Monday, August 25, 2008

Rain Drops Are Falling on My Head

Well boys and girls. The title of this weeks blog just about sums up this weeks racing. The PTRA finally came to my home track this weekend at Carolina dragway. We were pretty amped up about getting to lay the wood to the scoreboards. I definitely had the pick em up, burn em down tune up in the old girl. Rain all night friday, rain off and on saturday. Cancelled the race at 5pm. We loaded up and hauled booty to orangeburg dragstrip. I was determined to make a pass. Got there, got in staging. Strapped in, engine running, RAIN. RAIN RAIN. Not to let the weekend be a bust without a fight. We loaded back up, headed back to carolina dragway. Fired up the blender, Johnson put on a mean low country boil in the cooker. So we had fun but no racing. Im gonna try to make a few hits this week if the weather lets me. This coming weekend is the start of that glorious national pastime we call college football. The Georgia Bulldogs will be kick stomping georgia southern. I'll be in Athens on Saturday, and then Im flying to Indy saturday afternoon to "talk with a man about a horse" so to speak.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Back To The Drawing Board

Holy Smokes What a Week. If racing wasnt my life then i would be lost. What would i do with all the free time and money? Wednesday night at carolina dragway we unloaded the car with high hopes and tired eyes. We thrashed monday and tuesday changing stuff on the car. I was bound and determined to get ole bruhilda off the starting line. Well we did but boy it was a turd. 5.31@ 142.01. Now most of yall that know me know that im a go big, or go home type of guy. Call it my ego or my stupid redneck cowboy attitude, but if im not at the top of the field, im not happy. So with that in mind i put the oooompaloompa tune up in. Poor Chris Johnson. He had know idea what was about to happen to his motor. I launched, i smiled, i shifted, i then mushroom clouded the motor. I blew the heads off it. Now yall dont get the wrong idea here. im not talking about lifting a head, or pushing the gasket out. Im talkin bout i blew the tanks off the radiator. We i tear shit up, its tore up. I hadnt even got the car stopped when i realized we were up shit creek. I had blown up my motor, my friends motor, and all my friends parts. We are SCREWED. We got home and pushed the car in the shop. I have never in life been as depressed as when i turned the lights off. and went inside. I had given up. There was no way to get another supercharger motor together by friday. My championship dream was over and six months of hard work was in the toilet. I went to bed and had nightmares all night about being a failure. I woke up at 6 am thursday morning, and went to work in the midst of a clinical depression. My old buddy Joe called and we were talking about the situation at hand. He is always good about cheering me up when im shot out. He told me to get my stupid cowboy attitude back and figure it out. At that moment the strangest thought crossed my mind. Its wierd the things u remember that u think you never will. When I was in tenth grade in high school, i had an english teacher that had a poster on her wall. It was a picture of a seagull eating a frog. the frog was all the way down the seagulls throat except for his two back legs. which were sticking out of the seagulls mouth and wrapped around the seagulls neck choking him to death. The caption on the poster said, "Never EVER GIVE UP" Boy did that get me. Its kinda retarded but that poster has got me through more hard spots in my life than i can count. Something clicked inside me and i decided i would make this race this weekend no matter what. Sometimes the hardest thing to do in life is to decide that you arent going to quit. Me and Johnson got our heads together and decided the only option we had was to put my old nitrous motor in. Thats right, i said nitrous. But it was in his 68 mustang. So at 5 pm on thursday night i parked the tool truck. Walked in the shop, and went buck nasty. By 10 pm the car was stripped. Motor and trans out, water tanks, plumbing, wiring, fuel system,, everything. Johnson got there with the motor and trans at 10:30. By 4 am we had the engine and trans in. by 7 am we had the fuel system done. at 9.14 am i hit the starter button and it didnt spin over twice and busted off and sat there chirping its ass off. I forgot how that thing sounded. All big and nasty. I love the sound of crickets chirping in the morning. I went to work with no sleep and worked till 1pm. we loaded up the orange car and headed north. Completely unsure of what was gonna happen, but we were on our way. I felt like i had already won the fight. It took three hits friday night to get down the track. 5.18 @145. The converter was way loose and i had no data aquisition on the car so i was tuning by the seat of my pants. Saturday morning we warmed up the hot rod and towed her to tech. You shoulda seen the looks on peoples faces when the hood came off. Where two days ago sat a nice neat mild mannered superchargered motor, now sat a giant balls nasty wicked nitrous motor. There are systems all over this thing. Its was time to finish the piedmont race from two weeks ago. We raced Brian Mcgee in the semis and boy was it a pedalfest. i got there first and we were off to the finals. Where we were quickly crushed. But i was happy just to be there. We qualified 5th for the mooresville race with a 5.13. Gettin better. Made it through first round. In the second round we were matched up against the current points leader Jason Richards. I knew we had to go so i screwed it to it. This was one of the best races of my career. I got him by 2 hundredths on the tree. We had identical sixty foots. He had me by half a car at half track. then my Take Me To Jesus stage came on and i drove by him barely nipping him at the traps. What a race. 5.09 at 146.9 Close races like that are what i live for. We got beat in the semis. But you couldnt tell us anything. We had went from giving up to going to a final and semi final in one day. Sometimes the real victories in life come without a trophy or winners purse. We are now 35 points out of the lead in PTRA points, And are leading Orsca points. The next race is in Jackson, Sc in two weeks so i expect to see all you home town guys there. And remember that no matter how dark the tunnel you are staring down, there is always light somewhere. You might just have to walk a little while in the dark to find it. I cant wait to get the new stator in the torque converter. I think we have some killer numbers in this thing. We will test thursday night.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Im sorry it's been awhile since i've written. Things have been so hectic around the shop that i've hardly had time to sleep. Let's step back to the Ptra Race in Piedmont two weeks ago. We got there friday night for some testing. Came off the trailer, had a good run going till around 500 feet into the run. The motor hiccupped so i lifted. Pulled the valve covers and damn if it wasnt the wierdest thing ive seen lately. One of the exhaust valves pulled apart at the stem. These were not an inexpensive set of valves so im still kind of curious as to what happened. I snatched the head off. Alot of the fellow racers in the ptra helped with time and parts and found us a local machine shop. They took the head and by a miracle the guy had a titanium valve on the shelf that fit. They got back with the head around 2 am. We buttoned the motor up and finished around 4:30. Wheeeww. Talk about tired on Saturday. We qualified 5th with a 5.11. Made it all the way to the semi's and then they called the race due to curphew. So we finish piedmonts race this weekend during Mooresvilles Qualifying. Last wednesday we were testing in Jackson , Sc and blew the cylinder walls out of the block. I mean its crazy looking. you can slide your fingers from one cylinder to the next. Im thinking we are screwed. Then my buddy Chris Johnson comes through for me. He loaned me his procharger motor. Which is similar to mine but there are some differences. We juked the new motor in the hot rod, busted her off, and eased on down to the track saturday. First pass out we ring the keyway in half on the crank. Once again i think were screwed. The Johnson brings a drill over and drills the front snout of the crank, drives the drill bit in there and boom we now have a double keyway crank. sunday in dorchester we smoked smoked smoked the tires. This engine is 120 lbs heavier than mine and im really having a time getting it off the starting line. So we will be testing wed, thurs, and friday this wee. With two points races on Saturday in Mooresville. So yall some on down and hang out with us.