The First Annual Nova List Gathering
Part 2
(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 staging lanes...
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 13.11@100.86, 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 13.81@91.85, 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 own.
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 strip...
Our second runs netted improvement across the board.  Craig improved to a 12.78@102.95, 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 13.69@99.33 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 a 13.99.
I had him beat, as you can tell in this next (rather grainy) shot:
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 support!
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 again:

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 13.58@99.83 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 12.53@104.46.  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 Page
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.

Gathering Links...
The Trip to St. Louis:   Page 1   Page 2   Page 3
Friday Night in St. Louis:   Page 1
Saturday:   Page 1   Page 2   Page 3   Page 4   Page 5
Sunday:   Page 1   Page 2   Page 3
The Trip Home from St. Louis:   Page 1   Page 2

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