Jax Hughes Survives the 32 car Main at CNS
Colorado National Speedway suffered from a very low car count in the Super Stock Division in 2014. They combined a couple of races with the Pure Stock Division and found a crowd-pleasing solution. In an effort to carry that momentum forward, the 2015 schedule included 5 races that combined the classes. A dramatic increase in car count proved that to be out of reach, with car counts in both classes hitting 18 each week. It resulted in the divisions running separately each night.
So, just to say it had been done at least once in the season, the July 25 “Great Scott’s Eatery Great American Race” race was indeed combined. The Super Stock car count was 18, the Pure Stocks a little off their normal mark at 14. What is the standard NASCAR sanctioned 26 car full field Super Stock event at CNS was a 32 car field. A big thanks to Tom Morrey for helping us out in the pits, and hello to the Campbell brothers who made it in from Grand Junction to watch the race.
We made some significant changes to the Veracity Racing Monte Carlo and were expecting some great results. Unfortunately, we went the wrong way, turning lap times in practice a half of a second off of what they had been in previous weeks. With a new set of tires, Jax hit the qualifying session in pretty good shape, and was consistent with previous races in an 8th place time.
Instead of the usual split of the cars into a Dash and a Fast Dash, all 18 Super Stocks were run in one 10 lap Dash. As the cars were lined up on the “one-to-go” pace lap, Jax pulled the car off of the track and into the pits. “No brakes!” was what he yelled out as he passed by the crew, ready to service the car. We got the car into our pit stall and found the rubber hose on the right front caliper had developed a hole and the brake system lost fluid and pressure. A new line was installed, but not in time to get him back out for any laps in the dash.
With a DNS officially recorded for the dash, Jax found his starting position in the main to be LRO – Last Row Outside. The accordion effect of a big field trying to get started found the cars going from full throttle to full brakes and back again as you get deep in the field. Jax had the misfortune of running into the back of Lindy Pinelli’s 74 Pure stock in that exercise. Lap 1 resulted in what everyone was fearing, a multiple car incident in the back stretch. We made it through with no problems. As the race continued, there was action all over the track. Jax gained positions and lost positions through the melee, and made it through the race with no incidents.
Our great friend and “teammate” Joe Mares, Jr. got caught up in a bad bump that resulted in his 84 Pure Stock pancaking the wall with major suspension and body damage. Darrell Smith also got caught up in an incident that left his 02 Super Stock sitting on top of the dirt hills in the infield. Curtis Heldenbrand thought he was out of the woods after that first lap pile up, only to lose coolant throughout the race and overheat with just a few laps to go. A late-race caution could have been the saving grace for a little better finish position for Jax, but the track officials left 9 or 10 lapped cars in front of him and a few other cars that should have benefitted from that yellow flag – but didn’t. One of note was Kyle Patee in the 90 car that was caught up in an early incident and worked his way back through the field to a 7th place finish.
After all was said and done, Jax scored an overall 16th place finish, and was scored 11th in the Super Stock division. He still sits solidly in 6th place in season points. Congratulations to Brett Yackey on another Super Stock win, followed by Levi Greenly and Mike Cox. Will Alvarado took home yet another Pure Stock win.