Patience was the name of the game Sunday at the inaugural Hard Clay Open at the Orange County Fair Speedway.
The Jeffer decided to go with the Schrufer Racing 2A small block on Sunday after bringing both the 2a and the 14H big block cars to OCFS’s practice session the day before.
With it being a day race, the team figured a small block may fare better on the “Hard Clay”, especially when it came to tire wear.
After picking 59 out of 100, The Jeffer lined up 6th in the 3rd heat and had to get to 3rd to qualify directly into the 50 lap feature. He made quick work of 3 competitors and settled into 3rd by lap 3, where he would finish the 8 lap heat.
When it was feature time, The Jeffer rolled off the grid in 15th place. Slowly and steadily he began to pick off positions one by one, being sure to stay smooth to keep tire wear at a minimum. As the laps clicked off, The Jeffer meticulously carved through the field, glued to the guardrails on the bottom of each corner. It takes a tremendous amount of patience and concentration when navigating the tricky 5/8s mile on a hard, single groove racing surface as one mistake can mean losing multiple spots.
Restarts proved to be the most challenging as dusty conditions limited visibility and drivers fought hard for the bottom lane entering the first corner.
Despite being shuffled back to 10th on a restart around lap 35, The Jeffer clawed his way back forward, regaining the spots he lost and setting his sights on the leaders.
As the laps winded down, it seemed the faster the Academy Transmissions 2a got. The Jeffer stuck his nose underneath the 4th place running car on the last lap but just didn’t have the time to make it happen. The Jeffer took the checkered on lap 50 in 5th place, sealing a great effort by the Schrufer Racing team.
Next weekend will be a busy one as both the Accord Speedway and Orange County Fair Speedway open up their regular seasons. The Jeffer will look to continue the momentum with the 2A on Friday night at Accord and will pilot the Roberts Racing 14H on Saturday at OCFS.
It was good to see such a tremendous turnout of fans at OCFS today, we hope to see everyone back out next weekend as well!
*Thank you to Bobby Armbruster for the photo!
So far we are 0-2 on racing in 2014 as Bridgeport Speedway was forced to postpone their “60 Over Special” until Easter Sunday, April 20th. We will try it again next Sunday (4/6) at the Orange County Fair Speedway for the first annual “Hard Clay Open!” Let’s hope for this weather to turn around… See everyone at OCFS!
With OCFS’s “Hard Clay Open” being pushed back to April 6th, The Jeffer will officially kick off his 2014 season this Saturday, March 29th, at the Bridgeport Speedway. The Jeffer will be driving the Roberts Racing 14H big block for the 60 lap RoC Series event, a team car to track champ Ryan Watt and team owner Ron Roberts. Last year, Bridgeport was not kind to The Jeffer as bad luck and bizarre happenings plagued the 14H all season long. However, the Morrison powered Teo Pro Car was extremely quick every time out and the team is confident that this year the results will finally start to show.
To keep up with Ron Roberts Racing, please follow the team’s official Facebook page: facebook.com/z14racing
We’ll see ya in South Jersey!
On Sunday, April 6th, history will be made at the Orange County Fair Speedway as the inaugural “Hard Clay Open” will hit the 5/8 mile. The 50 lap event, promoted by BD Motorsports Media, is the first leg of the “Short Track Super Series” and will pay at least $5,000 to the winner. Since this event will be a big block/small block combo, The Jeffer will most likely show up to the track with 2 options, the Mel Schrufer owned 84 small block and the Roberts Racing 14H Big Block. Hope to see you all there at this historic event!
“The Jeffer” Jeff Heotzler is preparing for one of the busiest racing seasons in nearly 20 years. At the JHR shop in Wallkill, NY, parts are being prepared and meticulously inspected before being bolted back on to the fleet of Teo Pro Car chassis. With racing kicking off earlier and earlier every year, time is of the essence as March is just around the corner.
In weekly competition, The Jeffer will be driving the Mel Schrufer owned, Academy Transmission sponsored 84 small block modified at the Accord Speedway on Friday nights. The Jeffer is only 1 win shy of his 50th career Accord triumph. The duo of Heotzler and Schrufer formed late last season with immediate success, turning in great performances at OCFS’s Eastern States Weekend and at the Short Track Super Nationals at the Five Mile Point Speedway. In addition to Accord, Heotzler will participate in the newly formed, “Short Track Super Series” – a series put together by up and coming promoter Brett Deyo. The series will kick off at the Orange County Fair Speedway on March 23rd. On the big block side, The Jeffer will be back piloting the Roberts Racing, Array of Monograms, 14H. Bad luck and bizarre mechanical failures plagued the 14H nearly every time out last year, despite continually being one of the fastest cars on the track.
2014 is filled with opportunity and promise and the JHR team looks to take advantage and build upon a 2013 season that saw The Jeffer reach victory lane 4 times.