Dave Schultz – August 4, 2015
To recap from last report, the Dave Duell Classic only made it through three rounds and the FX Shootout hadn’t started before the rain came. The race in Indy was totally rained out, and so this race in Joliet had that race plus the FX Shootout and the conclusion of the DDC. I’d won rounds from my son, 00Joe Ewing and Knokowski in Bowling Green. I believe I was in fifth place prior to this race.
So we were loaded up last Monday and left Tuesday, arriving at the track Wednesday at 3PM. The staging area from the pits was already pretty crowded. The pit gate opened at noon Thursday, we were assigned pits and 1PM and had the pit set up and my car tech’d in by three — when the beer light turned on.
After lunch we ran the 2nd Qualifying — and I was again too fast. It was hard to predict the high wind gusts. After that the 4th round of the Dave Duell Classic started. I had a Bye. An hour or so later was the 5th round – and I was matched against Corky Bumpus and I won that round. That put me in the finals with Doug Duell. This was the tenth DDC and he’d not yet won the event since named after his father — so he wanted it as bad as I did.
We waited until late in the night for this round to be run — before the track went up against it’s curfew deadline, and the race was rescheduled for the morning. Saturday at 8:30 we ran our 3rd Qualifying — and I over compensated in weight — and was slow enough to qualify — but not well. Right after that Doug and I ran the Final of the DDC.
We had a OK lights but I took the stripe by 8″ for the worst of the Double-Breakout. I guess 2nd best of around 55 racers that qualified is suppose to be a consolation — but I wanted to win bad.
Next was the FX Shootout, and I think there were 14 of the fastest NSS cars in that. I had Joe Midile in the first round. That’s when disaster struck for me. After we were paired at the top of staging — my car had a big backfire starting up to move into the staging lanes. The burnout and launch went well, but as soon as the car hit 5500 RPM it was popping and I had to short shift. I saw Joe redlit (he left .25 second after me) and was able to drive down the track.
Back at the pits we looked at the Intake and found that it had blown the sealant out at the carb plate and left side of the top. It takes hours to remove and clean — and 12 hours for the sealant to set. There were 3 more rounds of the FX Shootout and then the first round of the Joliet eliminations to still be run — so I had to keep a low profile and fake it. Next round was against Tim Frees — and I got lucky when he tried Oxygenated gas for the first time — and his car hated it. I was again able to drive the car down the track without hitting 5500 RPM because he’d given up. Below are the FX Racers in the Shootout.
For the next round I had Doug Duell again. The remaining drivers all put up $100 each for an extra pot, but I knew I was just donating. We both had good lights — but my car was sick. Doug went on to win the FX Shootout for the second leg of the Hat Trick he was shooting for. I won $100 and quickly turned it over to him.
That night we removed the intake, disassembled, cleaned, sealed and reinstalled. Since the sealant had to set for 12 hours — we had to leave the car out all night, not really good for drag cars. In the morning I warmed it up and it felt pretty good. I had to race DW Hopkins — and that happened at 9:30AM. The winner would get a BYE to the finals. I had him on the tree — but the transmission started slipping real bad as soon as I hit third — and the car was way off. Corky Bumpus won his second of the four points races when he ran DW in the Final. I won the Joliet race last year against DW — so he’s gotta be thinking he’s Jinxed at that track.
We loaded up and pulled out at noon Sunday — and drove all night to finish the 1150 mile trip to the shop by Monday 6:00AM. We had the motorhome unloaded and I was home and showered by 8AM. NMCA calculated the points and while I’ve moved up to third — Doug will have to fall on his face and I have to run the table at Norwalk (later this month) for me to win the Championship again this year. Those points are 150 instead of 100 per round.
FYI-Dallas now wholly owns the Big Red Ram and its web site — and while we will still be traveling together to the races and he’ll be my crew chief — he will be maintain it’s site and market for his own sponsors. I mention this as he and the car will no longer be part of the sponsor reports.