Story By: BOBBY CHALMERS / PETER BRITTEN RACING – WEEDSPORT, NY – If you watched time trials for the Super DIRTcar Series opener at Can-Am Speedway on Saturday night, it’d be safe to say that Peter Britten isn’t a fan of yuke tires.
Britten clipped one of the infield tires during qualifying at the LaFargeville, NY oval and never completed a single lap. That put his team behind the eight-ball all evening.
“The pitman arm on my Sweet Manufacturing steering box stripped and bent a couple radius rods when I hit the tire,” Britten said. “Luckily, the box held up perfectly but I didn’t record a time. That meant we had to start in the back of our heat and only passed a few cars. We didn’t qualify through the consolation either so I had to take a provisional.”
It was then that the team rallied in a big way. Starting shotgun on the field, Britten worked his tail off and get into the top 10 late in the 100-lap event. However, a rear suspension problem impeded his progress from that point on. He was able to salvage a 14th place finish when the race was completed.
“I had to keep my eyes open to maneuver the ever-changing track conditions,” he said. “I got into the top 10 and that’s when the right rear birdcage failed and we did all we could to make it to the end.”
You still have to wonder how good of a night Peter may have had if he had missed that dreaded yuke tire in qualifying and recorded a time.
“We had a really good car,” he said. “I think we would have been up among the leaders all night if the driver hadn’t been a knucklehead in time trials. But I wasn’t the only one. (Billy) Decker hit one in the feature. So did Larry (Wight) among others. Those things don’t move.”
Now, the 21a team’s focus shifts to a pair of season openers at their weekly tracks…Albany-Saratoga on Friday and Lebanon Valley on Saturday.
“I can’t wait to get back to racing at Albany and see how we can do at the Valley,” he said. “I really think we have a shot to contend for wins and championships at both tracks, and that all starts this weekend. Hopefully we can start the season off on the right foot.”
Friday will be the “Come ‘N Get It” season opener at the “Great Race Place,” paying $5,400-to-win for 54 laps. On Saturday, the Valley will hold their 67th consecutive “lid lifter” paying $5,000-to-win for the Big Blocks.