Hi eveyone, I got back yesterday and John and Hooley ought to be home about now. I'll try and get the whole story with some pictures on my site the beginning of the week, but for now here is the quick version.
First one very happy crew left the salt late Friday night. Some had to leave earlier and we want to thank all of you
. It was quite a team effort this year.
So here is basically what happened.
Friday -- Went through tech inspection with no problems and set up the pits (thanks guys for the help).
Sat -- Drivers meeting in the morning and Hooley was one of the first cars down the course. We wanted to take things easy this year as the last two years we were broke by Sunday night.
1st Run -- Wanted to get some readings and also a RPM reading against the clocked speed between the 2 and the 2 1/4 mile. Hooley ran a 194 mph at the 2 1/4 and exited the 3 mile with a 191 average. The EGT was climbing so he shut off. A lot of this run was partial throttle and we were a little lean. We richened up the idle of idle circuit on the mech. fuel injection (running an 8-71 Blower on a 400 sbc. -- 40 cu. in. under what we could be for the class).
2nd Run -- We were able to get back in line and make a 2nd pass on Sat. The lines got longer the rest of the days. We felt it might run richer WOT when he was all the way on the pill so that is what he did -- ran WOT in 2nd, 3rd and 4th. It worked pretty good as he a 210 in the 2 1/4 mile traps. He got up to about 223 in the second mile (from our data logged RPM) when he spun the tires and the car went around. Almost 180 one way and then 270 the other and they another 270 back and then back the other way and finally back towards the timing tower!! It looked like he spun all the way around, but didn't. I'll try and figure out how to get the video posted. Jim (River1) brought 2 helmet cams and they worked great. We got lots of different video this year with the 2 on-board video cameras and the two helmet cams (thanks Jim and Benny/Lillie).
The EGT was still higher than we wanted so we went richer with a "pill" change for the next run. I mean real rich compared to what you would run for max. hp on the strip (about 10 to 1 on the air/fuel).
In the near spin the car ran over the chute leads and bent the push bar/chute attament bar around at about a 45 deg. angle. Frank did a good job of getting it straightened out. At this point we also added 600 lbs more weight to the car and that made a big difference the rest of the week. Hooley had already added about 250 lbs. to the car over the winter and reworked the suspension on both ends, so now the car was about 1000 lbs heavier than last year.
Sunday -- On our only run this day Hooley said he wasn't even going to look at the EGT gauge and was just going to go for it. I talked him out of that course of action. We had two EGT probes. One in #4 for him to look at and one in #7 that we were data logging. #7 was usually about 50=100 degs higher than #4 (probably normal on a sbc). He ran a 200 at the 2 1/4 -- 210 in the third mile and 227.847 in the 4th mile. The EGT was a little high so he shut if off. After looking at the data the EGT was getting to it's max so he probably could have run through the 5 mile and qualified, but he had no way of knowing that looking at the gauge at almost 230 mph.
Monday -- The first shot to the foot!! After Sunday's run we knew we had a good shot at the 231 record. We changed oil and plugs. We made a run, but the car sounded terrible and ran a 183 at the 2 1/4 and at the end of the 5 mile was only running 209. We finally found that the 1 & 3 plug wires had been reversed as one was marked 1 & 3. We did some checking with a compression gauge and felt the motor wasn't hurt just our feelings
Tuesday -- We shoot the other foot!! After waiting in line most of the day ( the lines were really long a slow with over 500 entries) we got to run. The car was even worst off the line and acted like it was real rich and wouldn't clean out. He ran 195 at the 2 1/4 then ran out of gas. We had filled the 8 gal tank a couple days earlier and had failed to check it thinking we had plenty. We had never run this much before. Looking at the data the car was really running lean off the line and running out of gas there. Under throttle it put a little gas in the pickup and ran for a bit until it ran out. Now we were really getting down some and wondering if we could run one good run much less the two that were needed for a record.
Wed -- Another day in line, but with much better results!! The car didn't sound too good off the line and it took Hooley a little to clean it out. I would push him up to about 40 to 50 with my truck and he would pull away. This run it was easy for me to go past him if I wanted after he pulled away from me, so it didn't look good at first. The car cleaned out and he ran a 204 in the 2 1/4, 212 in the 3rd mile, 228 in the 4th mile and 234 in the 5th mile with a 237 exit speed. WE QUALIFIED FOR A RECORD
!! We had an hour to get to "impound" and up to 4 hours to work on the car. After the two previous days we decided to do not much work and left the "foot shooting gun" in it's holster. We did go one pill change leaner as we were running 9.6 air to fuel and wanted to help it off the line.
Thurs -- After not too much sleep by any of us even though we went to bed early (the guys at the motel and me in my teardrop at the "bend in the road") we were at the end of the road at 6 am when they let us go to the pits to get the car ready for the second run of the record attempt. We fired the car and just kind of looked at it and wondered if the car and Hooley would run as good as the day before. They led all the cars in impound to the starting line at 7 and I think we were second in line on the long course starting line.
Hooley got on it pulling away from me way better than the Wed. run. You could tell he was determined!! His best speeds ever -- 211 in the 2 1/4, 219 in the 3 mile, 233 in the 4th mile and 239.740 in the 5th mile with a 241.179 exit speed!!!!!! He drove the car hard and looking at the RPM and Throttle position data you could tell he was driving it right on the edge of the available traction. When we meet up to push him back to impond there was a lot of hugs and a few tears.
His two runs gave him a 236.921 average for a new record for B/BGCC.
We went to tech where they "pumped" the motor to check the displacement. Once the car passed inspection Hooley was awarded with the "Red Hat" and his 200 MPH Member T-shirt.
It was early in the day for us and we decided to take Patrick (21 years old and the 2nd trip to B'ville with us) over to the short course and do a lic. run for him. He ran about 140+ for his first run (have to run between 125 and 150). The line got shorter so we put him back in line and he ran 169 for his second lic. run (150 to 175). He was pumped!!.
We went back and finished packing up and headed for home about 7 pm. We got to Price Utah and couldn't find a motel room, so the guys slept sitting up in the suburban and I slept in the tear. Hooley said it was the best nights sleep he had gotten in a couple weeks. The next morning we went on to my place and took the weight out of the car (Friday) and they headed home happy campers!!!
After this exprience of the last 3 years we really appreciate the efforts people have made breaking records and trying. It is easy to do it on paper and a whole other story on the salt. The record we ran on was one George Fields set in 1990 and it got him into the 2 club. Pretty neat that it also got Hooley into the 2 club. George has given us encouragement and advice last year and this year, thanks George. Also a big thank you to Tom Burkland who has been giving us advice for the last two years via e-mail and it made a difference. We were only running 8 lbs of boost so we think there is a little more in the car. Hopefully enough to get it over 250.
I'll post when I get pictures up.
c ya, Sum