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Lessons Learned on faster cars #3176250
09/19/23 10:12 AM
09/19/23 10:12 AM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 561
Texas
R
RustyM Offline OP
mopar
RustyM  Offline OP
mopar
R

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 561
Texas
Hey Guys, as embarrassing as this post is for me, i thought i would share as it might help others.
I Crew a 65 Plymouth for a buddy thats pretty quick. We are currently running a 5.90 car ( cool weather ) in the 6.09 index NSS class, at 6.09 we usually 60ft between 1.26 and 1.30 depending on track/air etc.
Car leaves beautifully ( thanks DVW and others here for ALL your help a few years ago educating me on suspension/shocks, Car looks like a ballerina leaping when she leaves, we usually get about 1/2 to 3/4 full rotation of front and rear tires before fronts leave the ground and i can usually keep front tire rise to 6 to 8 inches on drag radials - she leaves very pretty , nice ark, no "pogo stick " wheelies ever , car leaves straight and makes the run straight- just a delight to tune and run.

However, i made a couple mistakes this last weekend and, in those mistakes came to realize just how fast and violent a 1.28 60ft really is and, its scary violent and scary quick.
1st mistake was : This was a split race, regular race first and then finishing a rain out from earlier in the year. After the first race, they did winners circle pictures and, as they had called us for make up rounds, i stood there in the staging lanes for 45 min while pictures were taken. Cars finished pics and drove down left lane after pics- they drug quite a bit of gravel/stones/trash down the track and, being tired/distracted from standing there so long- i lost focus and literally didn't see the trash out there- well, now we know the difference between blowing off the tires and tire shake!
How could i be so stupid, had all the time in the world to check the track, hell, i could have swept and mopped to the 330!
Track apologized as they didn't catch it but, but- they aren't responsible for the car- I am!
So, lesson one- stay focused, force focus if tired, cannot let up.
Driver and i both thought we blew the rear gear, car shock very violently when it got on top of rocks and back to race surface- it was bad, not good, not ok, not an oops- it was ugly and, completly and utterly avoidable.

Second mistake: In Nss i have always let the driver line the car up.
Its was 11;30 pm, been racing since 11am and, we didn't get lined up square , again, i didn't catch it and when car launched it turned hard right from the right hand lane, almost piled car into wall and it happened SO freaking fast and didn't even get my eyes over to it until he was turning away from the wall. One rear was out of the grove ( right) and drivers side was on insider edge of left grove- drove the car hard right.
Again, completely avoidable, i didn't catch it - not ok!

Never Again- i will never/ever allow things like that to happen again. I will line car up-period for cars at these levels and, cars i crew will not come through burnout box till im sure track is ok.
If we had been in left lane, racing someone heads up- we could have easily caused harm to someone else's car and/or person.
I want people to fear losing to us, i Never want someone to fear racing beside us.

I post my embassament as a reminder to all of us and, for those coming up to faster classes to "Not Take These Cars For Granted", don't let complacency set in and, once we approach burnout box, one must truly focus.
im changing my routine a bit, needless to say and, these type things will never, ever happen again due to me not doing my due diligence. I might upset someone, might upset track personnel but, i wont release a car to stage until I know we are clean. and straight.

Things just happen so stinking quick, i honestly think its really easy to forget how violent these cars are because we work so hard to get them to do what we want and, its a beautiful things to see a 3200 lbs car leap like gazelle as it leaves- but, when something isn't right, its violently ugly and incredibly dangerous.

So, this dummy wanted to share my shame in the hopes no one else makes the same mistakes and hopefully doesn't feel what i felt. We cant control everything but, what we can, we must , and, thus be safe for others and ourselves as this really is a dangerous sport . Managing risks is important .

Anyway- I hope this helps someone, somewhere.
Sorry this post is so long- uggh.
Lesson learned and thankful car not folded up, no one hurt- learn from the dummy.

Re: Lessons Learned on faster cars [Re: RustyM] #3176258
09/19/23 10:54 AM
09/19/23 10:54 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 22,227
Bitopia
J
jcc Offline
If you can't dazzle em with diamonds..
jcc  Offline
If you can't dazzle em with diamonds..
J

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 22,227
Bitopia
You seem to have rather high standards, I'm impressed. up


A sheep spends its entire life worried about wolves, only to eaten by the Shepard in the end.
Re: Lessons Learned on faster cars [Re: jcc] #3176262
09/19/23 11:06 AM
09/19/23 11:06 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,440
Wichita
G
GY3 Offline
master
GY3  Offline
master
G

Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,440
Wichita
They sent us down track at Tulsa a few years ago at a Test and Tune and halfway down track I saw backup lights in my lane!

Granted, it was late at night but I should have at least looked down track before staging.

Dude in a Z06 Corvette had never been down a track before and went off the end into the sand trap and was backing up!

Lesson learned!


'63 Dodge 330
11.19 @ 121 mph
Pump gas, n/a, through the mufflers on street tires with 3.54's. 3,600 lbs.
10.01 @ 133mph with a 250 shot of nitrous an a splash of race gas. 1.36 60 ft. 3,700 lbs.

Re: Lessons Learned on faster cars [Re: RustyM] #3176309
09/19/23 01:28 PM
09/19/23 01:28 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,875
NC
440Jim Offline
I Live Here
440Jim  Offline
I Live Here

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,875
NC
Originally Posted by RustyM
Second mistake: In Nss i have always let the driver line the car up.)
Its was 11;30 pm, been racing since 11am and, we didn't get lined up square , again, i didn't catch it and when car launched it turned hard right from the right hand lane, almost piled car into wall and it happened SO freaking fast and didn't even get my eyes over to it until he was turning away from the wall.
The quicker the car, the faster things happen. And when everything goes nice, no problem. But when something goes wrong, the experienced driver can react better (typically). That is why I recommend to younger racers to get experience with slightly faster cars each year before jumping to 9.99 second (1/4), (6.30 1/8 mile)


1993 Daytona, 5.50 at 130mph (1/8) 1.19 sixty ft (PG). Link to 572 B1 - Part 1
Re: Lessons Learned on faster cars [Re: 440Jim] #3176350
09/19/23 03:40 PM
09/19/23 03:40 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 9,582
MI, usa
dvw Offline
master
dvw  Offline
master

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 9,582
MI, usa
2 weeks ago I was in the semi final at the Buckeye Stock/ Super Stock race at Kil Kare. It was 9;00 and dark. dialed 9.05. Not sure but I think I lined up in the left lane with the right tire not in the groove. Hit the throttle normal wheelie but it headed right for the tree. I immediately lifted. This is not the first time the car has launched crooked. These cars drive great, until they don't. Never know when there will be an unforseen an issue. You have to always be ready.
Doug







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