BRIGHTON, Ont. – May 23, 2017 – Phil Potts rattled off his third straight top-five finish to start the Brighton Speedway season on Saturday night. The Brighton, Ont. native earned a runner-up finish in Vanderlaan Building Products Pro Late Model competition, his best result to date during the track’s 50th anniversary season aboard the Vanderlaan/Brighton Recycling/Indewey Excavating No.29.
Potts faced a challenge early in the night and was frustrated by the car in hot laps. After making adjustments following the warm-up session, Potts felt the car was marginally better in his Heat Race and drove to a fourth-place finish. It was after the heat race he discovered his issue.
“When I went around to set the shocks for the Feature, the right-front shock was already set for my Feature setup,” Potts said. “I messed up and that was why the car was such a dump truck to drive. In the Feature, it came back to life. It was great and I went ‘ah, this is the car I’m used to again’. I felt bad for my guys because they all work so hard and that mistake is all on my own. There is no one else to blame. I do my shocks and I always have.”
Potts started sixth for the 35-lap Triple Crown event and patiently worked his way into the top-five. Eventual winner Charlie Sandercock slid past him before the race’s first caution.
“He came up through and sure enough I drifted up high one time and he got underneath me,” Potts said. “I was on the high line, but he was on the ultra-high line. It worked better than my line so I jumped up with him and he and I ran their together. The caution came and we got snuggled up again and next thing you know I’m in second place with Charlie.”
Potts got his chance to take the lead on a handful on Lap 30 restarts, but couldn’t manage enough momentum to overtake Sandercock.
“He took the bottom line, which was smart, because there was so much forward drive he could out pull me every single time,” Potts explained. “We were a second-place car and I’m happy with that. We will take that one with a smile.”
After what was a disappointing fifth-place finish last week based on the car’s handling, Potts believes he and his Fowl Mood Race Team are on the right track for a win.
“Everything is going in the right direction again,” Potts said. “The car felt good, but we have to go a little bit more on it because Charlie is absolutely perfect right now. He is 100 per cent on his game.”
Potts hopes a win is in the cards soon, but he won’t be gripping the steering wheel any tighter trying to steal a checkered flag.
“I’d love to do it next week, but we’ll see how the big ball bounces,” Potts said. “I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself or the team. We’re going to go out every week and do our thing without getting too concerned about the points.”
Prior to next week’s May 27 Fan Appreciation night at Brighton, Potts will be on hand with his car at the Beer Store in Brighton to help collect empty alcoholic beverage containers in support of the Beer Store’s Returns for Leukemia Bottle Drive. All proceeds from cans collected will be donated to The Leukima and Lymphoma Society of Canada, which funds research to find a cure as well as support those who suffer from the illnesses. Last year’s nationwide bottle drive raised $1.6-million. Phil Potts and the Fowl Mood Race Team are proud to be a part of this year’s initiative. For more information, visit www.thebeerstore.ca/about-us/community-involvement.
Phil Potts – 3 Starts: 0 Wins, 3 Top-5s, 3 Top-10s
The Fowl Mood Race Team’s 2017 season is supported by several dedicated corporate sponsors, including Vanderlaan Building Products, Brighton Recycling, Indewey Excavating, Bay Marine, Orange Motorsports, On Time Body and Graphic, Crow Design, Image Factor Media and Clayton Johns Media.
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