Well, I am pretty lucky I guess as I get to drive a lot of different cars, and not all of them mine.....
Late last year we went to a TNT session to sort out my engine builders 69 Hemi Barracuda as my Duster wounded the 512 in it and I had two more points races to go so I need a little seat time in it....
Friday comes around and we hit the road with the car in the trailer, and I had a feeling I should have checked the schedule before we took the hour ride out there, but I didn't and realized the error of my laziness when we hit the gate and saw the place swamped with Mustangs...
Now for anyone who is not familiar with Empire, once a month, they have a MOM's race, or Mustang on Mustang race...And the night we picked was it.
So they run their deal, and the other cars can either run TNT or some enterprising individuals tend to go for some gamblers racing...
We went for TNT and that is our deal on a Friday. So the place is mobbed, its getting dark out, its the end of the season almost, and guys have figured their combos out and most are hitting new bests in the cool air or braking stuff.
I made the first pass on the skinny tires and leaned on it pretty good on the launch, and it netted a 10.52 at around 128...A new best for that car! So I get it cooled down, we swap to the bigger carb, re-check the air pressure on the tires, and decide to get back in line as the amount of people now is just crazy up at the line.
Make our second pass, launch it hard on the convertor again, and it rewards me with almost a 3ft wheel stand and a 10.50 at almost 129....Another new best, and man are we having fun, except the camera guy missed it.
Last pass, we get up in line as quick as we can as there are just too many people to really enjoy a TNT at this point. So we are in line for well over an hour while other cars run and someone finally brakes and a track cleanup is needed. By hour two stuck in line we are ready to just pack up and leave, but we can't as we are surrounded by cars and people.
The only good thing about waiting so long was I got to talk with the starting line guy while they did the cleanup and he was ex-static about the wheelie the car did...He loved the darn thing and that was awesome.
I finally get to the line again at almost two hours from the last pass to this one, bring the car into the burnout box, zip the tires and wait for my cue...When I was motioned to start my burn out I hit the throttle and somthing let go and the whole car fell back towards the right rear as I watched the horrified faces up at the line react. I instantly knew I sheared the wheel off the car and that sickening feeling of dread fell over me as to how bad the quarter panel looked.
I shut the car off to the dismay of the starting line guy who is now flipping out as he apparently did not see the mishap, and notice how oddly the car was now sitting. He kept asking if it was broke as I slowly un buckled and dreaded what I would find.
I get out of the car and he is still yipping in my ear, and I take off my helmet and wander around back of the car to see how bad it was. I delighted to see the tire and wheel stuck up in the wheel well still holding the car up, but it was not attached to the axle.
The track crew then realized, I was not getting out of the way on my own, and brought over a floor jack. By now we had about 5-10 of our own personal spectators, and me using the jack to get the weight off the tire which I wanted to do before it deflated as the body cutting into the slick.
We get the weight off the wheel & tire and it rolls away while we push the car back and out of the way. By now the owner/my engine builder has made his way up there on my 700xx quad. I go get the tire that rolled away while he looks at it and on my way to walking back I survey how in the hell am I going to get a truck and trailer up here and load this thing.....There was 200+ people up at the starting line area and cars everywhere...No way was I going to get the truck, trailer in here and be able to winch the car up in there.
While Ron was looking at it, I moved the quad closer and turned on the headlights so we could see the damage better. When I did, Ron came up with a brilliant plan....Told me to go fetch some tools.
I left on the quad for the 1000ft drive back to the trailer and fetched everything I could think of in about a minute. I returned and again aimed the headlights at the damaged car so we could work. The rear axle studs were threaded into the axle hub, we removed the short broken pieces from the axle hub, then retrieved the longer broken pieces from the wheel and threaded them back into the axle hub. We bolted the wheel back on, and stood back astounded at what we had just done, and Ron hopped on the quad, and I drove the car back to the trailer....Much to the amazement of the track staff and some of the onlookers!
Not our first time over coming disaster, as we have many stories like this, but it is one of the best next to the story of me getting a ride in the police K9 unit at the track!