Category Archives: Driver Blogs

The Updates Of All Updates!

Well, I’d say we can check off the weekend as a huge success for Stevand Racing! It started early in the weekend with Steve O grabbing the win on Friday nights Shootout races @ the  NHRA Bracket Finals in Indy. No better way to start off a weekend with a win to bring in some money to help offset the cost of the long trip. My weekend got under way Saturday evening at Dragway 42 I spent the better part of the morning working on some stuff on the car and cleaning out my trailer. Eliminations were scheduled to start around 7pm Saturday night. 

Rolling in the gate Saturday I had a lot to lose. Only being ahead by only two rounds is definitely not ideal. The place was packed and there was plenty of opportunity for Jose to make a move and pass me in the points. But just like any other race you just have to take it a round at a time and focus on what your doing at that point and not look at what you could win or lose. Just like that, it seemed that it was time for first round. I managed to make it through first round as well as a few more making it down to seven cars losing in the fifth round. Jose went out two rounds before I did so I was able to extend my lead to a total of four rounds, A little better yet but still not in the books. As well as my excitement we were getting constant updates from Steve in Indy who had made it through first round of the main event witch is all they are scheduled to run on Saturday.

Sunday. Today is the day to make it happen for the both of us. Steve starts his day earlier then I and proceeds to march on to yet another round win for the weekend. I managed to make two decent time trials and was ready to rock for eliminations. Soon enough we get the call for round one. There is a decent amount at stake here. There are just as many cars today as yesterday so one wrong move on my part and its very easy for Jose to pass me up. We fill in our two lanes and just so happens I get to watch Jose go down before I do. Very fortunate for me Jose kicked it red first round and at that point I was now the 2012 Dragway42 Modified track champ! Needless to say it was like a big weight was lifted. Even though all that was going on I was still in the lanes for round one and there was a thousand dollars up for grabs so I wanted a piece of that too. I managed to make it down to five cars losing in the fifth round yet again in what was an awesome race with Jon Lowery who went on to double up for the weekend winning both Saturdays and Sundays races.

Meanwhile all through this we were receiving round by round updates from Steve at Indy and just like last year was knocking them down one by one. Posting up a string of stellar reaction times it looked as if he would be trying to make a clean sweep for the weekend. But as luck would have it he fell just a bit short at eight cars to an always tough Clayton Clark. Even though Steve was going rounds it wasn’t without troubles. Steve made a “shocking” discovery right before the round he lost when he got into a fight with the coil wire on the car , Lets just say the coil won that round.

The overall weekend was a great one for the both of us and now we head to Pittsburgh Raceway Park to compete at the IHRA Div. 3 Bracket Finals. Where on Friday I will compete in the Summit Super Series Run off  that would qualify me for a trip to Memphis Tennessee to run for a shot at the world championship. So big things on the horizon stay tuned for all the updates!

Back At It !!!!!

Remember me? Remember the other week when I said I was only taking a week off from the action? Well that quickly

Male Wedding Dress

turned into two weeks or what can be described as almost an eternity. Last I talked I going to make the tough choice to go ahead and skip a points race at SMP to go to a friend’s wedding. I can honestly say that I am glad that I did. It was everything that it was expected to be and that was a great time with great people, oh yeah and a group of grown men in kilts!

After a weekend of celebration it was time to start to focus at the weekend coming up, Or so I thought. Turns out about Thursday night of last week I get this horrible stomach pain and by Friday I’m pretty much out of commission from the pain and on my way to the hospital. About three and a half hours later and 3AM Saturday morning there kicking me out the door with a couple of scripts and telling me to let it take its course. That is exactly what I did witch brings us to present day were I was able enough to return back to work in what was almost a weeks worth of un-planned vacation.

TMI My Friend....

Now to actually focus on the weekend to come.  What better time to have a weeks worth of rest then coming up on the biggest event of the year for us. Night Under Fire at Summit Motorsports Park which will truly be an all day long endurance race that runs through the late Saturday early Sunday hours of the day, or so we hope! Let just hope that two weeks of sitting didn’t make the Spirit lazy and it will actually fire up and put some work in for the big weekend ahead. Sorry to keep this one short but I’m sure you don’t want to hear all the sweet medical exam details!

Thanks for reading and stop out at SMP for the biggest and best show they throw for the year. You wont regret it!!!!

What a difference a day makes!!!!

This past week has been pretty fun filled & action packed to say the least. I’m a little late on a weekly blog only because I was having too much fun on vacation to set time aside. Can you blame me? LOL

I have to rewind to last Saturday @ Summit Motorsports Park. I had a feeling going into the weekend it was going to be a good one. I think it was because of how the “Test Session” went on the Wednesday before. When you feel hopeless going into a race it extremely diminishes you chances of winning anything. There is also a do or die point in the season if your not doing great where you have to make up some ground or you put yourself mathematically out of contention. That was this weekend!

It wasn’t looking great in time runs with a pair of .013 red lights. Not cool in the racing world. The car was reacting very quick due to another shock adjustment. I keep playing with the shocks to see what they will do in different situations so i know where to put them to overcome different track conditions. I try & go with something for the day rather than adjust as I go unless it is totally wrong. All season I was trying to get the car to react faster & now it was time to slow that down. That for me is a lot easier. I took some shims out of my button which puts more throw in it & in return it releases slower. It was just what I needed. It put me in the green but not too far that I would loose on a bad light. Of course unless I screwed it up. Which i tried a few times but my opponent tried to screw it up more than I did & that’s all it takes in Bracket Racing.

It seams surreal when it happens. You look around all of a sudden & there’s only a few race cars left around you, when you come back through the pits there’s no one walking around & the shades are pulled closed. You look @ the clock & wonder how it got to be midnight. Then you realize, you are in the finals!

Sometimes getting to a final round is harder than the final itself But when it’s your night, it’s your night. I was .011 on the tree & under my dial by .002. If my opponent was over his dial I was done but my luck continued & he broke out by more than I did handing me the win!!!!! The win @ SMP was not only well over due but it propelled me from 36th place in points all the way up to 6th place with only 4 more points meets left. I do believe that is the biggest jump I have ever made in points as a result of one race. That is exactly why you never give up!

 

Sunday was my big experiment day. I’m happy to say it was a successful change for me. I was able to cut good lights & the car did not spin a lick! I was way impressed with it’s performance. out of 6 runs 5 of them were 7.23. Even the test pass @ SMP on Wednesday was a 7.23. WOW. I was pretty confident after my win the night before & thought I was on another roll edging out my opponents in some close races the first 2 rounds. Then the 6th run came along where the car slowed .020 to a 7.25. My opponents light was better by .010 & that was the amount of my loss @ the finish line. I maintained my position in points which is a good thing. I am currently 5th in the Dragway 42 points standings with 6 more points races remaining.

 

There is no racing for us today @ SMP but there is @ Dragway 42 tomorrow. Unfortunately I will miss this race due to my vacation with the family. Sometimes it is worth missing racing. Not often but…….

Link to the Dragway 42 points standings (Mod Class)

Link to SMP Pro points standings

My World Footbrake Challenge VI Recap

Before we know it July is here and its time to head south for the biggest and best World Footbrake Challenge yet! Thursday we set out and had a flawless trip down to Thunder Valley at Bristol Dragway. Its a big deal anytime an eight hour trip goes flawlessly.

Friday started the events off bright and early. Well actually, it was supposed to be early but morning showers pushed everything back. Instead of two time trials, we found out that we were only getting one. That’s when I made the choice to pony up the extra $150 and buy a single day double entry. That way I can get two hits at the tree and make sure to have things figured out. That turned out to be good and bad for me. I got some time to figure out my place on the tree, but ended up losing both my entries in the second round. Adding insult to injury was the rain that started falling after my second round losses that led to a rain split. Had I won one of those second round entries, there would be an extra $400 in my pocket for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday was a new day, but since I didn’t make any money Friday night, it wasn’t as bright as it could have been. Without the extra cash, I had to try to make it happen on only one entry. With over 400 of the best drivers around, not being able to double your entry turns a hard race day into a… well, even harder race day. But I carried my one entry until the fourth round when I screwed up and went way red. I did manage to start bringing in a little money, and being able to dig a little out of Friday’s hole made that red a little easier to take.

Sunday was the third and final day to make it happen, and that is what we sure tried to do. It seems like I always tend to do the best on the last day. It must be that do or die type mentality that gets me hyped up. Still only having a single entry (I didn’t get rich Saturday night) and good friend Randy Biddle, Jr needing a ride after his broke Saturday, it looked like we were going to have to make it work with what I had. Even though my reaction times were sketchy at best, Ii was making it work on the other end taking multiple .00 finish lines and just trying to think of all strategy I could to make up for my weak display on the starting line. I ended my weekend with a sixth round loss to Sunday winner Tim Griffith.

Overall, I am pleased with the way things turned out. I got a little return money and went some rounds with truly the best footbrakers in the country. Now, if only I can figure out how to get past that pesky round six that has haunted me since I’ve started going to this race. Once again I would like to thank Steve Stites and Jared Pennington for putting on this awesome event for us.

This week will bring us back to town at Dragway 42 for another points race where I will have some work to do since missing last weeks points race.

Live from Bristol!!!!!

Here is a link to live video to watch Matt compete for his chance @ over $30,000 in prizes!

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bristol-dragway

This link is to the Live Timing & Video feed for the weekend @ Bristol & the World Footbrake Challenge. If you type in 6X52 in the Race Alert box in the bottom left hand corner & it will alert you when Matt is on the line.

http://www.1320go.com/der/livetiming.php

Check back often for some of Matts daily blogs from the weekend!!!!

 

Testing, Testing, Is this thing on?

I made a decision last points race @ Dragway 42 to change some things drastically to help my car hook when track conditions are sub par. 42 re paved earlier this year & though the track is wicked smooth there seems to be an issue that is not working in my favor. I have never had an issue this bad & I tried all the small things with high hopes.

Last night I went to Summit Motorsports Park for their $7 fun night. I went to this a few weeks ago to see if an earlier problem was cured. This is an awesome night for anyone who would like to try their hand @ some racing. Even just for the experience of driving down a track where just a week before the NHRA professionals were going over 300mph. Just bring the old family sedan or SUV or even your Prius, pay $7 @ the gate & make runs all night long. There are 5 trophy classes to choose from including High School to get the younger (future) crowd involved.

This trip to SMP was going to be rather interesting. Any time you try radical changes things get exciting. They may work great or horribly wrong. Exciting! What I was trying to accomplish was to slow the car down for the first 60′ or so of the track. Sounds easy? Slowing a car down is just as hard as making them faster. For consistency reasons you cant just ease into it. You have to leave full bore. To stay within class rules I had 2 options. One was to Retard the timing to make the launch slower. Advancing timing makes a car go faster to a certain point & retarding will do the opposite. My ignition box has a feature where when activated will pull a predetermined amount of timing. I went to the max 9.9 degrees. I’m thinking it should leave like a mutt. 1st hit it goes a 1.44 6o’. that’s pretty much where it left off. A little disappointed but sometimes the electronic retards don’t seem to activate.  It was time for option 2. This was more of a mechanical approach. I normally shift the car @ 6500 rpm for optimum speed & consistency. This time I would try to make the car shift just after the staging beams so it would not affect my reaction times. I checked to see how many rpm it would take to shift just off the line, not too soon & not too late. The converter flashed to about 5200 rpm so I pit a 5800 rpm shift chip. That was way too high. Another 1.44 60′. It shifted after the 60′. Not where my problem was. My next & final pass I dropped the shift rpm down to 5200. Right where the converter locks up. Perfect! it shifted just after the stage beams. .007 reaction. The 60′ slowed to 1.76. It was good off the line, shifted perfect & it turned into the mutt I was looking for.

 

 

This weekend brings Kids Night @ SMP. This is a huge event to bring all the kids to. It keeps the whole family involved. There are games, give aways, & even race car fun rides for the kids. If you want to introduce the family to racing this would be the night to do it. After a long night @ SMP I will be back @ Dragway 42 to test out my new secret weapon. LOL. As always you are more than welcome to come & see us.

A Break From The Breaks

It may have taken a month or so but things finally started to click and fall into place. I’d have to say this is the first weekend out of the year that something hasn’t broke or fallen apart (or gotten run over) and that can turn into great results on the track when you have nothing else to worry about and a clear mind on racing.

Last weeks No Box Bonanza race was a great opportunity to get a lot of runs down the track at SMP. That helped out a lot this weekend. That and along with not having to thrash on something to get it fixed made it an enjoyable day at the track. The short recap of the night is I ended up getting down to 6 cars were I miss judge the finish line driving behind .004 but it was a good race overall so there’s nothing to be mad about there.

Sunday we are back at it at Dragway42, Still feeling good from last night’s performance I carried that with me all the way to the final round were I fell just short of the win for the day. It was no easy task either, with the pleasant 90 degree days we’ve been having the track was doing everything but hooking so with a lot of luck a little driving strategy I was able to make it to the final round.

With two good showings back to back I substantially helped myself in the point’s standings at both SMP and Dragway42. Witch was greatly needed because in another week and a half I will be making a trip down to Bristol Dragway in Bristol Tennessee and will miss a point’s race at SMP. I intentionally left my weekend recap a little short winded just so I could give a little pre-cap to this race.

The World Footbrake Challenge is the “if you are going to go to one big race a year it better be this one” type of deal. It’s a great race that’s held once a year by none other than Steve Stites and Jared Pennington, two great guys who have turned this race into something great for us budget type bracket racers who like to get out and travel a little bit to chase some bigger money. When I say bigger money I mean three days of racing to the tune of ten thousand dollars a day to the winner. Out of the past three years I’ve been there I have been lucky enough to make it down to ten cars two of those years, which always feels good amongst that type of competition. Another great feature about the race is they offer live timing, the day of the race you can go to www.1320go.com and watch all the action from the comfort of your home! You can’t beat that.

With that being said I hope to continue this little streak I’ve put together. I will be at Pittsburgh Raceway Park this weekend due to not having any point’s races at SMP or D42. I always have had good luck at PRP and really enjoy going there so let’s hope this weekend doesn’t let me down!

Play it Again Sam…

I’m sure you have all read the weekly update & the most recent blog by Matt. For some reason the planets are misaligned & we can’t seem to get out of our own way this year.

My most recent issue was 2 separate dead batteries on the Gremlin this past weekend. A couple of years back I got a pretty good deal on 2 16 volt batteries, a charger & an alternator which is pretty awesome but how many people have 16 volt batteries laying around? Not too many as just about everything in the world other than your Prius maybe runs on 12 volts. With a few changes I was able to steal the battery out of AMX Dans motorhome & disconnect the 16 volt alternator & run like that for the rest of the weekend. My cheapest semi permanent repair is going to be to steal the battery out of the Javelin for now & purchase an alternator for the 12 volt system. It sure helps that Matt passes Summit Racing on his way to Ohio every weekend. It sure helps on those last minute parts runs.

I had a really fun time sitting in & getting to participate in the More Than a Fan podcast. It was definitely a learning experience. Josh & Ryan are pretty natural @ it. I was a bit nervous but it sounded pretty cool when I listened to it that night. We will be doing more podcasts together & will even do some from the track as well.

This weekend is going to be another hot one with temps above 90* in the forecast. Saturday we will be @ Summit Motorsports Park for the Mid Season Championship. This race will mark the half way point of the season @ SMP. There is a picnic for the racers & a bonus run off for King of the Track. The 4 class winners will run off for an NHRA “Wally”. The Wally is the coveted trophy given out for winning a NHRA natioal event. Kind of a big deal. The track will be full with some extra cars for the Oldsmobile race to be contested on Sunday. If your looking for something to do on a beautiful day head on out & come see us. Were @ the trailer with the www.morethanafan.net banner hanging up. If you can’t find that, look for a bunch of AMC’s parked together. for $15 you can watch racing all day & walk through the pits to see all the beautiful rides for no extra cost.

Sunday is another Summit Super Series points race. Matt & I are 5th & 6th in points. Not a bad place to be @ the half way point. Dragway 42 is a fun place to come to on a Sunday afternoon. It’s casual & there is some shade to beat the heat. The eliminations  @ 2:30 so you can still make it home for dinner. It’s about time for Matt & me to make a move on the points lead. We shall see?  

I also wanted to thank all of you for visiting our Blog & giving positive feedback. It has been a blast!

A Weekend Summed Up In .01 Seconds

Another week goes by and we are back at the track. This weekend’s event is the fifteenth running of the No BoxBonanza at Summit Motorsports Park. It was a great weekend for the race whitch in previous years has been contested in early October and for the past few years has brought nothing but cold wind rain and snow, ever thing you don’t need for a bracket race!

First thing Friday morning we are off to the track. We get there get parked and unload our stuff. This is a great event to come to.  It brings in a lot of people from around the area that typically don’t race at SMP. So for us it’s a chance to get away from racing the same people we do every week at a points race,  not to mention there is no other place around you can race a three day race that is $2,000, $5,000, and $5,000 to win for a $99 entry fee. Continue reading A Weekend Summed Up In .01 Seconds

Stevand Racing on the More Than a Fan Podcast

You’re about to experience Stevand Racing’s first appearance on the More Than a Fan Podcast! Steve sat down with us in the second segment about the racing team and what it’s like to race AMCs out at Summit Motorsports Park and Dragway 42!

This is the intro from More Than a Fan, and all you have to do is hit play to hear the More Than a Fan Podcast.

Tonight is a special night on the More Than a Fan Podcast. I drop my first F-bomb on air. Hooray.

Luckily, I’m also the producer, so I turned my F-bomb into a weird cut off sound that we all laugh about. I also pretend like I’m not embarrassed.

Ryan and I talk about Chris Perez again. Because he shuts up about as often as we do.

I have to admit that Ryan was right about the NBA Finals, and had to listen to him swing from LeBron’s naughty bits for a few minutes again.

We start arguing about the Cavaliers NBA Draft when the F-bomb happens. It was during a Dan Gilbert discussion that ended a little prematurely.

After the break, Steve Obertanec from Stevand Racing stops by the More Than a Fan Basement to get our listeners a little taste of what they’re all about. They’re awesome, by the way, it’s worth a listen.

Raise your hand if you had money on the first F-bomb happening during an alcohol free podcast.

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You can also click here to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes!