Steve Dorer already had a busy CRA SpeedFest on his hands, preparing two race cars while overseeing another series competing at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Georgia this weekend. Unfortunately for the Lakeland, Florida native, an extra helping hand for another team ended with a crashed race car.
Dorer offered his assistance in preparing the Pro Late Model entered for Aaron Williamson, with the driver unable to attend Thursday’s private session ahead of SpeedFest. However, the throttle stuck on the machine entering turn three, sending Dorer off the track, through the grassy run-off area and a tire barrier before finally coming to rest in a ditch.
Dorer was unscathed in the mishap but was disappointed after his good deed punished by mechanical happenstance.
“I was driving this car for a friend of mine, just waiting for his driver to get here to help him get the gear figured out and whatnot,” Dorer told Speed51. “The throttle hung going into turn three. We went off the end of the track, that was it.”
The lack of a concrete outer wall surrounding the racing surface in the corners at Crisp Motorsports Park likely spared Dorer more serious damage to the machine or himself. Dorer acknowledged that the tire barrier didn’t damage the car much, but the final impact with the ditch caused heavy front-end damage.
“The tires slowed it a bunch,” Dorer explained. “The ditch actually did most of the damage, more so than the tires.”
When asked of the likelihood of Allman’s car being repaired for racing this weekend, Dorer simply said, “Probably not.”
STEPHEN NASSE TAKES A SPIN
While not nearly as disastrous as Dorer’s excursion later in the test day, Stephen Nasse also had an incident during the session. Nasse spun in turn two but avoided damage to his Super Late Model.
The slip-up took Nasse completely by surprise.
“I don’t know if it was cold tires or what, it was just a freak deal,” Nasse explained. “It really didn’t even get loose, I didn’t freely get loose and try to chase it. It just really spun around. We’re just checking over every nut and bolt and trying to find a reason. So far, we haven’t found one, so all we can do is try again.”
Despite the cold temperatures and a green race track after heavy overnight rains Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning in Cordele, Nasse had been pleased with the handling of his car to that point.
“It felt really good, actually. I had a really positive feel, really good drive,” said Nasse. “I thought I was about to lay down a lap, honestly. It come out of nowhere. It surprised me, and I know it surprised my guys. We’re going to figure it out and get back out there.”
NORTHERN “ROOKIES” ACCLIMATE TO WATERMELON CAPITAL
Coincidentally, two Midwestern veterans are both making their first appearances at Crisp Motorsports Park. Both likened the facility to the bullrings of Michigan after their first exposure to the circuit.
Brian Campbell, a Michigan native himself who won last year’s Money in the Bank 150 at Michigan’s Berlin Raceway, suspected as much before arriving in Georgia, making his first SpeedFest appearance since the race was contested at Lanier National Speedway.
“How you drive it, how you attack all the corners, it’s a lot like a couple of different tracks we run up there,” Campbell said. “Same tendencies.”
Despite those similarities, Campbell is still going through a learning curve seeing this track for the first time.
“Right now, we’re just trying to learn the race track and learn some tendencies,” said Campbell. “We’re just taking ourselves nice and slow.
“The car needs just a little bit of everything,” Campbell added. “So we need to do a little bit of everything. It’s solid, we think the car is solid right now. Times are showing it, we’re going in the right direction. We just need to make everything one step better.
“Probably driver, too.”
Meanwhile, Wisconsin veteran Rich Bickle is adding Crisp Motorsports Park to the list of tracks where he has competed in his career. The five-time Snowball Derby winner has now raced at 225 different venues.
“It’s different. I’ve been trying to find one track I haven’t been to for a long time so I could make it 225,” Bickle said. “This is probably the 185th or 190th asphalt track I’ve raced on. It reminds me a lot of the racetracks in Michigan. I hate to say this, but they’re all [expletive] up. I think the same guy that was drinking and plowing them tracks up there came down and plowed this one. This one ain’t too bad, but it’s just different.
“It’s entertaining to see these guys,” Bickle continued. “I saw one guy fly out of the ballpark, you know? I’ve watched some YouTube videos. You can tear up a lot of stuff here.”
Despite his colorful comparison, BIckle was pleased with his car, going into his first race with a new piece originally prepared for the 51st Annual Snowball Derby last December before he was sidelined with shoulder surgery.
“Actually, we’re not too bad,” said Bickle. “We haven’t put any tires on it, a lot of guys put tires on it. It’s kind of a fine line, I haven’t been here before. We’re a little tight here, a little loose there, it changes. All in all, the car’s pretty decent.”
This weekend, race fans unable to make the trip to Crisp Motorsports Park can watch CRA SpeedFest on Speed51. Friday’s racing is available with a Speed51 Network Premium Membership, while Saturday’s broadcast is available on pay-per-view. Click here to learn more and order your ticket today. The broadcast is subject to a 100-mile blackout radius.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor - Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com