|The steady yellow flag at the start/finish line means no
passing allowed on this long straight, and it warns of a waved yellow to
come at the hairpin.
We're forced to hold our positions, but we sure haven't slowed down much on the straight.
|There is the incident that brought out the yellow flags.
A tow truck is still on the track after extracting a stuck car from a dangerous spot in the outside snowbank at the hairpin. We all make sure to stay well in control of our cars at this point. It would be a very, very, bad thing to hit a tow truck.
The yellow #36 car of Terry Lolacher is rejoining the race just ahead of us.
|Terry #36 slots in just ahead of Kevin Sakaluk. This is
Terry's first year racing Chevettes. Terry's son Colin drives the
black #3 Dale Earnhardt Chevette. Colin incidently is right
behind me at the moment.
Even though the green flag isn't shown until the next flagging station up ahead in the distance just before the Kink, the rule is that we are allowed to go back to racing once we have safely passed the incident for which the yellow flags were displayed.
Terry is underway again, and we've passed the tow truck, so we're back to racing...
|Landon #31 was just a touch slow getting back on the throttle,
and I'm gaining on him now.
This wasn't due to me getting on the throttle early, because I'm still at relatively the same distance to Kevin ahead. But Landon has noticeably lost ground and is now dropping back to me.
|I've got him beat in the drag race to the Kink!
At the turn-in point we're evenly side-by-side. But I have the momentum advantage, and the inside line into the corner. Now it's up to Landon to decide whether he'll try to stay beside me or back off.
With the speed and angle at which I'm approaching this corner, I will almost certainly drift wide to the right and connect with Landon's car. If it was me on the outside, I would back off now.
|Can you believe this guy?!?
Again he keeps his foot on the throttle, refusing to budge an inch. He is utterly convinced that it will always be me, not him, that blinks first.
And, damn it, he's right again!
It just doesn't feel proper to be exploiting that yellow flag incident to gain an advantage over Landon. It feels like cheating to me that I got the jump on him there. If I stay on the throttle now and end up hitting him (even if it's unintentional), he'd be justified in lodging a complaint against me. I know I'd be pissed off in his position. It feels wrong to me, so I'm the one that backs off first again.
That's three times already that Landon has trampled me into submission like this! Sheesh, this is humiliating.
|At the pace with which Landon charged into the Kink, I was hoping he
would slide wide on the exit to give me another opportunity to
But Landon has everything under control.
|Turning left at the end of the back straight, Kevin Sakaluk easily
gets past Terry's slower car.
Landon immediately sticks the nose of his car into the same gap, forcing Terry to stay out wide.
|Perhaps Terry didn't see Landon in time, because he certainly
doesn't go out of his way to move over for him.
Landon is forced to pitch his car sideways to full-lock on the steering to slow enough to avoid sliding into Terry's car.
I'd really like to go left of Landon's car from here, but I can't quite find enough grip to change course in that direction.
|Turning into the second left corner, Terry #36 now makes sure to
leave plenty of room for Landon as he charges past.
Landon's line will carry him off wide to the right from here, so I'm hoping to cut left of Terry's car and maybe even get up alongside Landon again.
|Oh ya! This is looking good.
Landon #31 does slide wide and deep off to the right.
If I can sneak in here now, on the left of Terry's #36, I just might be able to get right up to Sakaluk's car in the Esses.
Terry considerately allowed both Kevin and Landon to get ahead of him, but he has no intention of letting me past and he firmly closes the door in my face.
In hindsight, I guess he paid his entry fee like everyone else and has a right to race. Still, he's a lap down and dead last due to stuffing his car in the snowbank on the previous lap, and now he's potentially influencing the outcome of the Championship by mixing it up with the points leaders.
You can tell I wasn't happy about this turn of events. A little more editing of the audio track was required in the video clip at this point...
|Maybe he's just moving over to the left to permit me to pass on the right...|
|Nope. No chance of that happening.|
|Note the red triangle in Terry's rear window, denoting his rookie status.
I have a good run on him here. If he stays left, I can blow by him on the right side.
|But of course he comes way over to the right to block my line, preventing an easy pass.|
|Crossing the finish line to start another lap, Trent, Kevin, and
Landon are beginning to draw away from us, and I'm still stuck behind
This is not good.
|I make sure to get well over to the right side of the track to set up for the fast left onto the long straight, hoping to cut left of Terry on the exit.|
|But Terry is covering the inside, forcing me to go around the outside of him to the right.|
|I still have a better exit speed than Terry, but when I stick my
nose in there to accelerate past him, he starts squeezing me into the
I suppose it's possible he just didn't know I was there.
|In the video clip, you can see in my rearview mirror that I did get
completely ahead of him by the end of the straight.
He's still behind to my left and I look over at him twice to gauge whether it's safe yet to turn across in front of him.
I go as deep as possible before braking, but I'm still unsure of whether I can safely turn in.
If it was Landon, Kevin, or Jim, I'd turn in without hesitation. But when you're unsure of someone, it's always best not to take chances.
|Sure enough. Terry appears to have completely forgotten that
there's a hairpin turn here as he goes spearing straight across my path.
Had I turned in any earlier, he would have T-boned me in a big way.
As it is, he exits the scene, stage right, off to revisit the same snowbank from which he was extracted by the tow truck exactly one lap ago...
Lucky for him, I have the entire sorry lap recorded on video tape!
|It's a big relief to find myself still in touch with Landon as the