March 2013 Sponsor Report
NMCA’s First Points Series Race – Bradenton, Fl
or how some events you’re the pigeon, and some events you’re the statue
Dave Schultz in the Texas Whale – Dallas Schultz in the Big Red Ram
March 26, 2013 – Dave Schultz
Bradenton, Florida is the first NMCA six Point’s Races for 2013. Not only is it a long haul for us Texans — but for some reason weird stuff always happens when we go to this race. Last year it was the Generator of the coach going out as soon as we pulled in. In other year’s past we’ve had the rig stuck in the sandy pits; a blown engine, events held over to Monday, and one year a farmer was plowing at the top of the track in a 45mph headwind — creating dunes on the track. The Tampa area being the Tampa area — means daily rain.
First a quick recap of 2012. Dallas was in the Top 10, and I was in the lead for the Championship going into the final Points (Double Points) race at Indy in October. I lost the Championship by one round, when I didn’t cut a good enough light against 00-Joe at 2AM. I did manage to win a NHRA Wally in Houston in November, and was chosen by fellow NMCA racers as “Ambassador of the Year” at the PRI convention in December.
During the winter of 2011, we’d spent $50,000 making Big Red Ram ready for Dallas – so it was good to go for 2013 with very little work required. The winter of 2012 was time to make the Texas Whale right. It’s engine was pulled for the team’s spare and the Coronet’s previous engine was freshened and modified for the Whale. The car also received shocks all of the way around, a new converter, new custom headers, a gear change from 4.68 to 4.34. There were also some 4-link and other upgrades made.
A lot of work was performed on the Whale over the winter
We never got a chance to T&T the car before the race — just make two light passes at a local track to ensure all of the changes held together. Wound up getting a front flat that couldn’t be repaired. New tires were ordered and mounted just before loading up for Bradenton.
On Tuesday March 19th we loaded the rig with the cars, parts, and supplies to last a week away from home. Just as we were to knock off for the day a leak was discovered in the air tank that supplies the stacker’s air bags. Dallas got it slowed down to 1 pound a minute without air from the truck — but maintaining the proper air when the truck was running. There was no way to get a replacement tank quickly.
We left at 6AM and were to meet our Pit Buddy Doug Duell at a Walmart in Lake City, Fl for the night; then we’d leave at 8AM to convoy the last 225 miles to Bradenton. However, while running at about 70 on I-10 in the Panhandle, I saw a cloud of black smoke explode in my right mirror and the trailer starting to jacknife to the right. I got her straighten and stopped on the the narrow right shoulder.
Blew two relatively new G-Rated tires. 3 hours and $250 lighter we got back on the road
I put new 6 new trailer tires on every other year at the cost of over $2500, and we always have 110 pounds in the tires before we leave home. So after consulting Google and making some phone calls, I found a tire service willing to come out and put my two spares on the trailer. Three hours and $250 lighter to Mountain Man’s twin brother, the spares were on the trailer, and a cheap (wrong size and wrong rating — but only available) spare was mounted on my 7th rim. We got to the Walmart at 1AM — and caught 5 hours sleep.
In the morning all showered up and ready to go — we see that one of the tires on the other side had lost its entire tread. Fortunately there was a truck tire place fairly close by that had 6 new G-Rated 235/80-16 14-ply trailer tires of a different brand than Goodyear — who I’ve lost all patience with. Doug left for the track to get a decent pit for both rigs and we headed to the tire dealer.
another couple of hours and couple thousand dollars and we again were on the road
As we got back on the road — Doug called to say that I-75 was at a standstill because of a truck fire. So we plot a scenic route, which is always interesting for a 82′ rig, and head to the track the long way. We get to the track at 2; had the pit set up, established credentials and teched the cars by 4; and headed to the lanes before they closed them at 5.
quick pit set up then head to the lanes for a TT before they Closed. First pass had a perfect light.
First pass off the trailer I cut a .000 light and ran the fastest pass that car had ever made. I made three TT passes with a .000 light, -.002 light, and .011 light. I wanted to run the 9.50 Index, but the wind was picking up to where we had to take down all the banners and awnings, and the air was getting bad. Friday was bad, but it got worse Saturday, and even worst Sunday — where the head/cross wind was 40mph. To make a long story short — I declared for the 9.75 index and qualified 6th of the 12 racers entered in the NSS Class. Dallas did better with a #3 Qualifying. I was chopping down the tree in Qualifying with a .014, -.011, and .020 lights.
Dallas and I both won our first rounds, as did Duell, Camp, Sanders, and Stansbury. The bad news was Dallas and I were on the bad side of the ladder and had to meet each other in the next round. I had both cars tuned (with weight using the Chew Chief 7 Predictor) to dead on, so that we would leave it to our lights. Dallas had also been having good lights. However, I screwed up and went -.008 red at the same time Dallas was napping a little.
Father and son show down. Father goes .008 Red!
The other winners were Duell, who would get the bye in the next round; and Camp — who’d go up against Dallas. Dallas had a better light than Barry — but took too much of the stripe in a Double-breakout — putting Barry in the finals against Doug. Doug won the event in a close race.
I’d like to take a minute to thank Randy at Royal Purple, Sam at TTI Exhaust, and Don at Crew Chief for sponsoring us with their best of class products — and promise them we’ll do better in Atlanta.
I’d also like to thank new sponsor Brian at Fuelabs; for sponsoring us with the the fuels pumps, filters and regulators that champions like Doug Duell and Andy Warren have on their cars.