Mother nature dominated the race weekend at Sebring International Raceway for the September 2nd and 3rd V8 Stockcar race. Intermittent, but persistent thunderstorms dampened the racing action.
The Saturday practice session was dry however, and Jeff Emery immediately showed that the mill that replaced the one injured at Daytona was up to the task, as he cut his usual fast laps. Charlie Wicht showed up in his Ex Kevin Harvick SouthWest tour road course car and quickly demonstrated that he will be a force in the V8SC class. Charlie layed down some quick laps and showed terrific straight line speed.
Guy Ratcliff was back, bringing his potent V8GN Ex Harry Gant Skoal Bandit. Ray Webb showed up with his reliable John Debenedictis prepared Ex Hardees Cup Lumina while he awaits the refurb on his Tommy Riggins Olds V8 GT-1.
During the practice Larry Beebe lost the driveshaft in his Ex John Finger Trans Am Mustang with some of the pieces gashing the fuel cell can on Jeff Bailey's Corvette.
As the V8 Stockcar Group sat on the Grid waiting to go out for qualifying the ominous dark clouds that had encircled the Sebring area moved in, and the bottom fell out. Emery quickly returned to his pit, changed to rains, and returned to the action resulting in him taking the pole by a wide margin.
Most of the group went out on their slicks, with the expected result. Most of the front half of the grid would be taken up by the usually slower T-1 Vettes, GT 2 and 3 cars and the like.
Saturday afternoon the Improved Touring enduro went off on a still wet track, but thirty minutes into the race, a huge storm moved in, which resulted in officials red flagging the race with cars stuck in tire walls and lightning flashing all around.
On Sunday, the V8 stockcar group dodged the storms for their first race. Emery took the green and checked out as the rest of the V8's fought through the slower cars that out qualified them in the soup.
Charlie Wicht roared from the back to take over second overall and first in the V8SC class. Guy Ratcliff charged to third and first in V8GN. He was later penalized for passing under yellow handing the class win to Ray Webb. Jeff Bailey's woes continued as he lost all but second gear in his Vette. Jeff soldiered on and finished, collecting some points to protect his CFR SCCA Gt-1 points lead. Lee Arnold debuted his new car, an Ex All Pro type car driven by Boris Said at Sonoma. Lee's car had teething problems and DNF'd. Boo Morgan, in Lee's old car ran well again, as he did at Daytona, showing he can find his way around these tracks he hasn't been on before.
There was some carnage during the race, after an A Sedan Camaro oiled all of turn 17, Ed Braswell, in his beautiful, new and expensive Speed GT C6 Corvette found it and backed into the wall, doing extensive damage.
The V8 Stockcar group licked their wounds and prepared for the second race. Jeff Bailey dispatched wife, Barbara, back to Orlando to pick up another Jerico tranny (now that's a good woman). While enroute, Good Guy Jeff Emery volunteered to loan him one and Barbara was recalled.
It wouldn't be needed though as the storms moved in again, and with the lightning, officials mercifully threw in the towel, cancelling the rest of the weekend.
The Group will return to action September 23 and 24 at the South Atlantic Road Race Chanpionship at Roebling Road Raceway near Savannah, Ga.