Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

What a week. We pulled into Bradenton Motorsports Park last thursday morning at 5 am. Me and the boys got us about 4 hours of shut eye and then unloaded the ole hotrod for a little more testing on the kawasaki motor. We made three tire shaking hits thursday not really doing anything impressive. The entire powerband on this engine is so much different than the other motor. It makes tremendous power in the bottom, lazy in the middle, and decent out the back. I decided to speed the blower up Friday morning, trying to give the kawasaki motor a little breath on the big end. I felt like we could run in the mid 4.70's in the heat but I knew that wasnt fast enough. The knew blower gears gave us one more pound of boost, which hurt and helped. It made my starting line tuneup more aggressive which could lead to massive amounts of tire spin, but it did sruce up the big end. We went a 4.72 at 164 during testing friday. We were missing something, I just couldnt find it. Then it hit me.Maybe since this motor makes power like a dirt bike, I should treat it like a dirt bike. Maybe we just needed more RPMS. So for the first round of qualifying friday night, I decided to ring the guts out of the ole girl. We left the line at 4000 rpms. I rolled into the bottom bulb and snapped the transbrake button down. The kawasaki sounded like an airplane when I turned loose. She pushed me into the seat and off we went. Now most people might think it's a bad idea to shift a big block at 8500 rpms. But shit the kawasaki loved it. We banged high gear and kept on getting up. We went through the traps in a 4.62 at 165 mph. Goodness goodness, We have a racecar. The ole Kawasaki has now been upgraded from a KX600 to and KX 1200. She just needed a little RPMS. That put us qualified number one with two rounds qualifying on saturday. Me and the boys celebrated friday night like we were rock stars. By the end of qualifying saturday, we were sitting second. Being out qualifyed by one hundreth. That also netted us a much appreciated first round bye run. First round sunday I put in a safe tune up. Bang, 4.64 at 163mph. Just like i told her. I was now feeling like we may have a car to win this race with. WRONG. Secong round during the burnout, the intercooler pump feed tube clogged with ice, allowing air inlet temperatures to reach 160 degrees. This made the kawasaki go from a kx1200 to a kx 250. We only ran a 5.00 and were promptly crushed and loaded on the trailer. What a letdown. This mistake will never happen again. We are in the process of building a water tank that should be on Star Trek, it's so advanced. Im sorry for all my sponsors, fans, and friends that made the trip down. But thank you guys so much for your support. Two companies in particular really stepped up to make the rest of our season possible. UPR Products, And MAC FAB custom wheels both really helped us out coming down the stretch. We couldnt race the remainder of our season without you guys making it possible. I will do everything in my power to make you guys proud. We have Orsca next weekend and from the looks of things, those guys will have their hands full. We need a win to keep the hopes of a Championship alive.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cocked, Locked,And Ready To Rock

You will never guess what happened when we got to Virginia last weekend... RAIN. Thats like the tenth race this year we have been rained out. We did get the new motor fired though. It sounds like a cross between a weedeater and a kawasaki dirtbike. Its only 522 cubic inches and you can tell it. But it'sallthe parts we havelaying around so we will have to use it. I will screwevery ounce of power out of this thing that she can muster. We are on our way to the Outlaw Radial Tire Championship Race in Bradenton,Fla. Big Johnson has the blue goose (our motorhome) in the wind. He has one eye open and the hammer down. Brian is sleeping and doing nothing like usual. Thats only because there are no sports on tv at this time. And i have spent the last 4 hours going over every single tune up I have looking for a way to squeeze this motor like a lemon. We made a couple test hits today before we left South Carolina. The ole girl is slow. The best the kawasaki could deliver was a 4.78 @159.00mph. Which is decent but not cowboy style. The crankshaft howevert is still bolted in so I will find a way to ring out some more. This race this weekend is a really big deal to us. We are all focused like a laser beam and if it can be done, I assure you that we find a way. GPS says we should pull in at 4 45 am. We will test tomorrow evening.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Back in the Saddle (Almost)

Two wekes ago when we blew everything apart under the sun, sucked. The last two weeks have been like midevil times. We thrashed all week following rockingham, overnighting just about every internal part in the engine, Got it done in the middle of the night friday night, and then they called the ORSCA race due to race. We were really bummed out at first but in the end it would prove to be a blessing. We decided that since we had a fresh motor that we would go test for the Shakedown at Etown race this weekend. Which is a 1/4 mile race, So we went down to Valdosta, Ga last sunday to do some testing at SGMP. In the back of my head I still couldnt justify as to why the motor tore up the #6 piston last week. I mean it broke the piston in half. We had to sleeve the block and everything. But we chalked it up to a broken lifter and could find nothing else wrong. So we unloaded Sunday at SGMP and made a nice smooth lazy pass. I just wanted to get some data on the motor. Pulled it back to the pits and pulled the plugs and damn if #6cylinder wasnt torn up again. One pass and smoked the same cylinder. All tune up data looked good. The rest of the plugs were perfect. Me and the boys were really pissed. We drove home 5 hours at like 90 mph. Snatched the motor back out and apart. It was worse than I thought. Number 6 detonated so bad that it egged the cylinder and split the block. What the hell? So now were up the creek again. We are supposed to leave thursday for englishtown, nj and we have no motor. Not to be detered, we scrounged around the shop looking for used motor parts. What do ya know, there in the corner was last years ez street motor. Old faithful. She needed a little freshening, and she is way smaller than our good motor, but we figured we could piece her together. Robert at Abby's Performance Engines really helped us this week. He dropped eveything like he always does when I need him, and jumped right on it. We bored the block, got a new crank rods and pistons. Basically a new shortblock. It has been a long exhausting week, but at 3 am last night, we finished up. Well almost. Guess what. Shakedown rained out also. Im so tired of rain. All this work and favors for nothing. Once again, always the optimists, we decided to find somewhere dry to race. The pushrods just came in and we are on our way to Virginia Motorsports Park. I cant belive we are taking a brand new engine 7 hours to a race and it's never been fired, but we are. I think I found what keeps breaking the engine. We will see. I replaced almost every piece of electronics on this thing. Yall keep your fingers crossed. Sorry for the short post but I have only slept about ten hours this week am due for a little road nap.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Sky Is Falling

Have you ever had a weekend that you wish you could just step back to friday around noon and stop, and do something completely different? Almost everything that could break this weekend, did. Me and the boys headed to Rockingham, Nc for the Holcomb Civil Wars race. We decided to use this race as a tune up race for next weekends ORSCA race. It turns out that we need way more than a tune up. We need an overhaul. I'll start you off from the beginning. Friday night we unload and pull around for first round qualifying. I smoked the tires and pedalled the car early and ran it to the 1000ft mark. It ran decent but something was wrong. Turns out we broke the torque converter. So just for good measure, we put in the spare trans and converter. First round qualifying saturday morning, all was well until we shifted into high gear and there went the new transmission. Smoked another one. We thrashed and changed transmissions again between rounds of qualifying and got her ready. On our next shot I blew the supercharger up in the water box during the burnout. So we missed that session. Next we changed blowers and pulled around for the last round qualifying for saturday. The car launched straight and hard but right past the shift it laid over like a wet noodle. It was skipping pretty bad so i shut it off. Turns out we broke a lifter and two rocker arms, and bent some pushrods. Now I am thinking that this blows and I should have just went fishing. On top of all this suckyness, My Georgia bulldogs got beat by LSU. Well we couldnt get the lifter out of the block so after about 6 hours of wamming and framming we welded a piece of all thread to it and jacked it out. So another all nighter later we had the motor put back together, and ready for action sunday morning. Now at this point i am fairly certain that all the bad luck is behind us, and that we are ready to do some racing. WRONG. Next pass out we kicked the rods out of the side of the motor. I was actually relieved that the weekend was over. I feel like we fought hard all weekend, and Chris, Brian, and Fatboy never gave up. We do have a problem though, We have an ORSCA points race this weekend coming. So who knows what we will do. I will take the motor out and apart tonight to see what left and whats usable. Hopefully we can piece something together by saturday. I have a theory on bad weekends like this one. We will call this a Steveilosophy. I believe that anytime a man has too much "FUN" or more fun than he is supposed to, that he must pay it back. I think that fun is like a line of credit at the bank. Everytime you have alot of fun, It's like taking taking out a loan against your fun account. This overexertion of fun must then be paid back through various ways. The thing I hate most in this world is losing. So therefore my pennance for paying back the Fun is a weekend like this past one. Over the past two years, Me and the boys have had a massive amount of fun. Therefore the fun must repaid, So hopefully after this week is done I will once again be square with the fun, And we will be ready to move on to more fun. So think about that next time you are preparing for some fun. Sometimes payback is hell. All in all we are in good spirits. Its refreshing to be under the gun again. Motor updates coming soon.