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California Speedway...Day Two!

Jeff Trask

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Well...I lost my temper and I did it in a race car. Not good and no excuse for it. That said, having not run CMC in a year, I thought all was well. I thought that the driving was going to be very good and that the close running cars would just have minor, incedental contact. I did read Richard Pryor's post about the contact in CMC in 2001, but I was optimistic. For the most part, that was the case...until the race on Sunday.


I will not name names, as NASA still has to rule on what went on out there, but I intentionally hit another car in anger. That was not right. I did not wait to be black flagged, but instead drove of the course and withdrew from competition.


What happened was that I was leading, babying my brakes. I looked in my rearview mirror and the car behind me was well back. I broke early at the end of the front straight for a 90 degree right turn. As I started my turn in I was hit hard from behind. Very hard! I looked back to see what hit me and to my suprise I recieved another hard hit! At that point I was really pissed. I slammed on my brakes and he hit me again. What did I expect? I expected that he'd hit me again of course. What I did not expect was the gesture I recieved when the other driver finally pushed his way by. That really put me over the top so I chased him down and intentionally slammed his bumper hard. Very wrong on my part. I retired at that point.


The problem here is two fold:


1) I should never hauled off and hit the guy. For that I should be banned for the season. There is just no excuse for my behavior.


2) The guy that hit me did not do it intentionally, but it was clear that he was in way over his head. The first hit was totally unexpected. The second hit was proof that he was in way over his head and unexcusable.


You see, this guy had a few other problems this weekend. He really has blocking down to an art. When he can't block you, he just cuts the course to stay ahead. Ask Sam Stowell. He battled the guy all of race one. Sam had him 3-4 times and the guy just cut the course and gained 2-3 car lengths. Very bad form. During the race Sunday, I had passed him two laps before our incedent and he ran me onto the grass when we were door handle to door handle going into a turn. It was clearly my responsiblity to pass clean, but in turn you can't run a guy off the track when he when you can turn and look at him driving his car.


This guy is fast. This guy has a well prepared car. This guy should not have to play like this and because of his behavior, he should be banned for a year. Rumor at the track was that this guy was going for his pro licence. Wait till he runs up against a pro racing official that gets a load of his driving style. His career will be very short. He'll also leave the track with a lighter wallet.


As for the weekend, Campbell showed some great strength and won both races. Steel finished second Sunday, with Littleton in third. This track was interesting and I'd go back. Of course I'll be tossed and my hope is that the other guy will be too. Neither one of us had any business doing what we did. If you can't handle your car, stay in group 4. If you can't handle your temper, stay home!

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I don't know anything about what happended. When I'm on the track I'm pretty focused so I don't remember much. However, I will say that most of the CMC cars I came across were very courteous. Just about all of them waved me by.

I don't know if this is normal, but first of all thankyou for noticing that I was there. For me at least it is not necessary for you guys to wave me by. As long as you know I'm there that's cool. Just keep your line and I'll find my own way around. The reason I'm saying this is because the speed differential between my AI car and the CMC cars is much different. There was one time when I was pointed by to one side, but I had already set up and planned on passing on the other side. I did however change my line and pass on the side I was pointed towards. I would prefer not to do this, and probably won't if I'm racing close with some one else in my class cause I don't want to lose a position. On the same note, I don't want to screw up any close racing going on between you guys.


[ This Message was edited by: trackboss on 2002-02-11 23:37 ]


[ This Message was edited by: trackboss on 2002-02-11 23:38 ]

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Thanks for posting your Sunday views.

It takes a big person to say what you wrote.

I'm sorry that it happened,but we are all human,and things just got a little loose out there( still not an excuse).Richard is right,we must get our driving/experience under control,otherwise its back to group 4 for some lessons,believe me we will be looking at this all year long.

Jeff,you are being hard on yourself,and you will NOT be out for the season! NASA has decided after viewing the video's,that you will lose your points for Sundays race,you have a one race suspension,and are on probation for the next two races.


Other than this it sounds like everyone had a blast!



Thanks for your comments,I will surely bring up your points at our next drivers meeting,and I take your views seriously to make it safer for all of us!

Buttonwillow is next on March 2nd&3rd..Can't wait!



Tony Guaglione

CMC Chief Director




[ This Message was edited by: TONY G on 2002-02-12 10:37 ]

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Here's my take from the bench:


1) It seems Trask was hit because the other driver overcooked the corner. An incident report either was or should be completed and the offending driver should receive appropriate treatment based on his previous driving record.


2) If someone slams on their brakes in front of me, they better be in a braking zone or I'm going to hit them too.


3) Jeff's retaliation hit should be written up as an incident report and he should receive appropriate treatment. I think willful contact is very serious and should be treated as such.

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I think NASA/Open Track needs to take a more severe view of what I did. I should be banned for 2002. If NASA won't do it, I will put a self imposed ban on myself. Retaliation for any incedent should not be tolerated!

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Middione Here, sorry I left Sunday morning but had enough of the weather conditions there. Staying there all night long for two nights wasn't my idea of a great time. For next time a hotel would definately changed my mind!! As for the contact, I know a little contact is racing! Most of the time I pride myself to drive door handle-to-door handle with most of you. There really sn't any money at stake other than some bragging rights for the win...so that is where I leave it. If the person was a rookie trying to get his pro license I think there needs to be some time and more experience on the track before one is issued. Try to keep the contact to a minimum and drive within your means... Hope to see you back on the track Jeff!!



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Even Jeff Gordon has done this - in the pits, no less. And NASCAR didn't ban him for even one race. There is no excuse, what you did was wrong and should not be tolerated as you point out. But I feel the suspension and probation by NASA is apropriate to the offense.


Scott M.

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