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April 29th, 2010

It's been a while but we're back. Gav is racing this weekend at Laguna. Sean and myself are going to crew for him. The post also marks the arrival of our twitter feed (see below). I hope to be tweeting from the track so stay tuned for the latest news and tweet me at @sweenrace if you have specific updates you want.

Click here to follow us on Twitter

October 28th, 2008 Wow, what a weekend! We had two races, the first was the last regional race of the year, the second the official 45th birthday race with Vees having the whole track to ourselves.

Going into the regional race there were three guys all within a couple of points of winning the championship - Brian Swanson, Ron Wake and Jim Petrek. If I'm not mistaken the difference was just 2 points. With the last regional being a double pointer with 56 points up for grabs, no one could take it easy. These poor guys had to handle that stress while surrounded by blow-ins for the weekend from all over the west coast! Of course the blow-ins weren’t actually slouches either - all of them ex-regional champs, national race winners or runoffs drivers. People like Brian McCarthy, Blake Tatum, Rick Schick, Bob and Quinn Posner.

The first turn at thunderhill is flat (almost) in 4th gear and it makes for some hair-raising racing. For some reason we had a F500 included in our split start which made the first turn even more exciting. Normally there are separate green flags for the split start but the pace car did such a poor job of separating the two groups (FF and FV) that the vees were already on the main straight when the fords were given their flag. So the vees dropped the hammer at that point too and we were racing. As we barreled towards the first turn there was quite a bit of jockeying for position with the front few rows being sitting ducks due to the draft. Everyone seemed to make it through ok and we settled in for an epic battle. Alan Harrington had other ideas however. He made a break from the front and built a nice lead. He was followed by a group of 5 guys. I was sitting 3rd in this group of 5 thinking how we were going to steam roll past Alan, Nascar Style , in a 5 car draft. No chance! Before I knew it, I had been shuffled back to 5th in line and we were racing like it was the last lap...great fun! Alan’s luck ran out though when his throttle cable slipped giving him a bad case of LTFT (less than full throttle) and we sailed past him.

All of this dicing allowed the following group, led by my brother Gavin, to catch up. Now, its not good for the ego when your little bro, with only a handful of vee races under his belt, is filling your mirrors. The vision of a long drive home from the track with him bragging how he put one over me was the motivation I needed to go for the front. It seemed I wasn’t the only one planning on getting to the front though. As we hurtled towards turn 1 we must have been 4 or 5 abreast. What seemed to me like a huge gap suddenly disappeared and I found myself flat in 4th with wheels interlocked with the yellow mysterian of Ron Wake on my inside and Blake Tatum in the silver crusader on my outside. Right about that point, I ran out of talent, got loose, clipped my buddy Blake and watched the front of his car sail over the front of my car, taking my right side mirror out. Ouch, that was hairy. Thankfully Blake’s car wasn’t too damaged and I was able to keep going.

All of this reshuffled the group and with Ron Wake leading (I think) , my bro Gavin (Uh-Oh), Rick Schick then me. Rick got past Gavin. Just as I’m lining Gavin up at turn 10/11 complex (two left handers) he decides to loop it. As I arrive on the scene he’s in the middle of the track broadside. I could see his eyes were opened WIDE and I was pretty sure he was in need of a clean pair of shorts as he watched me appear. I swing right, keep the boot in and dirt track back on to the asphalt at the exit of 11. As I get back on track, in my mirrors I see a silver crusader bearing down on me – does this guy never give up? I just pitched him into a 100 mph spin and he’s back for more. This will work for me though as we can team up for a bit of drafting to catch the leaders.

At some point the F500 that started with us has caused Quinn Posner some heartache and a damaged nose on the P3. Quinn’s not so happy and later when we pass the 500 he uses the internationally recognized single digit sign to let him know so.

Meanwhile at the front Rick Shick and Ron Wake are battling for the lead. If Ron finishes in that position the Regional Championship is his. It’s not over yet though. I’m following Blake and we’re working well together except for right hand turns where Blake’s car is throwing oil out – likely as a result of my earlier indiscretion. We can see Rick and Ron though so we have a chance. Next thing Blake gets the meatball flag for the oil and pulls over just as Quinn tags on to my tail. Somewhere behind us Brian Swanson and Jim Petrek are doing their best to keep their championship hopes alive. Quinn and I get down to business and start reeling off quick laps and we’re catching Ron and Rick who are dicing for the lead. As the laps tick down its not clear that we have enough time to catch them though. As we head into turn 1 for the last time we can see we’re catching them a couple of tenths every corner and we can probably catch them for the long draft to the finish. Turn 5 at t-hill is a corkscrew like turn that requires heavy braking before flicking the car left and launching off the top of a steep decline. I’m leading as we head up the hill and I’m busy thinking “we can get them”. Unfortunately I should have been thinking about braking points and lock a wheel, turn in a smidgeon too late and get two wheels in the dirt..just enough to lose a second or so and mess Quinn up as well.

Its all over at this point with just 2/3 of a lap left. We keep at it though, there’s still the last step on the podium to be decided. Time to start thinking about whether to lead, or not, going into the last turn. Then all of a sudden, there’s Ron Wake executing a perfect pirouette off line in turn 11. DOH! Will he get going before Jim and Brian arrive on the scene and take the title from him? I don’t have time to think about it though - Quinn is drafting by me as we head into the last corner. As we round the last turn I’m tucked behind Quinn readying myself to pop out. I pull 4th, I start gaining on him and then ease out and slowly pull alongside. We pass under the checker stand and I’m still not level. The finish line is actually about 200 yards passed the flag stand so Quinn and I are looking at each others front wheels as we barrel towards the line. I definitely have the momentum but I’m not ahead yet. And there it is…the line. I think Quinn got me, but its really too close to call. Meanwhile Ron has gotten going and takes 4th and the Regional Championship. Rick Schick is enjoying the spoils of victory as the rest of us roll into impound. Lots of pats on the back and everyone’s smiling after an epic race. About 10 mins later timing and scoring finally give me the nod and award me second place despite my best efforts to throw it away. The margin? 0.002 seconds!

What a race and we still had one more to go!

July 8th, 2008 Hi All, its been a busy few months and racing has taken a back seat unfortunately. I did make it out for the Thunderhill Double National, but it didnt go well! I've been busy with my new company and with all of that it just wasnt possible to prepare properly for the race. On a positive note, we've launched our first product, billFLO. If you're a small business and want the process of getting paid to be easier, check it out at www.getbillflo.com

See you at the track!

Sep 19th, 2007 A quick note to let you know I'm selling my truck - 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD with tow package! More details in the ad here:

2001 Chevy Silverado

I might be interested in a partial trade for a smaller truck (4 or 6 cyl) if anyone is interested.

Asking Price is a very reasonable $7700

Contact me at sweenrace@hotmail.com if interested

Sep 4th, 2007 Well, the dust has settled on a great weekend's racing for Sweeney Racing. Gavin made a perfect debut in a new car at a very tricky track completing two top 10 finishes and some fast lap times. Thanks to Bruce who's car ran flawlessly throughout.

As hoped, the changes made to the Crusader made a considerable difference to the handling. Ever since we bought the car its suffered from oversteer and nothing fixed it. It seems this last change has gone a long way to making it better. The end result was two wins and a fastest lap! More details in the video.

Sep 3rd, 2007 The picture says it all!

--Winner--

Aug 31st, 2007 We managed to get a couple of test sessions in this afternoon. The rear suspension changes we made seemed to have worked. Some tweaking is still required but we'll see! And yes, it was hot 35+C / 95+F. Here's some in car footage from glorious Sears Point....

Aug 30th, 2007 We're off to the races! VideoBlog Number 3 has all the latest details!

Aug 22nd, 2007 Enjoy VideoBlog Number 2 with all the latest news!

Aug 14th, 2007 Here's the first of the VideoBlogs. Light and Sound is not great but we'll work on that!

Aug 13th, 2007 I got a new camera pictured below which makes it a lot easier to record and get video online so i thought it would be fun to do a little video blog of the prep for the coming Sear Race. I'll do the first post in the next day or so.

We have two cars here at the moment as Gavin is also going to race at Sears Point. Believe it or not it'll be the first time we've raced together. Bruce has kindly hired out his steed for the weekend so we have it here to get familiar with it.

July 11th, 2007 Pictured below, we've been testing a new driver lately who we believe will be a hot property in years to come!

June 19th, 2007 A friend of mine is trying to do something good and has set up a site to make it happen. Check it out and please pass it on to those who might find it helpful…

www.micro-charity.com

June 18th, 2007 Long time no speak! So we raced in Laguna at the start of May. Qualified 2nd, finished 3rd. It was kind of a boring race because I had terrible front wheel hop under braking. I couldnt brake hard anywhere which meant i was never in the running for a win...oh well, thats racing.

Since then I've been reviewing the data from my data logger to see what i can learn and it has been very interesting. With help from others more knowledgeable it appears there is still some work to be done with the rear of the car. My car has always stuggled with rear grip and is very twitchy at high speed compared to other front runners. Sooo, I plan to make some changes for the August race at Sears Point. Gavin is also hoping to run that race too, so watch out, two Sweeneys on track can be a dangerous thing!

May 2nd, 2007 Just two days till we go racing again! We'll be at Laguna for the opening round of the Inaugural FCM Pacific FV Cup. I'm looking to make amends for the mistake that lost me 2nd place in November at Laguna. Hopefully I can go one better this time and win!

April 16th, 2007 Things are shaping up for this season, better late then never! I should find out this week if I can make the first of the Formula Car Magazine Pacific FV races at Laguna in May. The car is pretty much ready to go so I'm pretty excited. The field promises to be good with rumors of Blake Tatum, Rick Shick and maybe Colin Cross making appearances.

Sweeney Racing is hoping to have two cars out at the following FCM Cup race in Thunderhill in late June. Gavin will likely race the Crusader and we will rent a car for me. It'll be a lot of fun to race against each other although I have no plans to let him beat me!

Thats it for the moment, more details as things get settled....

March 8th, 2007 We've got some video of the drivers school, thanks to Russ Meagher. Its 6Megs so be prepared....click here

March 5th, 2007 Back from school....lots of fun and succesful. Gavin's got his license and was fast (when we finally got the car running!). Pictures to follow. Many thanks to all who helped and to the other drives who graduated.

February 25th, 2007 We're done. The car is ready and the new nose is fitted (see the pic below). Bruce Fuchiwaki has kindly offered up his trailer. We'll roll out early Friday morning. Three days at the track...woohoo!

--Cars Ready--

February 19th, 2007 We pulled the first piece from the mould today and it looks good! It hasnt been trimmed at this point so its a little rough but it looks great, especially in carbon fiber.

--Carbon Fiber Nose-- --Carbon Fiber Nose2--

February 12th, 2007 Preparations continue for the Drivers school. The new sway bar has arrived and the nose buck is complete. In fact its under a couple of layers of fibreglass right now. One more layer and we can pull the mold. Its going a little slow though because of the weather. I now also realise that I may have f*cked up with the gel coat and was....we'll just have to wait and see! A couple of pics below to whet your appetite......Roll on the season.

--Crusader--

--Nose Mold--

--2007 FCM Cup-- January 31st, 2007 Hot off the press is some very interesting news from Blake Tatum of Crusader Race Cars and Rob Howden of Formula Car Magazine: 2007 will mark the inaugural year for the Formula Car Magazine (FCM) West Coast FV Cup. The series will take place over four race weekends at such great tracks as Laguna Seca, Thunderhill, Seattle Raceway and Portland International Raceway. Coverage of the series has been promised by FCM and "The Wheel" as well as one of the california races being a feature race of that weekend. This sound like a great concept and is very tempting. Who knows....we might see two Sweeney Racing entered cars in the championship!

In other news, the Crusader is mechanically ready to race and we're focusing on cosmetics. We're still trying to find a powder coater for the rims and focusing on finishing the nose mold. Pics to follow....

January 23rd, 2007 The buck has been painted with sandable primer and is ready for final sanding. I'm hoping to have it waxed and buffed this weekend ready to start making the mold. I'll post some pics this evening.

We had planned to get some rims powder coated but it seems my powder coater has gone out of business. Anyone know of any racer friendly powder coaters in the bay area? Send me a mail if you do (ian at sweeney-racing dott com) .....thanks!

January 19th, 2007 2007 marks the promotion of a new member to race crew. Sean Sweeney, aka "The Boss", joins the team this year and is pictured in the center of the official 2007 Sweeney Racing Team Pic. We're expecing a lot from him this season!

--Official 2007 Sweeney Racing Photo--

Progress with the car continues. New rims have been procured, vinyl has arrived (trying it instead of paint) and the nose buck is nearing competion. I had started fine sanding but noticed one surface needed some additional shaping. Pics are below. I'm hoping to get it to the point of being ready for priming this weekend.

--Buck for nose cone-- --Buck for nose cone--

For those of you visiting that are interested in classic and vintage cars of road and racing variety you should check out a new site a buddy of mine has started. Its called www.bringatrailer.com. The site showcases cars form all over the country that are for sale in various locations. There are some very interesting racecars including a couple of Healeys, an original Lotus Cortina and a sweet '65 vette...very nice!

January 11th, 2007 I just finished updating the results for the 2006 season and filled out some of the results from the late 90's that I can remember. Toting up the number of races and considering a few I know I've missed, it looks like over the past 10 years, I've raced 9 cars in close to 60 races in 3 countries at 12 different tracks. It would be cool to at least double those numbers in the next 10! MORE HERE.

January 9th, 2007 We've added RSS feeds to the site. What the hell is an RSS Feed I hear you ask? Its a technology that allows you do two cool things. We all have our favorite sites we like to surf. Instead of trawling all your sites daily for updates, you can get a piece of free software (RSS Aggregator) that trawls all the sites for you and lets you know when there are updates. By adding Sweeney Racing's RSS feed to your RSS Aggregator you will be notified when we add updates. (By the way I use Newsgator Online as my aggregator).

The other cool thing is that you can add our updates and content to your site if you wish. You do this just be adding a couple of lines of code to your site. Contact us if you have questions. If you'd like to add our feed to your aggregator click the rss link under "Latest news" above or just enter the following address into your aggregator:
http://www.sweeney-racing.com/feed.xml

And now back to your regularly scheduled racing news!

January 6th, 2007 Welcome to the 2007 race season. Its Ians 11th season in cars and will be Gavin's first in cars. We just finished a day of working on the car. Ian worked on finishing the buck for a new nose (pics to follow) and Gavin worked on the brakes and general tidy up. We actually have a lot of work to get through for the driver's school.

Our tentative plan at this stage is for Gavin to run the school in the vee March 4-6th and Ian to run the Double National at the end of March. Fingers crossed we get everything done by then...

Archive of 2006 new >> here

Our Crusader FV pictured below in Formula Car Mag is for sale
Click here for more details

--For Sale--
--www.speedtv.com--

Ian and the Crusader FV were featured in Formula Car Magazine. With thanks to Formula Car Magazine (www.formulacarmag.com) the article is reproduced here >>

SpeedTV took the time to interview Ian at the SCCA Runoffs. With credit to SpeedTV (www.speedtv.com) you can view the interview here >>