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Here is where I will try to keep you up to date on happenings in my life surround racing and other interesting events.

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A good day at Monadnock Speedway

by Derek Robbie
Derek Robbie
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on Wednesday, 14 August 2013
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Every time we head back to Monadnock, we try something new. I always have a different plan going into the race, hoping I can figure the track out. Heading into this past weekend at Monadnock, my biggest focus of the day was turn 1. I knew to be fast I had to get through turn 1 and 2 efficiently. This would be the first time I can with a softer nose setup in over two years and I was ready to keep on learning the track. When we first arrived at the track, I was put to work. Dave Hodgkinson had come down from Canada to race with us and he had the wrong gear in the car, so I helped them get it changed. That helped make the time pass quickly and it was soon time for me to hit the track.
The plan for the first practice was to try out the racing line I had in mind, and feel out the car. It turned out, this line was faster than all the other lines I tried. The stop watch showed I gained a half a second from the last time we were here. I was also able to stay with the 86 which appeared to be the fastest limited. The car was still a touch loose off but we stuck with our plan and just run the car as is to see how it was and if the track changed. In the second practice I was a touch slower but only by a tenth. The best part of the second practice was I clicked off six laps in a row all within one-tenth of a second of each other! It seemed like  I was finally getting a handle on the track. This time the car had a slight push off but I liked it.
 
Since there were only nine cars in attendance, the club and track decided to not have a qualifying race. Instead they held a tire scuff for us due to the tire truck arriving later because of troubles on his way up.  Since we had a new right front on the car, we went out. I did two easy laps and two hard laps to take the shine off the new tire and get a feel for its size after coming up to temperature. I didn't want to burn the car up but it felt good. After the scuff we came in and prepared the car for the feature. We were the sixth feature out so we had ample time to prepare.
 
Even with being the sixth feature out, the show cruised by fast. It was soon our time to get out on the track. I started eighth in the feature. The overall plan was to settle in and ride close to the top limited cars and keep on learning the track. I had a different plan. I wanted to jump out front and learn from there. Since our feature was later they gave us a few hot laps so we were not starting on cold tires. I rode around back just making sure my tires had the required heat in them. I planned on getting the best start I could. I was starting behind the 80L and knew I would have to go to get cleared of the 86L. Right from the start I stayed glued to the 80's bumper. We cleared the 86L immediately and when the 80L dropped low into turn one I took the outside lane. With every lap I got closer and closer to clearing him. After three laps of side by side racing I cleared the 80L and was now in the limited lead, and sixth place overall. I wasn't able to just ride around though. The 86L was pounding on my bumper, literally. Every few laps I would get hit in the bumper, it was a cat and mouse game. I would pull away a little then he would catch back up. I was still not consistent with my line. On lap 19, while lapping the 36 car he pushed up a little in turn 3 and I hit his rear bumper. He got loose and headed for the infield. He saved the car from spinning but the motor died on him. He got it re-fired but not before the caution would come out. With six laps to go it was a still double file restart and I would be starting sixth. I wanted to get a good start again and get down in the low line in front of the 86L to hold onto the limited lead. Once again my start was right on. I got down low and started to charge after the unlimited cars. Apparently I charged a little too hard and created a scary moment. While exiting turn four I got loose and had to feather the gas to keep from spinning out. I got the car controlled and right back in my line, but the 86L was looking to pass me on the outside. I managed to keep him behind me though. With 3 laps to go the 32 slowed down. I quickly cleared him putting me in fifth. This helped keep the 86L behind me. With 2 laps to go the 80L spun out on the back stretch, bringing out the final caution of the race. I would start fifth and this time it was a single file restart. I wanted top repeat with another good restart and I got just that. I stayed glued to the 07’s bumper. On the final lap I tried to duck around him, but I wasn't able to. I settled for fifth place overall and grabbed my fourth limited win of the year! The win also gives me the limited points lead!

I can't thank my crew, my sponsors, my fans, and my parents for all the support they give me!

We have a couple of weeks off but that doesn’t mean I won’t be doing something related to racing. First off  make sure you stay tuned for the announcement of more exciting prizes you can win at the “Rockin it for RAD” Charity event we are hosting on August 24th at Red Rock Grill in Upton,MA! If you haven't ordered your tickets yet make sure to! If you can't attend but would still like to donate, please contact me for more details on how to do that!

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Waterford Speedbowl August 8

by Derek Robbie
Derek Robbie
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on Friday, 09 August 2013
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In the heat race I was set to start 6th out of 7, but a last minute move, I got moved up one position into 5th. The plan for the heat race was to just continue feeling the car out and learn the best places to make my moves for passing. Right at the start I got on the 86’s bumper. Going into turn 3 I decided to back off a little and see how the race was going to play out. Since the heat race has minimal bearing on our feature line up I didn't want to risk wrecking. The 86 was battling the 80 hard so I wanted to keep them close just in case one of them slipped up and it would allow me t get the position. Well wouldn’t you know, going through turn 3 they made contact and both spun. I rolled into the brakes and drove past them on the outside.  The caution came out and they were sent to the back. I would restarted third behind the two stars of the race, Keith Rocco, and Doug Coby. Right at the start they jumped out two car lengths ahead, and went single file. But, I wasn't letting them go! I closed right up in turn 3 and started to set up the pass on Doug Coby. Since it was a heat race I didn't over push the issue but kept the pressure and tried to learn as much as I could. On the final lap though, he pushed up out of turn two and just let me go. It meant I came home 2nd in the heat race.

Right after the heat race I was scheduled to go to a autograph session for my club. Sadly only Dan Fresh in the 32 and myself took part in it! But boy did the track take are of us! They brought fans to us, and even had us walking with groups of kids and helped us gain a bunch of new fans! What surprised me the most how many times I heard it was a kids first time at the race track! Man was I happy to be able to give them a autograph and hopefully keep them coming back to the track!

My fame couldn't last long, I had to go get ready to race! I would be starting eleventh. Our plan was to stay close to the top limited cars, then pass them all with ten to go! Right from the start I got glued to the 86’s bumper and we wove through traffic towards the front. Once I got calmed down a little from the initial jolt of adrenaline,  the car became a rocket ship! I stayed right on his bumper letting everything shake out. As we were going into lap seven the only caution of the race would fly! The 60 and 00 tangled and would be sent to the back for the restart. I was up to 8th place looking for more. It was my intention to jump in front of the 86 then never look back! On the restart,  I got an awesome start! I was slightly ahead of the 86 when the 12 all of a sudden didn't go and backed up the inside line. I went flying by on the outside and settled into 5th place! For the next two laps I raced hard with the 11a until eventually getting by me. It then took the 00 another 2 laps to get by me and that was followed by the 60 fighting me for the next 3 laps before getting by. Though it doesn’t look like it I was OK with them passing me as they are part of the unlimited class and have a lot more horsepower. Yes they were passing me, but I didn’t let them go, they needed to earn their spots and all the time I was growing my lead on the 86. By the end of the race, positions 5 through 7 wasn't more  than a partial straight away ahead! Boy did it feel awesome to be able to keep the unlimited cars so close!

At the end of the race I would take another limited division and create a tie with the 86 in the championship points chase for the limiteds! I can't thank my dad, mom, my sisters, Mark Giordano,  Johnny Stanford and all my sponsors for their help getting me to where I am!

Now off to Monadnock speedway this weekend!

 

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Cup Weekend July 2013

by Derek Robbie
Derek Robbie
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on Friday, 19 July 2013
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With another off week approaching, we looked towards promoting our sponsors who help us week after week allowing me to do what I love to do. For July 13th, with many of the top stars were doing laps around NHMS, I was 15 miles from there in Gilford, NH promoting Shibles Family Mattress. We had my race car on display there from 10 to 4 attempting to drive in as much shopping traffic into the store as we could.

The day went well. They were able to bring in a few sales, and some attract some shoppers to begin starting their mattress shopping here. We were met with a few dozen people throughout the day. One surprise Tyler and Linda Shibles did was to inivite the Laconia Citizen News to interview myself and Tyler Shibles. The article then appeared on the front page of the newspaper on Monday July 15th! I was so happy they were able to help promote themselves and me in such a big way! After the appearance we made our way to a close family friend’s house where we had a nice relaxing dinner! It was fun to just hang out for a change on a weekend! But my racing on the weekends really never stops. On Saturday night we raced go karts with our friends over at Weirs Beach. It was a blast and we had a ton of laughs, and the earning of bragging rights. Those belong to Katherine, the only person so pass during the night. It was fun to relax and race! Once we got back it was bedtime for me. My sister Dee and I were getting up early to head to the Sprint Cup race the next day.I want to thank to Acceleration Communications for Getting pit passes for us.

The morning started real early. We got into our parking area around 8am and parked with our next door neighbour! Per race day tradition, he treated us to an awesome breakfast before we headed into the pits for 9:30. Since this was my sisters first Sprint Cup race, I walked her through all the fanfare making sure she got the full experience! She would have a smile for the whole day! Around 10:15 we went into the track. The biggest thing she was surprised by was how close we were able to stand and get to the cars, and crews. I took her on a tour around the pits. It was a great experience. We were able to meet David Ragan, and Aric Almirola. They were so awesome to meet, and talk with. They are just regular people living the racing dream. Another great conversation we had was with one of the TNT cameramen who was broadcasting the race on TV. He was amazed about my racing, and showed us a bunch about the things they do during race day. He even helped me see a pit stop up close later in the day. For drivers introduction, we were right up against the stage!

During the race though, we moved around to give my sister all the views of the track. In the first part of the race we remained in the pits. One cool thing was watching the 51 crew working for AJ Allmendinger. After they fixed his car, I was able to talk to them quickly. I also was able to grab a piece of the fender that was ripped off the car. It was an awesome memory of the race. Another cool thing to watch was the pit stops. Watching all the details that go into the pit stop its self is just mind blowing. Another cool view we experienced was in turn 3. We were able to stand up on a jersey barrier and watch the cars come down the back stretch. We watched several laps there but the pits were the place to be. With a bunch of wrecks, there was a lot of action on pit road. Brian Vickers won the race and scored a popular win and now it was time to fight the traffic on the ride home. All in all it was a fun day. The best being how cool it was to see all the action that goes on behind the scenes with pit crews!

See ya at the races!

 

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A great run at Stafford Speedway

by Derek Robbie
Derek Robbie
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on Monday, 08 July 2013
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After 2 weeks of scrambling to get the engine fixed, it was finally race day at Stafford Motor Speedway! I was ready to prove that the time spent in the garage fixing everything and making it perfect does pay off. The pits opened at 1:30 so we rolled out of our house at 12. When we got to the track we got right in and started to unpack. Since we had 2 hours till practice we unloaded and made sure everything was prepared. When Mark Giordiano showed up, I walked up to the track and he helped by walking me through the line. {Cont.}

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Double Header Weekend

by Derek Robbie
Derek Robbie
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on Saturday, 08 June 2013
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When the start of race season starts with 2 DNFs your confidence can tend to be low, but going into a 2 race weekend I did my best to try to stay confident. Saturday morning turned out to be a wild one for my family. While we were packing the truck my sister Dee was getting sick and ended up heading to urgent care and later to the hospital. She would spend the night after finding out it was nothing extremely serious, and be back at the track on Sunday to cheer me on. With that in the back of my mind I went to the Waterford  Speedbowl with an attitude to grab the win. (Cont.)

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