The following is a recap of the most recent race that we send to our sponsors, and prospective sponsors.
The second race in the NMCA’s Championship series is the NMCA/NMRA/NHRA combined race at Atlanta International Dragway, in Commerce, GA.
Dallas and I left the shop at 9AM (Central) on Wednesday and arrived at the track’s motorhome staging area 900 miles away at 2:30AM (Eastern) on Thursday. The trip was relatively uneventful other than driving through very high winds, which caused the 11′ corner trim on the stacker to come loose — having Dallas on the roof in 40MPH winds to cut it loose for me.
We set up the pits (high winds — so there were no awnings or banners this week), established credentials, and took the cars to get teched in. While teching in we looked at the track, which was was yellow/green from a thick coating of pollen. In fact we’d use a California duster on the cars three times a day for the whole weekend — and the below photos are about 4-5 hours worth of pollen on cars. It also was all over the inside of our trailer, in the tool box, in the motorhome, on the weather station computer — all over!
A bad storm was due to hit Commerce Thursday night, and so we put everything up for the night. The storm had strong winds with driving rain during the night — rocking the coach pretty good. In the Morning we got the cars out and set up the pits again.
Friday morning was off to a late start for the track. The Atlanta track crew has to be the worse at a NHRA track. They’re slow, arrogant, and inept — and they were about as bad this year as they’ve been in years past. Frankly I hate going to this track — and have the worse luck there.
Time trials were suppose to be from noon to 3PM, but they called us to the lanes an hour late. We waited in the staging lanes for 2 hours before being able to make the first of the three passes we had hoped for. Dallas and I were able to be fast enough (for any extreme weather change during the weekend) when we made our base run.
I (7601) wanted to run the C/FX (9.75) Index, and Dallas (7602) wanted to run B/FX (9.50 seconds), so we were in good shape. It was to be the only Time Trial we were to make as 84-year-old Willard Kinsler flipped his car at the 330′ cone — and it took hours to get that all squared away.
The first Qualifying runs were to have been at 3PM — but wound up being at closer to 6PM. I always try to set my car to be 2/100 a second slower (9.77) than the index, so I can get in the show immediately — then use the next two qualifying passes to get closer to #1 Qualifying position. We do the same for Dallas’ car.
Dallas and I ran each other in the 1st qualifying pass, the photo of which is the top photo. My car felt good, and the time slip with a 9.769 showed that I had my car right to within 1/1000 a second of the planned 9.77. Dallas was 32/1000 a second off his — which we consider good for a first round. It was good enough for me to be the #3 Qualifier and Dallas #5 out of 15 NSS cars.
The saying is that your car always runs best before the engine blows — and as I was coming back from the pits the engine started to not sound right. A quick look showed a broken lifter, a broken pushrod, two bent pushrods, and a pair of hosed rollers. We carry 11 tubs of parts — but not enough to fix this — plus I was certain we’d find more damage. So I was out, but at least I got qualifying points.
After three qualifying passes — my single pass held up for a #5 Qualifier and I believe Dallas was #6. Dallas won his first round — but had a minor mechanical problem while moving into the burnout box — and so he lost his second round.
The rain came after the second round — and so the Semis and Final will take place in Joliet this July.
We left the track and 3PM Sunday and arrived home at 4AM Monday. My engine has since been torn down (other issues found), parts ordered and it will be ready for the Hot Rod Reunion in June. We have a pair of non-points races in Ennis and Memphis before then — that I will run in the back up car – Vitamin C.