The kid is on fire. We bailed out of town like a jailbreak gone bad on friday afternoon about 1pm. And let me go ahead a say for the record. huntsville is a haul from the shop. At one point i looked over at Johnson and told him i didnt think we could get there from here. Well we finally did and unloaded the big Orange for a little testy testy. We had planned on swapping the car back over from nitrous to the supercharger this week but the by the time all the parts came in, it was too late. The orange car had sat in the trailer for the last two weeks, and i was curious to see if we could pick up where we left off. Wrong. After several wheelstands and tire smokes and just plain farting down the track the best the ole girl could muster was a 5.21. I dont get how this thing went from running on a rail to refusing to go down a racetrack. Then i realized that the Orange car is a woman. And like any woman, She didnt like being left alone in a cold dark race car trailer for two weeks. So i did what any normal man would do in a situation like this, I bought her flowers. Well not exactly bought, and not exactly flowers. We were parked next to a cotton field so we went for a little cruise through it and brought her back some cotton. Then I had a good sit down talk with the hot rod and explained to her that that sort of behavior was unacceptable, and we agreed that she would get her act together on saturday. Now i never sleep good when the car isnt running good and friday night was no exception. After sleeping only about 3 hours we awoke to the announcer hollering something about tech and qualifying starting. So i busted the ole girl off and by goodness she sounded a little chirpier than usual. Maybe she had her mind right. They werent allowing testing before qualifying saturday morning, So i loaded a semi soft tune up in and we crossed our fingers as we towed to the lanes for 1st round qualifying. I asked Johnson if he felt good about it and he said yes, so at least one of us did. I burned in and Brian pointed me straight. I prestaged and asked the orange car one more time to please act right and dont be screwing around and showing her ass in front of all my friends. Went to the transbrake with one eye open and the other one closed fearing the worst. Turned loose and bam diggity off we went like a scud missile. Kinda like the mazda commercial where it says ZOOM ZOOM. But with about a thousand horsepower of nitrous. We went 5.07 at 146.9 MPH. I got out and hugged the hot rod and thanked her for minding her manners. Could it be that she forgave me? Or maybe its that she hates testing and only likes to be raced on the weekends, or maybe she just likes kicking ass. Brian was so happy that he backed over me with the golf cart and bout slap broke my gas pedal leg. We followed up our 1st session with a 5.00 @147.1 second round qualifying. Which put us second. Which all yall that know me know that i hate second. So we decided to take a shot at it in the last session and put the screws to it. Horsepower tv came over and did about a 30 minute interview with me. They either think im hilarious or slap off my rocker. But i had them rolling the whole time. They even wired me with a mic and let me walk around being my crazy self for a little bit. I told them to keep that camera on the scoreboards because i was gonna light them up. I think it will air on Nov 1st. Well back to the task at hand. I launched the hot rod and i knew she was rockin. I didnt sit the front tires down for 300 feet. Buzzed the boards with a 4.97 @ 147.9. BOOM YOW. But wait. My old buddy Chad Henderson put up a 4.96 which still left us second. Boy it was gonna be a dog fight on Sunday. Speaking of dog fights, or should i say DAWG fights. We watched my Georgia Bulldogs monkey stomp Arizona State into a coma on the tv. The PAC ten is over rated if we end up playing usc for the national championship we are gonna lay the wood. I went to bed and actually slept good. Sunday we woke and the sun was shining and it was cool and clear. Perfect drag racing weather. We went to church and listened to Larry Garner preach on adversity. Which i seem to know a little about. Still i was nervous about first round. We were paired up with Glenn Jones. Who by the way is one of the nicest guys ive ever met. His wife even came up to me and hugged me in staging and told me to let it all hang out. So we burned in, staged, I hit the honker pedal and blasted down the track taking the win with a 5.09. We won second round with a 5.04. Off to the semis. I tweaked the tune up just a little. Which evidently was a bad idea. The orange car got an attitude when i left and started a long slow wheelstand. I blipped the throttle and eased her down and squeeked by for the win only running a 5.20. Holy smokes we were off to our fourth straight final. Against guess who???????? My buddy Chad Henderson. We have faced each other in the finals the last two races and we were at it again. He went a 5.04 in the semis, and had lane choice. And i had no clue what to do to the car. Me and Chad are kinda cut from the same cloth so to speak. In that I knew he wasnt gotta settle with that 5.04. He played it safe last race and i knew he wasnt going to do it again. So i wasnt either. I stacked 60 more pounds up front. Put in the baddest tune up i had in my playbook and towed her around. Chad came up to me before the race and shook my hand and told me this was round three. DING DING DING. I felt like Rocky Balboa fighting Apollo Creed. Chad's car is my favorite Ez street car. I love that buick. Well we burned in hard and long. Brian told me one the radio while i was backing up that i needed to be on my game on the tree. He said no screwing around. Cut the tree down. We staged and BAAMMMM I was off. The second stage was too much for the track and it started shaking the tires at 200 feet. I was sideways all over the track but i refused to lift. i went through the traps sideways with the left front tire off the ground taking the win with a 5.09. Chad smoked the tires and handed it to me. If there was ever a time when i wanted the other guy to win it was this time. Chad and his crew work their asses off like we do and deserve a win. I know he has many ahead of him and ill be the first one to shake his hand when he parks that buick in the winners circle. I got out of the car and was hugging everyone. Even people that might not have wanted a hug got bear hugged. I was so excited i couldnt hardly talk in the tv interview.
Some people call it luck, Some people call it cheating, and some say there is a ten foot horseshoe wedged in my booty. But the truth is we are just little kids having fun chasing a dream that just wont go away. I am very fortunate to live in a country that allows me to pursue my passion. Hats off to my crew. Brian, Johnson, Dean, Fatboy, and Chris. You guys make racing fun. Its now 5.20 am and im headed out to the shop to disassemble the entire car and start building the supercharger engine. We will be at the civil wars race in rockingham next weekend if all goes well.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Are you ready to ruuuuuuummmmmbllllleee............ Boy this is gonna get worse before it gets better. Well as you can guess, the new engine block for the procharger didnt come in. We are screwed, blued, and tattooed. We stuck with the old worn out hog leg nitrous motor. How are we gonna get this thing down the track on radials? And whats worse is that orsca only lets us run two stages. Well we rolled into carolina dragway thursday night looking like some chickens with our heads cut off. After 4 test passes, all we got for our efforts was a 5.40. Im thinking we are toast. I mean nothing was even close to being fast. We left at lunchtime friday for Cecil, Ga. The place was slap packed out when we rolled in at 7 pm. All the big dogs of everything were there. And Man this place was a nice. We unloaded and dragged the old girl to staging. First pass i hit the throttle, smoked the tires, pedalled, then wheel stand. in that order. I was as lost as a florida gator fan. Next three passes equalled a bunch of slow times and bent up header tubes. I couldnt keep the front end down. Now i have balls of steel, but 300 ft wheelstands dont win races. i went to bed at 5 am. Unable sleep at the thought of getting obliterated all weekend. Saturday morning we did a couple wheelstands, to get ready for first round qualifying. All the boys seemed pretty confident in my ability to tear shit up. Then all of the sudden the clouds parted. The stars aligned and first round qualifying we went a 5.11 @146. Holy Smokes. The orange car had its mojo back. Or so we thought. Second rnd we went a 5.22. Everyone was getting faster and we were slowing down like the South Carolina Gamecocks hope for a winning season. Well last round of qualifying i decided that we were going or blowing. We loaded the hot rod for bear, and up up and away she went. We actually drug orange paint off the bumper. It really smashed down hard. My header tubes were flat as a pancake. We had to heat them up with a torch and beat a jack handle through them just to get them half ass opened up. We were qualified 7th. The number one qualifier ran a 4.96. So that put us a tenth and a half off the pace. I hate being slow. I barely slept all night. Talk about being screwed. we had the 2nd and 3rd qualifiers on our side of the ladder. if we were gonna win this race, we were gonna earn it. After much thought and argueing with Brian and Johnson about what to do first round ( i wanted to get gangsta nasty and put 46's in both foggers) We decided to play it safe and slowly chip away at the mountain of fast cars ahead of us. First round we blasted off another 5.11. which got us the win. But still slow. Second round was to be a showdown for the ages. We had Nick Yarber, the number two qualifier and the guy trailing me by 5 points in the chase to the championship. He just went a 5.05 in the first round and i knew he would step it up. I turned the wick up on the hotrod as well. We bumped in and off we went. he had me by .005 at halftrack and then i tossed my nitrous lasso out there and reeled him in, getting the win by .020 and running a 5.05. by golly we finally had a race car to work with. But there was a super fast yellow turbocharged speed bump in the way in the semis. Mr Elam went a 4.96 first round and had that thing on a mission. I knew i had to wind the old rubber band a little tighter, but how much before it snapped? We both staged. I knew i had to go. As soon as i saw amber i let the ponies gallop and damn they were moving It was so close at the stripe i couldnt tell who won. My light came on and i wa so excited i almost forgot to stop. I was even more excited when i saw the times. We went a 5.02 to his 4.95. Thats right, I won on a holeshot. My first ever holeshot win. I was feeling like the invincible man. We had my old buddy Chad Henderson in the finals. Who by the way qualified 1st with a 4.96. Well no amount of reason would convince me to not put the screws to the hot rod now. We were under dogs and were going to the finals. I was going for it all. We burned in with long smokey burnouts.Brian had the nitrous pressure high so i had to purge off like ten thousands lbs of nos. We clicked the bulbs on and Bam i was off and running like Forrest Gump. It was a side by side slug fest to the stripe. I nipped him on the big end running a 4.97 to his 5.02. Man the party was started now. I was hugging everybody and jumping around like a maniac. When the heat was on we turned up the oven. I was interviewed by horsepower tv and they must have never seen Steve Jackson unplugged after a race win. I had those guys laughing like crazy. What an incredible weekend. As i sit in the passenger seat in Johnson's motorhome, heading north on I 75. i realize how lucky i am to have friends who share my crazy backwoods passion for this way of life we call drag racing. Thanks to Brian, Chris, Jason and Cheri for all you guys help this weekend. More goods things are to come.
Monday, September 1, 2008
If you guys have been following the last couple posts, then you are familiar with the demise of the procharger motor. The nitrous motor has been doing very well in testing but this weekend coming (sept 5-7) is the next stop on the ORSCA trail. We are racing in Valdosta, Ga. So i ordered the new engine block last week. Planned my whole labor day weekend around getting the supercharger motor together, getting the car stripped back down, and starting to put the thing back together. Well as usual, things never go that way. The block didnt get here and wont be here until tomorrow. which is sept 2nd. Im not holding my breath. So if by some majical reason it does show up and i can get the machine shop to get humping on it then ill start working on it tomorrow night. I dont know what i would do if i ever got to have a nice relaxing week before a race. But if it werent for the last minute, nothing would ever get done i guess. So prepare for a couple all nighters and maybe getting the old girl busted off before we leave town. Ill let you guys know how its coming. Im really looking forward to hearing it run again.