Photography & Motorsports






Woodburn, Oregon

AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!! Talk about frustration?

ARGH! There's just no other word to describe this weekends turn of events. Nothing seemed to go as planned and a lot happened that should not have. I guess that's racing.

Talk about a long trip to go racing? Our trip from Texas started around 10:00pm and found us in Woodburn Oregon by Friday morning at 11:30am. See, we should have made it in at least 3 hours earlier but for some reason Anthony with a set of Yahoo directions at his side misinterprets their directions and takes his own route northeast towards Lawrence, Kansas putting us 164 miles out of the way.

We arrive on Friday morning and head straight to the track to start another wonderful weekend of drag racing. Thanks to the folks at Mickey Thompson, we were able to have a new set of tires mounted prior to the beginning of Saturday's qualifying. This way, we felt like we could qualify in the current configuration knowing we had maximum traction.

First round of qualifying, Ken lights the new tires up for a few moments as you should with brand new slicks to prep them for the launch. Staged and ready to go the tree signals his run and he launches, bogging the car on the start because of a launch RPM issue. A 12.402 ET @ 123.71 MPH run so I guess we better turn up the launch RPM's on the next run.

Second round of qualifying Ken runs a 10.860 ET @ 126.24 MPH. A much improved 60', missing 5th gear and having the throttle hang wide open at the end of the pass. This showed the car had potential under the good conditions and making up some headway on the ladder putting him in 5th place. When Ken returns to the pits we thought we discovered a possible problem with the motor and decide to swap over to our spare engine to be safe. After all, it had been on the 13000 RPM rev limiter for "some time" until I realized what was happening after the noise level subsided. This took an hour to swap out and the good "Red" engine was ready to run.

By round three of qualifying we managed to get the car ready and Ken makes his third attempt to better his position on the ladder, forgetting that he had a 5th gear problem in round 2. Ken runs a 10.808 ET @ 126.24 MPH, using the clutch to engage 5th (Shouldn't have to do this) guaranteeing him 5th position.

When preparing to load the car back in for the night we discover a sticking right rear brake caliper. So Ken throws on a work shirt and tears down the brakes to find the culprit and make it right. Repaired, we roll the car into the trailer and head back to the hotel for the night, totally forgetting about the 5th gear problem.

Sunday morning we unload the car and give her a quick wash and polish job to make her look good for the crowd. Ken signs some autographs and we finish morning prep on the car for first round of eliminations. Still, never thinking about the transmission problem.

First round we line up next to Heather O'Conner in the Girl Poison car from Team Venom Racing. Staged and ready, the tree signals the race and Heather pushing it to the limit red lights trying to get the jump on Ken. Heather runs a 11.338 ET @ 117.81 MPH to Ken's 11.185 ET @ 95.86 MPH. Ken had no 5th gear and coasted to the finish line from the 1000' mark. We reached the scales to weigh in and were told we were light by five pounds. 2145 lbs instead of the required 2150 lbs.

Although the other cars were also light and ran bye runs, the weight was not an issue for them as it was for this RX7. A lesson learned. Check the car at the scales prior to eliminations as thing change.

With this weekend behind us and hopefully the bad luck has gone too, we hope to see you at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California September 6th - 7th for the running of the Tuned By Matrix GR Motorsports NHRA Sport Compact Nationals. The All Motor points race is now so close, it should be a very interesting battle to the end between Ken and Scott.

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