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#2489076 - 04/28/18 12:37 PM Re: Hot Rod Drag Week 2017: The Experience. [Re: MoparBilly]
MoparBilly Offline
master

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 4280
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Even though Rachael and I arrived well after cars had started running down the track, the rest of our group didn't roll in until about an hour later. The Tuesday night drive had been fairly easy, and the decision to sleep in was a good one. Across the board, our entire entourage looked better than they had since Friday morning before we started packing to leave. We helped get the cars situated, then pushed Boone's trailer around to a position next to our pile of belongings on the uneven grass covered low spot just behind the lanes.
"This place is awesome!" Dale could hardly contain his smile.
"Yeah! I can't decide if it's the people, the facility, the weather, or just the fact that we all got some quality rest, but it just feels right!"
"So...we're just going to enjoy it, soak it all in, prep our cars, and plan on a 1:00pm hit in the all run third session?" Boone asked with a toothy grin.
Everyone seemed to be in agreement.
"I think I'm going to change the oil and run the valves on the Gremlin", Dale nodded.
"Rachael has to set the timing, and I'll probably put in a fresh bottle, just because, other than that the Valiant should be ready."
Everyone returned to working on their own cars, and after Rachael put the small block on 31 degrees, she grabbed Boone's camera out of the Duster and put it around her neck.
"I'm going to go shoot some more people and cars", she declared.
"By all means", I agreed, "I doubt you've made a dent in that memory card yet!"


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"Livin' in a powder keg and givin' off sparks" 4 Street cars, 5 Race engines

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#2489583 - 04/29/18 03:27 PM Re: Hot Rod Drag Week 2017: The Experience. [Re: MoparBilly]
MoparBilly Offline
master

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 4280
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
The Wednesday track portion at Drag Week, going back to my Marathon analogy, is like hitting the half-marathon timers, and taking a second to look around and gauge how you are doing. Two of the four drives are behind you, and a solid pass that is close to the average you established on the first two days is what you are looking for. Most marathoners, unless they had something go terribly wrong in the first half, don't think, "I'm going to run the second half quicker". Likewise for Drag Weekers, usually they are pretty tentative on Wednesday and Thursday, just looking to maintain what they've already done. In a Marathon, the people you pass in the second half are usually slowing down or struggling, not because you sped up. The same is true on Drag Week, if you are moving up in your class on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, it's typically because your opponent is struggling, not because you suddenly found a huge increase in performance.

The next pair featured what was likely the heaviest Wedge powered Mopar alongside the lightest Hemi powered entry. Radar had the best seat on the property behind the wheel of his Fury to watch Jarrad Scott crush the wheelie bars on the blown Hemi powered, G-force shifted 62 Ranchero Gasser. It was on the bars so hard that the little beast pivoted in the air and came down pointed toward the wall. He was able to correct it and stay with the pass, but only due to the near four wide tarmac that Byron Dragway is famous for.

After the disappointment of accepting a 10.02 at Gateway, Frank Perkins and his Valiant were back to their nine second ways with an excellent, well hooked 9.94-134.7.


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"Livin' in a powder keg and givin' off sparks" 4 Street cars, 5 Race engines

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#2490778 - 05/02/18 05:43 AM Re: Hot Rod Drag Week 2017: The Experience. [Re: MoparBilly]
MoparBilly Offline
master

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 4280
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Terry Keifer's 67 fastback fish rolled off the line soft, then kicked out a little fuel soot as the boost hit and really started to move just after the 60 foot clocks. The front shocks were extended all the way to the stripe as the twin turbo big block A-body made the best pass ever in three Drag Weeks, 10.42-133.5. Terry and his crew wasted very little time hooking up the trailer and heading for Wisconsin, as we watched them drive out the gate before we had even put a car in the lanes!

Matt Blasco and the Dirty Drag Week Dart, also on their third drag week attempt, were heading in the other direction ET wise. After leaving the first two tracks with time slips in the 7.7-185 range, the 8.17-171 at Byron didn't seem all that encouraging. While he would maintain third place comfortably in Pro Street Power Adder, it was definitely not the Swinger's best day at the track.


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"Livin' in a powder keg and givin' off sparks" 4 Street cars, 5 Race engines

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#2491305 - 05/03/18 05:23 AM Re: Hot Rod Drag Week 2017: The Experience. [Re: MoparBilly]
MoparBilly Offline
master

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 4280
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
The two baddest small tire, stock suspension, street driven, normally aspirated Mopars on the planet struggled to get the grip they needed at the Indiana facility. Monday's 9.30s couldn't be found, despite both cars running nearly the same mph they had earlier in the week. The 9.57-141 was especially harmful to Paul Cornman and his Demon's chances in Street Race Small Block NA. They had started the day with just a few thousandths in hand against Jason Tabscott's high flying 70 Camaro, and despite multiple attempts, would leave for Great Lakes seventeen hundredths down.

Randi Heinselman's Hemi powered E-body gave up a tenth to the sun soaked Byron launch pad, eventually accepting a 9.42-143 for his efforts on Wednesday. 2017's event had to be bittersweet for Randy and Connie, as they finally had enough power on tap to outrun Vince Rasch's 69 Pontiac Firebird for the first time in four years, but Curt Johnson's 582 Chevy powered fox body was rewriting all the marks for Super Street Big Block NA.


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_________________________
"Livin' in a powder keg and givin' off sparks" 4 Street cars, 5 Race engines

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#2491571 - 05/03/18 02:19 PM Re: Hot Rod Drag Week 2017: The Experience. [Re: MoparBilly]
ZIPPY Offline
I Live Here

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 14891
Loc: S.E. Michigan
Stopped by, first time in awhile, and am looking forward to catching up on this thread later. Thanks for putting all the time into it!
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11.0 @ 123 so far

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#2506485 - 06/10/18 04:21 AM Re: Hot Rod Drag Week 2017: The Experience. [Re: MoparBilly]
MoparBilly Offline
master

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 4280
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
We were enjoying our Wednesday at this legendary little track, and the same could be said for the Mopar crew from Alberta. Both Ross and his buddy Ron made multiple passes while at Byron, and they were determined to make sure one of those were side by side. Much like Dale and I at Gateway, it took some effort in the lanes, but it looked as though they had it worked out until a car right ahead of them stalled and was pushed out of the way. Not to be denied, Ross gave them the "I'm just an old guy from Canada" routine, acting like he couldn't figure out to back the Road Runner into the burnout box until they lost patience and sent the guy he was paired with on a single and brought Ron's black 69 Dart alongside! Now, I'm not saying that's exactly how it went down, but that's how it appeared from my vantage point. The end result was that the big block powered B-body put a whippin' on the clean little small block Dart.


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"Livin' in a powder keg and givin' off sparks" 4 Street cars, 5 Race engines

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#2506633 - 06/10/18 01:33 PM Re: Hot Rod Drag Week 2017: The Experience. [Re: MoparBilly]
MoparBilly Offline
master

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 4280
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Squirrel brought his A/FX Chevy II to the line late in session one, and the blown 427 seemed to be down a bit on power, yielding a 10.35 at only 124 that was a tenth and 5 mph off his efforts of the first two days. Jay Grabiak's 55 ran a 10.23-129 two cars behind him to up the stakes.
The 62 is only legal to 10.0, so Jim and Dan couldn't do anything about the pair of high eight second machines leading the A Gas class, but they needed to find a way to hold Jay off if they wanted to maintain a podium finish. When Jim won the class in both '15 and '16, Jay and the 55 had finished second and third respectively and Jim was only holding a 6 hundredths lead over the first two days, so it was clear that the Sierra Vista boys were going to have to wrench on the vintage Mark IV to find some power and return for the all-run session.

Clark Rosenstengal and his 2010 Camaro seemed to lead a charmed life at DW16, taking the SSSBPA win despite losing a head on his Steve Morris built twin turbo LSX, and recording a 7.99 five day average. 2017 was proving to be a monumentally tougher task however, as the class had exploded from twelve machines to twenty-seven! Quality in the class had also taken a huge jump, with thirteen of those competitors running in the sevens or eights.
Steve Morris had been riding with Tom Bailey in Sick Seconds 2.0, but had switched to Clark's co-pilot when Tom lost the engine at Gateway. He was backing Clark up from his burnout when the track officials ran out with mops to clean a few spots. Clark shut the Camaro off a few inches from the stage beam and waited for the clean up process to end. Every racer has an internal clock in situations like that where you begin to contemplate backing up for another burnout, but when the starter gave the all clear sign Steve and Clark decided to just put it in the beams and go. The decision bit them as the drag radials never really grabbed the tarmac, and after a few soft pedals, Clark just cruised to a 9.44-129. As he hit the stripe, Lohnes put out the call for Street Machine Eliminator to come to the lanes.

When Dave Schroeder finished his burnout a few cars later, he upped the ante on Clark for celebrity help with backing up and staging the car as Jeff Lutz stepped in front of the blue Corvette at the sixty foot mark. It was a task often performed over the years by Monte Smith, as co-driver and cousin John Ens prefers to watch from the back. Dave was lucky to have someone with as much experience as Jeff, because he was quick to give Dave the cutoff sign when he noticed something wrong just as the nitrous assisted monster was backing across the beams. There was a small amount of liquid on the windshield and some spots on the track, and usually at most races this would mean a push back to the pits, but Lutz and Enz were frantically working to save the attempt, Lohnes and Freiburger had everyone hyped up in the stands and on the live feed, and the starter and crew were willing participants to help out. Lutz grabbed a roll of paper towels and dabbed at the top of the engine while the track workers took a torch to the starting line. Someone handed Lutz a wrench and he appeared to tighten a fitting and give the all good sign at nearly the same time the starter decided the track was also fine. The entire process from cutoff to restart and stage took just over two minutes, and like Clark, Dave put the 66 in the beams without another burnout. Unlike Clark's Camaro, the Vette features monstrous slicks out back, so even though it bucked around a bit and made a hard move towards the wall, Schroeder was able to corral the 872 inch beast and salvage a nice 7.04-199. Granted, an all six second week was undoubtedly a goal, but finishing and winning was everything for the Canadian duo, and given all the problems that have prevented them from making it to Friday in previous drag weeks, they were going to take that run and load up for Wisconsin with a healthy car and a healthy lead.


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_________________________
"Livin' in a powder keg and givin' off sparks" 4 Street cars, 5 Race engines

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#2506667 - 06/10/18 02:27 PM Re: Hot Rod Drag Week 2017: The Experience. [Re: MoparBilly]
ProSport Offline
I Live Here

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 17570
Loc: Akron, Ohio
Very cool stories Billy, really appreciate the time you put into this.
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Sassy Grass street Duster, best of 10.69 at 124 driven to the track with 3.23 gears, naturally aspirated on 93 octane.

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#2506731 - 06/10/18 04:35 PM Re: Hot Rod Drag Week 2017: The Experience. [Re: ProSport]
JERICOGTX Offline
master

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 7929
Loc: MN
popcorn
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69 GTX 68 Road Runner

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