Dave Schultz – October 14, 2014
Dave Schultz Wins 2014 Championship for Nostalgia Super Stock
The 2014 NMCA Racing Season ended this past weekend at the World Finals in Indy. It went down to the third round of the season’s last race for me to clinch the the Championship for NSS — by a mere 10 points.
The NSS Class is one of the most difficult classes to compete in. Over 100 NSS cars compete in the class and most have raced for 10+ years in the same car. There were 28 NSS cars competing at Indy, with three (Doug Duell, Barry Dorn, and myself) still having a shot at the Championship. I came into the race 55 points behind the leader Barry Dorn. I had to either go one round further than Barry — or Qualify in the Top 5 with him qualifying 20 or lower. Doug had to have Barry and I go out by the second round, and he would have to win the event for him to once again be the Champ.
Lots of Drama and stress in this race for all of us.
None driving to the track, as we left Tuesday morning and arrived Wednesday evening without incident. Friday we set up pits and Tech’d in the cars. I had decided to replace my 33″ slicks with 31″ — but had no idea what the car would do with that change or the cold wet weather. I figured I’d need to squeeze in two Time Trials during the open session from 9AM to 1PM to figure it out.
I got in line at 9:30 (to allow a little heat get into the very cold track) — and was the first in the .500 Sportsman tree lanes as I’d gotten there just as they cleared it. I waited an hour (Barry Dorn in back of me) as they tried to empty out the perpetually growing other four lanes. The True Street cars were shutting the track down for Liquid about every other pass. Then the rain came and they closed the track at 11AM for the day!
Also increasing the stress was that my father (well in his 80s and in failing health) was in the hospital having Emergency Surgery for a pacemaker. By Saturday — I found out all was well and he was resting comfortably.
Saturday it was announced that there would be no Time Trials — going right to Qualifying — and that there would be only two instead of three of those!
In the First Qualifying I threw all of the weight I could fit in/on the car — and ran a 9.88 on the 9.75 Index I declared as a wild guess. Doug ran a 9.501 on a 9.50 index — and Barry was like 3/10 slow off his Index. Barry found a broken ground strap on a spark plug and replaced it, and I took off/out 140 pounds from my car.
So many NSS drivers were pissed over the no Time Trials and having to guess an Index — that they beat a fiery path to Race Control to complain. After much consternation, NMCA allowed the Index racers to re-declare their Index before second round of qualifying — and said they’d TRY to give us a third Qualifying (if time permitted). In the second round Doug was again DNO (Dead Nuts On), Barry was again slow and pinging, and I ran too far in the other direction with a 9.66 on my 9.75 Index.
I really needed for there to be a third round of Qualifying if I was to be able to get the points to have to not have to go one more round than Barry. Drivers were oiling down the track and wrecking — and it was really looking bad for a 3rd qualifying. However at about 6PM they announced that we’d get it, but would then have to hot lap back for a first round of Eliminations. Barry again had found a broken spark plug ground strap. Mike Dichicco felt like he was too lean and detonating for the break — so he rejetted and rodded Barry’s carbs for him. (Thanks Mike!)
In that third round I did a 9.75 with a 6 and rocketed from #17 to #5 in Qualifying. Barry went too fast and broke out (his problem now fixed) and qualified 20th. This now gave me a 10 point lead instead of previous 55 point deficit. They did call it a day after our third round of Qualifying — as the track was cold and dangerous. Eliminations were Scheduled to begin at 9AM Sunday. We both drew very tough first round of Eliminations competitors.
I’ve had this Championship on my bucket List since 2008 — and the Ring has been my computer’s screen saver since early 2008. I’d had a chance to win the Championship in 2012 — but bad luck with the ladder (I got two tough drivers while the other two each had a broke bye and a rookie in their first two rounds) and bad light squashed my dream. While I tried to be positive — I was so afraid of choking.
In the first round Barry was ahead of me in the lanes, and Dallas was ahead of him. I watched Dallas take too much stripe and breakout, then Barry’s guy also breakout. The weather was obviously better than people were thinking. Pressure on me! I ran a 9.752 on my 9.75 Index and my competitor was pushed out with a 10.49 on a 10.50 Index. I was still in the game.
For the second round we again had two of the toughest guys left – mine being a little tougher. Again Barry was ahead of me, and his guy red lights. I’m thinking — Damn I can’t shake him. My guy also Red Lights — pushing the tree after seeing I’d run a 9.752 the round before. Doug won his round — but he ran out of chances with Barry and I still in.
The third round had DiChicco in the other lane — and Barry also having a tough but also same Index car. This time I was ahead of him in the lanes. Dichicco was running DNO and having good lights — so I bumped in a little deeper than usual for a better light. I went .006 RED. My heart sunk as I was motoring down the track — I’d once again choked on winning the Championship. When I got back to my pit, Dallas told me that Barry had also gone (.020) RED. The Championship was mine. Doug also went out in the third round for those keeping track.
I went to the tower to get my check. They verified that my math was indeed correct — and that I was the new Champ. One more off the bucket list.
All in All it was a pretty good year. I runner up at the First race, won my second Wally in Joliet, and Dallas won his first Wally at Norwalk. It is so good to have cars with the chassis and motors running right! The only real bummer is that NHRA has decided to drop its partnership with the NMCA — and at the awards ceremony (December at PRI) I won’t get the Big Wally the previous Champs received. Kinda petty for them to pull it now instead of finishing the year out! I was a supporter of the NHRA — but they just lost me.
We left the track at about 5PM Sunday and drove through Horrible storms (especially in Arkansas!) — getting back to Houston at 3PM Monday.
I’d like to thank Royal Purple, Mancini, TTI Exhaust, and Fuel Labs for their product sponsorship of our team. I’m sure hoping this Championship will keep them supporting our team and that we can pick up a few more (Need shocks, tires, brakes, torque converter, Holley carbs, NSS Intake, fuel…) as running two cars (with the closest track 900 miles away) is very expensive.
We are committed to run the series again in 2015 — and Hopefully Dallas and I can be one and Two. I just threw down a half million dollars for a new race rig — and so I have a Superman rig at a Clark Kent Price if anyone is interested.