Milan Report From The MoparStyle Racing Team
We loaded up the coach and trailer on Tuesday 8/25, and my wife Deb, son Dallas, daughter Hope, and three dogs left at 9AM Wednesday towards Milan. The trip was not without incident. In East Texas a pickup truck pulling a 50' travel trailer and two tractor/trailers tangled in the rain and had both sides of 59 closed for over an hour. In Marshall, Texas we had a blowout in the trailer and that took over an hour to change — and then another hour to get Wal-Mart to mount a new tire on the rim. Again in Arkansas there was an accident that had us sit on I-40 — and so we didn't pull in to Milan until early afternoon Thursday. Once there — we had our usual pit at the end of Midway row.
Friday was rained out — although we were able to get the cars teched in.
Saturday in the Test & Tune, we sat in the lanes for about 3 hours as water was seeping up in the left lane. A couple of cars would run and get out of shape — so they'd close and try to dry it some more. I was in the left lane and spun horribly down the track — before having to finally abort and lift at about the 1100' for a 9.9 at 119. We'd made so many changes to my car (clutch and suspension) that I wasn't sure if it was all the track — or if my car was also part of the problem. We didn't get another opportunity for a Time Trial — so I slowed my usual B/FX (9.50) down to C/FX (9.75) as I was unsure what the track conditions would be. The track was actually very good — after the T&T, and I'm terrible with trimming off too much time. In my first Qualifying, I did a 9.49 lifting at the 1500' — so it appeared to have been a bad choice of changing my Class. In my second Qualifying I was matched with a 13-second LeMans wagon — so I couldn't gauge my speed with anyone close to me in class. I short shifted at 6500 and lifted at about the 1400' — and took too much off, so I qualified poorly. Dallas just barely broke out (10.98 and 10.99 on 11.0 class) both times, and also qualified poorly in NMC.
In Sunday's eliminations — Dallas red lit in the first round. I had a Broke Bye (when a Scotty Jiles Wheel Stand in the second round of Qualifying bent up his car some) and did a 9.74 – so it looked like I figured out how to slow down just enough. I drew a black B/FX Thunderbolt in the second round of Eliminations — so I left first by a 1/4 second. I left and wrung the car out to the 1/8 and then slowed and waited for the Thunderbolt to catch up as to not break out. I beat him on the ET — but I apparently slept at the light. I'd cut good lights in Qualifying and thought I had a good light on this run — but the ticket said .111 against his .060, so I was out. I appear to not be doing well in the last three race chase.
At Zmax, I was knocked out in the first round — the first time in over a year since I'd not gone at least three rounds — dropping me from third to forth in the points. The Princess was in first but went out in the first round — so she's now in second. Doug was in second — but went three rounds — so he's now in first. Skip was in third and went three rounds — keeping him in third. Kurt was in 5th, but went four rounds — so he's now passed me for 4th — and I'm in 5th. I need to hit a homerun and have everyone fall on their face just to get 3rd after Memphis.
Silver Crown, who built my coach and trailer. was at the race. I had them look at my trailer because of how exposed the air bag hardware was to road hazards — and if something happens to the airbags the tires get cut down. Silver Crown admitted that there was a problem — and said they'd fix it — despite the trailer being out of warranty. So after the race I drove west for 120 miles to White Pigeon, MI — which is just above Elkhart, IN — and dropped the trailer off at 7PM Sunday. Since we were in the North and had a couple of days to kill — we drove east 450 miles to Buffalo, New York (arriving at 2AM) so my wife could visit with her family. While there, we went to the Mecca of Chicken Wings — the Anchor Bar, where Buffalo Wings were invented in 1964.
Wednesday evening we headed back to White Pigeon — as the Amish who do these coaches work from 3AM to 1PM. The trailer had all three axles laser aligned, the wheel wells cut higher and new fenders installed, 6 new 12-ply tires, guards made for all of the air bag hardware, and even fixed a little dent in the front from when I jack-knifed the trailer backing in a Bradenton. Then, even though the coach was also out of warranty, they had four guys spend about 5 hours adjusting the awning, replace a generator switch, replace the rear camera, adjusted some windows to make them close smoother, cabinet latches, and make a few other adjustments. All of this was done at no charge — long after the warranty expired. While there, I toured their facility where they make the motor homes and trailers. These Amish men are true craftsmen. Needless to say that I'm very happy with the company and I might be upgrading to a newer rig with a slightly different layout — if I can find someone looking for a slightly used 2009 rig.
Back to racing — the next race is the Monster Mopar Weekend at the end of this month, and then the final NMCA race in Memphis in October.
The fiberglass molds for the hood, bumpers, fenders, and tailgate for the 60 Plymouth have been made — and the parts will be made this week. Mark Artis says he'll be starting on the paint and body as soon as he's received those parts. It should be ready and tested for the start of the 2010 NMCA season.
Again, all NSS and NMC have the ability to upload their racing photos and maintain a team blog at http://nssracing.ning.com/ – along with checking on the future events listed or listing those not yet listed. None of this is rocket science — you just have to make an investment of a couple of minutes to learn.