Pocono Majors: 2nd Place After Mechanical Failure
The second stop in the 2017 race series for Introne Racing brought us to Ponoco Raceway in Pennsylvania for the Northeast Conference SCCA U.S. Majors Tour. After a successful test day on Friday learning the new road course configuration, Steve and his #12 SRF GEN3 were at the top of the leader board setting the fastest time during the morning qualifying session at 1.37.788.
The Qualifying Race on Saturday afternoon started with the #12 leading a pack of 25 cars around the Tricky Triangle at Pocono. Unfortunately, as the Green Flag flew to start the race, the CV joint on the right rear of the car failed, causing the right rear axle to snap in two. Superb evasive driving by the rest of the pack left them splitting to the right and left to avoid what could have been a major pile-up on the starting line with the #12 in the middle of it all.
It was a devastating result after such a dominating practice and qualifying session where Steve was turning laps half a second faster than any other car.
Saturday evening was spent replacing the CV joint and axle, cleaning up the grease that covered the engine when the CV boot ruptured, and testing the gear box and transmission to ensure nothing was damaged with those during the failure. Afterwards, a few Black Hog Brewing beers were shared to commiserate the loss.
Sunday brought the 20-lap, 40-minute Majors race for SRF/SRF3. As grid positions for the race are determined by the fastest lap time from either the qualifying session or the qualifying race, and since no one bested his lap time during the qualifying race, Steve remained in the Pole Position for the start of Sunday's race.
Throughout the course of the race, the #12 performed flawlessly. Steve led multiple times, repeatedly trading positions with the #22 driven by Lee McNeish and the #7 driven by Jeff Lehner. More than once, these three cars were taking turns 3-wide as they battled for the lead and the win. In the end Steve crossed the finish line just 0.785 seconds behind McNeish to earn the 2nd place trophy. In addition, Steve set another NEW TRACK RECORD at 1:37.985.
Despite the chaos of a mechanical failure and the frustration of breaking down just as one race kicked off, in the end, it was another successful race weekend for the Introne Racing team. We'd like to continue to thank our sponsors, Black Hog Brewing Co, Inline Plastics Corp, and Quality Auto Body.