With rain in the forecast, Billy and the #86 crew headed to Delaware Speedway for the 35 lap “Pumpkin Smasher” special as Samantha, Scott and Jake watched the weather to see if Flamboro Speedway would get qualifying in for the Oktoberfest Special scheduled for the next day. With Delaware running rain or shine, Billy was planning to run the last chance qualifying race on Sunday at Flamboro Speedway in order to qualify for the main event, although he would have to finish in the top six to start 25th -30th for the feature.
Prior to arriving at Delaware, Flamboro cancelled the Oktoberfest event due to rain, so the only racing on the weekend was Billy running at Delaware Speedway. As the rain arrived, the crew found two tires with the most tread on them and put them on the right side and Billy went out for practice. Even though the track was very slick and cars were spinning as they entered or exited the corners, Billy managed to keep the car straight and reported that the car was pushing up the track with lack of front end grip. The crew made a sway bar adjustment and although lap times were much slower than the last time the team was at the track when it was dry, Billy was much happier with the handling.
The Chetty’s Hot Sauce Ford lined up 4th for the first of two heat races that would set the field for the feature. Billy started on the outside and made it three wide going into turn one, however he was able to make the car stick enough to pass the inside cars to take the lead exiting turn two. One of many cautions arrived on lap two for a car spinning on the wet track and on the following restart, Billy spun going through turns one and two with the #01 who was running second, putting them both to the back of the eight car field. After another caution for others spinning on the track, Billy worked his way back into the lead by the 4th lap, followed by the #01 in second. Although the #01 did take the lead for a brief time, Billy regained the position on the 8th lap, where he maintained it for the win.
The top five cars were inverted putting Billy in 5th to start the 35 lap feature out of 20 cars. After the first 5 laps, Billy maintained his position in 5th, well ahead of the 6th place car but well behind the front four modified dirt cars who were running much faster lap times with their mud tires and dirt track set-up. A caution on lap nine brought the field back together, however running behind the open wheel cars up front was plastering Billy’s windshield with dirt from the track, making it almost impossible for him to see, causing him to slow down a great deal from the pace he was running. With Billy running 6th, the #18 had a half track lead until he spun with the #02 on lap 16, putting them both to the back. With only 7 cars remaining on the lead lap, it did not take long for the #18 and #02 to come back to the front of the field and pass Billy, who had worked his way up to 3rd, despite his inability to see through the windshield. The leaders continued to spin up front, putting them to the back, however they were much faster on the slick track and with the mesh windshields that they ran on the dirt tracks, had no issues with visibility on their way back to the front in just a few laps. Billy bounced from 3rd to 5th through the second half of the race and was running 4th with just two laps remaining with the #68 on his tail, however he was able to keep the #68 behind him to finish 4th.
Next up for the Spira Team will see the entire Spira-Fleet Image Team head to Flamboro Speedway on Saturday October 26th for the annual Frost Fest event and the final race of the 2013 season for the team. Pit gates open at 9:00am, grandstands at 12:00pm, time trials at 2:00pm and racing begins at 3:00pm. There is a rain date set for Sunday October 27th if required.