Michael Barnes looks to ‘have fun’ in 2012

by Dan Johnson

“We want to finish races, have fun, and roll it on the trailer at the end of the night,” is how veteran supermodified driver Michael Barnes described what he is looking for out of his 2012 supermodified season at Oswego Speedway.

“That’s how we’re looking at it,” he continued. “Of course, we want to run well and win races, but we all get along and have fun. The way I’m looking at it is: this is my sophomore year of supermodified racing at Oswego Speedway.“

Barnes was tabbed by Pat and Terry Strong midway through the 2011 season to be the wheelman for the newer car out of the Plum Crazy stable. “I can’t thank Pat and Terry enough,” Barnes said with gratitude. “They gave me a chance to drive their second car, the newer car last year. They put the car together in ’09, but it didn’t see much track time.

“Joey (Payne) was happy with the older car and was confident in what the older car could do,” Barnes added. “Pat and Terry were looking for someone to get in the newer car, and get the bugs worked out of it.”

Barnes looked back at the journey for himself and the newer 99 in 2011. “It was a pretty good run at the end of the year,” he reminisced. “The first few weeks it was decent. It was okay, but there was something that wasn’t quite right with it.

“I wasn’t totally comfortable in it, and that was my fault. I wanted to get in it, and was more worried about diagnosing the car, as opposed to being comfortable. I was more worried about getting the car to work better.

“I was sliding around in the seat, not taking the time to make the adjustments needed,” he added.

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