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2010 Petaluma Speedway Track Champion

6 Main Event Wins

9 Heat Race Wins

3 Trophy Dash Wins

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October 9th, 2010

And so, the end of the 2010 race season has come.  In a few ways, it is a relief as the pressure of running for a championship, the constant “garage time,” and the traveling associated with the dirt late model tour can be draining.  In other ways, it is sad.  We don’t get to see our friends on a weekly basis, and the thrill of competing and the actual excitement of racing, is addicting.  We’ll definitely miss that in the off-season!  However, the off-season is a very important component of racing.  It gives you time to rebuild, regroup and re-energize and also gives you time to set up your racing plan for the following year.  It gives you time to connect with sponsors, both old and new, and hopefully, gives you your health and sanity back!
 
Our last two races of which we have not reported, were typical “end of year” open shows.  By that I mean, expensive to attend and crazy to run in.  Let’s start in the order in which we ran them:
 
The Maselli
 We’d been waiting for this race all year!  This race meant that the regular season was over, we’d hopefully won the championship, and it was now time to try and win, for the third year in a row, this open show at what we consider our “home” track.  We were pumped.  We were bringing out our “open show” car, and expected great things out of it!  A good car count greeted us when we arrived with 25 cars in the pits.  Most of the WCLMS tour cars were on hand as well.  This would be a great race! 
 
The normal tour race rules were in force tonight and qualifying was first on the agenda.  Jeff went out for qualifying with his "group," and wow, we were NOT good!  We qualified 5th out of the 8 car group!  We were going to have to make some major changes to get this car where it needed to be.  Jeff was not happy being behind the 8-ball like this.   They put their heads together, and decided what changes needed to be made.  Shocks and springs were flying! 
 
Qualifying 5th had us starting 5th in the heat race.  They were only taking the top 4 to the main event.  Jeff wanted to finish in the top 2 of this heat race as that would put him in the dash.  Being in the dash would determine the line up for the first 3 rows of the A-main event.  Jeff knows from running at Petaluma Speedway on a weekly basis, that track position is critical in any main event there.
Not knowing what to expect, but hoping for the best, Jeff went out to run the heat.  The car looked better and the 8 lap heat race went quickly.  When all was said and done, Jeff did what he set out to do, and finished 2nd.  Yay!  This meant we were in the dash!
The dash line up is determined by a completely random pea pull.  Jeff pull unfortunately landed us in 4th, and 6 laps later, that is where he finished, but this also meant that we had a second row starting spot for the A-main.  All in all, not a bad place to be!
Some more minor changes ensued on the race car before the A-main, and the track was carefully watched for any condition changes.  The excitement of the night was winding up to this point.  I could tell Jeff was ready to run this race, and we were ready for him to win!  Another lucky break came our way when the 77C of Johnny Cardoza dropped out of his starting position due to problems with his race car and the outside row moved up.  This put us on the outside pole!  However, the race started with John Silva jumping out to an immediate lead.  John seemed to be on a rail that night.  He had the track and his car figured out and it was basically all we could do to hold on to the 2nd place position we started in.  There were a few restarts in which we were hopeful, but Silva had too much of an advantage with his car set up and won the race with room to spare.  We thought 2nd place was a very respectable finish, however, it would have been great to make it 3 in a row… Not to be this time.
The Bud Nationals

The Bud Nationals at Bakersfield Speedway is two full nights of racing.  This race is usually the last race on the schedule for many late model teams, so anything goes.  We don't usually run this race as we have just had plain ole bad luck in Bakersfield every time we run there.  We decided to break the norm and "just do it." 
FRIDAY
This race was very well attended and when we arrived on Friday afternoon the pits were packed.  30 late models were on hand for Friday's show.  This was to be a complete show this night with qualifying, heat races and B and A mains run.  If you were one of the top 6 qualifiers, you went straight to the A main without having to run a heat race.  We were going to try and make that happen.
 
Jeff went out for qualifying relatively early in the line up and laid down a great time of 13.375.  Considering we had not run this track in over 7 years, we were very happy about how Jeff was getting around the track!  Jeff's time was 4th quick at the time he went out and held there through several other drivers' qualifying, but when it was all said and done, we qualified 8th overall.  Darn it!  Just two positions out of going straight to the A!

Well, that wasn't the only road block that was going to be thrown up that night.  When we went to get the heat race lineups, we found that Jeff would be starting 4th in the 2nd heat race.  WTH??  All of a sudden we were informed that there was an "invert."  Nobody said anything about an invert in the driver's meeting, or in any of the communications we had received.  Needless to say, I was livid, and all I could tell Jeff was go out there and kick some #$@!!  Well, that's exactly what he did!   Watching Jeff win that heat race was worth the price of admission!  Jeff drove around and past about $150,000 worth of race cars on his way to the front.  He was on a rail and super quick.  Winning that heat race had us starting 8th in the A-main event.  We were very optimistic about the outcome!!
 
Unfortunately, our optimism was unfounded and our inexperience at running at this track came through during the A-main this night.  We assumed that the track would go dry slick and we set the car up for these conditions.  At the drop of the green we knew we were in trouble.  The track was way more hooked up than we thought it would be.  Though Jeff tried everything he knew to do, we were stuck in the not so preferred outside lane, and every time he tried to make a pass he continued to drop back in the field.  Even coming in to the pits for an adjustment on a long yellow was not enough to get Jeff's car where it needed to be.  Jeff ended up cutting short the torture and pulled off the track, ending our night with us finishing in 22nd position.  There was always tomorrow.

SATURDAY
A few cars had left the night before and a few more had joined, and once again there were 30 late models attempting to win the $3000 first place prize.  This would be an entirely new race with new qualifying, heat race and B-main attempts.  Also, the track was a completely different animal as well.  We were going to go after this in a completely different direction. 
We got to the track early and Jeff, Ed and John set to work almost immediately.  I would tell you what they did to the car, but I think there are space limitations on this webpage!  Let just say that there wasn't much they didn't change.  Jeff really had no idea how the car would handle when he went out for hot laps.  Watching the hot lap session and listening to Jeff when he came back in, there was definitely agreement that they had gone in the right direction with the changes!
 
The pill we had pulled for qualifying put us at a distinct disadvantage.  We were going out for qualifying about 7 cars from the end.  The track, if there was any left, would definitely be slower by the time we got up to qualify.  Though his time was decent (a 14.498), we still only qualified 16 quick out of the 30 cars.  However, THIS time, the "invert" went our way!  This put us starting on the pole of the 2nd heat race, and Jeff once again, ran away with it.  That also again put us in the 8th place starting position in the A-main.
 
There were some major players in the line up in front of us for this race.  We knew that the car would have to be pretty close to perfect and Jeff would have to be on his game to be able to make it through the field.  This would be a 50 lap race and more than likely, at some point the track would take rubber.  The changes that they had made to the car earlier in the night still applied and Jeff felt confident that the car would be okay.  We crossed our fingers and the race started. 
 
Like I said earlier, we knew at some point the track would take rubber, but we were very surprised at how early it took rubber.  At about 10 laps in, a definite black groove was happening and if you went above or below this groove, you fell back.  Usually WAY back!  This wasn't the most exciting race to watch, but it must have been intense to race!  You had to fight for each inch of space and nobody was giving that inch!  Not many positions were traded, and if they were, they usually came at a severe cost like a flat tire or a damaged car.  The entire 50 laps was run with only 1 restart and that was a single file restart.  At the checkered flag, Jeff ended up in 7th position with his car in one piece and feeling pretty good about how we did.  Overall this was a huge learning curve for us and two full days of racing had tired us all out.  We packed up in record time and got on the road for the long drive home.  Happy with how the weekend overall had turned out and ready to be done and home. 
Future Plans
 
Our most immediate plan is to attend the Petaluma Speedway championship banquet on November 12th.  As the winner of Petaluma Speedway’s 2010 late model track championship, Jeff will receive a trophy, a little bit of money, and a championship jacket.  We don’t normally points race, but Jeff made up his mind this year that we were going after the track championship and as you know, he was not to be denied!  We are excited to have our crew there to celebrate this championship with us.
 
After the banquet, the rebuild will commence.  Jeff has two cars and both need new bodies and graphics on them.  Jeff also has plans to replace or upgrade some suspension parts which he believes will help us next year.  These changes will not be cheap, but we believe that they are essential in keeping up with his current competitors.
 
We are hoping to have some down time in which to do a little fishing and a lot of relaxing.  We will keep you updated as much as possible with regards to the 2011 season and schedule.  We want to thank you for reading our webpage and connecting with us on Facebook and basically just cheering us on.  We love our crew, our sponsors and our fans.  We do this for all of them as much as we do this for ourselves.  Thank you all.

September 11th, 2010

Yep, the headline says it all.  We clinched the title on Saturday night at Petaluma Speedway.  Very exciting night!!
We were happy to see 15 cars in the pits Saturday.  I’m sure a few came out to tune up for the M. Maselli & Sons Late Model Classic running next week.  Jeff’s goal for the night was to clinch the championship, but he also wanted to win the race as well.  That’s just the way we roll!  We started out the night with a different set up than we usually run.  Jeff thought the car might respond well to the track conditions with this set up on it.  After hot laps, he pretty much determined that that wasn’t the direction to go.
Made a couple of minor changes, and Jeff headed out to qualify.  The car wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t up to the standards Jeff wanted.  If you haven’t guessed by now, he is a total perfectionist!  Qualified 3rd in our group, which had us starting third in our heat race.  Not bad.  Hopefully we could finish in the top 2 spots, which would put us in the trophy dash.  In the heat race, Jeff jumped off to a great start and was in 2nd place very quickly.  We could tell the car was a bit off, but we were happy with the 2nd place finish.
The finish of the four lap trophy dash would determine the driver’s starting position in the main event, so Jeff definitely wanted to have a great finish.  Starting on the pole of the 4 lap race, Jeff jumped out to the lead and held on to it, even with a small amount of pressure from John Silva.  Yay!  That meant we were starting on the pole.
Jeff and the guys made quite a few changes to the car to try and keep up with the changing track conditions.  Even starting up front, we knew anything could happen and a few of the other drivers looked really fast that night.  We crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.  Jeff jumped out to an early lead and we were so optimistic.  However, it was not to be.  John Silva had his car hooked up on “kill,” and was just too fast that night.  He passed Jeff cleanly and went on to lead the remainder of the race.  Jeff had to settle for second place.  However, he HAD clinched the title of 2010 Petaluma late model track champion by a 53 point lead!  Being as consistent as he had by winning 6 of the 11 races at Petaluma and finishing out of the top three only once, set him up for a significant lead, and he took the title comfortably.  At the conclusion of the race, the track handed him the checkered flag and had him do a victory lap.  It was pretty emotional as all the drivers gave him the thumbs up.
After Jeff did his championship victory lap with the checkered flag, we all came back to the trailer and celebrated with cake and champagne.  Later this year, there will be a banquet at which he’ll receive a jacket and trophy, etc., but there’s nothing like celebrating right then and there!  All the hard work and dedication for the season has paid off.  We accomplished what we set out to do.  Always a great feeling!  Congratulations Jeff.  You are one heck of a race car driver.  We’re very, very proud of you.
Here’s a link to the official Petaluma Speedway writeup of the night’s race:
http://www.latemodelracer.com/lmr/2010/west/0911petaluma/
Thanks
Even though the season is not “officially” over, we’d like to take this time right now to thank our awesome sponsors:
Mike and the Pink Poodle (and Belinda!), what can we say?  You’ve stuck with us for 6 years.  Hopefully this year we’ve kept you more connected to our racing and again hopefully, made you proud to be our sponsor.  We try really hard to represent you guys in the best way possible.  We are extremely proud to have you as our sponsor and consider it a great honor.  We love you guys!
Petaluma Speedway Over the years we’ve had our differences, but this year has been great.  You have been a awesome sponsor as well as a great supporter of late model racing in general.  We have tremendous respect for you and what you do.  It has meant a lot to us to have your name on the side of our car.  We hope that we represented you the way you wanted us to.  We look forward to doing it again next year! 
S&S Automotive.  Thanks for all the help this year.  I know at times, we were a huge pain in the #$@, but we finally got a great motor together.  Look forward to many more years working together.
House of Pain Tattoos.  You took a gamble and came on board with us this year.  We’ve talked you up on Facebook and our webpage, and in the pits.  The people we have sent your way rave about the tattoos they’ve received from you guys.  We hope that you’ll consider making this a long term relationship.  But either way, we’d like to thank you for being there for us this year.
Race Images.  Steve, you are one hell of a photographer, and we are proud to fly your name on our racecar.  Thanks for all the website photos and the encouraging words and support.  You’ve made this year a lot better for our sponsors and fans with the product you produce. 
E3 Designs Ed, as our crew chief and webmaster, we consider you invaluable.  We hope you and Karen know this.  Your family has expanded this year and we love being a part of that.  Thanks for all you do and have done.  At the racetrack we don’t want to do it without you! 
Our crew!  John.  You’ve been with us the longest.  You put up with a lot of crap.  We don’t thank you enough.  It’s hard to express what you mean to the team, but it’s a lot.  You’re great!
Don.  Thanks for trying to get us sponsors this year.  Next year, try harder!  In all seriousness, we appreciate your attempts and thanks for your help and support. 
Next Week’s Plans
It’s that time again.  This coming Saturday, September 18th, Petaluma Speedway will host the 31st Annual M. Maselli & Sons Late Model Classic.  Jeff is the winner of this race for the past two years.  I’m pretty sure that means we’ll have a very large target on our back at this race.  That’s okay, we’re up for it.  This should be a great race to come out and watch.  There will be at a minimum 25-30 of the best late model drivers on the west coast in attendance.  We’ll for sure be one of them. 

 

September 5th,2010

We had to get up early to get on the road for the 3-1/2 hour tow down south.  It’s a long drive, but totally worth it as that track is amazing!  The place is always packed full of fans, the track almost always hooked up and tacky, and the competition is fierce!  The West Coast Latemodel Shootout brings out the best of the best.Arrived to 23 late models in the pits, which was a pretty nice turnout.  It was hard to tell how good the car was in hot laps as the track was really wet and greasy.  Jeff had pulled a really low number and it turned out he was the very first out to qualify.  With as wet as the track was, we weren’t sure that this would set us up for a very good qualifying time, but no worries.  Jeff was fast right out of the box!  He was the fastest time out of his group (15.013), and third fastest time overall. Having such a great qualifying time put him on the pole of his heat race.  Jeff and the guys made a few minor changes to the car and he went out feeling pretty confident.  That confidence was definitely warranted as he won the heat by a mile!  Yep, we had a hot rod tonight.  What a great feeling!The WCLS always runs a dash to determine the starting line up of the first 3 rows.  Jeff again had to draw a pill to determine his starting position in the dash.  He pulled a 5.  Dang it!  Only 6 numbers available…  Well, it is what it is.  As Eddy said, if we really sucked, we’d only lose one position!  Good way to look at it I guess.  Fortunately, we didn’t suck.  With only 6 laps, Jeff didn’t have that much time, but he was able to advance his position one spot.  That meant we would start in the fourth position in the main.  Not too shabby.Before the main event is always a tense time in our pits.  Watching the track, trying to determine if the set up on the car is good.  Should we go this way?  Should we change that?  It makes my head spin.  Fortunately, Jeff and the guys know what they’re talking about when it comes to car set up.  I just scrape mud, put tear offs on the helmet, and try to stay out of the way.  But Sunday night was a little different.  Jeff felt good about the car and how it was handling, he was pretty calm and confident.  We were excited about what he could do in the main event.  They made only a few minor changes and Jeff set out to do his thing.Right off the bat we knew the car was a rocket ship.  Jeff quickly drove from 4th to 3rd and started closing in on the 2nd place runner.  This was a 40 lap event, so Jeff had time to get to the front, but he didn’t need it.  By lap 10 he was in 2nd place!  The gap between 2nd and 1st was quickly closing.  At lap 15, Jeff made an amazing bottom side pass in between turns three and four and with a beautiful slide job coming out of the turn he was in the lead!  Jeff led the race from lap 15 to lap 29 and nobody had anything for him.  Unfortunately, if there is such a thing, Jeff was TOO fast.  He quickly closed in on lapped traffic, and it was his downfall.  The guy racing for last place, cost us first place.  Tommy Malcom, the 2nd place runner at the time, was able to pass us for the lead as Jeff tried to get around the lapped traffic.  Though Jeff tried valiantly to get the position back, he was unable to get around Malcom and had to settle for 2nd place.All in all though, it was a great night.  We had fun, the car ran well, and we finished pretty darn well too.  We’ll definitely be back to race at Santa Maria. 

August 28th,2010


Saturday night at Petaluma in the late model.  Just one more points race to go.  Jeff had struggled the previous week with the handling of the car and had worked in the shop really hard to get the car back where he thought it should be.  He was pumped and was certain that the car would handle great!  We were excited for him as well.
Only 11 late models checked in for the race, but as always, some good competition was on hand.  Went out for hot laps with high hopes and BAM, dropped flat on our butts.  The car was junk.  AGAIN!  Okay, okay, back up.  Maybe it was just the track.  It is majorly greasy… But then why does everyone else look so much faster than us?  No time to make big changes, we have to get back on the track almost immediately.  Ed and John run over to staging and make some quick adjustments and Jeff takes off to group qualify.

WTH??  It’s still horrible!  He’s the slowest car on the track?  This is unbelievable.  Did somebody adjust something backwards?  Again, we think something has to be broke!  He comes into the pits, extremely frustrated.  Pacing back and forth, muttering expletives.  Talking to himself.  Is it the track?  Is it him?  No time to waste.  Just get it fixed!  They make a multitude of changes – shocks, suspension, bar angles.  He heads out for the heat race, starting dead last.

The green flag drops on the heat race and Jeff jumps on the throttle.  Almost immediately, he is in second place.  The car is still not handling like it has in the past, but it is 100 times better than it was in qualifying.  We finish in 2nd place and are happy that the car seems to be heading in the right direction.  After Jeff returns to the pits, he tells the guys it’s still not where it needs to be.  He feels better about the car, but still doesn’t feel like it will win with the current set up.  A short discussion ensues, and a decision to replace the pull bar and some more work on the front of the car is made and once again, Jeff heads out to run the trophy dash.

From the start of the dash and the minute the engine revved up, we knew the car had just made a complete 180.  It was a rocket ship!  Jeff took off and no one had anything for him.  He checked out and won it by a mile.  The funny thing was when the announcer was interviewing him after the dash and said, “So, Jeff, tell us what you did to the car, because frankly, in qualifying and the heat race, it looked like junk.”  LOL!  Huh, no kidding?!!

In the main event, Jeff went out feeling much
more confident.  He knew that the car was close to where it needed to be and he felt it had a chance at winning.  He took the lead from the beginning and was checking out on the field.  However, our luck was not golden that night.  Lapped traffic ignored the “Hold Your Line” flag, and impeded Jeff’s winning run.  With traffic blocking his way and the 2nd place runner of John Silva fast closing in, it got really tense for us in the stands.  Jeff was not willing to punt the lapped traffic and risk hurting his own car and that allowed Silva to overtake Jeff with 8 laps to go.  Jeff chased Silva back down and it was a very exciting run for the checkers, but Silva ended up winning by less than 2/10ths of a second over Jeff.  Well, being the bridesmaid isn’t THAT bad, considering… That’s what we told Jeff anyway.  He didn’t want to hear it. We still have a 49 point lead over 2nd place in the championship run for the Petaluma Late Model Track Championship.  All Jeff has to do is start the main event on September 11th and he clinches it.  I think I’m going to bring cake and champagne just in case…

August 21st, 2010

The truth in the saying, "If it was easy, everybody would do it," became clearly apparent for us on Saturday night at Petaluma.  After 3 weeks off with no racing (but LOTS of other stuff to fill the time), we headed out to run one of the last 3 points races left in our quest for the 2010 Petaluma Speedway late model championship. 12 late models were on hand that night, and they split them into two equal groups for qualifying.  When we went out for hot laps, it was clearly apparent on Jeff's first go round, that the car was not good.  It had a terrible push coming off the corner and just would not turn!  When Jeff returned to the pits he was obviously frustrated, and as he looked over the car, baffled as to why the car had performed as it did.  As we had to get back out quickly for qualifying, Jeff and the crew made as many changes as possible and he headed out.  But once again, the car performed badly and we turned in a poor qualifying time.Jeff once again came in frustrated.  Why was the car performing like this?  Was it the way he was driving?  Was he going into the corners too hard?  No one had any answers.  Jeff and the crew set to work and made even more adjustments.  We crossed our fingers and hoped that the changes made would help him advance his position (which was last) in the heat race.  At this point, it was all we could do.The changes did not help.  In the heat race, the car was so bad, that at one point going into turn 3, the car pushed right toward the wall and with Jeff fighting it to go straight, the engine stalled.   We were shocked.  Something had to be broken!  We had never seen the car perform so horribly before.  Ed ran down to the pits even before the heat race was over because he knew a major thrash session was about to begin!When Jeff returned to the pits, he was not only frustrated as heck, he was mad!  Once again, the car had acted erratically.  One lap it seemed okay, and then for the next two laps, it was all over the place.  The only thing that might explain this was maybe a shock going bad.  That might explain why one lap the car was okay, the next it wasn't.  So, off came the shocks and so many other adjustments were made that when they were done, Jeff had absolutely no idea how the car would handle in the main event.  But, as he said, it had to be better than it was earlier in the night!Now we not only crossed our fingers, we prayed that the car would be better than it had been.  We were all frustrated and anxious for Jeff.  We know how much he wants to win and do well.  Especially at Petaluma.  Starting 7th in the main event, with quite a few fast cars in front of him, with a completely unknown set up beneath him, wasn't a promising scenario for a win, however.    When the green flag flew we watched and held our breath and the car was... good!  It must have been the shocks!  The car handled well and was no longer tight and Jeff seemed to have a handle on the track.  As he passed two cars right away, we knew that the crisis had been averted.  The car was back!  The car wasn't perfect, as it definitely lacked forward bite, but it was a night and day difference from it's previous performance.  Jeff managed to pass three cars and get up to the fourth position, but at the checkers, that is where he ended up, as with the lack of forward bite he was not able to gain any ground on the three front runners.   However, with as much of a disaster as earlier in the night had been, we almost considered it a win!

July 10th, 2010

I was all set to write a story for the website, when I chanced upon a great story written by Ron Lingron, announcer at Petaluma Speedway.  I decided he writes much better than I do and deserves to get the front page of the Jeff Decker Racing's webpage.  Thank you Ron for making my life a ton easier!!  The following is his write up of the events of July 10th at Petaluma Speedway.

Decker Unknowingly Wins Late Model Thriller
Ron Lingron

Morgan Hill's Hitman Jeff Decker made it 6 for 7 at Petaluma Speedway in Main Events this year as he led from gate to wire in the 25 lap main event, which saw a couple unfamiliar names on the Petaluma entry list and dotted the field with stars.
Non-Petaluma regulars Jason Papich in the Papich Construction 91p of Santa Maria and Hollister's Andy Obertello in the Stahl Racing, Jennstar Motorsports 29 made their first appearances at Petaluma Speedway.  Clay Daly, in the Van Iderstine 32b made his second race of the year, making this a hard hitting yet small 11 car field this night.

In main event action:
Decker, from his pole spot earned with his heat race victory and an unlucky draw by visiting heat race 1 winner Andy Obertello of Hollister, blasted away from heat race 3 winner Paul Guglielmoni of Vacaville at the green flag and ran away and hid from the field, looking in cruise control the entire way.  Decker was never headed in leading all 25 laps in what amounted to a drive in the country for the Morgan Hill ace, who boosted his point lead to 40 over second place Guglielmoni in All-Pro points at the end of the night.  
Another driver brought the house down however with a patient, yet spectacular charge through the field this night.  Watsonville's Clay Daly, in the Pete Van Iderstine 32b charged quickly from 6th to 4th at the start, then worked on the 29 of 3rd place Andy Obertello before making the pass on the high side of turns 1 and 2 for third on lap 6.  Daly then set his sights on 3rd place John Silva of Fremont, and Daly stalked the Wheelman for 13 consecutive laps, trying to find a way by the 2009 Petaluma Speedway Late Model Champion.  Decker was gone by this time, but Daly and Silva hooked up in an epic duel for 2nd and 3rd as a yellow for Obertello, who looked to lose a motor, only slowed it temporarily.  Daly finally pulled what amounted to a slide job on Silva in turns 1 and 2 on lap 19, somehow blasting under the 59 of Silva in a move rarely seen on a hooked up track like the Petaluma 3/8ths to a roar from the Petaluma crowd.  Daly then set his sights on the front running Decker, who was checked out.  Within the next 6 laps, Daly closed the gap on Decker, the fans leaning further forward in their seats to see how much Daly had for the front running Decker.  Daly pulled up to the leader's back bumper at the white flag.  Decker, unaware of the charging Daly, kept his car flawless on the point through 1 and 2 but Daly flew into turns 3 and 4 in "win it or wear it" mode.  Daly nearly looped the 32b in a last ditch attempt to grab the lead in a move that turned out to be fruitless as Decker stayed strong through 3 and 4 and grabbed the checkers.  In the end, Decker never knew Daly was there, but the Petaluma Speedway crowd sure did, and it was electric.
Decker's fastest lap in the main event was 14.545 and Daly's was 14.324, both faster than the existing Late Model all time qualifying track record of 14.646, set in 2005 by Larry Damitz.
Heat races were won by Obertello, Decker and Guglielmoni.
Congrats to the Hitman with what turned out to be a dominating performance, and an awesome display of wheelwork from both Daly and Silva.

July 3rd, 2010

Three day weekend and no racing, didn't seem right, so we decided to make the 3-hour tow down to Santa Maria.  It was a local show, but the weather on the coast is the best, and the track can be a fun track to race.  Sounded like a plan.19 late models were in attendance.  Great, we all made the show, but where we would finish was the objective.  Jeff went out for hot laps and the track was so slippery, he had a hard time telling if the car was good or not.  However, the announcer stated that he was fastest out of the group of cars on the track, and the car felt really drivable, so he decided to leave the car alone for qualifying.  We were one of the first cars on the track to qualify, and we thought we would be a little off and the later cars better, as the track came in.  Not so!  Jeff turned a great 15.107 lap, which turned out to be 4th quick overall.  Not too shabby.Because he qualified so well, Jeff started on the outside front row of the heat race.  Jeff and Ed spent some time looking at the track and were convinced that it was slick enough and would go dry enough to try a suspension change they hadn't tried before.  After the first lap of the heat race, we knew it was the wrong direction to go, because the car went in the wrong direction!! ;o)  Needless to say, we weren't all that happy when the heat race was over.  We knew Jeff would be starting the main event  from the back!  But, first things first, get that set up off the car!  They went back to the qualifying set up and hoped for the best.Starting 13th in a 30 lap main event that has only single file restarts, is not where you want to be!  But as they say, it is what it is, and Jeff went out to try his hardest to get to the front.  Jeff did what he was supposed to do, and the car looked bad fast!   Believe it or not, as the night went on, the track got more and more hooked up as well as faster and faster. This kind of track lends itself to becoming a one lane, no passing kind of track, even though the speed is amazingly fast.   Due to this follow the leader type of track, the closest Jeff could get to the number one position was 6th place, and that is where he finished.  Next time we'll be more prepared, and more aware of the track's tricky surface!

Next Week's Plans

We'll be back at Petaluma Speedway this Saturday the 10th!  We're hoping to make it 6 wins out of 7 races.  Come out and cheer us on.  We'll have our full inventory of Jeff Decker Racing t-shirts with us, so Saturday will be the time to pick one up!   

 

June 19th, 2010

Nascar was in town racing at Infineon Speedway, the weather was absolutely beautiful, and the crowds were out in droves.  Took almost 3 hours to get to Petaluma on Saturday, which is typically a 2 hour drive for us.  Nonetheless, the outcome of the day made it a pretty awesome way to spend a Saturday!Jeff was anxious to get the car back on the track after two weeks off.  The car's ill handling performance at the previous race had him going crazy for days trying to figure out WHY?  The only problem was, you just can't know until you get it back on the race track.  He had checked everything he could think of, and hadn't nailed down why the car just would not turn to his liking in the previous race.  We crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.The late models and the USAC 410 wingless sprints were the only classes to run on Saturday so we knew it was going to be a hurry up and go kind of night.  We were also surprised at the lower than usual car count for the late models.  It was doubly disappointing when it was pointed out that Tony Stewart, Marcos Ambros and other miscellaneous Nascar drivers/crew were in the pits.  It would have been great to have a large late model count and show them that Petaluma Speedway puts on a great late model show.  Well, no matter the count, Jeff put on a great show!  All you drivers who didn't show up missed out showing your stuff in front of one of the greatest Nascar drivers and track owners/promoters ever!  Neener, neener.We were lucky on the pill draw for the heat race and drew a 3.  I guess none of the other late model drivers drew any better than we did because that put us on the pole for the first heat.  We went out for the heat race and won in pretty convincing fashion.  Jeff came into the pits and said the car was unstable, hiking up too much, and he didn't think he could drive it like that for 25 laps and win.  So the guys went to work, made some changes and then they all went off to watch some of the other races and also the track to make sure the changes made were in the right direction.Because we had won the first heat race, it was up to us to draw the pill for the inversion for the main event.  Normally, in the bag there are the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4.  This means if we drew a 1 we'd start on the pole, if a 2 we'd start in second, etc.  I guess Petaluma decided to mix it up last night and threw all the numbers in the bag.  We drew lucky number 6, so our starting position was... You guessed it! Starting farther back in the field can lead to all kinds of issues and you are definitely in a greater position of vulnerability as anything can happen to your car on your way up to the front.  Last night was no exception.  The initial start was complete craziness with guys bunched up and jostling for position before the green flag dropped.  And when the green flew, that's when all kinds of crap hit the fan.  A lot of stuff happened simultaneously, but the outcome was four cars spun out and Jeff one of them.  When the line up was reformed, Jeff started even further back! Jeff was much more cautious in his second attempt to make his way to the front, and much more successful!  He was in 3rd position before lap 7, and had just made the pass on John Silva to put himself into 2nd, when the yellow flag flew.  Because he had not completed a full lap after the pass on Silva, he had to revert to his previous position.  We were a little frustrated, but knew that if he could do it once, he could do it again, and he did!  He was in second position and running down the leader when again, the yellow flew.  On the single file restart, the light went out the green flew and we all waited for the race to start.  The leader, Rod Arnold was not moving!  Well, Jeff sure was!  Since the green was waving, Jeff dropped down to the bottom of the track, passed Arnold and was in 1st!   Arnold suddenly realized what had happened and tried to catch up, but too late.  Jeff had checked out!   There were no more yellows in the race and Jeff ended up winning the 25 lap main event by at least 3/4 of a track.  A truly dominating win. Jeff came back to the pits all smiles.  His worries are all gone.  The car is good!  Can't wait to see what he does next time!Next week is an off week and then we're scheduled to race at Santa Maria Speedway on Saturday, July 3rd.  There's sure to be some great racing as well as some great fireworks!  I wouldn't miss this one if I were you

June 5th, 2010

Been a delay in getting the website updated, so let's get you caught up here. Memorial Weekend was spent at Santa Maria's 2-day Nationals.  31 late models showed up to compete for this $5000 to win event.  It was a fun show, but honestly, most felt it  could (and should) have been compressed into 1 day.  Qualifying and heat races on day 1 went okay.  We qualified 3rd quick out of our group, and started second row inside in the heat race.  As the weather conditions were extremely windy and hot, the track was dry from the get go.  The car (and Jeff) were not impressed by the dry slick conditions, and finished 4th.  We were not unhappy as this put us into the A-main event, which had been our goal, but it gave us a highly undesirable 13th place starting position. Day 2 there was a lot of waiting around.  The other divisions ran their heat races, B-mains and main events and we were the last main event to run.  40 laps at Santa Maria can be brutal, so the number one skill that Jeff needed to apply was patience.  Honestly, after watching the race, I can say that he has it in abundance, because an unbelieveable amount of craziness was going on!  You would have thought that the race was only 10 laps as guys were trying to win it in that amount of time.  As a spectator watching the race, I have to express my opinion here.  I have honestly never seen such a lack of respect for other racers and equipment ever.  It was pretty unbelieveable and absolutely horrible to watch.  Guys would spin out and then were given back their spots!  While under green, Jeff would gain four or five positions and lose them on the double-file restarts as drivers just lined up where ever they wanted.  No one told them to go back or made any kind of hand signals at all.  It was a basic messed up free for all.  I can't speak directly for Jeff, but I think there came a time when he just said, #$%@ it, and decided to get just as aggressive as the rest of the pack.  It worked!  He started coming forward more and more.   From 12th, to 10th, to 8th, to 6th.  Next thing we knew, he was in 4th!  I was screaming so loud I thought they might kick me out.  Only 5 laps to go and we're in 4th!   I could see the podium finish in my head, when all of a sudden Bobby Hogge spins in front of Jeff.  Jeff had no where to go and could not stop on the track because if he did, he would be sent to the back, so he had to drive through Bobby.  Unfortunately, due to the contact with Bobby, something happened to the car, and on the restart, the car was just bad.  We found out later it was a bent tie rod, but at the time, all we could see was Jeff getting passed.  So disapppointing!  Jeff hung on to finish 7th, but oh, what could have been!!!

Petaluma

Saturday was another muggy, warm and windy day and we were glad to be getting out of Morgan Hill and to cooler temps.  14 late models showed up for the nights event.  4 other divisions besides the late models were running that evening, so the program was slightly rushed.  Jeff went out for hot laps and pulled in after 2 laps.  The crew ran down to discover that the power steering belt had come off.  This is something that has been happening lately, and unfortunately, the reason for it is unknown.  Jeff and Eddie replaced the belt and Jeff went out to take his pole position start in the heat race.  Jeff quickly took the lead in the heat race and was checking out, but about halfway through it was clear that something had happened to the car, again.  The 2nd place car quickly caught up to him and it was a close finish, although Jeff managed to pull out the win. When he pulled in, he told us that once again, the belt had come off about halfway through the heat race!  Upon closer inspection, they discovered that the water pump was leaking as well!  When it rains, it pours, I guess.  This started a mad dash to fix the problems.  We were, unfortunately, unable to fix the car in time to make the dash for cash, in which we would have started on the pole.  We were disappointed, but the car was fixed and that was the important thing. Jeff was lucky enough to pull a 0 starting pill that night.  That meant that we would start on the pole of the main event.  We had very high hopes that this also meant that he would get his 5th main event win of the season as well.  However, due to the problems with the car, we had not been able to get a read on the track, or spend any time at all really, on setting the car up for current track conditions.  Jeff led for about 12 laps.  He looked really good for about 9 of those laps, and then it was apparent that the car was going away.  He got passed by Anthony Restadt and John Silva in the one spot on the track in which his car looked the worst - turn 2.  Jeff held on to finish 3rd, and felt we were lucky to hang on to that, as the car was such a handful.  Thus, our four-win streak came to an end.  Oh well.  There are 7 more races to go at Petaluma... maybe we can get on another one???

Next Week's Plans
 We have a rare and needed weekend off.  We're thinking of taking the boat out to the Delta, for some fun, sun and fishing maybe?  But then, it'll be back in the saddle at Petaluma on June 19th, in the hopes of getting back to the front and staying there!  Hope to see ya!
 

May 22nd, 2010

I was talking to Jeff the other day about how great he was doing this year at Petaluma.  I was telling him that really it was already four wins in a row since he had won the last race at Petaluma, the Maselli, the previous year.  He wasn’t saying much back to me.  I asked him what was up?  He was silent for a while and then he said, “Well, there’s two things that kinda suck about it.”  How could anything suck about this, I thought, but asked him what they were.  He said, “The first is, that when we go out there, you know that everyone is just watching you and waiting for you to lose.”  Yeah, if you think about it, except for your friends, I’m sure they are.  “And the other thing is, if I don’t win, and come in 2nd place, or God forbid, 3rd, someone inevitably will come up to me and ask, “What Happened?” like coming in 2nd or 3rd is bad! 
I guess we, as spectators, fans, crew, whatever, don’t think of things like that.  Racers definitely seem to.  When you get on a run like Jeff has been on lately, or you have a season like Jeff had last year at Ocean Speedway, people expect you to win.  That’s a lot of pressure.  They also get some satisfaction out of you losing; it’s a proven fact people root for the underdog.  Again, pressure.  But Jeff is dealing with it and doing a heck of a job.  He proved it Saturday night!
It was a cold and windy afternoon and the weatherman said it was going to be an even colder and windier night on Saturday as we headed to Petaluma.  For once, unfortunately, the weatherman was completely on target.  With the weather conditions like they were, it was almost guaranteed that the track would be dry. 
Twelve late models, had checked in on Saturday.  Not as many as we could hope for, but enough to fill out two nice heat races.  Jeff had changed quite a bit on the car throughout the week and was hoping that the car would respond to the changes favorably.  We went out for our group hot laps and the car looked better than it had in a while.  We couldn’t rely on that, however, as the track was still somewhat greasy and not worked in.  When Jeff went back out for his group qualifying session, he timed in 2nd quick, which put him on the outside front row for his heat race.  Yep, we thought, the car was definitely better, however, when Jeff came into the pits, he told us that on the first lap the power steering belt had popped off!  Are you kidding me?  He did that well, with no power steering!  Jeff and the crew made the fix and a few other minor adjustments and Jeff went out for the heat.  Not to brag or anything, but he absolutely killed it!  Again, yep, we had to think that the car was GOOD!
This time when Jeff came into the pits, he had a right rear flat!  They immediately set to fix that and we were ready for the main.  Or so we thought.  Next thing we know, the pit announcer tells us there will be a 15 minute break.  Uh oh.  There’s usually only one reason for 15 minute breaks.  They try and mess with the track.  Back to the drawing board when it comes to setting up the car.
Jeff was lined up to start 3rd in the main event due to the inversion pill pulled.  The main event, however, could not seem to get started!  Before even a lap was placed on the board, there had already been 2 or 3 yellows, so by the time they did get them lined up again, it was a single file restart.  Within 2 laps Jeff was in the 2nd position and pacing the leader.  As we said before, however, the track had drastically been changed and our car was just a tick off from where it should have been.  Jeff basically lived up to his nickname, the Hitman, and stalked the leader, Anthony Restad, around the track for 22-1/2 laps, waiting for an opening.  In turn 2, he saw the opening and took it.  Taking the lead and never relinquishing it!  Our fourth win of the season at Petaluma and a pretty terrific one.
Here is a link to the official Petaluma site story:
http://www.petaluma-speedway.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=345:bobby-mcmahan-sizzles-in-flag-to-flag-360-sprint-car-victory&catid=1:latest&Itemid=50

Next Week’s Plans
We will be running a rare two-day West Coast Late Model show at Santa Maria Speedway on Saturday AND Sunday.  This is a big, big $5,000 to win event and is guaranteed to have a ton of competition.  We’re excited to try our hand with the best in the West.  Come out to the coast for Memorial Day weekend and see a fantastic show!

May 15th, 2010

Once again, Decker Racing comes out on top at Petaluma Speedway!  Jeff has not taken his eyes off the prize and three late model races and three victories later, he is well on his way to a possible championship season at Petaluma. What we thought would be a beautiful sunny day in Petaluma, quickly turned very chilly as the fog rolled in over the Bay.  48 degrees in the middle of May is almost unheard of in California.  The track was a weird combination of slick, wet, slimy and rutty.  Hmmm, try and set a car up to be perfect on that kinda track.  Not gonna happen!Petaluma has gone in the “group qualifying” direction for the late models, and while this can be a good thing if you qualify well, it can be a really bad thing if your qualifying time stinks.  Our qualifying time was less than stellar and from the qualifying time Jeff ran, he ended up starting 5th in his heat.  He improved his position and finished 3rd, but was completely unhappy with the car when he returned to the pits.It happened to be our crew chief, Eddy’s birthday on Saturday, and he said that all he wanted from Jeff was a win.  When Jeff came in after the heat race, he stated to us that, “I can’t win with the car like this,” and they got to work.  Changing shocks, springs, tires and suspension, Jeff headed out to line up in the main event, starting 5th. It was immediately apparent that the changes the crew had made had improved the car’s performance.  Still, Jeff wasn’t coming to the front like we had anticipated.  While Richard Papenhausen, who started on the pole, checked out from the field, Jeff was trapped in his 5th starting position with no way around the cars in front of him.  While we sat in the stands getting more and more frustrated, Jeff passed John Silva and moved into the 4th position.  On about lap 15, Jeff was finally able to get by a wildly out of shape Rod Arnold, and settled into 3rd.  On or about lap 17, the leader Richard Papenhausen, started to smoke badly and by lap 19 he pulled it in, done for the night.  On the ensuing restart, Jeff was sitting in second position, and the officials decided to go for a single file restart.  MAN!  What is up with that??  But, a half a lap later, Jeff had passed the leader and basically just checked out for the win.  We went crazy!  It was definitely not what we thought was going to happen, but we are soooo glad it did!

You can check out the “official” story from Late Model Racer at the below link:
http://www.latemodelracer.com/lmr/2010/0515petaluma/
Next Week’s Plans
Next week, Saturday, May 22nd, we are back at Petaluma Speedway in our attempt to make it FOUR in a row.  Can we do it?  Well, if you’re really interested, show up and see first hand for yourself!  It will definitely be an interesting night!!  See you there!

April 17th, 2010

After our bad luck at Chowchilla the previous weekend, we were all anxious to shake off the black cloud and get some good luck flowing our way again.  We made the two-hour tow up to Petaluma and looked forward to some good racing. The 410 sprint cars and street stocks were on the bill as well as the late models, so the pits were packed.  Petaluma had gotten its share of rain that week so the pits were really soft.  As we pulled in we had a few moments where we were worried that we wouldn't be able to get the rig out again!  Jeff went to look at the track and they had watered and groomed it heavily.  It was going to be one muddy track for quite a while!  We had heard they were going to do things a little differently that night with regards to qualifying, etc. so we were all curious as to what was going to happen.They had decided to "group" qualify the late models, meaning that the group you went out to qualify with, was the group you raced in your heat.  The track still had not come in after mud packing, but such is life.  We scraped about 300 lbs of mud and Jeff went out with his group to qualify.  We shouldn't have worried, he did what he does best and qualified fastest out of his group.  That put him in pole position for the heat race.The heat race pretty much finished the way it lined up.  Jeff started in the number 1 position, and finished there.  Well, about a half track in front of 2nd place, but still.  I'm just saying'...Petaluma had decided to have a dash for cash as well, taking the top 2 finishers from each heat (there were 3 heats), so 6 cars in total.  A pill draw assigned your starting position, and where you finished in the trophy dash was where you would start in the main.  Jeff did what he could, but the car just had no forward bite and he could not finish any further forward than 4th. After making some changes to the car, Jeff went out to line up for the main event.  We were starting in the fourth position with some pretty tough competition lined up in front, beside and in back of us.  The green flag dropped and Jeff fell into line behind behind Anthony Restad, John Silva and Randy Shafer.  The race ran for 7 laps before a yellow flag, brought out by the leader, found Jeff in 2nd place behind Shafer.  Petaluma only allows one double-file restart, and at the drop of the green, Jeff shot out into the lead, but that was taken away from him as another four-car pile up in turn 4, had them lining up again.  This time in the single-file restart, all Jeff could do was stay on the tail of the leader and attempt to pass when and if he made a mistake.  Jeff, Randy and Richard Papenhausen had the crowd on their feet as they sliced and diced around the track.  You could have thrown a blanket over the three of them at times.  Jeff was obviously faster than the leader, but the fastest car doesn't always win...  But in this case, it did, as on the 24th lap, Shafer hit a rut hard in turn 1 which shot him toward the wall, and Jeff cruised past and took the yellow/checker victory.   It was a phenomenal race!  Here is a link to the story on the Petaluma Speedway website:http://www.petaluma-speedway.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=340:jonathon-allard-is-golden-at-petaluma-speedway&catid=1:latest&Itemid=50

Our next race is scheduled for May 1st at Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway.  Jeff is ready to beat his fifth place finish from the last time we raced there!  Come out and see this race if you can.  It promises to be a great race at a great facility!  See ya there!

April 10th, 2010

This isn't what I wanted to be writing this early in the season.  Actually, it isn't what I want to be writing at all!  But it is what it is. We were really excited to head to Chowchilla Speedway Saturday to race with the West Coast Shootout late model series.  We like the speedway and it's one of the closer ones to our home.  We loaded up and headed out and were surprised to learn that 29 late models made the call for this race as well. After taking a look at the track, almost everyone in the pits was just disgusted by the conditions.  They had overwatered it and it was going to take heaven and earth to get this thing in in time to race.  They attempted to mud pack several times and after a couple of hours of wasted time, the blade was brought out and the standing water was moved off the track and an attempt to smooth the surface was made.Jeff went out to hot lap and we really couldn't tell if the car was good or not as the track was still too greasy.  Jeff came in and we were quite happy that we were going to go out second to last  in qualifying.  By then  we were sure  the track  would be good!  But then the news came that they had done away with qualifying.  They had wasted too much time trying to get the track to come in.  We were going to have to qualify through heats.  Unfortunately, Jeff had picked a bad pill, and we were lined up dead last in our heat.  This would NOT have been the way it would have been if we had qualified.  Jeff always qualifies well, and he would have been up in the front of the heat race.  Instead we were stuck in the back and anything could happen in his attempt to get to the front. And that "anything can happen" DID happen.  Drivers were running in the heat race like it was the main event and  trying to win the race on the first lap.  The leaders spun, blocked the track and Jeff had nowhere to go but into the back of the car in front of him.  Unfortunately another car hit the back of Jeff, and actually pushed him under the car he had originally hit, and that car ended up on top of our car, damaging the radiator, the bar that holds the radiator in, and basically destroying the front end of the race car.  We were done for the night.    We'll be back next Saturday the 17th, racing at Petaluma Speedway and trying to back up our win of a couple of weeks ago.  Hope you can make it out to see the race!

March 27th, 2010

Second race on our schedule was Petaluma Speedway.  As we mentioned in our earlier post, we have committed to running all of the races there this season.  Jeff had been wondering all week what the track would be like.  Petaluma is notorious for having rough racetracks for the first few weeks of the season.  We were pleasantly suprised however, when we arrived.  It looked like the track was much smoother than usual.  Jeff couldn't wait to try it out.Another pleasant surprise was the car count.  Although it is early in the season and some cars are just not ready yet, it was still a pretty good car count of 14 cars.  Some new faces that we had not raced against before, and some veteran competitors as well.  Also, the weather was cooperating fully, with it being almost 70 degrees and not a cloud in sight. Jeff went out to hot lap and the car did not feel right (or fast) to him, with all of us trying to convince him that he WAS fast, and the track was just slick. They made a few changes and Jeff went out for the heat race, starting 3rd.  Within 3 laps he was in the lead and stayed there unchallenged for the remainder of the heat.Papenhausen Construction had put up $100 for the late model trophy dash and we barely had time to scrape mud before Jeff had to get back in the car and run the four lap dash for cash.  It was unfortunate we didn't have any time to make any changes to the car because this would be the last time on the track before the main event.  Jeff started on the pole of the dash and led unchallenged to victory.  The car was looking better and better - to us anyway.Jeff came in and we found out that an 8 had been pulled for the main event.  This meant that because we won the 2nd heat, we would start 7th in the main event.  Jeff said there was no way the car would win from this far back without making some changes to it.  He just didn't like the way the car was handling, and we knew that the track would change drastically, as it always does, when the sun went down.  Jeff, Ed and John went to work, and it wasn't long before it was time to go out.  I told him before he drove out, that the most important tool in his arsenal to use this time was patience.  He must have used it and more besides!The first 10 laps or so, we were going out of our minds, because the car didn't look that bad, but Jeff was not going forward!  Matter of fact, there was not much passing going on at all.  There was a ton of wrecks on the track that fortunately, Jeff avoided.  After about lap 13, things started to change.  I don't know if Jeff was just sick of being in the back, or if he was mad, but he started coming forward.  Picking off car after car.  With four laps to go he was in 2nd place!  I would have been happy with that, considering the carnage that was happening on the track, but I guess Jeff wouldn't be, because next thing we knew, he was passing for the lead!   He made a pass on the high side that no one else had tried all night and the car stuck!  It was the pass of the night.  A thing of beauty.Unreal!  First night at Petaluma and it was a win, win, WIN!  A total hat trick.  If you weren't there, you missed a hell of a race.  To top off the amazing part, when we were washing the car today, we found the left-front shock was completely broken and stuck all the way closed.  Things that make you go, hmmmmm.   Here's a link to the story on the Petaluma website:www.petaluma-speedway.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=335:jeff-decker-sweeps-sparky-howard-gets-first-win-in-speedway-openers&catid=1:latest&Itemid=50Next race plans are for a West Coast Shootout Super Late Model race on the 10th of April at Chowchilla Speedway.  A fun track to go to and major improvements have been made since new management has taken over.  Come check it out.  We'd love to see you there.Once again, we'd like to thank our sponsors and hey guys (and girls), this win was for you!!  And as always, to our fans, please support our sponsors.  By supporting them, you support us! See ya at the races!

March 7th, 2010

Now days, you can't open a newspaper, read a magazine or turn on the TV without seeing some reference to "going green."  We decided we needed to go green in some way ourselves, and thus, our 2010 paint scheme was born!  We believe since we are doing something good for the environment with our new "green" car, the old adage in racing of "green is taboo" no longer applies.  We are now Team Green.  Green is good luck and Jeff proved this on Friday night at Tulare Speedway. Before I get into the racing story, I would first like to welcome our new 2010 sponsors.  We are delighted to announce that Petaluma Speedway will be one of our new sponsors, and we display their logo proudly on our rear quarter panels.  This also means that we will be running all the Petaluma late model shows this year, as well as attempting to make it three wins in a row at the 31st Annual Maselli & Sons Late Model Classic on September 18, 2010.  Another sponsor coming on board this year is House of Pain.   House of Pain is a phenomenally talented tattoo shop located in Santa Clara, CA.  If you are thinking about getting a tattoo, just to make it almost impossible to resist, House of Pain has announced that anyone coming into their shop and stating that they are a Decker Racing fan, will get 30% off of their new tattoo.  What a deal!!  Call them up and make an appointment.  Their number is (408) 737-PAIN, ask for Shanna.  You can also see us at the race track where we have business cards you can present with the 30% off signed and initialled by the owner of House of Pain. We are also extremely proud to announce that for the 6th year running, The Pink Poodle will once again be our premier sponsor.  We are elated that Mike, Belinda and all the girls of the Pink Poodle are once again flying colors with Decker Racing.  We intend to do them proud this 2010 racing season.  Last but not least, we would like to thank Ed Sans and E3 Designs.  He puts out a hell of a product and our website is proof of that.  Thanks Ed.  You rock.For complete website and contact info for all of our sponsors, please check out our Sponsors/Link page.   Now, about Friday night...   We headed out for the three hour tow to Tulare and we were all excited.  October 31st had been our last race before this and we couldn't wait to smell high octane racing fuel again.  Plus we were the support class for the World of Outlaw Sprint cars, so a huge crowd of fans was pretty much guaranteed.  It was going to be an event!33 late models showed up in the pits on Friday.  Great turnout!  We knew we would have to be on top of our game just to make the show.  Unfortunately, Jeff went out for hot laps and was not happy with the way the car was handling.  Jeff, John and Ed through the garage at the car making every change imaginable.  We had found out early that there would be no qualifying.  We would have qualifying heats, and the top four in each heat would make it into the main event.  With all the changes that they had made to the car, and not knowing how it would respond on the track, we were a little worried.  But with our third place starting position, Jeff quickly raced into second place and 8 laps later finished there behind Nick Bartels.  Whew, one hurdle over.  We made the main event!But once again, Jeff came into the pits and told us that the car was a complete handful (he used other words, but children read this page).  They made some minor changes and went to watch the late model B-main to see if they could get a read on the track.  As Jeff went out for the main event, we were once again unsure how the car would react to the changes made.  Just my opinion, but that track was weird!  Dry in some places, slick in others, and rough the rest of the way.  You needed three different set ups to run it!  But it was the same for everyone.  Jeff would give it all he had.  He always does.   Our starting position was 7th as they had formed the line up off the heat race wins.  There were four heat races (we were in the 3rd), and the first four heat race winners formed the first two rows, the four 2nd place finishers formed the next two rows, etc.  When Jeff took the green, we thought that the changes made to the car had been the wrong ones as initially he lost quite a few positions and slipped back to 10th. After one yellow flag however, the car seemed to come alive and Jeff passed four cars at once on the back stretch and settled into sixth.  Next thing we knew, he was in 5th and we were hopeful that he would come forward into the top 3!  However, the cars were too strung out by then, and with no more yellow flags, Jeff finished the race in 5th behind some great competitors. First place finisher, Steve Drake, 2nd - Brad Pounds, 3rd - Mike Kirby and 4th - Mike Johnson.    All in all, it was a great night and we can't wait until May to go back and try our luck again.Our next race is Saturday, March 27th at Petaluma Speedway.  This is Petaluma's opening night and we believe that they will be getting a large field of late models this year.  Should be a fun show.  Come out and cheer us on if you can.And as always, please support our sponsors, as they are a very important part of our race team.  By supporting them, you are supporting us!!   See ya at the races!   *  All the BS above about Going Green is just that.  BS.  Jeff just likes to be different.   And plus the car looks hot with the green/pink/black and white graphic scheme!

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