Saturday was the SHRA race for NSS cars.

I loaded up the Vitamin C (back with the 440 motor) Thursday and left Friday at 1pm, waiting at a picnic area halfway to SAR fr Damon, Doug and Dave. We arrived at the track at about 5PM and set up pits.

The track went hot at about 7:30PM, but it was mostly street cars and the track was hot and very sloppy. I only got two time trials in - both with no added weight. The first pass the car felt sick and I couldn't get past 5500 RPM. It stalled at the turn off and restarting felt like timing was way off - kicking the starter motor back. I found that the distributor hold down had loosened and timing was at about zero (locked down). Got it timed at about 37 and charged the car up. Went back out for a second hit, but returned back to the pits with the starter not cranking fast enough with a 16v battery. I wasn't sure if it was the starter, timing had slipped again or if the battery going dead on me. Charged it 25 amps for an hour, and it felt better, but still not right. I waited for about 90 minutes in the lane as they had some big freakin street car challenge happening. When I made my pass, it was 7.04 in the 1/8 (that's what SHRA runs) and 11.1 in quarter with a lot of slipping and sliding going on.

That's the first full pass I'd made in the Vitamin C in three events without breaking something, and that, to me, was a big accomplishment. It was 11pm, my weather station computer was broke and the track was crap, so I wasn't going to earn anything making another pass - and I put the car away.

SHRA is night racing and they don't even start coming in until about 2pm. I got my car out in the morning and checked all of the battery cables. They were tight. I don't currently have a volt gauge in the car, but the battery took a long time to charge - so I'm assuming the battery the night before was never fully charged and I'm betting the 2 mile test drive before putting the car in trailer was the main reason. Once it had 16.9 volts showing on a handheld meter, the car started much better, but I'm still betting the starter is starting to crap out - most likely from too many low timing start kicks.

At 5PM we got our first of two qualifying (no Time Trials in SHRA), and it was hot. I declared the 7.05 Index and made my pass without added weight. My shift light isn't working, and I screwed up and short shifted 1st to 2nd by a few hundred RPM. I figured I'd be slow for sure, but my time slip showed a 7.049.

Our second Qualifying was at 6:30. Between the couple hundredths I lost on the short shift and the temperature cooling - I guessed 38 pounds should be what I'd need to keep from breaking out. I guessed wrong, and did a 7.046 - which put me eight of ten in qualifying - and pairing me up with Doug Watkins who was number three. He got lane choice and put me in the right lane - which I hadn't run, but drivers were complaining was slower.

The 1/8 mile is poorly marked, and frankly I'm both not use to 1/8 mile racing and don't see well at night. I really had no chance to play the stripe, so I figured I needed to just guess on the correct weight and drive it out the back door. It was getting cooler yet, and so I bolted on another 50 pounds.

I got lucky and Doug red lit - as he was on his number and I ran a shockingly (to me) slow 7.12. While the temp had dropped, storms were moving in - so humidity sucked and there was a head wind. Again, without a weather station to guide me, I was shooting in the dark. I figured I'd just unbolt the 50#s for my second round against Garry Durham. I ran a great 7.052 but had a horrible .090 light VS Gary's good light. Garry Durham went on to win the Event, against Ronnie Smith, who had won the first two races and had a bounty on his head.

After the second round we had a little birthday celebration for Damon.

I spent the night at the track and got up early and drove home this morning.

The car ran good, and I'm going to leave in the trailer and take to Bowling Green and the Hot Rod Reunion - but with a spare battery and starter motor.