Dave Schultz – June 2, 2014In my opinion, the Dave Duell Classic is the biggest and bestist NSS race of the year. I’ve only missed one (including the years before it was renamed the DDC) since 2003 — and that was because I was third in the 2008 points race, with Atlanta scheduled for the same weekend. The race was obviously named after Dave Duell (in 2006, after he’d died the year before). Dave was most likely the biggest promoter of the NSS class.
The trip to the track in St. Louis was fortunately uneventful. We left at 9AM on Wednesday and arrived at noon Thursday to set up pits, establish credentials, and tech the cars in. I was relegated to the backup car (Vitamin C) again, as the Wagon’s new motor (using milled 572 heads) had the #2 & #7 tubes of the custom headers touching the torsion bars — and not enough time to get it fixed. The wagon is now at the Chassis shop in Indiana — and will hopefully be ready by the race in Joliet.
The Big Red Ram that Dallas drives had a brand new engine in it. It made 906hp on the Dyno, which was about 10hp more than the previous motor. However it didn’t really translate well to the track for some unknown reason. The weather was bad for race motors and many of the 62 drivers ran an index slower than usual. Off the trailer, the car ran a high 9.6 — which isn’t good if you’re running the 9.50 Index. With tuning and we once got it into the 9.4s without weight — but Dallas was going to have to depend on treeing the competition to win rounds.
The Vitamin C ran a 11.006 (on a 11.00 Index) off the trailer in the first time trial — but that was without weight so it wasn’t going to be enough. That car hasn’t run as well as it use to — prior to having to replace the block and pistons. I use to have to add 200+ pounds of weight — but not anymore. There was no more to be found on this car.
Friday was qualifying. Dallas was 21 and I was 20 of 62 in qualifying. I was less than 1 round out of first and wanted to qualify high, but the competition was extra tough. 6/1000 of a second off your index only got me 20th. Saturday started Class Eliminations, where cars run only cars in their index. Dallas was in the 2nd largest (of 8) index and I was in the third. Dallas had won the FX class (and the $1000 purse) the previous two years, and I’d won in three different indexes in past years — but it wasn’t to happen for either of us this year.
Sunday was the Big Show. The air was horrible and the weather station said that neither of our cars would be running the number — so we were going to have to depend on our reaction times, which had actually been pretty good for the both of us thus far. We took the 2nd battery and passenger seat (75 pounds) out of Dallas’ car. Dallas and I both won our first rounds because of good lights. As a further bonus to me, Jim Netherland took out 00-Joe Ewing (who was less than one round ahead of me in 1st) with a .000 light. In the second round I had Jim Netherland, and I think Dallas had Doug Duell — tough rounds for the both of us. I had a .043 light to Jim’s .053 — and it was enough for me to get a .002 win in a very close match. Dallas wasn’t so lucky. This had me now in first place by a little more than a round.
For the third round, I had Tom Hoffman. The weather station said I was going to be too slow by .010 so I took out the second battery — but I would still have to have a half a tenth better light to have any chance. Tom was on his game with a .009 light — and I was out.
Barry Dorn had been in third place — but his winning five rounds and Runnering Up has him leaping in front of me.
I need to really have my cars cooperating for the rest of the season. We have another pair of carburetors we’ll try on Dallas’s car; and a better intake, fresher convertor, and different rear shocks to try on the Vitamin C (in case I take it to Joliet). Because the season is only half over and the Finals in Indy have 1.5 times the points — anyone in the Top Ten could win — as of right now.
Progress is coming along on the “Texas Thug” (formerly the black Coronet), which will replace the Vitamin C as the back up car for 2015. Paint is done and the new Proglass front and back windscreens are ready to install. I just bought fiberglass bumpers that I’ll have wrapped in a chrome wrap. The 572ci motor and transmission are fresh and ready.
We hope to have it fully assembled and Tested over the winter. In 2015, the Vitamin C will be restored, 2016 the wagon (I’ll drive the Thug) will undergo restoration, and 2017 Big Red Ram (Dallas will drive the Thug) will under go its restoration.
Finally — I’d been on a lookout for a 65 Coronet Sedan (post car) that hadn’t been tubbed or back-halved to make into a A990 “Tribute”. While at the DDC I bought Gene’ Will’s “Junkyard Fugitive” and drove back up to Illinois to get it after returning to Texas from the Classic. While I might let my daughter race it locally before putting her into the Vitamin C — I’m already collecting parts to restore as a A990.
Click here for the thread of the play-by-play of the Dave Duell Classic.
Click here for the Dave Duell Classic Driver’s Dinner photos