October 16, 2013
We spent the weekend and Monday getting Big Red Ram, the Vitamin C and the rig ready and loaded for the final points race of the Year. The virtually new engine for the Texas whale had blown in Qualifying for the second time this year back at Joliet, this time fatally and forever (as in barely enough left of it for burial rights) and the engine from the new engine builder wasn’t ready yet — so I was relegated to the backup car (Vitamin C).
Dallas was third in points for the chase, and I was way back in eighth after the two engine failures had me miss 1st round Eliminations in 1/3 of the Points Races. It was my worst year in all of the years I’ve been racing. Doug Duell had First Place locked in after winning the first three races (Bradenton, Atlanta & Joliet) — and making the Semis in a 6 round race at Bowling Green. Dallas had a shot at 2nd place and all I could do was to try to improve my standings a little.
We left early Tuesday morning and arrived in Evansville, IN Wednesday afternoon — so I could drive a truck and trailer with Doug Duell’s Drag Pack to Indy for him. We arrived in the motorhome staging area Wednesday night and set up our pits (including bringing in 00Joe’s second car) Thursday morning.
After setting up the pits, establishing credentials, and taking the cars to be teched in, we took took the engine pulled from the black Coronet (being completely rebuilt to be the backup car) to our new engine builder to be inspected and freshened, and picked up a totally brand new bullet (about $25K) making 909hp @ 6500 and 806TQ. This new engine had been built to the same specs (and by the same builder) as the motor we’ve run in the Big Red Ram for the last two seasons. Duell also has run this engine for four years.
This race made for a very long week. NMCA/NHRA Unleashed had a LSX class racing — and the majority of those racers were not very experienced. It took them a very long time to stage — and there was at least a half dozen full track oil downs as they haven’t yet learned to pull to the wall and stop as soon as safely possible.
Friday night, the Duell’s and Schultz’ threw a little NSS Driver’s Soirée in our pits — attended by most of the NSS teams. 40 Photos can be Found on the “Live At Indy” thread at NSS-Racing.com.
Despite a better light, I lost in the second round when Bates ran a 10.501 on his 10.50 Index. Dallas won three rounds but lost in the semis when he had to lift on a track that had gone away — and just seen a major accident in his lane a few cars ahead of him. However, his competitor (Jimmy Ray) ran a great race and wound up winning the Wally for the event – just before midnight Monday morning. Always easier to take a loss when the competitor runs a good race.
We left the track Monday Morning and arrived back at our shop in Richmond, TX on Tuesday afternoon.
Dallas was able to manage a solid 2nd Place for the year in the Championship Points Race — and I was able to improve one or two positions (official points haven’t been released yet). I can promise a much better showing next year with going a different route on my motors.
Dallas and I would like to thank Fuelab, Royal Purple and TTI for their sponsorship of their Best of Class products — and we sure hope we can add a couple more to help us with product over the winter.
If you had problems seeing any of the photos in this report — please go to the Big Red Ram web site.