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Shiloh Missionary
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Contact: Skip:
(225) 356-6803


January - February - March - 2012


1st Qtr. 2011     2nd Qtr. 2011      3rd Qtr. 2011.  4th Qtr. 2011

1968 Pontiac Firebird Racecar For Sale:

April 1, 2012 - Happy Birthday Jeremy!

Kevin and I took the car to State Capitol Raceway Friday night. We make two passes before encountering a flat slick. We picked up a wood screw in the right rear slick.

Before the flat, we had a lot of problems with my throttle cable and could not get the butterflies to go all the way open.  Seems it has been that way for a while. We tried, but could not get it right at the track (in the dark).   

On the first time trial, it ran 9.24 @ 144 MPH.  One the 2nd pass, it ran 9.14 @ 144 MPH.  Both of these passes did not have full throttle due to the cable problem.

One bight spot on Friday night, the new Trans-brake button (microswitch) worked perfect. Kevin cut a .006 (green) on the first time trial. I tried to get him to put in a little more time for the 2nd pass, but he wanted to leave everything the same. It was dark by the time we made the 2nd pass and he cut a -.008 (red)! I would have put in .020 in the box and we would have cut a .012 (green). Anyway, the new button works well.  

After getting the flat taken care of early Saturday morning, with the help of Lacey and Barbara, I started working on the throttle cable problem. Kevin had made a new return spring location at the track, which is working well but did not solve the problem.

The cable problem seems to be a combination of cable adjustment and rear butterfly adjustment on the carburetor itself. The BG 1090 has progressive secondaries and it was real time consuming to get everything coordinated to go all the way open and come back down to the correct idle speed. After a couple of hours, a broken connecting bar, and many trial an error fittings, I finally got it right.

My engine is probably happy. That rear butterfly is really sensitive. One time I activated my Hi setting on the MSD, at 8500 RPM, on start-up! So, if the engine expires in the near future, we will all know why...

I looked at the Density Altitude last Friday night, the air was real bad. About 5 times worse than earlier in the month when we ran. We were only off .15 sec. in the 1/4 mile and .10 sec. in the 1/8 mile. With the proper carburetor adjustments, we should run quicker and hopefully a little more MPH.

March 28, 2012 - We have been working to get the house back in shape after completing the flooring in about 50% of the house. We have also had some church projects to work on. We had a great Women's Day Service this past Sunday.

I removed the BG Carburetor from the car and put the open spacer back in place. I tried to put the Chuck Nuytten 1150 on but ran into some fitting incompatibilities. I am waiting on an "AN" fitting that should be here tomorrow. We hope to run this weekend. I'll have a lot of jets and the other carburetor standing by. I am excited about this racing season. I feel like it is really going to be our year!

Reggie Jackson had a couple of good test runs with his dragster last Friday testing his new engine. Everything works as it was designed. His 2nd pass was a 8.00 run and due to track conditions, he got out of it twice! The new Mopar engine is stronger than the last one, which had a best of 7.90, all out.

Warren Birkett informed me that his son, Owen Birkett, driving his Buick stocker, competing in the NHRA Gatornationals earlier this year, in stock class, beat the famous Mr. Don Garlits, driving a new Duster, in the first round of eliminations.

March 20, 2012 - The wife and I celebrated the completion of our home project tonight with a big, juicy steak from Outback.

I have been looking at my data from late 2009 and early 2010, the last time the car ran solid 8 second passes(2011 was a lost year. Almost everything we did took us backward). I found the air was better (DA) and the temp. was higher than it has been for these latest runs. I want to run one more test, using a different carburetor, before I make any other changes.

I want to make some passes at different jet settings. We have already played with shift points, which netted some MPH but nothing else. There are so many variables, you can really get lost if you don't keep records. Notice, I did not even say, "Good records".

We have not changed our starting line RPM yet and that might be something we can play with. It might improve our 60' times. In the past, when I change my starting line RPM, I have to compensate in the delay box to prevent a red light or from being late. Just one more thing to adjust or worry about.

March 19, 2012 - Well, I have been doing a big home project that is at the half-way point.

I did get a chance to work on the motorcycle carburetor last week. It now runs perfectly. Starts at a touch of the electric start button and rides very good.

The bike is a 2003, Yamaha TTR-90, that probably has around 50 miles, or less, on it. As a result of the low use, the carburetor was plugged up in the pilot jet. All it took was a little carb. cleaner and one wire out of a wire brush to run through it and it works like a champ. It was "For Sale", but I think I will keep it for now.

The next few weeks at both of our local tracks is very slim picking's for the big cars and dragsters. Jr's and bikes are taking over, except for the test & tune and Friday night racing. Good time to get some work done or to change out some things to get ready for Nitro Jam in May.

March 12, 2012 - Big weekend at No Problem Raceway Park, March 15- 18th. We should see some excellent racing!

March 8, 2011 - I had to adjust and strengthen the support for the alternator. It was not supported on the upper left side and had caused the belt to have too much slack.

After fixing the alternator switch last week, the alternator worked perfect all weekend. We had 13vdc consistently at idle. We had no problems with the electronics and voltage.

March 8, 2012 - Photos from SCR, March 3-4, 2012, by Barbara Holbert

March 7, 2012 - I am still on a high from this weekend! Happy that the car performed so well and we did not have one mechanical problem.

My micro switch arrived today and it is already installed. That should take care of the inconsistent RT problem.

I will not make any other changes before we go back to the track. After looking at 1320Go, and seeing all of my weekend run side by side, with all of the weather information and split times, I decided we have a good setup and no changes are needed. I did warm up the engine and set all of my valves.

March 5, 2012 - SCR Photos from March 3, 2012.

March 5, 2012 - What a weekend! We actually won two rounds of real racing. First of all, the car was perfect, even when forced to hot lap a couple of times, we never ran more than a .04 spread for the two days of racing and time trials. We had a best 1/8th mile time of, 5.683 up to a 5.720 pass. Most of the passed were 5.68 - 5.70 all day. That was covering 9 runs including qualifying time trials in Top Doorslammer.

We made two changes from last Sunday's testing: We installed 96 jets, which I think did not help us at all, and after the first pass, we dropped the shift point from 7200, down to 7000 RPM. That adjustment raised the MPH and decreased the ET slightly. We made no other adjustment after the 2nd pass. Just add gas and go! We opened the hood once, after the first round of hot laps to check the overflow reservoir, and there was not a drop of water in it.

We ran Top Doorslammer in the Saturday race, and Super Pro on Sunday's race. That was a big mistake, as they called the two classes back to back all day Sunday.

Oh! I failed to mention that due to rain and cold on Saturday, SCR decided to call off everything late Saturday and move BOTH races to Sunday!

They called Sunday's Super Pro, in front of Saturday's Top Doorslammer, all day on Sunday. The engine temp. never got above 200 degrees all day, and the times only varied .01 between back to back runs.

I was extremely happy with my little engine (that I built myself). Kevin did better this weekend than ever before. I was very pleased with his driving. The car went straight as an arrow on every pass (SCR did an excellent job of preparing the track).

Kevin won the first round of Super Pro and we won the first round of Top Doorslammer. That was more rounds of real competition than we won all last year!

We have isolated one problem. The Trans-brake push button on the steering wheel is not consistent, or as I like to say, not fast-acting enough. We are going to replace it with a switch that is super-quick. That is what I use, which is not steering wheel mounted, when I drive. My personal T-B button is a Radio Shack micro switch that is super quick acting. Kevin like his button on the steering wheel and we will try to find one that is more consistent. (Late 3/5/12 - I ordered a Biondo Racing Quick Acting Micro Switch that is steering wheel mounted. This should solve our problem). All my electronics is Biondo and MSD.

Thanks to Dave Walker, Top Doorslammer driver of the Double-D Electric pick-up. After we explained our hot-lap situation, he got at the back of the line and allowed us cool off before running in the 2nd round of Top Doorslammer (then he put a .006 light on us and sent us home)!

Thanks also go out to Top Doorslammer driver, James Mott, who loaned me his golf cart Sunday afternoon after watching me walk all over the track. That really was great. Thanks James!

Barbara took a lots of photos. They will be posted later.

Robert Sanders escorted two young boys to the track both days as a part of his churches mentoring program. Robert is a Mechanical Engineer for Exxon Corp. in Baton Rouge. The two young boys, cousin's, are Kaydev Stwent, who in in Kindergarten, and 3rd grader, Leroy Womack. Both boys attend Linear Elementary.

This was the boys 1st trip to the drag strip and they enjoyed everything. They got to see all the Jr. Dragster qualifying runs and the 1st round action on Saturday. They enjoyed themselves so much, Kaydev talked his mother, grandmother and sister into coming out with them on Sunday.

March 2, 2012 - State Capitol Raceway plans to try and get both the Saturday and Sunday races in this weekend. Some rain is forecast for early Saturday, but it is suppose to get through here very early. Gary Carter reports on the SCR Website Forum, as soon as the track can be prepared, we will start racing on Saturday. Sunday looks like a very good day.

Top Doorslammer, Quick-16 and Super Pro over the 1/8th mile. Everyone else will be on the quarter-mile. The cutoff for Top Doorslammer, which is usually 8.99 in the quarter, will be 5.79 in the eighth-mile.

That is real good for us because we (Kevin) has been running 5.70 - 5.73 during our last two trips to the track.

I would like to remind everyone to sign up, in the tower, for the Summit racing series and for the SCR points chase for 2012. There might be some decal requirements too, I don't know, but check in the tower with Gary.

Leap Day 2012 - Changed the O-ring on the rear end filler cap. Cleaned the inside windows, wiped down the whole car and put some more "Mr. Skip" decals on the car. I also put 96 jets in the BG 1090 carburetor. We are ready!

Feb. 28, 2012 - What a weekend! Barbara drove to Jacksonville, FL to be with our grandson, Ryland, who had an emerge. appendix operation early Sat. morning. Barbara, Lizzie and Roland, his dad, took the trip. Barbara and Liz drove back on Sunday. That's over 1200 miles in two days, and Barbara did all the driving, both ways. Did I mention that she tows the trailer the same way!

Ryland is doing just fine. The Navy doctors had everything under control and he had laser surgery, which allowed then to discharge him from the hospital early Sunday morning.

I stayed home to complete a Photo Project at our church. This project has been going on for every week in February and I am glad to have it come to a close.

Kevin and I took the car to State Capitol Raceway for Test & Tune on Sunday afternoon after both of us attended church.

The car ran excellent. With weather conditions not quite as good as the last time we were at the track (Density Altitude) back in late January, but much better than we will have later this year. We still made some real good passes.

The 1st pass was a 9.04 @ 147 MPH. As noted, we had removed the open spacer and changed plugs to a new set, the same as we had in there. After the 1st pass, Kevin pulled a couple of plugs at the end of the track, before returning to the pits, and they were white, just like they came out of the box. The EGT was 1430 degrees.

For the 2nd pass, we put 94 jets in and made a pass of 9.019 @ 149 MPH. The car left early and we thought it was the drivers fault, but later we discovered the voltage was low going to the delay box. The box flashes when the voltage is too low. This was not the drivers fault.

For the 3rd pass, we refilled the fuel cell, and changed the shift point from 7000 to 7200 RPM. We ran a 9.035 @ 148 MPH, but this drop in ET and MPH was more a function of the weather, including a change in wind speed for this run and the next run. Again on this 3rd pass the car left well before it was suppose to leave.

We decided to bypass the normal voltage supply to the delay box to solve the low voltage problem, and we went straight from the cut-off switch to the delay box. This gave us about 1.2 volts more to the box, and stopped the flashing when the T-B button was pressed.

We made one last pass. This time the car left on time, Kevin cut a 0.019 RT and we ran 9.023 @ 147 MPH. The car went straight as and arrow and everything worked as it should have. We were very, very happy.

Monday I decided to do some troubleshooting. During the night, I had thought about the car having an alternator, and the low voltage problem should not have been possible (with everything working correct) with the car at 3800 RPM just before leaving the line. That Alternator should have been putting out 14 - 16VDC at that point.

I checked the one-wire connection from the battery to the alternator and did not have any continuity. I have a switch in that circuit, in the trunk, and although it was on, there was nothing coming through it. Upon inspection of the switch, I found one of the post broken off. Most likely due to vibration.

I installed a new, heavy duty switch and disconnected the bypass rig, but I did not remove it. It is coiled up, ready to go if needed... We are ready for the opening weekend of the State Capitol racing season.


Feb. 22, 2012 (PM update) - Back to work on the trailer. Now that we have had a lot of rain and wind to test our repairs, we can now complete the replacement of the top liner in the trailer around the A/C unit.

I put a new set of plugs in the engine over the weekend and today I removed the open spacer from under the carburetor, leaving the 4 hole, Super Sucker, in place.

The BG 1090 Carb. has 92 square jets in it now. I will make a couple of runs and then rejet according to our readings. After that, I will change to the Chuck N. 1150 carburetor. It has 92 jets in it now (from the factory). We will determine what is needed after the runs and rejet it to optimize the air & fuel mixture.

Kevin and I have discussed checking a couple of plugs at the end of each pass, before returning to the pits, to determine how the fuel is burning. We also have the EGT indicator connected to #8 cylinder. I have not been real happy with my EGT readings. I do much better reading the plugs.

The State Capitol Raceway schedule is getting real tight, with not much room for rescheduling races that were missed. It will be a very hot Summer...

Feb. 18, 2012 - As I sit here, watching my yard fill up with water and seeing the lighting flash, I looked at the web sites of our two local tracks. There is no racing today, but Sunday, Monday and Tuesday should be real good days for our race cars!

No Problem has a Test & Tune on Monday and a big Mardi Gras Race on Tuesday.

State Capitol Raceway has a Sunday Test & Tune. The weather is breaking at the right time. The parades in New Orleans and the whole Gulf Coast will be happy after this bad weather clears the area later this afternoon.

Feb. 16, 2012 - I hope the weather man is wrong about Saturday.

Feb. 13, 2012 - Remember Valentine's Day!

Congratulations to Shannun T. Walker for winning at No Problem Raceway Park last Saturday. This was Shannun's first win in Super Pro. I know it was the first of many more wins. Winning Photo.

Feb. 10, 2012 - Happy Birthday Oliver III, aka "Bubba"! Bubba is the oldest of my three sons and is 51 years old. Oliver is a grandfather who has a daughter; Catherine, and she has one daughter, Olivia. That makes me a Great-grandfather! I feel old...

Rain, rain, go away!
Come again another day.
Skip want's to go out and play! (Race)

Feb. 8, 2012 - If the weather holds out, I will be at SCR on Friday night. We need some seat time in real competition, any competition.

Our only change from the last time out will be a new set of spark plugs.

We will probably test some different equipment on Sunday at the T&T session. We want to try some different starting line RPM settings and shift points. We also want to remove one or both spacers under the carburetor. We will try the Chuck Nuytten Holley 1150 carburetor. These changes will take place one at a time.

Feb. 5, 2012 - Good call on the racing at SCR this weekend Gary!

Feb. 4, 2012 - I just read about the fire that Rudy & Gina Vedros had that destroyed their home in mid-January. They are OK and saved their cars and motorhome. Our family is praying for them to have a speedy recovery.

The State Capitol Raceway Forum has been buzzing about 1/8 mile and 1/4 mile racing. The track has decided to run Super Pro, Q-16 and Top classes (maybe more) over the 1/8 mile during the early part of the season due to the cold weather, according to Track Manager, Gary Carter.

Many of you know my feeling on 1/8 mile racing, which I like! Most racers in this area are die-hard 1/4 mile racers. This is not going to change any time in the near future. Still, I think we should look at the economics of our racing and see the savings of both time and money that 1/8 mile racing brings to both the track operator and to us, the racer.

The last time I helped put on a race at one of our local tracks, back in 2005, VHT was about $475 per barrel. I just found out that it is close to $1000 per barrel now.

We all know how much racing fuel has increased the the past few years. Car counts are down at the tracks due to the economy and other factors.

I use to go to the track on Friday and make 7- 8 passes and then go the next day and make 4 - 10 more passes. I use right at 1gal. of racing fuel per pass. That was a lot of fuel. Now, if I go at all on Friday, it is to make 1-2 passes, but more likely I don't go at all on Friday and just wait until Sat. and try to get my testing in then. At the Sunday T&T I may make 2-4 passes, at the most. Heaven help if I brake something. It may take months to get back to the track.

I know this little tirade is not going to change one persons mind, but I feel better!

Jan. 31, 2012 - You Tube Video - "Mr. Skip" - Testing @ SCR - Kevin "Outlaw" Gray - Driver - Jan. 29, 2012

Jan. 30, 2012 - Randy Testing At SCR

Another You Tube Run By Randy @ SCR

Jan. 29, 2012 - Time trials at State Capitol Raceway, Driver: Kevin "Outlaw" Gray.

Left Lane   Right Lane
Name Kevin Gray
Car Number 4X4H
0 Q/P 0
0.00 Dial In 0.00
0.000 60' 1.286
0.000 330' 3.665
0.000 1/8 5.706
0.000 MPH 120.030
0.000 1000' 7.481
0.000 1/4 8.999
0.00 MPH 147.71

Yes! Yes! Yes! Our first 8 sec. run of the year!

We had an outstanding day. We made 4 passes. Out of the trailer we had a 9.21 @146 MPH. The next run did not get us a time slip. The 3rd run was 9.06 @ 146 MPH and the one above, 8.999 @ 147 MPH, was the last run.

The BG 1090 Carburetor worked flawlessly all day, with no other adjustments. The super soak and cleaning, with the new kit, must have done the trick. We still have the two 1" spacers under the carburetor.

We dropped the shift RPM from 7200, down to 6800 on the first run and kept it there all day. We moved the (correction) starting line RPM from 4000 RPM down to 3800 for run #3 and then moved it back to 4000 for the last run. Our air pressure was kept at 8.5 psi all day. The timing was at 38 degrees. The worse 60' time was 1.306 on run #1. We had a 1.300 on the 3rd run and the best was the 1.286 on the last run.

We have a very small oil leak on the drain plug for the rear end. That will be fixed this week. That was our only problem. What a blessing!

Jan. 28, 2012 - The car is in the trailer, ready to test tomorrow at SCR.

I called Kevin, talked to Robert, Barbara is ready, the team is ready to roll!

Jan. 27, 2012 - Getting ready for my first weekend of testing. If things go well, I should go out on Sunday to SCR for a few test runs.

Yesterday I was reading in a old book, "How to tune and race Demon Carburetors" featuring Barry Grant carburetors. I purchased the book many years ago when I was running a BG 790 RS that I had modified to flow 1025 CFM. It also covered the larger Dominator style BG carburetors.

The statement that caught my eye was, "Each 1" spacer adds about 500 RPM to the power curve". I have two spacers under my carburetor, one open spacer and one four hole "Super Sucker". Maybe I didn't need that 4:56 gear. All I needed was to remove one or both spacers to get back into my power band.

I am going to leave the two spacers on for now because the last time the car ran in the high 8's, I had both spacers on, with the 4:56 gear. We shall see.

Jan. 25, 2012 - The oil and filter are changed. Seven qts. in the pan and one in the filter. Reset the rear shocks to 6/14 clicks, from 3/14 clicks.

Jan. 24, 2012 - The car is back in one piece! Outlaw came over this evening and had that chunk in and ready to go in no time flat. I did the lockwire on the brakes. We now have 4.56:1 gears in place. All I have left to do is change the oil and filter.

Jan. 23, 2012 - Sat. morning, I picked up my chunk from Alvin. He ran into a few small problems that delayed his completion of the job, but in the end it came out fine. I hope to get it back in before the end of the week.

Barbara has not fully recovered from being sick at Christmas. She went back to the Dr. today. She got a shot and three prescriptions. I pray she gets well soon.

Reggie Jackson is very close to getting his dragster ready for the upcoming season. He had experienced some electrical problems due to low voltage. He moved his fuel pump and installed a new alternator to take care of the problem. Len Agustas did the welding and I did my usual inspection when everything was completed. It looks very good!

Jan. 17, 2012 - We are getting rev. up on my church project again (Vision Committee) to build the new Fellowship Hall next door to the church. That will be taking up the majority of my time for the next few months.

Good thing the car is in such good shape. I will be ready for Nitro Jam and that's all until Father's Day. We plan on a little testing, but not much.

The past week has not been good for Louisiana teams in football. First the total domination of LSU by Alabama, then the unexpected last few seconds loss to the 49's by the Saints.

After the Saints lost, I was going to pull for the Texans, well, that did not go well either... It would really be something if those two brothers ended up in the Superbowl coaching against each other (Ravens vs. 49's). I have placed all my chips on the Giants and Eli Manning (That may be the kiss of death)!

Jan. 14, 2012 - The chunk was delivered to Alvin late yesterday. We should be ready for next Sunday (in Louisiana that means, Jan. 22nd).

Friday The 13th - Instead of waiting on Kevin to remove the chunk, I decided to do it myself since I had nothing else to do.

When we put the rear end chunk in last time, we had been fighting some gasket leaks. We made the mistake of using Mega Gray silicone gasket material instead of a normal rear end gasket. I am still trying to get this thing out! I am about 1/2 way around the bottom. I know one thing, I will never do this again!

Jan. 11, 2012 - I had a call from Mr. Charlie Robinson, he will let me use his tricked out Chuck Nuytten Holley 1150 to test.

I purchased a 4:56 gear yesterday from Sonny at Pro-Fab. While I was there Les Klotz stopped by and we had a good talk. Alvin is set to put the gears in and Kevin will take the chunk out and reinstall it.

Late Jan. 9th - Congratulations Bama!

Jan. 9, 2012 - Geaux LSU Tigers!

Over the weekend I changed carburetors and started up the engine for the first time this year. It ran very well.

I will have to take the car to the track to find out if the hesitation problem has been solved with the BG Carburetor. We will have the Holley in hot standby.

I removed all the small screw-in replaceable emulsion bleeds and idle feed restrictors, along with the power valve plugs and the 4 main jets. A total of 34 screw-in items. After getting all of that out, I put each one of them on a piece of tape in the exact position they came out of the carburetor, and then I cleaned and soaked the metering blocks and the main body with carb. cleaner. The float bowls were also cleaned and soaked overnight with all the other parts. After soaking, I blew them out with Gumout and compressed air. If there is still a problem, I know it will not be from trash or dirt. A new carburetor kit was installed.

I called Barnett Performance in Atlanta. They use to stock all the parts and kits for the BG Carburetors. They only carry Holley replacement parts now. They referred me to somebody out west that has purchased all the replacement parts from BG. Too much trouble, I didn't even write the number down.

I know from past experience that the Holley kits will fit the BG carburetors that I own. So I put a Holley Dominator kit into it. The thing that you have to be most careful about is using the correct metering block gasket. Pay strict attention to this when you disassemble the carburetor. All the kits come with two sets of metering block gaskets. One for a two-ckt. unit, that has an intermediate idle ckt., and the other one for a carb. with no intermediate idle ckt.. All the other parts are universal.

After starting up the engine, I had to adjust the float levels and the idle speed. As I said, everything seems to be good.

I still want to change out the gear in the rear end from 4.30 back to 4.56. I also want to try Silas' Quickfuel 1250 carburetor on my engine (before I buy the new Holley 1250). I have a lot of time to play with different combinations.

Since Nitro Jam is not until May 2012. We have to be at our peak for Nitro Jam, and then the next month is the Father's Day Race. We should still be at the top of our game!

If I hit the lottery, I will get someone's EFI system (after I get the new engine, transmission and the new Pro-Mod body :>)

January 7, 2012 - Barbara and I are both back to 100%! We are ready to watch the Wild Card games of the NFL Playoffs and the BCS national championship games.

The 1320go system has been implemented at No Problem Raceway Park. The system has been in use for almost two years at State Capitol Raceway and I have been using the system for almost two years. I love it! Each track has its own 1320go site. You can follow many tracks around the country and the different special series, such as Nitro Jam and NHRA National events.

Not only can you see live timing, just like sitting in the tower and looking at the timing computer, but you can compile all of your individual runs and print them out. The split times are calculated for you and the temperature information is printed out with the run, including Density Altitude readings.

1320go is like having all your time slips on one piece of paper, or you can look at it as, taking away all that time you spend entering all your time slip data and weather data into your manual log book at the end of the day.

Your runs are stored in the 1320go computer and are always available. The runs of all of the competition is available to members. You can select certain cars and get a warning when they are about to make a pass.

There are a lot of other app's in the program, some available at extra cost, but for the most part, the regular membership covers all that you need. Some of the extra cost app's are there to help you improve your drag racing knowledge and to help you improve your driving skills. If you like statistics, as I do, you will love 1320go.

January 4, 2012 - We are getting better! Barbara is still not feeling good, but she is recovering. I am almost at 100%.

Watched a lot of football in the past week. Now I am getting ready for the NFL playoffs. Geaux Saints!

I won a Superbowl in my 12 team, Fox Fantasy Football league. That's a 1st for me.

January 1, 2012 - Barbara and I have been under the weather, but we are both on the upswing from a virus we caught right after Christmas.

We watched, on TV, the ball drop in Times Square last night. At midnight, we got down on our knees and said a prayer for all our family members, friends and for our country. We thanked God for the blessings that have been bestowed on our family, in the face of the economy, we are really blessed!

We did not have a very consistent racing season last year, but we did not have any destructive problems. Not many years we can say that. The car ran great all year. The head work came out excellent and we are looking forward to a good 2012 season.

I expect to have more eye surgery this year but other than that, nothing will come between a good season except the occasional vacation to recharge our batteries.

Kevin should do 99% of the driving again this year. When he gets his truck ready, his truck will take priority on our racing team. My car will be happy sitting in the workshop (saving racing fuel and parts)!

Barbara is fully eligible to retire, but will continue to work until they upset her, or she feels like staying home. She is perfectly happy with her job. She wants to help Mrs. Barbara Morris (grand-daughter) with her new baby in May and that may have some bearing on how long she works (If I need some new parts, she may have to work a little longer...)!

I plan on doing (that's, "having done") several home projects around the house. All in the interest of making it more comfortable in our retirement. That includes putting new tile on the floor in the workshop. I have some real nice looking, but cheap, tile in the restroom of the shop. I may just use that in the area where the car sits. We already have a walking tile border around the car and the work benches.

Dec. 30, 2012 - We took Milana to New Orleans today to catch her plane back home to NYC. We will miss her and we look forward to her next visit.

Dec. 27, 2011 - We had an excellent Christmas! Milana and all the grand kids went shopping before and after Christmas and closed down the malls on both days. All of the girls went to church with Barbara and I at 7am on Christmas morning. PHOTOS

I cooked a big pot of "Skip's Gumbo" and a pot of Jambalaya to go along with the ham, turkey and a big assortment of baked delicacies.

We had about 16 people here while we opened gifts and we sat 12 people for dinner. There was not much left of anything.

Dec. 23, 2011 - My niece, Milana Longmire, arrived for a one week vacation and to help us celebrate Christmas! Milana lives in New York city.

Barbara Morris, Liz Herbert and I rode down to New Orleans to pick her up from the airport. As soon as they arrived in Baton Rouge, they promptly joined Jeremy Herbert, and a few friends, and hit the town. Welcome Milana!

Dec. 21, 2011 - Our racing season is officially over. SCR will not be open until Jan. 15th and NPRP will not open until Jan. 4th.

I contacted Alvin and Kevin today to put the wheels in motion to change out my rear end gears. Kevin will take everything apart and Alvin will set up the gears. That should happen in the next two weeks. With the 4:56 gears, I should be ready for any 1/8 mile competition and we should run better in the 1/4 mile also.

This year, I am going to make a personal goal to run Mr. Silas Rogers' Nova, that Pontiac of Mr. Mott and the show car Chevelle of Mr. Van Johnson. Like the Country & Western song says, "I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was"... I plan on beating each of them!

Mrs. Richarda W. Jones, wife of Bracket Masters President Tarrus Jones, will graduate from Southern University, with a Masters Degree in Education, this Friday, Dec. 16, 2011. Congratulations Richarda!

Ms. Toshia Jackson, daughter of fellow racer Mr. Reginald Jackson, graduated from Southeastern University this past Saturday with a Bachelors of Arts in Marketing. Toshia's family gave a graduation party after the ceremony with many of Toshia's friends present to wish her well. Congratulations Toshia!



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