With Volusia Speedway Park under new management for 2011, and a renewed interest in promoting sprint cars, Ryan Partin and his team have been focusing on this fast track that every driver in Florida wants to win at.
"Depending on your point of view, unfortunately, or fortunately, storms moved in and poured at the track, late afternoon on Saturday," said Partin. "This delayed the race by almost four hours and changed the racing environment for all of us. I went out during a track prep session and quickly realized that we needed to change just about everything on the car. We skipped our practice session as a heavy tacky clay track is a strong point for the team and we already knew the changes to make."
For Partin's heat race he drew a high pill number and had to start toward the rear. Partin quickly made his way up to second and stayed there as the car didn't have the right gear for the conditions and the motor felt like it was down on power.
For the feature, Partin started fourth and quickly made his way up to second after the drop of the green flag. After a brief caution period, Partin sensed something was amiss in his sprint car.
"On the restart of the race I noticed there was a fuel leak and it was getting worse and the fuel begin to soak my feet, legs and groin area," continued Partin. "On lap fourteen, while still running second, a yellow flag came out and I had to pull in the pit work area and had eight gallons of water poured on me as the methanol was burning where my feet were going numb."
This put Partin at the rear of the field for the restart, but the pain would not slow Partin down as his car was a rocket and he desperately wants a win at the fabled Volusia Speedway Park.
"The green dropped and I made a hard charge toward the front, with the fuel valve still spraying me with the methanol and I got back to third with one lap to go, and had second in my crosshairs" said Partin. "Then the car ran out of fuel and I got it to coast to the checkered flag holding on to that hard fought third place. The car ran out of fuel on the backstretch and had to be pushed back in and have more water poured on me to get the methanol off. I had some minor chemical burns on the top of my feet, left knee, and groin area."
The sprint car scene in Florida has been all abuzz about Partin's heroic drive and almost defeating Danny "The Hammer" Martin Jr., who has not been defeated in a Florida series race since late 2010.
Unfortunately Partin's injuries will sideline him from the next Top Gun Sprint Series race, which is to be held this weekend at East Bay Raceway Park.
About Ryan Partin Orlando, Florida based Ryan Partin, age 32, has been racing professionally for most of his life. With his recent move to sprint cars, he recently became the 2009 Top Gun Sprint Series champion and finished second in 2010. Ryan's sponsors include The Dan Marino Foundation, K&N Filters, Joe Gibbs Driven Oil, Steele Performance Parts, Snap-on Tools, Triple X Race Co., D&K Automotive, Higgs Auto Paint and FloridaSprintCarFans.com. Ryan's official website is www.RyanPartin.com.