One Lap of America: Project One Lap – Update #9

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May 10, 2007

Source: Project One Lap

So we arrived at the hotel at 3am last night. Another really late night with little sleep ahead of us. We racked out for 3 hours, then rolled out of bed too damn early at 6am. We went to IRP/O’Reilly and walked the track. The track is long, flat and very fast. This is a track where if you know it, you’re going to go very fast and if you don’t, you’ll go real slow. It’s really hot and humid here and I was baking in my suit like a freakin hot dog.

Went out in the morning session and did fairly well, but everytime I entered turn 1, I realized I could’ve gone faster. I talked with Mike Babcock and he helped me out speed and gear wise and I picked up 6 seconds in the afternoon. Luckily it’s not a brake intensive course at all, as our brakes are still crappy. I ended up not installing any of the stuff that Stoptech sent me, as I couldn’t yesterday due to the rain. Stoptech also recommends a very aggressive bedding in procedure and we just didn’t have the time nor the space to do it. The brakes stop the car, just not all that well. At this point, so close to the end of the event, we’re just going to deal with it. Then once I get back home, the car will go directly to SCR Performance to truly find out what’s wrong so we can stop throwing parts at it.

Where I really made up some time was in the drag race. I was really looking forward to this as I’ve never drag raced before in my life and the setup at IRP is professional. They were just counting the time, so it didn’t matter if you red lighted or what your reaction time was. Even so, I tried to leave on the tree just for the experience. The first of two runs I cut a .316 reaction time and ended up with a 13.6 at 106mph. The second time I barely red lighted with a -0.86 reaction time and did a 13.0 at 111mph. I was pumped with the time as the car had the full interior and turns out I had Ed’s 50lb bag full of junk in the hatch! My 60′ times weren’t all that great 2.3’s, but I didn’t want to abuse the clutch as we still have an event tomorrow to get to. I think if I’d gotten a 2.0 or better 60′ and had done some simple weight reduction like pull the front passenger seat and the rear bench and make sure I wasn’t hauling 50lbs of lug gage with me, I would’ve gotten a 12.5 1/4 mile. Even so, I’m very pleased with my results for the very first time doing it as we ended up 16th overall!

Had some carnage at the track today, a TT went off into the wall and ripped up it’s front end. Unfortunately just the day before the same guy had broken his Beetle race car (crazy car, VR6 twin turbo, all wheel drive) so this was the 2nd car he broke in a 24 hour period. It came into the paddock on a forklift! The other car was a Neon SRT4 that hit the tire wall hard enough to break the rear suspension, leaving the right rear tire askew. That was too bad, as he was in the top 5 overall. The Viper that was leading the event lost it’s clutch, but they replaced it in the paddock on jack stands in 1.25 hours! They’re just out of the overall lead, so tomorrow at Mid-Ohio should be interesting!

Tonight was a very short 260 mile drive to Mid Ohio, so we took the opportunity for the first time all week to have a real sit down dinner. The Babcocks joined us for a steak and we had a great time swapping stories and joking around. After that it was on the road to Mid-Ohio. We rolled into the hotel at 11:30 and it’s going to be nice get a full nights rest and have a good shower. Unfortunately they were out of roll aways, so we just got a second room and put Ed up in it, as he cuts enough lumber to singe handedly deforest the Amazon. Just checked the results and we’ve moved up to 35th overall. Time to hit the sack, more updates tomorrow.


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