Dan Zargham starts on pole position in Sportsman.
What’s up everybody! Dan Zargham here, piloting the #5 Dodge SRT-4 for Team ARG/MBO. Keeping you informed in the Sportsman Class world.
We’re here at Buttonwillow Raceway at Buttonwillow, California. A well anticipated start to the racing season. Due to the Covid-19 it was unsure if racing would even start this season, but luckily it was safe enough to hit the track. The team had more than enough time to prepare and sort out the race cars as a whole within the ARG/MBO team, which was well needed.
It was my first time here at Buttonwillow raceway. I took advantage of all the practice sessions to quickly adapt to a new environment and at the same time test & tuning the suspension settings. It all paid off, got the pole at the qualify session! Starting the race in first place, feeling great and ready to win the season opener. During the race started to experience brake fade, like really bad brake fade, like brake pedal sinking to the floor. The weather was warm on race day, and even with brake ducting I was getting hot air into the brakes, which doesn’t help cooling the brakes. One of two things I can do, either go to the trailer, pack up and go home, or pump the brake pedal before applying at every corner. I chose the latter, which is one more extra input I must perform, but the show must go on. Half way in the race, at end of one the longest straightaways, traveling 140MPH I heard and felt a clunk right before the next hairpin turn. Pumped the brakes... nothing. Jam the brakes hard as I possibly can... nothing. Now I'm flying off course, getting some major air time (send-it brah) and spinning. The car was so far off track, I might have ended up in the next town over. Luckily the track, and specifically this corner, had a lot of open real estate where I can explore and perform a geological survey. All jokes aside, limped the car back to the paddock, and found the brake rotors have broken off. These parts do not fail in a normal basis. Once we get the car back to the shop, we’re going to tear down the brake system and locate the issue, and fix it so we can compete the next race.
Just to show you what can happen in racing. You can start on top of the mountain, and end up in the lowest pit. Whatever happens, never give up. See you at the next event!