APD Member Spotlight Blog (September): Jeremy McKague

It’s time again for another month of long winded tails. We visited 4 tracks in 3 states, bought a new car, broke a motor, and even picked up a few wins. Without further ado grab a snack and make sure your well rested BC I managed to make it long again.

There are not many options for racing this weekend that stand out. Denny tells me that he and his brother are going to Eddyville for the Outlaw fuel Altereds. Denny and his brother know one of the drivers from 40 years ago. They used to go racing everyone so they were going to watch the show and catch up on old times. I decided instead of driving 200 miles to race by myself I would drive those two to Eddyville 250 miles away. I entered the Prizm in the Sportsman and Trophy classes. I entered the trophy class for two reasons. The first reason is that it was free basically as it cost $25 to spectate or $25 to race trophy and Denny was already paying $25 to spectate. The second reason was that the Prizm seems more consistent when running many laps and staying hot and with something like 10 or 11 classes on the schedule that day there would be plenty of down time. We left at 7am for the 4 hour drive even though time runs started at 9:30am. My plan was since last time we got home at 5am from this show two years ago I didn’t really want to get up at 4am and I would just miss time trials and use a first round buyback to get my time run in. Well we got there around 11am and they hadn’t even run the second time run session. I got in line with the car really got and went .026 red and 12.16 It didn’t seem like I was early but can’t be sure. The 2nd round of trophy time runs was latter and I was the last car given me a bye run. I rolled in deep as quick as I could as auto start is on and mat the throttle only the tree doesn’t activate. I let off the gas and yep the tree comes down. I take my time and go over 1 second on the tree and run a 12.14 
                Now it is time for round one. Wrong they call all the cars to the lane for the reaction time challenge. Basically it is 10 bucks and the best light gets some portion of the money. I don’t know what percentage as I really didn’t check into it as there is no distinction of box or no box here. There is only one winner. I pay the 10 bucks as I am lost on the tree even though I know my odds of winning are about as good as a one legged man winning an ass kicking contest. I go .014 on the tree by sitting on it forever but that doesn’t quite cut the mustard as someone is .001. The car however runs a 12.26 The prizm has become increasingly inconsistent. I don’t know if it is due to the fact that it has over 150k miles. The fact that it is only a 12 second computer controlled street car or the fact that it has over 300 on the floor converter launches. GM probably didn’t really account for someone buying one to bracket race it. I told Denny on the way up to Eddyville if the car does the big slow down and screws me I was buying a 4th generation Camaro to race. I had planned on racing the new S-10 I bought but it is too radical for the long drives.
                R1 Sportsman. I dial 12.27 against someone dialed 7.50 I want’ to make sure I could run the number as they were dialed the class minimum and I expect must be quicker than that. Turns out it doesn’t matter as I hit my old spot to be .021 red and run another 12.14 My opponent is .174 and 4 above. Apparently he isn’t holding and in fact I saw him only dial up to at 7.52 for the next run. For $20 I can have another shot at sportsman which pays $300 to win. Seems like a deal to me as they pay 2nd round winners here $20 a round. Can’t beat that buyback win the next round and get your money back.
                R1 Trophy I dial a 12.18 and sit on the tree forever to go .044 to my opponents .1 something light. I kill some et for the way over win.
                R2 Sportsman I am paired with an S-10 and have seen him make some runs and know he can drive a little. I dial 12.18 even though I was going another 12.14 last round. He dials 9.95 and when we leave I think my light is good. We get down there and I can tell he is going to take it by a small amount so I park and give him .025 only my light doesn’t come on. I am .020 to his .061 and only running a 12.24 to his .02 over for the L. Next round there were 9 coming back and my opponents .061 light gets the bye run. Let the Camaro hunting begin.
                R2 Trophy I arrive and am told I have the bye run with my .044 which seems strange until only one other person show up. Seems there were only 4 of us in the first round and the other two didn’t buyback.  I am not positive it is my opponent but I believe he is the one I heard them announce broke out by half a second in the first round. I dial 12.26 as I don’t want to be a sitting duck when he drives me at the stripe. I leave and feel my light is good and at half track there is no way he will get within 200 feet of me. I’m off the gas at 400 feet and ride the brakes way across to take a bunch. I look up and I win with a 12.42 as they announce my opponent broke out by 2 tenths trying to run me down. The math teacher in me started figuring “well I am 1.5 tenths over plus I took .2 and he broke out by .2 what was his light?” Well both of us had a seven in our light. The only difference was mine was .007 and his was .763. This wasn’t my most impressive win ever but I am still counting it as it is my 18th final and 9th win of the year as well as 4 finals I was in that were not completed. Yes a brag but I don’t get to do it often and you never know when the next time will be if there is a next time so I’m going to savor the flavor. We actually get to bail after the 2nd round of time trials as I am done racing and so is Denny’s fuel altered buddy. We get home at a very nice 1:30am which sure beats the 5am we got home last time.  
$10,641 beginning balance - $ 70 entries - $74 gas = $10,497
                The next weekend Jason decides since he hasn’t raced in a while that he was going to Benton. This works at well as they have a special motorcycle race at Benton this night also. Before we go I have someone come to my house and I sell the hot rod s-10 I just bought. It was too radical to drive far to the track. I plan to use this money to fund my Prizm replacement, a Camaro. I paid $3550 for it and put gas in it to drive it home and never put gas in it again. I sold it for $3900 so we are already up today. We load up the bike and meet Jason at the track. I enter the fb classes and super pro class in the Cavalier. In time runs everything goes well and the new starter Jason put on the roadster seems to be just what it needed. I am .510 (1.130 delay) and 5.798 (3.709 330) in super pro and .513 and 5.813 (3.708 330) in fb. My et is quite a bit different even though the 330’s were almost the same and the mph was identical. I contribute this to the fact that I shift the car 500 rpm lower in fb. Sounds like a good theory at least.
                FB R1 and I have to race Chad Brock. Now this is a very bad draw for the first round. I dial a 5.84 as it is quite likely I will be at a disadvantage on the tree. We leave and I feel good and I realize there is no way I’m killing any et and still taking the stripe. I make the easy choice of running him deep and parking. I go two above out of it 10mph while he is .014 under. He had me on the tree .508 to .515 and also my 330 slowed to 3.721 so I wasn’t holding near as much as I thought. Thinking back later I’m sure the inconsistency of the car in fb is due to the fact that I get caught up racing and shift the car by ear and not the tach. 
                SP R1 1.033 I actually put in .003 from my 10 light in time runs bc I remember thinking how long the tree was and I would be surprised if I caught it as clean as I think I did. I dial 5.81 in case the slowdown in fb wasn’t my shifting and my opponent dials 5.67. We leave and it plain to me that I can’t get the stripe so I park a little in the light and go dead on 8 for the win. I got the jump .515 to his .521 and he was .022 under. My 330 was 3.713 so I only slowed a little.
                FB R2 I dial 5.86 as the car slowed the last round and I want to be holding some. My opponent is 6.89. I screwed this run up as I am sure my rpm dropped while waiting on my opponent to stage and I shifted a little early. I was .535 and he was .536 I can’t get there and kill anything so I park but do it way too soon to be 3 above and get lucky as he is 2 thou under. Well I think I parked at the right time but my 330 was 3.738 so I was much slower than I thought. I need to do a better job of launching and shifting the car at the same rpm.
                SP R2 1.128 delay and I have to run Dan Smith. Another terrible draw as Dan is a great racer and had been tearing up I-57 lately. Dan dials down from a 6.33 to a 6.32 I dialed a 5.82 as I thought I was going 5.81 something last run. Dan is .509 and I am .508 I get in front and kill a little to take .013 but am 7 thou under while Dan is dead on 6. My 330 is 3.709 and by what the run felt like I killed I would guess I was going 5.80 again. I went 5.798 in time trials with the same 330 but I would guess it isn’t running quite as good in the back half. Good thing for 1st or 2nd round buybacks.
                FB R3 I dial 5.87 next to my 7.86 opponent. I want to make sure I can run the number no matter how bad of a run I make. My opponent is red even before my tree starts to come down so I try to drill it for the bye run and come up with a .496 but leg it to a 5.826 with a 330 of 3.719. This run seems more reasonable.  
                SP R3 1.128 I have to run Matt Ellis in a very quick door car dialed in at 4.84. Matt is no push over as I have seen him win the Q16 race here last year as well as go deep in several super pro races. I dial 5.81 I would normally dial an honest 5.80 here but got confused and was thinking I was running 5.81 last run. I could make an excuse and say it was due to the fact that I was running two classes and the staging lane lights weren’t working so I couldn’t see my slips but in reality it is probably more bc I was having a dumb ass attack. We leave and at half track I think there is no way he can even come close to me but tell myself not to make any move to soon as he is quick. Finally I shut off and go .016 over taking .092 stripe. Well I guess at least he wasn’t going to sneak around me. I got lucky twice in that Matt made a bad run and I also got away with a poor finish line performance.
                FB R4 I dial 5.86 thinking I had a slower opponent but someone pulled up at the last minute that was dialed 5.93. This was a weird race as when we left I remember thinking I left first. Around 200 ft I was so far ahead that I stuck into high gear a tiny bit early and at half track I was many car lengths ahead. I ripped it twice then and many more rips to take .086 thinking I was way safe and he was charging hard by now. Well once again I went only one above. Fortunately in this situation it wouldn’t matter as my opponent was 8 under. We both run in the 5.80’s this run only I went 114mph to his 129mph. I was .545 to his .723 and out ran him to the 60ft clock by .165 no wonder the race looked crazy.  Once positive note was my 330 was 3.714 so that looks more consistent.
                SP R4 1.126 I have to run Matt Buttrum in his quick super sweet Cutlass. Mark has not had this car long but I know it is deadly.  He won the Q16 race at the Jeg’s Summer Door Car Shootout and made a perfect run in the first round. 
Mark is dialed a 5.16 and I go with the honest 5.80 Even though my last 330 says I’m going 5.79 I don’t feel like I’ve been killing that much and historically the back half would slow down at night. I get a slight jump .506 to .513 and can tell it is going to be close. I hold it on the run and am happy to see my light come on as both scoreboards read dead on. I am dead on 4 and Mark is dead on 0 while I get to the stripe by 3 thou. 
                FB R5 with 6 cars remaining. I dial 5.84 next to Tim Melvin’s 6.50 He drills me to the tree .506 to .550 and I park to go one above while he is 3 above and I’m just like a fat kid in dodge ball. I’m out!
                SP R5 1.126 and 8 cars remain. I dial 5.81 to my opponent’s 7.03 I consider this dial fairly honest as I’m only holding half a number and can easily slow down that. When we leave I don’t like my light but I can tell I’m going to get there and even get in a few throttle pumps as I’m half a car behind. I take .006 to be dead 4 while they are dead on 6. Neither one of us killed the tree but my .520 was just enough to get it done next to a .524. My 330 was 3.711 so it did slow slightly. 
                SP R6 Semi’s 1.126 and 4 cars remain. I stick with my 5.81 dial next to Dean Wilson’s 5.87 I feel like I crush it and I must as I am .495 red. I actually think I met it coming on as the tree was very long tonight. That makes two weeks in a row I’ve done that and I had rarely ever done it before. I need to stop that. Dean was .504 and one above 4 but I was going very low dead on so there was a chance. 
We head for home with Denny taking the first shift and me searching Craigslist for a Camaro. After a McDonald’s stop and a pilot change half way we arrive home at 5:50am. I found some nice leads on a few Camaros too. The next day I am up at 9:00am texting people about a few cars. By 12:00 pm Denny and I are in Jefferson City 1 hour away looking at a Camaro. It was a 1997 V6 model with 79800 miles. I ended up buying it for 4k which I think is a good deal. It will make a good daily driver if nothing else. I was kicking around the idea of getting a v8 as I have owned two LS1’s in the past but the cost difference was too much for me to swallow. So far in the first week I have ordered a trailer hitch, temp gauge (we can avoid the scanner controversy), and fan switch and shift improver. 
Is it better than a Prizm?
            Monday I got my new BW promotions shirt. I thought I would try it on while checking out the new race car. Once Camaro fact of note is that when I had my first two Camaros my wife was pregnant so I explained to her that it was just a coincidence and that since we have 3 children and this is my 3rd Camaro that I am just evening the balance and in no way is this consent for child number four.
No I’m not peeing on the car
$10,497 beginning balance - $110 entries and buyback - $60 gas + $200 winnings = $10,527
Time for the big Labor Day weekend races. Unfortunately some punk named Isaac decided he was going to take a leak on every track around. It looked like Mo-Kan Dragway was going to race on Sunday so that gave Denny and I Saturday to prepare the new V6 Camaro for its debut. Saturday involved the installation of a new trailer hitch, trailer light wiring, flushing of the radiator and new coolant installed, new thermostat, new synthetic oil and removal of the window tint covering half of the window. It only took us 3/4ths of the day as well as two separate trips to the parts store 20 miles away to get this done but now the Camaro is ready for its debut. Well not quite ready as I had yet to receive my cold air intake, temp gauge, and fan switch. That means the Camaro will be flying with infamous scanner hooked up. Gasp! The Horror!
Denny getting busy at Dead Money Headquarters
4:30 a.m. I hook up to Denny’s trailer with his bike loaded on for the 252 mile one way trip to Mo-Kan Dragway. The Prizm and the bike combo was the original economy bracket combo. The Camaro and the bike are still economy but now just slightly more sleek and sexy and hopefully much more consistent. You can admit it when you think sleek and sexy you think of the two founding members of Dead money racing; Denny and I. I enter sportsman and no electronics to give the Camaro a good workout. The show will be slow as there are several classes as well as the Outlaw Fuel Altereds, a jet car and the Mako cars. I make four time runs that did not go very well. My 1/8th mile times (sportsman was run on the ¼) were 10.24 (16.14), 10.29, 10.25(16.15) and 10.34 WTF this thing isn’t any better than the Prizm, which isn’t surprising considering the Prizm is awesome. My lights sucked also as I have to shallow stage here which is something I want to be able to do as going deep is a pain depending on the track. I rang up .109, -.016 trying to go when it comes on (I don’t like this method bc if they scramble the top two blubs it won’t work), .292(apparently a fuel injected car will stumble from an idle, I was trying to hit it coming on from an idle) and .097
R1 Sportsman 5:17pm (time runs started at 10:30 but the fuel altered and other show cars slow down the program) I throw the kitchen sink and change everything. This round I plan to torque it up to 1800 rpm instead of 1400 rpm. I also try to run the car at 85 degrees Celsius(it’s true the scanner reads in code, that way they can’t figure out I’m cheating, it doesn’t even use Fahrenheit) instead of 90 degrees in hopes it will be more consistent. I figure all it will cost me is a buyback. I guess at a 16.24 dial thinking that it would have been slower than that the last time run but the other 3 were quicker. Also I expected the quicker launch and cooler temp to help speed it up. I leave with a .055 react which I like because I know that Mo-Kan has about 30 more rollout than a lot of tracks I race at. My opponent is red and I get the free time run of 10.227 and 16.129.
R1 No E 5:58 pm I dial 10.24 as I’m not sure if the car will slow down running closer together. Every other time trial was slower when I run closer together hence the reason I dialed up a little bit. I destroy my opponent on the tree .075 to .076 and start watching him in the mirror around the half way mark I start thinking this is going to be close at the other end when boom a giant fireball shoots out of his hood scoop. Now it wasn’t as shocking as my nitrous explosion but it still startled me. He slows and I find some brake pedal to be a safe 4 tenths over. On a positive note my 330 was only one thou quicker than my last run. I like that!
R2 Sportsman 7:56pm and I dial 16.27. I bet you are wondering why I would dial that when I was going a 16.12 pace last run. Well my opponent is a guy that is also racing in both classes. He has both dialins wrote on his car. In no e he is dialing 6.6 and in sportsman he is dialing the class minimum of 11.00. He probably shouldn’t be advertising this fact unless he really can’t run 6.6 and it was a setup. Now that would be playing chess when everyone else is playing checkers. Unfortunately for him I’ve seen him run and know he can run well into the 10’s. So I am planning on just testing the brakes eh! I leave with a conservative .099 light; I actually tried to suck this time as there is no point in pushing the tree. He is .034 and I hear him shut off early and coast up on me and then it is break check time. He takes .117 to lose the double break out. I run a 6.554 to the 330 and a 10.209 to the 1/8th so that is fairly consistent for the 3rd run in a row. You may have noticed that I have not had any helmet cam videos lately as the switch is screwed up on it but I did catch a video of this one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd1aoOckQwQ
R2 No E 8:35pm I dial 10.21 to my opponents 7.49 and go .050 to his .173 and find some brakes to be a safe 4 over taking .047 stripe. My 330 was 6.567 so once again not too bad. 
R3 Sportsman 11:41pm I dial 16.11 to my opponents 13.72. This is the same guy that went red to me in rd 1 of sportsman. I am .077 to his .162 and he has troubles past half track and slows so I lift for the win. My 330 was 6.536 and my 1/8th mile was 10.188. It picked up a little but it is much later and cooler now so I can live with that and even though I warmed the engine temp up I’m sure the other fluids and block etc weren’t near as warm. 
R3 No E 12:16am and I dial 10.20 as I plan to bump a little deeper to try and cut a better light. Well I know I miss it .080 and break out one thou. Although it didn’t matter as my opponent was .045 and dead one 6.56 to get to the stripe first. 
R4 1:02am Sportsman and I dial 16.10 to Zack Kleine’s 11.94 I decide to bump deeper and get on the converter harder in order to cut a light. Well that part worked as I am .034 to his .065 but lose a double break out picking up about 4 hundredths to the half track. I guess I should have anticipated more stall would pick the car up as it was over 2 quicker in the 60ft. 
No money was won but all in all it was a good night. The Camaro showed some potential and we even got home earlier than the 5:50am we got home last week. This week it was 5:45 am which is rough after leaving the day before at 4:30 am. A couple of interesting stories from the night with the first being before the races started the announcer said he wanted to point out that someone famous was there. I assumed he would say the Outlaw Fuel Altereds but instead he said Jeremy McKague was making a stop on his tour at Mo-Kan Dragway. Famous? I guess TIBR.com is making me a star! Yeah right! The second was I saw a car launch and immediately break his read end.  The car shuddered so hard the rear bumper fell completely off the car. Never seen that one before. 
$10,527 beginning balance - $95 entry - $65 gas = $10,367
The following week brings the Labor Day makeup race at I-57 drag strip in Benton IL. They are planning to run both days programs in one day with time trials starting at 8:00am.   Jason and I headed down the night before to make sure we got a decent parking spot as well as not having to leave before 4:00am. Unfortunately the trip was very slow due to the massive thunderstorm we were driving through. The highlight was running into the gas station with it pouring only to have an old lady blocking the door and pointing at the sky while saying “you see that cloud that is a tornado”. I wish this crazy lady would get out of my way as its pouring. Yeah when I come back out the tornado sirens were going off. Hmmm, maybe she wasn’t crazy after all. We took off driving figuring a gas station wasn’t the best place to be when a tornado hits. Plus there is a better than 50% chance we are driving away from it. 
                Saturday morning comes and I enter FB which pays 1k to win and SP which pays 2k to win. Time runs don’t begin till 11:00am due to a timing system issue so we are limited to one per class. In FB I go .486 and 5.829 in the left lane. In sp I go .563 and 5.836 in the right lane. This run was screwed up from the start. I was running Dave Angelly and when he staged a moment latter his stage bulb flickers but apparently he was in long enough to start the tree. He was .242 red while I was .563 and surprised it wasn’t worse. Also my run is slower than my fb run and should be 1 hundredth or so quicker. That leads me to believe the right lane is slower but unfortunately I am lost on the tree but did race here last week so I think I might have an idea of what to put in the box. 
R1 FB Left I have to run James Pearson who just clinched the sportsman title at Gateway a few weeks prior. This is normally a terrible draw but there are two factors that help me even the odds in the race. The first is that he was up all night working on the car and hasn’t been to bed yet and the second is that in his only time run on a new combination the car bogged when it left. I dial what I believe to be an honest 5.82 and just plan on practically making a time run to not beat myself seeing how he is fairly lost. He dials a 8.13 and I have the advantage at the tree .552 to .589 I can tell I can’t get there and he is backing up to me so I park late to be one above. He broke out with an 8.09 and only took .013 stripe with me killing a hundredth. Looks like I lost .007 in the 330 and was going dead on. 
R1 SP Right I have to run Rod Schaeffer in his dragster. I dial a 5.83 to his 5.01 Long story short I am .493 red and run a 5.85 run. I decide right now I’m going to the left lane as long as possible as I have had a few goofy reds in this lane and the traction seems worse. (Later that night Jason is .480 red in this lane)
R2 FB Left and I have to run Don Allen in his stock Chevy pickup dialed in at 10.51. I dial in at 5.83 thinking that maybe I am holding one or so. After the burnout I have to shutoff while the reset the computer which froze up. After a minute or so the race is on. I am .543 to his .610 and lift 8 mph to take .055 and be 3 above to his 2 above. The 330 picks up a little to be .003 quicker than my time trial so it looks like I was on an 82 run. 
R2 SP Left I bailed to the left lane as I am completely lost in the right lane anyways and I don’t really trust the react in that lane. I dial 5.83 even though I think I can go 5.81 according to my fb run. I also put .007 in the box to cover the red light even though I think I have it loaded up. I am .522 and thankfully my opponent is red seeing how I run a 5.813. To confuse matters more my 60 ft is the same as my previous run in the right however the car just picked up all the way down the track and went 1.39mph more. We have been fighting a head wind that is coming and going so that could be something. 
R3 SP I have to run Shiloh Bailey who dialed in at a 6.60. There was just a complete oil down in my lane as well as it is getting much later and hotter so I elect to dial 5.88 as I want to make sure I want holding several.   I am .527 to here .577 and not only is there not enough room to kill the 6 I think I’m holding I can’t even get even. I park late and go .021 under and see her go .16 under. I later found out her car had been broke and they were doing some tuning on it which lead to the big breakout. My 330 says I was running a 5.81
R3 SP I dial 5.81 next to Jason Grams 5.30. He pulled right up to pair me. Smokey is no dummy he knows a chump when he sees one.   I did not like my dial when I seen the two pairs in front of me go 3 over and 4 over back to back.   I also left the box along even though I suspect it is loaded up. I go .527 to his .520 and the car spins badly when it leaves. I end up going 2 over and Smokey parks to 5 over giving me the stripe by .020. It would have been close if he stayed in it and the unknown of whether he could have caught me and the actions of his throttle foot will haunt his dreams forever. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Wcry66DoOE  Starting to think that red light as well as mine last week in the semis has something to do with that right lane.
R4 FB and I have to run Lucas Walker on his second entry. If you don’t know him he can flat out drive a race car. I was already dialed in at 5.88 when I was paired with him. I was getting ready to run Scotty Vaughn when they remembered Lucas was coming back on his second entry. Talk about going from the frying pan and into the fire. I was .523 and thought it was good when I left. Lucas was .522 and I made the decision to take the stripe. I took a sloppy .020 to be 2 under while he was dead on 2. I’m not sure if he feed me a little at the end but with his package I was pretty much boned. I also picked up a little and was running 5.80 or 81 which tricked me into thinking I had room. I guess I did have room. I had to take .001 or less. That doesn’t sound like the window was near wide enough to squeeze my fat butt in.
R4 SP I get to the staging lanes immediately after fb since they have already called super pro. I choose the right bc it is obvious with 80+% of the cars in the left and the last ones dialed 4.4X and 4.5X that I was going there anyways. I had hoped to draw someone a little slower since I will be lost in this lane. Well I kind of got someone slower as the dragster I was running was dialed 4.81 I left the box alone as I was set up on .500 in this lane. I don’t think that the lane is that quick consistently. I also dial 5.84 even though my last run in this lane was a 5.85. What can I say, I’m a pansy. I leave and am .513 and the car is very loose. I consider lifting but reel is mostly back under control only to see my opponent sail by me and break out by 2 taking .080 Well actually what had happened was he was red and I didn’t see it as I had my hands full. In the shutdown the Cavalier will lose oil pressure if on the brakes too hard and with Benton having a short shutdown I have to feather the brakes. Well I look down and the car has zero. Turns out it broke the oil pump shaft and the Cavalier was done for the day. I was also five over and don’t know if it was a lack of oil pressure, the car being so loose, or a combination of both. 
Looks like for the 2nd race which is 2k to win fb and 5k to win super pro with double entries that Jason and I will be doubling the dragster like old times and I won’t be entering fb. I get a couple of time shots as a new entry and also we are running the dragster on the 2 barrel here due to the short shutdown. Time runs yield a .533 5.025 and .493 5.020. 
R1 Left and I have to run Casey Beckmeyer who is dialed in at a 5.02 which is what I’m also dialed. After the run I talk to Casey and find out he is my second opponent of the day who is running on very little sleep. I get the jump .516 to .532 and lift several times to take .012 and run a 5.030 to his 5.028. My 330 picked up .012 so it looks like I was on a 5.00 run. 
R2 Left and I have to run Dave Angelly for the 108th time this season. Dave is wheeling Ronnie Egner’s nice nostalgia Chevy and dialed in at 5.80. I stick with the 5.02 as the track is getting closer as it is now 11:05 and I don’t know if the car will repeat that. I am .508 to his .522 and kill about 6mph to run dead on 2 taking .017 while Dave is dead on 6. 
R3 Left and I have to run surprise Dave Angelly for the 197th time this season. We talked about this fact before the run and he informed me it was his turn to win. What? I didn’t know you could call dibs. Dave sticks with the 5.80 dial and I make the mistake and dial 5.00 thinking from Jason’s run the back half was improving due to the air. I am .512 to his .517 and lift a tiny bit at the end and come out .005 behind. He is dead on 9 for the win. I lost some in the 60 foot and that finished me off. From my 594 time it looks like I only killed a couple of thou. 
By the time we watch one more round as Jason was also beat in the 3rd round and get loaded up and on the road it is 1:30am. We make the decision to stay in a hotel as I don’t want to make it 3 weeks in a row of getting home past 5 am.
$10,367 beginning balance - $240 entries - $300 alcohol - $40 hotel - $100 gas + $60 winnings = $9747
 This following week I installed a cold air intake and an electric fan switch on the Camaro while Jason tackled the more difficult job of installing new bearings and fixing the oil pump shaft in the Cavalier. We think everything is ready for the following weekend of Black Sunday at Gateway. Black Sunday which used to be a two day race is now a separate race on Saturday and Sunday. I bring the Camaro with Denny’s bike in tow as we leave for Gateway at 5 am. I enter the Camaro in Sportsman and enter the Cavalier in SP 1/8th mile and Pro 1/4th mile.   My first time trial was in the Cavalier with the delay box. They have the quarter mile time clocks on so I decided to test Jason’s bearing installing skills with a monster burnout followed by a .017 initiated 5.777 and 9.188 at 142.51. I guess they are good.   It is unbelievable windy at 142mph with no windshield. I’ll have to remember to put my head back on the cage bc its tough holding it still. My next time run was in the Camaro. Two weeks ago the Camaro went a best of 16.04 this week with the new cold air intake it went .025 15.68. I’m sure some of this was the weather but apparently it likes the intake. My next time was in the Cavalier in Pro. This is where things get interesting. The cutoff for Pro this weekend is 9.50 and I just 9.18 so I decide I am going to footbrake the car in high gear only. I am -.025 and the tree and abort about 900 ft as the car is moving around pretty good. I think the car doesn’t stick as well not leaving hard and is on the tire all the way down, combine this with a big crosswind and I abort. I could have made it but why risk it. My next time trial was in the Cavalier in SP. I am in the left lane and the car before me leaks something in the right tire track and have to lift. It looks to me like they wipe it up with a paper towel. I am .002 and off the gas in the 1st 20 feet as the car moves hard to the right. Two aborted runs in a row is not something I like. My next run was another time trial in pro mode of the Cavalier. I am .065 and go 9.72 at 141. Looks like the high gear slowed it down enough. My final time trial was in the Camaro in which I was .100 and 15.659. Time for eliminations. 
Pro R1 Left My opponent is dialed the class minimum of 9.50 which seems very suspicious to me. I dial 9.79 as to make sure I can run the number. We leave with my .045 to his .049 and like I suspected he was on me before the 330 and already pacing me. I drive him deep and park him off to kill 12 mph and give him .110 stripe. I am one above and he is one tenth under.  He was doing it right with a decent light and was going to take me through by a little. Unfortunately for him he may have read the first few chapters but he didn’t know how the story was going to end. I’m glad I dialed up so much as I slowed 3 hun in the 1/8th and 4 in the 1000 ft. It is after 3 now plus I don’t know how consistent the high gear only will be. 
SP R1 I return to the left lane and dial a 5.78 to my opponents 5.48 I get the jump .012 to .047 and need is as I can only muster a 5.806 which gets me there .019 ahead of his one above. 
Sportsman R1 I have to run a 13.60 dialed Camaro and I dial 15.69. My opponent thinks I’m a chump as he was following me down the lanes only to swing over to pair me intentionally. While talking with him before the run he tells me “don’t red light or I’ll win.” Thanks for the advice I guess he was trying to rattle me. I leave with a .041 light and watch him in the mirror and he hardly moves as his car died. I lift for the easy win. I guess I should have told him before the run “don’t kill it or else I’ll win”. My 1000ft time was .011 slower than my 15.687 run so my dial was pretty close. 
Pro R2 and my opponent is dialed the magic 9.50 again. I dial up to a 9.80 as I want to make sure I can break out. Same story as last run basically. I am .012 to his .053 and he has me covered before the 330. This one could have played out differently as he tried screwing it up on the big end and ripped it too much. I think my big mph for the et messed him up and I also think I could have taken the stripe but then I had a conversation with my brain that went like this.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtpUTJci77s I listened to my brain and parked 12 mph to only get .034 behind and be one above to his 6 under. My 1000 ft time slowed by .01 from my last run to a 8.187 which I believe to be a 9.78ish by feel and my earlier runs but I can’t be sure.
SP R2 and I have to run Dustin Bryant. Long story short I am 3 red which is a loser to his .013 and 4 above.
Sportsman R2 and we are ladders as there are only 10 of us left. Sportsman did not have buybacks and only had 19 people enter. I have to run a local super pro racers kid who I think has never raced before or at least not much. I dial 15.70 to his 14.99 and cut a conservative .094 light to his .251 I do some lifting to take .057 and be 9 above. According to my 1000ft time I was going about 15.71.
Pro R3 I have to run Don Rausch and catch my lucky break. I dial 9.82 and he dials 10.15 I get sideways on the burnout and don’t do a very good one. Don trees me .039 to .050 and about 800 ft I’m remember thinking this is going to be close, should I park if it is tight or did the car slow down due to the burnout? About 950 feet I’m a car length behind and Don drops the nose hard. I sail by and lift for the win. I talk to Don after the run and he thought the 1000ft was the finish line. Gateway is a national event track and they have a set of double cones at the 1000ft to measure the Pro’s mph so it can be tricky. It got me earlier this year when I was looking over 90 degrees and pacing my opponent and when the cones went by I thought it was the end. Looking at our slips and past slips I lost .018 in the 1000 ft so I was probably going 80 or 81. Don’s slip showed he was going about one over so with his one hun advantage on the tree it was going to be close. Lucky break for me.
Sportsman R3 There are 5 of us left and I have to run a really cool car the Hot Rod Lincoln and we are racing for the bye into the final. I dial a 15.73 to his 12.00. I can’t get the car warmed up the 80 degrees Celsius (Celsius you say, I told you it was a cheap scanner) that I was running it earlier and apparently the car picks up at 73 degrees as I was .055 and 9 under taking .051. So I pretty much screwed that one up completely, not a good light, too much stripe, and didn’t have the car up to temp, but it didn’t matter as he smoked me with a .009 and one above. Lesson learned about the temp that I need to run it at a cooler temp earlier.
Pro Rd 4 and we are on the ladder as there are 10 of us left and I am paired with Richard McCormick. I raced with Richard 15 years ago when I began but haven’t seen him much lately. He dialed 9.52 and I dialed 9.84 as the car seems to have been slowing down and was on an 81 pass last run. Although I am having a harder time driving the stripe with the no windshield winds making it harder to look over. I get the jump .037 to .094 and kill a ton to take .087 to be 5 over. I know it was a ton of stripe but like Brian tells me “don’t be a hero and take triple zero” I did pick up the .018 I lost in the 1000ft last run so I guess my bad burnout did hurt me. 
Pro R5 with 5 cars remaining and I have the bye run. I elect to run the left which is the same as all my other runs. I do this bc the only car left quicker than me had made every run in the right and I expect him to stay there. I am .036 and only run to the 1000ft and lose .004 from my last run. I do this bc I don’t want anyone to know I’m holding and I also don’t want to advertise that I can run 140mph plus as I feel this may be an advantage to me later.
Pro R6 3 cars remain and I have to run a Duster dialed 9.50 I have heard through the grapevine that he is using a mechanical throttle stop and can go about 9.40 all out. I dial 9.82 as my last run was about 9.79   I leave with a .051 and he is red. I run it to the 1/8th and lose a hundredth to there. 
Pro R7 Final I dial 9.82 to Ron Mergel’s 10.55. I know he just went a 10.57 or 10.58 on his 10.52 dial on his bye run. I leave with a .030 to his .070   I looks like some room in front so I take it .012 to be one above with a 5 while he is .013 under. The final wasn’t big money as it paid $700 to win $200 to runner up. We decided to kick back $100 to the loser of the round. It may not have paid big money but it was nice to find the winners circle again, although there was no one there to take your picture. This was especially sucky seeing how Jason took the dragster to the win in the Super Pro 1/4th race and the Super Pro 1/8th race. We had never both won on the same night before. We ran each other in the final earlier this year but never both won on the same night. Denny and I elected to go home and not race on Sunday as we didn’t get home until almost 3am and the next day was scheduled for the same program. Jason sent me a text Monday morning at 1:16am that he won super pro quarter and was still in 1/8th mile when some of the racers wanted to split the money. The track allowed them to vote and split even though 3 racers didn’t want to. Getting home at 4am for me would have made for a rough 7am alarm clock. Although now I wish that since Jason won that I would have been there to see the end to our unbelievable weekend.
$9747 beginning balance - $110 entries - $45 gas + $600 winning = $10,192
Glad to see the month end well with a W bc it had been a while since my last one and the checkbook ledger was starting to slip a little. I’m not complaining bc I’ve had the best season ever including this last win I have been in 19 final rounds and pulled in some nice money. I am sitting in a tie for 30th in the BTE Power Rankings on Thisisbracketracing.com and if I could have turned on one more win light at the Jeg’s race and I would be 19th. That is unbelievable to me that with me racing for a hobby and not hitting that many big races that I have had such a great year to be ranked top 30 in the nation. Hopefully I can move up a few spots with a few big money races coming up. I noticed when I was finishing this blog that I’ve made a few runs this year.
 Until next month’s novel as Brian Whitworth would say be double O take double O.

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