Points Update After 2nd of 7 Races
After a 7-year adventure, the Texas Whale was recently finished, and I've been looking for a local event to take it for Test 'n Tune to identify and fix teething issues.
Last Thursday, Dallas tells me that the 2nd Annual Brandt Nationals was going to be held at Lonestar in Sealy on Saturday. The Brandt Nationals is charity Race and Show, benefitting a local organization funding sporting events for kids with Down's Syndrome. We were told that there would be Test and Tune from 10AM to 2PM — and then racing with Indexes of 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, and 8.0. I didn't want to run the Whale in the Index races (which are mostly full electronics/trans brake cars) as I was just wanting to make easy low RPM passes to breaking the motor and make sure I had brakes (I didn't have good enough and need to change the MC), and that nothing fell off. Dallas' black Coronet was too fast for the Indexes, and for that track, but the Demon he ran from 2004 to 2009 and the Vitamin C car can easily be dialed into 7.0 cars, with a little manipulation of added weight. Dallas had never raced the Vitamin C (I run it in NMCA's Points Series), and has always been dead nuts on with the Demon — but the belts had expired on the Demon (which is For Sale) — so he decided to try the Vitamin C.
We arrived at the track at 11:30. They'd changed the schedule — and were starting Qualifying. I made a pair of qualifying runs in the Whale, and all was well except that the brakes weren't doing their job (Master Cylinder too small), plus I pissed off the track by making a full 1/4 mile pass (they'd only prepped for an 1/8) and going too fast — so we trailered the wagon satisfied that it would be ready for the race in Dallas 5/14.
Our cars are set up to run Nostalgia Super Stock and our rules do not allow trans-brakes, electronics, no air-shifters, and we run on skinny 10.5W slicks. We also run a Sportsman Tree — and frankly neither of us have ever run a Pro-Tree in competition. The cars in Dallas' index were mostly fat slick, trans-brake, electronics cars with delay boxes — and the Tree was a Pro-Tree. It put Dallas at a big disadvantage. We slow the cars down to the index by adding and subtracting loose weight in the weight box (and permanent weight bolted to the frame) as opposed to setting a delay in a delay box. We first unbolted 150 pounds from the frame — as Dallas weighs 150 pounds less than me. We then adjusted the loose weight in the weight box in 10 pound increments to have the car run as close to 7.01 as we could. All rounds were 7.018 to 7.042.
In the first round, Dallas treed a pretty blue 65 Plymouth. They both ran a 7.03 but Dallas had a better reaction time.
In the second round — Dallas again had a reaction time win over a very strange electric car. Yup, a 7.0 Pontiac Fiero with batteries in the trunk instead of a motor. It was built by an electrical engineer.
The Semi-Final round had him bettering a Nova, and the Final round had him bettering a Trans AM. He did an excellent job, especially considering the disadvantage of a strange (to him) car, a Pro-Tree, and no electronics (his footbraking against their transbrakes). He won a 4' trophy and a 5-day trip to Cancun.
If you have an iPhone or Blackberry, the photos you are Geo-Tagged by default. That’s to say photos of your kids, cars you list for sale, jewelry on you wife, your motorcycle …. tells the criminals exactly where they can find them with GPS coordinates.
The good news is that you can turn Geo-Tagging off. On the iPhone go to settings, and then to locations. You can turn all locations off — but in my case I travel cross country for races and need to find the closest Walmarts to park the 80′ rig for the night, or have the track’s weather — so I just turn it off for my camera and Facebook.
Now is the time to changed the settings on all the phones for your entire family, or sent this post to them. There’s a link at the bottom of this post to share on Facebook.
This is a nasty little virus that McAfee can’t protect you from, and so you will find little instruction on how to cure yourself of it — as it is an embarrassment to them.
I come home from racing, and my wife tells me that her computer has a virus — and is hosed. I was quite surprised, because she has an active subscription to McAfee and nightly updates.
The symptoms are a McAfee looking error message saying that you have a virus, that certain files are missing, and do you want to run a scan. Regardless of what you say – it runs what appears to be a scan, and presents a web site (in my case it was antivirvip.com/shop – don’t go to that site!) selling you anti-virus software.
You look down in your systray — and you see what looks like a McAfee shield, but a closer look and you will see it is green instead of red and doesn’t have the big M in the center.
You can’t go to other web sites, start McAfee (which has been disabled) and you can’t do anything in your control panel like add/remove programs.
Restarting the computer, you will see that McAfee starts, then gets disabled, and you get all of the error messages and the computer is otherwise useless.
mcagent.exe is damaged
Do you want to activate your antivirus now?
From the Internet I learned that you get this from those sites that pop up a McAfee looking message saying your computer just identified a virus, and asking if you want to run a virus scan. THIS IS THE TIME TO NOT PANIC — BUT TO STOP, TAKE A BREATH, AND THINK!
Right then if you close the browser and restart the computer without moving your cursor onto the box — you will be Ok and not been infected by the virus. However if you move your cursor over the message or click it — you’ve just hosed your registry. I verified from my wife that his is what happen.
The virus first turns off real time scanning of viruses, tries to steal your passwords, and attempts to get you to buy their fake anti-virus service to steal your credit card information.
I hope all of this will save someone many of the hours I wasted trying to figure it out.
Please share a link to this thread on Facebook, and to all of your family and friends so they do not get the virus — and know how to handle it if they do. I’m seeing people all over the Internet reformatting their drives and reinstalling Windows — or paying someone big bucks to fix this Virus. That’s using an axe when a scalpel is required. It is really easy if you know how you get it — and what to do if you get it.
If you start with a cage containing five monkeys and inside the cage, hang a banana on a string from the top and then you place a set of stairs under the banana, before long a monkey will go to the stairs and climb toward the banana.
As soon as he touches the stairs, you spray all the other monkeys with cold water. After a while another monkey makes an attempt with same result … all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.
Now, put the cold water away. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and attempts to climb the stairs. To his shock, all of the other monkeys beat the crap out of him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys, replacing it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment… with enthusiasm.
Then, replace a third original monkey with a new one, followed by a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him up have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs. Neither do they know why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
Finally, having replaced all of the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys will have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, none of the monkeys will try to climb the stairway for the banana.
Why? Because in their minds… that is the way it has always been!
This, my friends, is how Congress OPERATES…… and this is why, from time to time, all of monkeys need to be REPLACED AT THE SAME TIME
April 20, 2011
Have you ever hammered your car on the highway, or race someone up to the next stop light? Did you get just a little rush? Well that wasn't a safe or legal way to get a rush — and it really wasn't anything measurable. Why not take it to the next level by bringing your car to the local track instead?
Every track in the country has a "Street Car Night", meant to get people off of racing on the city streets, and into a safe environment where they can actually measure their progress. It is generally cheap (maybe $10) for an entire night. The problem is that people don't try it as they are afraid of looking stupid because they don't know what to expect — or that they go and look stupid because they don't know what they're doing.
They purpose of this article is to both encourage everyone who has never taken their car to the track to do so at least once, and to prepare them for what to expect. The purpose is not to make you a great drag racer (those tips will be discussed in future articles), just for you to have a safe and good time in your street car, and look like it wasn't your first time.
First off — for legal reasons I need to say that "Drag Racing is a Dangerous Sport", and that what is contained in this article is for informational purposes only. I will not be liable for damage, injury, or anything else concerned with your drag racing.
Lanes: At the top of the slip will have the lanes, and the information under it are particular to the car that ran in that lane.
Car Number: This is the number written on your windshield, or the permanent number of a regular racer.
Class/Index/Over-Under: This information has to do with the Class/Index racing in, the Elapsed Time the car was suppose to get close to without going faster, and the thousandths of a second away over or under from the time that the car went.
R/T – Reaction Time: This is the time in thousandths of seconds your car reacted from when your eye was suppose to see the light to go. Races are won and lost based on reaction time, and it is something you will want to practice as hard at, as driving the car.
60: This is the seconds it took for your car to go 60'. All of these times and speeds help the crew/driver figure out how they compared to their previous runs, and where they need to make their adjustments.
330: This is the number of seconds it took the car to go 330' (1/16 mile)
1/8 or 660: Number of seconds for the car to have gone an 1/8 mile. Race is over at most tracks in the 1/8
MPH: this was the MPH the car was going when it completed the 1/8 mile
1000: For bigger tracks — this is the time it took the car to go 1000'
1/4 or 1320: This is the elapsed time it took the car to go 1/4 mile from a dead stop.
MPH: This was the 1/4 Mile mph.
When you are done racing, don't forget to turn your traction control back on, and to air up your drive tires to their proper level.
Drive home with a big smile on your face. Many of you will be hooked — and will need to proceed to Drag Racing 201 for turning up the wick a little. Drag Racing is a good, clean, fun sport — and the friends you make at the track might turn out to be the best group of friends you've ever had. Families love drag racing once they've been exposed to it. Make it a family affair and let the others get involved with you.
The following is recap of my personal perspective of NMCA's NSS event in Atlanta, GA this last week. Before every event, we create a thread for the event on the Nostalgia Drag Racer's forum — so people can post their version of the play-by-play of the event. I invite all attending the race to please post your perspective of it there. As I write this, the play-by-play of how the Atlanta Event went can be found by CLICKING HERE.
The motorhome and trailer were cleaned and made ready Monday; and Tuesday we loaded up the cars and supplies for the trip. I bought the Vitamin C (which I'll run the NMCA races in) and Dallas had the black Coronet. Dallas and I pulled out of the shop at 9:30 Wednesday morning, and the 925 mile trip to Commerce, GA was uneventful. — which is always good. We paid an average of $4.08 gallon for diesel — and the total for the round trip and generator ran about $1900 in diesel. We arrived at the track at 2:30 in the morning — and the 12th in line in the staging area.
Thursday morning had Barry banging on the door at 6:30Am to get Dallas' dog barking — and me out of bed. Coffee, breakfast, shower — and I was outside by 8AM — shooting the bull with the other drivers. At about noon there were about 70 rigs staged — and they started to let us in. Lynnwood "Cowboy" Dupree took good care of us — and selected for us a good pit where our rig was facing in one direction, and Doug Duell's rig (we pit together) facing the other way — giving us a large shared pit between us. We set up pits, established credentials, and had the cars teched in by 3PM. There was no racing Thursday — so we put the cars away for the night.
Friday NMCA's plan was to have TT from 9AM-to noon and then get two qualifying rounds in. I was one of the first ones to go down the track. The track was horrible — with most all of the cars spinning badly. I was almost 2/10 second off — all in the first 1/8. Doug had to abort his TT run from getting loose. I asked Dallas to wait a little before going down. Charlie Harmon (the event promoter) rode by to visit, and we told him the track was bad — and he radioed for them to fix it. Dallas was one of the last to go down the track in TT. Because this was a combined NMCA, NMRA, LSX, TS, and Brackets race — we only got one Time Trial, and that's why they wanted to have two Qualifying on Friday.
My first Qualifying was at 1:39PM. I'd taken some weight out, but my 60's were way off and I was still almost a 1/10 slow.
In the previous 20 NMCA races I've run, they ask your Index while in Tech, and then when you have your first qualifying they come through the staging lanes and verify with you before your first pass. That didn't happen this time — which caused two phases of drama later. Despite my car having a big C/NSS on all four windows — I and many others were just arbitrarily lumped into A/NSS. Phase one was most of us storming up to the tower to get it fixed after the first Qualifying pass — but the phase two of the drama were the drivers who ignored that until they'd made all three passes. NMCA gave those people a Mulligan — and changed their Index after they'd finished all of their qualifying rounds. 16 NSS cars had come to the event and made the first qualifying round. Remarkably — all 16 also made it through the event — with no breakage or oil downs in NSS. I hope NMCA took note that not a one of us were the cause of track delays.
Round two of qualifying occurred at 6PM because of the high number of wrecks and oil downs — and the lack of hustle in the track staff to get them off the track and cleaned up. There must be a Union dispute — as they mostly looked like a group of orange vested road crew looking at one guy in a hole with a shovel. The schedule was about 3 hours behind when I ran Dallas in the second quallifying. As you can see from the below — despite taking more weight out — I was still not keeping up with the weather change, and I was still spinning. All weekend long — the left lane was having most of the problems. I really wish we would have had more than on TT to get the cars right.
There was a pretty bad storm over night — but the rain stopped at about 2 am. At 9AM, I rode down to look at the track, and while dry — they were scrapping the starting line (which needed it) at a very slow pace, which sucked as there was still three hours of last night's qualifying still needing to be finished. I have to say here and now that NMCA looked to be busting ass — but the Atlanta track staff didn't have their heart into it at all. The first cars started going down the track in the afternoon — and our third qualifying happened at 3:30PM in a pretty strong headwind. Just past the bleachers a strong cross wind (which had been causing problems with the Pro Thug car's chutes tangling all day) caused me to move my right hand to the wheel for the first time in many years. This same wind had Warren Johnson flip his Pro Stock car a couple of days earlier at this track. The below is my ticket — still too slow.
That .031 put me the number 9 qualifier — and naturally that means I again take on the number 1 qualifier Brian Merrick. I hate Sportsman ladders. I think 1 should take 16, 2 should take 15, and so on. It makes no since that 9 takes on 1 and 15 takes on 7.
The plan called for Eliminations to start Saturday — but that never happened. Shortly after we ran — a fuel line popped off a car at the starting line and flopped around with no one getting to the battery cut off — and the resulting fire killed the rest of the day. The 3rd qualifying was the only pass NSS made the entire day.
By Sunday morning, the event was maybe 5 hours behind — and Sunday is Bracket Day. We initially thought we'd be running our first pass at 10AM — but we soon were told it would be closer to 2PM. That looked like it could be pushed closer to 5PM with all of the track problems. The crew were acting like babies slamming mops around and then it appeared many of them flat disappeared. I observed Trey (who works for the NMCA) swinging a mop at the line. Doug called up to Charlie Harmon that NSS was getting impatient — and they changed the schedule to where our first eliminations occurred at 3PM.
I went -.003 red against Merrick, Dallas beat Vise, Duell beat a 67 Ford GTA, Camp beat Bates, Ray beat Hopkins, Neighbor beat Poskevitch, Young beat Davis, and Wilson beat Sanders.
The next round went quick with Duell, Wilson, Neighbor and Merrick going to the Semis. At 8:30 they called NSS to the line for the Semis. By then the track had gone to hell, and the left lane was having a lot of drama. Wrecks, oil downs and few cars were making it down the track with a decent run. They decided to run all of the heads up classes first before the track got too crazy — and Dallas and I decided it was too late to wait any longer — and pulled out of the track at 9:30. It was 10:30 when Doug returned my calls on who had won. It turns out that after watching no one getting down the left lane — that the four remaining drivers in NSS didn't want to risk wrecking their cars — and agreed to just split the remaining prize money 4 ways ($425 each). Word is that NMCA wasn't real happy with this plan — and their official news item of what happened is: "Indy Cylinder Heads Nostalgia Super Stock had Brian Merrick at the top of the qualifying ladder. On elimination day, due to a late evening, the final four racers (Brian Merrick, Doug Duell, Kurt Neighbor, and Steve Wilson) decided to split the points and the prize money for the weekend.", making it sound more like it was past the bed time of old men rather than the track was shit.
Dallas and I drove all night — and were back home at 1PM yesterday. Cars, trailer and motorhome was unloaded by 3PM.
In a nutshell, while many feel that NMCA might have bitten of more than they can chew with so many classes racing — I've seen this pulled of at tracks with a good staff. I feel it could have been pulled off at many tracks we run at — but it is the competency of the track personnel that make it or break it. Atlanta was not up to the challenge. Quite a few have blamed NMCA for this — but I watched them all hustle while the track people leaning on their mops. Why not replace Atlanta with a Texas track?
A cowboy named Bud was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in California when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced toward him out of a cloud of dust.
The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses and YSL tie, leaned out the window and asked the cowboy, “If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, Will you give me a calf?”
Bud looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, “Sure, Why not?”
The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3 cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.
The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility inHamburg, Germany .
Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses an MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.
Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer, turns to the cowboy and says, “You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves.”
“That’s right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves,” says Bud.
He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.
Then Bud says to the young man, “Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?”
The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, “Okay, why not?”
“You’re a Congressman for the U.S. Government”, says Bud.
“Wow! That’s correct,” says the yuppie, “but how did you guess that?”
“No guessing required.” answered the cowboy. “You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollars worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don’t know a thing about how working people make a living – or about cows, for that matter. This is a herd of sheep. ….
Now give me back my dog.
and then there’s the truth
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Use Old Cell Phone to Protect Your Race Car/Trailer
Here’s a kool way to use an old cell phone to find a stolen race car and or trailer.
First you need an old cell phone that has the auto-answer feature so much loved by Islamic terrorists for their bombs. In the phones options — set to auto-answer.
Then you need a 12V charger for the phone. Cut off the cigar lighter end, and wire to the trailer’s winch battery or the race cars 12V battery. I have no idea what happens when wired to a 16V source. On the race car — you have to take into consideration the battery cut off when you wire to the battery. The phone end needs to be direct wired to the phone to replace the phone’s battery. Make the connection strong enough to take the rigors of drag racing or trailering.
While you have the phone open to hard wire the cahrger, you need to write down the 15-digit phone identification number and keep it where you can have quick access to it if the vehicle is stolen.
Get a super cheap phone plan. Some companies have an emergency plan of $1.95 a year if never used until an emergency.
Have the phone in a water tight and low vibration mounting situation that doesn’t block the reception. Use your creativity if you want to remove when racing and quickly put into position when not racing.
If the car and/or trailer is ever stolen, you can call the police with the 15-digit number and the phone company’s number — and they can get the location of the car/trailer through a triangulation of cell towers.
Works with anything having a 12V source.