Sudden Impact Racing Update: 08/25/2004

Sorry about the lack of an update last week, but things have been pretty busy getting ready for the first of our 4-week road trips and I had some E-Mail problems. Now that I have them straighened out and have gotten through the awaiting 4000 messages (95% junk mail), I'm back on track, and we're back on the road.

Right after our almost double at Numidia, we serviced the '67 Camaro and the Dragster, including a 4-wheel brake job in the '67 Camaro after the heartbreak at Numidia and went down to Atco for Tommy Stalba's Super Bucks weekend bracket race. The entry fee was a steep $700 for the weekend, but it was $20,000 to win each day.

I was running my dragster and based on how consistent the '67 was at Delmar when I ran it flat out, Dad decided to enter that car.

On Friday I beat George Tamasi first round in a double breakout, taking .001 stripe, but lost second round when the car picked up another .010 in 60' and ran 7.945 on a 7.97, taking .006 stripe in another double breakout.

Ray lost first round to Troy Williams Jr., accidentally giving the stripe up (it's been a while since he was chased by 28 MPH. - He's usually the one doing the chasing by the much in Super Gas). He bought back, won the buy back round, then broke out by .006, 9.014 on a 9.02, to Claude DeBonis second round.

On Saturday, Ray won first round by running 9.012 on a 9.01, but lost second round to Jeff Strickland when he broke out by .006 again, running 9.004 on a 9.01 dial.

On my time trial in the morning the car ran 7.950 with a 1.172 60' time. For first round the air got about 60 feet worse so I put a 7.95 on there, figuring that it should run about a 7.955. The car picked up .010 in 60', and was on a 7.921. I knocked 12 MPH out of it, going through at 159, but that still put me on a 7.943, giving Kent Hanley the win.

I bought back, won the buyback round, ran dead on with a 0 second round, taking .008 stripe, won third round when Jack Steck Jr. went red, but lost 4th round to Doug Marsters when the car dropped .01 in 60' and ran 7.95 on a 7.92.

On Sunday morning we had no time trials, so we put a 9.01 on the window of the '67 Camaro. Dad used an .017 light and a 9.011 at 152.02 MPH to get the win. In second round, we left the 9.01 on the window and the car ran 9.013 at 151.80 for the win. Dad bowed out in the third round when for the first time all weekend the car fell off in 60' and ran 9.04 on a 9.01.

I lost first round again. I had an .017 light and cut the stripe to .007, which was no match for the .014 package in the lane next to me.

I bought back since Dad was still in anyway, had an easy run in the buyback round when my opponent ran .11 over the dial, and won second round when my better light pushed Karen Benkovich under the dial. Third round I defeated Jack Steck Jr. for the second day in a row, when the car was on a .016 package.

Fourth round I ran a '67 Nova dialed in at 9.79. I was .004 on the tree and on a .012 package, but killed it to a 7.99 on a 7.95 dial at 156 MPH. Fifth round I had to race Bryan Sorce. He had me on the tree a little bit, but I cut the stripe to .006 to run 7.951 on a 7.95 dial for the win.

Sixth round I had to run Tommy Stalba, driving Steve Everett's dragster. After one of the longest trees I've ever seen, we were both late, his .030 to my .041. The bad news continued for me as the car dropped .01 in 60'. I dialed 7.95 and the car was only on a mid 7.97. Tommy caught me and started pedaling so I dumped him hard, thinking that the car was dead on a 7.95 like it had been the previous three rounds, but that wasn't the case and he took the win.

The way the ladder worked out, Tommy had a relatively easy run the next round (would've taken about a .040 package to win it) and then a bye to the final. So close to big money, yet so far away.

So we learned that the '67 Camaro is way more consistent than my dragster is flat out. Excluding the last run of the weekend when the car spun, the '67 had 12 60' times between 1.303 and 1.312, a .009 spread. My dragster, however had 60's between 1.160 and 1.181, an .021 spread. Another thing that we learned about the dragster is that if the car picks up or loses .01 in the first 60 feet, that translates into .03 on the other end. We're not quite sure why, but are thinking that it may be in the converter.

There's something odd about this ATI converter anyway, I ran two cars this weekend that were within .02 of ET and I had 5-6 MPH on both of them, but was .06 slower to 60'. I guess this converter will be good for SC racing though, as it produces big speed. I have that Select converter I'd like to try, but it's just such a pain to change, and all of the racing left this year with the dragster is throttle stop racing anyway.

When we came home from Atco we had to play the car shuffle for E-Town. There's enough room in the shop for all three cars, but only the left bay (the one we unload into) is deep so it requires some shuffling depending on which car configurations we bring with us. Since Dad's car was in the garage, we put that one in the back, unloaded the dragster, put it on wheel dollies, rolled it over to the right bay, took it off the wheel dollies, rolled it outside, unloaded the '67, put it on the wheel dollies, and pushed that over to the right bay, rolled dad's car up and loaded it upstairs, rolled the '67 Camaro back over and took it off the wheel dollies, loaded it up, and pushed the dragster back in the garage. By the time we're done, I'm pretty sure we've had to use the floor jack 8 or 10 times and have to stop for a snack.

We headed down to Englishtown on Wednesday night to park for the Divisional. They let us in Thursday morning and we got parked with the LePages, Kennys, Dorrs, and Krugs. The forecast for the weekend called for lots of rain, with clouds in between and the chance of a hurricane.

We actually got to run on Friday, Super Street getting two runs and Super Gas getting one between the raindrops. I'm pretty sure that we unloaded and loaded those cars at least 6 times over the course of the day. The good news was that we got to clean the cars a whole bunch.

On Saturday the air was completely different. I set the '67 Camaro up for a 10.90 on the time trial and ran 10.835 at 147.36, up a whole MPH from the day before. Since Dad's car doesn't normally pick up as much as mine, I set it up for a 9.925, figuring that would get it close and still ran a 9.826 at 169.30. Eeků Missed that one a little bit.

Super Street had first round on Saturday afternoon. I drew Anthony Caridi in the Heavy Asset Malibu. I was .015 to his .092 on the tree and he just checked out. I waited until he was on the stripe before I dumped and went 10.908 @ 140 (killed 6-7 MPH) to his way under 10.72.

Super Gas didn't get first round until about 3:00 on Sunday afternoon, thanks to a late start due to Hurricane Charley. Dad drew Jim Smulligan in the random pairing; whom he had just beat in the final at Numidia. We were dialing off of that 9.82 run because the air was actually a little bit better than that. Going from 3.2 seconds to 3.36 seconds of throttle stop time, put the car on a 9.92, coupled with Ray's .005 light was good enough to take out Jim for the second straight race.

In my second round, I had to run Judy Perrino. I set up for a low teen light and came up .017. I dialed the car on a hard .90 because of the speed difference (about 20 MPH). The car picked up .017 in 60' from the day before and I was on a high 10.85. I knew that Judy and I were close on the tree, with her being a little bit better, so I tightened it up to .003 stripe and lost a double breakout, 10.862 to 10.877. Judy was .005 on the tree. Normally, if you're teen on the tree and take 3 thou stripe in Super Street the win light should turn on, but, that's how tough Super Street is getting these days.

I got to focus my attention on Dad's car for his second round match up with Oscar Olt. We set the car up on a mid .90, but it lost about .01 in 60' in the heat of the day. The good news with that car is that '60 foot time lost and finish line ET are about 1:1 so it doesn't affect it as drastically as the dragster or '67 Camaro. Oscar must've lost some, too, because a 9.93 was all he had. Dad was able to give it a couple of womps and ran 9.918 at only 166, taking .007 stripe. The car would've been on about a 9.913.

Before we could get third round in of Super Gas the track hit their curfew ending racing for the weekend. So just like last year, we are going to finish the Englishtown Divisional on Friday at Cecil County. The difference being that this year Dad's still in and I'm not. That might be a good thing because, if you remember last year, I got to the final of that race Friday afternoon, but broke a valve in the final.

After coming home from E-Town we took a weekend off and serviced everything. Dad serviced the Motorhome and his car, while I serviced the '67 Camaro and the Dragster. I actually took the dragster all apart and cleaned it, and checked the chassis to make sure that everything was in good shape for the next few weeks.

We're on the way to Cecil County, MD now (Wednesday morning), for the divisional there. There's a lot at stake this weekend, with Ray still in the Englishtown race, and both of us three rounds out of the Jeg's All Stars. Ray is gaining ground in that race, with the leader, Ken Bowers, having lost second round at E-Town. I'm losing ground with the Super Street leader, Steve Feller, still in from Englishtown. We're both going to test on Thursday, and both will be getting some Super Gas data.

Once we finish up at Cecil we'll have to take a dash home Sunday night/Monday morning, unload the '67 Camaro and load the Dragster up, which is currently sitting in the garage on the wheel dollies, all ready to go. After swapping cars, we'll get back on the road, headed towards Indy for the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Nationals. I'll be running in Super Comp there and Ray will be running in Super Gas, his first national this year in Super Gas.

After we leave Indy, which will hopefully be on Monday night, we'll drive home, load the '67 into the Gold Rush trailer, and then take both rigs to Epping, NH for the IHRA North American Nationals. Ray will run Super Rod (9.90) up there, while I'll run the '67 Camaro in Hot Rod (10.90) and the dragster in Quick Rod (8.90).

After Epping, we'll bring both doorcars to Maple Grove for the Keystone's, where we'll both be running in Super Gas. That's why I'll be doing a little 9.90 testing on Thursday at Cecil.

After the Keystones, the schedule is still up in the air, depending on how the All Star points go. If one of us qualifies for that race, then we'll go to Chicago 2 weeks after Reading. If not, then we have a couple of weeks to regroup for the end of the season charge.

Thanks for reading, and I'll try to keep you all updated from the road.