The following is a recap of the event from my perspective. Please feel free to post yours.
Neither my or my son’s 65 Coronets were ready in time for the Bradenton race, so we came in a pick up and enclosed trailer with the backup car — and I was the driver.
We left for the 1100 mile trip on Wednesday before noon, and spent the night between Tallahassee and Lake City at around midnight. Back on the road at 8AM Thursday morning — arriving at the track at about 1PM to drop the trailer. Stuck around for a couple of beers — and then off to the hotel at about 8PM.
Up early, made a cereal run for Doug Duell and at the track at about 10AM. Teched the car in and after I sat in the car for the first time — I found that the seat belts were too small and the seat too high. I was able to buy a set of belts from Barry Camp — and had to slide down the seat anf have a “Gansta Lean” for the weekend — until I can cut down the seat mount a couple of inches.
There were 10 NSS racers. Doug Duell (Drag’n Wag’n), Doug Poskevich (66 blue-green Fairlaine), Barry Camp (Pig – 66 Chevy), the High Voltage 63 Plymouth, Steve Wilson’s 65 Chevelle, a tan 64 Chevy, a blue-green 66 Chevy, DW Hopkins and his Thunderbolt, a maroon Thunderbolt, and my Vitamin C 63 Plymouth. Unexpectedly missing was Skip Koester, Kurt Neighbor, and the three Dark Horse cars.
This was the first time I’d even sat in the backup car. I was told by the person I bought it from to launch it at 4500 and shift at 6800. In my first TT pass I did that and had a 10.89 on my 11-second index. I decided to short shift it at 6500 and I got a time ticket saying 10.81. Puzzled, I decided I’d soft launch at 2000 and shift at 6000. That got me my best 60′ (so much for the launching at 4500) and the time slip said 10.7! TT was done for the day.
Doug Duell had a new motor in the wagon — and was trying different sets of carbs. One set would give a monster wheelstand and 9.4s and the other set would bog on the launch — but give faster time slips. He went back to the monster wheelstand set.
Saturday we got up at 6AM and was at the track at 7:30. There was no way to legally put weight in the car — so I decided I’d have to lift. I launched at 2000, shifted at 6000 and lifted at about 1200′. I got a 10.83 slip (air was better). DW had problems with his car in the first round and found he either has a wiped cam — or bad lifters.
For the second qualifying pass a black 69 Dart GTS showed, pulled off the open trailer and ran a 11.000 on his 11.0 index. He’d obviously be the top qualifier. I took a bunch out of my throttle cable, launched at 2000, shifted at 6000, lifted at 1200 and got a 10.89.
Really starting to get annoyed, I took a bunch more out of the throttle cable — making it far from WOT. For the final qualifying I was determined I’d not breakout! I launched at 2000, shifted at 6000, and lifted at 1100′. I would have guessed a 11.4 slip — but it said 10.91!
That made me the worst of the 11 in qualifying — giving me Doug Duell for Round One.
Sunday morning up early and at the track at 7:30. It looked like rain and I was hoping to get the first round out of the way — as I knew all odds were against me, so I might as well get on the road early. It was too late to try to jack with timing — so I would just have to tree Doug and lift earlier (I was already deep staging). Doug and I agreed we’d pull out immediately when called — to be the first pair, trying to beat the rain. I was starting to feel good as there was a good head wind that would slow me down enough and hopefully Doug too much. We get in the staging lanes — and the clocks screwed up. By the time they got it fixed — it started raining. We put the cars in the trailers and waited for announcements. at noon they said they’d announce something at 3:30. At 2:30 they announced that we were done for the day — but they’d carry over on Monday.
Back to town to try to find a room, then back to get Doug and Mr. Aruba for dinner — and for them to get supplies from Wally World.
Monday the weather is great — but the pits were swamps. We line up and I figured Doug would figure I’d break out. I was able to get a better tree by .030 — and I went like Hell and then hit the brakes at the 1100′ (Doug was a second and half faster). Doug saw my front dive too soon and he lifted in time. He did a 9.52 and I did a 11.19.
I’m on the trailer and heading north and west. The GTS had a bye, as did Barry as he was lined up against DW who couldn’t make the call. The other winners were the green Chevy, Poskevich, and I don’t know who the 6th car was (but it wasn’t Wilson or High Voltage). The green Chevy took out Doug, and Poskevich took out Camp. The three remaining cars were the GTS, the Green Chevy and the 66 Fairlaine. I don’t know who had the Bye — but the finals had the GTS on the trailer and Poskevich winning in a double breakout over the Chevy.
I drove all night, got to the shop at 3AM, and then to my lake house at 5:30AM. No sleep as I can’t sleep in daylight.