Chapter 145 - June 2009




by: Gary (Alien) Robertson, WDMS

We’re not in Kansas Texas anymore, Toyo.

Nope, we’re in Hallet, Oklahoma for Round 4.

This event is gaining popularity with out of region guys (and girls).  A few cars from the Rocky Mountain region came down again as well as some from the MidWest Region.  Also saw our very own Mike Countryman and Tracy Grote making an appearance.  Turned a good weekend into a great weekend! Laura and I took a tent wik us as hotels in the area aren’t all that... uh refined? Camping at the track in the tent wasn't all that bad. Thanks for all the offers for fans (I think at least 3 people offered a fan and an extension cord!) but it ended up being nice and cool during the nights.

We hung around Friday, electing not to take advantage of the test and tune sessions.  Rain was on the horizon.  HUGE thanks to Tracy for sharing his carport with us, and Mike for the shelter in his trailer as the rain started pouring down as Burch monitored the weather.  The hospitality was great.

But we didn’t come all this way to eat burgers and chat, we came to race!

R1 - Had fun playing wik the RM boys. Halfway thru the race, I started getting a long brake pedal. Took it easy for a lap or so til it came back. I proceeded to chase back down Dave B, passed him, then promptly spun at 3. Oops.  Finished 11th of 14.

After that session Laura and I bled the front brakes.

R2 –
Inverted start.  After a few laps, started to have the same issues I had in R4 at TWS. Felt as though it was running out of fuel.  This time it was consistent in that it would only sputter on the right-hand turns. After a few laps it got really bad in the B-tch so I dived into the pits to end the race early. Good move as Knocker died in the paddock 100’ from the garage. 13th of 14.

Got it towed back into our spot and started troubleshooting.  I had brought Nick’s old fuel pump and something kept saying it’s gotta be something else.  Big thanks to Steve’s insistence that it was an electrical issue.  Eventually found the problem to be a chaffed fuel pump relay signal wire.   Used half a roll of electrical tape just to be sure it won’t happen again.

Great Saturday night! Good food, good entertainment! Thanks to the RM guys for the outstanding food!

Up bright and early to the chicken song for some more racing.

R3 –
After a few laps, Knocker has some bad popping, lack of power, and general running like crap.  First thought it was maybe another timing issue. Babied it to finish and got a great vantage point of Wirtz and Glenn in the final few corners of the last lap after the passed me. Finished 11th of 14.

Came in, checked timing (ok) and started looking over the motor for signs.  David Love comes over, looks for all of 30 seconds and points out a missing AIR plug on the exhaust manifold. Big thanks to JB for giving me one of his spares.

R4 –
Inverted start.  Didn’t get blown away as I was as quick as some of the RM and MW guys.  For a good few laps I chased down Bryan White from IL.  I knew I could get a better run onto the backstretch than him.  I was able to make my move with a lap or so to go.  Got along side, braked a tad deeper going into 3, and had my fingers crossed I wouldn’t screw it up and let him back by.  I made it stick and had made my first competitive, earned pass on a non-rookie!  My funnest race to date! Finished 9th of 12. (Not my car, FF to 13:00)

Had a long drive ahead of us and I was very happy to once again drive Knocker up onto trailer. We drove straight home back to Houston, got there at 2am. Still took Monday off work! Very Happy