Photography & Motorsports
Talk about hot!
When we pulled into the track on Thursday evening and stretched our legs following the 20 hour trip from Texas, we were blasted with the intense 106 degree heat. A grim reminder of last year and what we had to look forward to especially dressed in the fire suite.
I had prepared the car for this event and wanted to do well, run better than last year plus retain the points lead
The preparation of the car included 2 additional pressure sensors to monitor crankcase and exhaust back pressure, new 40-spline gun drilled axles with Titanium wheel studs, a lightened ring gear and an aluminum yoke. Additionally I had a fresh motor with new rotor housings and I had gone over the entire car to check everything plus I had 4 brand new Mickey Thompson tires for the event. I wanted to Win!
The schedule included just two rounds of qualifying so I knew I had to make two solid passes. Round one had me paired with Paul and with a conservative fuel map to run at the 5,235 corrected density altitude. The temperature was 106 F at 12% Relative Humidity and the track was 111 F. Although I ran a good 7.824 at 148.79 mph, I experienced the car just shut off for a few seconds then by the time I realized where I was, it came back on and rolled into the pit lane. The engine didn't sound "normal" and was idling high.
After spending precious time trying to figure out the cause of the high RPM and not being able to figure out exactly why the power just shut off momentarily I did not make the second and final round of qualifying. With time to figure out the problems, I had to replace a blown intake manifold gasket and learned that my battery voltage stabilizer module had overheated due to the high ambient temperature and the electrical load. I corrected this with a cold wet rag wrapped around the heat sink just before each run.
Elimination round one paired me against Tom Shambaugh in his Cavalier after I had qualified in the #3 position. Again, the car launched well and went straight down the middle of the track to win the round. Next was Brent!
We analyzed the data from round one and I decided to take a little weight off the clutch between rounds. I had another good reaction time of 0.080 and ran a 7.652 at 172.61 mph. This just happened to be the first full pass I had made during the event as well.
Elimination round two was going to be tough to say the least. I felt my car had at least a 7.5 in it so if I cut another good light, it should make for a great drag race. Well, I blew it BIG TIME. I don't know why but I just plain and simply screwed up and that mistake ended up costing me valuable points and possibly another win. Brent's car broke at the line when he sheered the flywheel bolts off and consequently was not able to drive the car.
Not all was lost however. I did learn a lot from the adjustments I made and realized that from this point forward, I have a car that can win and that I need to stay on top of my game and focus. My goal is to win the 2007 Modified Championship.
I have the car and the power and now I look forward to race Paul and Brent in Indy next month.
Point Standings (7/17/07)
More to follow plus some in car video
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