May 19 2007, 1015 hrs MDT
This weekend at Miller Motorsports Park showed the ups and
downs of racing for B-K Motorsports. Mishael had bad luck most of the
weekend that included her crash, gearbox problems, and a few other things
here and there. Her teammate, Gerardo Bonilla, was strong at every
session and made the last lap pass yesterday to take the win.
Today luck was mixed up again. For Mishael, her car
performed better but she still had downshifting difficulties. She
started 10th in the Lites 1 class and 18th overall among the combined group
of Lites 1, 2 & 3. Qualifying was based on the best lap times from
yesterday's race. Her best time was slow because of the shifting
problems and only turning two scored laps. This morning she moved up
in the race to 8th in class and also 8th overall. A very good move
through the field that sported a bunch of passing and at times some back and
forth battles. Mishael said she had to clutch for her downshifts today
so that probably cost her a little bit at every corner. Overall I'd
call it a pretty good showing today for her.
Unfortunately Gerardo suffered a blown engine and completed
only two laps. He started 2nd and was sitting in 3rd when his engine
let go. It happened just at the approach to the pits so he was able to
get off the track and into the pits where they put out the ensuing fire.
He had an excellent run of three wins in a row but the streak and spray of
champagne ended today.
The team is packing up now and is thinking about changes to
make for the next two rounds at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. The
team is planning to do some testing before hand and may work in an SCCA race
or two. There's a good chance they'll go to the June Sprints at Road
America June 22-24.
May 18 2007, 2030 hrs MDT
Race 1 at Salt Lake brought B-K Motorsports another big win
by Mishael's teammate, Gerardo Bonilla. Gerardo took advantage of a
late yellow flag condition that closed up the field and an error by the
leader braking in turn 1 on the restart. Gerardo took the lead on the
last lap and went on for his third win in a row.
Mishael's race proved troublesome for the very start.
Coming down the front straight for the green flag she had gear box problems.
She seemed to be missing fourth gear and during shifting was getting
neutral. In fear of doing further damage to the gearbox and engine she
pulled it in the pit on the third lap.
The team is taking it apart and should have things sorted out
for tomorrow morning's 8:15a race start.
May 18 2007, 1430 hrs MDT
For this morning's qualifying session we had clear skies and
windy conditions. Mishael's car was repaired after yesterday's crash
and she was hoping for a long session without incidents so she can get
comfortable again with the car and track and continually lower her lap times.
Well that basically happened. There were no yellow or
red flags and she stayed on track but she did struggle shifting gears.
Mishael was able to keep chipping away at her lap times while having
difficulties with the shifting; first in downshifting and then also
upshifting. She came into the pits just briefly to have the crew take
a quick look and adjust the tire pressures before heading back out for a few
Her best lap of the week so far was her final qualifying lap around the
4.486 mile track, a 2:49.204 (95.445 mph) . That placed her eighth on
the grid for this afternoon's race (actually it is at 6:30p but the Lites
cars aren't doing "night" racing yet, so I won't call it evening).
After the qualifying session the crew discovered some
irregularities in the throttle and computer controls. She may not have
been getting 100% throttle and her shifting difficulties may be resultant of
the car's computer management. Hopefully these things will be resolved
by the race later today and she'll be a contender for the top spots.
May 17 2007, 1600 hrs MDT
Mishael's afternoon practice definitely was not what we were
hoping for and actually unexpected. In her second lap she had been
working to pass a slower Lites 2 car as they moved toward the back part of
the track somewhat out of my view. Just as she was coming back toward
my view I saw a cloud of dirt and her car going straight into the barrier.
The barriers here have air bag cushions in front of the
guardrail. The air cushions did their job because Mishael hit at
around 115 mph and aside from having no injuries at all, the car only
sustained nose and bodywork damage - no chassis or suspension damage.
I have a picture posted (you can find it a number of ways but just go to the
photo page and click on the IMSA Lites 1 picture or
It seems she had some sort of rear brake failure. The
data shows she was off the throttle and on the brakes. The front tires
were flat spotted down to the cords but without the rear brakes there was no
stopping, especially once she was off the track surface.
The crew is cleaning up the rocks and gravel and preparing
new front bodywork. They are going through the brake system and all
the other checks normally done after a crash. The car will be ready
for tomorrow morning's 8:45a qualifying session.
May 17 2007, 1200 hrs MDT
I made it to the track last night, got my media credentials
this morning and have now set up in the media center. This is a very
nice facility all around. Looks like maybe they could use more media
center seats but so far that is about all I can see that isn't well thought
Yesterday's testing was pretty much just that - general car
shake down, setup and initial testing. The team needed to compensate
for the altitude here in the tire pressures and other things. Mishael
was a little slower than preferred but it was a day to learn the track in
the car and start to figure out how best to set it up. I think she was
wanting to go a little looser in the next sessions so it doesn't have as
This morning started practice at 8:00am and the IMSA Lites
were the first cars on the track. Mishael methodically chipped away on
her lap times and ended up 7th fastest in the session. This would be
typical Mishael Abbott (especially on a new track), gradually improving her
times throughout the session.
May 16, 2007, 2000 hrs MDT
For those of you wanting to stay up to date on Mishael's
racing this weekend, I am trying to continue my blog. Right now I am
on the plane from St. Louis to Salt Lake City and should be landing in less
than an hour. I don't know when I'll get this uploaded for you but it
most likely won't be until tomorrow morning.
Mishael arrived in Salt Lake last Sunday. She got
familiar to the Miller Motorsports Park track on Monday during a basic
driver's school being held at the track. I understand the Mustang she
spent some time in handles much differently than her DP02. The racing
lines are quite a bit different.
Miller Motorsports Park (or Miller as many are calling it) is
about 30 minutes west (maybe really southwest) of Salt Lake City in Tooele,
Utah. The track is new, having opened I believe just last year.
Today Mishael was to get some track time in her race car
during a promoter test day. I haven't yet heard how the day went but will
find out after I land. Tomorrow will be the start of official
March 21, 2007, 2300 hrs CDT
Some of you just received the official news release for Race
2 at Sebring. Sorry for the delay. Arriving back home after
almost a week at the track means there's a lot to do and get caught up on.
I was also wanting to confirm the Race 2 results and get the official
standings. I never got the standings but I figured them out myself.
As it turns out Mishael is now in 4th place but there are five people just 1
point behind her.
You might check out the Video page on the website. I
posted some videos I took with my camera. They are very big file sizes
so only try it if you have high-speed internet. I'm wanting to try to
resave them smaller but we'll see when I find time.
March 16, 2007, 1915 hrs EDT
All the cars went out on rain tires. Although it wasn't
actually raining, it was not even a question of tire choice today. The
opening laps were run under yellow to allow the competitors to get the feel
of the wet track. Unfortunately for Mishael, entering turn 7 on the
first lap, her left front suspension dropped down. She spun and her
day was done.
The cause was a bolt that sheared off where the lower
suspension connects to the car. The good news is she didn't hit
anything or anyone and there isn't anything else wrong with the car.
We waited and waited for her to return to the pit lane or the
team's paddock spot but no Mishael. We knew she was okay and the car
was in good shape so we just waited. Finally Paul got a call from her
in turn 7. Mishael had borrowed a fan's cell phone and told us that
she was still with the car but they weren't going to tow her in until after
the next race (or two); a 50 minute race and a 30 minute race.
We (Mom, Dad, Aunt Pam, Grandma Dee, and me) decided to walk
over and wait it out with her. It was a long walk pretty much to just
get there find out what all happened and then walk back. We did catch
a tram on the way back but it was still a good hike, especially for Grandma
March 16, 2007, 1600 hrs EDT
Late yesterday afternoon a Florida storm rolled in and I
think knocked out the team's internet connection, so I was unable to send
out my news release or update the website last night. Even when I got
up this morning it was still down so I worked on formatting pictures and
preparing to send the news release emails as soon as it was back up.
I did finally get out the emails and posted pictures and some
things on the website but another heavy downpour knocked out the internet
I am now getting back to the blog and can update a few
things. First of all Mishael will start sixth in today's race.
They are starting the cars based on yesterday's fastest lap times and there
were a few that had wrecked out yesterday with faster times that we hadn't
noticed. I am hearing a couple cars were penalized for an infraction.
The rain has pushed the schedule out an hour at this point.
Mishael's race will be at 5:00p rather than the scheduled 4:00p (which would
have been now). There are still some sprinkles so it's possible the
time will slip further. The Star Mazda race is expected to start at
Mishael had a little PR duty today at 12:30p. Mazda
made a big press announcement about their total racing program connecting
all the dots up the racing ladders. In open-wheeled racing beginning
at the grassroots karting level through Skip Barber and up to the Champ Car
Atlantic Series Powered by Mazda. Closed-wheel racing progresses from
SCCA through MX-5 Cup to Speed World Challenge and the ultimate step, the
ALMS LMP2. Mishael got to "model" Mazda's new driver's suit for the
press conference. I'll try to add a small picture later.
March 15, 2007, 1615 hrs EDT
We had some radio difficulties the previous couple days.
I wasn't having any trouble hearing on my scanner so that information
actually helped them fix the problem. They ended up changing or
resetting the priority code or something like that in the team radios.
It seemed to have done the trick.
Mishael finished 5th in Race 1 this afternoon. It was a
mired by crashes with two full-course yellows. The first 3 laps went
well (no crashes) and Mishael was moving up through the field. The
first incident produced just a local yellow then finally resulted in a
full-course yellow for laps 4-6. The field went green for only a lap
before they went back to full-course yellow. The race then finished
under yellow since it was a "timed" event of 30 minutes.
The entire B-K Motorsports team finished in the top six with
Gerardo Bonilla winning the race and setting a new race lap record and Kurt
Roehrig finishing sixth.
The grid for Race 2 tomorrow will be set by the fastest lap
during today's race, so Mishael will start fifth. Her best lap was
2:10.859 (106.397 mph).
March 15, 2007, 1145 hrs EDT
There was a penalty assessed to #38 car that qualified 2nd
yesterday so Mishael will start 9th in the Lites 1 class and 10th of all
cars on grid. Her race includes Lites 1, Lites 2 and Lites 3.
The team has taken care of the oil temperature situation
from yesterday by installing a diffuser to get more air to the oil cooler.
Should be just fine for the race today.
March 14, 2007, 2130 hrs EDT
Race activities are now done so I will get you caught up how
the rest of the day went.
Mishael had a lunch that included cold mac 'n cheese and the
last of the Snyder's hard sourdough pretzels.
Mishael and her teammate, Gerardo Bonilla, both have in-car
cameras. It is definitely a great tool that benefits both. They
can see not just the things to correct next time out but reinforces the
things they do well. I got to see some of the tapes from both of them
-- very impressive stuff. You can really see a lot on the tapes, both
good and bad. The steering corrections and "saves" are always fun to
The Lites qualifying session was from 4:05 - 4:30p.
Mishael had a rear tire go down early on so she had to come in and change
it. Not a good thing during a 25 minute qualifying session.
After a few more laps she got a high oil temp alarm. The team brought
her in, not wanting to risk hurting the engine. She got back out for a
final lap but it basically ended the day for Mishael.
Mishael was only able to manage a 2:08.319 (103.805 mph) in
qualifying, placing her tenth on the grid. Lap 3 was her best but she
recorded only 7 laps and those included her two trips in the pits.
March 14, 2007, 1215 hrs EDT
I am at the race track now and connected to the world
(internet connection). I haven't had a connection since before I left
for the airport yesterday.
Mishael's final test session yesterday went fine. The
team was still providing a base setup and shaking things down. Mishael
ran maybe only 10 laps in the afternoon.
I arrived at Sebring this morning, obtained my credentials
and got to the B-K Motorsports paddock just before Mishael headed to the
track for the day's 8:00a practice session. The session went very
well. She finished with the fifth fastest lap time of the session
(2:07.482). There were no incidents and nothing broke so that is a
After the practice Mishael debriefed with the team and
reviewed data. The team is able to make comparisons between all three
of their cars. This is the advantage of a multi-car team and will
benefit all three drivers.
I was looking for IMSA timing and scoring on the internet but
either isn't up or I just can't find it. So far they have only
posted results for GT3 and ALMS, but nothing for the Lites.
March 13, 2007, 1130 hrs CDT
It's my lunch break so I'll get out a quick note.
Sounds like the morning practice went just fine. Mishael needed to
break in a transmission with new disk so she took it easy. This
afternoon's session should show a little more.
When Mishael was at Classic Mazda in Orlando on Sunday the
car was just painted with no decals (stickers). Word is her race car
has part of the stickers on now but not all.
March 13, 2007, 0700 hrs CDT
I have packed and am basically ready to fly out this
afternoon. I will fly to St. Pete / Clearwater and arrive at the track
first thing Wednesday morning - right when registration opens at 7:00a.
Mishael and team were getting credentials and setting up at
the track yesterday. Sounds like it was a busy day for an "off" day.
Today starts practice. It is called a testing day.
IMSA timing and scoring on the internet is not available so I'll have to
rely on info and updates from Paul and Mishael.
March 11, 2007, 2200 hrs CDT
Today Mishael flew from Indianapolis to Florida. She
appeared at Classic Mazda in Orlando with her B-K Motorsports team from
March 11, 2007, 1400 hrs CDT
I have decided to start a webpage where I
will provide journal entries during Mishael's race weekends. I'm not
yet sure how much time I'll have to do this at each event but I thought I
would give it a shot. Hopefully this will serve as a place for
Mishael's fans to go and find out a little more about how the racing is
going for Mishael during the race event and between races as well.
It would be great if Mishael had time to
post her own blogs but Mishael is focused on her racing at the race track
and doesn't have the time. I will incorporate some things from Mishael with
Feel free to email me at any time to ask
I may reply to your emails with answers or
I'll just include the requested information in my next blog entry.
(Mishael's Webmaster, Publicist, PR
Representative, Assistant Manager, Marketing Assistant, E-store Manager,
Life-long Friend, Biggest Supporter)