Lowes July 19
Even without a working clutch, Team
Dark Horse Racing's Brion Gluck (pilot for ITC Holding here in LaGrange) had enough horsepower and handling to pull out a fourth place in the AIX (American Iron Extreme)
class of the American Iron East race at Lowes Motor Speedway here Friday, July 19.
The 1971 Mach I Mustang lost its clutch on the parade lap due to a bad throwout bearing, forcing Gluck to match revs on upshifts and downshifts to change gears
as the cars raced under the lights in a rare evening race.
Fortunately, Team Dark Horse also had a new engine from Panhandle Performance in Panama City, Florida. The new power plant from the shop of expert
engine builder Mark Biddle produced 475 rear-wheel horsepower in dyno tests and was installed in the car for the first time just four days before the race.
The first practice session was cancelled after a stock car dropped oil on
the track, forcing the drivers to sit in their cars in the summer heat for
almost half an hour. When the second practice session began just 20
minutes later, it ended after just two laps when Richard Koehler hit a
tire barrier and rolled his car.
Without any practice time, Gluck chose to take it easy during the qualifying run, and was gridded 16thout of the 19 cars.
Although the clutch was gone after the parade lap, the Team Dark Horse
Mach I passed three competitors on the first lap, reaching speeds over 170
on the high bank and quickly moving through the pack.
Without a clutch, Gluck was forced to brake earlier than usual on the
entrance to Turn 1, the beginning of the infield road course, where he had
to carefully downshift from fifth to third while braking from top speed
down to 80 and making a sharp 90-degree turn.