500' pass at Atco, NJ
Weekend Report III

November 7th, 2010
Atco Dragway
Atco, NJ

I made the trip from home to Rocky's Saturday nite. Needed to get a jump on some things for an early drive to Atco Dragway from Rocky's shop. It's about a 2+ hour drive from his place, and he is 3 hours on the dot from me. so I decided to break some of the driving up a bit. Johnny was going to meet us early Sunday AM at Rocky's.

Rocky and I got me fitted a little better in the Vega. The previous weeks have been uncomfortable, and we are hoping to make a 1/2 track pass at least Sunday. I still sit too far down, BUT the belts now hit where they should!

We set the mag, loaded up the essentials and waited for the AM to arrive.

Johnny showed up at 8am. We loaded the car, a quick stop at Micky D's for breakfast and we were on our way! Bobby Toth was meeting us at the track to lend a hand for the day. We get to track, get unloaded and toss the pan warmer on the oil pan. It's like 45 degrees! I've got "only" 50wt in it for warm up oil, but still want to make sure she flows well. We snug the clutch up a bit, from .045" to approx. .035". Toss the fuel jugs in the sun.

Well the oil pan is holding steady at 70 degrees, so we spin it over to get oil pressure. Johnny hops in the drivers' seat and we get ready to warm it up on alky. Rocky, mans the starter, I've got the squirt bottle ready. Bobby is keeping a watch on everything. I give Johnny the sign, we spin it over and the Chevy comes to life. We installed a flow valve on the alky line to help try to build some heat in the motor. We still can only muster 90 degree head temp. I check the timing, Johnny checks forward, reverse and high gears. We shut it down. I grab the"gag mask" and give Johnny the signal, we're ready to go. I feed the hat a steady stream of gas as Johnny rolls the fuel on. The smooth idle gives way to a throat pounding crisp, staccato, idle! I look at the pipes, little dry. Check the presures, a little low. I open the enrichment valve a bit. Get the pressure right. Give Johnny the "tug" signal, nice 100-150 RPM drop, left bank dries up nice. he rolls off the brake. I signal him again, right bank dries up nice, he once again rolls off the brake. I give him the "whack it" signal. He grabs a ton of brake, I grab both ends of the injector shafts, WHOMP! and the little "pick up" truck motor leaps up and rocks the car on the ProJacks. Do it again, WHOMP!... she's ready for battle. I shut it down with the gas bottle.

We check the valves, change the oil, check the BV leak, load on the body and head up to the lanes.

We had to stop by tech first. Official says, "Oh.. you didn't tell me you had a funny car!" He checks everything over, then keys up Joe Sway on the 2 way. "Joe..when do you want the funny cars? Joe replies "Funny cars...? I didn't know we had funny cars! Tell him to come up to lane 2 and let us know when he's ready" That was cool! Sounds like he's happy to have us.
We get in the lanes, Rocky runs back to the trailer to get the duct tape for the fuel shutoff. I start to don the clothing. Bobby helps me get ready and in the car. Rocky cinches me in. We get the thumbs up sign from the staging crew. Just what I like, very minimal wait time. Less time for butterflies!

Rocky and Johnny jockey me into position behind the "Great wall of Atco" Bobby positions his truck, just off to the right. A quick tug on the belts, Johnny gives me the nod, Rocky wheels it over. It fires on Johnny's gas bottle, I take a deep breath and roll the fuel on. Firm grasp on the break, glance at the oil pressure, 125#. A quick pull on the shifter knob. Rocky lowers the body and the fumes subside a bit. I lower the face shield and turn on the fresh air system. Bobby motions me thru the wall and water box. I ease off the break and clutch, get rolling, pull high and give the throttle a quick stab. Wahhhhhh!! she jumps up on the tire smoke rolling in the side windows and quickly dis-appearing. I feel the Hoosiers start to grab and ease off the throttle the car lurches forward. I grab a handfull of brake and ease it to a stop. A quick glance at the oil pressure, 110#. I pull it back into low, push the reverser into reverse and ease the clutch a bit to get it to drop in. I start rolling back. Johnny pops into view, cafefully conveying signals to me from Rocky standing behind the line. The little Chevy is thumping hard. Nitro fumes are waffing in. Get behind the line and ease it back into forward. Quick pull on the shift button, yep still in low. Rocky takes a quick look at the barrel valve to be sure no leaks, checks the pipes and rolls me into the beams. PreStage, thumbs up and he walks away. I ease in the clutch, take a deep breath. Let out the clutch, engine tugs back down. Stage. Tree flashes, I hammer the loud pedal. No "rolling on it" like I did at Island last week! a little quiver at the hit. Clears up by the tree. RPM's are climbing, clutch dust is rolling up from the can. Hit high gear at 330'. NO RPM change! Hit high again. Still climbing and pulling. Now fast approching too high RPM, I ease off the throttle at 400-500'. Wanted so badly to get to 1/2 track, but not willing to push something when it's night right.

I coast on thru and pull the fuel off too quick. Atco's a LONGGGGGG.... track. I have to be towed off the track

Back in the pits we all conquer that it just ran thru the clutch. Maybe even the discs are too hard. Research for over the winter. I will freshen it up and see what 2011 brings us.

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed!

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