Pensacola, FL - With just over 2 weeks before the teams move in to Pensacola’s 5 Flags Speedway for the 42nd Annual Snowball Derby the Moose made his first appearance at the Speedway since last years Derby. Not only was it his first laps at 5 Flags this year it was his first laps in the Grill chassis we acquired earlier this year. Even though it had been a year since he turned a lap at the battered old track, the Moose soon felt right at home.
Within 20 laps the Moose was turning lap times faster than last years qualifying effort and fast enough to make last year’s field and he was just making laps. While those times would have been good enough for last years field, we've still got some work to do to make this year’s lineup. The racing surface at 5 Flags hasn't been paved since the 60’s and every corner eats the rubber off the tires and with every green flag lap the handling goes away. Finding a setup to get in the field is job 1, finding one that will last over 100 laps is just as important. The team spent the day trying different setup combinations and working on making Midnight tick over a long green flag run. Another question mark headed into the day was our motor.
The freshened McGunegill Ford motor performed flawlessly and reminded everyone why we changed to McGunnigell. The final piece of business before leaving Pensacola was having our new motor inspected and sealed by tech man Ricky Brooks. The team will spend the next 2 weeks putting the finishing touches and winding Midnight’s clock for the 42nd Annual Snowball Derby.
Thomas: "I've turned a lot of laps at 5 Flags and we’ve never had a car handle like our car did today. We had a big group helping us today and it really allowed us to try a lot of different things. We probably got 2 or 3 test sessions out of this 1-day test. Can't thank the Grill’s and McGunegill enough for giving us really good equipment. We’ve still got some work to do to run with the NASCAR crowd but I wish we were moving in for the Derby this week."