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Update 2-13-14

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

July- August - Sept. 2014  

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Good Weather Ahead!

Looks like the Summer is officially over and the weather is changing right on schedule. Today the high was 89 degrees F, but it was very low humidity and very comfortable. The days ahead promise to be more of the same.

Bracket Masters Racing Team is sponsoring a race on November 22, 2014 at State Capitol Raceway that will feature a GURANTEED PURSE for Super Pro and Footbrake classes! The race will be called the "Turkey Day Shootout".

Looking at my planned family events and other factors, that will probably be the next time I venture to the track. Maybe one test & tune before the race, but those are my plans for now.

No Racing For Me!

The car is still up on jackstands. I did not feel like going and talked myself out of it. I did go out there and watch two rounds of Super-pro and Top Doorslammer before returning home. The weather could not make up its mind. I had a short sleeve shirt and was chilly, with the strong breeze blowing right down the track. I put a jacket on and then got hot (I was not sick). There were a lot of very good running cars out there. A few were new for this racing season. The Top Doorslammer cars are getting quicker at time passes. There were several 7-second cars out there on Saturday.

I had purchased 15 gal. of racing fuel and checked out everything but the trailer. When I looked in the trailer, the floor was wet. My roof ventilator was leaking. The cover had failed from sitting in the sun for 15 years. I purchased a new insert with cover and now it must be installed. It's always something! I polished the car last night while listening to Sunday night football.

My niece, Milana Longmire, will be here for a one week visit, starting this Thursday. She is visiting from Los Angeles, CA, and will stay for a week. Granddaughter, Liz and Milana are around the same age and they plan to spend some time in New Orleans while celebrating Liz's birthday on Saturday. I hope New Orleans can handle those two party girls!
Sept. 15, 2014

I Really Wanted To Race...

The weather prediction for the past weekend did not let us race at SCR Saturday. I was so much looking forward to that 1st race of the Fall season. The race was rescheduled to this coming Sat., Sept. 13th.

The postponement may be the best thing that happened for me. The weather report says the temperature may be in the mid-80's on Saturday, that would allow me to qualify in Top Doorslammer. Heaven knows I cannot run under 5.79 sec. when the temps. are in the 90's.
Sept. 8, 2014

Hello Baton Rouge!

Barbara finally sold her brothers home and now we can get back to normal. Having to take care of two homes, especially the yard work, has not been easy (for someone not use to that type of thing). We have not been on vacation in two years!

I changed the jets in the carburetor from 87 square too 85 square and the spark plugs that had been in there since 2011. I take them out, clean and re-gap to .040" on a regular basis. The plugs are NGK R5671A-7. It took 12 plugs to find 8 that I could get to index correct. I am trying to get ready for this coming Friday night. I only want to make two passes then bring the car back home and make some changes to the left front shock, maybe.

I may try to come out on Sept. 6, for the opening of the Fall Season Kickoff at State Capitol Raceway. The flyer looks real good, especially with the guaranteed payouts in Super Pro and Footbrake classes.
August 25, 2014

 

Trip To No Problem Raceway

I took a short drive to No Problem Raceway to see some of the fast outlaw grudge racers from the area. I only stayed a couple of hours and returned home. I got to see my old friends, Everett and Ben Jeffery ("Mailman") and their crews. There were some very quick cars down there but not in big numbers. I think it's the Louisiana heat that's keeping the racers at home.

I took a few photos and a few videos. You may not be able to view the video (the last icon in the group), so don't worry about it. (Firefox will & IE will not open it). Safari and Chrome will view the video.
July 10, 2014

 

Stuff The UPS - was held at the Port Allen Wal-Mart on Sunday, July 27, 2014. Many folks contributed school supplies to help the children of West Baton Rouge Parish. PHOTOS
July 28, 2014


Still here, just nothing to write about the car. The Summer heat and rain have combined to stop all of my racing. Barbara is still finding a lot of things to keep me busy at home.

Bracket Masters Racing Team participated in a "Stuff The Bus" event last weekend to help raise school supplies for children of our area in East Baton Rouge Parish.

This weekend we will participate in another similar event, "Stuff The UPS" Brown Truck, sponsored by UPS delivery. It will be held at the Super Wal-Mart in Port Allen, LA on LA Hwy 1, Sunday, July 27, 2014 from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. This event will collect school supplies for the children of West Baton Rouge Parish. Please come by and contribute to the effort.
July 24, 2014

555 BBC Engine Pt. 8 (Final)

During the construction and painting of the new car, I was asked by Silas Rogers' Racing Team to help convert their car over to electronics. After that was finished they asked me to join them at No Problem Raceway, on a Weds. night, while they tested to see if everything worked. When we got there, Silas, Sr. insisted that I drive the car so I could determine if everything worked. I had not been in a car since the wreck! I protested, but they kept at me until I gave in.

This car had a larger engine than I had in my car, built by Durham Engineering, the same people that built my original engine (540 CID), but this one had much better "stuff" inside.

I staged and made a good pass, 10.05 @ 140 MPH. I was very nervous and was happy to get back to the pits. When I got back, they told me they had the throttle stop set to limit the engine RPM. That was it for me for the night. Everything worked perfectly and I was happy about that.

During my down time, I had decided to go with a new converter. I decided to use my Pro-Shop membership and get a discounted converter that was suppose to be the correct one for my setup.

We took the car to the Father's Day Race and I drove on Saturday and Houston Hawking drove on Sunday. The car did not perform as we thought it should have. Early Monday morning we called the converter maker and they said I had the wrong converter! They would not take it back or work on it. This was not a Louisiana, Miss. or Tenn. company.

After the frustration with that converter, I talked to my friend Van Johnson, who I know had done all the homework on every piece of equipment in his car, and asked him about his converter. He had a Coan Engineering converter. I called Coan and talked to a technician, gave him all my specs. and they recommended a converter, which I ordered.

The converter was a 9", sprageless, 5700 stall unit that had a great guarantee. The first weekend at the track was very disappointing. The car did not run any better than before. I called Coan, they said send it back, but before I do, would I make just one more pass and bring my starting line RPM up from 3500 too at least 4000 RPM? I decided to try that new RPM at launch and the car almost threw me out the back window! It was Awesome! I called Coan and thanked them for the tip and for the converter. It has been freshened up once, by Coan and flushed once by Keith Hunter and has never given any trouble.

The next work on the engine was the head porting. That was all done by Alvin's Porting Service on his CNC machine. We were trying to pick up a couple of tenths to get into the 8.90's and the porting helped me to get there.

I have been very blessed since the last overhaul. We have had to replace a intake gasket and a head gasket. I put a new set of roller rockers and roller lifters in the engine. I also had to put all new, .150" longer exhaust push rods in to make the rocker geometry correct after Comp Cams changed the specs. on my replacement roller rockers (strange that only the exhaust push rods had to be changed). We cracked the pan and had to have that welded. I have done a lot of cosmetic changes and air flow changes (isolating the carb. from the underhood hot air) but overall, everything has been excellent.

Over the past 4 years the engine has run a best time of 8.93 @ 149 MPH. That was in 2010. The best time lately has been in the 1/8 Mile: 5.68 @ 121 MPH. In late Feb. 2014 we had a 5.70 @ 121 MPH pass as we broke out to lose in Top Doorslammer.

The End

July 7, 2014

 

It's A Boy!

Preston Jayson Underwood,
born 6/26/2014 (7lbs. 5oz.).

Born to, Samuel and Catherine Underwood of Yorktown, VA. Mother and child are doing fine.

Mr. Skip's 6th Great-grandchild.

 

Working On Car

Wheelie Bars

Trying to determine what is making the car veer to the right on launch, Houston suggested the left wheelie bar is not working the same as the right one. I have springs in my wheelie bars, which is NOT recommended for a high powered drag car, and we determined one of the springs is weak. I tightened the adjusting nut to try to equalize both wheelie bars. Now I want to adjust my front, drivers side shock to try to keep the front left from going so high on launch. Essentially it will be going back to the way Brandon had it when he scaled it. I changed it myself. The result of me changing it was, I picked up some 60' time. I think this also contributed to my problem on launch. We will see.

555 BBC Engine Pt. 7

After the crash, the car sat for weeks. I had a body man look at what was left and it was determined that it was not worth fixing. I traded the car, less M/T for some work around my home and Arnold Jordan asked if he could purchase several items off of the car before I got rid of it which included all of the wiring that I had meticulously done in the trunk for the batteries and fuel pump, including relays. I kept all the electronics.

The transmission sat on the floor of the shop for a long time, months, before I did anything with it. Van Johnson and I drove up to Ashland, MS, to TCI and dropped the trans. off for the 5 year certification on the case and freshening. The engine just sat on the engine stand because it was still fresh.

One afternoon, "Bert" Riley came to the house with a deal on his yellow 1967 Camaro. I told him I was not interested in getting back on the track right now. He left, but in one or two days he was back with a much better deal for the car. I made a bid that I knew he would not take and too my surprise, he agreed. I had my 4th Camaro of my life!

September 1st of 2008, hurricane Gustav hit the gulf coast and we had major damage to the house. Our recovery took almost two months for the major work and several more months on the small stuff that had to be done after the major repairs.

I did not like the yellow color on the new car and a man that had a friend who was a painter got me a "deal" on a paint job. The painter closed his business shortly after finishing my car. I will spare you the details of that experience. All I will say is, you get what you pay for!

I ordered several trim pieces from Camaro suppliers and installed all of the trim pieces myself (that's why my front end does not look like any showroom Camaro). I also did the tail lights, another one of a kind. I cut and fitted all the Lexan, with the help of Charlie Robinson's tools.

I completely rewired the car from front to rear. While I was at it, I made a wiring diagram of the whole system. There is about 5-6 pages of individual system wiring and one composite drawing of the whole system. All the wiring is numbered on each end and color coded by circuit.

Retired people have a lot of time to do things like that!

The new car was a real blessing and I love it! The car that was wrecked was all mild steel and was box tube from front to back. It was a back-half car, but was not very conservative when it came to weight. It did have a Ford 9" rear end, but not a very good one. The new car is also a back-half car, but is all tube, chrome-molly from under the driver to the rear bumper. Double rail on the bottom and very good sheet metal. It has a very good Ford 9" that has all Strange Engineering parts. There are a lot of excellent things about this car that I love. I screwed up on wheelie-bar selection, but that is an easy fix. If I ever want to change over to solid wheelie bars and eliminate the springs I can do that.

We installed the engine and then put a lot of new stuff around it, new fan, new radiator, new electric water pump and crank trigger. Some of these items were added later but most were installed shortly after the engine was fitted to make sure the old engine would go into the new body. Bert Riley was nice enough to provided the headers and radiator with the body.

Next: Testing, getting over the crash, feeling out the new combination and installing a new converter.
June 26, 2014

 

What A Day! What A Weekend!

Prayer works! Bracket Masters Racing Team prayed for good weather for our race and by the grace of God, we did not get any rain at State Capitol Raceway on Saturday for the Fathers Day Classic! There was rain in Baton Rouge and Port Allen, but not at the track. Thank God for answering prayers. Mrs. Jerri Harris (deceased spiritual leader and member) would have been proud of us.

The race came off without a problem. Most racers had a good time and their were many cars. The Ray Neal Band was great and almost played as loud as the race cars!

My car ran well but one of my mistakes was not running more in the weeks leading up to the race. When you lay off for that long, things get rusty and you forget what you are suppose to do. I was able to get the car back home in one piece with everything working as well as when we left. My best time trial was a 1/4 mile pass of 9.19 @ 145 MPH. All of my later passes were 1/8 mile and they were not good passes at all, getting out of the groove and lifting or just being all over the place. I was helped by both, Houston Hawkins and Silas Rogers, Jr.. They were both a big help and I appreciate all the support from both of them. In eliminations, I got a competition bye in round 1, and got beat by Keith "Young Blood" Veal in the 2nd round. Young Blood went on to win Super Pro 1/8 mile. At least I was eliminated by the winner!
Photos

Father Of The Year!

My church, Shiloh Missionary B. C. of Port Allen, selected me the 2014 "Father Of The Year"! It was a total shock. Mrs. Angela Moore and my wife Barbara pulled off the surprise. All of my friends, team mates and relatives knew about it and not one of them told me.

I received many gifts, and a very nice plaque. There were lots of good words, cards and congratulations from the member of the congregation. It was a very moving experience. The church read a very nice summery of my career and contributions to the church along with the presentation of the very nice Plaque.

Many of my family were in attendance: My wife, Barbara, Mrs. Barbara Morris and son Tray, Lizzie Herbert and Roland Gardner. I also got calls from all of my children, some of the grandchildren that are not in the area, my niece, Milana and Sister Bea Bea. In todays environment of Text Messages and Facebook, some of the communications was via those vehicles (It's all good!)

Team mate J. Lacey presented a card signed by all of my Bracket Masters Racing Team members and some friends. Kevin Gray and Suzon were in attendance along with Mr. Willie Beathley.

Friends and neighbors that Barbara told came by the house or called to say congratulations and all wished me a happy Fathers Day. Thanks To All Of You! Photos
June 18, 2014

 

Getting Ready For Father's Day Race

It seems like everything is happening at once. I have been given a new assignment by my pastor, I had to complete a project for another web site, and I have a list of things that I just wanted to do for myself.

I started getting the truck all shined up by giving it a good washing and I did all the black rubber and other trim. I have about 2/3 of the truck polished and it really looks good. After I finish the truck I will do the same to the car. I will get it loaded up on Friday and go get a good parking space. I need a little "seat time" too!

We are all praying for good weather on Saturday for the race. I have a feeling that it will clear up and we will have a good day for the race. The temperatures are suppose to be in the high 80's, which is good for this time of year in Louisiana.

After the race I will get back to telling the story on the 555 engine. Things are going to slow down then.

I have officially taken the car off of the "for sale" block. I am going to keep it. With the exception of about 6 years, I have owned a Camaro since 1972. Starting with a real 1969 Z-28 (302 CID) and moving along to three other Camaros after that.

I was talking to Mr. May, owner of the really quick gray Mustang with FAST fuel injection, and he has really made me think about installing one of those systems in my car. Many of you know that I tried the "Ron's" mechanical fuel injection system back in the mid-90's but did not accomplish very much. Not because of anything to do wit the system, but the engine was not in good enough shape to benefit from the system. I did not fine that out until I tore the engine down. Broken rings, poor clearances and other problems, including continuous gas injection from my priming system (I was running Alky). All these problems led me to sell the system. Now I am ready to try again, but this time I want Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI).
June 11, 2014

Read Story On Shannun

 

Father's Day Race!

Bracket Masters Racing Team will sponsor their annual Father's Day Race on June 14, 2014 (Saturday). Gates open at 8 am for parking, Jr. Dragsters will start and complete their race starting at 9am.

The big cars will not start until 4pm (gets us out of the heat of the day), and will race until completion.

Team members have T-shirts for sale, $15.00 each.

Three, 39 inch Flat Screen TV's, are being raffled off. See any member of Bracket Masters. Tickets are $5.00 each.

Racers will have several brackets to compete in, including a Super-Pro 1/4 mile bracket and a Super-Pro 1/8 mile bracket. Non-E (Footbrake), Street and Motorcycle will be 1/4 mile. This information in not official and is subject to change.

Please visit State Capitol Raceway web site to see the official flyer for the event to get more information.

 

Tray Morris Turns Two!

Birthday Party - June 1, 2014

 

 

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