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Monday, October 26, 2015

A Lap Around the Track with NASCAR's James Bickford: All American Speedway

On Saturday, October 17th, Interstate Plastics sponsored James Bickford took to a local track, All American Speedway in Roseville, CA. Qualifying with an impressive 3rd place, the race hit an unfortunate bump in the road that left to a major repair stop.

Friday, October 16th:
James drove down to the track in the late afternoon. The late models were out to practice, and James watched, looking for any differences between this and last year. He concluded the line was about the same. He stayed in the comfort of his own home that night, remembering that the previous year he was stuck in an uncomfortable motel.

Saturday, October 17th:

Bickford headed to the All American Speedway from Napa, CA and  set up for practice. He walked the course with his crew chief and again, looked for any variations in the track from the previous year.

Bickford stated he felt pressured on time as the first practice would only be 30 minutes. He felt they were struggling to get the car where it needed to be, and that reflected, taking 18th in the first practice.

A rain delay held up the second practice, with the Bickford crew rushing for a better setup. Major changes in adjustments were made between practices, and along with new tires, Bickford jumped to the top 5.

Qualifying started at 5:30pm. Bickford said he found the track difficult. "The tires we use for these short tracks are different than those we use for half mile tracks. These tires take a long time to wear in. The car is not reacting as it should be for the first few laps" he remarked, "we have just enough camber to match the banking of the track and adjusting it varies from track to track."

James qualified 3rd and called it "a great effort by the team." He had hoped for pole on a home track but was happy to be up front. After a drivers meeting and quick autograph session, he was ready to go.

8:30pm - The Race
Fireworks shot off as Bickford drove around the track. The car seemed fast and the tires were working much better. It seemed as if everything had finally come together. Until around 80 laps in, when the no. 84 car was going in for a wreck. James positioned himself to avoid the crash, but felt impact from another driver in the rear driver's quarter panel.

It was too late, the battery was gone. They brought the car in for repairs, and after being off the track for another 80 plus laps, Bickford took 23rd place, avoiding a DNF.
9th for points in the West, James stated "I'm determined. We're going to Phoenix and we want to finish the season out well."

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