Bella & Cruz Birchard Take on Texas: TX Sand Outlaw Opener
With fully rebuilt cars and confidence from their successful BITD debut, Bella and Cruz were excited to get back behind the wheel of their shortcourse cars for Rounds 1 & 2 of Texas Outlaw Series in a new class – NA Expert.
Coming into the weekend, Bella felt great but knew she needed to take advantage of crucial test time in Friday’s practice. She practiced all day, making minor adjustments to the car to improve her and her car’s performance. She felt confident towards the end of the day and was ready for the first round on Saturday in a higher-level class.
The racers were given a random gate pick for the first heat, and Bella was given an 8th line pick, one of the worst on the starting gate. At the start she was pinched off coming into turn one, resulting in her being almost dead last. Bella put her head down and began picking off cars one by one. After only 4 laps, she had made her way up to a 5th place finish. In the main she had 5th gate pick, slightly better than her previous start. Unfortunately, Bella had a similar start from the heat, and was pinched off coming into turn 1 once again. She fought her way through the pack and stayed consistent, resulting in her finishing 5th in the main and 5th overall for the day.
After feeling confident in her improvement from round 1, Bella was excited to see what she could do on Sunday. Right before she went to the line Bella experienced clutching issues, resulting in her losing her gate pick, and starting dead last for the heat. She pushed hard in the short-lapped heat race, and still managed to pull off a 6th place finish. During the main, Bella had clutching issues throughout the whole race. She continued to push herself and her car, and ended up finishing 7th place, which put her in 6th overall for the day.
Cruz was ecstatic to make his was back out to his favorite style of racing at TexPlex. He felt great in practice and made minimal changes for race day.
Similar to Bella, Cruz didn’t get the best gate pick – but that didn’t hold him back. He got off to a great start and began to run down the leader. Cruz soon overtook the lead and began to gap his competitors, finishing 1st in the heat. Since he finished 1st in the heat, he was able to grab a prime gate pick in the main. After grabbing 2nd out of turn one, he had an intense battle with first place for a majority of the race. Cruz soon made a pass on first and began to pull away. He ended up finishing 1st again, winning the overall for round 1.
After another random gate pick, Cruz was given a less desirable starting gate for the heat. After being pinched off at turn 1, he began his race near the back of the pack. He slowly started battling through traffic, but 1st place had already gapped the field. Cruz still ended up finishing 3rd in the heat, setting him up for a decent starting position in the main. He got off to a great start and began battling with first place throughout the whole race. Both drivers kept battling each other and on the last lap, Cruz took over the lead and won with 2nd place on his tail, resulting in him finishing 2nd overall for the weekend.
Thank you to all of our sponsors for helping us make it out to the races!
Next Race: April 9-10, TexPlex Park