Second annual BFGoodrich Tires NHRA Sport Compact Nationals Moroso
Motorsports Park Florida.
#5 Qualifier to the Semi's!
Moroso, Florida. The track that I clinched my first win in 2003. Would I
be able to defend that title? That's what's on my mind on the 18 hour trip
from Texas to Florida.
On Friday evening, the track opened at 6pm for test and tune. The weather
was as good as it gets and in the evening hours it would only get better.
The track at Moroso is at an elevation of just 38 feet above sea level.
The temperature and barometric pressure were great resulting in an All
Motor tuners dream. The density altitude was around the 500 feet mark.
At 6pm, we made the first of three passes. The tuning was off and starting
out at a 10.5 pass, I thought we would eventually bring that time down to
a low 10.
That was not meant to be. Unknowingly I loaded a map into the ECU that had
the radiator fan disabled which, as it turned out, would cost me my race
After the three passes, the ET's were not improving, the power felt "flat"
and so we elected to change engines on Saturday morning prior to the first
round of qualifying.
During the engine swap, I elected to try a different clutch set-up. After
the first round and qualifying with a 10.542 @ 127.4 mph.
This was my first true experience of how the new clutch would help this
car get to the next level. It kept the engine at maximum power and torque
throughout the entire pass. This was exciting.
Although I was encouraged by the results, my "old school thoughts" and
comfort level would make me change the clutch settings. We removed the
transmission between rounds 1 and 2 and I set the clutch up as it used to
be. "Grab and go".
To my friend who raised the bar to a brand new level.
Congratulations to Jesus Padilla for setting the new national
A blistering 9.96 second ET in his first attempt. I will forever
remember the joy end emotion he displayed at the end of the turnout after
I made my pass.
After qualifying was over, we had a 9 car field.
As fate would have it, the ladder was tabulated in such a way that the #1
and #2 qualifiers would be on the same side of the ladder and face each
other in the second round.
This just happened to be the same thing that happened to me as #2
Qualifier and Leslie Durst last year in Englishtown.
The first round would put us up against fellow Texan Adam Franzetti. A
0.503 light and a 10.521 pass moved us to round #2.
Here we would face an old competitor with a new look and an improved
Civic, Jeremy Lookofsky. Knowing I was down on power with the RX-7 running
consistent 10.50's, my only chance to move to the next round was to have a
good reaction time.
Under pressure, I would cut a good light. A reaction time of 0.493 to
Jeremy's 0.584. This would not be enough to win the round. My 10.669 to
Our congratulations go out to our fellow RX-7 friend Jesus Padilla. He not
only set the new ET Record of 9.951 seconds, he won the event in grand
This puts us #4 in the points, 57 behind the leader Jeremy Lookofsky
Next stop. Englishtown, New Jersey.
See you all at the races.