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Another Race Lead, Another Broken Axle

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Another Race Lead, Another Broken Axle


AUSTIN, TX (August 21, 2006) – “If I didn’t have to fix it, I would pound it with a bat”, Casey Smith said about his racecar while loading it into the trailer after another frustrating race in San Antonio on Saturday night.


Rewind to Friday night during the open practice session at the San Antonio Speedway to prepare for the 125 lap USRA “TexasSpeedZone.com Triple Threat”. Casey Smith was unhappy with the way his teammate’s car was running during the practice (Casey’s primary car is still being re-built from an accident at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida). Instead of staying the night in San Antonio as they would normally do, the team loaded up and drove back to Austin to change the engine from the #99 (Casey’s primary car) to the #9 (Gary Buchanan’s car). They thrashed all night and into the wee hours of the morning, most of the team not getting more than an hour of sleep before heading back to San Antonio for a few 10 minute practice sessions prior to qualifying.


Casey qualified 5th for the event, but had a lucky draw and would start in the outside of row 1 next to pole-sitter Greg Davidson.


Casey quickly learned his car would be very competitive under racing conditions. At the drop of the green, Smith had an edge on Davidson and took the lead going into turn two. However, they would have to re-start the race due to a big crash in turn three involving Tuffy Hudson and Tom Grotheus which resulted in a red flag that stopped the race for about 10 minutes.


Casey would do it again on the restart and gave himself a three car-length advantage on the back stretch. While the battle was going on for position behind him, Casey continued to stretch out the lead, while saving his tires for the 125 laps. “I was just riding so I could be strong in the end”. It seemed as though the #9 would dominate again at San Antonio as he did the first event of the season when he started from the pole and led all 125 laps.


Then, on lap five, Smith’s car obviously fell off the pace and went up high in turn two to give the field of cars behind him space to pass by.


“Another broken axle!” Smith screamed over the radio as he limped the car into the pits and parked it.


It was déjà vu in San Antonio. Casey had the same problem at the July 8th event at San Antonio when he was leading with just 17 laps to go and his axle snapped on a late restart. He had to settle for 8th place while Brandon Bendele took the win.


“I think the first time [the axle snapped] it was an old axle, and I think this time it was just a bad axle because it doesn’t have very many races on it…or maybe it is just bad luck. I have been running late models most of my life (Casey started running Late Models at 14 years old) and I have only broken 3 axles, 2 of those being in the last month.”


Casey will be working the next 10 days to prepare the #9 Buchanan Homes/Rapid Disposal Chevrolet for the Blizzard Series event in Pensacola, Florida on September 1st and the Miller Late Series in Mobile, Alabama on September 2nd.


For more information about Casey Smith and his race team, please visit www.caseysmithracing.com.




Paige Miller



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