2012 ADRL Gateway Drags IV Presented by CarSafe
"We Really Hate BIG Black Clouds"
(6-13-2012) Hagerstown, MD - So one more ADRL race has been attended and back in the thick of the what the heck can go wrong NEXT scenario! We left Maple Grove feeling positive about the Appalachia on Steroids Pro Extreme Camaro. We felt that we had finally turned the performance corner with our car and were headed onward and upward.
We tested at Royce Miller's Maryland International Raceway two weeks before the St Louis event and we were really confident that we had hit on something our car really liked. The first hit gave up only a 3.82 but it was attached to a 200.45 MPH speed. That was the FIRST speed over 200 for us in THREE years outside of one at Dave Hance's Shakedown at Etown race a few years back in mineshaft air. We made a few little changes and that produced a 3.78 at 199.78. The front half improved a bunch and we thought we were on to something. We put the orange gal away and headed home full of optimism.
I took the time to make a stop at VP Racing fuels in Terre Haute, IN to spend a bit of time with our friend and supporter, Jason Rueckert and to pick up some of that great GO-JUICE! Then it was on to the Gateway City, St Louis, Missouri. The other half of Stanley & Weiss Racing resides in Kirkwood, Missouri and we knew we had to do the "assistant financier" of our operation proud. We did a display for the ADRL at a car wash in Granite City, IL to help promote the race that was very well attended.
Even the local constabulary came by and spent some time with us. Always give these guys and gals a tip of your hat because they have a tough row to hoe at times.
Friday morning dawned chilly and blustery but it was a beautiful sunny day none the less. Our first qualifier was made with the exact same setup as at MIR and it rewarded us with a 3.82 AGAIN at 200.32! The front part was VERY weak but that was easily changed as we had proven at MIR. So the changes were made and off to the second qualifier we went. At the flash of the yellow bulbs John Stanley was off like a shot! The 60 foot improved .043 and the Camaro had the wheels skimming the surface of the great track afforded us. Till about 1.7 in when our blower backfire AGAIN caught our attention! "There is NO WAY that thing can be that lean" were the first words out of mouth to our GREAT crew as we headed off to pick up John in the bottom end.
And no it wasn't lean! The data showed us a large spike in the boost and RPMs and then the blower "left the building"! We checked things out and found an intake valve stem raised up so off with that head it was to discover the head of the intake valve buried in the intake port! And of course the valve seat was gone as well and those pieces swapped sides which meant off with the other head to get the bits out, swap a rod/piston assembly, a head and go back together for the last qualifier. This we accomplished and after a warm-up to be sure all was well, we had no leaks and the wheels went round frontwards and backwards, off to the lanes we went. At the hit of the throttle in the burnout the car jumped up on the tires BUT when John plugged it into second gear it seemed as if it jumped out of gear!
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, back to the pits, take it apart again only to find that the center was twisted out of the flywheel!! Leave it to us to find that one thing to screw up a run! We borrowed a flywheel from our fellow racers Larry and Mick Snyder to run the last qualifier till they could get us a new one this week to go back in the car. And that, as well was to no avail as the heat and track conditions were not at all conducive to us bumping into a 3.77 field. But give it a shot we did as the Camaro ALMOST made it to the 60 foot clocks before the tires couldn't handle any more!
So now here we are preparing, ONCE AGAIN for the ADRL race in Richmond, VA in a few weeks. Joe at JanCen Engines is hard at work on repairing our great NRE head that we did our best to destroy. The new flywheel arrived from Snyder Motorsports and it and the transmission are back in the car. We will be ready once again!
Jason Scruggs made a very profound observation to me on Saturday morning when he told me we would be alright once "we got stuff to quit falling off our car"! And that is just about the crux of it! Once more wish us luck!