A tough weekend at the HMSA Historics. It was pretty obvious early on that we were third fastest on the grid, and that didn’t improve.
Hardware wasn’t to blame, it was the wetware. Yellow jacket ran well. But I made some decisions on and off the track that didn’t work out.
To begin with, I have not done any karting this year. In past seasons, I had a couple months of karting by now to improve my reflexes, to get into the feel of speed, to get used to flowing with G-forces. Trying to finish “Chalice,” wrapping up some real estate work and personal matters, I decided to forgo that sharpening. It showed. Thinking I could jump into the cockpit after nearly ten months, and be the best I could be, was just stupid.
I did not adequately think through a decision I made about tires. Not Hoosiers vs. Goodyears; Both work fine. But I chose tire sizes that were wrong. I don’t want to go into a lot of detail, but it mattered. Again, my error.
Pre-race preparation was poor: My internal clock, always a little off-kilter during a race weekend, was running too slow. I let myself be distracted. I did not leave myself time to adequately prepare for each session. Which meant that by the time I got on the track, my head was not where it needed to be for precise shift points, turn-in markers, braking zones. When you are looking for one second in a two-minute lap, this matters.
Previous problems with oiling caused me to make engine changes that should have been reversed after the oiling problem was solved. I didn’t do that.
And it was hot. God, it was hot. 140 degrees on the asphalt, little or no relief even in the shade. Thinking was a chore. I did a few things to take care of myself, but should have done more.
But Yellow Jacket, with engine prepared by John Sartelle, brakes by Jeff Taylor, was in fine form. Had I been able to bring my best game, it might have been a different story.
Hopefully that will be the case in Seattle this next weekend.