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Top Doorslammer Rules & Schedule - 2010

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Update 3/20/10

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Skip's History
(Start of Skip's Book)

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Family

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(Skip & Barbara)

Cynthia
Oliver, III
Sarah
Glenn
Larry
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Melissa

Grandchildren

Adrien (Cynthia)
Danielle

Catherine (Oliver)
1st Great-Grandaughter
Olivia Underwood
(Catherine)

Crystal (Sarah)
Edward
Micah

Marcus (Glenn)
Matthew
Jacqueline

Tyler (Larry)
Tynesha
Jeremiah
Isaiah
Gabriel

(Melinda)
Barbara
Jeremy
Lizzie
Ryland

Myeshia(Melissa) Avery

Good Friend
Preston Johnson

Mr. Skip Racing
Winter 2010

Spring 10
Summer 09    Spring 09   Winter 2008-09

March 18, 2010 - The start of March Madness! The Road Too The Final Four! I have Duke vs. Georgetown in the final, with Duke winning it all. Congratulations to (Correction: Ark. Pine-Bluff) of the SWAC for winning the "Play-in Game". They get to play Duke...
Jackson State went to the NIT.

Since the IHRA Nitro Jam, Shannun T. Walker, from Texas, and I have been exchanging information and helpful hints. I really appreciate the exchange of information. Shannun's Firebird is going to be a force to be contended with in the near future. The driver and care are clicking off some excellent numbers.

This weekend, for racers in the Baton Rouge area, is going to be a bonanza. Both State Capitol and No Problem will have events worth attending. The Cajun Sports Nationals are always an excellent choice if you want to see some good racing. I really like the AA/SA Challenge. Those Hemi Cuda's really put on a show. The Top Sportsman racers from the area always put on a good show. Earl Folse is my favorite, but Fo Fo's Camaro has been looking good lately. I was shocked by the Camaro of Mr. Benoit put on a good show at the Mardi Gras Nitro Jam and may be a sleeper.

State Capitol will have their trophy and money bracket race and test & Tune on Friday night.

The racing at State Capitol will be very exciting on Saturday. The local bracket racers will have a points race with Electronics, Non-electronics, Street, M/C and it will feature a Q-16 bracket.

There will be a Test & Tune session on Sunday for people like me that need to test for the big GM Super Show on March 26-28, 2010 at SCR.

I am going through the pain that is worse than a tooth extraction, Income Tax preparation (money extraction)!

March 16, 2010 - No Problem Raceway Park will have their big race this weekend. Here is the schedule of events (No Weds. Test & Tune):

Thu, March 18
NHRA JEGS Cajun SportsNationals  Test n Tune
Spectators $10, Racing 1-6 pm

Fri, March 19
NHRA JEGS Cajun SportsNationals
Gates:  7 am, Spectators $20 or $50 for weekend
Time Trials & Qualifying 9 am
Stock & Super Stock Class Elim. 12 noon
TS/TD/Comp Qualifying 2 & 4 pm
Exhibition runs featuring K.C. Jones Cannonball Jet Dragster
and the FAS CoonAss Top Fuel Harley Team 6 pm

Sat, March 20
NHRA JEGS Cajun SportsNationals
Gates:  7 am, Spectators $20 or $35 for weekend
Time Trials & Qualifying 9 am
Super Categories King of the Bayou 9 am
TS/TD/Comp Qualifying 10 & 12 pm
Stock/Super Stock CIC Race 1:30 pm
Holt Race Cars Hemi ShootOut 2 pm
TS/TD ShootOut 2 & 4 & 6 pm
Comp Qualifying 1 & 4 pm
Exhibition runs featuring K.C. Jones Cannonball Jet Dragster
and the FAS CoonAss Top Fuel Harley Team throughout the day

Sun, March 21
NHRA JEGS Cajun SportsNationals
Gates:  8 am, Spectators $20
Eliminations 9 am
TS/TD/Comp Round 1 Eliminations 10 am
National Anthem/Awards NOON
Eliminations continue 12:30 pm
Exhibition runs featuring K.C. Jones Cannonball Jet Dragster
and the FAS CoonAss Top Fuel Harley Team 5 pm

State Capitol Raceway Schedule for this weekend:

19th Friday  Coca Cola Trophy, ET, $ 5:00 pm
20th Saturday Summit ET/BUD Q-16 *
SCR March Schedule
Season 1, Race 4
8:00 am
21st Sunday Test -N- Tune 10:00 am

March 14, 2010 - Congratulations to Jason Reppond, winner of two races at No Problem Raceway Park over the weekend. Jason won Friday night and Saturday, driving his dragster.

I got the car back on Saturday afternoon after dropping it off in the morning at Pro-Fab to Brandon. After talking with both Sonny and Brandon, Brandon installed the QA-1, single-adjustable (12-position), shocks and then proceeded to scale the car. He found the diagonal weight off, and had to add a spacer above the front left spring and reset the valving on that same shock. He feels the car will now launch straight and not drive to the left when going down the track. I don't think it will go as high as it had been on the drivers side. The car weighs 2789 lbs. with me in the drivers seat and a full tank of gas.

Brandon set the rear shocks on "3", which is closer to soft than hard. The pistons on these shocks are almost twice as large at the old shock piston. They really look good under there. Brandon checked the spring pressure on my old 130 psi shocks and used them. We had a new set standing by, just in case.

March 12, 2010 - After thinking a few days about the IHRA Nitro Jam Mardi Gras Nationals that just took place at State Capitol Raceway, I have come to some conclusions: First of all, I had a good time!

There is room for improvement, especially in early racer parking for the event. I understand the bind the track is in to keep backed up traffic off of Highway 190. I just hope they can come up with a better arrangement next year.

Only having participated in two other national events, that does not make me an expert. I was very happy with the event format which put the "Sportsman Racer" at the top of the race activities and allowed us to get in some good time trials on Saturday. Some racers were not happy with the IHRA decision to give an extra time trial on Saturday, rather than complete round one of eliminations on Saturday. I have not been told, but I think that was due to the low car count, especially in the ET brackets.

I think we saw one of the many effects of the poor national economy. Low car count.

On the other hand, I have never seen so many spectators at a drag racing event in this area. Saturday was awesome!

The show was nice, the Drew Brees Mardi Gras float was almost a disaster when it broke down. It was a nice touch to start all the Nitro cars and let the crowd hear the noise. The Fan Fest was also a nice addition, making all the professional racers available to talk and sign autographs.

The professional format was..., different. I am not use to seeing Top Sportsman being heads-up. This way is more fan friendly and much easier for the fan to understand.

Having winners in each professional, Top Sportsman and Pro-Mod class each night is a nice touch. I would love to know what the professionals think about the pressure to perform well on the first run.

There is no limping into the next round. You are either #1 or #2. There is no #3. The winners here are going to be the "Biggest" and "Baddest" machines on the strip!

The objective of the professional program was to cut the length of the program (to around 4 hours) and give a good show. If I am not mistaken, they went from 8 cars to two cars in one round. I think both objectives were met.

As a sportsman racer, I liked being able to go into the stands and watch the professionals, pro-mods and Top Sportsman racers. We are normally sitting in the staging lanes waiting and not able to see them run.

IHRA published a run order for sportsman time trials and stuck to it. That was great. They were close (in drag racer time) to their schedule of events. Sunday they shifted ET to 1st position for eliminations. That was not good for those drivers.

The track prep was the best I have seen it at State Capitol. That proved to be my undoing, but I did learn a lot about my cars suspension.

The safety crews, staging lane, water box and starting line crews were great.

I expected to see more racing product vendors at Nitro Jam. One of the big attractions, for me, is to be able to see new equipment, talk to the expert, and to purchase directly from the on site vendors at national events.

There were some little things that were excellent and the credit must go to Lanny Lewis and his organization, along with IHRA. Have you ever seen restroom attendants at a drag strip? That was a nice touch. There were port a-potties all over the place. The extra concession stands were a big help (the prices sucked!). I had no problem with the tech. inspection. All of the IHRA people were very nice, from the credentials people, the parking people, the inspectors, and of course, Mr. Larry Crum-IHRA Manager of Media, who gave me (my car) the "Editors Choice" award!

Congratulations to IHRA, Feld Motorsports, State Capitol Raceway staff, The Lewis Companies and Track Manager, Gary Carter, on a great event!

March 11, 2010 - My shocks came in today. I arranged for Brandon to scale the car this weekend.

Nitro Jam Photos - Sunday Eliminations - 3-7-10

Nitro Jam Photos - Friday Test & Tune - 3-5-10

Kids Day At The Track - Johnson & Veal Family Kids - 2/28/2010

March 10, 2010, late - Talked to another member of my technical staff, Houston Hawkins, and he agrees with all the measures that we are taking.

Houston pointed out that the problem that he saw with the shock last Sat. was not with the actual shock, but with the attachment point and the bushing where the shock attaches to the underside of the car. All of that was loose. I did note that the metal and rubber bushing (on the top of both shocks) was in three pieces when I took them out.

Miracles happen! My TAG weather station started working again, and it retained all my old data! The TAG is about 15 years old. If it does bite the dust, I will get one of those new ones with the fan that blows the air sample over the probe. My old TAG will be hard to beat. It has been dead-on so many times I would hate to get rid of it.

I shipped my 5 year old camera off to the Kodak repair center. The Kodak P-712 Superzoom has been an excellent camera. It has features that the new ones do not have so I decided to pay for the repair rather than get a new one.

March 10, 2010, early - I talked to Sonny at "Pro-Fab", and he is going to team up with Brandon to solve my problem. We ordered QA-1 single adjustable shocks for the rear. I have 130 lbs. springs that are good.

I found all my old scale data that was done by Brandon in May of 2009. Sonny evaluated it, along with the information from my most recent runs, and is going to make recommendations on how to fix the problem.

The old shocks did not have anything wrong with them, but they were totally inadequate for the job that I was trying to make them do. This car makes too much power and torque for those shocks.

When the new shocks come in, I will install them. I may make a couple of runs to get some handling data. They can use that information to adjust the corner and diagonal weights. Sonny did not like the diagonal weight setup.

I spent most of Monday reading my 25 year old book "Door Slammers: The Chassis Book" by Dave Morgan. I learned a lot about shocks and springs. In the book, Mr. Morgan described a situation exactly like mine. Where the car leaves the line and veers to the right but then drifts over to the left wall after being put back into the groove. This is exactly what I have been doing, off and on, for the past three weeks. This may be why my MPH (148) does not match my ET (8.928).

I also talked to Mr. Van Johnson and discussed our plan for going forward from here.

I hope we get it to go straighter, run a little quicker and a few more MPH. I feel real good about where I am right now!

March 9, 2010 (3:pm): - I just removed the shocks and coil-over springs from both rear positions. There is nothing wrong with either shock...

March 8, 2010 - Photos of Mr. Skip receiving the Drag Review Magazine Editors Choice Award from Larry "Cookie" Crum - Manager - Media & Publicity IHRA Motorsports.

One of the photos should appear in DRM when they do the story on SCR Nitro Jam later in the month.

Winning the award erased all bad feelings about not being able to run in eliminations. Barbara and I enjoyed the show and watching all of our friends race. Silas Rogers, Jr. won until there was only 6 cars left in ET-Box. "Young Blood" (Keith Veal) won Runner-Up in ET-Box. Arnold Jordan's two cars ran very well and so did Shannun T. Walker of Frisco, TX in his 8 second Firebird who runs with Arnold's "Air Hogs" Racing Team. Shannun is an Quality Assurance Engineer who tests software for Oracle' Corporation.

I took the car out of the trailer and put it in the workshop to take the two rear shocks off. After I determine exactly the type of shock and coil-over spring to purchase, I will get them and have the car re-scaled. I'll probably take the car to the track and run it first so I will be able to tell the chassis man exactly what the car is doing with the new shocks and springs.

March 6, 2010 - Oh, well, so much for my racing weekend. The weather was perfect, the air was great and the track was hooking.

First the old camera stopped working. Barbara's new camera would not record good quality video, my weather station stopped working and on my first time trial, the car went dead when I tried to leave the starting line. Things went downhill from there.

The car started back up and went down the track but it seemed to be moving around a lot when I got down on it. On the second pass it went to the centerline, from the left lane, and I got out of it before the 1/8 mile. On the third time trial the same thing happened at the very start and I got out of it immediately.

We took it back to the pits and Reggie, Houston and Willie Davis went under the back and found the right rear shock was shot. Reggie noticed the right coil-over spring was not in the correct position, and Houston and Willie Davis determined the shock was the problem. This was the cause of all my handling problems.

We never did figure out what caused the car to cut off on the first time trial, right at the line, but it did not happen again all day.

I was disgusted and embarrassed all day. In the Navy, we had a saying about our ships. It was, "Run it may, shine it must!". The car looked good all day, even when it was not running its best.

I decided not to run in eliminations on Sunday.

I will get a new set of coil-over shocks for the rear, have the car scaled and be ready for the next Top Doorslammer event.

The best part of the whole day was being chosen as the "Editors Choice" for an IHRA award from the manager of DRM magazine. I will be interviewed and have a photo taken on Sunday morning before the racing program begins.

March 4, 2010 - I am ready for a full weekend of racing! I charged the batteries, put a new radiator cap on, with no relief lever and changed the jets in the carb ever so slightly.

I am trying to lower the EGT from 1350 degrees down to 1200 - 1275 degrees. I went from 88/89 jets (Jegs) to 892/893 (Holley precision jets). The change is so small, it probably won't make a difference.

I checked for leaks under the car. It was dry as a bone, for once. Checked all the pan bolts, the steering connections and the flywheel and starter bolts. Everything was tight. I put retention straps on my breather caps. Added a little brake fluid to the front reservoir.

My next challenge is getting a parking space, if we ever determine how to get our fees paid. I have been trying for two days. Today I got a number. Tomorrow I get to pay and park.

Passing inspection is the final challenge.

March 3, 2010 - Videos: Silas Rogers, Jr. Nova - 2/28/10

Van Johnson - Run #2;   Run #3

Reggie Jackson - Dragster Testing

Mr. Skip - Testing - 2/28/10

I put the new letters on the windows and cleaned up the inside windows of the car. You will have to wait to see what class I selected.

Had a long talk with engine builder, Bryon Durham. He feels that I have hit very close to the best tune-up for my combination. He did have a few suggestions to get a few more thousandths out of the car. I just want to stay under 8.99 in the heat of Summer. My experience says the car will fall off about .15 - .20 sec. in the Summer. Houston thinks I will stay below 8.99 no matter what. We will see. The engine only has 17 runs, and may get a little stronger as it gets more broken in.

March 2, 2010 - At Sunday's Test & Tune, Van Johnson, Silas Rogers and Reggie Jackson were testing their cars. Van will be working for the March 5-6 race. Silas will compete in Hot Rod class. Reggie was testing his new dragster and made a few good passes in his quest for his competition license.

I had an interesting email from Charlie Robinson on what I should do about picking a class. His logic is excellent. He suggested that I run in Hot Rod Class (10.90). I would run on the .500 pro tree and my speed would be excellent for that class. My only problem is the throttle stop. I have all the old settings, but that was with my 540 engine, with a lot less power. I don't think two time trials is enough to dial that thing in.

My friend Lacey came over yesterday morning, before the big rain, and helped me get the car out of the trailer. We re-arranged my workshop before putting the car into it. Toolboxes, shelves and misc. items were moved to improve the accessibility. It will make it much easier to work in there and save some steps.

I replaced one DZUS fitting on the trunk and reworked another one. I hope they stay in place. I am wishing I had the old hood pins. I will have some extra DZUS's at the track.

We went out to Central Graphics and got some new letters and numbers for the car. The IHRA rule book says the letters must be at least 4" high and on all 4 sides. Here is a place where the race organizations should have the same rules.

Feb. 28, 2010 - Just returned from the Sunday T&T at SCR. I have never seen so many people and cars at a T&T! I was told it was over 180 cars testing.

Due to multiple spills, and new racers not getting over to the side after they have a problem, we had a lot of waiting time. I only got two runs in 5.5 hours.

I did get to practice on the .400 pro tree. The first pass had a RT of .097 sec., with all zeros in the box. The 2nd pass RT was slightly better, .079 sec.. For a person that has not seen a .400 pro tree since 2002 at the Houston Spring Nationals, I think I did fairly well.

The car ran a 8.962 and a 8.970. One from the right lane and the other from the left. The only change was to increase the shift RPM from 6800 to 7000 for the 2nd run.

The car had an excellent (for me) 60' on the second pass of 1.252 vs. 1.275 on the 1st pass , but the car only ran 8.970. I don't think the car (converter) likes the 7000 shift point. So much for the R-M article.

The 1.252 was my best ever 60' time. As Houston would say, the car took off and "laid out"! I determined a few things today. The wheelie bars are at the right height. The gas tank was topped off for both runs today and I ran 7.75 psi air pressure all day.

Now I have a choice to make. Should I run Super Pro, Quick Rod or Super Rod this coming weekend? I would have to put the throttle stop on to run Super Rod and I have not practiced with that since 2002. It may not work any more. I will think about it for a few days and decide by Thursday. Photos

Feb. 27, 2010 - After consulting with my executive committee, Van and Houston, we have determined the following: Since I ran the first run with only 1.5 gal. of gas, and the 2nd and 3rd runs had a full (5 gal.) fuel cell, and the car went straight and was not as violent, we will run with a full tank of fuel.

Tomorrow at T & T, we will make a baseline pass with no changes from last week. Then we will lower the air pressure in the slicks, 1/4 psi., from 8 psi to 7.75 psi, to see how that effects 60' times. The last thing, we will try is to raise the wheelie bars, from 7.5" to 8.5", to see how that effects 60' times.

The real purpose of going to T&T tomorrow is to practice on the .400 Pro Tree. I have been practicing at home, but there is nothing like the real thing!

I don't care to have the front end way up in the air, but if that's what the car likes, I may have to be satisfied.

Van had me read the R-M web site in the "Tech Talk" section, article #45, on engine RPM. I will do some variation of engine RPM, after the March 5-6th race, to see if it will help get the ET down. Right now I am very, very happy with the engine, transmission and converter.

Feb. 26, 2010 - I may try to run at the Mardi Gras Nationals at SCR in Quick Rod (8.90) class. I already have the number, license and chassis inspection. Don't need to use my throttle stop if all I can run is 8.93. I should put some pressure on the throttle stop guys as they come up on me at over 180-200 MPH.

I will be practicing on the .400 pro tree Sunday. That will determine what I do for sure. The deadline for registering for the ET class is Monday, March 1, 2010. It will be limited to 64 cars.

Feb. 25, 2010 - A series of good photos of "Mr. Skip" leaving the line! (1st pass - 8.975 sec.). The left rear tire is not making much contact with the track. This may be caused by a bad shock on that side in the rear. The whole left side of the car is much higher than the right side. Talked about that earlier. Wheelie bars are planted.

Charlie took some excellent photos! Thanks! http://public.fotki.com/bear4751/

Feb. 24, 2010 - Now that my head has returned to normal size, I am back on Earth, and the euphoria of running my first "8" is ALMOST gone, I am now looking at what went wrong during the Top Doorslammer race.

First of all, I preach all the time about having a routine that you must stick too when you leave your pit to go up to make your pass. My big mistake was making the long burn-outs over the starting line. Although it is accepted in Top Doorslammer, it is not a part of my regular routine.

On my first time trial, I went over the starting line by mistake and had to back up, then move forward. I did it quickly and pressed the Trans-brake button. The car rolled forward slightly and caused me to deep stage (Pre-stage light went out). I backed up again, staged, after a pause, and made the pass.

I have two T/B buttons, one that goes through the delay box and the other by-passes the delay box and goes straight to the T/B. I did not use the by-pass button all day (to back up). Another mistake.

Fast fwd. to the first round of eliminations. When I burned out over the line, I backed up and tried to stage, but went too far in. I backed up quickly and still had the top light on. I moved in, turned on the 2nd light and pressed the T/B button. The car rolled fwd. again and put out the top light. At that point I was so frustrated that I just floored the accelerator and took off too early.

After thinking long and hard about what happened, here is the final analysis.

My car has a Pro Trans-brake. You must press the T/B button to back up when you are in reverse (another reason not to do a long burnout). My car also has a delay, that can be set by me, that locks out the T/B button for a set amount of seconds when you are in low gear after the button is released. I have mine set at 6 seconds. If you are in high gear, the T/B will not work. If you are in low gear, the T/B button will work once, then it is locked out for 6 seconds, then it will work again. You must wait for it to time out.

I thought I had forgot to put the shifter back in low gear and that was why I rolled through the lights. That was not the case. I distinctly remember checking to make sure I was in low gear on the elimination run. That lock-out prevented the T/B from engaging and when I pressed the button and lifted my foot from the brake, the car rolled out of the staged beam.

Back to, "Doing my routine". If I had staged the way I normally stage, without burning out across the line, I would have made good, clean, passes without all the drama. I may have lost, but it would have been a good race.

Feb 22, 2010 - Still on cloud nine (eight)! I removed the alternator, for good right now, and took the broken piece of bolt out of the block. I used "The Right Stuff" to reseal the motor plate and put the water pump back on. I don't plan any other changes for right now. That's how pleased I was with the performance of the car.

You Tube Video of first 8 sec. run (8.975 @ 147.42 MPH).

After reviewing the photos and videos that Barbara made, I do want to tighten up the left front shock. I want to lower the amount of rise of the left front wheel when I leave the line. I need a good video of the wheelie bars, leaving the line under full throttle, before I change the shock. It may be better to let the right side come up more??? We will try both adjustments and keep an eye on the 60' times for the best solution.

Feb. 21, 2010 - Photos from SCR on Saturday 2-20-10.

Feb. 20, 2010 - Drum roll please! Da-Ta-Da!

8.938 @ 148.07 MPH for Skip!
Skip Celebrates 8 Camaro 8 sec run Mr Skip's Camaro 2-20-10

I can retire right now from driving! This feels better than the first nine second run back in 1999 when I got my first NHRA License (That's right, my first nine was when I made my license passes).

Today, I came out of the trailer with a 8.975 @ 147.42 MPH. The second pass was the 8.938. I did not fair too well in eliminations. I had a horrible red light against my good friend, Charlie Robinson in Top Doorslammer.

The few little changes that I made, plus the excellent air, is what got me down in the eights. I had put the BG 1090 back on with 88 square jets (removed the Holley 1150 with 90 sq. jets), I had put the 1" Super Sucker 4- hole spacer on top of the 1" open spacer and reset the front shocks to allow the front end to come up a little more. I had also changed from regular 20w-50 oil to Mobil-1 15w-50 motor oil. I had removed the muffler inserts from the collector and removed a 1" bar that went directly in front of each collector, possibly causing a restriction. For the first run I had 1.5 gallon of Sunoco Supreme gas in the fuel cell because that is what I have been running for the past 8 months. For the second run I switched to VP C-14 gas. I think the difference in times was in the lanes and the 60 ft. times, 1.292 vs. 1.270 sec.. My car(s) always runs quicker in the left lane at SCR. Don't ask me why, I just know it's true from racing there for over 21 years. The drive train was warmed up for the 2nd pass and the air (DA) was slightly better.

The engine (upgraded to 555 and overhauled by Skip) ran perfect all day. My small cam, .748/.748, small heads, Dart Pro One 345's and small carb., BG 1090, did the trick.

I would like to install some 4.33:1 gears, which I already own, and purchase some new M/T slicks. I think those two changes would put me close to the mid-eights.

At the end of the day, I had a water leak from the water pump, behind the motor plate, that was caused by a broken bolt. This bolt supports the alternator and is the bottom bolt on the water pump. I will remove the water pump this week coming, remove the broken bolt and replace it with a new one.

I made several driving errors at the starting line today. All of which were due to lack of seat time over the past 8 months. I had made only 12 passes since July 2009 and none in the past 3 months.

I got my IHRA Chassis Certification today! Now I am legal everywhere.

Did I mention that I am the happiest person in Baton Rouge!?

Thanks to all the people that congratulated me today. It was greatly appreciated!

Feb. 18, 2010 - 8.75 @ 154.23 MPH! Wow! This was not me! Although I wish it was. These numbers belong to Mr. Van Johnson of New Iberia, LA. The Chevelle is really getting on down the road.

Van, Chandra, Terry and Preston took the car out this past weekend to both SCR test & tune on Sunday and the Mardi Gras race at No Problem Raceway Park on Tuesday.

Van reports that everything is working to perfection. This was the first time out for the car since June 2009. Congratulations Van!

Feb. 16, 2010 - "Thank You". These are two of the most important words that we speak.

During the past few months I have helped several people with real small problems. It always warms my heart when they call to say, "Thank you". Over the weekend, Reggie called to ask me to set the floats on his BG carb.. When I returned home, he called and thanked me. Church members that I shot photos of and gave them a print, called to say "Thanks". We invited some friends over for Super Bowl, they sent a thank you note.

The door swings both ways. I often need help from racers, church members, neighbors and my wife. I try to remember to thank them for helping me.

Today, my "Upper Room" daily meditation was about Spiritual Gifts. We all have different gifts and God has given those gifts to us to use to help carry out the things that He wants us to do.

Because we can make choices for ourselves ("free will"), we do not always do what God wants us to do. But is that really true? Many times we go off on a path that we want to follow only to find someone in need of help that only we can provide. Have you heard the gospel song, "Order My Steps". The words say it all.

In 1 Corinthians 12, we find a good explanation of spiritual gifts. Is everyone able to be a welder? Can all of us do electrical work? Are we all able to frame a house? Can you get up and speak before a small group or a thousand people at a convention? How about finances and bookkeeping? We all have different gifts.

Last week I talked to Mr. Hall Davis, one of the members of the "Nubian Kruzers United" motorcycle club of Baton Rouge. I told Hall how much I just love the work that these men are doing in the Baton Rouge community. Keep up the good work!

The Kruzers are a fine example of, diversity, use of spiritual gifts and doing Gods work. The members are from all walks of life and they use their talents to serve the organization and the community. The just happen to ride motorcycles. "Thank You"!

Feb. 13, 2010 - Reggie's BB Mopar engine is started! Sounds very good and strong. With a little help from friends, Henry Bell and Willie "Mailman" Davis, the engine came to life. After setting the carb, topping off the transmission, setting the timing and checking for leaks, Reggie is one happy person. Congratulations Reggie!

Feb. 12, 2010 - And the snow fell in South Louisiana! Beautiful, beautiful. And then it was all gone. I got to spend the day with my wife, inside, just looking out at the nice blanket of snow resting on the ground.

Earlier this week, I ordered flowers to be sent to Barbara's job. Since the state workers were allowed to stay home today, the flowers were delivered to the house. She was surprised and happy to get them.

Tonight we will attend a Valentine's dinner at Jordan United Methodist Church. Every year the men of Jordan give a dinner for all the women of the church. The men prepare all the food and serve the women. They normally have a short show, play some couples games and just honor the women. We will go out to eat on Sunday to cap off the Valentine's weekend. I Love My Wife!

I would not attempt to race on this Sunday, Valentine's Day, or Mother's Day fro that matter. That's what Father's Day is for! I can do what I want to do then. Many racers don't like to race on Father's Day, and for good reasons. They want to stay home, or go out with the family, and be pampered by the wife and children. That's a good thing! We all have different opinions and values. Some racers don't race on Sunday, period.

Feb. 10, 2010 - Today, I had a very interesting conversation with Attorney R. Randolph, an old racing friend. We had not seen each other in almost a year. We stood outside at Cortana Mall, in the cool weather, and talked about racing, web sites, our churches, children, the military, the VA and a host of other subjects, for over 45 mins.. I invited him over to see the workshop and to continue our conversation. I am looking forward to his visit.

I am not looking forward to the weather tomorrow. The predicted "Wintry Mix" is not what I want to see. After spending 2 years in upstate New York, shoveling snow daily to get to the car, then shoveling the snow from the back of the car out to the street, cleaning the windshield and other windows so you can see out, and fighting with the snow drifts that the snowplows make, I don't care if I every see another flake of snow.

I had a call from my oldest son today. He is in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D. C., and he has not been to work since last Friday. All the government offices are shut down due to the snow.

On a not so good note. My grandson Marcus, who is enrolled in Azusa Pacific University, and was the starting Left Tackle on the varsity as a true freshman, has injured his back in a weightlifting accident. His football career is over, according to the school doctors. Marcus will still be allowed to take advantage to his full scholarship after he recovers. We are praying that Marcus has a full and speedy recovery.

Feb. 7, 2010 - I never thought I would live to see the Saints as Superbowl Champions! Let the Mardi Gras parties began! New Orleans will never be the same. Congratulations to the Saints, the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana!

Saints - 31 Colts - 17

Who Dat?      NFL Champions!

Congratulations Coach Payton, Drew Brees, Garrett Hartley (three 40+ yd. field goals),Thomas Morstead (Kick Off Specialist) Chris Reis (recovered onside kick), Tracy Porter [interception(s)], P. Thomas, Shockey, Henderson, Colston, Bush, Moore and all the Saints, especially the DEFENSE! Geaux Saints!

Feb. 6, 2010 - I went over to Reggie's to look at the headers. They look very good mounted on the engine. He is making some last minute adjustments and a few things to tie up loose ends and he should be ready to start up tomorrow.

I will be knee deep in cooking for the Superbowl. Go Saints!

Menu for Superbowl: Large pot of Gumbo; Spaghetti and Meat Sauce; Chicken Wings; Baby Back Ribs; Potato Salad; King Cake and Rice.

Right now I am getting ready to watch Danica Patrick in her NASCAR debut. She will be starting from the 10th position in the 200 mile ARCA Race at Daytona.

Mark Martin and Dale Jr. just qualified for the Daytona 500 at #1 & #2 pole positions. The rest of the field will be set by the order of finish in the twin 125 mile races this coming Thursday at the speedway. I have seen these races in person. They are very exciting.

Being from Daytona Beach, I grew up attending the races on the old beach-road course down at the inlet. Those races were really exciting. I always sat in the car at the North Turn on the beach, in the infield, and would run from the beach side over to the road side to watch the cars come off of turn two. My dad was a Daytona Beach policeman and always got "Press Passes" for the race.

One month later, I would be right back at the track watching the Motorcycles compete in the 200 mile motorcycle event. All of this took place back in the late 40's to mid 50's. I entered the Navy in 1956. I just happened to be home for the 57 race, which was won by a Pontiac that year.

I have only been to one Daytona 500 at the present speedway, I think it was 1973, Richard Petty won when Kale Yarbourgh's car blew up during the last few laps, after leading all day. When Kale's car let out a big puff of black smoke, the crowd cheered because they knew King Richard was in 2nd place and would go on to win the race. The people in Daytona loves Richard and always cheered him to victory. He remains as popular today as he was when he was driving.

I attended the twin 100 mile races in 1990 (before they changed it to 125 miles). That is the most excitement that you can pack into a little over 30 minutes, well, almost...

Feb. 5, 2010 - Reggie got his headers back and they are assembled. They should be in place by the time you read this.

I had planned to go to the track on Sat. but I changed my mind. No good reason, just don't feel like going. I will help Reggie start up his engine.

I finished the modification of the transmission cross-member, with a little help from my friends. Alvin's son, Devin, a welder by trade, helped me straighten out my design. He made the last four cuts and welded everything perfectly. I came home, and with Reggie's help, we installed the part. Now both headers exhaust to the rear with no restriction. Alvin thinks that may have been coasting me a few horsepower. Remember, I only need 0.014 sec. to make it into the 8's)!

Monday, I was elected to the Trustee Board of my church (Shiloh Missionary B. C. of Port Allen, LA). The vote was 29 to 28, in my favor!

Feb. 3, 2010 - I went over to Reggie Jackson's home last night and helped him set the valves on his Mopar dragster engine. The dragster is coming right along. He only has a short list of to-do items, and they should not take very long. The only part that he is waiting for are the headers. They have to come from Streamline. They should be here in a day or so. After start-up, he plans to go to the track within this month of February. I can't wait!

Feb. 1, 2010 - Photos from SCR's Test & Tune Sunday.

Jan. 31, 2010 - I went to State Capitol Raceway Sunday to their T & T.

The track will open on Friday, Feb. 5th for Trophy Bracket and testing. The first Summit Bracket Race will be on Sat. Feb. 7, 2010.

In addition to the T & T today, they ran a "Top 8 Shootout" in Q-16, S/P, Non-E and Motorcycle. They took the top 8 cars from qualifying in each bracket and let them run a bracket race. I think it will be very popular in the coming weeks.

There were a few very nice looking cars that were new to the facility.

The Top 8 Shootout was fun to watch. I did not ask what the entry fee to run in the bracket, or if there is an extra charge. I also don't know what the winners get. When I take my car out there, I will get the details because I will be more than a spectator.

I purchased 10 gals. of C-14 today.

Jan. 30, 2010 - I decided not to take the car to the track. It was too cold for me. I may go the the T & T on Sunday, but no car.

I need to purchase some gas and while I'm there, I'll shoot a few photos.

Jan 28, 2010 - My wife purchased a Saints ball cap and three Saints shirts. I purchased two more T-shirts to go with my old, faded, Saints pull-over warm-up and my New Orleans ball cap (I threw away (donated to Goodwill) my old #2 "Brooks" jersey a few years ago!) I may purchase a new #12 "Colston" jersey.

I removed the battery from the right side of the car and prepared the spot for welding the battery bracket back on.

Safety note: When you have two batteries in parallel, you must be very careful when you disconnect them. Don't let that positive cable touch ground. The positive (+) cable is hot until you disconnect both positives from both batteries. To be very safe, disconnect the ground cables on both batteries.

Another little safety note from an old submarine sailor: If you have short wrenches that will reach from the positive terminal over the the negative terminal of your battery, use them to do your work on batteries AND tape off the end that you are not using. You don't want to let that wrench get shorted between the positive (+) post or cable and the negative (-) post or any ground (hold down bolts, battery bracket, fender well, trunk or tail light housing).

I finished welding the bracket and everything is back to normal.

Jan. 27, 2010 - I just took another look at SCR schedule. They will be running this Friday night with a Coca-Cola money and trophy ET program.

SCR will have their first regular Summit Bracket Race with Q-16 and a Quick 8 Shootout, along with a Pro T & T on Sat., January 30, 2010 (when the weather looks real good). I am going to try to make the Saturday event!

SCR will also have a T & T on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010.

Saints 31
(NFC Champs) Geaux Saints!

Vikings - 28

Superbowl prediction: Saints 35 - Colts 28

As the announcer on TV said when the ball split the uprights: "The Pigs Are Flying"!

Tracy Porter (#22) of Port Allen, LA! Local hometown hero makes good!

Congratulations to Tracy Porter, "Blue" Gay, also a local West Side product and former LSU player, and all the Saints.

Jan. 26, 2010 - It's two days later and I still can't believe the Saints are going to the Super Bowl! I thought I would never live to see the day!

At halftime, I said this is going to come down to Peterson and Favre making turnovers. The old gunslinger made the pass that QB's are told in high school to never try. Across your body, back to the center of the field (he has done it many times, sometimes good, sometimes bad). I feel sorry for Peterson, all that talent and can't hold onto the ball. Coach Childress says, the risks are worth the rewards with Peterson. He may have to re-evaluate that.

Today I started the car with the overhauled BG 1090 Carb on the engine. It also has the double spacers under it (one open and one 4-hole). Everything looked and sounded good. The engine was very crisp and responsive. I had excellent oil pressure and it heated up to a good temp. and held it steady. After the run, I removed some plugs on each side and they look OK. All of them were consistent. Dark, but not sooty black.

Looking at the weekend weather, I don't think I will be going to the track, at least not with the car, until it warms up a little. Prediction for Sunday is in the 40's for the high. The car would not like that, and I know I would not.

I found a broken battery mount on the right side in the trunk. That is the one that I cut off and rewelded myself. I will try it again.

Jan. 22, 2010 - Barbara and me went to Mike Anderson's Seafood today. I had the "South Louisiana Seafood Combo": Fried shrimp, crawfish, stuffed crab, oysters, hush puppies, baked potato, cold slaw and catfish fillet. I could not eat it all and had to bring out a "doggie bag". I will be the dog tonight!

Did you see the special TV show last night on Haiti? It was great! Some of the best music I have heard. The performers put their all into each song. It is for a good cause. The show's music is available at iTunes. It will be worth every dollar given to help the people of Haiti.

Jan. 21, 2010 - I had a visit from Mr. Johnny Tate today. Just a friendly visit to talk about his car. I expect Johnny to crack the 9 second barrier this coming season.

I have been working on my car over the past few days. I removed the muffler inserts, reset the shock valuing in the front shocks to allow the front end to come up a little more. While the car was up on the jack stands, I noticed the wheelie bar wheels were still about 2" off the ground, with the front end jacked up about 12". This is more than I wanted the front to come up. I will lower the wheelie bars from the current 7.5" to around 5". I think that will be good.

I changed the oil. Since I don't have a dip stick, I measured all the oil that drained out of the pan. I had put in 7 qts. plus the filter was full. The oil had 22 passes (wrong, 10 passes). I recovered 7 qts. of oil. The engine only has 12 passes.

After I finished Reggie's carb., it looked so good, I decided to overhaul my BG carb. It has been over three years since I went through it.

I talked to Bryon Durham about my distribution problem (that I determined was OK the way it is). He recommended I try a second 1" open spacer under the 4 hole spacer. To make that work, I had to cut 4 more, all-thread, posts to allow all of that to fit under the carb.. Another trip to Lowe's netted a 3 ft. length of the correct size all-thread. I have them cut and in place, just waiting on me to finish the carb rebuild.

Jan. 17, 2010 - Please send whatever you can afford to the people in Haiti. My church is sending a special offering to the Red Cross to help out.

Discover Card is making it very easy to give a portion of your earned "Cash Back Bonus" to the cause. I donated all of mine (Discover Cash Back) to the Red Cross. Just log on to the Discover Card web site to donate.

Jan. 17, 2010 - Go Saints!

Now that we know the Saints will play the Vikings for the NFC Championship, we are getting ready to watch the Saints in Miami at the Super Bowl!

Super Bowl prediction: Saints 45 - Jets 13 (This was just not to be 1/24/10).

Jan. 14, 2009 - I have been working on Reggie Jackson's BG 1090 DR Carb that will go on his dragster. The dragster is almost finished and should be on the track for testing in the next few months. I received the kit for the carb yesterday. The carb parts are soaking and will be cleaned today. I should be done by tomorrow with the cleaning, assembly and settings.

After I finish with that, I will go back to work on "Mr. Skip", since the weather is turning a little warmer. I have to change my oil and do a little welding job on my transmission support that goes under the trans. tail shaft. I am going to change the settings on the two front shocks to allow the front end to come up a little more. I am trying to improve my 60 ft. a little without letting the car get too violent. Right now it comes straight out, only lifting the front wheels about 2-3 inches off the ground. I would like to have it come up about 6-10 inches. The best 60 ft. time has been, 1.278 sec..

Jan. 12, 2010 - Top Doorslammer Information - 2010

Rules
8.99 or Faster
No Throttle Stops
Top Sportsman Qualifying & Ladder Format

Entry Fee & Payout's
Entry Fees-- $100.00
Payouts---- 100% of entry fees
Winner Trophy For Each Race Supplied by O'Reilly Auto Parts

Points System

Entry – 10 (purchase tech card)

First round loser – 10 (must stage)

Second round loser – 10

Third round loser – 10

Fourth round loser – 10

Winner – 10

Bonus Points will be the same system

Racers can claim a maximum of 6 races for their points total. Racers can run all 8 events and drop their 2 lowest points races.

Race Dates

1. Saturday Feb. 20th

2. Saturday April 3rd

3. Saturday April 17th

4. Saturday May 1st

5. Saturday June 5th

6. Saturday September 4th

7. Saturday October 2nd

8. Saturday October 30th - Finals @ The Battle On The Bayou

Racers can claim a maximum of 6 races for their points total. Racers can run all 8 events and drop their 2 lowest points races.

Year Ends Points Bonus
Mike McGee with DA'SHOP FAB Is Putting Up
$300 1st
$200 2nd
$100 3rd

Mr Boo Boo with American Towing Is Putting Up
$100 1st
$100 2nd
$100 3rd

$100.00 Gift Certificate From Doucet Speed & Custom For Class Winner

Racepics.net and O'Reilly Auto Parts will have A Championship Trophy Made

Jan. 11, 2010 - I have been having fun with the new camera, if you call fun shooting hundreds of poor quality photos and trying to determine what's needed to get it right. With my little low price Kodak P712 Super Zoom camera, I would take 100 photos and have 90 good ones. With this new camera, I shoot 100 photos and only have 8-10, really sharp, excellent, photos. I will keep on trying. I can feel the potential of this Nikon D90 camera, I just have to become proficient in its use.

I have been challenged by the new JVC Hard Disk Drive Camcorder. It is not as simple as I had anticipated. Mastering the software to get the completed video from the camcorder into the computer and edited is not easy. As I get use to the procedures and the new software, I hope to speed up my video editing. I like the camcorder. You can go straight from the camcorder to You Tube, if you want too. The camcorder has excellent picture quality (HD) and it is a very good size and very easy to use. I like it!

Nothing doing on the car. I am almost finished with the waxing of the whole car. I fixed the window net so it is easier to put up.

It has been so cold in South Louisiana and the whole eastern part of the nation, I have not wanted to go out and do anything. It was 19 degrees in Baton Rouge this morning!

The two drag strips in our area were suppose to open this past week. I don't know if anyone was brave enough to go out there. The weather does not look too good for this coming weekend. It may rain.

Jan. 7, 2010 - Roll Tide!

Photography equipment: My church, Shiloh Missionary B. C. of Port Allen, LA, purchased new camera and camcorder equipment this past December. I now have state of the art camera equipment (prosumer).

I was given a budget and authorized to purchase whatever I thought I needed for the churches web site and to take photos in the church. I now have a new Nikon D90 camera and JVC 60 gb HDD camcorder. I also have many nice accessories and a nice zoom lens to go along with the camera.

You know this equipment will find its way to the drag strip. I can justify that because I am learning how to use the new equipment!

Speaking of learning, I learned a very valuable lesson when I purchased the zoom lens for the camera. I should have ordered the lens from the same vendor as the camera. I also should have spoken to someone before I finalized my purchase. I now own a "Gray Market" zoom lens. I got a real good price, but I don't have a USA warranty and I am not eligible for a rebate ($70). I found that out when I tried to register the lens and was told that my lens was not "in there system". This is one of the hazards of using the price grabber sites on the internet.

Jan. 5, 2010 - I am still watching football! I was happy for Boise State knocking off TCU. Now all I want to see is Alabama beat Texas. Since I am in Baton Rouge, and next door to Texas, that is not a very popular position. Mrs. Barbara even wants to see "Little Nicky" lose! You know all (or almost all) LSU fans want to see Alabama lose. There are some LSU fans, like me, that want the SEC teams to win no matter what.

I am trying to motivate myself to finish waxing the car. I also want to modify the window net to make it easier to put up when I am in the car, with no help. I am going to remove the muffler inserts from the collectors. I think they may be costing me some horsepower.

The last thing I am going to do is try some VP Racing Fuel. All I need for my engine is C-14 since I only have 13.5:1 compression ratio. In the past, I have seen a decrease in ET when I switched back to VP. With a best ever ET of 9.12 sec., I only need a little help, 0.13 sec., to get into the eights (then I can go back to the less expensive fuel).

I have been playing with some computer simulation software during the holidays. One is a dyno simulation and the other is a drag simulation. The two programs will allow you to put your simulated engine, which is custom built to match the specs. of my 555 BBC engine, into a simulated body and chassis that has all the dimensions of my Camaro. I can even put the specs. of my exact cam, straight from Comp Cams cam files, into the engine simulator. Head flow data can be entered if you have it or you can just tell it the type heads that you have. Different types of headers and intakes can be selected. You must be honest and not lie to the program for best results on your base engine.

I get instant recalculation when I change components or specifications. There are time slips for 1/4 mile and 1/8 mile drags. You also get horsepower and torque curves compared to your baseline engine. You can also figure out the best shift points. There are more tables and engine information than I know what to do with. You get all the dyno sheet information for each combination. The instruction book for each program is over 100 pages each.

These programs are addictive! I have spent a lot of time during the past two weeks working on different engine combinations and "what-ifs".

According to the Drag Sim, I should be running 8.78 sec. in my current configuration. Somewhere I am losing 0.34 sec.! My current horsepower is just under 800.

The program says, if I go back to my old cam (removed in Oct. 2009) I would gain 49 more horsepower. The program assumes everything is working at 100%, which is most likely not the case for my car and engine.

January 1, 2010 - Happy New Year!

Summer 2009

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