Raceway Park, Bowling Green, KY
May 25 – 26,
We left for Bowling Green Wednesday
afternoon, the 22nd of May. We hit a lot of construction, so
the going was slow at times. We stopped for the night just north of
Columbus. The next morning Steve was up first. He started the generator
and then pressed the “on” button of the coffee pot (I always have it ready
to brew). The coffee was about half done when the generator quit. Steve
started it again, and the coffee pot continued for a few minutes until the
generator quit again – what the hell! This has never happened before.
Doesn’t that damn generator know that I NEED my coffee? Well Steve started
it again and went outside to open the generator access door to see if he
could figure out what was wrong. He could see that the cooling fan was not
working, so the generator would overheat and shut off. This time the
coffee finished by the time the generator quit. While we were having our
coffee Steve got online and found an Onan dealer in Louisville. They had
the fan belt for our generator in stock, so we told him we would stop on
our way through to pick it up. Steve thought he would have time at the
track to change the belt. When we got to the Onan dealer they told Steve
that many times it was not only the belt that was the problem, but some of
the fans have a plastic part that cracks. They gave Steve the info for the
Onan dealer in Nashville. We were planning on leaving the whole rig in
Nashville and flying home anyway, so we made arrangements for the Onan
dealer in Nashville to keep the rig for the two weeks and fix whatever
needed to be fixed on the generator. Now all we had to do was get thru the
weekend of racing with no Motorhome generator. We would have to make do
with the gas generator in the trailer, unless we could pit next to one of
the few poles at the track with an electric outlet on it. Well we were one
of the first to pull in, so we got that pole with the electric.
We got to the track early because we knew
that an NHRA tech would be there that could do the re-cert of our chassis.
He was supposed to be there all day Friday. So we got the car out of the
trailer, got the body off it so that the chassis was exposed, and then we
waited. We waited some more. Steve drove around in the golf cart trying to
find the guy. Finally we were told that the guy would not be there until
Saturday morning. So the car stayed naked all night. But the re-cert got
done first thing Saturday morning. Then it went thru tech, got the body
back on and got ready for the first round of qualifying.
Our run was at 11:45 am. The car left good,
and the 60 ft time was good. The eighth mile time was a little fast – it
was on a “breakout” run. But then Steve heard a pop. He could see a little
piece of the head gasket poking out. He got out of it, but it still went
thru the lights at 7.10 and 167 mph. We took it back to the pits and
started taking things apart. It was not good.
The #4 main bearing had seized on the crank,
causing the rod to shatter. The pictures show part of the rod coming thru
the side of the block, and some of the remaining pieces of rod in the oil
The cam would not turn as some of the rod
was wedged in there, and there was damage to a couple of valves. So to
make a long story short, that engine was toast! We did not make the call
for the second qualifying run, but we still ended up #2 qualifier based on
that 7.10 run
Here is where things get interesting. There
was a Jegs Super Quick race at this track this weekend. And one of the
racers in that event was Richard Edwards. Richard also raced with us in
Nostalgia racing for years. So we knew him very well. He knew of our
problem. He was there to race in the Jegs Super Quick race. He had the
engine in his dragster for sale, as he had a new engine on order. He came
to us and offered his engine to us. He said he would not race this
weekend, but would take the engine out of his car and put it in our car.
We knew that this engine would work for us so we said okay. I wrote
Richard a check and we started the exchange. We got our damaged engine
out, took our engine-less car to his pit to put the new engine in.
After the new engine was installed we went
back to our pit where the intake, blower, starter, etc went on. All was
done by 3 am. We were ready to start the car, but because this engine had
a Super Mag 20, it required a 16 volt battery to start. We tried to start
is with our 12 volt battery but it was a no go. At 7:00 am Richard was at
our pit area with his 16 volt battery, and it started right up.
We went up for first round of eliminations.
No one could believe it. We ran a 7.18 and lost to a 7.11. We have a car
that can be tuned to win!!!
We will be back in two weeks for the Hot Rod
Reunion, and we will be ready to compete!