Aaron Allison: June Blog
The month of June was an extremely busy month for me with graduation, moving, and even a little racing. When I left you guys off last month I had just returned from an unsuccessful trip to Norwalk were I ran my IHRA Stocker in Super Street. After returning from Norwalk I spent a few days helping my mom and dad around the house. Mowing grass, cutting down trees, cleaning, and painting is not what I would call a good vacation, but it is always great when I have the opportunity to help my parents who have helped me so much throughout my life. The next weekend I was not able to race because I was back on a plane to Boston for my final time for graduation. My family joined me on Monday and they spent the week in Boston with me for the graduation ceremonies and to do some sightseeing. I had a great time showing my family around Boston and it was great that they were all able to make it. After my parents left on Friday my fiancé Misti and I spent the rest of the day on Friday and most of the day Saturday packing up my apartment and getting ready to move all of my stuff back to Ohio. We left Saturday evening at 6 PM and arrived back at my parent’s house at 6 AM Sunday morning after a brief 2 hour nap at a random rest area on I-80.
HBS Graduation Ceremony
After I got home I unpacked all of my stuff, returned the U-Haul, and my father and I left for North Carolina to pickup my Super Stock engine. My engine builder was planning on putting the engine on the dyno the next morning and we wanted to be there to help and watch. After my second all night drive in a row we arrived at Bullet Racing Engines in Hickory, North Carolina at 10 A.M. It took longer than we expected to get the engine set-up, but by dinner time we were making pulls. The 345 Inch SB2.2 made 765 HP at 9100 RPM. It was a little less HP than we had hoped for, but it was still 75 HP more than I had last year and I think with some more tuning we can make close to 800hp. We stayed the night at my cousins who lives in the area and the next day we made the long trek back to Ohio. I know at two days to get both cars ready to go to the IHRA Pro-am at Martin, Michigan. The Vega was pretty much ready, and all I had to do was change the oil and de-super street it. The Cavalier on the other hand needed to be completely assembled. This process was going along very well until I noticed that the headers did not seem to fit since we had cut the heads down. Well several frustrating hours later the headers were in the car and both cars were loaded into the trailer.
Thanks Hoosier for all of your help
My plan was to leave early Friday morning to get to Martin in time for the test session they were having. This plan was flawed however because President Obama decided to make a visit to Toledo, which cause I-80 to be stopped for almost 2 hours. Along with lots of traffic I made it to the track with time for one run. Great I have a brand new combination and I have one run to get it figured out. Well the one run didn’t go to good. I let of go of the transbrake button and proceeded to do a huge wheel stand. When I came down from the wheel stand I was way out of the groove and was forced to lift. Well I guess the engine has power.
The car was leaving great all weekend
The next morning was the 1st day of the IHRA Pro-Am. For those of you that are not familiar with the format they run 2 complete points meets on two consecutive days. This is a great format as long as you have no problems with your cars. I was running both my Vega in Stock Eliminator and my Cavalier in Super Stock. My Vega ran flawlessly all day and was fortunate to win the first two rounds before I was dead late in third round and then forgot two dump even though I was carrying two hundredths. Not a great day, but the car was running good and I was confident I could do better on Sunday. The Cavalier on the other hand was not running flawless. I ran a 9.12 at 150 on the first time run, but the shifter didn’t work and my light was well terrible. I got the shifter fixed for the second time run and my light was a decent .045. First round I was paired with Brad Zaskowiski who finished 3rd in the Nation in NHRA Super Stock competition. Great draw for first round when I have basically made one good hit in the car. Well I had another .040 light and was able to push him out for the break out. Over the next few rounds and I drove decent and the car was awesome. It was printing time slips and the car was making me look very good. I beat Bob Lowery in the 4th round and earned the bye to the final. In the final I was well let’s just say late. Very very late. I am not sure what happened, but for some reason I lost all concentration. I was .096 on the tree to his .00X light, but the car saved me again and fortunately he took way to much stripe and broke out by .02. It was not my best driving day ever, but with some luck I was able to get the job done. Not too bad for a brand new combination.
Winner’s circle with Ron Traupman, Craig Marshall, and Kevin Marshall
The second day of the Martin Pro-Am was not too eventful. I lost in the first round with the Vega by trying to be a hero and giving the strip back by .002 and in the Cavalier I didn’t even get a chance to race. I broke a Jessel Rocker Arm during warm-up and was not able to race since I didn’t have a spare. I left the race in 3rd place in the Stock points after 4 claims and in 7th place in Super Stock points after only 1 claim.
Broken Rocker Arm (note to self need spares)
The next weekend I planned to attend the NHRA National Event in Bristol, TN to run Super Stock. For those of you that have not been to Bristol it is a beautiful track, however it is also a very slow track. I was a little concerned about running the index at Bristol, which is 9.20 so I went to Norwalk, OH on Wednesday on my way to Bristol to test. I didn’t learn a ton during the test session because of rain which led to poor track conditions, but I learned enough to know that I would be close to the index at Bristol. I ran a best of 9.07 at Norwalk and everybody was telling me that Bristol was .15-.25 slower. So I did the only I knew to do. Make a ton of changes and drive 8 hours and see how it goes.
My good friend Alex Miller helping us get the car ready (He had only slept 3 hours in two days)
On my first time run at Bristol I ran a 9.12 at 147 crossing the finish line at 9700 RPM’s. The changes that I made included a very short set of tires. The car was deadly in time trials and during first round, but I unfortunately turned it red first round by .002. My opponent, Slate Cummings, was .004 so I needed to be good. The Bristol trip didn’t go as well as I had planned, but we had fun and I can’t wait to go back. My friend Alex Miller who came with me went to the 3rd round in Super Gas where he lost by .004 in a double break-out race. Well I guess we will have to get them at Norwalk. As I write this blog I am getting ready to leave to go to Norwalk this weekend for the NHRA National event. Hopefully the results will be more favorable.
My Fiancé Misti at a random Truck Stop in West Virginia en route to Bristol
Thanks again to Luke and all of the sponsors that make this possible. I would also like to thank Hoosier Tires, Jason Ekcard from Bullet Racing Engines, Alex Miller, Mark Hursh, Jerry Coblentz, and Ron Traupman for all of there help.