Sponsor Report by: Dave Schultz
March 24, 2015
We made a few minor changes to the cars over the winter but the weather didn’t allow for any Testing, so we decided to leave a day early – on Tuesday at 5AM. We got to the Team Thug overnight staging at Walmart in Lake City, Florida (about 850 miles) at about 10PM, and marinated a few ice cubes with fellow Thugs Doug Duell and Mike DiChicco. Over the winter I’d spent a half million on a new motorhome and aluminum stacker trailer — and had no incidents with either. Not our normal trip for sure.
At 8am we left Lake City, arriving at about 11am in Ocala to visit with Big Daddy and his museum.
At about 3PM we headed out to Bradenton, getting to the overnight staging at about dusk. Thursday morning we set up our pit, established credentials, and teched the cars in. Dallas needed new slicks so we got him in line with Mickey Thompson. Doug found that he didn’t have 2nd gear in his newly rebuilt transmission — so he and Dallas spent their day changing that while I made five passes to start dialing in the shift points for the changes made. I also had an oil leak issue — finally traced down to an AN fitting going to the vacuum pump having galled threads.
Friday we had time trials in the morning and a Qualifying pass in the late afternoon. Doug had top spot with a 9.501 on a 9.5, I was fifth with a 9.77 on 9.75, and Dallas was 10th of 21 cars. His car had what we suspect to be a fuel issue as it launched poorly — but had a better MPH than ever.
Saturday morning we had a second qualifying. I’d set my car up to do what I thought would be a 9.75 but at the 1/8 mile I saw the flags blowing down track and lifted at the MPH cone — getting a 9.750. Man I got lucky. The perfect ET guaranteed me the Top Qualifier spot and it’s 70 bonus points. It also won me a 1st round bye as there were 21 cars in the class. There was a final round of qualifying Saturday late afternoon. Dallas improved his position some — but was still having issues despite rebuilding his carbs.
Sunday started early (8:30am) for NSS with fog quickly falling as dew and concerning a couple of the drivers. Dallas lost in his first round against TD Holland, again his car has an issue we couldn’t resolve at the track — but it will be ready at Atlanta. I had a .009 light on the Bye. Why always on a bye?
Second round started at noon, and I was matched against Randy Standsbury and his red 63 Plymouth. I’d set the car up to do a 9.72 — and it was a good thing as I went from 1st to third gear for the first time ever on a PPP shifter. I was still able to chase him down and actually had to brake to just put a fender on him. In the third round I had a very tough local bracket racer in a blue Barracuda, who had just beat TD. He had an 11-second car and left 1.25 seconds before me. I’d again set up the car for 9.72 and thought I’d had a good light, so when I caught him just before the MPH come — I let him take the stripe — thinking we’d both break out. I guessed wrong and should have taken the stripe as I had room as he’d had a damn good light. He then had a bye to the final (argh!!!) and won the event against Mike DiChicco.
All things considered, I did well. I should be 3rd in points, 30 points behind 2nd, and with the #1 guy most likely not running the series. I swear this is the toughest class in the NMCA as the drivers have more passes (on average) on their cars than any other class. They know how to play the stripe.
I’d like to thank my product sponsors (in order of how long they’ve helped) Mancinni Racing, TTI Exhaust, Fuelab, Aerospace Components, and ATI for their continued help. All supply us with the Top Shelf products needed to win. The quickest way to a $1Million racing a pair of quality cars — is to start with a $Billion. It sure helps when a sponsor believes in you as much as you believe in their product. Stop by our pits anytime if you have a question about their products on our cars. Look for the above rig.