Vitamin C Wins Brandt Nationals
After a 7-year adventure, the Texas Whale was recently finished, and I've been looking for a local event to take it for Test 'n Tune to identify and fix teething issues.
Last Thursday, Dallas tells me that the 2nd Annual Brandt Nationals was going to be held at Lonestar in Sealy on Saturday. The Brandt Nationals is charity Race and Show, benefitting a local organization funding sporting events for kids with Down's Syndrome. We were told that there would be Test and Tune from 10AM to 2PM — and then racing with Indexes of 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, and 8.0. I didn't want to run the Whale in the Index races (which are mostly full electronics/trans brake cars) as I was just wanting to make easy low RPM passes to breaking the motor and make sure I had brakes (I didn't have good enough and need to change the MC), and that nothing fell off. Dallas' black Coronet was too fast for the Indexes, and for that track, but the Demon he ran from 2004 to 2009 and the Vitamin C car can easily be dialed into 7.0 cars, with a little manipulation of added weight. Dallas had never raced the Vitamin C (I run it in NMCA's Points Series), and has always been dead nuts on with the Demon — but the belts had expired on the Demon (which is For Sale) — so he decided to try the Vitamin C.
We arrived at the track at 11:30. They'd changed the schedule — and were starting Qualifying. I made a pair of qualifying runs in the Whale, and all was well except that the brakes weren't doing their job (Master Cylinder too small), plus I pissed off the track by making a full 1/4 mile pass (they'd only prepped for an 1/8) and going too fast — so we trailered the wagon satisfied that it would be ready for the race in Dallas 5/14.
Our cars are set up to run Nostalgia Super Stock and our rules do not allow trans-brakes, electronics, no air-shifters, and we run on skinny 10.5W slicks. We also run a Sportsman Tree — and frankly neither of us have ever run a Pro-Tree in competition. The cars in Dallas' index were mostly fat slick, trans-brake, electronics cars with delay boxes — and the Tree was a Pro-Tree. It put Dallas at a big disadvantage. We slow the cars down to the index by adding and subtracting loose weight in the weight box (and permanent weight bolted to the frame) as opposed to setting a delay in a delay box. We first unbolted 150 pounds from the frame — as Dallas weighs 150 pounds less than me. We then adjusted the loose weight in the weight box in 10 pound increments to have the car run as close to 7.01 as we could. All rounds were 7.018 to 7.042.
In the first round, Dallas treed a pretty blue 65 Plymouth. They both ran a 7.03 but Dallas had a better reaction time.
In the second round — Dallas again had a reaction time win over a very strange electric car. Yup, a 7.0 Pontiac Fiero with batteries in the trunk instead of a motor. It was built by an electrical engineer.
The Semi-Final round had him bettering a Nova, and the Final round had him bettering a Trans AM. He did an excellent job, especially considering the disadvantage of a strange (to him) car, a Pro-Tree, and no electronics (his footbraking against their transbrakes). He won a 4' trophy and a 5-day trip to Cancun.