O.K. To wrap it up we succeeded to doing what we first attempted to do in Reno, "We Finished!"
We started out Saturday morning in really good spirits. We arrived at the track and readied the car for the track. Jerry was first out on the track. About 45 minutes into his stint, he came in with an overheated motor. We cooled the motor down and Andy took the car back out. 15 minutes later he brought it in running really rough. The Black Night has exacted his revenge again. We had blown our top! or better said, we blew our head gasket. Time for a team meeting, do we put in a new head gasket or do we put in the spare motor? We opted for putting in the head gasket, so at 12:15pm we started our work day. At 5pm we finished the gasket replacement and Andy took it back to the track. At this point we were in 90th place, Andy brought us back to 85th and we were looking good, except that the overheating was still a problem. Jerry finished the night and we drove away feeling pretty good about what we had just accomplished.
Sunday morning was really early, we had to get up at 6am and try to get to the track by 7 to work on heat repairs. The drivers meeting was at 8 am and we needed to fill the car with fuel and get the radios ready for the next stint. At this point we called on our secret weapon to take the car out on the track (Judy). Yep that's right, a girl!
Judy took the car out and we were really shocked! "Damn she can drive and really well!" She put the car through its paces and in one corner, the car broke free and the back of the car started to swerve. Most of the cars that lost control in that specific corner went off the track, somehow she pulled the car back into control to the shock and dismay of the four other cars that had to adjust their line to compensate for the car that they thought wasn't going to be there in about two seconds. Way to go Judy.
Now came my turn, I was nervous about getting in the car and for good reason: I knew I was going to be cold and slow. The car performed really well, it is a little top heavy so it cornered a little sloppy but that's for another race. No excitement - I didn't go off the track or hit anyone. The car was overheating again, time for a driver change.
Jerry took it back out and 45 minutes later the car was back in for another temperature problem. We started the cool down process and restarted the car. The first time it started, the next time nothing. We couldn't get it started again, the water-steam had gotten its way into the electrical. After replacing parts and using starter fluid to dry out the connections, an hour and a half later we started it back up and put it back on the track.
Andy took it out and finally got his wish: another car clipped the front of the car and he was able to put on his sticker, "It's only a flesh wound" It looks good on the car. I finished the race uneventfully with the checker flag. The car that was in first place rolled his car with one lap left.
Buttonwillow Friday 12:30pm We arrived and Larry and the guys had saved us a sweet spot straight across from the exit ramp off the track. We went through tech and almost passed but they said our mounting points for our seat belts were to tight and were not compliant. We moved on to the judges and pleaded our case, to great happiness they accepted us with open arms. We presented them with the Trojan Rabbit to which they could do nothing more than laugh. We were very happy campers. After working on the seat belts for another two hours and twice more through tech we passed. 4:15 pm and too late to go out and test the car so we walked around and checked out the competition.
One more day before we load up the car into the trailer and start the long drive to Buttonwillow. I finished the special bribe for the judges last night. I think it will be one of the ugliest bribes they will ever see. I know once we turn our backs they are definitely going to want to throw it away, I sure as hell don't want it back. Pictures will only be available after the race, so if your not there to see it you will have to come back to the blog after the race is over.
We have air in the trailer, we have a car that is in good running condition and hopefully we can keep cool heads and cooler bodies at the track. Andy and I did the final touches on the car on Sunday which included a fan in the cockpit, enlarging the fuel door opening and painting the roll cage and back panel. Spare engine and transmission are done, just need to load them in the truck.
Judy and Jenifer have been working out the logistics so that we all meet in Vegas on Thursday night. Jerry has worked it out so he will meet us at the track on Friday.
Looking forward to having a good trip, lots of fun at the track and doing some real racing.
On a good note we heard from Pete and he said a oil line broke spraying oil into the distributor causing the engine to die. The Killer Bee lives to race another day.
Bad news everybody Pete with Killer Bees took his car out last night for a nice drive on the freeway, and now his car is Kaput! http://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/viewtopic.php?id=986 We all know he won't be joining us for Buttonwillow but let's all give him support in getting his car back in drivable condition for Concours d'LeMons next weekend. Pete if there is anything we can do let us know.
If anybody ever asks you if we are crazy, yep we are. At the last minute Larry our comrade from team V-ram convinced me we needed to do a test to see if our car was ready. So what do we do? "Well hell we go test". This time we went back to our original test location out at SeaBase diving facility, a little known place that is at the edge of the salt flats and has a small runway for airplanes and anything else that might want to drop out of the sky. This is the perfect place to test a car, salt as far as you can see, temperatures hovering a 100* plus and a surface that is to put it lightly slick as snot! Just put up 50 bucks total and you too can try to corrode all of that precious metal off the car. We call it extreme X-testing, cause we never know whats going to happen next.
We needed to test our radios and of course we didn't get the antenna I had ordered weeks ago, so it's another yup I guess it works moment. Although our cool new/used Nascar head gear works really well, you can't hear anyone complaining about you when you have the bright yellow cones of silence on, just ask Andy. After doing a visual inspection and going through our check list. 1.Has 4 tires! 2.Engine looks pretty! 3.Numbers are legible! 4.Mice have left of their own accord! Houston we have a problem! someone let a girl get in our car and she won't get out. I don't know if any other guys have this problem but you definitely better be careful what you say because there were more standing in line. All kidding aside the test went better than I had expected. The car was running on the cool side, oil pressure was above normal and the suspension was reacting really well during a lot of drifting moments. Thanks to Andy, Jerry, Jennifer, and Judy for hanging in there and getting us to the next level of craziness. I want to give a special thanks to Bob and Bob T who won't be joining us on this trip you guys were great. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to come down and help rebuild the motor and put fresh numbers on the top of the car. Also a plug to Pat Mulry from team T.A.R.P racing who has saved us some $change$ on our equipment. Hope to see everyone at Buttonwillow next week, we have "Otter Pops" and we aren't afraid to give them away. They taste just like cool aid only better!