Scott Harvey - coauthor

03/28/00 Volume Six:
Race 4 -
Bakersfield, California
Dodge California Truck Stop 250
Qualified 15th Finished 7th

After Phoenix, we spent our time out in the western states, in preparation for going to the Bakersfield area. I did make a brief jaunt over to Louisville, KY for a promotional appearance at the Great American Truck Show. Then after flying in to Laguna from Louisville on Thursday, we headed over to the track for Friday AM check-in.

Jerry (our soon-to-be-famous crew chief) told me that we were going to have a fast truck right off the hauler. And at first, he was right. You see, the track in Bakersfield is shaped like Martinsville, is about the same distance (1/2 mile) but unlike Martinsville, the turns are banked. We thought we were prepared.

The PickupTruck.Com / Sealmaster Racing Crew Shortly Before the Start of the Dodge California Truck Stop in Bakersfield.

Because this track is comparatively old, it had been seal coated (with SealMaster Products) as recent as last season. A seal coated track can be very slippery until you get a few laps on the tires. We had the right setup for this track, and practiced well at the start. We were consistently in the top ten in practice times, and thought we were going to be good for qualifying… that is, until we started messing with a few things.

"Once the green flag came out, we immediately picked up a couple of positions. Then things started to go to heck in a hand basket."

For our qualifying run, we guessed on our shock pressure. We increased the pressure, but in actuality, we should have either decreased it, or left it alone. As a result, it slowed us down a bit to where we qualified 15th. The up side to this is that we were only about a tenth of a second off fifth or sixth fastest, which shows you how competitive truck racing has become.

Just for the record, this track is very hard on brakes. Like Martinsville, you need to make sure your truck is geared right, and that you do whatever possible to keep brakes under you the whole race. More on this later…

Once the green flag came out, we immediately picked up a couple of positions. Then things started to go to heck in a hand basket. Just like qualifying, we went into the race with the wrong shock pressure. We thought the track was going to loosen up as the race went on, but it didn't. As a result, we were very tight all day. There are a few things we can try to do to adjust the truck, like adding spring rubbers and making air pressure changes. But nothing seemed to help much at all. As for our pit stops…well, let me just say that the crew had an "off day."

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Dodge California Truck Stop 250
Race Results

Pos Name Sponsor
1 Mike Wallace Team
2 Kurt
3 Jack Sprague GMAC Financial
4 Steve Grissom Dodge
5 Randy Renfrow Farris
6 Bryan Reffner Johns
7 Terry
8 Dennis Setzer Mopar
9 Rick Crawford Milwaukee Elec.
10 Andy Houston CAT Rental
11 Lance Norick Aventis Berhing
12 Greg
13 Brendan Gaughan NAPA/Martin
14 Jimmy Hensley Team Rensi
15 Rob
16 Joe Ruttman DANA Corp
17 Randy MacDonald 3M / Worldbestbuy
18 B.A.
19 Stan
Conely Engines
20 Rick
Carlin Burners
and Controls
21 Marty Houston Spears Manufacturing
22 Mike
Royal Crown
23 Barry Bodine Line-X
24 Sean Woodside Brevak Racing
25 Randy Tolsma Supergard
Motor Oil
26 Ryan McGlynn Buyer's Choice /
Howes Lubr.
27 Carlos Contreras Hot Wheels
28 Jason
Small Construction / Sunshine
29 David
30 Jamie McMurray Mittler Brothers
31 Lance Hooper Garage Doors
of Naples
32 Phil Bonifield Red Line Oil
33 Kenny Martin Premiere
Truck Parts
34 Wayne Edwards WorldBestBuy
35 Rick
Dunlop Golf /
LV Golf & Tennis
36 Milan Garrett Champion
Wheel Co

Diary Segments
Terry Cook's Biography
Volume I - Road to Daytona
Volume II - Daytona 250
Volume III - Florida Dodge Dealers

Volume IV - The Mini-Vacation
Volume V - Chevy Trucks 150
Volume VI - Dodge California Truck Stop 250
Volume VII - Napa 250
Volume VIII - Line-X 225K
Volume IX - Ram Tough 200
Volume X - Memphis 200
Volume XI - 200
Volume XII - Sears 200
Volume XIII - DieHard 200
Volume XIV - Silverado 200

Volume VI Pages:
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3