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Three Rivers, Two Trophies | Woods Racing

And that’s how that is done. Good cars, good team, good drivers, and you get a win.
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Of course, it’s not that easy, but it’s a good start for sure.
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Martin works endlessly on these cars, manages everything from the get go to the get back and everything in between. It’s a busy job and everyone in racing knows how tough it can be to be a crew chief. Then hey, finish your weekend with a pair of trophies…you can sit and be proud of what you’ve done.
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I headed up there to the Grand Prix Trois Rivieres with my brother Carney which was super cool because we’re both very busy and it’s rare that we can hang out at a race track together. Plus I enjoyed the fact that he could see what I do at these events. Put a face to the name kind of thing. So we grabbed a hotel reservation, I picked em up, and he, myself, the WR04 and some double-double’s headed North.

My task as usual was to test oil. We decided to run Amsoil’s RD30 10w30 Race Oil in Lee’s #75 car and since it was a bit of a jump from the standard 5w50 Castrol they’ve been running, I wanted to be there to make sure all went smooth and to pull a clean fresh sample for comparison testing. We’re currently doing testing on the transmission fluids so this is good data for us to have. A good all around package.
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So far, Amsoil products have been working well in these cars. Last year we swapped and tested the power steering fluid, and the temps were brought down 26%. That was enough to stop them pumps and reservoirs from boiling over. Since they’ve been running Amsoil’s MTG in the transmissions of the 75 and 1 car, there hasn’t been a failure. That’s pretty good news considering how many times those trannies had to be taken out and rebuilt causing DNF’s and frustrating weekends. All the bearings were taken apart and repacked with Amsoil’s 2000 Racing grease which has stopped them from completely melting and really, so far so good.
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So Carney and I headed up late morning on the Thursday, checked in to the hotel, changed and went to the credentials office to sign in. The Indy Lights crew was racing there also so Jason hooked us up with bracelets and were set to take on the race world! Thanks Jason! Glad you guys had fun up here! Before heading into the track we stopped for a bite to eat at the local Cage Aux Sports. Just sitting in there you could tell from the people that this was a big weekend for this little town. As with many other tracks, they literally shut down parts of the city and turn the streets into a race track. AWESOME!
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For as being so North in Quebec as we were, every staff member we met tried really hard to speak English, and we did what we could to speak French, and it was a great merger. Very different from Montreal and Quebec City where it’s a little more…political let’s say. The people on the street were polite, the event staff was welcoming and it had a great feel to it.
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After a good little lunch, we headed over to the track to see how those Fastco boys were doing. When we got there it was only Martin and Max, and they were in the middle of setting up. We didn’t wanna be in the way, so I gave Martin the oil and we headed over to the Casino to check out the local scene for a lil while and waited for everyone to set up. We watched from the Casino upper level patio all the trucks, Nascar North, Star Mazda, CTC, Formula Ford…everyone was here, and I love this behind the scenes stuff. It was cool cause the Casino grounds is in front of a horse race track, which was in front of the pit area so it was a good all access arena. Everything in walking distance and no problems getting in and out of different sections.
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Just before dinner we met back up with the Fastco crew, had a look at the cars and chatted for a bit about the next days schedule. After that, since there was no practice or race, Carney and I headed downtown to check out the action and grab some dinner.
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Now, when I say there was a party going on down there, I wasn’t kidding. It wasn’t even Friday yet and there was a ton of people. Streets were blocked off, DJ’s were throwin’ tunes and beers were flowin!
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We ate at a little Italian spot and just walked around afterwards and enjoyed the sights. Of course, wasn’t too late since it was race day and testing for us in the morning!
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A bright and sunny Friday morning welcomed us as we skipped the “Continental breakfast” at the hotel and headed back up to the track. Was gonna be a busy day. Not only were the Fastco CTC boys heading out for practice, qualifying and a race, I wanted to meet some contacts in the Nascar North series, catch up with the Indy lights crew and of course, watch some racing… so ya, a lot of walking stood before us..
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By the time we got to the Fastco garage area, the crew was already busy, Martin had everything set up and the cars were looking good.
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I did what I had to do with 75, which really wasn’t much but check the oil and make sure it was red and the level was good, (Yup, the race oil has a red tint to it) and we all headed out for practice.
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It’s good info for me being there for practice, qualifying and racing. After each of those sessions, Pierre-Olivier pulled the data from the computers and I was able to log everything I wanted. On this round, I wanted to compare oil temps, water temps, fuel pressure and oil pressure. I would take that data from #75, compare to the #1 and #74 car, and compare each of those to each individual session taking into consideration ambient temps and weather. This along with the oil sample would give me enough to cram together into a readable report.
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Practice went well despite some fuel delivery problems in #75. Which kind of concerned me since a rich condition can destroy oil, and a sample, which was my very reason for spending two days up there.
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With that done and all three cars qualified it was back at the garage, time for them to get the cars fresh and ready for the night race. I verified the engine oil in 75, blot tested it and all seemed good. I was confident in the oil and excited to see the results.
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So with Martin and his crew getting the cars finished, it’s off to the races we go!
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Carney and I headed up in the cart and waiting for everything to start. Nick was posting some pretty good times earlier in the #1 car everything was lookin’ good.
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And this is where it got a little hectic.
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It wasn’t long after the green flag that the transmission in Glenn’s 74 failed causing a DNF but Lee in the 75 and Nick in the 1 were keeping up good. Nick was holding a strong top 5 and gaining. Lee was hanging in around 7th until about 17 laps in when he called saying his engine was dead. Now, understand what I feel at this point. I convince Martin to run an oil he’s never tried, much lighter, and an all around different package. When I hear that his was the only engine that was down, I started to be concerned a bit. As the car coasted into the pits you could hear something. Martin popped the hood and we had a look. No oil on the ground, no oil in the engine bay, temps were ok…but the car wouldn’t go. With half the race done, there was no time to start playing with it so they called that one out and concentrated on Nick who was now in 2nd place.
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It was bittersweet with 2 cars out, and Nick finishing 2nd. It’s the 2nd time that Nick got them a podium and there was a well deserved celebration to be had. I however was anxious to get back and have a look at the 75 car.
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Once back at the garage area, under the hood I went looking for anything to do with an oil related failure. The blot test was perfect, the smell was slightly strong in fuel but otherwise ok, there was no leak, and no particles on the dipstick. The oil looked brand new. I was confident in the oil itself and didn’t think there was a connection and couldn’t see evidence of one.
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I sat back and looked at the numbers and data with P.O. as Martin got into the engine bay. As it was sounding like a mis-fire, they started removing plugs and wires and eventually the coil looking for an ignition problem. And this is what ended up being so. The coil was shot causing a mis-fire, thus causing it to sound like a bottle of marbles when running. As you can imagine, I was quite pleased in this conclusion. I, per-say, was off the hook in gentle terms and was able to relax and enjoy the celebration with the guys.
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Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay too long as Carney and I had to get back to Montreal for work and a family matter, but before I left I took all the data I could in prep since there was another race the next day.
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It turns out that Martin got the tranny replaced in the 74 car, and all three cars ran the Saturday race. Nick beat his way to the front and got Fastco Motorsports their first win in CTC. This is awesome because for the last 3 years, I’ve watched this team work so hard. I’m glad it finally paid off. If anyone deserves it, It’s Martin and his crew. Week after week they do an outstanding job, I congratulate them.
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I was a bit of a bust though for me, although I did pull some data, the oil was changed in the 75 car on Saturday before the race and no sample was kept. With the fuel dilution from the earlier troubles, I’m sure it had to have been changed, and perhaps the sample would have been void, but I still had no conclusive results to work with. I could have seen the metal wear levels, soot, and maybe even a total base number but for sure it was full of gas causing viscosity failure. I’m still curious to see how this oil works in these cars. I run it Drift-Zilla as well as the Dave Seguin 7x car and it’s been bullet proof so far. I would also like to compare it against the Castrol oil that they currently run. Last year when we tested that Castrol oil, it didn’t make 2 hours before it failed so it’s obvious that these cars give oil a beating. It would be good data.
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So all this to say, it was a great weekend for those boys and once again I congratulate them.
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Stay fast Sniper! You Deserve the win!

Aug 17th by Bannon



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