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PhilWhipple posted a topic in Announcements, Press Releases, and ResultsChad Heath scores second top-10 finish at Boyd, Battles through adversity at Cotton Bowl LAMESA, Texas (April 12, 2021) — When short track racers imitate baseball teams and pull off a string of doubleheaders, there are bound to be a few weekends when it's a split between good and bad. For 40-year-old IMCA Southern Sport Mod driver Chad Heath, a Friday-Saturday Twin-bill this past weekend brought a mixed bag of results. The Maine native salvaged a solid eighth-place finish despite a mechanical failure on Friday night at Boyd Raceway, then battled to a 16th-place finish at Cotton Bowl on Saturday. It began with a fourth-place finish in his Heat at Boyd, which placed him fifth in the lineup for a 20-lap A Main. Windy conditions made for a dry, slick track, yet Heath's chassis setup kept him in contention. “The car was handling well, but I could hear something in the rear of the car and knew I had something broken in the drive-train,” Heath said. “I tore it apart after the feature and discovered the issue, it had broken pieces of gears and would need a rebuild. I had to pull off the track with two laps remaining.” After a visual inspection to that damaged rear end revealed extensive damage, Heath chose to head south to Paige, Texas, home of Cotton Bowl Speedway. Once there, Heath and his friend Mike Fortier got the parts replaced, but also discovered a bent axle. That also got replaced, and it time for Hot Laps. “Our Saturday turned out to be pretty busy working on the car, but on paid off,” Heath explained. “It was fast during my Heat, and it was fast in the feature. I was involved in an incident, was put to the rear and had to work my way back up through the field. I was up to 10th at one point prior to that setback.” The altercation with another racer at Cotton Bowl saw the two men having a civil conversation in the pit area. Feelings were expressed, and after that chat the incident was put behind them. Short track racing is often an emotionally-charged sport; how you control those feelings is what matters most. A rough outing at Cotton Bowl was truly the first real setback Heath has endured in 2021. Thus far since he kicked things off at the Southern Stampede in Ardmore, Oklahoma, he's made 10 starts, has posted one top-five and six top-10 finishes. Not bad for only his second full season of racing. “Saturday night was less than ideal, but overall our season continues to go fairly well,” Heath added. “Things get intense at times no mater where we race, but that is part of the game. This hobby takes lots of time and money, so everybody wants to get the best results they can. We all battle for the same spots. “I've already fixed the front bumper of my car and repaired the sheet metal damage. I know there will be more contact this season but hope I can steer clear of the carnage. It's an ongoing battle I enjoy.” Next up for the self-proclaimed 'Dysfunctional Veteran' is yet another twin-bill of racing on Friday and Saturday nights. At this time, it looks like another trip to Boyd and ride to Southern Oklahoma ahead. Heath is a proud U.S Military Veteran who served our country in Iraq. To fulfill his lifelong dream of being out on the short tracks on the weekends is making his civilian life truly satisfying and rewarding. To follow this dedicated IMCA racer all season, go to www.facebook.com/chadheath09k. (Photo credit: Rachel Plant)
Chad Heath scores top-10 finish in debut at Boyd Raceway, Earns more valuable IMCA points in Southern Oklahoma LAMESA, Texas (April 5, 2021) — Maine native and sophomore dirt track driver Chad Heath scored a solid top-10 finish in his debut at Boyd Raceway (Boyd, TX) on Friday, then capped the weekend with a respectable 13th-place run Saturday in his third race of the season at Southern Oklahoma Speedway. Heath drove the Wicked Race Cars-built No. 09k entry to a fourth-place finish in his Heat at Boyd. After making a few changes to his setup, he started the A Main 10th in a 14-car field. With some heads-up driving and a better-handling car, he powered on to cross the stripe in seventh place. “I really loved racing at Boyd Raceway,” Heath said. “It did get dry-slick early in the night, I think the wind had an affect on track conditions. I learned as the night went on and came away with another top-10 finish. It's what I need to do this year as the competition in Sport Mod becomes more intense.” On Saturday, it was back north to Ardmore, Oklahoma, for a return visit to the beautiful Southern Oklahoma Speedway. The DFW Local Late Models were in town, which meant a dry, slick track right off the bat. Saturday also saw Heath changing out a bad axle and seal, with a fellow racer helping out. “Dan Day and I raced door-to-door Friday night at Boyd, but when he saw me having problems on Saturday he walked over to offer me a new axle,” Heath said. “I really appreciated that, and hope I am earning respect from these guys. The axle and new seal got me back on track for Saturday night.” Day, of Farmersville, Texas, finished eighth in the A Main, while his son Matthew finished third. There was one rather scary moment in qualifying, when a car spun directly in front of Heath. “I saw him snap around and really had to yank the car quickly to get out around the outside of him,” Heath explained. “I somehow managed to steer clear of him and avoid the outside retaining wall. It got my attention, I'll tell you that. It always pays to be alert, because things happen pretty fast out there.” In the A Main, Heath's read end problems had vanished, yet he had another small problem to battle. “I was losing air in my right front tire towards the end, but there was enough left in it to limp on home,” a dejected Heath explained after his disappointing 13th-place finish. “I'm always striving to land inside the top 10, but last night it just got away from us. Overall, it was still a solid weekend.” Heath is chasing IMCA Southern Sport Mod Rookie-of-the-Year points, and continues to lead the national standings. As of the previous weekend's races (through March 27), Heath led by 61 points over Ricky Johnston. It's still relatively early with tons of racing, yet it's a strong start towards achieving that goal. “It is a grind with all of this travel, running at two tracks every weekend,” Heath added. “But I'm going to keep going to different tracks as often as I can. I am learning how to adapt to different layouts, and I'm earning maximum points towards my ROTY goal. I'm having fun and learning a ton every week.” Up next for Chad Heath Racing and the No. 09k IMCA Southern Sport Mod entry is another two-race weekend on April 9-10, more than likely featuring a return visit to Boyd on Friday and to Ardmore on Saturday. To follow the team's progress all season long, go to www.facebook.com/chadheath09k.