2011 Top Doorslammers Schedule (SCR)

1. Saturday April 2nd
2. Sunday April 3rd
3. Saturday May 7th
4. Saturday June 4th
5. Saturday September 3rd
6. Sunday September 4th
7. Saturday October 1st
8. Saturday October 29th – CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

Site Contents

Racepics.net Message Board

Good Racing Links

Bracket Masters Racing Team

Skip's Photo Gallery

Weather Station & Throttle Stop Tips (Biondo)

Travel & Vacations

Yahoo Finance Quotes/News

Shiloh Missionary B. C. Web Site

State Capitol Raceway Web Site

1320go Live Timing system

No Problem Raceway Park Web Site

Motorcycle For Sale
Yamaha TTR90 Electric Start
Trail Bike - $895.00

Contact: Skip: oholber@yahoo.com
(225) 356-6803

Family

Children (Skip & Barbara)

Cynthia-George
Oliver-Chris
Sarah-Cynthia
Glenn-Cynthia
Larry-Wendy
Melinda
Melissa

Grandchildren

Adrien (Cynthia)
Danielle

Catherine "Chatty"
Oliver-Chris)
1st Great-Grandaughter
Olivia Underwood
(Catherine-Sam)

Crystal (Sarah)
Edward
Micah

Marcus (Glenn)
Matthew
Jacqueline

Tyler (Larry)
Tynesha
Jeremiah
Isaiah Cummings
Gabriel

(Melinda)
Barbara

Jeremy
Lizzie
Ryland

(Melissa)
Myeshia
Avery

Milana (Niece)

Bea Bea (Sister)

Good Friend
Preston Johnson

Mr. Skip Racing
2nd Qtr. - 2011

March 31, 2011 - Yesterday, my grandson, Matthew Holbert, passed through Baton Rouge and we had a chance to have dinner. My 17 year old grandson, Ryland Gardner also had dinner with us.

Matts Visit
Ryland, Grandpa & Matthew

Matt is 17 years old and is about to graduate from high school in Vacaville, CA. Each year, a California businessman, Mr. Willie B. Adkins, sponsors a bus tour of several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's) for several students from the Fairfield, Vacaville area. This year there were 20 kids with 5 adults. There were 9 boys and 11 girls on the tour. They took a flight from Oakland, CA to Birmingham, AL and visited Alabama State U., then on to Miles College and Tuskeegee U.. They also took the Civil Rights Tour in Birmingham. They traveled too Atlanta, GA to visit The King Center, Clarke Atlanta U. and Spelman/Morehouse Colleges. They also visited Jackson State U. and Tougaloo College in Mississippi. Today they will visit Southern U, Xavier U. and Dillard U. here in Louisiana. While in New Orleans, they will take the Katrina Tour and eat dinner on a riverboat. They fly back home on Friday, April 1st.

Matthew has already been accepted at Cal Poly, where he would like to study Biology. He has also been accepted at Tuskeegee U., but after touring Morehouse U. in Atlanta, he has applied to them for acceptance.

March 29, 2011 - It started up! I cleaned ALL the grounds on the car and even re-routed a couple to make then go directly to the block and not the frame. I already had two ground straps going from the block to the frame. Now my ground terminal block inside the car is connected to the block, instead of the frame. I know some of you out there are saying, that is overkill! You are probably correct, but it gives me peace of mind, and it won't hurt.

I am ready for this coming weekend at SCR. The first Top Doorslammer races are this weekend! I will not be running in TOP, but I will be in Super Pro.

Can't wait to see what difference, if any, the new tires make. I would love to see some sub- 1.300 sec. 60' times. The best lately is, 1.317, with the normal being around 1.335. Some of this is due to the change in rear end ratio from 4.56 to 4.30, coupled with the drop in timing from 42 degrees, down to 38 degrees. At this point all I want is consistency. Nine point zero nine (9.09 sec.) is quick enough in 76 degree weather. As the Summer get hotter, the car WILL slow down.

Maybe I will get a slight increase in performance from the new and improved MSD. I also changed out my distributor cap, which was a MSD Tech recommendation.

While under the car I checked for leaks. The normal transmission leaks from the pan and around the screws that I had had for the past 10 years is no longer there. The new Stef's Transmission Pan did the trick. No leaks anywhere! I had read an article that said some of the old aluminum, ribbed, deep transmission pans, like I had, were prone to porosity (leakage through the metal). This must have been my problem. Now if I could just stop the two - three drops per week leak from my two valve covers... I have tried the very expensive multi-layer valve cover gaskets (blue) and now I have the cork with the thin layer of metal. Nothing seems to stop the leak. Maybe I have the same problem as I did with the trans. pan.

My home A/C went out last Weds. evening. Lucky for us the weather has been relatively mild. It gave us time to research, talk to three vendors and select one based on product quality, service reputation, and price. I did this just like I would select a new product for the race car! Yesterday, they installed a new central HVAC system. We are ready for the Louisiana Summer!

March 24, 2011 - Yesterday I started installing the new MSD Digital 7 Plus. The new one is only like the old on in physical dimensions and color. Almost everything else is different. The unit is improved because after this installation it will only be a matter of plugging in a new box to change the next one (in 11 more years). Every connection has been converted to a plug-in connection. That means all the pigtails are cut and terminated at the correct length.

I have not completed the ground connection checking and cleaning, so I have not powered up the new MSD (I'm scared to try it!).

I had the new M/T slicks mounted and they are on the car. Cleaned and polished the wheels when they were off the car. The new tires were balanced. They took a lot of weight!

March 21, 2011 - I called MSD Tech. Support and asked if there was any recommendation they could make to help insure I don't fry the new box. Their only suggestion was to clean all my grounds and check connections tight. Kevin suggested the same thing, starting back at the batteries and my ground in the trunk. I have a ground terminal strip inside the car, close to the MSD, that is grounded to the frame. All of that will be checked before I turn on the new box.

MSD also said there is nothing that can be done to repair the old Digital 7 Plus. It worked for over 11 years. I got my money's worth.

During troubleshooting, I checked the connections on my switch panel in the dash. There was a screw missing on the power switch for the Ignition Switch. There was still contact, but it could have been a very high resistance connection, and intermittent sometimes due to vibration. The screw was replaced and a drop of loctite applied to the screw. All other screws on that switch panel were checked for tightness.

March 20, 2011 - I did a little more troubleshooting today and did not fine anything else. I did energize the MSD again and I got more smoke. I have already ordered another unit exactly like the one that burned, MSD Digital 7 Plus. After thinking about it, and considering a MSD 7AL-3, I decided I don't need the 3-step feature, and the Digital 7 Plus has a higher output, not to mention I don't have to re-engineer my mounting and wiring. My box should be here Weds. of this week, and I can test next Friday, maybe.

I pulled the plugs again. Same result. The front cylinders are burning excellent and the 4 back cylinders are rich. I changed the back jets from 892, down to 87. My precision Holley jet set only goes down to 891.

On both of my passes this weekend I was spinning, what felt like, the right tire (with a spool, that was probably just my gut feel because the car went straight). I increased the right shock by one click. They are now at 5 left and 7 right. I am also taking the TOYO tires off (about 95 passes) and putting on a new set of M/T slicks that Barbara purchased for me last Father's Day. She has been bugging me about putting those tires on the car every time I bitch about 60' times!

March 19, 2011 - We attended the Cajun Super Series at State Capitol Raceway. I made one time trial, 9. 167 @ 146.93 MPH. When I got ready for my 2nd time trial my MSD gave up after about 13 (actually 11 years) of service. Kevin and I troubleshot it, but could not fine any reason for the meltdown of the box. I had signed up to run in Super Pro 1/8 mile.

Kevin signed up to run in Non-E 1/4 mile. He had a 9.28 @ 146 MPH off the trailer. In the first round he lost in a very close race. In the 2nd round, he had another red light to end our day.
Friday, 3/18/11 - PHOTOS

Cajun Super Series - Sat., 3/19/11 - PHOTOS

March 18, 2011 - Kevin and I took both my car and his truck to Friday night bracket racing at State Capitol Raceway. Kevin came off the trailer with a 9.12 @ 147 MPH. My first and only pass was a 9.09 @ 147 MPH. We were both very happy with our passes. I was trying to get ready for the 1/8 mile races on Sat. at SCR. My 1/8 mile time was, 5.78 @ 119 MPH. We put the Camaro up for the night and concentrated on Kevin's truck.

Kevin ran in the Trophy Non-E Class and had a real good night. He got a bye in the 1st round and won rounds two and three, but in the final, he had a red light start to get the runner-up position.

After the first time trial, Kevin reported the truck was a smooth as glass going down the track. He had the tires balanced and that took all the vibration out of the drive train. Congratulations "Outlaw"!

Cajun Super Series at State Capitol Raceway: 1st Race is this weekend, Sat. March 19, 2011

Jegs Cajun SportsNationals, March 18-20, 2011, No Problem Raceway Park

March 12, 2011 - I had some feedback about my rant on Index Racing.

What got me started was a post on Racepics.net forum about trying to get SCR or NPRP to have some index classes.

A friend from Spring, TX contacted me and said his family had several index cars that they would be happy to come over here and run. I'm sure that they could bring some more cars to race with us. I could probably talk a few of the bracket car guys and women into trying it out.

Last night I went out to SCR Friday night races with Kevin "Outlaw" Gray in his truck (I only had my cell phone, so the photos are very bad).

The truck ran very good, engine wise. On the first pass, Outlaw put down a 9.25 @ 138 MPH. This was quicker than his last time out, 9.27, but slower than the 148 MPH he had then. We think he did not have the accelerator all the way down because he was feeling vibration in the drive train.

The S-10 truck experienced aforementioned vibration on the first pass but we could not find the source. After inspecting as much as we could, we decided to make a 2nd pass. We also decided if the vibration came back, we would abort the run.

Outlaw had an excellent burnout and when the lights came down, he took off like he was shot out of a cannon! The 60' time was, 1.304, compared to the first pass of 1.358. The 330' time was a big improvement and Outlaw hit all of his shifts right on time, but shortly after the 330, the vibration came back and he got out of it. Had it not been for the vibration, he would have been real close to a 9.0 pass!

There were several suggestions, but the best bet is, the tires need balancing. The rims are new but we are using the old tires. The truck has new Moser 35 spline spool, axles and carrier, but they should not caused a vibration (famous last words). The truck had made one good pass, before twisting off the axle on the 2nd pass, the last time out. That good pass had no vibration.

Kevin and I have agreed to run as a team this year at SCR during the Saturday bracket races. I am going to invite a few more cars to join the team, Silas Rogers & (Jr.), with their Nova, will be invited, along with Reggie Jackson and his dragster.

I enjoyed watching Arnold's Air Hogs, Adams Racing, The Coleman Boys , Ezell Racing and Young Blood Racing , along with many other teams, compete last year.

I also have some personal (me driving) races to win this year. I have to run Mr. Van Johnson and Mr. Silas Rogers. These formal challenges have already been issued, in person. Lucky me, I get spotted in both races!

March 10, 2011 - Index Racing anyone! I like Index Racing.

My only problem is finding a class to run in with my car. Normally when promoters set their index classes, I am in the middle of two classes. I run the 1/4 mile around 9.10 to 9.25, depending on the weather (1/8 mile, 5.78 - 5.90). When Index Classes are set up, I have seen (1/8 mile), 10.00, 9.00, 7.00, 6.00 and 5.30 or maybe 5.50 classes. I could make the 6.00 class, but that would be very hard.

If you have never driven in an Index Class, especially in the 1/8 mile, having to shave off 2 tenths to 2.5 tenth is a lot (You would have a very hard time winning anything)!

The races that I competed in did not allow throttle-stops. That makes it much tougher, especially in the 1/4 mile (Super Classes). Just think how hard it would be trying to hit 10.90 or 9.90 without a throttle-stop (or a 7 sec. dragster trying to hit 8.90).

Throttle-stops are not necessary in the 1/8 mile, if you can find an index that you fit real close into the existing classes with just a little tuning.

I don't have any suggestions for playing with the indexes, because there are a lot of cars that just naturally fall into one of the traditional index classes and it would not be fair to them.

Anyway, if State Capitol or No Problem decides to have some 1/8 mile index racing, I would come and race.

When I ran my old 383 in "Masterpiece", I ran in the 6.00 index class. I could run all-out at 5.95 in the 1/8th. All it took was a little playing with my shift point or a little retard, to hit the 6.00 dead on the head. I did real good with that car and engine. I could probably do the same thing with this 555 and "Mr Skip".

March 8, 2011 - Wet Mardi Gras Day! The people in south Louisiana don't feel the rain (too intoxicated)!

The racers at No Problem Raceway Park and up in Hattisburg, MS probably got rained out today. It does not look good for tomorrow either.

March 6, 2011 - Lots of church business today. I am the lead person for my church's construction of a new 8K sq. ft. Fellowship Hall. Today I met with two architects to get input for our structure. This is like being back at Stone & Webster Engineering Corp. during construction of one of our projects. I'm having fun!

I did not make it to the Swap Meet or to Test N Tune today. The car is just sitting there, ready to run.

I did start to add to the interlocking tiles on the floor of the workshop. Lacey stopped by to help out yesterday.

Kevin is coming along very good with his truck. He got down the track Sunday, but it was spinning a lot. The traction was not there. He will try again later this month.

March 3, 2011 - Thanks to the friends that called to check on me. I am doing just fine and getting stronger each day. Nothing is running anymore!

March 2, 2011 - I have been sick, in bed, the past few days. A steady helping of sleep, fluids and lots of Vick's Nyquil has bought me back to almost normal.

I guess getting my behind kicked so bad during Nitro Jam made me sick! I can still hear that little voice saying, "Let Up!", just before the finish line.

Since the race, all I hear from my friends is; "You let up, didn't you?", "Did you let up"?, "Man, if I was you, running a dragster, I would never let up!", and of course, "I thought you had him, you killed the tree..." I'm glad "Sonny" put the guy that beat me out in the final of Box ET!

I will be at the Bracket Masters Racing Team Swap Meet at State Capitol Raceway on this coming Sunday, March 6, 2011, with everything I can find to sell out of my workshop and storage shed. SCR is having a Test N Tune day this Sunday also.

I made one change since the race, I loosened the left side shock 1/4 turn. If that doesn't work, it's easy to go back to the old setting.

I would also like to make a few .400 sec. Pro-Tree hits to see how close I can get to an acceptable RT on the .400 pro-tree. The last time I tried that, I could only get to .068 sec. RT with zero in the box. I have noticed since installing the rebuilt transmission and converter, I have had to add .032 sec. to my box to keep from going red. IF I can get down to some acceptable RT, I may give Super Gas/Super Rod another try.

Feb. 26, 2011 - Last night I found out that "Sonny" GREGOIRE won the Box ET Class and the runoff between the No-Box and the Box Class. Congratulations to Sonny of Pro-Fab in Baker, LA on his double win at Nitro Jam!

Feb. 25, 2011 - Let me congratulate The Lewis' and Gary Carter for putting on an excellent race. The Saturday spectator crowd was the most I have ever seen at State Capitol Raceway. Everyone appeared to be having fun.

Last year I commented on the need for SCR to improve the speaker system. This year I could hear the announcer from anywhere I was standing or sitting on the entire property, including deep in the pits behind the scoreboard. Thanks State Capitol Raceway! Those new seats were very nice too. The restroom attendants and trash pick-up was a very good touch (same as last year).

The track should fight to keep the two bracket classes in this event. Box (Electronics) and No-Box (Non-electronics) was great. Many racers did not know they were going to have those classes.

MORE PHOTOS - Sat. Nitro Jam

Feb. 23, 2011 (modified) - Ah! It is so nice to bring the car home after a big racing weekend and not have anything to fix!

I did pull all the plugs and look at how they were burning the fuel. I had put a new set of NGK-7 plugs, gapped at .040", before Nitro Jam. The front four plugs, #1 & 2 were all very good looking, slightly on the lean side with #3 & 4 being perfect. Numbers 5 & 6 were slightly rich and #7 & 8 were very rich. The King Demon 1090 carb. was jetted at 902 square. My Holley precision jet set has, lean (901), standard (902) and rich (903) in each size. I removed the back jets and put in two 892 jets. I hope that clears up the rich condition in the back cylinders.

I have my EGT probe in the exhaust of cylinder #2. The temp. all this weekend was around 1370 degrees. This is a little lean, which verifies what I saw on the plugs. I am going to move the probe to #8 cylinder to see how the rejecting works, after the first good run. If the weather is drastically different from last weekend, the changes may have to different.

I have had trouble with fuel distribution since the engine (originally a 540 CID) was changed to run a Dominator style carburetor. When the engine was ordered, I asked for a 4150 style intake and the engine was delivered with a BG RS 775 CFM carb., which was changed to 1025 CFM. The distribution was perfect with that carburetor. Since changing to the Dominator style intake, which has been port matched first, then the heads were ported and the intake reworked, the distribution has been uneven. The engine is now a 555 CID running a BG King Demon 1090 CFM carburetor (I also own a Holley HP 1150, which exhibits the same distribution problem). It does make a little difference what fuel I use. I get the best results with VP-C14. It burns a little cleaner. Other fuels burn much richer (plugs are black). The times (ET) with VP are the same as other fuels, but the MPH with the VP is about 2 MPH higher. I only have 14:1 compression ratio, so I don't run C-16. "Other" racing fuels are available at a much better price!

I cleaned up the outside of the car and put a little wax on the trunk and fenders. I will finish later.

I will turn all my attention to getting Outlaw's truck ready for this coming weekend. He is installing new 35 spline axles with a new spool, bearings and carrier.

Feb. 21, 2011 - Saturday & Sunday at SCR, IHRA Nitro Jam - 2011:

2-19-11 - We got to the track early and the first thing I checked was the air bottle connections, which were loose. I tighten them and did a soap test with Dawn & water. Everything looked good.

I adjusted the wheelie bars back to the position that they were in last week, filled the fuel cell and charged the battery. Kevin worked on the electrical wiring to the trans-brake button and got that straight (again).

The two run we made were much better than anything on Friday but I could tell it was still pulling a little to the right and I had to "drive" the car to keep it in the groove. We logged a 9.129 and a 9.186, both at 146 MPH. Everyone was happy but me!

2-20-11 - After sleeping and thinking about it all night, I decided to return the front shocks back to the settings that Brandon had put them when the car was scaled in March 2010. Kevin and I did that first thing and in round one we dialed in 9.05 sec..

I had not put any runs into the weather station because all four runs had something wrong.

The track was prepped perfect and the weather was better than it had been since arriving. I had to run the little blue pickup of Double-D Electric. He cut an excellent .026 light to my .102 and I almost caught him at the light but missed by .0245 (MOV). I had a 9.08 @ 148 MPH.

In round two, buy-back, I dialed in 9.08 and ran 9.152 @ 144 MPH, as I lifted and the dragster passed me in the lights. My Nitro Jam was over.

I actually had him covered with a .006 green light and he had a .024 green. Barbara reminded me of that all the way home! The MOV was, .0189. YouTube Video

I am very happy to say, the car drove excellent all day Sunday. Never missed a beat, shifted prefect and drove straight as an arrow! I am well pleased with the car.  PHOTOS.

Nitro Jam Sunday Photos - Feb. 20, 2011

Nitro Jam - Jr. Dragsters

Sunday Nitro Jam Racers - Feb. 20, 2011

Feb. 18, 2011 - What a day! The procedure for getting into the track, parking and credentials issue is just too involved. Last year was a little better. Maybe because there was fewer cars, but then again the procedure was different last year.

I was pleasantly surprised by the Black History issue of DRM for this month. My photo was there, along with many real black racing heroes. I would not place myself on the same level with the majority of those great racers. I did enjoy the fact that they included me.

The car ran well today. Nothing went wrong. On my first pass I was spinning when I left the line and the car drifted over to the right. I captured it and ran a 9.18 @ 148 MPH. On the second pass, I ran 9.12 @ 146 MPH. On that 2nd pass, I had to shift myself because the air shifter did not work (my fault, the air was off). Maybe I should shift a little higher!?

Photos of Shannun's new paint job, along with Shannun, Patrick and Brian.

Feb. 17, 2011 - The car is in the trailer! The truck is clean and I am ready.

Feb. 16, 2011 - I had my annual shot for my voice today. That means I won't have any volume for a few weeks. Bare with me, you probably won't be able to hear me over the noise at the track.

I finished my list tonight. The car is waxed, the tires are aired up and the batteries are charged. I lowered the wheelie bars to 6" each. PHOTOS.

Feb. 15, 2011 - Yesterday was Valentine's Day and Barbara and I finished celebrating 4 Valentine's Days! We started Friday night with a wonderful dinner at Dursilla Seafood in Baton Rouge. We continued our celebration Saturday in Lake Charles, LA at Steamboat Bill's Seafood. We ate at Papadeaux's Seafood in Beaumont, TX on Sunday night and we finished up last night at Don's Seafood back home in Baton Rouge. We exchanged gifts and cards yesterday. We thank the Lord every day for bringing us together (25 wonderful years). I Love My Wife!

Today I worked on my list for Nitro Jam. I polished the wheels and put Armor-All on the front tires. I put my new numbers for IHRA Box Class, 4X4H on the windows. I also reset my timing down to 38 degrees. I set my front shocks to: Left=1.0 turn from full closed (from 1/4 turn) and the Right=1.5 turns (from 1 turn). The right shock bottom retaining screw at the front had to be re-tapped for a larger bolt. It was stripped out. Good thing I went under there and reset the shock. It could have fallen out. The quicker travel will allow the front of the car to come up a little higher and hopefully, lower the 60' times.

I also set the carb. float levels. All I have left to do is reset the left wheelie bar to bring it down 1/4". I must polish the car and wash the truck.

I will do all my test runs at Nitro Jam Test N Tune on Friday. I hope all the changes will be OK. If it just runs consistent I will be happy. The time does not matter.

I don't expect any awards or stories this year, especially two stories...

Feb. 14, 2011 - Bracket Masters Vice-President, Johnny Tate, had two operations, Feb. 8-9, 2011. He is at home recovering and sounds very good. Please say a prayer for Johnny Tate to continue his recovery. Johnny says it will be a few weeks before he is able to return to the track.

Feb. 14, 2011 (Happy Valentine's Day)
Barbara and I just returned from a one day photography class in Houston, TX. It was put on by Nikon and was very informative. The two professional photographers were great instructors. I hope to put what I have learned into making the shots I take at the track better.

Feb. 10, 2011 - Racers planning to run their cars at Nitro Jam will have to do the same drill as last year to get into the track, park and run.

The following was copied directly from a post by Gary Carter on the SCR web site forum:
The gates will open Friday at 8 AM. Racers must first go to the Raxx Club parking lot to get their event credentials and then come to the track. Raxx is located 1 mile west of the track on US Hwy 190 in Erwinville.

There is no testing on Thursday, only on Friday from 1pm until 6pm.

The long term weather looks very good for the event. I hope the new seating is complete. That would be very nice. Again we see the track owners going out of their way to improve things at SCR. SUPER!!!

I hope and pray that my car does not let me down this year like it did last year. My rack & pinion has been repaired and I have new 12 way adjustable rear shocks this year. They were the problem last year. So far, everything else is a go for "Mr. Skip". I will not be able to test this coming Sunday. I will be taking a photography class all day Sunday.

Feb. 6, 2011 - Last night I completed the rebuild my BG 1090 Demon Carb. I only have a few things left on my list. Next I will reset the timing. That will involve removing the crank trigger wheel at the front of the damper and resetting the magnets to allow me to set the timing lower. I want it to be close to 36-38 degrees (down from 42).

Feb. 5, 2011- I got all of my items in the mail, spark plugs, flexplate and I got a engine diaper. The plugs are installed. I will work on the diaper later.

All the plugs are indexed, as close as I can get them using 12 new plugs (8 installed). The electrodes are all in the upper 120 degrees of each hole. I don't have a clearance problem anyway.

I removed the BG Carb. to put a kit into it and clean it up. To my surprise, I had 88 square jets in it. I had thought it had 89 front and 88 rear. My EGT was 1342 degrees F. It would have been a little lower if I had had the 89/88 jets that I thought. I am going up to 90 square. That should get me in the 1250 range and possibly bring the MPH up some and maybe the ET too.

Feb. 3, 2011 - I started working off my list of items pre-Nitro Jam. I ordered a new flexplate, new spark plugs and picked up my new letters and numbers for the car. The new number is, 4X4H. I will run in Box class this year. I don't feel like re-installing the throttle stop to run in Super Rod (9.90) or Hot Rod (10.90).

I also had my two CO2 bottles filled. That was a good experience. I normally get one bottled filled at a time. It costs me $10.00 for one bottle normally. Yesterday, I took in the two bottles and they filled them for $5.00 each.

Jan. 31, 2011 - I just dropped off my niece at N. O. airport to go home to NYC. My grand daughter departed yesterday. I am back to my normal routine! Now I can have a little time for my wallet to recover!

We enjoyed their visit and look forward to their return. Milana wants to come back this Summer, and for Christmas, which she is very welcome. We took them on a grand tour of Baton Rouge, including Southern University and LSU campus'. When Milana returns, we will take her to New Orleans. Time is just so short when you only have a little over 3 days to visit. The area has so much to offer (and so much food to eat).

Catherine is returning to Germany shortly, so I won't see her and Olivia for a while. Her husband, Sam, is in the Air Force. He is currently on tour with the "Tops In Blue", the Air Force's Premier Entertainment Showcase. Sam Underwood is a bass guitar player (the only one not pictured yet). Tops In Blue will be a part of the 2011 Super Bowl XLV pre-game show in Dallas.

Jan. 28, 2011 - I have the honor of hosting my niece, Milana Longmire of New York, NY and my grand daughter, Catherine Underwood and her daughter, Olivia Underwood (great grand daughter). They will be staying until Monday. Today the three young women pulled me through the mall for over three hours (to use my debit card). We spent the whole day shopping and eating. Right now they are gone to get Krispy Kream donuts while I rest.

J-E-T-S, Jets! Jets! Jets! (Next Year!) Can't play for one half and expect to win. Or in the Saints case, for one quarter.

All of my teams lost. Now all I can do is pull for the Steelers. Why? Because I have never, ever, liked the Packers! They are right up there with the Redskins, Pats, Falcons and the Colts. Those 5 teams are at the top of my list of teams I dislike the most. At the other end, I like: The Saints, Raiders, Dolphins, Tampa Bay and Jets, not in order, but close.

Jan. 24, 2011 - Barbara, Kevin, Lacey and I took Mr. Skip to the track yesterday. It was T&T at State Capitol Raceway. It was a beautiful, mild day with temps. in the low 60's. I did the driving and was more than a little nervous on the first pass. It had been October last year since I had driven at the track. Everything went well until I pressed the Trans-brake button and pressed the gas after lighting the "staged" light. The engine would not come up to RPM immediately, but shuddered slowly up to 3800 RPM. I did not release on the top yellow, but waited until the RPM was up, and the engine sounded clean. Then I released the T/B button and after the normal delay, away I went with no other problem. It was a very good first run, 9.05 @ 148 MPH, with a 1.313 sixty ft. time.

I had said I would take it easy on the first run, with the new transmission, converter and trans. cooler, but while driving around the pits to warm up everything, it sounded so good and everything was working, so I said to myself, "Let it all hang out"!

When I got back to the pits, my crew was waiting. Before turning off the engine, I tried my starting line routine again and the same thing happened. We looked under the hood and did not see anything wrong and after talking with Kevin and Lacey, we decided to dump the fuel and purchase fresh C-14 fuel. Last week I had filled the tank with some fuel that I had from last season. It was not blue, so I know it was not the Sunoco that I normally run, but some other brand. Anyway, we did not see any water in the fuel that we drained, so that was not the problem. We tested the T/B again after changing the fuel and the results were the same.

We discovered that the problem only occurred when we used the T/B button that I use for launch (We have two. One for me located next to the delay box, the other on the steering wheel for Kevin). The engine came right up to RPM when using the by-pass button, Kevin's button, but not my normal button. Kevin found a cut in one of the wires going to my button and it had been grounded. We taped it and everything worked just fine.

The second pass was 9.125 @ 146 MPH as I got a little out of the groove on the way down the track and the air bottle to the shifter was not on, I had to shift by hand, but that did not effect the run that much. According to the Density Attitude, I was suppose to be a little slower on that pass. The 60' time was, 1.317 this time.

We decided to call it a day and go watch the playoffs. If I had known the outcome, I would have stayed at the track!

I have a list of things to do, now that we have some passes under our belts. This should be a very good season.

Oh bye the way! After the first pass, the engine was purring like a kitten. The valves sounded like they were all set perfect (In the past, Houston is the only one that makes them sound that good).

I have a list of things to do now that we have a baseline to work from. I tried to keep as much the same as the last time we ran. The only variables were the transmission and converter freshening and the new trans-cooler.

The first change will be to set the timing to 38 degrees (from 42 degrees). We plan to change our starting line RPM from 3800 to 4200. We will also try new jetting (from 89/88) in our BG 1090 carb. I will remove the 4-hole super-sucker spacer and just run the 1" open spacer. The EGT reading was 1342 degrees from cylinder #2. I want to get that down to around 1250 degrees, so I need to go up in jet size. I am going to change to colder NGK-8 or 9 plugs (from NGK-7[hot]). I am also going to change from Mobil-1 oil to Amsoil Racing oil. Right now the valves are set at .030" hot. I may tighten them up to .026". I have run .028" in the past and .030" netted the same as .028".

We are crossing the line at 6800 RPM right now. That's real easy on the engine. We have 32" tall tires, 4.30 gear, PG with 1.76 trans. low gear. That gave us the 9.05 @ 148 MPH on our 1st pass.

Jan. 22, 2011 - Spent the last two days cleaning up the car, washing the truck and packing all my racing gear into the truck and trailer. It's amazing how much stuff decides not to work after not being used for three months. I had to spray my ratchet hold-downs with WD-40 to make them work!

I had to check the air in the truck tires, the race car tires and the trailer tires. After they heat up, I will recheck them and put them at the recommended pressure. The truck has been sitting, except for a trip to take the transmission to TCI up in north Mississippi. I really need to drive it more. It has just over 50K miles and it is a 2001 model. My trailer, a 1999 model, has much less miles than that.

I have had a feeling about my valve springs lately. They have adequate pressure, they are made of Pacoloy by Comp Cams, they are triple springs and they only have 85 runs on them. The only problem is, they are 5 years old (Wow, I remember making over 200 runs per year!). I am going to try to get past Nitro Jam in February on those springs. The testing that I have scheduled for tomorrow at SCR will tell me if I can make it through that event. If I don't have the times that I expect, I will remove the heads, change the springs and have a valve job completed. I hope before Nitro Jam (Feb. 19-20, 2011).

Photos from SCR Test N Tune, Jan. 15, 2011.
Jason Adams Testing @ SCR.

MLK Weekend & Holiday 1/15 - 1/17/2011.

Jan. 15th, is the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. At my age, I am old enough to have lived through the time when Dr. King was trying to make things better for minorities and all neglected people of the USA. We celebrate his birthday and accomplishments on Monday, Jan. 17th. As I enjoy a day off and some time with my wife and family, I will remember what Dr. King has made possible for me and many other minorities and say: Thank you Dr. King!

I graduated from segregated schools in Florida that were anything but "separate-but-equal". I rode in the back of the bus. I rode the "Jim Crow" cars on the railroads until we crossed the Mason-Dixon Line above Maryland, got my water from the "colored" drinking fountain and endured many other humiliations of segregation.

When I entered the Navy in 1956, the military was fully integrated everywhere except the officer corps. I spent many years in service before I saw a black Navy officer, and many more years before serving with my first black Navy submarine officer (1971).

Lt. Anthony Watson, serving on USS Snook (SSN-592),was the first black officer that I served with. He went on to become the first black officer to be named Captain of a Nuclear Powered Submarine, USS Jacksonville (SSN-699) in 1987. I am proud to say that as a Chief Electricians Mate (SS), I helped train the young Lt. as a member of my engineering watch section. That young Lt. went on to become Rear Admiral Anthony Watson and served in the Pentagon.

I was blessed to serve all my sea time on submarines. Serving in the Submarine Force was unlike any other part of the service. It was all volunteer and if you could not do your job, and learn the jobs of all the other men on the submarine, you were gone. I served with some excellent sailors who respected my hard work and knowledge and I was equal to any man on the ship.

Off the ship was a different story. I remember trying to get housing for my wife and 5 kids in Virginia. On the phone, everything was fine. When I appeared, the place was not available. That happened several times in more than one state.

Not being able to attend parties for my shipmates unless they got special permission for me and my family to attend was very humiliating. Most of the submarines that I served on, I was the only black on the ship or maybe one or two others. In the engineering section of the ship, I was normally the only black sailor. One submarine had 7 blacks out of a crew of 125. That was the same amount of black sailors that started my class in Nuclear Power School in 1962. There were 200 sailors that started that class. Only 92 sailors finished, but all seven black sailors finished.

I retired from the Navy in 1980 after serving 24 years and advancing to become a Master Chief Electricians Mate (E-9)(SS).

Things are so much better today in the USA. When I am at the track with my car, I feel like I am back in the submarine force. I know every system, how it works, how to repair it. I feel that my ship (car) is the best that I can make it. There may be more expensive, newer, more beautiful and faster cars, but I can compete with any of them, and win! The same thing goes for my life. I am proud to be an American, and I love the USA! Thank you Dr. King!

Jan. 15, 2011 - State Capitol Raceway:

Event Update: The TNT for this weekend has changed days due to weather forecast.
TNT Saturday Jan. 15th Gates open at 10am

No Problem Raceway Park also has a Pro Test and Tune, Saturday Jan. 15th.

I had planned to take the car out on Sunday, but I will not be able to go on Sat.. The car will remain up on the jackstands for another week.

Jan. 13, 2011 - Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. Over 300,000 people lost their lives and many are dying daily. Over 1 million people in Haiti are still living in tent cities. We have major flooding in Australia that rivals our Katrina disaster. Thousands of homes are under water. We are having major winter storms right here at home. The tragedy that took place in Tucson last week was very sad. My prayers go out to all the people in the world that are suffering from these major disasters.

Please pray for these people today and in the coming weeks that they may recover, or be comforted, and resume a normal life.

President Obama gave an excellent speech last night at the memorial service in Tucson. If you get the opportunity, please listen to the speech. Put aside party affiliation, bickering and hatred. This speech was right on time, no matter how you feel about President Obama.

Jan. 11, 2011 (1/11/11)
I am wrong (again)! Thanks for staying at LSU Les Miles! The school and the state could not ask for a better role model for the young men that he coaches.

Jan. 10, 2011 - Congratulations to the Auburn Tigers and the SEC on another national championship! AU - 22, O - 19.

Now that the Eagles lost, my NFC team will be "Da Bears"! . My AFC team is the Jets.

Super Bowl: Jets - 21, Bears 17.
(Pittsburgh vs. Green Bay is a better reality)

Prediction: Les Miles will go to Michigan (Wrong!).

Jan. 9, 2011- Congratulations to the JETS and the Seahawks on advancing in the NFL Playoffs. I am now a J-E-T-S, Jets!, Jets!, Jets! fan, since my Saints got beat. In the NFC I am pulling for the Eagles, but I really just want to see someone other than the Falcons win the NFC.

Jan. 5, 2011 - No Problem Raceway Park opens their season tonight. NPRP will also be open for a Friday night bracket race on 1/7/2011. See the NPRP 2011 Drag Racing Calendar – preliminary – new races to be added soon.

State Capitol Raceway opens this coming Sunday for T&T. For the 2011 SCR schedule, click here.

Jan, 3, 2011 - We got up early yesterday morning and went to church at 7:00 am. I do the photography, video and web site for my church. The pastor and choir were just awesome yesterday. The new year will be great for our congregation if things continue to flow as well as they did on the first Sunday in 2011.

The rest of the day was spent watching football. My Saints are in the playoffs, but only a #5 seed. They play The Seahawks" next Sat.. That should be a victory, but in the NFL, nothing is cast in stone. If they win in Seattle, they must go to Chicago and play the Bears, where they lost four years ago when the did something stupid like kick off the Devin Hester. Hester ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown and the Saints never recovered.

The college bowl season has not been that exciting so far. The mismatches have been boring. The SEC has won most of their games by large margins. Tennessee gave away their game. With 1:46 left, and 1st down with Tenn. leading by three points, I turned away from the game. Much to my surprise, the report on the station I turned too said the game was tied at the end of regulation. I could not believe it!

The rules interpretations at the end of a few games has put the outcome in the hands of the officials. That reminds me, when are the NFL (No Fun League) officials going to start throwing the flag for the "Lambeau Leap"? Some of the other celebrations are not nearly as bad and the teams get un sportsmanlike flags.

My personal feeling is, as long as the team gets lined up and snaps the ball in the normal allotted time, the celebration should be allowed. Either that or no celebration at all (Boring...) Remember Billy "White Shoes" Johnson - Houston Oilers?

Another way of doing it would be to allow the celebration, but the extra point try would be taken from the 20 yard line. No celebration and the ball is placed in the normal position. That would still call for some type of interpretation by officials, and we would be no better off than we are now. Bad idea!

Right now you can say a quick prayer after a touchdown, but you can't point to the stands or spike the ball (especially with one second left on the clock). You can point to the sky, but you can't flip, fall or fly into the end zone. Group dancing and Hi-fives are not allowed, except by some officials.

If I'm not mistaken, Alabama (Coach Nick Saban), has his players hand the ball to the official after a touchdown and then they go to the sideline and celebrate. All colleges should adapt some variation of that scenario to avoid flags.

Congratulations to TCU on their season and bowl win! I could not believe the tuition at TCU was $41,000 for a semester! I looked it up on their web site and that's correct. No wonder our community colleges and state schools have so many students. It must be nice to be able to afford that.

Congratulations to coach Meyer at Florida. Classy way to go out.

Oregon may ware down Auburn with their fast paced rhythm. That should be a good game!

January 1, 2011 (1/1/11) Four Aces!

Happy New Year!

I started the car yesterday for the final time in 2010, with the help of my good friend, Lacey, of Bracket Masters Racing Team. Everything ran and sounded very good. I am ready for the 2011 season!

Happy New Year
          From
Skip & Barbara

Skip & Barbara

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