Mobile, AL - For the first time in the modern era Pensacola's 5 Flags Speedway and Mobile International Speedway hosted an open test on the same day. Our Max Force crew spent weeks prepping for the single day test at both tracks and had a solid game plan for the doubleheader. Two members of our all-volunteer crew were called to work on Saturday sending us into the busiest racing day of the year with 2 crew-members with an average age of 16. Andrew Vickers and Collin Kraft stepped up to the plate and performed like veterans. With dozens of teams testing on Saturday, the Moose and his Max Force team were the only Late Model team to test at both racetracks. After a couple of trips through Ricky Brook's tech line, better known as the "Room of Doom" (It took more than 1 trip because we had some "issues" that needed to be fixed.) the Moose hit the worn out old pavement at 5 Flags Speedway.
A new setup from chassis builder Augie Grill had the Moose quick off the trailer at Pensacola. During the morning we tried several different combinations to the G Force Fusion and the morning test went as planned. While the track was taking a lunch break we made the change over from our Pensacola setup to our Mobile setup. Shock, springs gears and a couple of other things we don't want to print went into getting the car ready for Mobile. During the change over a piece on the rear end broke that required a stop at the race shop before going to MIS. Even with the stop at the shop we were at MIS just after they opened at 4 and ready to go. Back off the trailer the Moose was rumbling on the smooth high banks of Mobile International Speedway. As the test wore on our car just didn't want to get up to speed like we had been the week before and everything we tried seemed to make it slower. A late change made us better but we left MIS disappointed with the speed of our G Force machine.
In our post-test tear down on Sunday in the shop the culprit for the less than stellar performance was found in the rear end. The pinion gear had started to disintegrate and was within a few laps of coming apart completely. The team already has the rear end out and being repaired for the March 26/27 5 Flags /MIS double-header weekend. The Moose has this weekend off but the rumble on the Gulf Coast starts this weekend with a double-header opening weekend at 5 Flags/ MIS with the TBARA Winged Sprint Cars.
Thomas: "Saturday was a long day, it really put us to the test but it was worth it. Our change plans for Pensacola to Mobile worked like we needed them to. Andrew and Collin really came through big, we couldn't have done it without them. We practiced well at Pensacola but our mock qualifying effort was not what we were looking for. At Mobile we were good off the trailer and kept getting slower. Our mock qualifying run was not as fast as we wanted but it was a good effort. The gear problem explains a lot and I'm glad we found it before opening night. I learned a lot about both tracks by doing them in the same day. Back to back it kind of messes with your head and somehow I think that was part of my Dad's plan all along."