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  1. Chad 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)
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