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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
*Finally, redemption
“When I saw the light you cut on a .4 pro tree, I said to myself ‘no wonder he’s been redlighting!’” Those were the words of fellow E/Gas competitor Jim Brown at the June 9th installment of the WCHRA series. We've gone down on redlights in E/Gas (11.60 index, .5 pro tree) for the last several events and it has been getting REALLY old!

The Event also featured a Chicago Style Nitro show. This is a short race format with one round of qualifying for an eight car field, 16 cars tried to qualify and then those eight are run, the two quickest (NOT the round winners) go the final round.

Our friend Paul Miller, also an E/Gas competitor had joined us for the day since his car was out of commission. The conditions were incredible for this time of year, and when the sun went down, indescribable!

As for us, we had decided to try out Open Comp. A “Dial In bracket with a .4 pro tree. We simply have not been able to tame the car enough to run the .5 tree in E/Gas. We had actually decided to double up and run both. Unfortunately, while others manage to pull it off, for us, that proved undoable. Had the run order been reversed, it may have been OK.

After our first round of qualifying in Open Comp, we needed to hurry back for the E/Gas Qualifier. The car ran good on it’s first run in OC, posting an 11.49 at just under 118. I didn’t even un-strap for the E/Gas qualifier. My wife Cindy towed me directly up from the end of the first run to make the qualifying run for E/Gas.

That run resulted in an 11.56 feathering the throttle on the top end, but what was more telling was that the clutch was so hot and sticky, it didn’t respond to clutch management at all. The reaction time was minus .055 red on a CM setting that should have slipped the clutch enough to go green. The engine also complained a bit by pushing a little oil out the breather and issuing a puff of smoke out the stinger on top. Even on Alky, the chambers and rings still see significant heat, and it probably butted the ring gaps on that run, much like it did at the March Meet on 2009 when we had to hot lap it in the late rounds. Air cooled motors are finicky that way!

With that we decided to withdraw from E/Gas.

I was to be Jim Brown’s first round match-up. He was observing when we ran second round of OC qualifying when we posted a .027 RT on the .4 tree. He came around to make sure I had decided to withdraw and give him the single. Good on ya Jim for asking. (I probably would not have asked).

Our ET on the second qualifying OC run was 11.50 at 118. On our third and final run, we netted an 11.52, which is exactly what I predicted based on the rising temps. I have to say that having Rancho Performance Transaxles do the “Pro Shift” thing on our trans seemed to help consistency tremendously!

Temps were starting to fall by the time eliminations started. Cindy had wanted me to dial a little lower than the 11.52 I had planned on and lower than the 11.50 I went with. In OC, once you have chosen your dial, you own it for the duration. No changes.

Qualifying position in OC is based on reaction time rather that ET. We qualified eighth with a .027 RT. Fortunately for us, this pretty much gave us a gift in round one, pairing us with the 16th qualifier. A young man in a supercharged Dakota pick-up. He was supposed to be dialed at 13.40, but didn’t put his dial on his window. His qualifying RT was .341. It made me think that perhaps he was new to the game.

However, always aware of gamesmanship, I didn’t lay off. We staged, his side of the tree came down (a blinder prevents opponents from seeing each others side), and I waited till he left to come up on the two-step. I caught the kid by well before the 1000 foot mark and paced him through the traps, running an 11.80 @ 100mph for the win. I considered that round a gift.

By the time second round came, is was dark, and I’ll tell ya, that to me, there’s nothing finer than night racing at Famoso! My second round guy was much tougher. Perennial winner Mark Miyashiro in his C/Gas roadster (9.60 dial). What I CAN say, is that if he underestimated me this time, he probably won’t in the future.

I reckon I was pretty amped up for this one. I went .003 on the tree and when I saw him coming up quickly but still behind me, I gave a throttle a couple womps, and got the win light! That was a very satisfying run! I ran 11.54 on my 11.50 dial to his 9.57 on his 9.60 dial. It was a great feeling. A feeling I haven’t had for quite a while.

Paul had told me that during the run, the people on the sidelines were chanting “Go bug, go bug” and when our win light came on, we got a big cheer!

Things weren’t going to be getting any easier for the next round. Into the semi-final, there was a bike dialed in at 8.79, a black corvette dialed in at 8.60 and white 55 Chevy dialed in at 8.60. No matter who I had, they would be coming up on me with a closing speed of around 40mph.

I got the bike.

With about a .02 starting line advantage it should have been mine to win. (.072 to his .097, and I was a little bugged about being “late”).

Approaching the stripe, man, he was coming fast. I made the split second decision to stay in it because I just knew he’d come around. He didn’t. I took a .06 stripe, and lost on a double breakout, 11.44 (11.50 dial) to his 8.76 (8.79 dial). I went over to his pit, we shook hands, and I said “MAN, that was fun!” I told him that I was trying decide on whether to lift, and I decided right at the last second, “Screw it! I ain’t lifting!” We both laughed and he said “I knew we were both gonna break out, cuz I wasn’t gonna catch you!”

Even with the loss in the semi’s, it was the most fun racing we’ve had in a long time. If I had any doubts, they are there no longer. I proved to myself I can hang with the Open Comp guys. Of course, I will have to “re-learn” judging the top end since the biggest majority of OC racers are B & C/Gas class racers (8.60, 9.60 index). It’s been a long time since I’ve had to do that. We have been running index for the last several years, and "my guy" is always right next to me thru the traps.

We will leave E/Gas behind and focus on OC for the remainder of the year, and work on moving over to D/Gas next season, (10.60 index, .4 pro tree). I also think we gained a new measure of respect amongst the faster guys too. And that is also a good feeling!

 

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Congrats on the outting Mike. I LOVE to run WCHRA. Tim, Danny & the rest of the folks are AWESOME.

Bob
 

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Mike, send us your reports and a photo, this is the kind of stuff we love to run at Dragstory.com email: [email protected]
 

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Congrats on the outting Mike. I LOVE to run WCHRA. Tim, Danny & the rest of the folks are AWESOME.

Bob
What he said and Congrats !!
 

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Good effort Mike[and Cindi:) ] sounds like you found a place to play for a while there, .003 light on a .4 pro tree,no wonder you were going red on the .5 tree

Hope to run the WCHRA 8.5 class when I get the old cab back together, seems like a good place to play:)

cheers richie
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys! We run a few different series, and WCHRA has become my favorite place to play. Tim and the boys are the best!

Damon, I missed seeing you there. I was looking for your car when they were running 8.5 but didn't see it. Thanks for the alert on the Famoso facebook thing. I don't do facebook, so I would have missed it. It's a pretty cool pic! Thanks again.

Richie, it'll be good seeing the cab back in action, and it's always been a real crowd pleaser! That 8.5 class has become pretty popular AND very tough!

Mark, I'll send that tonight after work. I appreciate the offer. I do a race report every event. It helps me and hopefully is entertaining to others as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You remember those days Rodney aka "Brave Speedlove". This event for us was reminiscent of back then. I think that's the big attraction of the WCHRA.

I think about the old days quite a bit, and a couple of my most vivid memories was racing against you in that dragster. Another was when they combined brackets due to low turnout and our friend Ron Bradley with his Super Stock legal Chevelle wagon (low 11s) was matched with a guy with a bone stock Model A. That guy said to Ron, "This little model A is gonna be about thiiiis big (hold your thumb and forefinger about 1/2" apart) by the time you get to leave!"
Sure enough, Ron goes red! I still laugh about that to this day!
 

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You remember those days Rodney aka "Brave Speedlove". This event for us was reminiscent of back then. I think that's the big attraction of the WCHRA.

I think about the old days quite a bit, and a couple of my most vivid memories was racing against you in that dragster. Another was when they combined brackets due to low turnout and our friend Ron Bradley with his Super Stock legal Chevelle wagon (low 11s) was matched with a guy with a bone stock Model A. That guy said to Ron, "This little model A is gonna be about thiiiis big (hold your thumb and forefinger about 1/2" apart) by the time you get to leave!"
Sure enough, Ron goes red! I still laugh about that to this day!
So many memories. I had lunch with Barry B. not long ago and after discussing our respective afflictions I told him if I could have one night of racing back it would a hot summer night at Bakersfied just after OCIR closed and everybody was coming over the hill...not a gimmie in the house. Ekberg called not long after that with the "we should put that dragster together" suggestion so here we are. They say you can't go home again, but I'm damn well gonna try.

Really wanted to make it Saurday. Just to tired. Couldn't even get to Madera. I'll be there though. Somehow.
 

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Not to be a thread stealer...but is WCHRA running A-gas? If so, I would run their events.
 

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