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.