End of the Year Sponsor Report
or How Dave Schultz missed the championship by <1 round
October 16, 2012 – Dave Schultz
Monday the 8th the rig was loaded up for the week long trip to Indy for the Nats, and Tuesday we were off. At the time we'd left Dave was #1 in points, and Dallas was #5 prior to drops and bonuses. When adjusted for drops and bonuses, there was less than a 20 point difference from #1 and #4 in the points — and all of the Top 10 were expected since this was a "Double Points" (200 points per round of eliminations).
We pulled in for the night at Doug Duell's Kia dealership at 1am, so Matt Wright from RBC Racecraft could look over and we could discuss updates to the Whale over the winter. We had intended to leave at noon to get some T&T in at Indy, but a cold front came in and we left at 3PM following Doug. We arrived at the track's staging area at about 9PM, and spent a chilly (31 degrees) night. Thursday we got onto the track at about 11AM, set up our pits, established credentials, teched in the cars, and put them away for the night.
Friday we bought new slicks for the Whale and swapped carbs on the Big Red Ram prior to our first time trials. Both cars were about .150 too fast in the cold weather, and both were starving at the top end. We fattened up the front jets from 113 to 116 on both cars and ran our second time trial. Bother cars were a hair faster yet — but we had base runs for the 1st round of qualifying. We added the appropriate weight to run our indexes (C/FX for the Whale and B/FX for Big Red Ram), and ran our 1St Qualifying in the early evening. Dallas was a hair too fast (as were 13 of the 20 cars) in Qualifying, and Dave ran a 9.758 — putting him as the number 1 Qualifier after 1 round.
Saturday we got the word that there would be no racing Sunday because of rain/hail in the forecast and that they'd cut the number of qualifying runs to one more (two total); and run as many eliminations rounds as they could. Another car showed making a total of 21. Dave wasn't able to improve his time — and got bumped to 3rd in Qualifying when Moss and a new guy (Larry in Doug Duell's Barracuda) had a .003 and .007 bumping his .008 out of #1. Worst yet was Dallas was #13 — making him have to run Dave in the First round. Points were recalculated with throwing out the two worst events, bonuses, and qualifying; and Dave was #1, Doug Duell and Jim Netherland were tied 30 points behind, and Kurt Neighbors was in fourth (10 points behind that). This has to be the closest NMCA Championship prior to eliminations.
The below is what NMCA posted on their site:
If this year is anything like last year, we can expect one of the largest fields of Indy Cylinder Head Nostalgia Super Stock cars. In 2011 39 NSS cars made the tow the Lucas Oil Raceway as Kurt Neighbor and Doug Duell battled for the class championship with Neighbor winning the title in his harrowing final round win/accident with DW Hopkins.
This year, there are six drivers in contention for the title, which once again includes Neighbor and Duell. Dave Schultz leads the points followed by Neighbor and Duell. Jim Netherland is fourth, Dallas Schultz is fifth, followed by Doug Poskevich. Although Netherland, Dallas Schultz and Poskevich have a mathematical shot at the title, it more than likely will be decided between the top the three.
There were plenty of oil downs, bracket racers, and other drama until the rain came down at about 6PM. At 10PM they reopened the track and announced that they'd run the whole event until morning. At midnight Dave ran Dallas and won a super close race on a Hole Shot. Both cars had every extra ounce of weight taken out as the weather had taken a turn for the worse. No one can accuse the Schultzes of "Team Orders". Doug Duell's car couldn't run close enough to the number in the humidity, Kurt Neighbors benefitted from his opponent's red light, and Jim Netherland had a Broke Bye pass.
The second round was ran at 2:10AM. Dave did a 9.758 to Double-O Ewing's 10.503 — with 00 having a better light. Dave was out. Kurt Neighbors had a Bye, and Jim Netherland won against Mike Moss. This pushed Dave to no better than 3rd in points. The Third Round was run at 3AM and both Jim and Kurt lost — giving the Championship to Jim, and giving Dave the reality that he'd missed the Championship by one round. The Semis had 00 Joe having a bye, and Jeff Millward losing to Jeff in the Black Thunderbolt. The finals ran at about 4:30-5AM — and Double O broke out and Jeff won the Wally.
We loaded up and hit the rack at 6:30AM, left for home at 10AM, getting to just west of Memphis at 7:30 for the Texan game (another Heart Break!). Up at 4:30 and on the road by 5:30, to the shop at 3:00, and unloaded by 4:00PM.
We would like to thank our sponsors, especially Randy at Royal Purple and Sam at TTI Exhaust. We sure hope to add a couple more (need a balancer, torque converter, rollerized foot-brake transmission, fuel system, race prepped AFB carbs, engine, etc that we'd do product sponsors right (banners on site, in pits, on car,…) on. We'll be at PRI at the end 11/29-12/1 to discuss with those interested. A sponsor package can be found on the MoparStyle Racing Web Site — in the Site menu.
We gave a lot of thought on if we'd run the NMCA Series again (have not missed a race since 2007) — or to try the Victory Series. Both are about the same mileage, and both have good friends of ours running — but we came so close to a Championship that we're going to go for it again in 2013. My understanding (worst kept rumor in the pits – even through they don't announce until PRI) is that they have six races next year:
Bowling Green, KY
Additionally, we intend to run the Mopars at the Plex (which Dave won in 2012), the NHRA Hot Rod Reunion, maybe a Monster, and NMCA's Lone Star Shootout — which we'll also be racing in the non-points NSS race next month.