Flat Tire Spoils Top 3 Run At Mesa
Nick Joanides, Gail Chase and Jackson Race Cars entered their second race of the season in the Featherlite Southwest Series at Mesa Marin. After a strong run at Irwindale and the prior success they have had at Mesa Marin, the team was confident for a good run.
The day started well as Nick posted the 9th quickest lap of 38 cars in qualifying. Typically the inside line is the preferred line, however at Mesa Marin, the inside lane has been worn and the outside line turned out to be the fast groove for the night. At the start of the race, the outside line took off and Nick had dropped back to 14th by the time he could move up. Nick stayed patient and began picking off cars one at a time as well as avoiding the many cars that got turned around. An accident at lap 100 caused a red flag with Nick already up to the top 3 and running lap times faster than the leader. On the restart, Nick realized the right front tire was going down, however was still able to maintain a top 5 position, however with just three laps to go, the tire finally blew and dropped him from a top 5 run to an 11th place finish. "The car ran great and we were faster than leaders with a real shot to win, so it was a big disappointment to have another flat tire at Mesa" Joanides commented, referring to a flat tire while leading the race last season. "We keep cutting tires at this track while either leading or running in the top 3, I keep trying to talk Nascar into letting us run Fix-A-Flat, but they're not going for it!"
Joanides passes 14 cars at Irwindale
Nick was contacted by Lance Smith, owner of the #48 Nordskog Performance Products Nascar Super Late Model Team and was hired to drive this weekend at Irwindale Speedway. "We have sponsors coming to the race and wanted a driver of Nick's caliber to get the car up front and have an impressive run" said Smith. The car had a spec motor that was three years old and down by over 50 horsepower to the top competitors and Nick was only able to qualify 26th out of 30 cars. A bit embarrassing for Nick after a top 6 run in the Southwest Series Race. Nick knew the car would not be strong at the beginning of the race and just hoped to remain on the lead lap until the front runners wore out their tires. On lap 27 of the 75 lap race, the caution flag came out with Nick in 22nd position. Once the green flag flew, the leaders had worn out their tires enough and Nick began charging through the field up to the 12th position, less than a car length behind 10th place. Although not a finish that Nick is proud of, he did win the Hard Charger Award for passing the most cars and considering he was at a 50+ horse power disadvantage, it was some accomplishment to move that far forward. His finish was also the best finish of the season at Irwindale Speedway for the Lance Smith owned team.
Joanides Returns at Irwindale with 6th Place Finish
Due to a lack of sponsorship, Nick Joanides had not yet raced in 2003, however thanks to a last minute partnership with Jackson Race Cars and Gail Chase, he made his season debut in the Nascar Featherlite Southwest Series at Irwindale Speedway this Saturday, with sponsorship help coming from Colorfast and Kadee Construction. Nick and the team tested at the track last Friday with very positive results and those results continued to race day as they qualified a strong 13th out of 40+ cars. Nick knew the car would be strong at the end of the race, but chose to be patient in the early stages. By the mid-way point, he climbed to the 8th position. The final caution flag flew around lap 80. By lap 100, Nick had climbed into the top 5 when the transmission popped out of gear. Before Nick could discover the problem, he dropped back to 8th. At lap 125 through the end of the race, Nick's lap times were 3/10ths of a second quicker than the leader, however every time he gained ground, the transmission popped out of gear and continuously did so throughout the second half of the race. Nick did however manage a strong 6th place finish on the lead lap. "I'm really proud of this entire Jackson Race Cars team, the car was just awesome. Had we not had the problem with the transmission, I think we would have contended for the win. But all in all, I can't complain, it was a good run for our first race back this year!" Joanides said.
Joanides passes 26 cars at Irwindale!
Nick and the Jackson Race Cars Monte Carlo returned to Irwindale Speedway with high hopes after a strong run at Mesa Marin the week before. Nick posted the fourth quickest times in both practice sessions, however in qualifying, he got loose off of turn four and was only able to post the ninth quickest lap. Nick however wasn't worried as he knew they had a great race set up, and it showed. From the drop of the green flag, Nick charged straight to the front and was in the third position just fifteen laps into the race and easily caught the leaders. Nick knew it was a long race and put the car on cruise control from there as the top three cars pulled away.
During a caution on lap 70, Nick realized the right rear tire was going flat and was forced to pit. The team did a great job changing the tire, keeping Nick on the lead lap. With 26 cars still on the lead lap though, Nick was forced to start and the tail end of the lead lap in the 26th position. Nick knew, being that far back he had to be patiently aggressive to get back to the front. From the drop of the green flag on the restart, Nick began picking off positions one by one and sometimes two by two, going three wide on occasion trying to get back toward the front. By the lap 100 halftime break, Nick was up to the thirteenth position.
After the break, Nick went back to work and was up to seventh by lap 130 when the car started to get extremely loose, which the team found was caused by a cut left rear tire that had a slow leak. Nick managed to hang on to the car to bring home a sixth place finish and won the award for posting the fastest lap of the race. With his sixth place finish, Nick posted his 100th career top 10 finish.
Joanides returns to Mesa Marin with another Top 5 Finish!
Nick and the Jackson Race Cars Monte Carlo were among the fastest cars in practice and felt like they had a shot at the pole in qualifying, however due to 40+ cars on hand and limited time, the track did not allow a warm up lap before taking the green flag in qualifying. The team had not scuffed their qualifying tires expecting to get the warm up lap, however since they did not, the tires did not come in quick enough the reach their maximum potential. The team still posted a strong tenth place qualifying effort..
Nick cruised through the first portion of the race as the cars running in the top 10 were bouncing off of each other and racing like it was the last lap only 10 laps into the race. Once things finally settled down, Nick began picking off positions and had moved into the top 5 by the mid-way point of the race. Nick pitted on lap 100 for right side tires and an adjustment to try and tighten up the car just a little. Unfortunately the rear tires gained 3/4 of an inch of stagger, causing the car to be extremely loose. But even with the car as loose as it was, the Jackson Race Car Monte Carlo was still strong enough for Nick to gain two more spots and bring home a solid third place finish. Nick will return to action with the Jacksons next week at Irwindale Speedway where Nick will be looking to win and to set a milestone with his 100th career top 10 finish.
Joanides returns to action with a Top 5 Finish at Irwindale!
After missing several races due to financial reasons, Nick returned to the race track in Jackson Race Car's house car. "They called me Thursday night and asked me to drive it", said Nick. The deal came together late, but as always, Nick, Dave and Tony Jackson have always worked well together. The car started off a little tight and Nick was 11th fastest in the first practice. Changes made to the car before the next practice improved the lap times, however Nick was still 11th on the speed chart in the second practice. Nick backed that up with an 11th place qualifying effort. The car was still tight, so the Jackson's changed everything on the car to free it up, and it worked, a little too good. The car ended up being a little too loose on the exit of the corners, however was much better as Nick moved his way into the top 5 at race end, passing more cars than any other driver. "I was just happy to end up better off than the last race we had here", Nick said, referring to a horrible accident that destroyed their car back in June.
Joanides Rebounds With 9th Place Finish at Sears Point!
After coming off of a horrible week at Irwindale in which the teams only car was destroyed with Nick suffering a cracked rib, it appeared that Nick would not be able to run Sears Point. But Thanks to Gail Chase being kind enough to loan the team his car for this weekend, and the hard work of Jackson Race Cars and Ed Hansen, the Colorfast team made it to Sears Point with only three days of preperation to get the car ready.
The weekend started off on the wrong foot as the transmission blew up during Nick's warm up lap in the first practice session. As a result, the team got no practice laps, yet still managed to post the 31st quickest time in qualifying among over fifty competitors.
From the drop of the green flag, Nick began picking off positions one by one and had moved into the top 20 by lap 14, when the left rear tire went flat. Nick pitted under green, however lost one lap in the process and was running in the 40th position. Nick had one of the fastest cars on the track and was able to run down the leaders and eventually got back on the lead lap.
On lap 32, the caution flag came out and the team pitted again for fuel and left side tires. The team made a great pit stop gaining 10 positions on pit road. Nick moved into the top 15 when the sway bar broke, causing Nick to spin. Nick refired and began working his way through the field to the top ten when a long green flag run began to take it's toll on Nick's ribs. He was in serious pain about midway through race as he could no longer move his left arm and was forced to tackle the 15+ turn road course one handed, dropping back to 14th in the process. On lap 61, the caution flag came out, setting up a green/white/checkered finish. Nick toughed it out and although he could still only drive one handed, still managed to pass five cars over the final two laps and bring home a solid 9th place finish.
Bad Day at Irwindale
Nick and the Colorfast team had extremely high hopes for the race at Irwindale, however those hopes came to a horrific crashing halt with 10 laps to go in the main event. Nick and the team had tested the previous week at the track with great results. The results contiuned to race day when the team posted the second quickest time in practice. Unfortunately, when the qualifying/race tires were put on, the handling of the car changed dramatically and Nick was only able to post the 23rd quickest time in qualifying. To further compound things, all of the cars were impounded after qualifying, preventing the team from making any changes to the car after qualifying. Once the race started, the car was extremely tight in the middle of the corner. The race leader set a blistering pace at the beginning of the race. While Nick could run decent lap times, with the car being tight, it was very difficult to pass and kept Nick stuck at the rear of the pack and allowed the leader to catch and lap him around lap 60. The handling did eventually improve around lap 75, and Nick was able to run times close to that of the leader and as the leader lapped more cars, Nick was passing them for position. A late race caution bunched up the field with Nick running in 13th position. Only 8 cars were on the lead lap, therefore Nick was in position to possibly finish as high as 9th.
With 10 laps to go, Nick was passing the 10th place car, when that car got into the wall down the front straight away. The other car bounced off the wall and into Nicks right rear quarter panel. The contact sent Nick sideways and directly T-boned the pit exit wall. Upon impact, the car violently flew into the air, spun around and hit the wall again. Fortunately Nick was able to walk away from such a violent accident with what appears to be a mild concussion and a cracked rib. The car however was completely destroyed and put the team in jeopardy of missing the next race as that was the only car they had.
Sadly, in tonight's race, we lost a great friend and competitor, John Baker. Our hearts, prayers and condolences go out to his family.
Colorfast Industries to Sponsor Joanides for the remainder of the 2002 season!
Nick Joanides and the JSI Motorsports team are proud to announce that Colorfast Industries will become the primary sponsor for the remainder of the 2002 Nascar Featherlite Southwest Series, beginning with this weekend’s race at Pikes Peak.
Colorfast Industries manufactures colored grouting, caulking and sealers which provides for fast and easy finishing of paint and wood work and can give a new look to old tile by changing the color of the grouting without having to completely regrout. More information can be found on Colorfast’s website at www.colorfastind.com
After finishing fourth in the Featherlite Southwest Series Standings in 2001, Nick and the JSI Motorsports team with their Ed Hansen powered Jackson Race Car have come on strong so far in 2002, running in the top two in the past two events. Now with the sponsorship from Colorfast, they look forward to being able to run the full season and compete for the 2002 Southwest Series Championship. “I can’t thank Colorfast Industries enough for the support, after running as good as we have already, this will hopefully allow us to step our program up to the next level and run up front every week”, said Joanides.
Another Great Run, Another Flat Tire for Joanides!
Dejavu for Joanides at Stockton. Nick and the Team matched their best qualifying run and for the second race in a row started on the outside pole position and were poised to redeem themselves after a flat tire cost them a win in the last race. At the start of the race Nick settled comfortably into second place and paced himself to save tires for the end of the race. A yellow had slowed the field and on the restart on lap 26, Burney Lamar got into the rear of Nick, sending him sideways, as Nick corrected to save the car, he inadvertently hit the kill switch on the steering wheel, killing the engine. Nick quickly found the switch on the steering wheel and got the car refired and recovered to maintain the fourth position. The top four cars ran nose to tail through lap 52 when another caution came out. On the restart on lap 56, Nick realized the right front tire had been cut down and was again forced to pit and lost a lap in the process. Nick came out at the rear of the field and managed to drive his way to the front of the field and challenge the leaders to get back on the lead lap, but ran out of time and came home with a disappointing 12th place finish and maintained his eighth place points position. Although being on an extremely limited budget, the JSI Motorsports team with their Jackson Race Car and Ed Hansen engine have run up front all season so far and if not for two flat tires could very possibly have two wins already. Unfortunately for the team, Pikes Peak is next on the schedule, which is the most costly race the series runs due to added travel expenses and being a pit stop race, crew and race costs are also much higher. Nick is a real estate appraiser and with interest rates being higher, business is down this year and reluctantly admits that without some financial help, the team will not be able to make the trip to Pikes Peak.
Heartbreak for Joanides at Mesa Marin!
Nick and the team made significant changes to their Jackson Race Car for the race at Mesa Marin and it really paid off. The team posted their best qualifying effort in over two years and started the race from the outside pole position. Nick battled with the pole sitter side by side for three laps before taking the lead. Nick wanted to conserve the car for the end of the race and made every effort to save the tires, yet run just fast enough to stay in the lead and each time he got any pressure from behind, he picked up the pace to separate himself by two or three car lengths. Nick easily led the first 58 laps of the race when a cut right rear tire forced Nick to make a green flag pit stop, causing the team to lose a few laps and losing any chance at the win. Nick did manage to bring it home in the 13th position. Pretty amazing for this team to run this good in such a competitive series where over 45 cars showed up for 30 race spots. Nick sold virtually everything he had at the end of the 2001 season for financial reasons, including one car, the truck and trailer. The team hitched a ride to the track with just their car and pit box and with no testing, managed to start second and take the lead only to have it taken away by a flat tire. Nick and the team hopes this kind of run will help in finding sponsorship to be able to continue for the rest of the season. (Full Race Story by NASCAR)
Joanides comes away with top-10 at Cajon
Nick and the team had high hopes for El Cajon. The team practiced well and had hoped for a top 10 run in qualifying, and based on the qualifying times, it seemed to be very possible, however rain came after 10 cars had qualified, delaying qualifying for nearly three hours. Track conditions had changed by then and the team was forced to use a provisional and started 20th. Nick knew patience would be the key to this race and drove conservatively for the first few laps, dropping back to 22nd position. After the field got spread out, Nick began picking off cars one at a time and wound up finishing in the 10th position and moved up to eighth in the overall point standings. The team now heads to Mesa Marin in Bakersfield, CA, where Nick has always run well, having a Bud Pole Award and three top-6 finishes there in 2001.
Joanides Kicks Off the Season at Phoenix!
Nick Joanides and the JSI Motorsports Team headed for Phoenix without a sponsor to avoid losing valuable championship points, in hopes that the team can secure sponsorship for the 2002 season. The decision to go the Phoenix race was only made a week prior to the race, leaving the team very little time to get the car ready. An oil leak on the rear end oil pump limited the team to just 15 minutes of practice in which the team only posted the 48th quickest time. The team rolled the dice and made numerous changes just before qualifying and it paid off as they gained over one full second, to qualify 29th. In the final practice session, Nick had improved to 14th fastest and knew the car would be good in the long runs, however on the first lap, the pole sitter spun, causing a major pile up. Nick had slowed and appeared to clear the accident when he was hit from the rear, causing significant body damage. The team made repairs to the car, however lost three laps in the process. Nick managed to maintain his position three laps down and bring home a 20th place finish.
DATE TRACK ST FIN LAPS Notes 8-28-03 Irwindale 13th 6th 150/150 --- 9-13-03 Irwindale 26th 12th 75/75 Motor down 50 HP 10-17-03 Mesa Marin 9th 11th 147/150 Flat Tire while in 3rd