Following a red flag filled 2 hour practice session that resulted in each Hammerheads driver completing only a handful of laps, and the car suffering a complete meltdown, the team can take a lot of consolation knowing their race weekend was full of win.
“We had to travel over 850 miles from Maine to get the car to Virginia International Raceway.” stated Hammerheads driver Darren Setlow, “Despite the long haul, we were one of the first teams to attend the Friday evening beer and pretzel social. To me, that’s a win.”
Driver, Kevin Binkley, had a similar assessment. “Friday was just an awesome day for us. We moved into our garage, had the car up on jacks and were spilling brake fluid way before anyone else. I checked around. That was totally a win.”
Warm temperatures and a packed morning schedule kept all 99 teams in attendance on their toes. With pit lane not opening until 7:30 am and the green flag for the practice session waving at 8:30 am, there was a lot to do before the engines could fire. Hammerheads had arranged with guest drivers Tom and Taylor Masiero to install and manage an in-car camera that would provide a live stream of the race. “We had it set up and running before the car even left the garage,” observed Tom.” “No one else got their live stream up as fast as we did,” said Taylor, “I’d call that a win.”
Nearing the end of the session, yet another red flag brought the field back to pit lane where the Hammerheads BMW would experience a water pump failure that catastrophically overheated the engine and ended their weekend. Mike Grant joined Hammerheads as driver for the 24. “We pushed that car the length of pit lane and then through half the paddock to get back to the garage.” Mike said. “When we got to the garage, Kevin wheeled it in like a boss. Complete win, right there.”
Taking stock of the weekend, team principal and driver, Bob Grant, took a more practical look at summing it all up. “We saved $375 in the fuel budget alone. We’re bringing home two sets of tires we didn’t use, and we never even opened the coffee. You add that all up and I see win. Big win.”
Back in Brunswick, the car will get a thorough inspection to confirm the cause of the overheating and determine the extent of the damage. Afterwards, the rebuilding will commence. Continuing his evaluation of the weekend, Bob Grant had a few more thoughts.
“In all seriousness, the weekend was a big disappointment for the team. A lot of people worked really hard to get the car ready for a 24 hour race. Our sponsors stepped up and gave us a great deal of support both before and during race weekend. I think everyone on the team feels we owe the people and organizations who support us a big comeback.”
Work on rebuilding the car commences next week. Hammerheads will provide updates here as well as on Facebook and Instagram.