Last week Herron Racing had to race on a Tuesday night instead of the previous Friday night because of the special event that was happening at Ohsweken Speedway; Tony Stewart was coming to race his Sprint Car before going to Indy!
What an awesome night for both fans and racers alike. Having Tony at the track certainly creates a buzz and probably a little more nerves for the drivers than usual, because Tony might be watching them or actually racing them.
Having Tony there really didn’t phase Brad Herron though, he’s a Jeff Gordon fan! I know, I know, its hard to believe that Brad is even driving the NASCAR RnR sponsored car being a Gordon fan and all, but I don’t discriminate because of who you cheer for on Sundays – I look for how you race on Fridays (or in this case Tuesdays).
So this past Tuesday Brad and the rest of the Herron Racing Team were prepared to defend their race victory from the previous week and were loaded for bear. The track and the rest of the competition didn’t stand a chance and Brad drove his competition into the dirt, until …
Brad Herron: “We ran second in the heat race and the car was great, but not quite there as the track was very slick. So we took a little bigger swing at tightening the car up for the Feature. We started the Feature in eighth and drove straight to the lead … the car was bad fast!
After pulling out to a fourteen car-length lead a caution came out with six laps to go. We restarted in good shape and pulled away to a substantial lead again and with just three laps to go, we blew the engine.
Most likely we broke a piston because the connecting rod was hanging out of the oil pan with the wrist pin still in it.
That I’m sad to say is pretty much going to take care of our racing season this year. With no spare engine and a lack of funds to get another one, we’re done.
With racing, you do need a certain amount of luck to go with it … ours just ran out.”
Well, that would be the end of the story until something very unique happened, Brad got many offers from his competitors to put their extra motors in his car so he could finish the season. If you think about it though this is actually not very unique at all as this is what grassroots racing is all about anyway – these guys race for the love of the sport and will help each other out when the chips are down.
Here is what Brad had to say:
“I guess racing luck takes different forms and it’s not always on track. The truly cool thing about racing is how tight knit the friendships you make are. Before we even left the track I had several offers from people offering us their spare engines and their time to help us swap engines over – I even had 1 competitor offer up money for us to go by a new one! Wow. What other sport has that bond between competition and friendship??? None that I know of.
After a few more phone calls, we got an offer to run out the balance of the season we just could not refuse. I’m picking up our “new to us” engine (this past) Sunday. The funny thing is, the folks who own it just want to see it win in another car … I won’t let them down! Thanks to everyone who offered their equipment, time, money and so on. It is unfortunate we blew up on a Tuesday night, so I’m going to miss this (past) Friday. See ya in a week.”
We haven’t heard the last of this team yet. Mark my words, even though they missed a week they’ll still get back in the point race and make it very interesting at the end of the season.
All hope is not lost, determination is solidified, and victory will be theirs!
Update: Email from Brad on Monday night: “the loaner is bolted in, trani is bolted up….gotta get some header gaskets and water pump gaskets and we’ll be in good shape…..total time so far…..4hrs”