First off, I believe we make our own luck in the long run. I have a loving wife, five healthy kids who are good people, three wonderful grandkids, three great dogs, a mother who is the kindest human ever, and I'm close to all of my remaining siblings. I've been retired since 1998, we live comfortable, I pretty much banged out the majority of a long bucket list, and I'm in my seventh decade of a fairly interesting life. Doesn't sound unlucky to me.
And Crisis's? To me a crisis is being thrown from a car that rolled at over 100mph, losing your biggest client while employing a couple hundred, breaking both legs skiing, more than a dozen surgeries under a General, losing your youngest brother to cancer or being caught on the road in more than a handful of hurricanes. Blowing a pair each of transmissions and engines in last four races doesn't come close to Top Hundred of my life's real crisisses.
But I've gotten a little ahead of myself, so I'll recap the last four races that have some people feeling sorry for me.
Last year in Denton I had a torque converter bolt come loose and trash the converter, flexplate and required a transmission rebuild of the Vitamin C.
The very next week in the Bowling Green I had a converter bolt loosed up in Whale the did the same damage plus trashed the Charlies oil pan.
That wasn't bad luck - it was either the bolts weren't torqued right and/or loctite not used during installation only a few passes earlier, or I should have checked more frequently, or combination of both. I have learned. It took an hour to get the converter bolts off the Vitamin C last week.
The reason they had to come off is because the the motor in the Vitamin C developed a vibration after the last pass I made in it in Bradenton after less than 25 passes since Indy had rebuilt it. When Indy rebuilt, they called to tell me I should replace the Manley Pro I-Beam rods, ARP rod bolts and Weisco pistons. I forgot why as I just believed them - but I absolutely told them to replace with same brands. When Engine was disassembled - the rods and bolts were Eagle and Pistons SRP!
It appears that the cheap ass Eagle rod bolt failed at the head, most likely from being over torqued. Totally destroyed much of engine because Indy put on what they had on their self instead of what I wanted. I'd never put that Eagle and SRP crap in an engine that Dyno's at 900hp. They big time screwed me putting this cheap shit in my car. I know better to even try to get things made right as Russ is incapable of customer satisfaction. I hope Don Schumacher knows that one asset he is not getting is a good reputation. I hope he didn't pay higher than a bailout price!
This isn't the first time Indy completely ignored me either. I had them rebuild a 588ci with 572 heads. They told me I needed new rockers, and I told them I hated Jessel for 572 heads and to use TD Machine. When that engine failed on its third pass - it was because a needle bearing from the JESSEL rockers they put in went through the engine snapping the bronze gear, and trashing my crank from the drop of oil pressure at 140mph. After they rebuilt that engine at full cost to me, they charged me over $200 fee for using a credit card, Michelle flat out lied and Russ acted like the asshole everyone knows him to be. I swore they'd never again touch an engine of mine. That engine is waiting to be installed in the Thug, and I can only wonder what will go wrong with it as so far four out of four Indy built motors have failed on me before 25th pass and the fifth has yet to be put in a car. I hope Schumacher fires everyone and starts with clean slate of competent people, who also are not the assholes Indy appears to attract for employees. Again this isn't bad luck - I ****ed up and trusted them - despite their horrible reputation, because a friend has had great luck with them. It is obvious that a whole lot more attention went towards his engines than mine - not luck!
That brings me to this last week.
On the way to Atlanta, I got caught in a hail storm and high winds outside of Birmingham that broke my wiper off and chipped up my windshield.
I drove the remaining 250 miles of my 980 mile trip in the rain, at night, without wipers.
Fast forward to the first pass on Indy engine with less than 20 passes. Windowed the block.
I'll pull the engine and disassemble this week and post the results.
So the bottom line īs than it is not bad luck, its bad decisions. Indy has caused me tens of thousands of dollars because I screwed up and trusted them. You are going to spend money and occassionally blow an engine in drag racing. However, there are engine builders that build good engines and engine builders who will bend you over. My fault for now only picking one that bends you over, but for having them sell me a couple of $25,000 motors and rebuilding three others so fast - without seeing if they would hold together. I had my son and I racing and four NSS cars - so I was impatient and too trusting.
If you've had any experience with Indy, good or bad, comment!