Monthly Archives: April 2011

Dallas Schultz Wins Brandt Nationals

Vitamin C Wins Brandt Nationals

Dallas Wins Brandt Nationals in Vitamin C

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.

Dallas Wins Brandt Nationals in 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.

Dallas Wins Brandt Nationals in Vitamin C

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.

Dallas Wins Brandt Nationals in Vitamin C

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.

Turn Off Geo-Tagging on Your Phone

Turn Off Geo-Tagging on Your Phone

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.

Fake Anti-Virus Virus

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 – 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.

The messages say things like:

Virus Alert
mcagent.exe is damaged
Do you want to activate your antivirus now?

First — Here’s what doesn’t work

  • I first turned off all of the shared external (net work) drives the computer has access to through a map to keep them from getting attacked, started the computer in Safe Mode (press F8 as soon as you hear the beep at start up — then select Safe Mode) without network support — logged in as an administrator, fired up McAfee, and had it run a full scan. After three hours — it finds nothing. The Virus wins!
  • So I restart the computer in Safe Mode with network support so I can get to the Internet through my wireless network. I do a search on the Internet — and while I see a ton of people with this problem — 2 hours of reading only tells me how you get the virus (explained below) — and none will tell you more than you are screwed. McAfee is silent on their web site, but their support offers a free program called “McAfee Virtual Technician” (you will have to search for it). It is a program that you download, install, and run. It identifies problems and fixes them — so it says. I downloaded, installed, and ran. It said that protection was turned off, my McAfee needed to be updated — and something else that I forget. I select the option to automatically fix — and it comes back saying that it can’t. Virus wins over McAfee again!

What I did to fix — that I couldn’t find how to do anywhere on the Internet

  • I started the computer in Safe mode, and logged on as an administrator
  • Since my Registry was hosed, I did a system restore to a known good backup (which your computer routinely does if you have it set up right, and let Windows automatically update). You can do a search for “Windows System Restore” for more information — but in the case of my wife’s computer running XP, I clicked Start/All Programs/Accessories/System/System Restore. You are presented with a calendar, and I selected a date about 2 weeks earlier. The computer takes the next 10 minutes going about it’s process of restoring to that date. This is a reversible process — but you’ll just get your registry with a virus back.
  • I restarted the computer in regular mode — and logged in as an administrator.
  • At this point, McAfee still turns itself off after you turn it on — so I went back to the McAfee site and downloaded, installed, ran McAfee Virtual Technician (the registry I restored from knows nothing of the previous installation of it, so I had to install it again — as any other program installed between the restore date and the virus date) — and let it fix the errors — which it did. Now my McAfee stays on.
  • I then did Window Update to catch up what the older registry doesn’t know of. Fortunately, no new applications were installed in the two weeks between the restore date and the virus date — so I didn’t have to reinstall any of them.
  • I finally ran a Full Scan — and came out clean.
  • I had my wife go to all of here shopping web sites and change her password — and to monitor her credit cards on-line over the next couple of months.

So how Did the Computer get this Virus — and what does it do?

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.

Excellent analogy:

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

Drag Racing 101

Drag Racing 101

Dave Schultz

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.


  • Drag Strip: Almost every drag strip has a web site, and on the web site is going to be their schedule. Look for a "Street Car" night. Don't let the title confuse you — there are going to be some very experienced racers, and most likely some very fast cars. However, don't let that intimidate you. Anyone can run a safe car and have a great time, and the more prepared you are — the better of a time you will have.
  • Your Car: Your car needs to be safe. For the purpose of this 101 class — we'll assume it is a ordinary daily driver. It can be as quick as a Mustang, Camaro, Challenger — or as slow as a Honda Civic. All of these types of street cars will not require special equipment like a cage, drive-shaft loop, or battery cut-off. However, it can't be leaking fluids; and will need to have decent seat belts, steering, tires, and brakes. Remove everything not attached to the car from the inside and trunk. Leave your bolted down spare tire and jack — but leave of the other the junk you carry in the car home. Bring a tire gauge with you, and about a half tank of gas should be more than enough to have fun, keep the weight down, and get you to the gas station for the trip back home. Make sure all of your fluid levels are normal. If your car has traction control — you will disable it for racing.
  • Your Clothing: Most normal street cars will not require that you bring a helmet or fire jacket — but you should call and verify that first — and it doesn't hurt to wear it if you have it. You will need to have leather shoes, socks, long pants, and should wear a long sleeve shirt.
  • Your Credentials: You will need to have a current driver's license; and not have been drinking, smoking dope, snorting coke, shooting Meth, popping Vicadins, or doing anything else stupid that would affect your reactions or judgment. If there is any physical or mental reason you shouldn't be racing — then don't race. Knock yourself out on killing yourself — but don't take any of us with you.

Arriving To The Track:

  • The first thing you need to do before entering the pits area of the track is to shut off your air conditioner. It causes water to drip, and that affects traction, and will get you backed off the track if they see so much as one drop of any fluid.
  • As you enter the track, you will buy a tech card for each driver running the car, and paying for admission for anyone else with you. Everyone entering the pits will sign a release holding the track harmless for anything that happens at the track — regardless of how it happens or whose at fault. If the driver is under 18, he/she will need to bring a parent — who will need to sign a minor permission statement. This is usually done in Race Control (generally in the tower), and most often lasts the calendar year.
  • You next want to locate the track's air hose — and ensure you can get air for your tires. The reason is that you will most likely want to drop the air pressure of your drive tires about 3-5 pounds (assuming 30 pounds is normal) for better traction — and you'll need a way to air them back up again before your trip home.
  • You will next need to fill out the tech card with driver and car information; and take it and your car to where the track is doing their tech inspection. It is most often close to the staging lanes. An inspector (if he's doing his job) will look over your card, inspect your car for safety, and if both pass — he'll write a number on your window, and take your card to the tower.


  • Staging Lanes: There are generally six to ten numbered lanes that lead up to the track's two racing lanes. These lanes are called the staging lanes and it is where drivers and cars are assembled in an orderly fashion prior to racing. Sometimes lanes will be assigned to different classes of cars, different types of trees, or if they want their time displayed on the scoreboard or not. Listen for the announcements over the PA for the lane assignment for a Full Tree, which is the best place to start. There will be a track official in the front of the staging lanes that will direct traffic onto the track — at the appropriate time. You will want to be ready to go when he's ready for you to go. You'll be in the car, with your belts on, and helmet on if you have one or it is required. All of your windows will need to be rolled up — and of course you cannot have your AC on. Don't have a cigarette dangling from your lips or a Coke in your cup holder. Turn the damn radio off too, so you can better pay close attention to the sights and sounds around you.  As you move up, your staging lane will funnel into either the left of right racing lane.
  • Track Protocol: Each track will have their own policy of where cars need to be positioned in line, and they'll assume everyone knows their protocol. There will be personnel to signal where to wait before moving to the water box, when to move up to the water box, when to start the burn out — and when to Pre-stage. Look for their signals. I suggest that you walk up and observe how the cars are moving up, and who is giving what signal — before bringing your car up to race. The more you understand what is going on, the more relaxed you will be. The more relaxed you are — the better you will look on your first ever pass down the track. Spend 30 minutes or so observing what's going on, and run it through your head a couple of times before pulling your car into the lanes.
  • The burnout: For the purpose of this 101 article, we assume that you have street tire and you won't need to do a smoky burnout — but to just clean the crap off your tires. As you pull into the lanes, there will be room to drive around the water — and you will want to do that as opposed to driving through it. If you know how to do a burnout without a line lock (in the 201 Article) on a RWD car, you can back the drive tires into the water, then pull forward and do just enough of a burnout to dry the water off the tires and get them a little warm. However, most cars will do better to just to spin the drive tires dry just enough to throw any pebble they might have collected. I suggest a short dry spin taking as little track to do it as possible. You will see some people spin the tires a little in the water to coat them — but not only is it not necessary, it will throw water up in the wheel wells that will drip on the tires as you race. Do not have your burnouts  take you past the staging beams — or you will piss off a lot of people and be spoken to. Actually you will want to use as little space possible, so you have enough space to stage straight. Burnouts are tough on the car. Transmissions, rear ends,, brakes — tough on them all.
  • The Tree and the Beams: The tree is that stack of lights between the two lanes. 25' before the tree, you will see a very low to the ground box on the edge of the lanes with three holes in it. These are the beams. Each hole has a beam of light that crosses your lane. Your front tire will break the beam and activate a tree function. Locate the box to know how much room you have from your burnout to stage. Then before moving up, look all of the way down the track and you will see a pair of distinct paths of rubber that cars have laid down over the years. This is called the groove and it is the safest place to keep the tires of your car all of the way down the track. As you move forward, line your car up with these grooves. The further down the track you look, the straighter the car will be staged, and you will require less correction when you launch.
  • Pre-Stage and Stage: The top lights on a tree are a pair of yellow bug lights. They turn on when your front tires break the beam of light in the first ground level hole. You need to move the car slowly until they just turn on — and then immediately stop the car.  This is called Pre-Staging. Don't take too much time doing this as it holds up other racers and over-heat's cars. To courtesy stage, both drivers should have both Pre-Staged before either driver stages. It is in bad taste to Pre-Stage and Stage before the other driver has staged. When both have Pre-staged, then move your car up to just break the beam of the second hole then stop. This will turn on the set of yellow bug light bulbs below the Pre-stage bulbs. You will be looking at the lights to Pre-Stage and Stage — not looking down for the actual beams. Shortly after both cars have staged, the flood lights on the tree will count down. Two words on the subject of the tree. First, the reason you stop immediately as soon as you turn the second set of bug lights on is so the car stops at the exact spot every time. You want to do this because Reaction Times are measured from the time you are suppose to go, and when you break the final of the three ground level beams. Reactions times are measured in ten-thousands of a second and displayed in thousands of a second on your time slip. It is an important component in winning a race. The second thing I want to mention is that most cars will do better when they launch at above an idle (assuming we're talking about an automatic transmission). There's a RPM launching sweet spot that is a compromise between the brakes holding you at the lights, tire spin if too high or bogging if too low. What I suggest you do after Pre-Staging is to have your left foot on the brake and bring the RPMs up to slightly above idle (maybe try 1200 RPM first) and hold that RPM while easing a little off the brake to "Bump In" until you turn on the staging beams. Hold that RPM until it is time to go and release the brake and floor the accelerator at the same time. All of this has to happen in a timely order. Neither racer should have to wait long on the other. Once both cars have staged — you should focus at the bottom Yellow Flood light on the tree. As soon as you see it flicker on — go. If you waited to see the Green — you waited too long. It you leave early — you get the red light — and you've lost the race if you turned it on first. Good  footbrake racers look for a .000 – .030 Reaction time, and electronic racer are looking for .000-.010 times. Those are fractions of a second. It takes a lot of practice.
  • The Race: Generally for automatic transmission street cars you let the car shift — as it will do a better job. Keep your hands on the wheel 10 O'clock, 2 O'clock and keep it in the groove. If for any reason the car loses even a little control — lift off the accelerator and consider your run is over. Do not get back into it after you have lifted. If something happens to the car — immediately pull over close to the wall in your lane and stop, so you don't leak fluids onto the track's groove. The car in the lane closest to the exit off the track, should be the car to exit first. Always know where the other car is before exiting the track. Never cross into the other lane. The standard NHRA track's lanes are 30' wide. That gives the average car at least 10' each side of center. If you drift out of the groove — you have plenty of space to make a slight correction back to straight. Quick corrections generally require more corrections — and not only is that unsafe, it scrubs off time. Do not roll down your window, release your seat belt, or remove any other safety equipment until you are off the track.
  • Returning to the pits: On the way back, you will see the track's ticket shack. Stop there and someone will hand you your time slip. Return to your pit and analyze it.

Time Slip:


  • 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're Done:

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.


Last Weekend’s Racing Recap

NSS Racing At NMCA's Race #2 in Atlanta


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?


Bud The Cowboy

Bud The Cowboy

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.

Protect Your Race Car/Trailer From Theft

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.