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Fosnaught hopes to contend for Lernerville title

Bill Shirley | For the Valley News Dispatch
Sportman Stock driver Jim Fosnaught sits in his car while preparing to get on the track for hot laps at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, April 26, 2013.

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By Thomas Zuck
Thursday, May 2, 2013, 11:39 p.m.

Bairdford's Jimmy Fosnaught hopes that the black-cloud days are behind him and that last Friday was just an aberration. That way he can get on with contending for Lernerville Speedway's Sportsman Stock championship.

With less than one lap to go before scoring his second career Lernerville victory, Fosnaught was caught up in an accident when a lapped car spun in Turn 2. Fosnaught couldn't avoid the mess and lost his lead. To make matters worse, on the subsequent restart, Fosnaught was caught up in another accident that knocked him out of the race.

“I just couldn't believe it,” Fosnaught said. “I ran the perfect race and had a straightaway lead. That was my race. I just think that rule needs to be changed because the yellow should have already been out and I had nowhere to go. The car was damaged pretty well on the second accident, and I had to borrow some parts. I'll be back. It may not be perfect, but I will be back.”

Fosnaught thought that last season had exorcised the trouble that plagued him on a regular basis. He finished second in points behind Corey McPherson, he won his first race, and, more importantly, he finished just about every feature with a top-five finish. Twelve to be exact.

McPherson and Fosnaught were the two contenders for last season's Stock championship, but McPherson wound up with a 39-point advantage. That was thanks to five victories to one for Fosnaught and eight heat race victories to three for Fosnaught. Heat races should not be overlooked because those points add up. McPherson scored 80 points for his heat victories to Fosnaught's 30 points.

“I think a lot of that had to deal with pill pulls,” Fosnaught said. “I had a lot of bad numbers and had to work my way through the field. I actually made every race through the heat race and into the pill draw except for one, and that night they docked me two positions after they said I jumped the start.

“But really, Corey was good all season. But he did have a lot of good numbers and starting positions, and that means a lot in the heats races. The year before Mike Miller, who won the championship, won the most heats. So they definitely help. I think we were ready to go right away off the truck, no matter if the track was slick or tacky. I think a lot more of that had to do with Corey.”

Fosnaught has made some substantial changes to his car the past two seasons, and it's helped him become more consistent.

“I really think a lot of it was just how the car handled rather than me being so much better,” said Fosnaught, now in his eighth season. “Chris Schneider built a new rear end for us, and we did an all-new front suspension.

“We always ran a 406 engine, but this is the first year we have gone to the 358. We were supposed to go to that at the beginning of last year, but it wasn't done. Plus, we were running so well that I told my engine builder, Mike Ingraham, that as long as the 406 stayed together we would run that and then we'd make the change for this year.”

There are differences between the two engines, and it will take a few weeks for Fosnaught to acclimate himself to the change, but there really should not be any glaring issues.

“The 358 has less torque and more horsepower,” Fosnaught said. “Honestly I don't know yet where the difference will be on tracks because I have run it on a slick track and a tacky track, and it is fast on both. The old engine was really torquey, and you had to work the throttle. With this one I don't have to do that. It's easier with this one; I don't seem to spin the tires.”

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