Loves Park, IL – After a great Round 6 win at Crandon the RCV Performance/”the Official” Brand Name Prescription Card/Sway-A-Way/Frana Vehicles Honda-powered AWD PRO Buggy was looking to land on the podium once again. Things didn’t go as planned on Friday, but one of the highlights of Saturday’s race at Route 66 Raceway was the performance of John Frana.
The weather at the suburban Chicago facility was very hot and very humid which created diverse track conditions. The sunny and hot daytime conditions really dried out the racing surface for practice and qualifying, but as the sun went down and race time approached, the persistent watering by the TORC track crew combined with the setting sun, the grip in the track greatly improved as near ideal race conditions were created for both nights.
The Friday practice session saw the RCV Performance PRO Buggy turn the fastest lap of the session, so Frana and crew chief Ryan Brummond were confident that a strong weekend was in store. Then later that afternoon, the three lap qualifying session saw the #907 Sway-A-Way equipped buggy run only one lap under full power as the right front outer CV joint broke putting the single seater sixth fastest in the group of fourteen. Actually qualifying sixth fastest, put Frana on the pole for the evening’s race, as the top six qualifying racers are inverted.
So the opening PRO race of the night saw Frana take the early lead, on the second lap, the brakes disappeared has be was heading down through the rhythm section entering a tight right hand turn. There was too much speed and not enough banking causing the #907 AWD Buggy to roll and pirouette through the turn and still it landed back on his wheels. By the time Frana refired the Honda powerplant the entire field had passed. Once under power the front drive was no longer driving the front wheels, but somehow Frana persevered and moved up to sixth place when the checkered flag was waved.
Once the buggy was up on the work stands, the Frana crew went to work. Not only was the front differential cracked, but so it was the transmission case. The brake problem would be attended to after the driveline components were replaced. The team worked late into the night and after getting a few hours sleep the crew continued on into Saturday afternoon before the RCV Performance/”the Official” Brand Name Prescription Card/Sway-A-Way/Frana Vehicles Honda-powered AWD PRO Buggy was ready for Round 8.
The PRO Buggy grid saw the top six finishers inverted for the rolling two by two start. This put Frana on the pole once again. This time the race results were much improved. The #907PROBuggy led the first ten laps of the fifteen lap feature. Currently points leader Luke Johnson stayed right behind in second place. The two racers were dominating the rest of the field. On lap eleven Frana had one slight miscue and that’s all it took for Johnson to take over the top position. The final four laps continued to be a dog fight, as John Frana finished in second place just behind Luke Johnson
“I’m really worn out,” gasped John Frana. “This track is a fun track to race on, but it can really tax your entire body. To race Luke like we did all race is just incredible. Ricky Johnson came over afterwards and commented about how close the two of us run and it all came down to the smallest of mistakes. I have to thank Ryan and my dad for all the help especially in the last twenty-four hours. Without them we wouldn’t be on the podium or even racing today. It’s great to see Steve Krieman finishing on the podium as well.”
After eight rounds of racing, John Frana is in third place in the Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL PRO Buggy Championship.
Next Race: August 10-11, TORC: RED BUD MX – Buchanan, MI
Photo: Scott Behnke