Monthly Archives: November 2009

2009 Recap

I haven’t particularly kept the site up through the 2009 season, and for that I apologize. I have been wanting to revamp large portions of the site but have not spent the time to do so. I have also had a lot of stuff happening in life that has prevented me from doing work to the car that I’ve wanted to do, so I haven’t made very many updates to the car itself.

Yes, it’s November and has been a long time since I last updated the site. I did do an update earlier this year to the layout and some of the content, and released it to the public, but it ended up making the site even more confusing. Over the past weekend though, I went through all of that, and ended up revamping the whole thing. The original site is now gone, replaced with a site that should be much more clear and concise while still providing detailed information about the build for those of you who are looking for it. With any luck, it will also help me out with Search Engines, as Google seems to think is all about chromoly rollcage construction and not about my Eagle Talon at all. Traffic has dropped on the site substantially, so hopefully that will pick back up here, too.

Anyway, getting away from the site news and onto other news, in March of this year I found out that I was losing my job at the end of June. That generally puts a damper on your race season, which is why there haven’t been many updates to the site. Michigan’s economy is exceptionally out-of-shape, so it’s been a challenge to find a new position that’s right for me. But at this point, it’s been just over three months since I started work as a Software Architect for a small company in Brighton, MI – one town over from where I live. It’s a great fit for me and I enjoy working with the people I work with, so I’m back on track as far as the job front goes.

Going into race season knowing you have no job in 2 months makes for some interesting decisions to be made. Right away I purchased 10 gallons of Q16 to last the season, and pretty much sat on them it came time to attend the events that I had already planned on attending.

Event #1 was my Birthday. My favorite thing to do on my birthday is go to the track. this year? Rick, Christyn and I drove up to Mid Michigan Motorplex where I only got one run in before rain came. Clicked off a 9.70@138mph without so much as a hiccup. It was a nice pass, and I knew it would be fast within the first 60 feet. When I first heard/felt the front end land back onto the pavement I thought “That’s weird, I haven’t felt that before?” and then the car started getting a little squirrely at the top of first, right before half track. I drove through it, and then ran into some more track at around the 1/4 mile mark that wouldn’t hold my power, either. I let up around the 1000′ mark, and then slowed the car down after tripping the lights. When I came around to the timing shack, I was very surprised to get a 9.70 slip, but very happy about it at the same time. I had all intention of making another pass, but 20 minutes later the sky opened up and we had to call it a day.
Event #2 was PINKS All Out in Martin, Michigan in the beginning of July. This was a followup to last year – I was extremely dissatisfied with the issues that we had at the event in Norwalk in 2007, so I wanted to make a good showing this time around. We showed up to the track early, got a great pit stop, lucked out with great pit-neighbors and within 10 minutes of unloading the car, we had a producer from PAO come up to our pit and made my car a feature car. What’s that? Well, it means that I get to be in the lanes with all the other feature cars, they do an interview and take some footage of the car. All in all, they interviewed me for about 15 minutes, asking all sorts of questions about the car. They also spent about 1/2 an hour taking footage of the car – underneath, inside, outside, all around. It was footage for PAO:Outtakes, but none of it so far has been used for anything. I made the cutting room floor :-o It was because the car performed horribly. I struggled all weekend with issues, and no amount of changing things up helped me out at all. I had spark plug wires pop off (valve cover gasket apparently leaked – RTV fixed it.) I wasn’t able to get up on the converter; I had ignition issues; tuning issues; all sorts of other stuff. We were also trying to slow the car down, because I do not have my IHRA license and the car has run a handful of sub 10.0 passes. when going through tech, the tech guy wrote “NO FASTER THAN 10.0!” all over my tech card. This was a little bit frustrating, but rules are rules, and I should have had the ability to break them. Anyway, poor showing for such a great beginning to an event. Had the car run well, we would have had a chance to make the show. They were calling out 10.20-10.40ET cars, so what I had planned on running would have been favorable for that group of cars. Unfortunately, all of my passes were aborted in some way.
The last event was the 2009 DSM Shootout: We had a great time – Mark came out from California and we went down to Norwalk, as usual. Met with friends and talked a lot on Saturday and then got our asses handed to us on Sunday. I competently qualified for the quick16, but was on the top end of the class barely making 9 second passes. It was hot outside, so I was down on mile-an-hour and on ET, too. The track was sticky though. Worked on a lot of small things on the car because the PINKS event brought so many questions. Before the shootout, I completely rewired the ignition setup with shielded triggers and then shielded all the high voltage lines for the coils themselves. This totally fixed all of the electrical issues that I had at PINKS.
Overall, it’s been a slow year. I am gearing up for 2010, though, because I have a lot of plans for the car. Stay tuned.