Horse Sense:Located just outside the gates of Silver Dollar Raceway is a day spa. We only noticed it this year,so it must be new.Just think: If your significant other doesn't want to hang out at the track, drop her off for a day at the spa while you go enjoy some drag racing. There's also a strawberry farm across the street. You have to try their strawberry shakes. Yum!
Brian Carpenter has always had a fast car, even in his old 10.5 Outlaw GT. Whenever he's at an event, everyone knows they'll have to run their best to get past him. It has been no different in 2008. However, like every other racer at Reynolds, Brian had little opportunity to work on chassis setup or engine tuneup. Though he missed the top qualifying spot by a nose hair, he did boast the top mph with a 208-mph hit. Brian's Pro Line Racing Engines twin-turbocharged '03 Mustang ran 7.0s at Reynolds, but he encountered problems in the second round, handing the win to Tim Essick.
Last time we checked, it's hard to drag race in the rain. As a matter of fact, it's impossible. Even though some racers claim their cars can hook on ice, we have yet to see a drag race held in the rain-with cars at least.
The rain was an impenetrable force at the NMRA race at Silver Dollar Raceway in Reynolds, Georgia, starting during Friday's first-round qualifying. It fell all day Saturday, which left racers and yours truly inside trying to find something to do while in the Warner Robins, Georgia, area. There isn't much unless you really like bowling, playing pool, or throwing darts. Most of the day revolved around keeping our bellies full of food.
We filled our day by eating lunch with the JPC Racing crew, then shared a beverage with the ProCharger crew, Dan Schoneck, and Pro Outlaw 10.5 racer Jerry Morgano. After that, we closed out the day at a local steakhouse with Johnny and Jean Cooper, past-feature-car owner Jerome Shumate, and future-feature-car owner Justin Lathem. You should be reading about Justin's self-built SN-95 GT soon. Oh yeah, we can't leave out Crazy Pat Stratton, who supposedly has a Mustang back home in Alabama. Maybe one day we'll get to see it in person.
One thing we finally did get to see in person was racing. On Sunday, the NMRA held a round of qualifying, then blitzed through eliminations to get the event finished in one day. It was quite a feat, but they pulled it off seamlessly.
When we saw these bees strangely attracted to the roof of this early Ford Victoria in the car show, we were reminded of the part in the movie Tommy Boy where characters Tommy (the late Chris Farley) and Richard (David Spade) got out of a ticket by jumping out of the their car proclaiming, "Bees, bees, bees in the car...bees everywhere." The difference between the movie and this Victoria is that there were actual bees present.
Jimmy Wilson hasn't had a...
Jimmy Wilson hasn't had a good start as defending Pure Street champion. He destroyed an engine prior to Bradenton; at Reynolds, he was dealing with clutch slippage that was allowing the engine to rev higher than normal on gear changes. The increased rpm caused the computer to momentarily shut down the car against Shawn Hansen in round one, and as Jimmy acknowledges, all it takes in Pure Street is the slightest bobble and you're on the trailer. After Reynolds, Jimmy was able to do some testing and get the issues sorted out. "All my fellow competitors will be glad to know that," he says.
If you're around the SCT trailer...
If you're around the SCT trailer and smell the sweet savor of hamburgers, it's most likely Jim Roberts working his magic on the grill. We were able to sample his culinary skill at the NMRA Bradenton opener, and we'll just say it's a good thing our moms weren't with us. We can still taste and are still trying to replicate Jim's burgers, but he also cooks on the track in his '03 Lightning. At Reynolds, Jim was caught sleeping at the light against C.J. Ciggaran in round two. He must've been daydreaming about his next burger concoction on the way to a 0.757 light (0.500 pro Tree start). Jim, wake up and make us a burger.
Even though Filthy Phil Hines...
Even though Filthy Phil Hines stole the Super Street Outlaw top qualifying spot, Jarrett Halfacre came back during eliminations to put his Hellion Power Systems-sponsored, single-turbo LX hatch at the forefront. Final-round opponent Don Burton took care of Filthy Phil in the semifinals for a rematch of one of the most memorable staging duos in NMRA history. It was Jarrett and Don who sat in the lights for several minutes before staging, and we wondered if we'd get to see a replay at Reynolds. However, both were good boys going right into both lights, and Jarrett almost gave it up at the start with a 0.649 light compared to Don's 0.469 reaction time. Good for Jarrett-Don ran into troubles and was only able to muster a 7.82 pass, which wasn't good enough to stay out front.