It takes teamwork to be a winner in auto racing.
But it takes time for a team to become cohesive, whether on the NASCAR circuit or a local dirt track.
After something of a down year in 1991, members of the 4-year-oldGlen Falls Racing Team think they can field a winner this year. Witha new sponsor and better equipment, they hope to win the late-model track championship at Potomac Speedway in Budds Creek, Charles County.
After working together on other cars at various times, members decided to band together to form their own team.
The team has a mixof expertise and character, a low-budget operation that has survivedtough times under pressure.
The team includes seven men, five from Carroll, who are equal partners. They all work where needed, but each member has an area of expertise.
When pressed to name the take-charge man, they all point to Robert "Bones" Harvey of Reisterstown, who handles motor work with Dave Meyd of Hampstead. They will have their hands full putting a new engine together once it returns from themachine shop next week.
Team member Eric Harvey of Westminster (Bones' nephew), has been around racing all his life. Eric attended hisfirst race at age 3 months and later helped his father, Tim, race.
Now, Eric works with chassis and tire set-up.
Vincent Wright of Baltimore keeps the records straight. Lou Mano of Westminster studiestrack conditions and makes sure the right gear is used in competition.
Other Carroll team members include Todd Ruphrect of Hampstead and Jan Braverman of Eldersburg.
The team was enthusiastic heading into last season with new driver Bobby Beard of Abbottstown, Pa., anda new motor. Although the results on paper look good -- fourth in the standings at Lincoln Speedway in Hanover, Pa., and sixth in points at Potomac -- the team was not satisfied.
"Last year was a down year," said Mano. "It was an adjustment period."
Team members discovered that changing drivers was not as easy as they thought. Beard's personality and driving style were different from what the team was used to, and the car had to be set up accordingly.
A new motor did not produce the hoped-for results.
"We started out good, but our motor went sour, and we didn't have anything to back it up" said Eric.
Added Mano: "It was rough at first. The attitudes and personalities had to come together again. After much work, it came together toward the end."
Once the team found its motor problem and became accustomed to the new driver, performances improved. Several second-place finishes at the end of the season rewarded members for their work.
With a new sponsor and equipment changes, team members look forward to receiving the checkered flag this season.
"We had the motor redone and the heads reworked," Eric said. "Bones is working real closely with Wallace Engine Co. "It is basically going to be a brand-new motor.
He said the team also will have a back-up motor and its firstnew chassis.
Glen Falls team members are looking forward to the season ahead -- and to having their driver look back on the competition.