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As season winds down, road to driving title suddenly bumpy for Yuma's Davy
The fat lady can't start singing soon enough for Jimmy Davy.
With only four races remaining in the 2011-2012 Cocopah Speedway Racing Series, what was shaping up to be a Sunday drive for Davy on the way to his first career championship has turned into a nightmare. Watching what was once a nearly insurmountable 69-point lead over the field be cut in half after experiencing a host of problems with his race car – one resulting in his missing his first feature event of the season – has left the second-year driver shaking his head.
“We do have a nice lead (31 points), but it does make me feel a bit uneasy knowing that I have to make the main with these problems popping up as they have been,” said Davy this week as he prepared for Saturday night's show at Cocopah Speedway.
“The only thing that we can do is the best we can.”
Saturday's show will begin at 7 p.m. with the first green flag, and feature the full Cocopah Speedway Racing Series card – IMCA Modifieds, Pro-Stocks, Street Stocks and Factory Stocks.
It is not unusual for race car drivers to have problems with their race cars, but what Davy has been experiencing lately borders on bizarre.
For example, two races ago Davy said his car seemed to lack the horsepower he had been able to call upon earlier in the season. The diagnosis: Mud packed under the throttle stop.
Another example was a series of races in May and June, in which Davy would stand on the gas and his car would run fine for about four laps and then sputter. The diagnosis: A piece of the rubberized lining in the fuel cell had come loose and was preventing fuel from entering the pickup hose.
But the biggest problem he has had to overcome was not weird, it was just one of those racing things, a wreck in the May 5 event that was for sprint cars and Street Stocks. Davy chose to move up and test the Street Stock waters. After all, he's planning on racing in that division in 2013.
However, in the feature event he got caught up in a crash and went home with a car so badly damaged that the entire front end had to be reconstructed. And it had to be done in a hurry, before the next event on May 19.
“We put in two hard weeks of working on the car, changing out, from the driver's seat forward of the frame, to get the car back out there,” said Davy.
Still, Davy can find a silver lining in all of his misfortunes.
“Even with the troubles of these past six races, me and my dad have really grown as a race team and have learned a lot,” he said. “The season that we've had, good and bad, is just going to help us as we move to Street Stock full time next season.
“There are still four races left and anything can happen, so I'm not gonna say we got this thing by any stretch of the imagination. We need to go out and just try to win races like we have been all year.”
And make no mistake about it, Davy can win races. Prior to his May 5 wreck he had notched a division-best five feature event wins, and in 13 feature event starts, had nine top-three finishes.
Winning the championship is not an absolute lock, as he pointed out, especially if he encounters the same problems he's been having. During the last race on Oct. 6, Davy's car started to sputter, again, but this time the problem was not fuel delivery but two broken rocker arms in the motor. And because the motor could not be fixed in time to answer the call for the feature event, he wound up a spectator.
At the same time, however, if Davy can manage to start and finish the next four feature events there is little his nearest challenger, Amy Teague, from Brawley, who has not won a feature event, will be able to do to catch him.
It's not a scenario Davy wants to see play out.
“The goal is to win the races,” he said. “I never in a million years want to back into a championship. So whether we win it or lose it, we're going to go into it fighting for wins every night.”
SPARE PARTS: Cocopah Speedway is located at U.S. 95 and County 15th Street; general admission gates open at 5 p.m.; tickets are: adults – $8; adult military with ID – $6; seniors (55 and older) – $6; children 12 years old and under – free; family pass – $25; Fans can get live racing lineups during the races and results afterward by going to www.cocopahlive.com; Fans can also access live in-race scoring and lap times by going to mylaps.com. For more information call 344-1563 or go to www.cocopahspeedway.com.