Haven’t been here in 2 years. Just driving on-site was a victory to me. Everything else would be icing. I left Ramona at 10 a.m. thorsday and arrived in Lincoln at 4 p.m. Friday.
Found the NWOR paddock. Unpacked, changed wheels, and tried to relax. I was beat. I was going to do some practice starts but was so out of it I never made it. Settled into hanging with the old crew. So good to see everyone.
I was originally going to camp onsite. Thank god Jay and Ed hooked me up with a spot with them at the quality. It would have been a brutal week without that.
I knew if I made it there everything else would work. I just had to get there.
Friday ended with some course walks and I hitchhiked a ride to the hotel. Courses were long so I only walked them once a side. I’m lazy.
Saturday morning I was up early and went down to the breakfast area. This begins my week of being in the wind when it comes to rides. Whenever, wherever an opportunity presents itself I’m going with it. It was very relaxing to me. Of course there you really don’t have to look too hard for someone going your direction. Always the most awesome extended family.
Got a ride to the site, walked each side one more time, and was as ready as I could be. Still didn’t like that the car was down on Ethanol content but I would just see how it felt in the a.m. session.
A.M. sessions went fine. I really enjoyed the longer courses. I was a bit back Saturday morning (.084) but wasn’t too concerned with it as the forecast was just more hottttt.
I wasn’t happy with the way the car was launching. The solid disc with the light weight flywheel was not getting it at my normal 5600 rpm launch Saturday morning. It was a turd in the 60’. Also, the car was down on power because of my hasty decision Friday night. So I…found an in descript off site location and drain the almost (full) tank into some grass and drove to the station again and put 10 gallons of ethanol in it. 75% now we’re getting there. I also upped the LC to 6000 for the afternoon. Guess we’ll see what happens.
Saturday afternoon sessions were better. I dropped a lot of time. The car was still launching like poo but the power was up. At the end I was .909 up. Holy crap, that is more than the margin of the 60 foots. Feeling pretty good I spent the night drinking beer and hanging out. My competitors needed to figure out how to make up a second or more. I didn’t.
Sunday morning came. Even though I was concerned about the car’s health I bumped the LC to almost factory redline. It launched a bit better but through a series of odd occurrences I didn’t improve. First left side run was, well, the first left side run. No improvement. First right side run there was an area at the finish everyone was tightening up on. This now crossed 2 uneven slabs by about an 1.5”. It caused my car to start bucking. I actually thought the car was going to flip. To prevent it I just let it do its thing. As a result. I backed it through the lights. Haha. Later my sister, who drove from Indiana to see me and watch, said. “what were you thinking when the car almost flipped over?” I said “that the car was going to flip over and I really didn’t want that.”
So 2 runs left and I know people are picking up time. A little shaken I was on a good left side run and blew the turn before the finish. Last right side I was worried about the finish so I drove out and around the crack. No improvement. Didn’t matter, I held on. Won the finale by .065. I wanted to crush everyone, of course, going into nationals. In the end I was happy/relieved. 8 tires from hoosier, $150.00 from Subaru, and another Pro-Solo cup.
Going into the challenge I had more points than ever but would need A LOT of luck to pull it off. Round 1 Eric’s BMW broke, round 2 outdrove Robert, Round 3 I tried on second runs to get Kevin with my LC, didn’t work. He pulled a .500 to my .511. Outdrove me. Awesome stuff. He deserved that win. I think that left me in 4th overall for the year. For doing 3 pro-solos that’s not too shabby. I broke out by .800 in the challenge
I was concerned with having fresh tires for nationals so I stopped to ask the Hoosier boys Sunday if it would be an issue to get contingency tires off the trailer. They said yep, come back tomorrow. Stoked, I went to the banquet. Of course I hitchhiked there and back.
3 days of doing nothing, really, and watching cars. ohh and beer
So Monday I went to the Hoosier truck with my tires…now they have a problem with it. Now I have a problem. It’s labor day I won’t see them till Thursday, normal freight, I’m absolutely broke. I called Billy. So overnight was $850.00 lol…nope. Standard shipping. Engage back pocket plan. Mark S offered a set if I replaced them. Found him but he already used 2. So I took 2 for the front, which I would replace Thursday and have the other 2 new ones mounted for the front Friday. Awesome. I took the opportunity of the 2.5 days down to throw the car on jackstands and check everything. It made it through the pro-solo mechanically but that bouncing episode was violent so I didn’t want to risk handing Billy a ****ty car.
Everything checked out that I could see. So I just relaxed, hung out and cheered on the friends/classes that were running Tue/Wed. Back to course walking briefly, I was running west first so I walked it Monday night. I really was struggling with familiarity with the car and it’s speed through elements. I was doing my best to memorize the course. I also told myself I would not look at the east course until we were done running east.
Billy showed up On Wednesday and we quickly arranged for him to run the TNT course at 4 p.m. As a back story Billy hadn’t driven the car or autox’d since Nationals 2010. A lot of the desire for me to get to nationals was to see and drive with him. So much awesome!
Spending time with everyone was what I came for. Philly crew!!!!