MIDDLEBURY TWP. — Morrice’s Russ Cords is trying to fine tune his racing machine.
With a slim two-point lead over second-place Dale Spencer in the sportsman class at Owosso Speedway, Cords knows there’s not much margin for error.
That’s why he and his crew were busy taking test laps at the 3/8-mile high-banked oval Wednesday during the regular Test and Tune practice session ahead of Saturday’s racing card.
Cords, a former football player under Dave Schanski at Perry High School in the 1990s, is finding success on the race track in 2019. But it’s nothing new to him. Cords is trying to be a track champion in his third different racing class at Owosso. He won pure stocks in 2011 and pro late models in 2014.
Cords finished second to Spencer in Saturday’s 25-lap feature race. On Wednesday, it was time to make some adjustments to the No. 34 car.
“I want to tighten it up and we need more forward bite,” Cords said moments before taking the track. “It is quite a battle trying to get the traction here at Owosso. The car turns good, we just need some forward bite.”
The only way to get better is to test and tune, he said.
“We go here about every other week,” Cords said. “It’s about perfecting the car. This is where you get fast. You don’t get fast on Saturdays, you get fast on Wednesdays.”
Cords then promptly took his turn on the asphalt track, but when he returned from his 5 to 10 minute spin, he said there was still work to be done.
“No, I wasn’t too happy,” Cords said. “We still have some perfecting to do.”
Car owner Frank Vavricka agreed with that assessment. But racers and car owners are never completely satisfied.
“We’ve still got a few bugs to work out,” Vavricka said as he helped Cords get the car into its trailer after 10-12 laps.
While the grandstands were nearly empty, every few minutes, a different racer took his turn out on the track. Steve Geyer of Williamston and Kenny Clark of Grand Ledge followed Cords for a few test laps.
Saturday’s race card will include modifieds, GLOW modifieds, sportsman, pure stocks, front wheel drive and spectator drags. General admission opens at 3 p.m. with qualifying starting at 5:15 p.m. Racing starts at 7 p.m.