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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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