Joliet 2011 Recap
Dallas and I left Tuesday morning for Joliet, IL to get in line for a hard pit space, as they're gone quick in this NMCA/NMRA combined race. We arrived at the track's staging area at 3:30PM Wednesday — about 12 rigs back in line. The track started letting the drivers onto the track at about noon Thursday. We had our pit set up, credentials established, the cars teched in, and back on the trailer by 4PM.
My biggest complaint with Chicago is the tight pitting, and the lack of enforcement of diesel generator exhaust routed into the pits of others. For the third year in a row — a different NMRA toter and trailer
combo has been pitted to my right and their two diesel generators have pumped exhaust into my pit 24/7. For four days we couldn't sit in
our pits, work in our pits, turn off our generator and open the windows of the coach, or cook on the grill because of the carbon monoxide. All of the NSS racers I see at the track show the proper consideration to get and install the exhaust extensions sold at Camping World. The NHRA has a policy for the safety of people in the pits — but the NMCA/NMRA do not enforce one. I've made my Complaint, however my last one was completely ignored. But I digress!
Not a good weekend for me personally. Back in Mechanicsville, my Vitamin C qualified well, but was more than 1/10 off Sunday morning in the first round of eliminations — handing Kurt Neighbor an easy win. In the first Time Trail at Joliet I was almost 2/10 slow. I took all of the weight out of the car — and was still 1/10 off in the second Time Trial. For the last Time Trial I bumped the timing from 32 to 35 and ran my number. In the first round of qualifying the motor didn't sound right as I crossed the line, and so I shut down and had towed back to the pit. I thought it was a rocker or push rod — but all looked well when we pulled off the valve covers. Then we noticed a drop of water from the #3 spark plug.
Pulling the plug had about an ounce of water come out. We hoped for a blown head gasket — but after pulling the head and dropping the #3 piston in the hole — we saw water dripping from the cylinder wall on top of the piston. So I was done for the event. After being pushed back in the Semis in Bradenton for 6 drops of clean water, going -.002 red in the first round of Atlanta, and the car not running the number in the first round in Mechanicsville — I don't have a prayer for the Points Championship this year. Not a good year at all for me.
The Blow by Blow reporting from the track and the final qualifying ranking, ladder and the round results can be found at the Joliet Live thread at the NSS Forum. Fast Forward to the Finals — it was the battle of the Dougs — Doug Duell and Doug Poskevitch, with Duell turning on the "Stupid Light" and giving Poskevitch the win.
Dallas' car was also having a problem running the number — even with the seat removed. On the way home we dropped it off in Evansville, In to have the hood (Dallas forgot to put the hood pins in at Mechanicsville and the body guy down sucked at fixing it) properly mounted, and look at why the Vacuum Pump is blowing oil everywhere. Dallas will go up to run the car in Chandler in a couple of weeks, and bring it back to have the hood prepped and painted. I'll most likely run it at the Dave Duell Classic — as the money for FX is big.
We arrived home at Monday night at 10PM, and by Wednesday 10AM the engine from the Vitamin C had been pulled and disassembled. By noon, the block and crank were at the machinist to be Sonic'd and Magnafluxed. We're hoping that we can resleeve the block and reusing the crank, pistons, cam, and crank. I was planning to run the Texas Whale next year, and was planning to freshenup the Vitamin C this year — and have it as a backup to the cars Dallas and run next year. It looks like that we'll be doing the Freshen up now. I ran the Vitamin C this year because it is dead nuts on consistent, and I felt my best chance for a ring — as opposed to T&Ting a new car. Now that my chance for the ring is hopeless (unless I was to ACE the next three races and three people fell on their faces – Fat Chance) I'll use Milan and Indy to work out any wrinkles in the Whale.
The below are a few NSS photos from Joliet — you will find 80 photos by clicking here.