By Bill Foley
On Friday night, Jack Lehner is at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, and the Brewerton Speedway is probably one of the furthest things from his mind.
However, when the Super DIRTcar Series rolls into Brewerton, Jack has to change his approach and focus on a track that he simply doesn’t run very often.
On Monday night, the Saratoga Springs, N.Y., driver finished fifth in a 45-car field to kick off SummerFAST ‘23.
He had mixed emotions about the finish as he talked with Dirt Track Digest.
Jack said, “Overall, I feel pretty good. Rolling into the night, if you told us we ran fifth, that’s a pretty good night, but you know it always stinks a little bit to go backwards when you start on the pole.”
It was an uphill battle, as he explained, “We unloaded, and we were terrible in hot laps. We changed a bunch of things and got a lot better. We were okay in time trials, but still really not where we needed to be, so we changed things again, and then we went forward in the heat.”
In regards to the main event where he had drawn the pole, he noted, “Then the feature I thought, you know, we had a pretty good car. There’s like one or two things that we were not sure which way to go with, and I think if we went the other way, we could have been a touch better, but most of the time, I didn’t think that Sheppard or Williamson were too much faster, just maybe a little bit.”
“So it definitely was a good night overall,” he said.
The track might have thrown a bit of a curveball at the team, as he said, “I don’t know if it changed a whole lot as a feature went on, but you know, definitely some. It was definitely a lot slicker than it’s ever been for us when we’ve been reading all my notes. I think that’s why we struggled so badly early. Usually, it’s wide open, and then, usually, at the beginning of the feature, it’s still pretty wide open. Then it slows down. But you know, I thought the track was great; you could race all over it. I’m a fan of slick, slick racetracks, but yeah, it’s definitely a bit different than what we’ve had in the past here.”
The track slowed down, and Jack said, “It started in the heat, but really all night it was slower than I expected. I remember a couple of times here it’s like you’re about wide open into one. You just back the thing in under the cushion and keep going, but it was definitely a slower pace all night. By feature time, it was almost like a Weedsport out there. Which is okay, but you just have to adapt to it.”
Jack said, overall, “I think this is our best finish here. I think our other best was actually when we were running 10th and I ran over a yuke tire. So this is definitely the best finish we’ve ever had here.”