The First Annual Nova
(click on any image to
see a larger version)
We finally made it through
tech inspection (barely), they were going over our cars with a fine-toothed
comb! Shawn got through without difficulty, but they busted Mike
on his plastic oil pressure gauge line, but said he could run this time
but had to have it replaced with metal or braided line next time he came
back. The inspector didn't like Craig's on-off switch, and even checked
the NHRA rulebook to see if it was legal, but couldn't find anything that
would disallow it so he "let it go". I don't have a neutral-safety
switch on my car, but I was able to fake him out when he had me test it.
He did bust me on my traction bars though. I don't have a front U-clamp
to prevent them from dropping down too far. He said he'd let me run
this time, just like Mike, but that I'd have to fix it for next time.
Apparently he didn't notice my Minnesota plates. I don't see me going
back anytime soon (although I WILL fix
my traction bars this summer and would like to install a neutral-safety
switch of some sort).
They called our class to
the staging lanes while we were still going through tech, but we made it
there on time without any problems.
The First Time Trials
A bunch of Novas in the
Here's another shot of the staging lanes with
all four cars and owners:
So we started time trials. Craig tried out
a new (to him) Barry Grant carb, but he ran much slower than usual, so
he wasn't happy. He ended up running firstname.lastname@example.org, coasting through
the lights due to lots of high-rpm popping.
I did my first run down the track in seven years
fairly well (except my reaction time was .991 - pathetic), but I shut down early by accident. I didn't know where
the finish line was and let off the throttle because the guy next to me
did. Idiot!(me) I swore I'd never do that again. Nevertheless,
I was happy with my time! I clicked off a email@example.com, I was just hoping
for 13s. Shawn scorched the competition with a 18.78 ET, and Mike
ran a 15.26 on his first run.
Here's Shawn going up against Craig. Who
do you think will win?
Yup, Craig got 'em by a nose (over 5-1/2 seconds).
Back in the Pits
Here's the gang in the pits: Angella is
on the lawn chair, Kayce's on the trailer fender, Shawn is leaning against
his car, Craig is leaning over his engine, and Mike is standing by at Craig's
car, offering advice...
Another shot of our pit area, taken from the other
side. That's Kayce's Nova on the right, then Craig's, Mike's, and
mine. Shawn's is hiding in this picture apparently:
Another of the pits. There's Shawn's car,
to the left of mine:
Another pit shot:
Craig was pissed about his run and decided to
take off his borrowed Barry Grant carb in favor of Old Faithful (800 cfm
Holley double-pumper). Here I am giving him moral support while he
beats on the carb with a Crescent wrench.
Mike took over for me in the Moral Support Department....
But then even Mike gave up and Craig was on his
I was busy trying to fix my timing, as I was held
to 32 degrees total and I wanted 36-38. I got some new centrifugal
weights and springs installed right when the called our class, but unfortunately
when I checked the timing I saw I was only getting 24 degrees total!
Dang! I had no choice but to run it that way.
The Second Time Trials
In the staging lanes, awaiting our turn down the
Our second runs netted improvement across the
board. Craig improved to a firstname.lastname@example.org, but still wasn't happy,
since he should have been in the low-12s. He was running pretty good
60' times, though, right around 1.72 seconds.
I ran a email@example.com but my engine was only at 24 degrees
total timing, so I knew I'd do better on my third run after switching it
back to 32 degrees. I did a .628 R/T, which is big improvement, but nothing to be proud of. Anyway, here's me on my second run against that
'65 Nova that was parked in front of Shawn earlier. That guy ran
I had him beat, as you can tell in this next (rather
Shawn ran a little quicker at 18.70, but got smoked
by a Five-Oh. Remember Shawn's screen name? Yup, Five0Kiler.
Mike dropped to a 15.09. Now he's dyin'
for a 14-second ET! Here he is running against an Olds Gutless:
Back in the Pits
I'm trying to get my timing back to 32 degrees
so I can drop my E.T. a little further. Now Craig's giving me moral
I ended up going back to the original weights
and springs, but I bumped my initial timing from 14 degrees to 16 degrees
BTDC, which resulted in 34 degrees total. It was the best I could
do at the time.
Here are Craig's and Kayce's Novas:
Mike and Kayce waiting for our class to be called
The Third Time Trials
Our third and last time trials dropped Mike into
the 14s with a 14.98 (boy was he happy!), me to a firstname.lastname@example.org with a .528 R/T (now we're talkin'!!) I was excited, especially since I smoked an LT1 Z28 (he ran a 13.90), as you can see in these pictures).
Craig dropped to a email@example.com. He wasn't
so excited, but it was getting better. Shawn plummeted to an 18.60!
Time to dial-in (and wait) for eliminations!
This is how Angella passes down-time at the track...
More stuff from Saturday on the Next
Warning, the next page (Saturday
Page 3) has 19 thumbnails and four links to download digital drag racing
and pit videos (.mpg files) of various cars that were at the track with
us, but not WITH us. Get it? If you're not interested,
skip the page and save yourself a little download time.
The Trip to St. Louis: Page
Friday Night in St. Louis: Page
The Trip Home from St. Louis: Page
You are visitor number since 8/12/99.