Photography & Motorsports
Down to the Wire!
What an ending to a trying and eventful season! The Championship was ever so close and we missed it by a mere 8 points.
2nd Place for this Team for the 2003 NHRA "All Motor" National Championship.
Congratulations to Scott Mohler and Team Mopar on their 2003 "All Motor" Championship. It was a great battle all the way to the end with the top 3 cars putting up some great numbers which I am sure will be the goal for all in 2004.
What can I say about Leslie Durst other than WOW. The Horizon Motorsports Team raised the bar for all of us and I don't think it could have happened to a nicer group of people. Congratulations Leslie.
We arrived in California on Friday morning to find it hot, dry and Smokey. We set up camp and check things over. After all, this was the final event that would decide the Championship and so everything on the car had to be just right.
Saturday morning, the sky was dark with smoke and ash falling constantly. I checked the air and by the afternoon, it was 89 degrees and 11% humidity and density altitude of 3230 ft. Not sure what to do with the fuel map, I made some small changes to be on the safe side. My first experience with really low humidity tuning.
For the first round of Qualifying, there were 20 cars in the staging lanes. I remember thinking that this was going to be a great All Motor field for the final event. My first pass was not bad with a 10.403 @ 127.91 mph. 4th in the order. We also realized that the field was going to have a large number of 10 second cars.
Leslie set the bar with a huge 10.001 @ 134.44 mph. Scott was #2 with a 10.218 @ 135.25 mph. What was I going to do? TURN IT UP is all I could do and try some shock changes. I had to qualify better because of the points battle.
Round 2, I adjusted the fuel map, launched at 11,000 RPM and shifted each gear at 12,500 RPM. A career best of 10.215 @ 129.64 mph. Scott broke so this pushed me to #2. I knew I had to be on the other side of the ladder from Leslie. This was good.
After round 3, we all learned of a really fast VW Bug. Jack Sacchette ran an amazing 10.111 @ 132.11 mph. This put Leslie and Scott on the same side of the ladder with me to face Jack in the Semi Final if all went well. The championship now really going down to the wire.
First round of eliminations, I chose the left lane and went for it. Half track and 5 seconds into the data log, the back of the car started twitching, got worse and I almost lost control. The scariest moment I have ever felt, got out of the throttle until I could straighten it out. I was lucky to win the round with a 10.859 @ 117.35 mph.
Second round I had a bye and ran a 10.391 @ 123.89 mph with 5th gear not going in without the clutch. Scott won his #2 so that meant we were still in the same position, the point difference at just 5 for the championship.
Round 3, Semi final. Scott against Leslie and me against the fast VW. This was the round that would decide the championship. I sat a watched Leslie defeat Scott. ALL I HAD TO DO WAS KILL THE BUG and I would be the champion I thought. I kept my focus, concentrated on the tree had a better RT 0.431 to 0.461, 1st gear to 13,000 rpm, 2nd gear to 13,000 rpm, 3rd gear to 13,000 rpm, 4th gear and no 5th. Jack just drove away. I could not believe my luck.
The season was over. Driving up to the scale, I saw the now jubilant Scott. I weighed my car and went over to congratulate him. A great guy and a great Champion. Now I can't wait to race them all again in 2004 with my new RX8. Look out, we will be back in a big way. Happy "Off Season" to everyone.
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