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FURCAR: Subway Fresh Fit 500 @ Phoenix (results/points) by furcar

Ugh, it's so hot. Why is is it so hot? Oh, because we're at the second race of the FURCAR season at Phoenix International Raceway, that's why! This will be FURCAR's fourth use of the new configuration here in the desert, though for our growing field of rookies it will be their first time here and quite the test it will be. We have two new rookies on the roster this week: Silaria will run under the colors of One Horn Racing in the #05 car while in an unexpected move Finnish rally car legend Kai Lehtonen has decided to give FURCAR a shot after three consecutive titles in his home country. His English is good but his heavy accent is a marked change from the things we hear from the mouths of our regulars. He's decided to come out West for the exposure and the challenge of the premier furry racing series in North America. He'll be behind the wheel of the #3 Ford Fusion with a Cosworth powerplant--yes, the Furmula 1 engine developer. We're eager to see what this young gun has to bring to the table.

On Friday the teams were set for qualifying after two practice sessions on Thursday. Beino was one of the slower cars in practice but was on the provisional pole after the first ten drivers, but then Jo Speed was set to go next, winner of the Daytona 500 in his first FURCAR start and he rolled onto the track and set a blistering pace, grabbing the top spot from Beino and managing to hold it all through the Q-session to claim the Pole Award for the week. K'gra and Dart Wuffy would also sneak past Beino, setting him into fourth for the race. Shockey Rai's car never made it onto the track at his designated time and was disallowed from Qualifying after his 5-minute repreive had expired. Rai was unavailable for comment but his crew chief stated that is was just, "One o' dem deals, y'know?" The Carolina Speed machine would start last. FURCAR regular Kasey the Husky and Chris Furris did not come to Phoenix, instead deciding to dedicate extra time and effort at race 3 in Las Vegas. After an extensive practice session on Saturday, teams were ready to tackle the race come Sunday. During the practice Wildfox damaged his car and had to go to a back-up ride and Morgan and Yoshi were forced to do engine changes, causing all three drivers to have to start at the back of the field for the race. On Sunday some drivers joked about the rookie Speed having the chance to win two races in a row and some drivers were genuinely worried that he would. All would be revealed soon enough.

After getting into their cars and getting the command to start engines, the field roared to life, setting out behind the pace car for some parade laps in the early afternoon here in Arizona. The cars came out of Turn 4 and the pace car dove down onto pit road and Speed led the thirty-one cars to the start. The green flag waved and the race was on! The front-half of the field stayed side by side into the first corner and only started to settle in as they came around turns 3 and 4, the tricky wide corner. Speed pulled ahead of Wuffy and drivers settled into a rhythm but only for a moment. Just after crossing the start/finish line for lap two as Beino went down into Turn 1, his right-front tire gave out without any warning and sent him straight towards the fence. Unfortunately K'gra was there to meet him before they both were collected by the SAFER barrier, sending styrofoam all over Turn 2. Neither car would run any more laps today.

Under the caution only a couple drivers in the back of the pack decided to pit. After a relatively quick cleanup, green was out again and Speed pulled out to a 3-second lead over new second place Kai Lehtonen, who had started in sixth. Forty laps into the race Duzy Valo coasted his car into the pits and behind the wall after it had apparently shut off due to an electrical issue; he was not seen for the rest of the day though his crew worked until the checkered flag to try and decypher the problem.

A caution for debris gathered the field back together and we had our first mass pit stop. Speed, Lehtonen, and Wuffy's rookie pit crews experienced some issues on pit road including dropped lugnuts and miscommunication that resulted in all three dropping out of the top-10. Ice road lion was out first after taking two tires, followed by Belic and Slidewolf. Ice road lion would be credited with leading a few laps after the green dropped again in what was his milestone fiftieth FURCAR race but was passed for the lead by Slidewolf, who seemed to have a knack for predicting the changing track conditions and put a 5-second gap on the field. Near lap 100 and close to what would be green flag pitstops, Wildfox's engine let go just entering Turn 3 and newcomer Silaria was unfortunate to get caught up in the oil slick entering the corner right behind him and had no control as oil-slickened tires sent the #05 careening into the wall.

As cars came into the pits under caution again, the field would be reshuffled once more with Cheesebeagle beating Duroc out this time. On the restart Croco Chilton (you'll recognize the name if you've been to YouTube at all this week and seen the video replay of his car flipping over and over at Daytona) missed a shift, though not through a fault of his own; his car had dropped all gears except first under the caution period without his knowing and prevented him from getting up to speed. The fifteen cars behind him were slamming on brakes and swerving around him but Chance Morgan ended up ramming into the back of Yoshi and did enough damage to both cars to sent them behind the wall for the remainder of the race, along with a dejected Chilton.

More cleanup was required, but, after the next restart, things were smooth going past 200 and 300 laps. Through the long green flag run, defending champ Belic was on point with pole-sitter Jo Speed and Wuffy right behind him. Caldoon, Erickson, Clement, Mike, Edscott, Tigris and Hart had all been put laps down by this point.

Fiften laps to go and Speed's radio crackled about his engine going sour, and, while it didn't blow up it was apparent something was wrong as he began losing over a half-second per lap to Belic. He would manage to stay on the lead lap but ultimately finished in fourteenth position after a strong run. Ten laps to go and Dart Wuffy had gained ground on the intimidating bear and was hounding his bumper in each corner trying to find a line to pass Belic, but the veteran kept blocking and with passing being so tough any momentum lost meant you'd have to wait until the next corner to try again. Five laps to go and because of this duel between the leaders Zeke Bawlbowolf and Moon Mochi had caught up as well but Belic was in no mood to give up a win after his result the week before. Three laps to go and Wuffy was getting impatient, trying to get the #76 machine loose in the corners by bumping Belic's quarter panel but with enough class and respect to not just spin him out as he clearly had the faster car.

White flag! The fans were going nuts as they watched the epic battle between the Champion and rookie. Going into Turn 1 Belic drove his Guiness/FurFright Ford in deep, a bit too deep as he had to let off the gas to prevent himself from going up the track. Wuffy followed him in deep and when Belic had to let up so did the #88. They touched lightly but enough to get both cars squirrely; one going high and one going low. Bawlbowolf had been waiting for this and pounced on the opportunity, splitting the two now slower drivers and claiming the lead going into the dogleg on the back. Mochi was not able to pull off the same stunt as the two cars in front had gathered themselves and were racing side-by-side into the final corner, watching Zeke pull away. Out of Turn 4 the Barq's-sponsored machine sped towards the flag and Zeke claimed the win at Phoenix! His first points win! Behind him Belic and Wuffy tried to claim second place in a drag race out of the corner but would end up a photo-finish that determined to have been won by the #76 by just .0002 of a second. Right behind them was Mochi in fourth, and in a three-way photo-finish Kenku would inch out Mark and Swift Fox for the final top-5 spot. Eric would just beat out Zero at the line and Ice road lion would finish the top-10. Cheesebeagle would cross in eleventh and in another close pack Kai Lehtonen would finish a respectable twelfth, less than a car-length ahead of Slidewolf, Speed, Rai, and Duroc. Zeke was busy doing donuts as everyone else shuffled into the pits for post-race inspection, most already thinking of what to do for next week.

This would be Zeke's second FURCAR victory, but his first one came in one of the two Daytona Duels. However, that makes two rookie winners in just as many races. What has happened to the veterans? Bawlbowolf jumps to the top of the standings only five positions ahead of Speed. Belic climbed out of the hole and into nineteenth place overall with his finish and Wuffy was able to gain twelve spots. Big losers this week were Kasey and Furris who chose not to race this week. They're waiting at Las Vegas where FURCAR heads next Sunday, leaving this flat track behind for the wide grooves and high speeds out in a different desert. Perhaps another rookie will take the checkered flag or maybe out regulars will step up and claim victory. Find out next week!

Best possible driver combination: 235 points - Johnson, Keselowski or Hamlin, Edwards, Earnhardt Jr., Allmendinger, Mears

Week 2 Standings – Phoenix 3/3/13


1) (15) Zeke Bawlbowolf (Zeke Bawlbowolf Racing #29) – 210 (ROOKIE)

2) (7) Belic (Kodiak Racing #76) – 197 (tie broken by winner)

3) (2) Dart Wuffy (Wolf’s Den Racing #88) – 197 (ROOKIE)

4) (20) Moon Mochi (Monster Blue Eyez Nation #42) – 196

5) (22) Kenku (Wonder Drink Racing #88) – 186 (tie broken by higher and more top-10)

6) (10) Mark (Howling Wolves Racing #64) – 186 (tie broken by more top-5)

7) (12) Swift Fox (SF Racing #45) – 186 (ROOKIE)

8) (9) Eric AKA Phantom (Phantom Impulse Racing #41) – 183 (ROOKIE)

9) (21) Zero (Alcoholocaust Motorsports #00) – 183

10) (14) Ice road lion (Jetpack Racing #40) – 182

11) (23) Cheesebeagle (RaceToTheCheese Racing #300) – 181

12) (6) Kai Lehtonen (Fluffy Fasttrack Motorsports #3) – 176 (ROOKIE)

13) (5) Slidewolf (Team Vault-Tec #9) – 175

14) (1) Jo L.T. Speed (Flame Driven Motorsports #44) – 174 (ROOKIE)

15) (31) Shockey Rai (Carolina Speed Racing #86) – 173

16) (26) Duroc (Hog Juice Racing #50) – 170

17) (24) Oren Hart (Sunshine Racing AMX #77) – 162

18) (27) Tigris (HyperLynx Racing #84) – 160 (tie broken by more top-5)

19) (25) Edscott (SABco Autosport #42) – 160

20) (18) Furry Mike (WWE-Furs Racing #21) – 155 (ROOKIE) (tie broken by top-5 finisher)

21) (13) Roxanne Clement (Sunshine Racing AMX #53) – 155

22) (16) Jasper Erickson (iBolt! Racing Group #25) – 154 (ROOKIE)

23) (17) Jackie Rae Caldoon (Tanuki Trax #02) – 153

24) (28) Raz Yoshi (Yoshi Motorsports #30) – 150

25) (29) Chance Morgan (Tygerfox Racing #70) – 149

26) (8) Croco Chilton (Crocosaur Racing #15) – 148 (tie broken by higher top-5)

27) (19) Silaria (One Horn Racing #05) – 148 (ROOKIE)

28) (30) Wildfox (Wildfox Motorsports #34) – 145 (drivers finished in a dead heat)

28) (11) Duzzy Valo (G-Shep Racing #09) – 145 (drivers finished in a dead heat)

30) (3) K’gra (Ragdoll Physics Racing #21) – 143

31) (4) Beino (Yoshi Motorsports #13) – 141

SEASON (points behind next driver, positions moved this week)

1) Zeke Bawlbowolf (Zeke Bawlbowolf Racing #29) – 369 (ROOKIE) (n/a, +4)

2) Jo L.T. Speed (Flame Driven Motorsports #44) – 364 (ROOKIE) (-5, -1)

3) Jackie Rae Caldoon (Tanuki Trax #02) – 340 (-24, -1)

4) Zero (Alcoholocaust Motorsports #00) – 333 (-7, +3) (tie broken by more top-10 finishes)

5) Slidewolf (Team Vault-Tec #9) – 333 (-0, +2)

6) Mark (Howling Wolves Racing #64) – 328 (-5, +3)

7) Furry Mike (WWE-Furs Racing #21) – 326 (ROOKIE) (-2, -4) (tie broken by higher top-10 finish)

8) Kenku (Wonder Drink Racing #88) – 326 (-0, +4)

9) Eric AKA Phantom (Phantom Impulse Racing #41) – 323 (ROOKIE) (-3, +2)

10) Moon Mochi (Monster Blue Eyez Nation #42) – 320 (-3, +5)

11) Shockey Rai (Carolina Speed Racing #86) – 314 (-6, -1)

12) Beino (Yoshi Motorsports #13) – 312 (-2, -8)

13) Roxanne Clement (Sunshine Racing AMX #53) – 310 (-2, -6)

14) Ice road lion (Jetpack Racing #40) – 297 (-13, +7)

15) Dart Wuffy (Wolf’s Den Racing #88) – 291 (ROOKIE) (-6, +12)

16) Duroc (Hog Juice Racing #50) – 286 (-5, +2)

17) Oren Hart (Sunshine Racing AMX #77) – 281 (-5, +0)

18) K’gra (Ragdoll Physics Racing #21) – 281 (-0, -5)

19) Belic (Kodiak Racing #76) – 279 (-2, +9) (tie broken by top-5 finish)

20) Tigris (HyperLynx Racing #84) – 279 (-0, -3)

21) Swift Fox (SF Racing #45) – 276 (ROOKIE) (-3, +7)

22) Raz Yoshi (Yoshi Motorsports #30) – 266 (-10, -3)

23) Edscott (SABco Autosport #42) – 263 (-3, +2)

24) Cheesebeagle (RaceToTheCheese Racing #300) – 262 (-1, +6)

25) Wildfox (Wildfox Motorsports #34) – 260 (-2, -5)

26) Croco Chilton (Crocosaur Racing #15) – 260 (-0, -4)

27) Jasper Erickson (iBolt! Racing Group #25) – 256 (-4, -1) (ROOKIE)

28) Duzzy Valo (G-Shep Racing #09) – 248 (-8, -4)

29) Kai Lehtonen (Fluffy Fasttrack Motorsports #3) – 176 (-72, +0) (ROOKIE)

30) Chance Morgan (Tygerfox Racing #70) – 149 (-27, +0)

31) Silaria (One Horn Racing #05) – 148 (-1, +0) (ROOKIE)

32) Kasey The Husky (KTH Racing #35) – 131 (-17, -18)

33) Chris Furris (K9 Racing North America #85) – 111 (-20, -10)


1) Zeke Bawlbowolf (Zeke Bawlbowolf Racing #29) – 34 points (n/a)

2) Jo L.T. Speed (Flame Driven Motorsports #44) – 25 points (-9)

3) Dart Wuffy (Wolf’s Den Racing #88) – 22 points (-3)

4) Furry Mike (WWE-Furs Racing #21) – 21 points (-1)

5) Eric (Phantom Impulse Racing #41) – 17 points(-4)

6) Swift Fox (SF Racing #45) – 16 points (-1)

7) Jasper Erickson (iBolt! Racing Group #25) – 9 points (-7)

8) Kai Lehtonen (Fluffy Fasttrack Motorsports #3) – 6 points (-3)

9) Silaria (One Horn Racing #05) – 2 points (-4)



FURCAR: Subway Fresh Fit 500 @ Phoenix (results/points)


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    *the big bear kicks his car and growls, shaking his head* Freakin' rookies...

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    Oh yeah, cause 2nd is such a bitch, right? :P I'd eat a rookie just to come in second.