NHRA Hot Rod Reunion 2012
Dave Schultz – June 20, 2012
This is leg #2 of our 2-week racing "adventure". Leg #1 was the NMCA Points Race in Maryland, and documented at: http://www.texaswhaleracing.com/2012/06/nmca-maryland-2012/
After the little adventure of blowing Big Red Ram's engine in Maryland, driving all Sunday night to Evansville, IN to pull the engine Monday, and then running it up to Indianapolis to be torn down and inspected on Tuesday — we got up at 5AM Wednesday to dump the waste tanks, refuel, and fill the fresh water — then head on to Bowling Green. When we arrived at the track, the space saved for us was a little too small for our rig — so we pitted all of the way down track on the hill by the river. Nice and quiet — when the gas generator 10' from our front door wasn't running.
Doug Duell loaned Dallas the use of his Barracuda for the NSS race, and I was running the Whale. We had the pits set up and the cars teched in by 3PM, and since there was no racing Wednesday — we strolled around the pits taking photos of the cars that had so far arrived. The below are a couple of them, but you can see over 50 photos I took of the race cars at: http://www.nssracing.com/forums/showthread.php?793-The-Pits-Hot-Rod-Reunion-2012
Thursday NSS was given two time trial runs. There are so many race cars at this event that you don't get in a lot of racing personally — but it is such a kool event that it is OK to be a part time racer and full time spectator. Our first run was at 11:10AM. I don't run any weight in the box for the first Time Trial (although I did have 100 pounds bolted on) so I can get a base line for the weather station. I was way too fast (as expected) for the first pass on the C/FX index, but too slow to be able to run B/FX (even calculating for the weight unbolted). Dallas was expecting to run B/NSS in Doug's Barracuda, but the car ran a 10.04 — the fastest it has ever gone — so Doug and he decided to run the car in the A/NSS index. We were told the second pass would be at 3:30PM. We were in the motorhome taking a breather when at about 1:30 we came out to get a bag of ice. When we saw all of the Missouri Bunch's NSS cars were missing, we ran back and jumped into our suits and scrambled to the lanes — being the last NSS cars down the track. I didn't have a chance to check the weather station and add appropriate weight (We barely had time to check tire pressure in the lanes), so I ran the car out the back door so I'd have a good run to enter into Crew Chief and adjust for the weather on the next run. I was even faster than in the morning. Dallas ran a 10.02.
With racing done for the day (there was a rumor that we might get a third pass that kept the beer light off for a couple of hours — but too many cleanups quickly put an end to that) we cruised show field. The below are a couple of photos I took of that little cruise — but the 50+ photos can be found at: http://www.moparstyle.com/forums/general-mopar-topics-non-technical/19000-hot-rod-reunion-show-field-photos.html
Friday was Qualifying Day. By now 32 NSS cars had shown up. All cars appeared to run slower in the mornings and you couldn't really use afternoon weather station runs for morning predictions or Visa-Versa. I was a little slow in the first round of qualifying, and too fast in the second round. Dallas' best was a 10.03.
Naturally, I Qualified #17 — and had to take on the Number 1 Qualifier. (Note to self when you don't get points — the #32 Qualifier gets the #16 — while the #17 gets the #1!). Doug Duell was #1 with a 9.501.
Friday night DW Hopkins had a little soiree in his pits for the NSS racers with Pork roast, chips, salad, beans,… and a good time was had by all, and too good of a time by a few.
Saturday was eliminations. The below is a video of the first round for NSS, but if you can't view it — then go to the Live at thread on the forums to view it. Bob Moser's son gets credit for putting the video together. This is a good time to point out that before each event — we start a Live At thread for the event — where those with smart phones and computers at the track keep the rest up to date with what is happening "Real Time".
Dallas missed a shift (isn't use to pulling the trigger after 1st to 2nd) and ran a too slow 10.12 against Mitzi. I'd set my car up to run a 9.70 and the plan was to just put a fender on Doug. My crappy light beat Doug's even crappier light — but I gave him the race by taking far too much stripe than I needed (I thought I slowed enough) by misjudging his speed vs. mine, and so my 9.74 was a break out.
We packed up and pulled out of the track on noon Saturday (not very easy with a 80' rig when the track is so crowded) — hoping to drive all night and get home by 3AM. I drove until 1AM — getting caught up in three major traffic jams while Dallas slept, and then Dallas finished the last leg getting us to the shop at 5AM Sunday. We had the motorhome unloaded and were home at 7AM.
Back at the track, Doug was keeping us up to date. Clay Kossuth took out Doug in the second round with a .017 light, and marched through the rest of the rounds for a late night event win. I would have liked to stay around to watch his win — but we'd been on the road for two weeks and the wife and youngest daughter wanted to get home; and my other two daughters wanted to celebrate my 57th birthday and Father's Day Sunday. I understand Clay was on his game for every round and the Schultz Family offer our congratulations.
The next race will be at Route 66 in Joliet, IL in three weeks, and we'll need to arrange to get up to Indiana in time to pick up the engine, install it, swap Doug's Barracuda, and get to Joliet in time for the race. Doug has offered to get the engine, he and Mat install it — and test at the local track if the engine is finished in time. That would sure be a major plus if it can happen.
Thus concludes part two of Dave & Dallas' Excellent Racing Adventure.