Pittsburgh Raceway Park for me is one of those tracks that I really enjoy going to when I get the chance. It’s a nice facility, nice people, and mostly I’ve always had good luck there! This past weekend was no exception. I was really looking forward to a full three days of racing there. I started the racing weekend off on Thursday night by going up and making a couple test passes to try to figure out why my car has been giving me fits the past few months. I made a few passes with dismal results and packed it in for the night.
Friday after work I hightailed it to PRP which is about thirty minutes up the road from my work. I had just left all my stuff up there the night before so I didn’t have to run all over after work to get it. Once a month on Fridays PRP does a cool race format called “Night at the races” that consists of two separate paying classes one being 9.99ET and quicker and the other 10.00ET and slower. It puts a new twist on just a regular gamblers race. All said and done I ended up losing at four cars in the semifinals. I put down a decent run of .014 on the tree and over my dial by .012 but was just ousted by my opponents .022 light dead on his dial with a 1 to lose the race by .003
Day two brought on a few more little changes to the car whatever I did the night before helped a good amount but it still was off just a touch but I proceeded on with the day. I goofed it up first round by going .002 red but luckily enough for me they have buybacks at PRP so just another $20 and you’re back in the game. After that little first round blunder I was able to make things happen and later that night we got the pull the ole Spirit in the winner circle to finish the night off with some pictures! It’s always great to win but still kind of stings losing first round and not being able to accumulate points for the rest of the race day, Being that I can only make a number of the races I have my work cut out for myself to try to make their bracket finals team.
Sunday wasn’t so lucky for me, I made two time trails and the car actually repeated for once….until first round when it threw me a curve ball and slowed up .04 but luckily I was able to make it through with the win. Second round was not so lucky frustrated with the car slowing up I decided to dial up more to make sure I could cover my dial in. Bad idea my opponent knew exactly what my plan was and out drove me and made it backfire in my face shipping me .022 and the finish line to break me out by .014. But lady luck was on my side for the day because shortly after that it rained out for the day so I didn’t drop and spots in the points.
I’ve got a couple more things I changed this week on the car to try to help with the consistency of it and will probably take it back to PRP tonight for a couple test runs and head to SMP on Saturday for a point’s race which has been almost a month since there last.
3 of the Stevand Racing vehicles will be out @ SMP to try & get their hands in the cookie jar Saturday night. The end of Summer will be here before you know it so come out & enjoy a night @ the races & cheer us on!
Let me start back a week ago from my July 4th weekend outing, Last we had talked I was planning a trip to TRP for their independence eve race followed by PRP on Saturday for a points race and finishing up the weekend at Dragway 42 for a SSS points race. I didn’t make hard plans to go to Thompson solely based on the poor weather forecast but as Wednesday approached it looked as if we would get a chance to get the race in. So for the second time in a month I found myself headed north to TRP tagging along with Bubba Black who is currently a top of their point’s standings. We got there in just enough time to miss the first scheduled time trail of the day, but did manage to get one in before eliminations started for the day. As the day progressed I found that the ol spirit seemed like she was back in her repetitive ways only having moved .005 in ET to the 1000′ mark all day long. But unfortunately our day was ended short at 12 cars when the rains came in and put a wash to the rest of the day’s events. So they ended up splitting up the purse with the remaining entrants and we were on our way after a fireworks display to celebrate the 4th.
The day after took us to PRP for the fourth (my second) SSS points race of the season. I was able to carry on momentum from Wednesday although the spirit was less helpfull as it was on Wednesday as it was moving around in ET a decent amount and it turned into a dial and drive kind of day for me. My luck would come to an end at five cars when I missed my dial big time and couldn’t cover and resulted in a loss. Upon arriving home at midnight I made the decision to pull the intake off that night and try to figure out what was going on (a few indicators had been pointing in that general direction) I swear to Amanda that it would only take an hour to do and that was surely on the short side of time estimates because at almost 3AM we finally got home and went to bed. Sunday morning we wake up ready to hit the road back to Ohio to hit up Dragway 42 for their points race. I told Amanda to go ahead and hit the road so she could get a head start and get the concord out to the track to get a couple Time Trials in and I would finish putting water in and hit the road…. Wrong! Somehow in the installation process I tore part of the intake gasket away and caused it to leak water externally out of the motor when it built pressure. You know what that means, tear it apart and start over! With the WFC being a week away and not having another set of intake gaskets I loaded up the Spirit and headed for Summit Racing Equipment bought a couple sets of gaskets and headed to Lodi were Steve was awaiting and we tore into it again. Finding a couple other issues I had over looked the night before and attempting to fix those along the way. But it looks like a new intake will be in my future plans for this motor. Even though I missed a race it was more important at the time to finish things up for our trip to Bristol for the following week.
Fast forward a week and we are in sunny/super-hot Bristol Tennessee! Our Thursday night gamblers entries didn’t go as planned despite me being .000 on the tree I couldn’t make it happen at the other end driving behind like a dummy .014 for the first round loss, Steve came up with about the same result going .011 red in the first round. Day two was no better for me after going 0-3 for the day I was ready to call it quits on the day and let Randy Biddle Jr buy back in my other entry he had a little success with it but only carried it a round or two. Steve did well on Friday making it to fourth round but losing a close race with an awesome nova wheelie wagon!
Saturdays 10k race was looking all too familiar like Fridays to me but I eventually broke through and made it with a round win! ha-ha yeah I had a little relief when that happened but sometimes you have those weekends. Reality set in for me rather quick not making it past 3rd round once again. Steve made it to about the same point as the night before losing fourth round again but to his defense his opponent was .000 on the tree and .001 away from having a perfect run and there is about nothing you can do with that.
Sunday was our final day to make progress and that exactly what we didn’t have happen. Steve went out early in the first round and I somehow managed to carry both entries to the third round but missed my drop in one entry breaking out by .003 more than my opponent and then followed that up by going .008 red in my second entry. So like that our weekend was over. I did manage to win a free entry to this year’s Fall Footbrake Frenzy held at Piedmont Dragway in North Carolina witch is an awesome prize to win and will come in handy this November. Even though we didn’t have as much success on the track as years past at the WFC it was still a great time with family and friends and two of the best promoters in the racing business, Steve Stites and Jared Pennington and we can’t thank you enough for all the hard work that you guys do!
This weekend will be three days of racing at PRP for me a Friday gamblers race along with Saturday and Sunday point’s races!
Short work weeks means early race weekends! Before I get into whats going on this week i’ll give a quick recap of what went down last weekend. One of the main issues from the past week was dodging rain drops, Somehow we did but only after getting poured on for about an hour as soon as we pulled in the gates at SMP. Its safe to say that if we were at any other track in the area it would a been a sure cancellation for the day, But in true SMP fashion they stuck it out for us and got things back in shape in no time. My day ended way earlier then I would of liked going out in the first round of eliminations, I put up a pretty good fight at it but my .018 on the tree and taking .005 at the finish line was no match for Jim Stephens (Last Fridays No Box Bonanza winner) almost perfect run of .002 on the tree and running under his dial in by .001. Amanda made it through her first round of eliminations but went out in round two on another double break out loss. Our great white hope once again for the night was Steve, He marched the ole gremlin all the way to the final round but came up just a touch short and walked away with runner up honors for the night.
This weekend (weather pending as always it seems lately) I will be headed to Thompson Raceway Park for the second time this year for their Independence Eve Explosion race on Wednesday July third. Following up by Pittsburgh Raceway Park on Saturday for one of the Summit Super Series points races. I believe Steve is going to take the weekend off due to the National Event being held at SMP so he can take the opportunity to do a little maintenance on the gremlin before we head south for the World Footbrake Challenge.
Stay tuned for what we hope is more good results!
All in all…Not a bad weekend. With an almost perfect weekend forecast with some of the hottest days we’ve had this summer how could we of not been excited for the weekend? The no box race at SMP allows you to double enter but only if you have a secondary car to compete in, so I was able to pick up a second ride from Randy Biddle Jr as he was off to race at Indy for the weekend and wasn’t going to use his recent purchased 79 Malibu. Fridays action started early in the am and they hustled through cars rather well, So well that Steve almost didn’t get to the track in time to get any time trials as he was in Pittsburgh for work that morning. To our advantage the rest of us got three for the day which was beneficial to me to get the hang of the Malibu that I hadnt sat in until that morning, but after making one adjustment after the first time run we were ready to rock with it. Steve was the first to fall in the secound round of eliminations and I followed in the Malibu in round three by going .005 red to the always tough Nick Hastings. Amanda was on a tear of her own throwing down solid run after run in the Concord but eventually ran short in the fourth round with her opponent being .006 and in two hundreds to her .013 and under two hundreds break out loss. Unfortinitally I continued the round by round count out by giving up the finish line by .005 in the fifth round to end our Friday night.
Saturday brought on a new day and a busy day it was. Same routine for the time trials, two and go. We ran through those quick and where on our way to eliminations. Amanda’s luck was a little shorter this night by losing the second round of eliminations as well did Steve, I on the other hand was creating a good cardio workout for myself, Taking both cars deep into eliminations I found myself getting back from one and going right back up with the other car and as the night progressed and with fewer cars left i had to rely on the help of Amanda, Bubba, and Mitchell to get one car in the lanes while i got the other one up with enough distance between the two to get back for the other one. It sounds really confusing to read, That’s only because it was confusing to do also! But I ended up losing both entries in the fifth round yet again going .01 red in the Malibu and losing to eventual winner Will Steckly in my car witch I had nothing for his .005 in .01 pass! Congratulations to Will on his second 5k No Box Bonanza win.
Sunday is the last day to make something happen. Amanda had another tough day going red in the first round buying back and hitting the tree with a solid .015 light and bailing early on the run due to having her opponent covered but the ol concord decided it was on a record run pass, despite her efforts to slow it down still ended up breaking out and losing in what if probably the most frustrating ways to lose a race like that. Much like Saturday I found myself in a good rhythm and making laps in both cars, up until round three. For the third time of the weekend I get paired up with Nick Hastings, I’m in the Malibu again this time and crack off a .003 light and not far behind is Nick with a .009 we both run it out to the other end pretty much sure off what each other are going to do, We both drop pretty hard at the other end but no win light on my side. The Mali slowed up a little that pass and I would of been set up better to run it out but that’s the part of the game that you don’t know until you get the ticket! Almost same story in my car my opponent and I are identical on the tree with .023 lights but i missed my mark on the dial in my car for like the twentieth time of the weekend and lose to his dead on run. Steve on the other hand is our great white hope of Sunday marching through the rounds making it down to the round of 16 cars out of a field of 250+. Steve was also getting in some foot brake practice before our much anticipated trip to the WFC in July. Steve car slowed up a considerable amount at the round of 16 causing him to lose the race so it may be time to take a quick peek over the Gremlin and make sure everything checks out ok.
Its not looking like a good weekend weather wise as of now but if things do turn around it will be Norwalk Saturday for a points race and Dragway 42 to follow on Sunday.
Last weeks trip to Thompson Raceway Park fell short of a win but I was able to come out of it with some valuable foot brake information and saw a slight improvement on the adjustments that I made during the week. I fell short in the third round of competition to Ray Babb who had me from the start with a near prefect .001 light to my .021 light and the rest from there was history. Ray and I had the pleasure of running each other two years ago in the final round at Pittsburgh for the Div 3 team finals were I was lucky enough to come out as the winner in what was another close race. So I wasn’t all worked up about losing to him in the third round, I went over after our race chatted it up a little and wished him luck for the rest of the night. He ended up staying alive until the finals were he fell short to the nights winner Dave Mann.
This weekend brings us to an awesome three day race that Summit Motorsports Park hosts for us no box/bottom bulb racers, The No Box Bonanza is a shot a two thousand, five thousand, and five thousand for the low entry of just one hundred dollars! At this particular race you are allowed to double enter only if you have a second vehicle to compete with, So I was able to hunt up a second ride for the weekend in an effort to double my chances on the prize money. So hopefully we can manage to bring home a little money on this three day race weekend!
It’s kinda like Fishing without Fishing. That’s when you come home with fish & never went fishing. With an all Ford race @ Summit Motorsports Park this past weekend & being way behind on a ton of non race stuff I did some catching up.
I made it to the finish line with the rototiller in my moms garden. The problem with racing & yard work is you race when it’s nice out & stay home when it rains. You do yard work when it’s nice out & you stay inside when it rains. See the problem? So the garden is finally planted, the branches that fell all winter are burned, & Moms place looks pretty good again. In another month or so we will be making Spaghetti Sauce, Zucchini bread, & Pickles. Yummay!! A win in my book…
I did do some race related stuff. One thing a lot of racers neglect is their tow rigs & I’m probably one of the worst! I tow with a 1997 Ford Diesel Dually. I knew it needed some love but out of sight out of mind seems to be a way of life for me lately. You remember what needs done when your towing to the track. First I changed the oil & oil filter. The Ford 7.3 Liter Diesel motor takes 15 quarts of oil & a 20 plus dollar oil filter. I write the date on the oil filter to keep track of when it was last changed. I really only use the truck for towing so once a year oil change isn’t stretching it too far. BUT after further examination it was 2 years since the last change. Yeah I’m pretty bad. I changed the fuel filter which I do change that often as diesel is a pretty dirty fuel.
One thing that really needed attention since I bought the truck 5 or 6 years ago is the exhaust system. I took a trip to Summit Racing Sunday morning while it was raining & picked up a sweet new stainless exhaust system. By the time I got back to Moms the rain had stopped so I decided to try my hand @ installing the new system. After about 3 hours some minor scrapes & a ton of rust in my eyes despite safety glasses the job was complete. The truck is happy & should be good to get me down to the World Footbrake Challenge in Bristol Tennessee next month.
Not a win on the track but a great accomplishment off the track. Now to change the oil in the Gremlin before the No Box Nationals @ SMP starts this Friday.
We are rapidly approaching the weekend and that brings the question of were to go racing Saturday? With SMP having an all ford meet on Saturday and Pittsburgh Raceway Park having just a test and tune on Saturday I decided to broaden my resume of tracks visited and add Thompson Raceway Park to that ever growing list. With good Friend Bubba Black racing there points series up there we haven’t been able to hang out at the track much this year so I figured it would be a good chance to have some fun racing at a new facility as well as catch up on things with him. It looks as if all the bad weather will pass through the area by the end of the week and we will have a good weekend ahead of us. Lets hope for good results!
While your still reading i’ll give a little mini recap of what went down last weekend. With my little brother graduating from high school and having to miss a points race at SMP I decided it would be a good idea to bring the car back home the weekend prior and catch up on some maintenance as well as take the car out for PRP’s Thursday night test and tune/gamblers race to get some foot brake racing in and blow off the cobwebs before the much anticipated WFC VII in July. As luck would have it weather moved it on Thursday and put an end to that plan. So on Saturday I went to the graduation party for a couple hours did my brotherly duties and hightailed it for PRP in hopes of getting there before they started first round. With luck I made it there to even get a time trail before the action started. On the ride there I debated weather or not I should invest the money and sign up for there points program (If your keeping track that would be three points series at three different track in two different states) The only reason to even consider this was that Dragway 42 changed to Division 5 this year and that would allow me to qualify at a Division 3 track as well for the Team Finals race at the end of the year. After looking over all three track schedules and keeping SMP and D42 as a priority I could still make eight races at PRP, So I went ahead and signed up. Cutting to the chase I ended up doing pretty good for the night making it down to about 10 cars and losing to eventual runner up for the night. So far the gamble has paid off so lets see if i can keep it rolling.
On that note lets weather the storms for the end of the week and kick off the weekend hopefully with a win at TRP on saturday. Stay tuned to find out and if you happen to be in the Thompson, Ohio area stop on in Saturday.
Like the title says, It wasn’t such a bad week. The goodness started off on Wednesday night @ Summit Motorsports Parks $7 Fun Night. Wednesday nights are the best way to get your feet wet in racing. There are a variety of entry level classes that mostly run for trophies rather than cash purses. That one change keeps the competition @ a fun level. Amanda was able to get off work in time to make it to SMP this past Wednesday & try her hand @ the $7 fun night. A late night for a week night led Amanda to her first final round in the new ride. She took the runner up positions in a tough race against a full out race car. A great night to gain some experience.
Saturday split the team up a little. Matt & Amanda went to the high school graduation party for Matt’s brother in Pennsylvania. Matt took his race car car with him in case there was time to make it to the races @ Pitsburgh Raceway. It turned out there was time to make it there in time to get some racing in. Matt did pretty good, loosing in the 4th round to the eventual event runner up.
I had a long weekend that started off Friday evening with the Relay For Life @ Wooster High School. With my Dad passing away from cancer & myself having a cancerous mole removed this event has become an event I look forward to participating in. The outpouring of support & the lives effected by this terrible disease was amazing. I got very little sleep due to helping my girlfriend out activities which she in charge of for the entire event. It kept the morale up & raised even more money for a great cause. After about a good 3 hours of sleep it was time to help set up for the Relay Car Show. I made my donation & entered the ole Gremlin in the car show. Not being a “Show Car” I entered more for support than the expectation of winning something. Out of dumb luck I wound up winning “Longest Owned”. The funny part is that the prize was a case of Brad Penn Oil donated by none other than Stevand Racing. What are the odds. I couldn’t take my own prize & chose to donate it to a nice gentleman with a beautiful 1968 Oldsmobile 442 convertible. He was pleased with his prize & thankful to Stevand Racing for the donation.
After the car show wrapped up I high tailed it home to take a quick shower then hurried to SMP just missing the first time run. No big deal I would just hit the 2nd one. Of course the day I only get one time run I go to launch the car & it rolls through the starting beam. I try to hurry up & back up but nothing! After trying a few things I decided to just drive it down the track & see what the problem was when I got back to my pit space. I quickly figured out a fuze had blown thanks to my 20 year old wiring. I figured I would try & get back to the lanes quickly to see if they would let me try & make a real pass. Because I had not taken the full tree they had no problem letting me back in. After almost having no time runs & a little excitement I made it down to the round of 14 cars. The lack of sleep had caught up to me & I was pretty late on my reaction time. I finally made it home @ 3am & took all day Sunday to recover.
Matt & Amanda started back to Ohio to run @ Dragway 42′s Sunday Pionts program. Shortly after heading this way, 42 cancelled the days racing due to rain? Weird call seeing as how it only rained breifly. So everyone had a day to rest up for the work week. Overall A pretty good week.
Matt’s car is still in Pittsburgh with no racing @ Norwalk this weekend he will run their Saturday program then come back here for 42 on Sunday. I will take a weekend to do some much needed car maintenance……
This was our first extended weekend for the year and it turned out to be a great one. Amanda and I set our sights on Columbus Ohio for the 12th annual Great Amc Day on Friday morning put on by none other then Mike Luke. This is kind of a special race for us “AMC” guys it gives us a little outlet to all share what we have in out little AMC world its always a good time and this year was no exception. Amanda and I both ended up getting beat first round of the main race, her opponent was 005 with a difference of 006 in their break outs and the guy that i ran was 008 on the tree and had me covered on both ends of the track. Luckily enough for us they had a second chance race that i was lucky enough to win over good friend Dan Henderson in his AMX. On the way home from Columbus we made a spur of the moment decision to stop in at Dragway 42 for there first of three days of racing. As luck would have it for the second time in one day I found my way to the winner circle. The only down side to winning is along the way i had to race Amanda at 6 cars because of the way the buy run fell. But we avoided eachother as long as we could and there is only so much you can do at that point.
Saturday we were at SMP for the fourth points race of the year. Things kept on rolling from the night before we all kept good stride throughout the night. In the end the three of us all fell a little short of our overall goals. I was the first to go out in the fourth round down to 15 cars by tripping the red light by just .002, Amanda was the next one to fall making it all the way to five cars in the sportsman class witch is no joke at SMP. She ended up missing her mark on the starting line but would of had a tough round as it was seeing that her opponent was .001 on the tree! Steve was the last one to go out losing in the semi finals in what was a real close race. If i recall correctly it was Steve’s 024 light to a 017 light and both going dead on their dials! In the end we all had a good outing for the day.
I tried to end out my weekend on monday at a little track called Magnolia Dragway witch is just past Canton Ohio, But as luck would have it as soon as I pulled my car out of the trailer for the day it decided to rain. They waited it out the best they could giving it about an hour or so to let up but it was showing no signs and they called it for the day.
You cant complain about the weekend that we just had and it makes it even more exciting to go back for next weeks action. This upcoming weekend we are back to our normal grind with a points race at SMP on Saturday as well as one at Dragway 42 on Sunday, Lets hope we pick up were we left off and we can put another car in the winner circle this weekend!
Hello from Hilo Dragway in beautiful Hawaii…
It just so happened that I just happened to be on the Hilo side of the Big Island Hawaii on a night where Hilo Dragway just happened to be racing. Coincidence? Anyways while everyone back home was @ Summit Motorsports Park, shivering with 50 degree temps, my girlfriend & I were pulling in the gates of Hilo Dragway. Hilo just happens to be located in one of the raniest places on earth by getting 126.72″ of rain a year. The propper name for the drag strip is Pana‘ewa Drag Strip. the locals like to call it Pana‘ewa rain forest. Not the smartest place in the world to build a dragstrip. BUT!!! we lucked out! It was a beautiful day for racing. 80 degrees & sunny.
We pulled in the gate & were asked if we wanted to race. We would have if we gad more time but only had an hour or so before we had to head North for dinner & a friends house. A rental car is the best race car of all. LOL We opted to just go in take some pictures & talk to the locals. What a night & day difference from home. SMP gets about 500 cars on a Saturday night. This place got 3 cars entered in their points program for the night. There were probably 25 cars there for test & tune & maybe a gamblers race with cash put up by the racers as a purse. The one big problem is that the track is owned by the county parks & is rented out to car clubs for racing. The other bigger problem is there are 2 conflicting car clubs that pull members from one another. If they were combined the car count would be worth noting but the club owners do not see eye to eye.
It doesn’t matter where in the world the race track may be, things are the same all over. Good times spent with family & friends, stories being told, & competition on the track. We met some cool people with some pretty cool rides. Definitely a lasting impression was left.