Willie Burnett: June Blog
A LITTLE BIT OF GOOD…WITH PLENTY OF BAD MIXED IN
Welcome back to the third installment of my personal monthly tour of bracket racing thru the Midwest. If you are one of the few remaining followers that have enjoyed Ivan NoDrivin’s tales of failure and stupidity then keep reading because there’s plenty more where that came from. I will warn you that Ivan finally took a couple days off this month so it’s not all gloom and doom but he doesn’t stay away for long. Don’t worry kid’s cuz I’m not going to get a big head. As one of my favorite sayings go, “Even a blind squirrel stumbles across a nut every now and then”.
The Blue Beacon and I making one of 18 gazillion passes at the Memorial Day Mega Bucks in Tulsa. Amy is becoming quite the photographer as the season progresses.
After a couple grueling weeks of NHRA racing behind me, it was nice to get back to my bread and butter. My trusty crew chief, Amy, and I headed South again to Tulsa for their Spring Mega Bucks Memorial Day weekend event. This 5-10-5 race has my favorite layout of all the big money races I attend. $150 per entry for the weekend and you can enter the same car and driver up to 4 times. There are no buy backs so it’s nice to have a few bullets in the gun for this race. I always seem to have 4 cards by the end of the weekend but I started out with 2 for the first day. Although I was decent on the tree I only took one card into 2nd round and zero into 4th round. Of course that is right before the money. I guess it’s time to let the tongue hang out on the Blue Beacon for the big money on Sunday and buy some more bullets.
I figure with 4 shots at $10,000 on Sunday there was no way my alter ego, Ivan Nodrivin, could thwart my efforts today…well…almost. Only getting 2 shots thru to 2nd round was a tough start but I’m hitting the tree and just got packaged up on the losses so the confidence is back. I’m feeling even better when I still have 2 shots at the money at 11 cars. I sneak in a .009 package on regional bad boy “Dowtown” Chris Brown with my first card but a .026 doesn’t beat a .021 package against the recent T/D Nats champ, Keith McCullar. They say you only need one entry to win so I hope I prove that analogy to be true. Well, all is great until I turned on the red eye in the semi’s to Jimmy Stookey. Although the kick back made it a $2000 payday, the $3-5k left on the table and the reminder that I haven’t been able to finish the job…again… was a sour taste that even numerous cocktails couldn’t wash away (and, rest assured, I tried).
Memorial day left me feeling only a step another step closer to the grave as I didn’t see the 4th round thanks to Phillip Pennington wearing me out on my last 2 shots. We headed back North with only a check padding my bruised ass…I mean…ego and a gun out of bullets that needs a serious cleaning. At least 30+ passes in 3 days sure gave me some good looks at some great packages in the opposite lane. My only hope is to ride my crash course in finish line driving into some win lights at the 2 day points race at KCIR only 4 days away.
Here’s what my living room looks like after a hard weekend at the track. Macy (my Great Dane) and Amy (my Great Girlfriend) look tuckered out.
A quick check over of the Blue Beacon’s vitals and mounting up some new Sticky Mickey’s was all I had time for before making the 20 minute jaunt to KCIR. It’s another busy schedule since they have to finish the first, which I’m still in Quick, plus running two S/P and Quick series points races before Sunday at 10pm. I failed to go anywhere in the finish up race but there wasn’t any down time before the regularly scheduled race fired up. I figured I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one points basket so this time I bowed out early in Quick but made some laps in S/P. The old saying, “Anyone can win being 0 take 0. It takes a real man to win being .030 take .030” was my approach and it was working like a charm. That is until my .022 taking .036 in the S/P final doesn’t turn on bulb against my buddy Chris Livingood’s .043 package (sorry for posting that Chris) in his “Bogacki Edition” flat black Vega. It was good to get another payday but the fact that my “close but no cigar” inability to finish the job is really starting to eat at me. As I turned off the track I would’ve traded the 2nd place money for that $20 plastic trophy in a heartbeat. Guess I’m still leaving room for improvement, right? DAMMIT!!! To make my smile even brighter, Sunday of the double dip for local points leaves me sipping on a Bud Heavy after I don’t see the 3rd round in either class. Now that’s the kind of room for improvement I’m used to leaving the track with.
There’s nothing prettier than the white puffy clouds from a fresh set of Sticky Mickey’s
I finally made a final round this season…I lost
After 50+ passes on the Beacon (and not much to show for it) I decided she could use a vacation so I headed to Manhattan to grab the No-E Malibu. Saturday Morning I went back to Heartland Park Topeka to see if my early bottom bulb success was just a fluke. Yep…it was. I turned it red twice in No-E so that was the end of that. I threw the delay box back in her and was doin’ work until I found out that trying to tighten up the stripe with a 40mph deficit is a lot harder than I remember. When I ended up .008 behind third round it could’ve been .080 and I wouldn’t have known the difference. If you remember a mention of my finish line skills in previous installments then you’re probably as surprised by the end result as I was. I need to stop driving the stripe ASAFP (I can’t drive the stripe, I can’t drive the stripe, I can’t drive the stripe). After I got out of the way I stuck around to see all my local crushers find their way to the winners circle (and even snuck into a pic before I left).
Good to see my boys all lined up for pics. Kyle Lawrence in the Cutlass Cruiser (S/ST), Luke Seibert in the “Lemonator” Nova (Sportsman), Landon Stallbaumer’s digger (S/P), and Troy Ross, he’s the 8’ tall guy blocking the pic, in his nasty SB2 powered Nova (Pro)
I finally snuck into a winners circle pic this year! Hollywood’s wagon is my favorite grocery getter of all time so I had to make an appearance.
Now that I’ve had a good stern talkin’ to with myself about the finish line I headed back to Olathe with the Bu. Amy and I had to throw away everything in the garage to make room to wedge both cars in but now I have the complete operation under one roof. Since I had my new toy home I figured I would give the Blue Bu another shot at redemption at Smokin’ Mokan Dragway’s weekly race the next Saturday. I ran S/P and Footbrake and made it clear that I need a transbrake button to even have a chance. I was a cool .092, .093, and .173 on the bottom which made for some easy wins for the local bad boys. I hung around in S/P until the rain came before 3rd round. After a diligent effort to wait out the storm Carl “Mr. Mokan” decided split the purse and sent us on our way. With the way I was driving I was content to take my $13 dollar loss and get the hell out of the rain.
Anyone see a problem with this picture? .173 on the tree just won’t get the job done in No-E at Mokan
Next month I’ll be getting the dragster back out for a couple CDRA Series events in Tulsa and Wichita along with some more local bracket events. If things start looking up I might even tote the Malibu to Luke’s Door Car Shootout at I-57 Dragway…but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Thanks to Amy and Micala for the pictorial evidence of my trials and tribulations I can’t end without saying thank you to APD, Nitro Plate, J&J Engine Diapers, K&N Filters, and “LB Money” at ThisIsBracketRacing.com for all the sweet product and giving a guy like me a place to tell my tales. If you just can’t get enough of Ivan NoDrivin (you know you want to) feel free to friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter at @IvanNoDrivin. I hope to see you all back next month so for now…I’m spent.