David Polenz & Crew Fight to finish 14th from 26th in CARS Tour Debut. 10/31/15

The Charles Parker Allstate Agency 33 Car Pre-Race














 

 

After a year plus hiatus, David Polenz returns on Halloween to Late Model Stock Car racing.  Over the past 2 seasons after losing funding from non-race related reasons, he has worked relentlessly on rebuilding the DPR Team and the creation of his Regional Race Marketing promgram in its new town of Mooresville, North Carolina.  With the addition of marketing partner, Charles Parker Allstate Agency, early in 2015, David has made upgrades in the engine, body, and suspension department.  Thanks to DC Classic Cars joining towards the end of the season, David scheduled the 2015 CARS Tour Late Model Finale at Hickory Motor Speedway, to get a heads up on next year.

Race Pushed Ahead of Schedule:

With Plenty of help scheduled for the original two day show on 10/31-11/1, the Cars Tour pushed the event with 2 days notice to 10/30-10/31 a day ahead to avoid the rain on 11/1. Davids team members could not make both days due to there regular everyday jobs.  Although Cars Tour’s decision made complete sense, this left DPR short handed for the weekend.

Practice Problems:

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Waiting to go qualifying.

The DPR Team of Ryan Polenz, and Chris Puskas made it for practice early friday afternoon with David.  The team got him on the track at 1 pm, and it did not start as expected.  With a new 604 Chevy Crate Engine in the car, and many fine tooth inspections, he felt a grinding vibration in his seat immediately.  After problems with a blown motor in his last practice attempt, most would know he had a pit in the stomach feeling.  The team and David worked tirelessly between each practice round throughout the 6 hour day, and could not shake the vibration out of the car.  They changed driveshafts, gears, hubs, bearings, axles, wheels and tires, and much more.  With less than 20 laps total, the highest run being a 3 lap run at most, David and the DPR Team loaded the car up to further inspect it at home.

David worked endlessly through the night, off of multiple energy drinks, and cups of coffee. David changed motor alignment, checking the transmission, pinion angle, drive shaft lengths and run out, pulling the rear end completely out, and could not find an exact cause of the vibration.  Even changing brand new oil out from front to rear just to check for metal flakes and found nothing.  With a never quit attitude, loaded the car back up and hoping to make another attempt in what would only be 2 half hour sessions of practice.

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David signing autographs during pre-race Party

Race Day Turn Around:

David racing on a half hour sleep, and his father, Jeff, after driving 6 hours to Hickory, NC, became the only team member able to make the event on Saturday until help showed up for the Race at 6pm.  The two man team made additional changes to axle spacing and other small suspension adjustments to the car.

David drove onto the track for first practice, and after the first lap immediately noticed the vibration was fixed, and made his first 10 lap run all weekend.  The first practice ended with confidence, so they placed new tires on for the final practice before Qualifying.  Without having a single true practice session this was the first time they could work on setup solely.  The car handled worse with new tires and found out they had an issue with the sway bar set up after practice.


Qualifying:

David went out for qualifying unknowing of what his car would handle like.  With a lap of 15.463, only .318 tenths of the pole, he qualified 22nd out of the 26 car field.  Extremely happy with the effort because of all the work it took to get up to race speed, he knew the car was no where near the handling he needed for the race.  Knowing adjustments after qualifying results in a penalty to start from the rear of the field, they chose to make them anyway.  He felt the car was extremely loose so after qualifying they made changes to cross weight, and removed extra lead because they were overweight.  The car passed tech and was ready to race!

Race Time:

David took the green flag dead last in 26th for the 150 lap event.  With first time spotter Ryan Polenz in the stands, David, as planned dropped back a few car lengths to let things sort out up front before making his move.  With 26 almost equally fast late models, he expected wrecks early on due to impatience.  After quickly catching the rear of the field after several laps of waiting for a wreck, he miss timed the first car and both cars tangled for a slow spin in turn 4.   He knew he made a mistake, but had to get back up on the wheel and regain his confidence.  The green flag dropped on the restart and David went back to work picking off one car at a time.   The more cars he passed the more his confidence grew. After missing a two car wreck in the middle and he felt back in control.  He drove passed 12 cars under the green flag, to take his ride to 14th by the half way point of the race.  He felt a rhythm, but he knew he did not have the best handling race car.  Part of a 12th-13th place battle with points leader Myatt Snider and one other car for the midpoint of the race, Davids car faded and just did not have enough to complete the pass on either competitor.  The car was wrecking sideways by the 100 lap mark,  and David took what he could get with it.  David drove out the final 50 laps of the race, just trying to keep the race car from wrecking as he lost all rear bite on the race car.  He successfully finished the 150 lapper in the 14th position, and completed his top 15 finish goal against the best late models in the nation.  With much room to work on the old 1999 race car, David feels confident to come back next year with a better set up, and better preparation through the winter months.

Look for more news mid winter as David plans for a busier 2016.

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David and Father Jeff exhausted after the 150 Lap Event

 

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