This time last year I was in first place and all was going great. This year we’ve needed to have a sense of humor to keep our sanity. Actually Dallas is doing pretty good, but I’ve blown two engines and missed eliminations twice — but that’s just the beginning of what’s made this year interesting — and proving that some years you’re the windshield — and some years the bug. A very very expensive year for me.
Doug Duell has had quite the year — winning the first three races and runnered up at the Dave Duell Classic (named for his father). Since you only count four of six races in the NMCA Champion Chase this year — he’s got it all locked up. Many of the other Top Ten racers had pulled the plug on the season (tow of the top five were no shows) because of the cost and no chance to win — but Dallas and I had promised sponsors we’d make all of the races — plus we’d never raced in Norwalk before. Dallas also has a good chance for 2nd place for the year.
My wagon is still without a motor as I’m negotiating with a couple of new engine builders — so I was again relegated to the Vitamin C backup car. A very different car in a very different index — requiring a very different strategy as I’m most often being chased instead of chasing.
We spent Tuesday loading up the rig and making it ready, taking care of business for the week we’d be away from home; and pulled out of the shop Wednesday morning. While in Arkansas, Dallas (who was driving) noticed that one of the trailer tires didn’t look right and pulled to the side of the road. We’d gotten talked into buying 6 new Gladiator G Load-Rated trailer tires back in March — and have lost two of them since then. The photo below shows another Gladiator with the same sidewall bubble forming and popping issue.
We changed the tire (a real pain in the ass on a loaded stacker on the side of the road!) and pressed on, spending the night in the parking lot at Walmart in Jackson, TN. In the morning we took the spare into the auto center and had then mount another tire we brought along. We usually have one mounted spare and one unmounted. On the road by 9:30Am and all was going well when just north of Nashville — boom! Another Gladiator blowout.
So we again change the tire on the side of the road in 100 temperature. Now we’re out of spares, so while Dallas is driving I’m working the phone trying to find three new Goodyear G614 to put on the left side, and eliminate the remaining two Gladiators and have a spare. I find three in Bowling Green — although they tell us they can’t mount them. A bird in the hand (they’re hard tires to find on the road) is better than two in the bush — so we head there. Two miles away — boom-boom go the remaining Gladiators. Before you think we must not check the tire pressure — I assure you the maximum is put in before we leave the shop every time. This isn’t our first rodeo.
So we pull into back lot of a Kroger, as it was the only place to get to, and I start working the phone to find a tire place that not only has the Goodyear G Rated and can mount on wheels — but will come and get us with three flat tires and return us with three new. I find such a place and we get to removing the tires. The process took damn near five hours in almost 100 degree heat. When done we each showered up and I drove while Dallas grabbed a nap. I turned the driving back over to him between Cincinnati and Columbus — and we got the to track’s staging area at about 2:30AM.
8AM we get to our pit and started setting it up, establishing credentials, and teching in the cars — while holding a pit spot for Doug Duell — who would be coming with a pickup and trailer on Saturday and staying with us.
We had two time trials on Friday afternoon and the first round of qualifying at 7PM. We generally set up the cars to be .02 seconds slow to make sure we get in — then use the next two Qualifying rounds to push the envelope for a #1 spot. I ran a 11.022 on a 11.0 and Dallas a 9.547 on a 9.50 and we had the third and fourth spots (25 cars) after the first round.
- 7026 b/nss randy stansbury ragley la 10.512 10.5 0.012
- 7025 e/nss 66 farilane ford 390 doug poskevich deland fl 12.02 12 0.02
- 7601 c/nss 63 savoy dave schultz richmond tx 11.022 11 0.022
- 7602 b/fx dodge 540 dallas schultz richmond tx 9.542 9.5 0.042
- 7681 c/nss 65 belvedere hemi 426 jeffrey hoblick flushing oh 11.083 11 0.083
- 7270 c/fx 64 savoy plym jeff millward columbia station oh 9.884 9.75 0.134
- 7295 c/nss 64 belvedere plym 426 john dinkel pinckney mi 11.357 11 0.357
- 7014 aaa/fx 68 barracuda plym 632 michael sanders brook in 11.165 8.75 2.415
- 7105 a/nss 36 dodge dodge 493 russ konkowski aurora oh 9.999 10 -0.001
- 7442 d/nss 65 olds 442 olds 400 jim clay delta oh 11.494 11.5 -0.006
- 7421 d/nss 63 tempest pont 421 gary beemer atica mi 11.491 11.5 -0.009
- 7464 c/fx 64 dodge 440 dodge 572 joe midile jr medina oh 9.724 9.75 -0.026
- 7534 b/fx 64 belvedere plym 426 doug wright waterford mi 9.463 9.5 -0.037
- 7017 b/nss 63 polara dodge 426 joe ewing evansville in 10.419 10.5 -0.081
- 7251 aaa/fx 65 chevelle chev 477 bill white demotte in 8.665 8.75 -0.085
- 7022 b/nss 64 thunderbolt ford 427 skip koester columbia station oh 10.386 10.5 -0.114
- 2 a/fx 65 comet merc 517 kurt neighbor twinsburg oh 9.131 9.25 -0.119
- 7437 b/nss 64 savoy plym 437 frank nadvit grafton oh 10.349 10.5 -0.151
Norwalk is one of the nicest tracks in the country. It has the reputation as being the most racer friendly, and it is as good as any I’ve ever been at. While our NSS class was able to ultimately muster 25 racers because of so many living in the area — the rest of the classes had a real light showing. About half the car count than what was expected. I’m sure it is a combination of the cost of diesel, lack of sponsor help, and run-aways in most of the car classes are the reason. We did twice over the weekend take advantage of the $1 pound ice cream they’re famous for.
On Friday night I had Dallas change the shift light points in my tach to adjust for the weather expected Saturday. We adjusted the weight in both cars and Dallas was able to run a 9.507 — but my car didn’t act right in both the burnout and started to sound weird and breakup at 4500 RPM so I immediately lifted and pulled to side while looking in the mirror. When I saw that I wasn’t oiling it down I drove off the track at 55.
Back in the pits we poured all over the car — finding absolutely nothing. I took it for a fast drive — although not able to get close to the RPM it was screwing up. We thought maybe a convertor issue and I decided that I’d have to run it until it broke so we could figure out what the issue was. Since Dallas had the #2 spot with a .007 we decided to push the envelope on his and he broke out with a 9.497. I was able to determined that my problem was the tach was reading wrong by a lot — almost double. In the previous round I’d hit the red line but the tach had said 4500. Same happened in the last Qualifying so I shifted to third by ear for a 11.202. I thought the tach must have been configured to 4cyl — but that wasn’t it. We don’t carry a spare tach and couldn’t find a tach or shift light before the first round of eliminations at 9AM Sunday. I set the car up based on my Friday run and shifted by ear. I ran the exact number I was set up for — but was -.007 red on the tree. The guy I ran had the run of his life with a .017 light and a 11.002 ET — so I would have lost anyway. Dallas was also a first round runner up. He’d been cutting great lights all weekend, but was just a tad slower than the other guy — and brokeout with a 9.497.
We were on the road at 1PM. The plan was to drive the 1350 miles straight — but at 2:30AM — BOOM!
This one was by far the biggest PITA as it was up against the guardrail on a steep incline. We had to jack it up 5-6 times and use jackstands to move the jack around to get the spare on. When done we headed to Walmart in North Little Rock for the night — as we were whipped and needed another spare.
We slept until 8, showered, and then headed to a truck stop. While I was in the tire shop waiting in line to talk to someone — Dallas weighed the truck and trailer to see if being overweight was blowing the tires. The trailer (triple 7,000 axles) is rated for 21,000 pounds and I figured we we’re around there.
So we get another tire mounted and I’m driving and it keeps bothering me that the trailer weighs so much. We have two cars – and the backup car is all metal/glass and very heavy; golf cart and big tool chest; and a spare transmission plus 9 crates of spare parts — but still can’t buy 35,000 pounds. I’m thinking I’m going to have to sell my trailer and get and heavier one — plus move parts to motorhome and leave stuff home; then I decide to pull into a Flying J for a second opinion.
I’ll assume Dallas didn’t do it right and I’m real glad I went for a second opinion. I’ve ordered 8 new 17.5″ forged wheels and H-rated/75MPH rated Goodyears for (ugh!) $6,200. That will increase the load from 3,750 per tire to 4,500 per tire.
We finally got home Monday night. The truck’s dash A/C crapped out, so it was windows down, and to cap off the weekend — and piece of artwork shipped to me was left outside the shop by UPS and it was ruined from rain.
Yup — sometime you’re the bug, and sometimes the windshield. You just wake up in the morning and realized you survived the drama from the day before — and that life is just a bungee cord of ups and downs. The light at the end of the tunnel is that Dallas will have second place if he can go one round more than the Michael Sanders– who won the Norwalk race. If not — he should have third unless someone runs away with the 1.5X’s points for Indy.
I’m looking for two honest and dependable automotive craftsman looking to work one or two days a week (averaging 10 hours) at my shop, paint room; using my tools and equipment. The below is a portion of what I need to get done.
I’ve always had a big Chrysler/Imperial Convertible a my weekend cruiser. This car is in good shape but needs to be freshened up a little. My son (who works full time as my Crew Chief and Shop Manager) will pull the engine and transmission to freshen, and I need the car to be repainted and the interior freshened up. Since it is a driver — I just need for it to be a 2-3 looking good and having everything working properly.
These are my backup race cars. We will strip down and mount on the spit and do most of the reassembly — but I need the Plymouth to be stripped of its 30-year-old cracked lacquer paint, a small dent in the hood repaired, and painted. The same with the black Dodge — and the rear wheel area was pulled out prior to the car being tubbed — and needs to be fixed back to stock. Both cars are as solid as a rock without any type of rust.
The above is a sampling to the type of things I have going on. These are my personal vehicles. As stated, my 26-year-old son (who races with me on a National Circuit) maintains the race cars and will be able to assist with the heavier work when needed. He’s a good man and is interested in learning from masters.
This is a perfect situation for a retired automotive craftsman who wants to supplement his Social Security with cash, stay busy a few hours a week, but have the flexibility to take a few weeks off here and there for travel and/or fishing. Might work out for Snowbirds looking to spend 8-9 months a year in Texas (30 miles south of Houston in a small town). I can even possibly arrange for a nice place to park you motorhome to live in.
I’m only interested in the following qualities:
- A Craftsman who pays attention to detail and works efficiently. Paint and body needs to be of the highest quality. Need the full package.
- Vast experience with automotive restorations. I will require and check your references.
- Honest and dependable – no flakes. I need someone who will give a fair day’s work for a far day’s pay. While this is a part time offer with flexible scheduling to enjoy your retirement, time at the shop needs to be scheduled, and a reasonable time plan needs to be followed.
I will allow the use of my tools to those who can care for them. I have virtually everything required and will/can obtain what I might not have. I can provide a safe and secure shop area for your tools if you wish to use them. I will pay cash at the end of the week. I’m looking for two craftsmen to working independently on two projects each at the same time.
I’ve tried to completely explain what it is I want, and I am not at all interested in compromising any of it. All work performed at my shop. I’m a fair and honest man without drama — looking for a couple of the same. If you are interested, email me (davetheoldhippie @ gmail.com) about your experience and what you have in mind.
My Race Shop in Richmond, Texas is looking for a Part Time Shop Rat to wash cars, keep the shop clean, prepare/load the rig for races, and to assist the shop manager with working on the cars.
Hours are M-F 9am-2pm (with two 15 minute breaks) when we’re not out of town racing, which is about 8 times a year. Shop is also closed the week between Christmas and New Years. Starting pay is $7.25hr with raise to $7.50hr after three months, and $7.75hr after 9 months.
Could lead to full time employment and/or a better opportunity.
If you are mechanically inclined, dependable, honest, and would like to work in a race shop and gain experience of working in a drag racing shop — email me at davetheoldhippie @ gmail.com telling me why I should consider you.
The Dave Duell Classic is the biggest and bestist of all NSS Races — or at least that’s my opinion. Dave Duell organized and administered to this race for many years when it ran during the Monster Mopar Weekend in St. Louis. In 2005, Dave passed away and his son Doug took over the administering of it. In 2006 we had the first Dave Duell Classic. When Gateway closed its track three years ago, The Classic found a new home with the NMCA during it’s Bowling Green Race. I try to help where I can with creating and running the DaveDuellClassic.com web site.
We loaded up on Tuesday and Dallas took the rig to get washed so we could leave in the morning. On the way back he called to say that there was a large air leak coming from the dash. After we tore the dash out (a huge jigsaw puzzle) – we found the culprit to be a air sensor switch — only available at Freightliner.
Freightliner is about 55 miles away, so I fought 3 hours of Houston evening rush-hour traffic, I was back to the shop and had the Coronado back together by late night, so we could still leave in the morning.
We (four of us with my wife and youngest daughter PLUS 4 dogs!) left the shop at 9AM and arrived at our usual overnight stopping point in Jackson, TN at about 11PM. After an early start Thursday morning we were at the track at noon. I had to bring a 60 Plymouth fender for someone who was meeting me at the track — and he was there waiting on us — so we dealt with taking that to him before setting up the pits.
Also waiting for us was another trailer flat. I buy a new set of Load Rated G Goodyears every year for about two grand, but still have more than my share of the tires loosing their tread cap. This year I tried a set of Gladiators — but two have so far developed bubbles. This bubble was on the inside and we didn’t see it until it popped. It looks like I need to spring $5000 for a set of seven 17.5″ HD wheels and H-Rated tires.
For some reason, the NMCA forgot to send in their people to Kentucky for establishing credentials or tech in cars on Thursday — for the first time in the six years I’ve raced with them. I kinda thought that’s what the extra $45 a person they bend you over for on Thursday was suppose to cover. So after setting up the pits there was nothing to do, but Friday we had extremely long lines for both Credentials and having the car teched in, which limited the Time Trials of many people waitng in the lines. It could have been worse (IE: Even Slower) as although NSS had 57 cars — every other class was smaller than I’ve ever seen. Even though the weather was great — I’ve never seen such a small turnout at a Bowling Green race. Money is tight, diesel and race fuel is more expensive — and I guess fewer people are able to go racing. I know my personal out of pocket is at an all time high since Bowling Green’s 900 miles in my closest race.
The “Newly Freshened” engine in my Wagon blew up in qualifying at the last two NMCA races — the last time destroying the block and crank. So my backup car “Vitamin C” was pressed into action. Dallas has two years on his motor without issue (knock on wood — so I bought all of the parts and pieces to the people that built his engine to see what it will cost to get an engine like his, which is a clone of Doug Duell’s.
Speaking of Doug, he won all three of the first NMCA races (and runnered up in this one) so the rest of this year is relegated to getting the best position we can, and tweaking the cars, as the Championship is in the Bag for Doug.
I also have a new engine in the Vitamin C, but I had a little bit of consistency issues with the car this weekend. It was all over the map, and the weather station couldn’t accurately predict what I’d run based on my previous run. I’m not sure if it is the engine of maybe the converter — but I’ll get it ironed out before the next race in Norwalk — which is at the end of this month. Dallas’ car was dead nuts on all weekend — even though we made a rear shock change from QA1 to AFCO.
Saturday we had a Class race — with Dallas in FX and I in NSS/C running in the two largest classes. I turned on the Stupid bulb on in the second round. Dallas however won the FX class and the $1000 for the second year in a Row.
One of the other benefits of the Dave Duell Classic is a Driver’s Dinner — with a lot of sponsors giving some pretty good swag for the Driver’s Only raffle. Sure wish I would have won the convertor. Need to find a good convertor sponsor!
Sunday I had Duell on the tree in the second round by a pretty good margin, but took too much stripe when the car out of no where ran a tenth faster than the computer said it would. Dallas went four rounds, but after a .004 light in second round and .008 in the third round — he turned on the stupid bulb against Duell in the fourth – having to settle for the semi-final cash. Duell went to the finals and he too red lit. Actually there were a heck of a lot of red lights all weekend long — and the ratio of red lights in the right lane seemed like it was 5:1. Weird.
That’s my story — and I’m sticking to it!