Weekly Update June 2nd and 3rd

Remember last week when I said this, “Usually, Steve O sends me weekend details and I post a big old Weekly Update. The email I got about Memorial Day weekend was so good that it doesn’t need to be rewritten. So, this week’s update is brought to you by Steve O himself. Some day we can all say we knew him when he was grinding away on weeklies.” Just pretend that I said it again.

Saturday 6/2 @ SummitMotorsportsPark

This weekend’s weather was looking a little bit sketchy, but we ended up with two perfect days for racing. On Saturday we had a stiff cross/tail wind but it was steady so it didn’t pose the same issues we ran into last week. Unfortunately, there were plenty of other issues for us to overcome that were more serious that a little wind.

AMX Dan replaced his starter during the week and all seemed well… until he got to the track. Boy did that new starter start making some awful noises. W tried our best, but we just couldn’t overcome that issue. Continue reading Weekly Update June 2nd and 3rd

Weekly Update May 25th-27th

Usually, Steve O sends me weekend details and I post a big old Weekly Update. The email I got about Memorial Day weekend was so good that it doesn’t need to be rewritten. So, this week’s update is brought to you by Steve O himself. Some day we can all say we knew him when he was grinding away on weeklies.

Talk about a long, HOT weekend!

Friday we made the trek down to National Trails Raceway in Columbus, Ohio for the 11th annual Great AMC Day (GAD). Matt went into the event with three consecutive class wins. There was a total of six racers from our clan that made the journey. It is a fun event mostly because its low pressure and it is way cool to race with a bunch of AMCs that we don’t often see. The track was in great shape for a club type event, so kudos to National Trails for providing a great track on such a hot day.

Our group did rather with Matt winning his 5th GAD race, Steve O with the Runner-up, and AMC Dan with a semi-final finish.

Saturday at Summit Motorsports Park was a hot one, too, but it was a little better than the day before in Columbus. A nice breeze kept the day bearable, but made racing interesting.

As I said in Big Money, Big Pressure, I had a big run-off before the main part of eliminations, then I got my first time run with everyone else. The car went 10.27 seconds with a great .007 seconds light. I thought I was set. The second time run I made was called specifically for the Super 64. This time I finished in 10.36 seconds. Something just wasn’t right.

My care has been very consistent this season, so that is a huge loss in esitmated time (E.T.). That loss in time can be attributed to that breeze that was making the day livable. That made for an interesting first round of the run-off. We were all second guessing our dial-ins for that 1st round. Continue reading Weekly Update May 25th-27th

A Breakthrough Weekend

Matt and Steve finish first and second at National Trail Raceway on May 25, 2012

Its about time! After almost a month of chasing our tails we finally figured out what was wrong with my car and fixed the darn thing.

On my way into town on Thursday night, Steve sent me a picture of  an intake rocker arm that was completely backed off of its adjustment. That pretty much means I’ve been running on 7 cylinders so far this year. That’s a big deal and we kind of came to the conclusion that being down a cylinder would be the leading cause of why my car just wouldn’t run.

It gave no real indicators that something was wrong other then the car being as slow as it was, but with changing everything under the sun this past winter its hard to tell what the car was supposed to run anyway. So, no harm done once I tightened the rocker arm back up to its recommended spec, just go out and tear the track up.

Well, that’s exactly what we did!

Friday took us down to National Trails in Columbus, Ohio for our AMC race and it was a good day to say the least. From the first burnout, I could tell I was dealing with a new machine now. My car had a lot more pep then it did the weeks prior. On the first start it spun a little, so I rolled out of the throttle and made an easy pass down the track. I roll up to the ET shack (where we get our time slips with all our information from the run) and it shows an 11.15 seconds.

Continue reading A Breakthrough Weekend

Big Money, Big Pressure

We all face pressure every day of our lives. Whether it is getting something done on time for work or pressures of making a large house payment. But imagine what it’s like to be a relief pitcher with bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th. A place kicker trying for the game winning field goal with seconds on the clock. Those are pressures that only a hand full of people ever get to experience.

In drag racing there are many times during a season we get those kind of pressures put on us. The big difference is we don’t have a bunch of team members depending on us to make that play. The pressure is more self inflicted, and think that is kind of worse. Continue reading Big Money, Big Pressure

A Weekend To Test

Matt on track at Dragway 42

This past weekend was a great time to test out some new things on my car. Friday night I finished putting all the rear end components in the car where they belonged, and for once everything worked out without a hassle.

Saturday morning brought us into our trip to Quaker City Motorsports Park in hopes of testing out the new gear I installed and see if it makes a world of difference for me. Quaker City is about an hour and twenty minutes from Lodi, but even a long drive to the track is OK on perfect day. Continue reading A Weekend To Test

Weekly Update May 19th and 20th

Remember last week when I said that a tough weekend would lead to lessons learned and positive results? Well, I sure do.


Since Summit Motorsports Park gave the Mr. Gasket Super Series a week off to run the Cavalcade of Stars, Saturday saw the guys head down to Quaker City Motorsports Park to try their hands at the Saturday Summit Super Series points race. Neither Steve or Matt are entered into the season championship, but at Quaker City – like most tracks – anyone is welcome to race any day.

Matt was still fighting his new gear combination on his AMC Spirit leading up to Saturday. Continue reading Weekly Update May 19th and 20th

An AMXciting week…

Last week was a busy week at the garage. There never seems to be an idle moment over there. Last week was a push to get another 401 together for Dan Henderson’s AMX. Dan is another adopted Hanshue like we are. You will notice a trend in all of this, we do a lot of work on AMCs and there are a lot of adopted Hanshues.

Dan’s engine decided to eat up a main bearing last fall at the Summit Halloween Classic. We pulled her apart around Christmas time and got a game plan together on the rebuild. There are so many things that can go wrong when building a motor it is ridiculous. Everything is measured down to the thousandth  of an inch. Then there is the question of running the same combination or trying something new. That is why whenever we build anything, we go through every possible scenario. Like what went wrong and what caused the problem? Then it’s the plan on how to make it better and finally how do we make it better without better parts available?  Continue reading An AMXciting week…

Not Always A Good Weekend

The good comes with the bad sometimes, and thats just the way it is.

I’ve been racing for a few years now, and I can tell you that you just learn to move on and look at next weekend instead of dwelling on what happened the weekend before.

This was a short weekend for us to start with because we only had one race at Summit Motorsports Park. I made the 45 minute treck from Lodi to Norwalk saturday morning in good spirits for the day. Why not? I had a pretty good first weekend out and I fugred that I’d be able to capitalize on that and make some good headway in the season long points chase. I arrived at the track around noon, unloaded my stuff, warmed up the car, and made a few laps around the pits to make sure everything is good and up to temperature. Continue reading Not Always A Good Weekend

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees Because the People Under Them are Priceless

Twenty two years ago I was racing my 70 Javelin at Dragway 42. I can still remember the day I met Bill.

I was pretty new and timid at the time and was wandering through the staging lanes on my way to get a drink from the concession stand. I made my way close to a beautiful AMC AMX in hopes the owner would say something in recognition of having the same brand car. After many trips, each passing closer to the car, a man named Bill Hewitt shouted over, “When that transmission blows up I have a few more in my garage!”

Continue reading Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees Because the People Under Them are Priceless

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