Aloha!!!!!

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.

Hawaii 03 122 Hawaii 03 123 Hawaii 03 118 Hawaii 03 132

 

 

 

 

The Two Week Update

Better late then never some say! Being only a week behind this time of year is not bad at all for us. Lets jump back a week to the start of the season at Summit Motorsports Park, The first outing for us in the 2013 season.

Things overall went really smooth usually after working all winter long on my car it seems like there are always a few loose strings. Luckily enough that wasn’t the case this year and it was pick up right were I had left off. Saturday night @ Summit Motorsports Park I ended up making it down to 15 cars losing 4th round at 2:30am Sunday morning!IMG_4260

Amanda did rather well for the first time out in something that she has never ran before. She wound up losing in the second round to a well seasoned racer who has a quarter mile long list of accomplishments of his own. The Concord has fully exceeded all expectations I had for it. It has turned into a nice, low 13 second, fully functional street car, that we can drive back and forth to the local tracks to minimize the expense of having two tow vehicles and trailers.

Steve ended up losing in the second round of competition to end our first outing at Summit Motorsports Park for the year.

Week two and we are back at it just like that. Saturday was the second points race of the year at SMP. As for me & Steve we don’t have much to talk about. Unfortunately we both red lighted our chances away first round for a very short night. On the other hand Amanda was going off in the sportsman class.

After making her two time trail passes we opted to make a not so conventional change to her system. She decided she wanted to “Deep Stage” first round in an effort to pick up her slower (but consistent) reaction times. So deep staging is a process of staging deeper to move yourself closer to the starting line to help pick up your reaction time with a slower reacting vehicle. She handled it really well and the change showed greatly in her reaction times for the rest of the night before she lost to yet another veteran racer. It what was an awesome race. She was .008 to his .019 on the tree and the margin of victory was .0002 not in her favor. All things considered not a bad outing for the Concord.

IMG_4252Sunday we are at Dragway 42 for out first points race of the year. Its Amanda and myself flying solo for the day as Steve opts to stay back and not go out for the day.

We get there in enough time to make one time trial each. We both make decent runs and are ready to go at it. Amanda lucks out and get pulled for the first round bye and gets the luck of making a single run for the first round win. She ended her day a little short by turning on the red light in the second round. I somehow managed my way through the majority of the field before I fell short in the semi finals when I miss chose a dial in and was pretty much just along for the ride at that point. But still a healthy start for the year there.

The first two weeks out had some ups and downs but overall we are happy with how everything has worked with all the cars and we just have to focus on blowing off the winter cob webs. This weekend brings us back to SMP for the third points race of the year and Sunday off for mothers day. Steve has the weekend off for some R&R in Hawaii. There may just be a weekend update from Hilo Dragway????

Not sure where to start???

Hi everyone! It has been quite some time since I have contributed on here. Why you ask? Well It’s a long story but I’ll shorten it up a little.

I mentioned on here towards the end of last summer I took a now job. That job took a huge commitment of my time. The job was commercial remodeling. A little back round on commercial remodeling. 90% of it is done @ night & all of it is out of town. The job was fun & exciting but the combination of out of town & out of town proved to be too much on me. I took a new job back running residential construction to try & get some normalcy back to life. Not sure if that is possible. LOL

I ended on here last fall with a few projects that I started on. How are they going you ask??? Well no where near as far along as I envisioned . Does any project ever finish on time? I think not. The motor for the Car Craft Magazine build up is currently @ the machine shop. All the parts finally came in & some progress is being made. Slower than expected but moving in the right direction none the less.

The Hornet Stocker project is moving @ a stellar snails pace. I have been attempting to collect parts over the winter but there again a snails pace. I even took long enough for some of the parts I collected to become obsolete. By obsolete I mean NHRA disallowed the parts without notice. Pretty much a bummer. I did get a few things in order & will update the progress in a future blog.  After the shock of Spring wears off I will be back @ it as this car has become a priority!

Hornet front end parts ready for sandblasting then powdercoating!
Hornet front end parts ready for sandblasting

 

Not a whole bunch has changed here @ Stevand Racing but in a way it has. A freshen up for Matt’s seasoned 360, I unfortunately touched nothing on the old Gremlin, but the exciting news is the addition of the Concord! Not the airplane but a 1981 AMC 4 door Concord. It will be piloted by none other than Matt’s girlfriend Amanda Hoover.

Keep a close eye out here for Weekly updates & interesting stories then a daily eye on our Facebook page for daily updates & some fun photos to break up your week!!

 

 

We Are Back At It, Just Like That !!!

Well here we are before you know it closing the off season, and rapidly approaching the 2013 race season. You may not have heard much from us in the off season but it certainly wasn’t because we had nothing to talk about. Its more so the opposite. We have been busier then ever upgrading and adding to our fleet of vehicles. I can tell you that with being less then a month away we still have our work cut out for us to get everything done in time.

I quick recap of the past few months included me finishing up my concord for my girlfriend Amanda to race this upcoming year. I’ve had my 1981 AMC Concord since high school and used to drive it daily for a year or so. So one day I decided to tear it all apart and make another “race Concordcar” out of it.  I always had drive ability in mind for it that way I could hop in and drive back and forth to the track. Fast forward some five years later and its finally done! The process was always upgrade parts on my spirit and use the old ones for the Concord so after a few years of savin parts and money I was finally able to pull it off (with a lot of resources from friends and family as always) So the focus of the Concord this year will be to have Amanda race it when she can and just have fun with it all together!

With the concord finally being done around early February I turned my attention to my Spirit. Every winter I say I am going to be done early and ready to go race down south at some of the early races…that never happens. After having some bearing trouble the year before I told myself I wanted to take the motor out just to give everything the once over. So i got the motor out and over to Hanshues garage in Medina to have a look. With much relief everything looked a lot better then the year prior. Being that the motor was already out and half apart we made the choice to go ahead and install new bearings while we were already inside of it. Everything went back together rather easily and I was able to drop it in the car a week ago. At this point I am just finishing up bolting things together on my car and should be ready to hit Pittsburgh Raceway Park next weekend in all hopes of taking my Spirit and Concord out to get a few passes on both of them to make sure everything is in good working order. Nothing major has changed on the Spirit so my hopes are just to make a pass or two with it and make sure its as good as when it went away at the end of the season, The Concord however is new from front to back so I would like to be able to make a few passes on it just to assure everything is working properly as well. You never know what is likely to happen with a fresh build and always hope that it works flawlessly.

Just like that we are getting back in the swing of things Now only if the weather would work with us we can really start to enjoy our time out at the track! Make sure to stop back in to see how everything works out.

A New Guy at the Summit Motorsports Park Awards Banquet

The 2012 racing season was the first year that I’ve had a chance to work with Stevand Racing. Before welcoming Stevand Racing to the More Than a Fan family, my motorsports experience was a show at the old Norwalk Raceway Park when I was still young enough to think I didn’t need earplugs and watching NASCAR on television. Since the beginning of last race season, I’ve learned a ton about bracket racing, been rained out at the track and met the great group of people that are associated with Stevand Racing. And Saturday, January 27th was the perfect cap to an eventful season.

Andy, Steve and Matt Obertanec invited me to join them at the 2012 Summit Motorsports Park Awards Banquet. I let a few guys from More Than a Fan know about the invite, and Damien Bowman decided that he wanted to meet the team and see what kind of show the Bader family can put on for their racers. (If there was going to be a Cliff’s Notes of this column, the answer to what kind of show I saw Saturday would simply be, “Holy Crap.” It actually wasn’t going to be crap, but this is a family show)

We arrived at Kalahari for the conference at a little before 1pm and were immediately whisked to the Bill Bader, Jr.’s State of Summit Motorsports Park talk. Not only did I learn a lot about what’s going on at the track in 2013, it was impossible not to notice the rapport that Bader, Jr. had with the room full of racers. No matter the class, the car, the win/loss record or the hometown, the man at the very top of one of the most impressive drag racing tracks in the country knows almost every one of the local points drag racers by name. There is a lot to be said about smooth marketing and promotion, but none of that matters without being genuine with your base. I’m still new to the scene, so I’m not going to run around saying that Bill Bader, Jr. is perfect, but I can vouch for my gut reaction from that first seminar and confidently say that he knows his base and that he works hard for them.

Directly after Bader, Jr.’s talk Drag Racer Bingo started up. At this point, I have absolutely no idea what’s going on. Don’t get me wrong, I know how to play bingo, it’s just that I wasn’t expecting the people throwing hats and t-shirts into the crowd, or the excitement over some of the bingo prizes. I’m not sure what I would have done with a set of Mickey Thompson Tires racing slicks or a big package of prizes from Wiseco Performance Products, but once I got hit in the head with a t-shirt, I started to get pretty excited to win something.

Alas, winning wasn’t in the (bingo) cards for me Saturday, but watching the racers play the game and being in the middle of such a huge group of people that all seem to feel like family was pretty fantastic.

After some down time and boring business type talk with the Stevand Racing boys, it was time to put on the suits and head down to the ballroom for the Mr. Gasket Banquet of Champions, the 39th Annual Summit Motorsports Awards Ceremony.

Wow.

The Mr. Gasket Banquet of Champions was promotion and production at the highest level. At any given time, there were almost 600 people in the ballroom spread between the 68 guest tables and the Champions Tables that were actually on stage with the Bader family and the huge structure showcasing the night’s trophies and awards. The night was such an amazing showcase of the racers at Summit Motorsports Park that it was easy to get caught up in thinking that these guys were the same dragsters that we see on television every weekend.

IMG_20130126_130607From the junior racer awards to hearing the acceptance speeches of the Track Champions to the show choir and marching band to the banter between Bader, Jr. and his father Bill Bader, Sr., the whole banquet was filled with the kind of entertainment that one would expect from a national showcase. That all that class and entertainment was built on the foundation of drag racing in Norwalk, Ohio and the points classes at Summit Motorsports Park is truly amazing. (It was so awesome that I didn’t even mind the last name on my credential packet)

The Bader family did a fantastic job entertaining and showcasing their drag racing family Saturday, and I’m looking forward to spending some time at the track this summer with Stevand Racing and enjoying the show at Summit Motorsports Park. Keep an eye out for our event calendar and come visit us in the pits.

A little look back @ 2012

As we prepare for the 2013 racing season I can’t help but take a look back @ all the fun times we had on our racing adventures. From racing in our back yard to out of state jaunts, they all have a story.

Overall Matt & I had a pretty successful year. No major breakage. Many Many minor pains but I will take those over a motor explosion every time. We walked away with  our heads up high & a car to race next year.

My most memorable race this year had to be the NHRA Bracket finals in Indy. The fellowship @ this race has been awesome the past 2 years. Being a team event comprised of people you raced against all year it is a bit tough @ times to find fellowship. I am not sure what changed but this event has become a favorite. Matt touched base on his “Update of all Updates” Blog on September 9th on my progress @ the Bracket finals. Besides winning a Shootout on Friday & getting down to 8 cars in the main event was only a portion of the fun. The weekend included some creativeness with cap guns, yes the childrens kind, A flat front tire on the race car, A severe shock from the race car coil, & some serious golf cart wheelies. It’s always a success when you get a visit from the law when you have actually not done anything illegal.

That was my favorite weekend. I look forward to more Shenanigans this coming season. How about you?

Shenanigans

 

*Ahem* Can I Have Your Attention Please!

MTAFDoor

About a year ago we sat down with Josh Flagner of More Than a Fan and discussed to possibility of doing a drag racing related blog as part of the MTAF website. Little did we know how awesome of a relationship this would turn into. The blog has given Stevand Racing an avenue to share our real life track stories and promote our sponsors. With the blog growing way more than we ever expected it has given us the opportunity to step up.

With the Josh’s help, Stevand Racing now has it’s own .com. This doesn’t sound like a lot but it is pretty huge. You can now just type www.stevandracing.com and you’re on our site! Stevand Racing will still be linked to More Than a Fan, so all our followers can fill their plate with their sports needs with just one click.

We will be adding more to the site as time goes on, including complete sponsor pages, Brad Penn oil order page and more product reviews. The overall look of the site will remain the same due to the wide acceptance of the original design. Don’t mess with success! Well, not too much.

Click Here!

If any of our readers has ideas, suggestions or just good, old-fashioned feedback, be sure to let us know! You can email the site at mailbag@stevandracing.com or email Andy, Matt or myself by just putting our first name in front of @stevandracing.com! Also, make sure to follow us on Twitter @StevandRacing and check out our facebook fan page!

Keep an eye out for some new blogs  as we recover from the holidays and get back at our preparation for the 2013 racing season.

 

 

Happy Holidays To All !!!!!

On behalf of the whole Stevand crew I would like to wish a very happy holidays to you & yours.

We are extremely thankful for all the support from our sponsors & the dedicated readers. This Blog has grown in leaps & bounds this year solely based on your readership.

Special thanks to Kruger Photos, Wiseco Piston, & Cometic Gasket but without www.morethanafan.net none of this would be possible.

Be fast & be safe! A new year is just around the corner!

 

Project Stocker Has Begun!!!

This off season is revving up to be a busy one. Along with Matt finishing up his Concord Project, doing some freshening on his Spirit, & me working on the Car Craft Engine Build we are taking on another huge task of building another car to add to the fleet. We will be pulling our resources together & making a long time dream of mine come true.

The plan is to transform my 1971 AMC Hornet into a competitive NHRA Class legal Stocker. Stock Eliminator is reserved for American Factory-Production & some foreign & domestic sports cars. There are 56 or so individual classes that make up Stock Eliminator. The class is called Stock but is far from it in some ways. There are many rules that regulate this class. Some of the rules mandate stock parts while other rules allow for approved upgraded parts due to lack of availability, reliability, or safety.

The 71 Hornet will be run as kind of a rare AMC model known as a SC 360. This was a limited production car for AMC & only 784 were ever constructed.  The Hornet were starting with is an original 71 but NOT an original SC 360. This part does not matter as long as everything on the car trim wise matches the SC car. If the SC had a certain spoiler my “Clone” would have to have that same spoiler etc… The SC 360 was the only Hornet available with a 360. All others had the 304 V8 or a 6 cylinder. The SC 360 combo allows me to use an engine that has a ton of potential to make horsepower to be competitive in Stock Eliminator.

Every step of this build will be constructed around the rules, special attention paid to weight, & every effort to obtain horsepower out of everything possible. The car is classified by the factor issued by NHRA to the particular combination used. The 71 SC 360 has a factor number of 10.91. The performance factor of 10.91 puts the car in the “F” category. The class designation would be F/SA. The “F” being the individual class, “S” designates Stock Eliminator & “A” designates that I will be using an automatic transmission.  The class ET index for F/SA is 11.85. That means that old Project Hornet needs to run faster than 11.85 to qualify for a race.That is asking a lot for the engine & drive train modifications allowed.

The first step in the process has begun. The Hornet was in a flood before I purchased it so it will need completely disassembled & cleaned. As the car comes apart anything that is not needed by rules will be removed. Things like undercoating & sound deadener add up weight that is not needed. The interior has been removed revealing how clean of a car I really have. Not one rust hole in the over 40 year old gem.

This will be a learning process for us & your more than welcome to learn with us. Keep stopping by to see how the project is going.

 

The Build Continues…

Due to an extremely demanding work schedule lately my progress has been a little sporadic on the Car Craft engine build lately. With my first real day off in over a month I took advantage of the time & headed to the Hanshue garage to get things in order to drop the engine off to the machine shop.

Wakeman Power will take on the machining responsibilities for this project. They are a highly qualified full service machine shop. They do engines for most of the top performers in our area. Most of the rest of this build will take place @ Wakeman.

Today also consisted of cleaning parts. I really think cleaning parts is the longest single process in rebuilding a Junk Yard Dog. I washed & wire wheeled some of the pulleys & brackets to get them ready for paint to be magazine worthy. I also cleaned the front timing cover & oil pump housing. The modifications to that will be a whole blog in itself with pictures arrows & the whole 9 yards.

This weekend Stevand Racing will head to the International Motorsports Industry Show show in Indianapolis Indiana. The IMIS is a trade show of racing related products & services. This is one of the shows where new products for the up coming year are debut. This is not a public show. It is only open to businesses related to the racing industry. Stevand racing is lucky to be able to attend this event. I believe it gives us a leg up on the competition in that we see these new products sometimes before they hit the market. Another advantage is that we can talk directly to the people who design the products we use & can give feedback to help improve or develop new products. It is an exciting time of year for the whole team.

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