APD Member Spotlight Blog (September): Lindsey Cramsey
Oh no! Only two more blogs left!! I have actually enjoyed writing blogs so much that I am going to continue doing it, only instead at LindseyCramsey.com! My website isn’t done yet, but it works, and can only get better so check it out every now and then! The end of August through September have been some very busy weeks! I am sure you aren’t surprised at all, but I am currently taking a break from putting Black Betty back together! Let’s go back a few weeks, when Black Betty was running like a champ!
One of the biggest high dollar races we have at Bandimere is the Super Chevy Show. It is $3000 to win, and a fun weekend in general. I was really excited, because I finally had a Chevy, it was a big block, it was consistent, and it was actually running great, not (necessarily) living on a prayer! Time trials were okay, I was .013 on the tree first run and then slowed to an .022 second time run. I took three thou out of the box, and went to first round. I had an 11 second car, so I dialed pretty much exactly what I thought it was going to run so that I would only have to womp it a couple of times and not worry too much about crossing by less than a hundredth. I ripped my finger off the button, and thought I had a mid teen light. As the car launched, I knew my light wasn’t as good as I thought it was, but I still thought it was a mid twenty. We got down towards the finish line, and I DEFINITELY wasn’t catching him. I think everyone knows that feeling, where you aren’t catching them, and you just close your eyes, and dump as hard as you can, hoping when you open them, your win light is on. That is exactly what I did, and when I opened them, my win light was on. I breathed a sigh of relief; I knew my light wasn’t stellar. I got the ticket, and I had gone my 2nd worst light in competition this entire year, an .056!! WHAT! I couldn’t believe it. The other guy was .026 and broke out by a bunch, but I felt bad that I had such a terrible light! I was happy to get the win, but I knew I wasn’t going to get too far with .050 lights!!
A REAL “Super” Chevy!!! (Sorry if you guys are tired of looking at the same Black Betty every month, since it’s my kid, I never get tired of looking at her!)
We had a long time in between first and second round, and finally they called electronics. I jumped in the car, and my gas pedal fell to the floor. Nothing like an air leak when everything you have is air operated! On top of that, I have an extra air bottle, but of course, I had neglected to fill it up. FAIL! We weren’t sure where the leak was coming from, so I took off the body panels while my dad went and grabbed a fellow super racer’s extra bottle. We got the new bottle on and as soon as we turned it on we could see that a hole had formed in the hose leading to the gauge in the car. Since this had happened before, we had purchased a piece to block it off and had it ready to go. I put on my firesuit and got ready to go, and when I pulled down to the staging lanes, there were only about 5 pair left. I ended up being paired with a dragster dialed 7.88. I really focused this time on the tree, and it looked much much better when I launched. I was looking back, looking back, and looking back! I couldn’t see him at all. I got through 1000 ft and womped it, then hit the brakes at the finish line. I was .003, and something must have happened, as the other dragster had a.622 r/t. I crossed by four tenths, but was seven hundredths over. Third round we didn’t have any issues, and I was paired with a fellow female dragster driver. She was dialed a 7.97. I saw the light, and knew I had hesitated, I considered hitting the bump down, but decided against it. Again, I looked back, looked back, looked back, nothing! I womped it and got on the brakes for the win. She was .160 on the tree and I was .036 and 35 thou over. Fourth round I had another door car dialed 10.07. I dialed pretty close again, and did my thing. .011 on the tree to his .040 and spectacularly took .015 at the stripe. I know that isn’t as great as what fancy people like Luke can do, but heck, I pretty much do a happy dance if I can get under two hundredths against those slower door cars! I was getting pretty excited about going to the fifth round, but I knew I had to stay focused. I was paired with another young racer, him in a dragster he had only bought just a few weeks before. He was dialed 7.82, and this was a two round race. If I beat him here, I had a bye to the finals. When I launched, I knew my light was good, and he was right there with me the entire time. WOMP WOMP! I took .0075 stripe for the win. I was .003 to his .020. Chicka chicka yeahhh, going to my second final round!!!! I was ecstatic to be in the final, I knew I had a chance to win $3000 dollars! I made my bye run, was .009 on the tree, and ran a little faster than we thought. We hurried and came back around, as they wanted all finals to go quickly as our left over 4th of July fireworks were set to start soon. I had a dragster dialed an 8.19. When I launched, my light felt fine, and I got down to the finish line and womped it, crossing right where I wanted to. My win light did not come on. I was .024 to his .019, broke out by 15 thou and he was dead on three. Needless to say, I was incredibly upset. I was so disappointed to have went .024 in the final, and was extremely disappointed when I received my second place check. Maybe some of you think I am crazy, and that I should be happy to have made it to the final, but this one still hurts to even talk about. Many have told me that there will be more final rounds, but I wanted to win a race so bad, that it really hurt to not get through that round.
The next day we had a super pro race. I was tired, and not flying high. In time runs I was .004, and -.002. First round I was -.005, and inevitably when you are red, the other guy is has nice beatable package. Nice cherry on top for the weekend L.
The next weekend was the Topeka divisional. Although I was starting a new job Monday, I just couldn’t resist the urge to do some more crew chiefing with Michael! The first time I went to Topeka was in 1995. I was 5 years old, my mom was pregnant with my little brother, and my dad had qualified for the ET finals so we packed up our truck and the Challenger and headed out! I had the best time ever! My mom gave me a camera to give my take on things.
This is my dad, with his head cut out of the picture.
Me with my “Sweetheart of Heartland Park” Dress on
Ready to do some racing!!!
We packed up the Blue Swan and Snow White, and added “Original Mike”, Michael’s dad. We had an easy drive there, except it rained the entire way. For some reason I wasn’t tired, so I had a good time chatting with Mike and Michael for 10 hours straight. We got in around 4am Friday morning.I thought I was on my way to a race track, but instead, it turned out to be more like an ocean cruise!! It rained, and rained, and rained, and then rained some more!! At 4:00 that evening he made his first time run, and it was decided that would be our only time run and first round was going to be as soon as everyone it done making time runs. We were waiting in the staging lanes, pairing up for first round when it started to rain again! We all stayed at The Four Seasons again (inside Michael’s enclosed trailer). It was nice out and not too cold. The next day we woke up to more rain. It rained and rained and rained, but they finally got the track dried around 5:00pm that night. Michael had an E/SA Fairlane first round, and I was extremely relieved when the other guy red lit. When we got back to the trailer, Michael said he had heard a weird noise coming from the brakes. We pulled one tire and it looked fine. I pulled the other tire off, and when Michael went to pull the drum, parts fell out! It was kinda funny when all the pieces fell out, but all the springs were broken, and the pins that align the shoes fell out too. They were going to try to run the entire race Saturday, so Original Mike jumped in Snow White and booked it to the nearest auto parts store. He brought back some replacements after having to go all the way to the town of Topeka, and we were just about to put the wheels back on when it started pouring again.
They only finished half the classes first round before it started raining again L. I was starting to get really worried, because I was starting a new job at 8:30am Monday morning, and it didn’t look like we were going to have much time to drive home. We woke up Sunday morning to extremely cloudy skies, and a slow drizzle. Scott Burton had missed the tree and red lit first round, so him and his wife Diane and puppy Coco were leaving before 10:00am that day. Reluctantly, I prioritizes work before racing (sucks!) and hitched a ride in Scott’s motor home, which we all refer to as “The Bates” Motel. About four hours after we left, they canceled the race and decided to run it the Thursday before the Earlville Iowa divisional next weekend. We made it home easy, and I was all ready to go the next day for my new job.
While I was in Topeka, my little brother Kyle duked it out with some of the best racers we have at Bandimere for championships. He ended up with two second place points finishes! He was disappointed, but I want him to know how proud of him I am, and how I can’t believe how much he has grown the last year as a racer. He is an amazing kid, and Michael and I both talked on the way to Topeka and the way back about how awesome of a racer he is becoming. Congratulations Kyle!
The next weekend was “Bracket Nationals”, the last super pro race of the season. Bandimere puts on a great event, and we have jackpot and fun races Friday and Saturday, and then the points race on Sunday. Friday night I raced the jackpot, and I finally made a cross talk mistake! I had the other guys dial in wrong, so I slowed my light down by a whole hundredth. I did everything right after the starting line, but you don’t win a lot of races with an .034 light. For the first time ever, we had a pit bike race! I did not participate, Michael raced his scooter and Kyle raced our golf cart. It was soo much fun!! Michael was actually womping it at the top end and won first round. Kyle tried deep staging, and it just made his lights too fast so he red lit. We had a lot of fun watching everyone, I think it was more fun than regular racing!
Preparing for the scooter race!
Saturday I had signed up for our other biggest high dollar race, the “Gold Nugget”. It was $3000 to win, and I had never gotten to run it before because I never had a delay box car! I made my first time run, and my light was an .011 and the car ran fine. I told my mom that I had a bad feeling, and I was really worried about my car making it through the race. She told me not to worry so much, and I agreed that I was always a little paranoid! Second time run, the car is just about to shift, when all of the sudden it started losing RPM and sounded like the motor was being dragged down by something. I immediately shut everything down. I was afraid to get on the brakes, because I was afraid a rod was hanging out of the block or pan. I got towed back to the pit, and started checking everything out. My dad was helping Kyle in a special Pennzoil Shootout Race he was picked for, so my dad’s friend Alan was helping me. We pulled the valve covers, checked the oil filter, and found nothing. When my dad got back, he had me start it up. I couldn’t even listen to it, I could tell that something was wrong. It sounded weird to me, and it was idleing strange, and I kept saying it felt “off balance”, but the oil pressure was decent for the temperature it was. My dad thought that it sounded a little weird at the number two piston. We pulled the spark plug, and there was no gap! My dad kept trying to tell me that this is what caused the problem, but I kept telling him that I knew it was worse than that. We fixed the spark plug, and started it back up. This time, it definitely sounded terrible, and it was down to 40 lbs of oil pressure and still dropping. My dad finally believed me that it was something worse, and we pushed it into the trailer and decided to take the pan off. At first, we were a little baffled, because we didn’t see anything! We decided to take a break to eat some lunch, and then got back underneath. About 15 seconds later, my dad says, “Oh, the crank is cracked in half”. Holy hell! That would explain this situation! I was really sad because I knew this was going to be an expensive one, and I really just hoped it hadn’t hurt the block. It was the last super pro race, but we still have 3 super comp races, and I am tied for first so I knew I had to fix it!
Right before Black Betty um, bam-a-lammed….
I had already paid for the next day, so Kyle let me put NOS to his Nova and race it in super pro. Its been a while since I foot braked anything, and I only got one time run. I went .053 first round and got smoked of course!
My dad and I tore the motor apart the next day. Luckily, the only thing hurt was a main bearing and of course the crank, everything else was fine! Although I break a lot of stuff, I always get lucky that I don’t break more than I do!!
Freshly manicured nails? Oil is better than a paraffin treatment!
Hm, that doesn’t look right!
I always thought two pieces was better than one…
The next weekend, my parents and my brother headed out to Topeka as he had qualified on Team Bandimere for the ET Finals. I was a little disappointed I didn’t get to go, but I got a lot of sleeping in done and finally got to do some relaxing at home! My yorkie Lulu and I were bums the entire weekend!! Kyle did extremely well for his first ET finals though; he brought home $400 dollars from one of the jackpots and made it to the 4th round in sportsman! He also won best appearing sportsman car!
Lulu bumming around with me
Well that wraps it up for this month, on the next blog I’ll get to write about the last three super comp races! Don’t forget to go to LindseyCramsey.com every now and then and you can also follow me on twitter now! @LindseyCramsey! Thank you for reading!