Photography & Motorsports
Raceway Park - Englishtown, NJ
April 30-May 1
Second National event for the team in the new RX-8...
Competing at this event would not have been possible had it not been for my Floridian friends from Central Florida Turbo and Kilo Racing. I am deeply grateful for their assistance as I had to make the trip from Texas to New Jersey alone.
The grueling 28 hour each way trip was worth it in several ways. We learned a lot more about the car thanks to CFT's Rolo Lopez and my good friend Jesus Padilla was victorious with a commanding performance in his RX-7, almost setting a new All Motor record in the process.
Prior to making the trip to Englishtown, Chris Ott and myself were reviewing data logs to try and determine how we could improve the cars 60-foot times and Chris noticed something I had not. That was each 1st gear time was way too long. In other words, a gear change would be necessary to prevent the motor from bogging at the line.
I ordered a new gear set from Strange and since I did not have the time to make the change prior to departing, I made arrangements with Kilo to have the necessary tools with him at the track. Prior to departing, I opened the box, removed the pinion gear and pressed a new pinion bearing on to make the change at the track easier. In a hurry to leave, I forgot to pack the ring gear which I only remembered when I had stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Once at the track on Friday evening, I was running around trying make arrangements to have the ring gear shipped to the track and fellow racer Paul Efantis offered me the use of a complete 3rd member. That saved us a lot of time and I am deeply grateful to Paul and Greek for helping me out. This is the reason I compete in this series, because of ALL of the great people.
After much needed rest, Saturday was rained out. However, not all was lost as it cleared up just enough for us to take the car out of the trailer and make the gear change. This meant that we would either make one round of qualifying on Sunday or qualify based on points.
Early Sunday, it was still raining and at around 10am, it cleared and we were advised that we would have one round of qualifying at 10am. My Floridian friends assisted me preparing the car and went up to make the run.
With a much lower gear ratio, consistent boost on the 2-step and new clutch setting, I staged and let the clutch go. The car shook the tires so hard, the shifter was shaking so much and it felt like I was sitting on a jack hammer. Not a good pass but we managed to qualify 5th and were in the show.
I would be paired up against Paul in the first round. We joked in the staging lanes that I would "go to school" this round and "watch from behind" which is exactly what transpired. Although this would be my fastest pass to date, I realized we have a way to go to compete at the levels established by Paul Efantis and Justin Humphries.
Send mail to
questions or comments about this web site.