dialed car by 1000', so I stayed in it a little longer - by the traps, I was way ahead even though coasting, so I tapped the brakes - ran a 14.000 (the announcer repeated his previous observation - I was yelling, "Stop saying that!" - didn't want to get jinxed). That was the quarter finals.

Our club had 4 of the last 7 cars left - they try to keep club members from having to run each other, so fellow club member got a bye that round. One went out, the other two of us won, so that meant 3 of the 4 semifinalists were from our club - no choice but for two of us to run each other. I got paired up with a guy I've pitted with for years, and he was highest in individual points for our club for the season thus far. Since I'm not in that chase, I told him, "Good luck in the finals." He was dialing a little slower, so I told him to take it easy on the tree - I'd stage, but would make sure he had a chance to run it out. He launched, I took a nice safe -.148 light, backed off at 1000', and he went on to the final. Turns out our other club member got a red-light win herself in the semi, so they ran the final, which he took.

As I was packing up, another bud came over and told me to stop by where the others were pitting when I was ready to go. When I got down there, we all congratulated him for his win and new 1st place in individual points, then they turned to me and said, "We took up a collection; we're $2 short, but here's your entry fee back for being a team player."

Gee, they didn't need to do that. I had decided before the 1st round that if I did well enough to have to run a fellow club member who was in the points chase, there was no doubt who would win. But, that was a nice gesture on their part.

Here's my reward from the track.
 

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Hey good story, I am new to racing, but not to competition, Your guys will remember your action much longer that a win. Good job.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A similar situation came up the 2nd to last race of the season. 5 of the last 7 were from our club, so two of us had to race a fellow club member. But, others were farther behind in points than I (one was out for the first time), so I raced someone from a different club that time. 3 made it to the semis, but I wasn't one of them. We had another all-club final, with our club president coming out on top this time - he also won the first race of the year.

Our club had 4 of the top 10 individual season points earners, including #1. I ended up something like 28th, having come out for half the races. We fell one point short of the all-team championship, and won the "5-person" season championship.
 
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