Hot Rod!!!!

10453080_854117684640831_2078820199731610142_oAfter 2 years of racing at Can-Am Racing Series, encompassing 131 career starts, Rodney “Hot Rod” Haack has been one of the most valued members of the CARS community despite at times not being among the lead group.  And for the first time in his career he would be sitting atop the scoring pylon at the end of the Talladega 45!

It sure didnt look that way as the race went on, however. For the first part of the race, as frequent challenger Robert Barney was up front showing the way with just a few laps lead by Chris Cable, Ray Thompson, and Bruce Perry. Haack would sneak up front to lead a lap or two, but mostly it was a front pack of about 5 cars that really showed the way.

The pit stops rolled around, just as Jim Glennan was making noise, roaring from as far back as 9th to 2nd in the space of one lap. He, as well as Greg Netherwood, Bruce Perry, and Barney would dive to pit road together. 3 leaps earlier, Matt Quick and Patrick Hahe took the trip, and as the field cycled around, it was Barney and Netherwood up front by 2 seconds over Hahe and Quick.

But they made up the time quickly (pun intended), and soon it was a 4 truck dog fight between Barney, with Netherwood pushing, and Hahe and Quick. They would swap the lead over and over between the 4 of them for the next 10 laps. Quick, however, made a boo boo, and miscalculated his fuel consumption, and ran out as the leaders took the 2 to go sign.

Hahe, desperately trying to hold on with Barney and Netherwood, would end up slamming Netherwood in the left rear off turn 2, sending both spinning into the inside wall as Barney sped off. Perry, Glennan, defending champion Shane Palenica, Haack and Thompson were all in a pack about 6 seconds back of the leaders when they took the 2 to go, but once Barney was left on his own, it was game on. Barney would hit turn 1 with the pack getting bigger and bigger in his mirror.

They would catch him down the back stretch, and through 3 and 4, the now big pack would dip and dodge 3 wide. Coming off turn 4 onto the front stretch, Palenica thought he was clear and tried moving down from the extreme top. He however, was not, and clipped Perry, sending Perry into the wall and back into Thompson. Glennan barely snuck by, and Barney was just able to slither through.

Rodney Haack however kept the hammer down, and after starting 2 to go running 8th, he would Cole Trickle the wreck and make it through unscathed, crossing the line first for his first career victory in his 132nd start!

Robert Barney would take 2nd, Jim Glennan would get 3rd, Perry salvaged a 4th and Palenica rolled across 5th.

Hahe holds off Netherwood to take winter season opener!

pat_gregA finish that would go down in the history books came right down to the last 2 turns, as another amazing Super Speedway Series event took place at Daytona with Patrick Hahe getting his second win in a row dating back to last seasons finale. With 42 laps on the docket, 17 cars made the tow and would run the entire race caution free. After the first set of pit stops, a pack of 8 or so cars was comprising the lead pack, with 2 and 3 wide racing through out as everyone jossled for position.

Thet second stop coming with just a shade under ten laps to go would end up with only four of those cars still in the lead pack. Bruce Perry and Greg Netherwood would have a  second lead over Hahe and Chris Cable. They would soon run them down as Netherwood just could not keep his car cool behind Perry, thus not allowing a proper draft.

With the white flag in the air, Hahe took the lead over Perry heading into turn 1 side by side. But all 4 cars would converge, with Netherwood nipping Perry in the left rear and causing Cable to lose control and slide into the grass. This left just Hahe and Netherwood drag racing down the back stretch. Slamming doors at least twice, and even harder into turn 3 that saw both cars sideways, they were fighting for every inch. But, Hahe held it just a bit more than Netherwood and they would again drag race off turn 4. One more slam of fenders on the straightaway would allow Hahe to inch ahead, and beat Netherwood to the line for his second win in a row.

Perry would manage to keep 3rd, with Ed Gubic taking 4th and reigning champion Shane Palenica rounding out the top 5. The series takes to the old Daytona next week in the K&N Impala!

Closing it out at Homestead

For the final race of the season, the Pro Cup Series headed back to the state where it all began. Chris Cable came into the race looking to hold off Greg Netherwood for the overall championship while Nick Silver had the segment championship all but wrapped up. 23 drivers would take the grid for what turned out to be a thrilling finale.

Chris Cable started his race off right by securing the pole. He would pull out to an early lead over John Higman Jr and Shawn Powell. Cable’s strong start would quickly diminish as he lost control of his car coming out of turn 2 on lap 12. Cable would escape serious consequences as the field was able to avoid his stationary car. Higman Jr would lead the field onto pit road and to the green on lap 17. The field would next see the yellow flag on lap 20 as Patrick Hahe would lose control coming out of turn 2 after a near collision with the #25 of Nick Silver. This would leave Sean Casto as the leader on the next restart after he decided to stay out on the round of pit stops.

Casto and Shawn Powell would battle for the lead before Powell would take over from Casto. After another yellow on lap 40, it would be Nick Silver’s turn at the point after coming off pit road first. The first incident with huge championship implications of the night would come on lap 55. Higman Jr would get loose out of turn 4 with Cable sending him the rest of the way around. Shawn Powell would not slowdown in time, rear ending the #05 of Cable, causing massive damage. This suddenly put the #1 of Greg Netherwood back in the championship hunt as he would be tied with Cable points-wise at this point in the race.

Silver, Casto, and Netherwood would lead them to the green on the restart. “This is definitely a Greg type of track,” said Silver. With no shortage of talent at momentum tracks, Netherwood was suddenly a favorite to contend for the win. He would dog Silver for the lead over the next six laps until another yellow waved. Robert Barney would stay on the track to inherit the lead during the caution. Nick Silver would pull back into the second spot and retook the lead the following lap. Patrick Hahe would suddenly become a contender as he took over the second position. Unfortunately for Netherwood, his championship hopes would be dashed on lap 76 as he and the #52 of Casto would come together in turn 1. Netherwood would try to hang onto it but while doing so would make contact with the outside wall, not bringing out a caution, but severely damaging his car and chances of a top finish.

The rest of the race would continue under green with Nick Silver leading the rest of the race on his way to his ninth race win of the season and the second segment championship. Scott Walter would bring it home second. Shane Ewing, Sean Casto, and 

Colton Harvey would play bumper cars in turn 4 coming to the checkered. This would see Ewing coming home third, Colton Harvey fourth, and Sean Casto rounding out the top 5.

Chris Cable would hang on to take the overall season championship with Nick Silver taking the second segment championship. This brought what has been a fantastic, record-breaking season to a close. 16 different winners took home the checkered flag in what was definitely one of the most competitive seasons at Can-Am Racing to date.

Hahe takes Iowa, Brooks gets the title


The Exclaim Graphics Late Model Tour took to Iowa Speedway for its 145 lap season finale. Justin Brooks came into the night with the points title all but wrapped up. He only needed to start the race as only 12 cars took the green flag.

The race went green for the first 109 laps until Chris Cable clipped the apron coming off from turn four and spun. In the first run, Brooks and teammate Cody Kelley separated themselves from the field. The rest of the field spread out quite a bit besides a few side by side battles here and there.

When the green flag dropped Patrick Hahe was the leader as the field had almost cycled through pit stops before the caution flew.  Hahe would hold onto the lead with Greg Netherwood charging in second with Brooks in tow.  On lap 120 Kelley and Josh Kotten would get together to bring out a caution.

Another caution slowed the field and set up a one lap shootout to the checkers. Hahe would separate himself on the shootout but chaos would hit coming out of turn four setting up a crash involving Brooks and Netherwood on the front stretch. Hahe got the win, with Brooks second, Trevor Williams third, Netherwood fourth and Tim Bills fifth.

Justin Brooks would be the series champion putting together an impressive season that included six wins, and nine top fives in his 9 starts.

Hahe finally gets one, while Palenica brings home the title!

10628089_835913893127877_382403849348252679_nThe Wednesday Smith Media Productions Super Speedway Series has shown itself to be one of the most exciting series here at CARS, and this week would prove yet another example. For 2 straight weeks, Patrick Hahe has finished runner-up to winner Robert Barney, both times in drag race finishes at the line. Bordering on insanity due to the frustration of being so close yet losing out both times, Patrick came out firing at Daytona.

Jerome Gustin would win the pole in his first event, and would lead some of the early going. However, while trying to help his teammate Palenica, he overheated and would lose his motor while running second, sending the field scrambling around to miss his rapidly slowing car.

Then as pit stops would ensue, 2 drivers decided to take a humongous gamble. Chris Cable, trailing by 12 points in the title chase, and teammate Greg Netherwood, decided they’d try something outside the box and run 1 extra lap, to try to turn the race into a 1 stop deal. So as the pack roared onto pit road, they stayed out. And it almost worked…..

But Hahe and Charles Churchville would come out with Bruce Perry and Ray Thompson, and for the next part of the race, it was the 4 of them leading the way. But secondary pit stops would ensue, and this would leave Hahe alone with Churchville up front.

With Cable and Netherwoood almost making it to the top of the board with their fuel saving, it would crash down on them as they took the white. Running 3rd and 4th, both ran on empty as they came off turn 2, and would fall to 8th and 13th respectively as they coasted to the line.

But the action was up front, as finally, Hahe would have the top spot coming off turn 4. With Churchville up his butt more than a proctologist, hahe had no choice but to hug the yellow line and pray for the best. Putting the hammer down, Churchville dove outside, and had a run for the ages. Had it been Talladega, he may have had him. But, alas, it was not to be, and Hahe would FINALLY be the victor.

Palenica rode a bad stop to a 7th place finish, but it was enough. Despite not scoring a win all season, consistent top 4 finishes gave him the backbone to a title. By a mere 13 points over  Cable, Shane Palenica is the 2014 Smith Media Productions Super Speedway Series Champion! Congratulations, Shane!