Indy Recap

Indy 2011 Recap

 

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We’d left on Monday (the 3rd) in the evening, and drove to Doug Duell’s dealership in Evansville, IN. We’d dropped the Whale off on the way back from Milan to fix a transmission issue, new convertor, fix the brakes, and some other issues. Also dropped off a chunk that use to be in the red Coronet some years ago, and had some 4.57 gears dropped shipped to the shop — as I felt like the 4.88 gears in the car right now are too steep. So we picked up the Whale and dropped off Big Red Ram to convert to an automatic for Dallas to start running.

 

We left Doug’s shop at about noon Wednesday, and drove to Indy as they had a test and tune Wednesday night. At the track for the first T&T, the first pass had me launching at 2500 on the new convertor — and shifting at 7400 to 2nd, and 6800 to third. The car did an unimpressive 9.84 with an equally unimpressive 1.44 60′. While the slicks only had 10 passes on them, they were getting old — and had cracking on the sidewalls — so I thought that might be part of the issue. I’d contacted Mickey Thompson, and arranged for them to bring some 33X10.5Ws when they came to the track.

 

For the second pass I was in the Left lane, the car felt like it broke something (I thought the ring gear) on the launch, and turned a hard left towards the wall. I kept it off the wall and backed it up the track prep entrance. Nothing was clanking or grumbling — so it didn’t sound like a ring gear. Doug (who had lined me up) said I’d dropped a ton of sand (from when the car was sand blasted) at the line on the left and I’d run over it — and he suspected that to be the problem. I didn’t feel so sure about that as it really felt like something had broke. As I’m pulling onto the return road the steering felt screwed up on the sweeping turn — and then was alright for the rest of the way back to my pit. I was starting to wonder if I was imagining things. In the pits we jacked the rear off the ground and found the right wheel turned in Park — while the left didn’t. Called Matt at Racecraft to see what he thought — and he indicated that the chunk I gave him to put the new gears on had an aluminum spool. Frankly I hadn’t opened the box with the chunk since it was pulled from the Coronet in favor of a 4.34 gear — and didn’t realize it had an aluminum spool. We were getting kicked off the track for the night — so we loaded the cars, and got in line outside the track.

 

The track opened at about noon on Thursday for the NMCA event, and after Dallas, Doug and Jimmy Ray teched their cars in — they all pitched in to help tear mine apart. As expected, the splines on the right side of the spool were ripped out.

 

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All of the splines on the right side ripped out

 

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It is good to have friends that know what they’re doing

 

By 4PM the car was reassembled with the 4.88 geared chuck I’d had been running, and Kevin Gass had run to the autoparts store to get 4 quarts of Royal Purple gear lube. Mickey Thompson pulled onto the track at 5PM and mounted the new slicks while we had dinner. By 7PM, we were ready to put the car on the trailer.

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All Fixed and ready to be put away for the night

 

We were parked right next to the gate, and despite the track being full Thursday — there was still a long line waiting there Friday morning. NMCA was overwhelmed when double the cars expected showed. They had to print up some paper tech cards, tickets, and qualifying stubs. A couple of hours later the Fire Marshall came and NMCA had run out of room — so they moved back the ticket shack back a 1/2 mile and started parking cars on the circle track. The track was pretty clogged up all weekend long.

 

Back to my pits, I teched my car at 8AM Friday, and got in line for my first Time Trial. I ran another uninspired 9.8 with an equally uninspired 60′ with the steeper gears and new slicks. I had lowered my shift points to 7000/7000, and rejetted the carbs to 113 square. For my second (and last) TT, my brakes didn’t hold for the burnout, and crept deep stage on the launch. I was only able to launch at 2000 RPM instead of 2500 — but the time slip showed a 60′ better by .050. Obviously my car liked 2000 better than 2500. I went and changed my Index to C/FX before Qualifying started. We ran a round of Qualifying on Friday night — and I was a slow 9.80.

 

For Saturday morning, I pulled the passenger seat (33 pounds) out of the car, and at 11:45AM I ran my second round of Qualifying. I ran over 1/10 too fast — at a 9.61@141. For the last round of qualifying — I put the seat back in and added 98 pounds in the previously empty weight box. Due to a lot of "Stupid People Tricks" from the LSX drivers (leaving radiator cap off car and hitting wall, oiling down the whole track after blowing an engine, and other tricks from the Chevy guys — we didn’t get to run the final Qualifying until near midnight. My car was 1/10 too slow now — and I was perplexed. When I got back to the pits — I was told that Dallas had been pushed back — so I went after him to tow back. Turns out his car was dripping water from the water pump. We jacked the engine up. removed the elephant ears, and spent half the night fixing the corrosion on the aluminum elephant ears (from being attached to an iron block for the last 8 years) and replaced the four water pump gaskets.

 

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Good Times at 2AM

 

At 2AM, when we were putting my car on the trailer, we heard a faint hissing we couldn’t identify. At 7AM Sunday morning, I took my car for a warmup drive while we waited for the weather to get a little warmer before filling Dallas’ car with water. We couldn’t hear the hiss — so the attention was focused on Dallas’ car. First round of Elimination came early. Dallas got caught sleeping at the tree and was out. I had an .016 RT — but the car backfired about 60′ out. Fortunately, Gary had red lit to give me the win — so I didn’t have to run the car hard. I slowly drove it back to the pits – initially thinking like it was a carb issue. In the pits there was a nasty sound coming from  left header. After pulling the valve covers — we found the rockers and pushrods looked OK, but the the #5 exhaust rocker was .020 too loose. They hot lapped us to the second round — and so we put the car on the trailer as we suspect (will confirm this afternoon) and bent valve.

 

In NSS, Kurt Neighbor came to the event in first for the points, Doug Duell right behind him in second, and technically Steve Wilson, Barry Camp and Doug Poskevitch also had a chance for the Championship since this was a double points race. Duell’s car broke a ring gear in the 2nd round of qualifying — and 00-Joe Ewing pulled out of the event to let Doug qualifying and run his 63 Dodge. Duell, Poskevitch, Wilson won their first round. I was to go up against Whompin Wedge — but was out. It was a shame as Johnson also couldn’t make the call, and the third round would have been a Bye.

 

In the Second Round DW Hopkins took out Duell — putting Hopkins as technically having a chance if he were to go all of the way — and Neighbors, Wilson, and Poskivitch dying in the next round. Neighbors and Poskevitch won their second round — but Fred Rader took out Wilson. Fast forward to the Semis — it was DW Hopkins taking out Jim Netherland — and Neighbors getting the Bye. NMCA reports that in the finals between DW and Kurt — that Kurt treed DW and as he was crossing the line for a win, DW hit the brakes too hard and crossing the centerline. He and Kurt got together at 135MPH, and Kurt then hit the wall. While the report is that Kurt is OK — his car is reportedly not. I was on the road and didn’t see that the final — so my information is third party from the NMCA site.

 

So Kurt has the bitter-sweet Win of the event and the Championship — but a wrecked car.

 

By my count, the rest of the Top 10 include DW, Wilson, Poskevitch, and Duell in the Top half; and Dallas, Camp, Young, Sanders, and I in the bottom half. It was a terrible year for me. I only lost two rounds (-.002 RT in Atlanta and giving Donnie Wilson the .004 win in Bowling Green), but couldn’t get to the line for five of the seven races in two different cars for strange issues. We’ll get that fixed for next year.

 

The below is the Eliminations Rounds. There were 39 cars qualifying.

 

Round: E6

Lane Name Number Dial In R/T ET MPH
L KURT NEIGHBOR 7050 0.00 .043 9.326 136.23 W
R DW HOPKINS 7899 0.00 .097 9.472 135.82

Round: E5

Lane Name Number Dial In R/T ET MPH
L JIM NETHERLAND 7012 0.00 -.008 10.459 126.82
R DW HOPKINS 7899 0.00 .003 9.444 141.56 W

L KURT NEIGHBOR 7050 0.00 1.518 12.052 0.00 W
R  BYE

Round: E4

Lane Name Number Dial In R/T ET MPH
L KURT NEIGHBOR 7050 0.00 .024 9.297 144.74 W
R TD Holland 7600 0.00 .029 10.390 119.43

L BYE
R JIM NETHERLAND 7012 0.00 -.042 10.491 126.76 W

L  BYE
R DW HOPKINS 7899 0.00 .021 9.521 141.36 W

Round: E3

Lane Name Number Dial In R/T ET MPH
L KURT NEIGHBOR 7050 0.00 .016 9.267 140.52 W
R DONNIE WILSON 7700 0.00 .022 10.522 126.62

L DOUG POSKEVICH 7025 0.00 .151 11.998 112.06
R TD Holland 7600 0.00 .010 10.628 109.33 W

L JIM NETHERLAND 7012 0.00 .040 10.463 125.73 W
R FRED RADER 7943 0.00 .105 10.441 124.36

L DW HOPKINS 7899 0.00 .000 9.544 143.69 W
R BYE

Round: E2

Lane Name Number Dial In R/T ET MPH
L Michael Sanders 7014 0.00 .108 9.444 142.67
R TD Holland 7600 0.00 .058 10.695 124.34 W

L BILL WHITE 7251 0.00 -.102 8.783 153.32
R DONNIE WILSON 7700 0.00 .004 10.504 126.93 W

L BOB DURLING 7274 0.00 .073 11.037 121.13 W
R REES SMITH 7817 0.00 .087 11.028 117.44

L JEFF MILLWARD 7270 0.00 -.023 9.764 137.82
R KURT NEIGHBOR 7050 0.00 -.032 9.242 144.66 W

L STEVE WILSON 7092 0.00 .087 10.976 119.73
R FRED RADER 7943 0.00 .029 10.552 126.91 W

L DOUG POSKEVICH 7025 0.00 .099 11.949 112.22 W
R MICK ALLES 7410 0.00 .061 10.923 120.64

L JIM NETHERLAND 7012 0.00 .029 10.510 124.68 W
R AL CORDA 7440 0.00 .101 9.945 134.90

L DOUG DUELL 1 0.00 .039 10.472 120.96
R DW HOPKINS 7899 0.00 .023 9.553 141.30 W

Round: E1

Lane Name Number Dial In R/T ET MPH
L DAVID MUNSTERMAN 7068 0.00 .294 10.048 134.36
R REES SMITH 7817 0.00 .002 11.079 108.27 W

L BOB DURLING 7274 0.00 .091 11.216 120.32 W
R GREGG FRANZINO 7122 0.00 -.006 9.400 127.74

L DOUG DUELL 1 0.00 .061 10.548 112.76 W
R MIKE ROSSITER 7311 0.00 -.042 8.957 150.00

L Steven Young 7130 0.00 .061 11.478 109.79
R DONNIE WILSON 7700 0.00 .083 10.530 126.59 W

L Michael Sanders 7014 0.00 .184 9.255 143.31 W
R JEFF FREES 7691 0.00 .118 9.736 136.26

L JEFF MILLWARD 7270 0.00 .080 9.774 135.97 W
R ROY DEAN 7249 0.00 .078 12.472 100.04

L JERRY GODDARD 7007 0.00 .075 10.245 131.00 W
R BARRY CAMP 7770 0.00 .081 9.234 140.80

L ROBERT MOSHER 7556 0.00 -.014 10.940 123.56
R CASEY FAUSS-JOHNSON 7004 0.00 .079 9.658 138.57 W

L STEVE WILSON 7092 0.00 .064 11.069 106.85 W
R DALLAS SCHULTZ 7602 0.00 .209 10.130 114.74

L JIMMY RAY 7572 0.00 .010 11.043 121.66
R KURT NEIGHBOR 7050 0.00 .008 9.265 129.00 W

L DOUG POSKEVICH 7025 0.00 .072 12.029 109.47 W
R MIKE MOSS 7066 0.00 .090 10.051 134.30

L GARY BEEMER 7421 0.00 -.048 12.211 90.89
R Dave Schultz 7601 0.00 .016 12.823 70.27 W

L SCOTT BOURRELL 7425 0.00 .042 11.181 115.98
R DW HOPKINS 7899 0.00 .057 9.545 127.82 W

L JIM NETHERLAND 7012 0.00 .051 10.514 123.15 W
R Tim Frees 7963 0.00 .047 11.047 117.08

L AL CORDA 7440 0.00 .038 10.251 110.81 W
R DAN KUENSTER 7667 0.00 .287 11.524 112.51

L CHARLIE KUENSTER 7042 0.00 0.000 0.00
R TD Holland 7600 0.00 .008 10.425 120.28 W

L  BYE
R FRED RADER 7943 0.00 .038 10.519 126.98 W

L SKIP KOESTER 7022 0.00 0.000 0.00
R BILL WHITE 7251 0.00 .008 8.771 153.18 W

L Martin Bertagnoli 7300 0.00 0.000 0.00
R MICK ALLES 7410 0.00 .113 11.024 122.33 W

 

Please check with the forums as we have a race in Houston, the PRI is coming up in December, we need to vote for our NSS drivers for the Awards by 10/17, and there are some other important issues being discussed. www.nssracing.com/forums. Also, please don’t forget that the 2013 NSS Wall Calendars are ready for purchase.

 

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