Report from Woodburn - Sunday 10/15/00:
It was cold and foggy this morning. We had to fatten her up. A smaller pill and another spacer behind the high-speed fuel bypass seemed in order. Denser air means you need more fuel. Thanks Rich, Jeff, Shane and Dan for the help! The whole Landucci family, Shelley and my Mom came out and visited.
6 passes today! There were 3 other bitch'in front engine cars there. I was the slowest one. We ran each other all day long but weren't really competing...just having fun while testing our cars. It was sure cool to have another FED in the other lane!
Pass #1 10:27 AM (53 Degrees) Right Lane:
Nothing special here, just a warm up. 9.42 @ 150MPH. I lost traction off the line and slid around a bit. So did the other guy. Only after returning to the pits did I realize that I left the air in the tires! They had 10PSI in them. No wonder! Took them down to 5 1/2 were they should be and we were ready for another. Couldn't keep the car running after braking hard. Tow back.
Pass #2 11:21 AM (53 Degrees) Right Lane:
My quickest yet 9.20 @ 151MPH. The other guy spanked me by a full second and 10MPH, but then he has a wheelie bar and can leave hard too. I showed my "rookieness" at the end. I was trying to keep the motor running and shifted down to low gear. Unfortunately, that only caused me to stop before the turnout. Duh. Boy did I look silly pushing my car off the track. Won't do that again! Tow back.
Pass #3 12:24 PM (55 Degrees) Left Lane:
Another quickest: 9.150 @ 151MPH. The other guy lost traction and gave up. I got her to light back up at the last minute and drove her back.
Pass #4 1:43 PM (61 Degrees) Right Lane:
AAAAIIIYEEE!! Out of control. She was on course for another best and at about 1000 feet, I tried to make a small correction. That's when I discovered that the steering wheel was no longer attached! I let off the throttle and it wandered left. I thought the wheel had come off the hub. I struggled to get it back on, and realized that it was. The steering shaft had pulled off the steering box! YIKES! I got on the brakes and it started wandering across the center line. The more I braked, the harder it pulled left. I finally locked up the tires just in time for it to kiss the steel guard rail. It only scarred the hubcap a little. Jeff made the observation that it probably pulled off at launch and I just didn't notice until I tried to actually make a correction. Amazingly, I turned a 9.55 @ 112MPH...with no steering at all. I was sure lucky I was in the right lane, I had time to get it stopped before contact with the wall. It would have been real messy had I been in the left lane. Also that the other guy was nowhere around when I went into the other lane. I'm cussing myself because I didn't think to pull the chute when I discovered I had no steering. An oversight that could have cost me. My "rookieness" shows again.
Pass #5 2:54 PM (65 Degrees) Right Lane:
A single pass...just me. After the last incident, I can't imagine that anyone would want to be in the other lane! Gotta get back on that horse and show it who's boss. The no-steering thing was starting to sink in and I needed to put it behind me. I did a real long burnout this time to get the meatballs plenty sticky. I wanted to leave a bit harder this time and get the ET lower. It worked! Best yet: 9.04 @ 150MPH. 8's here we come! Kept her running and drove it back.
Pass #6 3:13 PM (66 Degrees) Right Lane:
We took a vote and decided to stay for one more and try to break into the 8's. The guys turned me around and had me back in line in less than 15 minutes...Great job guys! The guy in the other lane lost traction, but I stuck pretty good. It felt great and I was sure I'd hit another milestone. I did, but not the one I'd hoped. I turned a 9.26 @ 161MPH. Wow, I broke the 160MPH barrier! When I let up on the throttle she oiled me down. The breather puked huge amounts of fuely oil all over the car, the windshield and my visor. Good thing that was the last pass. I kept it running and drove it back again.
Today's 9.04 tells me that low 8's are in reach when she's sporting a wheelie bar and I can leave at full throttle. 8's or bust!
The weather was perfect! Only three passes today. Once eliminations began at 1PM, the "Test" lane was neglected. We all started to get cranky after standing around and waiting nearly 2 hours for another pass. After returning from a third pass, we took a vote and it was 2-1 to bag it and head home. Guess who voted to do one more? The one who was having all the fun, that's who. Thanks Rich and Shelley for all the help!
Pass #1 10:45 AM (69 Degrees) Right Lane:
My first pass with a car in the other lane. Without a wheelie bar, I have to really baby it. Keep the front end down and keep the tires stuck. After leaving I knew I was too gentle off the line, but it yielded a 9.49 @ 150MPH. Best yet...go figure. I can do better than that! I couldn't keep the motor alive due to being on the brakes so hard. The fuel sloshes forward in the tank and it dies. Sometimes it comes back to life, but not this time. Tow back.
Pass #2 12:24 PM (74 Degrees) Right Lane:
It felt like I was shot out of a cannon! Wow, what a rush. I was just sure I had really cooked a good one. I was more aggressive off the line, I shifted right and it pulled hard the whole way. Well, it was good but not as good as it felt...9.42 @ 149MPH. Hmmm. Best ET yet though. I followed the car that I ran with to the last turnout. I didn't have to get on the brakes so hard and I kept the motor lit. Drove it back.
Pass #3 3:17 PM (82 Degrees) Left Lane:
We waited for almost 2 hours in line and finally got to run. This is no joke, there was actually a cobweb running from my helmet (sitting on the tire) to the rollbar. Sheesh. I had a single pass and was ready to drill the tree. I staged, concentrated heavily, brought the RPMs up, stared down that first amber, finger twitching on the button. After 6-8 seconds, the starter came over and waved me off. I let the motor come down, looked back at the tree and it was already on the third amber. There was some problem with the starting system I guess. Crap! Oh well, I decided to just try and make a good pass. A good one it was: 9.24 @ 152! During the last 100 feet, the car started to bounce pretty good. I was easy on the brakes, took the last turnout, but the motor would not come back to life. Tow back.
When the wheelie bar is on her and I can leave at full throttle, she's gonna frigging scream. 8's or bust!
The weather didn't look too great to the North, but Rich and I headed out this morning on time anyway. The windshield wipers came on in Salem. We got to the track and it was drizzling but there was blue sky to the west. We hung out for a while, it cleared off and the track was dry by 10AM. Rob and then Shelley arrived so it was time to get started.
During the motor warmup, I noticed we were getting a lot of smoke out of the right side when the throttle was hit. The number two cylinder is running way cooler than the rest. After screwing around for an hour with new plugs, checking for spark with the timing light, and other gyrations, I just decided to take it for a pass and see if the smoke would continue or what.
I put a 5000 RPM chip in the launch rev limiter and decided to try my FIRST full throttle launch. The chip keeps the RPMs conservative. The plan was to sneak up from there with progressively higher RPM chips until we find where the front end wants to begin raising.
She hit hard and immediately popped the front wheels nearly 2 feet in the air. It started heading left real quick toward the concrete wall, so I got out of the throttle. I came down fairly gently, then I stomped it again. The result was my quickest and fastest so far: 9.75 @ 150MPH. My ET slip shows I'm still losing over a full second during the first 100ft. The replay tach shows that I crossed the finish line at 7000RPM, so I have some some MPH left to go too.
There was no oilsmoke during the pass, so it seemed safe to try another. For this second pass, I decided to leave fairly gently, but then tromp on it at 60 feet. I did that and when I slammed her to the wood, it broke loose and started sliding around again. I heard the RPMs climb, saw the shift light come on *WAY* early and finally realized I was smok'in 'em. I got clear out of it, then eased back on it and shifted late for a 10.30 @ 147MPH. The good part was that I cut a better light (finally)...a .569. By taking a few hundredths out of the delay box and more practice, I'll be nailing that. There were only a few cars today so the show was over by 3:20PM. I could've done another pass, but I'd like to peer into cylinder #2 with a bore scope and make sure the piston isn't giving up or something. I'll do that this week and either be done for the year (if it looks less than perfect) or be ready for more passes next Sunday.
My licensing passes are all done...YAAAA!!!