Jonathan Robin: September Blog
September was supposed to be this action packed month with all kinds of racing and winning. Not exactly the case. I did manage to do as much racing as possible but the wins seem to keep eluding me somehow. The first race of the month I tried to attend was Montgomery for Labor Day weekend which I opted out due to weather.
This was after the Flooding started to go down.
I got twenty inches of rain in a short period of time. I tried to salvage the weekend and drive north to Monroe for a race they were putting on Saturday but the rain got them also. This gave me a chance to spend some more time with the family which is always a good thing.
Due to the weather and no racing going on anywhere within four hundred miles I decided to give some TLC to Nelly Bell. What I found was one burnt up wire for the water pump and a crack in the rear end.
Not exactly what you want to find while cleaning the rear end.
Quick trip to Mr. Joe Hidalgo’s house and a little grinding and welding and I was back on track. This was a minor setback that I was sure glad to catch before I went racing again. So that’s where that rear end oil was coming from all this time. Once it was all back together she was ready for the 50 grander at No Problem Raceway.
The biggest race of the year was here for me and I was pumped up. The Great American Bracket Race is the biggest thing around here all year as far as bracket racing is concerned. The weekend started out great as I pulled out at 11:00am Thursday morning. Forty five minutes later I arrived at No Problem Raceway. I know such a long drive right. Thursday was a let’s get settled and grill some steaks and watch the Saints game. The steaks were great but the game not so much. I caught a buzz better than Saints receiver could catch a ball. Friday morning brought a headache along with some racing action. I opened up my log book looked up some delay settings and went to the lanes for first time trial with a game plan. First hit wasn’t what I expected since I was only .035 on the tree. With the way I felt and my delay setting I should have been around 8-10. I Left the box alone for dial-in for dollars and same result 35 on the tree again. What the hell! Bye this time I am thinking the roll out had changed at the track for some reason. I spoke with Luke and he had at least 20-30 more numbers out than usual. This gave me some confidence going into first round. I took 28 numbers out and BAM 8 on the tree and a big W light in my lane. Second round was another good one I took .005 stripe to drop dead on 1. Going into third round I had all the mojo going my way so I thought. I get paired up with my best friend Tony Giambrone for what would be the best race of the weekend. I was .003 on the tree and dead on 2 for a .005 package that did not turn on the win light. Tony was .003 dead on Zero for the W. This was the best package of his life and it had to come against me right. The upside to me losing that round was I got the best losing package of the weekend award from FTI. I got a free converter of my choice from FTI which kind of made it a little easier to lose that way. I really couldn’t be that mad at the fact that I lost with a 5 thou package to my best friend except for the fact that he lost the next round.
This was in the lanes 2nd round Saturday for the 50 Grander.
After Fridays beat down in the $7,500 to win race I was ready for the 50. Since my car was on a rail and my driving was as good as I could get it. I woke up Saturday with a lot of confidence. First round of the 50 I went back to my old ways and missed dialed the car for the L. Second round the outcome would be the same but this time the fault would be placed on my jaw dropping 27 bulb and dead on 7 for a .034 package. This was not my best performance as you can tell. I was not happy at all with my choices nor my driving to say the least. On the bright side I loaded my car in one piece and got to participate in the funniest event of the year. The Golf Cart race at this event is one of the craziest of the year. The promoters of this race fill up a flat boat full of beer and put it in the staging lanes so every time you pass you grab a beer. Needless to say if you don’t catch a win light you are sure to catch a good time.
This was the staging lanes for the Golf Cart race. You couldn’t move in the staging lanes for this one.
This race was the best value of the weekend. $20 dollar entry with $600 to the winner and I think like $200 to the runner-up and Free Beer for everyone.
Hopefully Sunday will pan out better than the last two days did for me. Sunday was a new day with a new game plan. I was going to run my car and double In Kevin Henry’s 4.60 Mullis. I got the W in my whip 1st round but couldn’t do the same in the other. I was .004 and gaining on my guy when the thing decided not to shift for the second time. We tested it 10 times in the lanes and it shifted just not going down the track. Come to find out it was the shift solenoid. I bought back in in his ride and finally got the car to shift but my .011 light take .0008 stripe was no match for T.J. Tracy’s 7 thou package. Second round in my whip I got paired with Tadd Gates who won the 50 the day before. I knew I had to be on my game for this one. I was 9 on the tree and dead on Zero for the L. .009 thou package and still no win light for this guy whats the deal. That’s now two rounds this weekend with a 10 thou or better package and no win lights. No big deal I still have a buy back window trip left in me for the weekend. I buy my way back into 3rd round only to draw Gary Williams as my opponent. No biggie I got this. My .008 to is .006 was not a good start considering he went dead on 3 for a 9 thou package. He only left me 1 thou to play with and I cannot do that on purpose. This concluded my weekend of fun for the GABR.
The following weekend brought the King of the Coast series and also my 2nd wedding anniversary. I still don’t know how I pulled that one off. I had the weekend all planned out. Get there Friday evening and set up. Race all day Saturday and take my wife out to eat Saturday night. Boy how this weekend didn’t go as planned. I promise it wasn’t my fault. That is what I told her.
Three places on the fly wheel and I don’t think it’s going to start.
After the car wouldn’t start for 3rd round Saturday I knew it would be a thrash to get it apart and back together for Sunday’s race. I had a decision to make. Do I tear it down and fix it or put it up broke and go out to eat with the wife. I let her make that decision for me and she said do what you have to. I knew I married her for a reason. My good friend Wade Ellis helped me take it down and put it back together so I could finish the weekend and try and redeem myself. Sunday came and so did third round and this time I had a chance to at least pull in the water. I did a great burnout but that’s about all I did well that round. I had a tuff opponent and knew I had to be on and I did everything but be on. We left pretty even and as we got down there he wasn’t where he was suppose to be. I saw he wasn’t there and told myself do something and he sent me sailing and I took everything he gave me. With another weekend down and another winless weekend I was tired. This not winning thing is starting to get old. Having my wife and daughter at the track made the breakage and losing worth it.
This was Kenzlee’s first race. She did really well with the noise and had a good time.
My weekend came to an end and I am still searching for that first win of the season. With that being said I am still having a blast doing what I do and wouldn’t change it for the world. I have the National Dragster Challenge this weekend at No Problem Raceway. I am going to try and win my second Wally if I am lucky enough.
I have to give a special thanks to Kevin Henry for letting me pilot his ride and Wad Ellis for the helping hand at KOC. A big thanks to FTI for the converter even though I haven’t put it in yet I know it’s going to fly.
I would like to thank the people that make my racing operation: Mom and Dad, AAA PESCO INC., Huntsville Engines, APD, K&N, J&J Performance, Nitro Plate, TIBR.com, and Humpin & Dumpin Motorsports. Last but not least I would like to thank my beautiful wife, Brandi, for putting up with me and understanding the time restraints that this sport puts on us.