Brackett gains valuable experience from Baineys

Posted Sept. 20, 2010, at 8:31 p.m.

LOUDON, N.H. — NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner Dale Brackett of Strong got the learning experience he was seeking.

“These guys really taught us a lot,” said Brackett of the Bainey family, who agreed to join Brackett Family Motorsports for the race Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “Communication, organization and preparation. That’s what we need to focus on.”

Kyle Busch led 158 laps and went on to win the TheRaceDayRaffleSeries.com 175.

Brackett bought two race trucks, one for short tracks and another for super speedways, from Tim Bainey Sr. before the season. Bainey and his two sons, Tim Bainey Jr. and Dan Bainey, joined Brackett’s team at Loudon. Tim Jr. served as the driver while his younger brother Dan was the crew chief. Bainey Sr. was the spotter.

“The way the Bainey family goes about doing things, it’s really efficient, level-headed and clear,” said Brackett, who grew up in Abbott. “They all trust each other and no one gets wound up. We definitely need more of that.”

Bainey Jr. qualified Brackett’s truck in 28th position in a field of 36. It was the first race in three attempts the truck made the field. Brackett failed to qualify for races at Martinsville, Va., and Indianapolis.

The team only had one truck for the weekend, so Bainey knew he had to take it easy behind the wheel. A problem in the opening laps made that task more difficult.

The brakes started to fade and Bainey was unable to race as hard as he would have liked.

“We got a brake problem [on lap 6] that kind of messed us up,” said Bainey, who explained the truck didn’t brake evenly. The left rear brakes were gripping more than the right rear, causing the truck to want to spin out of control. “It made it hard to run underneath a guy.”

Despite the problem, Bainey brought the truck home without a scratch. He completed 166 of 175 laps, finishing 27th. He was running in 26th when he ran out of fuel coming to take the green flag on a restart with two laps remaining.

“We didn’t get to run it under the checkers like we wanted to,” said Brackett. He and his team had to run down pit road to push the truck back to the pit box. “I was real happy with what the guys accomplished today.

Brackett was especially proud of his all-volunteer pit crew.

“It was their first time going over the wall and I think the did a great job,” said Brackett. “We didn’t have to do anything twice and we didn’t get any penalties and that was our goal. Even if we had a 40-second pit stop, that’s OK as long as we do it right.”

If given another opportunity to race the No. 06 Chevrolet Silverado for Brackett, Bainey said he’d do it.

“We’d do it any time,” said Bainey, who hopes to be racing in the series next at Talladega (Ala.) in October for another team. “They’re a lot of fun to work with. Valerie [Brackett, Dale's wife and listed team owner] and Dale and all those guys, they did a really good job. They’ve got a good thing going here and I’m glad I was able to help them out this weekend.”

Brackett hopes the experience gained at NHMS will be enough to get the team in the Oct. 23 race at Martinsville, this time with himself as the driver.

“We’d like to get as far ahead in this program as we can for 2010, just to be more prepared for 2011,” said Brackett.

Not-so-tight fit

The team had to make some adjustments to the seat in order to get Bainey comfortable.

Brackett’s regular driving seat was in the truck for the weekend. The problem is Brackett is 6-foot-4 while Bainey is a slender 5-foot-5.

“I borrowed a lot of padding from the [Sprint] Cup garage this morning,” Bainey said with a laugh Friday. “I had to go to some of the teams that I know and asked if they had any pretty thick padding to put in there. I came back with about three heaps of it. We did some cutting and fabricating to get it in there.”

Bainey said he could reach the pedals just fine because the seat can only go back so far.

Martin, Theriault have fun in ACT

Frenchville native Shawn Martin and Fort Kent’s Austin Theriault finished better than they started in the second annual American-Canadian Tour Invitational Saturday.

Martin, who now resides in Turner, finished 17th after starting 21st. Theriault placed 30th, one lap down, after starting 34th.

“It was real hard to pass,” said 16-year-old Theriault. “Everyone was lined up on the outside, so whenever I tried to pass on the inside, I couldn’t complete [the pass].”

There were two cautions in the first two laps, but the final 58 laps were run under green. Caution laps didn’t count toward the lap total.

Joey Polewarczyk Jr. of Hudson, N.H., took the lead from Jamie Fisher from Shelburne, Vt., with eight laps to go to earn the win.

Martin struggled with a tight race car and was forced to change his racing groove.

“I tried to slow down a little bit and I changed my line,” said Martin, who started his second ACT Invitational. “I learned a lot. I really picked up some speed in the final 10 laps after I changed my line. All in all, it was fun.”

Theriault also enjoyed his first trip to the Magic Mile.

“We had a lot of fun,” he said. “We didn’t get the finish we wanted, but it was a great time for everyone.”

Both Theriault and Martin plan on racing the Spud 150 at Spud Speedway in Caribou this weekend. Martin said that should be his last race of the season, while Theriault also plans on running in the prestigious 48th annual Milk Bowl at Thunder Road in Barre, Vt. on Oct. 3.

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