Rick Andrews

Rick Andrews

Mountain Home, Id, USA

Rick started racing at the age of 12 in go-carts while living in Michigan. He continued his racing career helping his Dad and Uncle with their Sprint Cars and eventually drove for them when he turned 16. His racing career was temporarily halted when he joined the Air Force in 1980. After traveling the world the Air Force sent him to Mountain Home AFB in 1993. After attending several races at Meridian Speedway, the racing bug bite him, he could not resist and built a street stock for the 1994 season. He raced for 3 seasons before Air Force commitments forced another break. Rick retired from the Air Force in 2000 with 20 years of service to his country and decided it was time to go back racing. He purchased a Limited Stock at the conclusion of the 2001 season and he and his crew spent the entire winter rebuilding the car. The team spent most of the 2002 season fighting an over heating problem with the engine. Despite this problem Rick still managed to be competitive, he established a personal quick time of 16.1, only .5 seconds off the class quick time, and won one A Heat race. It was determined the exhaust set-up was our problem and this has now been corrected. The engine is being overhauled and the car and crew will be ready to kick off the 2003 season on April 5th. The 2004 Season In Review Rick moved up to the Grand American Modified division this year. We set a goal to finish in the top 10 and fell 1 short finishing in 11th place. Not bad considering he missed 4 races due to mechanical problems. Rick won his first heat race on the first night out. Starting from the pole he held of challenges over the 8 lap race. A pebble in between the brake and Rotor caused a couple spin in his first main event but he managed a 9th place finish. Set up problems plagued the team the next night out and Rick missed the heat race. With little track time this night Rick slide back from the pole on the start. he managed to stay with the the field and finished 6th but was awarded 4th after 2 cars were DQ'ed. An oil leak during hot laps on May 22nd put the car in the trailer and Rick missed his first race. The oil leak was from the intake manifold and the gasket was replaced. On the next night out during hot laps the gasket blew out on the manifold again. As Rick was trying to exit the track he was hit hard by someone trying to pass him. Extensive damage was received to the front left tire, rim and suspension. The Gasket was replaced and repairs made and Rick was able to start scratch in the B heat race. The handling was off and Rick Spun in to the infield. The car would not go back in gear. The gear linkage broke when he hit a high spot in the infield. repairs were made but did not hold and Rick missed his 1st Main event. 1 week later we were on the track with repairs made we still did not fell good about the set up. Qualifying slow Rick had the pole in the B heat and held off al Colwell for the win in a 12 lap race. Rick lead 7 laps in the 50 lap main event and was running in 2nd until lap 30 when the handling started to go away. Rick was in 6th on a restart on lap 38 and held that position until the last turn of the last lap of a 50 lap main when he and another car got together with the both spinning. Rick failed to make it to the track for the next race. As we were preparing to load up the car the power steering pump broke on Rick's pick-up truck. Rick acquired a new pump but the need for specialized tools slowed down the replacement process and it was impossible to get to the track. Rick pulled a double on the 4th of July Weekend. He ran out at Chapperall Speedway Saturday the 3rd finishing 4th in the heat and Main event. On Sunday the 4th he raced back at Meridian. Rick was inside and Jeff Goade, outside, led a 13 car field to the green flag. Andrews moved ahead on the green but Goade stayed with him and moved slightly ahead going into turn 3. Rick regained the lead out of turn 4 to complete the first lap. The two continue to swap the lead trough the turns on the next lap when Bob Wood spun bringing out the 1st caution of the race putting the field in single file. On the restart Goade went to the outside and Steve Jones closed the gap behind Rick under Goade. Goade began to fall back and Bryan McDaniel was under Goade as well. On lap 4 Al Colwell and Ron Clausen were under Goade as he continued to fade back. Jones went to the outside and passed Rick for the lead. Clausen went to the outside and Colwell went high as well Clausen with a slight edge over Colwell went high as the two tried to make it 3 wide with Rick on the bottom. Rick got squeezed to the infield and spun bringing out the 2nd caution. Rick finished 9th in the main event and 2nd in the Heat Race. July 10th was the next time out and The Bad Luck hit in the first hot lap session. Oil Pressure dropped to zero. Although it only dropped for a second that meant that parts of the engine were starved for oil and we needed to check the engine and damage and investigate the cause. When we pulled the oil pan the cause was evident. The oil pump pick up tube was sitting in the pan. It was tack welded to the pump but the welds broke. We removed the main caps holding the crank to inspect the bearings and discovered some damage to the crank. We had the crank turned and welded the tube back on the pump this time in 5 places. Rick brought the car to Kenny Hamilton's shop and Mike Elliot worked on the suspension. We brought the car out to the track on Friday august 6th to check everything out. Rick reported the handling was much better and the oil pressure was steady. Unofficial lap times had Rick turning 15.000 laps. The team felt good but bad luck returned Saturday night. During the first hot lap session the oil pressure dropped to zero again. When the pan was dropped the pick-up tube was again in the pan. We could not believe it. Inspection of the crank was not as bad the last inspection but it still required to be removed and sent out to be polished. This time we gave the oil pump to Ken Hamilton and he brazed the tube to the pump. Everything back together we were back out for our next race on August 21st. we took the car on the track early in the day to check everything out. Everything looked good, but when the bad luck bug bites its hard to get rid of it. During the first hot lap session the car popped out of gear. Rick put it back in gear but when he reached 1/2 throttle it would pop out again. Several attempts were made to diagnose and fix the problem with to no avail. Rick wound up taking a tie down strap and putting the car in 3rd gear and strapping it down to hold. Rick held the clutch down until a push truck could get him up to speed and let it out. Qualifying was poor but we were racing. Rick started the B heat on the pole and won pulling away from the other cars. In the main event Their was an incident behind Rick on the first lap brought out a complete restart. Thier was a rain storm earlier in the night and the track was now cold and damp and the incident broke a water barrel in turn 3. As the cars were drying the track Rick developed a vibration in the front end and pulled off. After debate with WIRA Rick was awarded 8th place since he started the race and their were 2 DQ's for the night. 8th place was last place to receive points in that nights main event. The transmission was pulled and replaced and we were back out for the labor day race Sept 6th. Again the transmission slipped on the first hot lap session. Several crews provided suggestions and they were tried but failed. The transmission was again strapped down in Third and Rick was racing again. Rick again timed in slow but won the heat race. The main event went like this: The ESI Grand Americans saw the largest field of the season. Three visitors from Magic Valley speedway in Twin Falls rounded out a field of 17 cars. The field was quickly reduced to 16 when Jeff Goade lost his engine on the backstretch in the first couple of laps of the first hot lap session. Goade started the night in 6th place 24 points behind Darvin Ackerland in 5th. With ASA point money for the Top 5 finishers in each division Clint Buddel offered his ride to Goade for the night. Sixteen cars started the 35 lap main event. Rick was on the pole. Rick and Bryan McDainel ran side by side for the first lap before he was able to pull away. Goade started right behind Rick and the two opened up a small gap from the rest of the field still running double file on the 5th lap. Ron Clausen outside of Bill Dunlop on lap 6 was vying for the 3rd spot but the 2 were still side by side Dunlop with the edge. Goade tailed Rick trying several times to the outside but could not get around him, who was running the best race of his career. Clausen completed the pass of Dunlop on lap 11. Goade was high on the track trying to make a run on Rick and Clausen continued on the inside to complete the pass for 2nd. Most of the field was running single file at this time allowing Ron Vest of Twin Falls to work is way to the front of the field. Rick and Clausen continued to run 1 and 2. Clausen tried to the outside but did not have anything for Andrews. Warren Budell moved into 3rd on lap 25 and Vest was in 4th on the 27th lap. Vest moved on the outside of Budell and Clausen on lap 28 and had Rick in his sights. Rick and Vest were running side by side on lap 30 when the two were coming out of turn 2. Vest squeezed Rick to the apron and the two got together forcing Andrews sideways. Clausen with nowhere to go got into the rear of Andrews and a traffic jam occurred. Rick took the brunt of the cars behind forcing him to spin to the infield for the only caution of the race. Vest inherited the lead, as Rick had to go to the rear for the spin. McDaniel’s suffered damage and went to the pits but returned prior to the restart. Rick made the restart but was forced to pit on the next lap due to a tire going down. Vest led the remaining 5 laps for the win followed by Clausen and Budell. Rick finished 14th. To say the least Rick was not a happy camper in the pits. Besides the transmission problem damage to the rear of the car was received. Research and talking with other mechanics we decided to check the pilot bushing, (the bushing the nose of the transmissions slides into on the rear of the crank). Bingo this bushing was oblong instead of round and providing a snug fit for the Transmission. It was replaced and everything was put back together and the rear end of the car was repaired and we had 2 more races to go. The next race was September 11th. Rick qualified his best all season with a 15.1 (only .4 off of quick time) however the track was fast and so was everyone else. Rick won the B Heat. Rick and Clint Budell lead the field of 13 to the green for the 35 lap main event. Rick quickly got the jump on Budell and took the lead into turn 1. Budell started to drop back as the field approached the backstretch. Bryan McDaniel took 2nd from Budell as his slide continued and the first lap was complete. Al Colwell moved under Budell on lap 2 for the 4th spot. Colwell moved outside Phil Dugan on lap for vying for the 3rd spot. Colwell completed the pass 2 laps later and was outside McDaniel eying 2nd place. Colwell moved into the 2nd position on the 6th lap and had Andrews in sight for the lead. Ron Clausen moved into third on the 6th lap as well. Colwell and Rick fought for 4 laps before Colwell nosed past him at the line to change the running order on the scoreboard. Colwell took another lap to complete the pass. Clausen tried several attempts to pass Rick for 2nd but could not get it done as Colwell opened up a sizeable lead. Coldwell’s lead was diminished when Dugan spun on the 18th lap to bring out a caution flag. Colwell was on fire as the green flag dropped and had a 4-car length lead on the first restart lap. Dan Buckley moved into 3rd on lap 23. Buckley and Clausen ran side by side for several laps fighting for the 3rd spot. Buckley completed the pass and was along side Rick when he rubbed Ricks rear tire and Bob Wood tagged the rear of Buckley’s car. Buckley and Wood spun bringing out the yellow flag. Rick was able to maintain control as Buckley and Wood went to the rear on the ensuing restart. Warren Budell moved up through the field and was outside Rick on lap 30 and moved into 2nd. Dugan spun again on lap 31 bring out the third caution. Colwell held off W. Budell over the next 4 laps for the win with Rick finishing in 3rd his best finish and night of the season. Sept 18th was the last race of the season. With a podium finish the last time out Rick was looking for better. In didn't come in qualifying although the time was second best of the season everyone else was also better. Rick pulled away from the field in the B heat race to win the most heat races in his division in 2004 (5). Rick lead the field to the green flag for the 40 lap main event. Clint Buddel was on the outside. At the green flag Buddel got the jump and lead by a ½ car length going into turn 2. Rick picked up the pace and gained the lead out of 4 and held the lead as they completed the first lap with the entire 11-car field running side-by-side nose to tail. Buddel started to drop back and Jeff Goade moved to the outside on the 3rd lap. Goade moved outside Rick on the 4th lap and the 2 began a battle that lasted 16 laps. Goade was able to move up on the entrance to the turn and Rick would pull away on the exit. While Rick and Goade battled for the lead Ron Clausen moved to third behind Rick and Dan Buckley moved outside Clausen running 4th. The field was running bumper to bumper with a lot of bumping, not intentional just what happens when the field runs so close together. On lap 20 Rick received one of these racing bumbs from Clausen has he entered the turn upsetting the car creating a loose condition and the rear end went around. Goade swung left to avoid the spin and hit the barrels in 3 while Rick backed into the wall just past the barrels. Everyone was checking up and mayhem broke out Buckley received damage forcing him to retire from the race and Al Colwell and Bryan McDainel wound up hooked up together in the infield in turn 4. Goade required the hook. Colwell and McDainel went to the pits for repairs and Rick received suspension and sheet metal damage but was able to continue the race. Clausen inherited the lead and lead the race until lap 30 when Mike Reid got to the outside to complete the pass. Clausen finished 2nd followed by Terry Lankford. Rick finished 11th. Rick finished the season with 6 top 3 Heat races, 5 heat race wins, 2 Top 5 main event finishes and 1 Top 3 main event finish. He earned 297 points and finished 11th out of 26 competitors in his division. On November 20th Rick Received the Meridian Speedway and western Idaho Racing Association "Hard Luck" Award. Both these awards were voted on by his peers in his division.
TrackSeries: : Meridian Speedway, Grand American Modified

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