Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – OSWEGO, NY – Super DIRT Week 2019 did not turn out the way Keith Flach and the Keith Flach Racing team had hoped for…not by a long shot…but it wasn’t for a lack of effort.
After qualifying on the outside pole for the 200-lap Modified main event last year, expectations were high for the Ravena, NY driver to have an even better run this season. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be the case.
“Nothing this past week went according to our plan,” Flach said. “We had some bad luck and I made a few mistakes. We didn’t do a good enough job in the early practices and got behind the ball on setup, which we gained on for time trials but so did the rest of the field.”
Keith was able to have a respectable time trial lap on Thursday, clocking in 23rd out of 80 who took a lap.
“We were third quick when we went out, but still had 20 something cars behind us,” he said. “For the first time at Oswego, the track got faster as the day went on. If we had gone later than we did, we might’ve had a better shot at the top 6 or 12 instead of 23rd.”
That qualifying lap, however, put him in a decent starting position for his Triple 20 event. Things looked like they were going according to plan in that race, that was, until, trouble set in, and Keith didn’t transfer.
“The race just didn’t go our way,” he said. “We had several flat tires which put us in the back each time.”
What exactly happened?
“One of my flat tires was due to direct contact with another driver,” he said. The other was trying to gain too much in a tight spot. The first happened in turn 3. It went down going into the corner and jerked the car into the inside wall, which forced me to spin. I had contact on the outside of another car coming off 4 the previous lap before I could get to the bottom. The second one was all my fault.”
That sent the Ravena Rocket and the KFR #43 to the Last Chance Qualifier, where trouble ensued once again.
“We just were in the wrong place at the wrong time and got another flat tire,” he said. “We cut this tire down due to Danny Varin getting together with Alan Johnson. I caught Alan’s rear bumper with my left front. That was it.”
Flach went on to finish eighth in the main event. However, they were only taking four which meant Flach didn’t make the 200. Even with the setback, Keith is keeping things in perspective.
“It happens,” he said. “It’s really the first time since 2005 that we’ve had any major issues. We’re always in by the end of the heat races. It was bound to happen sooner or later.”
Where does the team go from here? How do they regroup?
“We take our hits, lick our wounds, and put our heads together to work on our program for next year,” he said. “We have a strong attitude and move forward to focus on starting next year on a strong note. We are focused on Super DIRT Week already to game plan on what to do different with our notes from this year.”
Rest assured, Keith Flach and everyone at KFR will not let this setback derail their race team. They are determined now, more than ever, to have a strong 2020 season and head back to Oswego for Super DIRT Week hungrier than they’ve ever been. They know what they want to accomplish and won’t rest until they do.