Time Bomb Nitro Vega Completed
Well after a very long season, the 1972 Vega of Rocky Roxlaus is completed.
After some testing at Island Dragway in Great Meadows, NJ. The team will be looking for some longer passes at the Atco, NJ Dragway in the upcoming weeks. Please read below for Keith Davidsons infamous Weekend Reports

October 24th, 2010
Island Dragway, Great Meadows, NJ

The first one...well in about a year. Not too exciting, but here goes.
This past Sunday, we brought Rockys Vega out to Island Dragway in Great Meadows NJ for its maiden voyage. Johnny and I made the 3hr trip to Rockys Sunday morning. We arrived at his shop, finished a few small odds and ends, loaded up and headed to the track. No for those who have never seen Island Dragway, its straight out of the 60s! Complete with wood bleachers and Armco guardrails! But no worries we planned on a couple quick squirts and then tear it down back at the shop. Well thru a series of events, some on our part, some on the tracks part (like multiple oil downs) we were to get 1 run in at 4pm in the afternoon. We worked thru the warm up, with no hat pressure gauge, set the BV by sight, forgot to mess with the Crawford valve. Yep and while shutting it down on gasoline, looked over and the BV linkage was spinning in circles (forgot to tighten down the jam nuts!). We buttoned stuff up and got in the lanes and waited thru multiple oil downs. The staging lane dude comes over and says "were going to run you guys last! Were running all the other cars thru the speedy dry for you!" Great I think!
I get in the car and get all the gear on, glasses fogging up, whoops, forgot to coat them! No big panic the fresh air system is hooked up. Find out now with the "moon" boots on, the tranny becomes much "wider". Clutch pedal needs to change, have to step down too much.
Well we finally get into position, and we get hooked up on the starting line. Rockys manning the starter, Johnnys got the squirt bottle and Rocky Pirrone is keeping a safe distance...lol Hes been muttering something about truck motor all day..lol She fires up and is blubbering DEAD FAT. I had put a turn out in the Crawford valve after the warm up, just to richen it up a bit. I told Johnny if it was too fat to close it off, but the BV linkage must have moved WAY too much. I pull the fuel off. We regroup and decide to have Rocky Pirrone adjust the BV as I slowly pull the fuel on. It works well enough to take a stab at it. I wait for Rocky to lower the body, let go of the brake and think "why is it not moving?" Oh yeah need to let out the clutch dummy! So we roll into the water box, hit high gear and I begin to roll onto the throttle. Well I try. Seems the throttle is in a little different area than I thought and roll clear past the tree before getting any RPMs! She pitches sideways and I roll out of it not wanting anymore drama today. The idle is a little high, I hook my foot in the pedal hook and bring it down while I come to a stop. Brakes work! Slip in into reverse and begin to back up. Johnny pops into view and is guiding me back. About 2/3 of the way back the car stops rolling. Ah, no big deal, happened to me last year with the Monza. Reach down to put it back in gear, nobody home! Johnny and Mike Hall poke there heads in, I give the cut signal and pull the fuel.
I peel off the safety gear and Rocky pokes his head in, reverser arm broke! Damn! no big deal..or so we thought. Back in the pits, Rocky discovers reverse does not feel very nice. Well, load it in the box and back to his shop. He pulls it apart , and sure enough! broken reverse planetary set! Sooooo, hopefully this Saturday well get a chance with a new reverser

October 30th, 2010
Island Dragway, Great Meadows NJ

Well not exactly what we had planned, but it is where we landed yesterday in our second test session with Rockys Vega. My buddy Johnny was busy, so we had a couple of fill in crew guys. It was an honor to have Rocky Pirrone and Lou Sgro making the trek up to Island Dragway in North Jersey for Rocky and I. Lou also brought with him Tom who was the crew chief for Jerry Smiths car, back when Jerry and I raced each other.

Rocky and I got to Island around 12:30pm, gates opened at noon. We got set up, and Lou,Rocky P., and Tom helped us get ready for the warm up. Rocky had installed an updated HD low/reverse set up in it after munching the reverse planetary last weekend. I asked Rocky P. if hed warm it up for us. I no sooner got the words out and he was in the seat!..lol. We fired it up on alky, I checked the timing and Rocky was running thru the gears. Reverse was great, forward....not so good. He brings the Rs up a bit but nuthin I pull the fuel feed line out of the hat and we then discuss what might be wrong.

Rocky P, Lou and I decided to pull the trans and check it out. We found the problem, corrected it and got in back together. The combination of that, and some fuel mixing mis-cues by me put us WAYYY behind. I had already changed the ports to 25#. It was now 5:30pm and COLD! Air temp was 42, there was snow flurries! They made us wait thru 2 rounds of bracket racing. So now its 6:30pm, DARK and COLD! Lou says there is NO track so be ready with the right foot. Im THRILLED to be wearing the Carbon X undies and full firesuit! Weve got 90% in the tank and 48 thou in the clutch! They tow me up in a hurried last minute decision to run us before its too late. Rocky is still strapping me in! They pull the fire pins and chute pins. Rocky runs back to turn on the fresh air bottle....empty..oh well, just hold my breath..lol.

Rocky P. has the squirt bottle and Rocky R. the starter. We get the fire up sign, Rocky gives it a healthy squirt and we fire it up. It sounds wicked and my eyes start to water. Wait for Rocky to lower the body. Holding tight on the brake handle, foot firmly on the clutch pedal. Lou motions me forward, I hit high gear as I roll thru the water box, Lou gives the "smoke em" signal, I give it a quick stab, it jumps up on the tires. I ease off a bit and hold it steady and it just rolls past the tree, flashbulbs flashing, ears ringing, eyes watereing. I roll of the throttle about 300 feet. Ease the brake and hook the throttle toe hook to be sure the throttle is fully closed. I come to a stop, put it back in low, in with the clutch and slide it into reverse. Goes in nice, ease off the brake and it rolls back. Starts to gain some speed. Im sure to keep the right foot off the throttle. Rocky R. pops into view and begins guiding me back. I have to push in the clutch a couple of times, just to keep the reverse speed from getting away from me. It responded so well on the burnout Ive decided to ease into the throttle at the hit. This thing is hitting hard as it cackles back, shaking and ready to shed its skin at the hit. I try to locate some landmarks on the track as I back up, but its so dark, I just decide to look straight ahead the best I can.

Get backed up and ease it into forward. Make sure its in low, glance at the oil pressure, 115psi. Rocky R. rolls me up, top bulb is lit. Lower the visor and roll in. Tree comes down, I see the green, ease the throttle for a split second then hammer down! The Chevy jumps to life, tries to rattle the tires and takes off. Just pass the tree I stab hi, the rear starts to wash out to the right, car starts tracking left towards the centerline. see the 330 cone the lose it behind the fire wall. Car is swaying too much for me and I roll off the throttle and cackle down the track onto the long winding return road. It went 1.15 60 so all in all not too bad considering. It sounded strong and came back in one piece. Rocky Pirrone said it had real nice header flames, so theres one of my goals.
With any luck, well go to Atco next Sunday for the last hooray, Id like to get to 600-700 with it next weekend, but well see.

Thanks for taking the time to read.

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