Texas Whale Wins Mega Mopar Action’s Mopars on the Motorplex in Dallas.
May 19, 2012
Since we have a NMCA Points Race race in Maryland in two weeks, and then NHRA’s Hot Rod Reunion in Bowling Green on the way home the weekend after, we thought it would be pushing it to run at the Mopars at the Motorplex — which is part of the Mega Mopar Actions (Mopar Action Magazine) series. However, we’d broke the Texas Whale at the race in Atlanta last month, and only finished getting the car ready — so this was a good opportunity to test the car and have a competition practice. As a matter of fact — on Friday at noon the Whale’s transmission was still sitting on the shop floor, and we didn’t finish getting the car together and loaded until 5:30. Dallas and I ran to our respective homes and took quick showers, then drove the 250 miles to the track — getting there at 11:30PM.
We’d also brought the Vitamin C along, as it had a new motor we wanted to test.
The only time trial came at about 10:30AM and the Whale did a 9.78 on the 9.75 Index I wanted to run. I removed 40 pounds for the first qualifying run. While the motor in the Vitamin C sounded strong, there was a knocking in the trans tunnel. Further inspection found the drive-shaft banging the loop, because a heli-coil in the tranny’s tail-shaft crapped out. We trailered it so we could fix right back at the shop, and without doing further damage.
My first round of qualifying had the weather improve and I broke out with a 9.73. I added a little weight for the second qualifying round, but I did a 9.64 as the weather had made a real big change by then. I added 70 pounds for Eliminations. The two breakouts put me at the bottom of the qualifying list, and having to take the Top qualifier since it was a Pro Ladder being used.
My first round was against a 67 Dodge RT, who was a local guy. He was a 13.50 car — and I have a terrible time with waiting that long. I have red lit the last two times I have had to run a car that I had to wait 3 seconds or longer. I don’t see them often in NMCA — but they were sure here for this event.
He’s a local guy who I’d never raced, and when I asked about him I was told he’s always dead on (pretty easy to do with a 13.5 car) and killer on the tree. I managed to wait for him but was real surprised that I’d run him down at the 1000′ and passed him like he was standing still. I got on the binders enough to slow down without locking up the tires, and I still put way too much on him even though I’d taken so much MPH off. I usually 139-140 on the mph and did a 111. It turns out he had badly fallen asleep with a .234 RT.
The next three rounds I had three 63 Plymouths — all local guys. In the Quarters I had to again wait as I was running a 12.5 car. My opponent went .006 Red and so I ran the car out to see if I had the right weight, especially since in the previous round I was on the binders and wasn’t sure what the car would run. I ran a 9.78, so I took out 40 pounds.
In the Semis I had to run Tony in a 11.50 car (I’d brought the fastest NSS car to the event), who had won the Wally in Houston. He’s very tough. He and I waited all suited up and helmet on for 20 minutes as the red car who was suppose to have a bye hadn’t shown. There was drama (Click here for the story) with him the run before too. They called him three times — must be nice to be a local favorite. They were just about to run Tony and I for the Finals — and then the red car shows up — but without his helmet and jacket. So they let him go back and get them. Again, it must be nice to be a local favorite as this guy was given a break in every pass he made.
Tony and I had a close race with a little braking going on at the top — but I put a fender on him and won the round. We had been told to come right back for a hot lap finals. I don’t run an alternator and my car needs about 20 minutes with the water pump and fan to get it to where I want it so I wasn’t happy — but I did go right back. My opponent did not. I sat in the lanes suited up with helmet on for 20 minutes after every other class had finished (I’m the only one in the lanes) as they page the red car again and again. He finally shows and we move up. I do my burnout and move up to prestage — but had to wait another 5 minutes for this guy to do his burnout. Did I mention it must be nice to be the local favorite?
I was .001 better on the RT and put a bumper on him crossing the line to win by just 34/10,000 second. In fact I’d given him more stripe than I should have, and wasn’t sure if I’d won until I got the slip.
I felt it was a pretty good win, which I had to earn (with the exception of one .006 Red light from a competitor) — as I had to race hard the others. Well worth the thrashing to get ready, and the 550 mile round trip.