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Discussion in 'The Track......' started by msell66, Jun 11, 2017.
I can hear it now on video. No no no, i cant have another pt passing me on camera.
He'll probably post the video in reverse, so it'll look like he's passing it while going backwards.
Randy, you are 'special'
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give to you the following final update and overview to the 2017 Mid America Shelby Spectacular at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit.
I traveled a little over 1,500 miles, spent over $700 in trailer & car parts and drove the car on track for 4 Laps.
Drove from Ames to Manhattan, KS to pick up my brother Doug (my "Crew Chief"). Drive was uneventful!
Drove from Manhattan to Hallett, OK. 17 miles from the track, a nice couple in a Ford pickup get next to me and tell me the trailer tire is smoking! We were running 70 MPH at the time. I immediately pull over and proceed to check the tires as I head back from my door. Driver side tires are fine. Get around to the pass side and see where the back tire has some serious negative camber and major toe-in! I looked at Doug and said....Weeell, that ain't right. We put the trailer up on the ramp and as I knew....the entire wheel fell over to the ground. No need to post a picture, it's already there a few responses back! We limped into the track and got the trailer parked.
This is where the story takes the most awesome turn...
My fellow racers and friends had already found me a trailer supply store in Tulsa. Checked to make sure they had parts on hand and had that info ready for me upon arrival. Maybe, 20 minutes had passed since I called them to when I arrived. Doug and I drop the trailer and head to Tulsa. Met a great parts guy at A & N Trailer Supply on the East side of Tulsa. We gathered up what we thought was everything that we'd need to R & R all 4 wheels, bearings and brakes. I figured, why test fate more...right? We grab a bite to eat on the way back and finally make it back to the track around 6pm. We get the damaged hub repaired and as I'm finishing up with the nut and cotter pin, I look for the washer that goes between the outer bearing and nut. I then realize that the old washer was melted into the old nut. Damn, we didn't buy new washers. No washer to be had at the track, so I finished it up and put the wheel back on. End of Wednesday.
Woke up to Ray Stevens version of Glenn Miller's "In the Mood"
Had breakfast and made Doug another list of parts and supplies we needed, plus whatever anyone else needed and got him directed to Tulsa.
Went to the driver's meeting and then back to prep the car for the first session on track.
Went out on track. Warmed the tires and brakes up and slowly started adding speed. Come around the top of "The Bitch" and see a giant cloud of smoke in my mirrors. Come off track and back to the tent where we have all the vintage cars.
After spending some time discussing, looking, thinking....I take the car over to the trailer and pull the plugs. Soaking wet with oil. Oil is milky and the water level is down in the radiator. At this point I'm pretty disappointed in myself and the entire endeavor. I'm really hot and exhausted from it all. I didn't really want to pack it in, but there was just nothing left in the tank at this point. (Sappy part coming)
It was at this point where my friends really came to my rescue. They took me aside and said, "Don't worry about it, we know you're "done". Go sit down, take a nap, whatever you need and we'll fix the car. Keep in mind, we didn't KNOW what was wrong yet! Doug talked to me and said, "Just let them do it". So, I sat my tired ass down in a chair and let them start tearing into the motor. They, We, did a compression test to rule out head gaskets. That was all fine...thankfully! Pulled the intake off and looked at the front and rear seals and gaskets. It looked as if there was some leaking at the front and back into #5 and # 8. Figured out what we had and what we needed and Doug drove me into the closest town for oil and a big drain container. We drained the milky oil. R&R'd the intake. Flushed it with some cheap oil and filter. Drained that and re-filled with good oil and filter. Seemed to run fine, so we called it a night.
Because of Ole' Smokey, I missed qualifying for Friday's race!
What the pipes looked like before Hallett.
What they look like now!
Woke up to Chickens again. At the vintage driver's meeting, they decided to let me race at noon! I got the last spot on the grid and was very happy to be there!
After the meeting, I got ready to take the car out in the 1st session, just to check and make sure all was OK. I was optimistic that I was going to race!
On the second lap out I could smell smoke and knew what that meant. Someone else had dropped some oil which sent the following car off track into a tire wall. At first, I thought it was ME, but later learned it was not. Thankfully, my oil was all getting burned off!
Drove back to the tent and just sat in the car. The Cool Shirt was working great, so I just sat there cooling off. I realized I was NOT going to be part of the race. Just sat there thinking over the last 2 1/2 years. What I had done and gone through just to get to this moment and here it was....it had slipped away. I was quite sad and disappointed. I wasn't mad at anyone or thing, shit happens to everyone at the track.
I finally get out of the car and tell everyone what was still happening (those 3 people that didn't actually witness me fogging up the track) and made the call to watch the race from the stands. No way was I going to muck this up and make myself and the rest of the vintage guys look like second rate amateurs! Again, this is where all my friends consoled me and STILL let me be part of the official race group picture!
After the race (which was one of the best I have seen), Doug and I finished up the pass side of the trailer and I got him a couple of rides in other cars. One ride he got to go for a grassy 360 and the other ride was with the second place finished of the race!
After this, we decided we'd done enough for the day and saved the driver's side for Saturday.
Woke up to Chickens once more!
Had breakfast, took Doug with me so he could be at the driver's meeting. Once that was over, we got to work on the other two trailer wheels. All went well until the last one. The inner bearing had frozen to the hub. That took some extra persuasion and beating with a BFH, but it finally came off. This trip just wasn't gonna let me go easy!
Finished it all up, loaded the trailer, took showers, said our goodbyes and headed out around 2pm for Manhattan. Got in around 7pm without any problems. Had dinner with Doug's FIL and went to bed.
Got up, had breakfast, got on the road and had a trouble free, yet boring ride back to Ames. Unloaded the trailer today and it's all put away until I have time to mess with it.
Since we close on our house June 30th and then need to do some work on the new house before moving...the rest of June and all of July are spoken for. Maybe I'll pull the engine in August and see what needs to be fixed. My suspicion is that the intake is not aligning up correctly with the heads.
If it gets done so I can race in October and November, so be it. If not, I'll still spend that time with some really great friends and still have a lot of fun!
More sappyness coming...
I would like to thank the best group of guys anyone could ever have around me. Everyone at the track, everyone here...those who I have met personally and those who are only a name. I can't express enough how much you all mean to me. Thanks to the best brother anyone could have. I couldn't have made it to this trip, nor through it without Doug!
A life lesson learned at 56....It's not the cars, it's the people.
This was posted by a fellow racer. I'm guessing it's me at the track!
Man that truly sucks that you didnt get to race Mark. It does sound like you have a bunch of great race friends though. Glad you had somewhat of a good trip. I know we raze you allot but I was hoping you would have had a better outcome with the car.
Sorry to hear that Mark.
I was dreading you post...felt it in my gut that something went wrong. I can say I am relieved you didn't put in the fence. Engines are easy...relatively speaking. Happy to hear you are well. Better luck next time. Good luck with the houses.
Mark, you by now know I am a total jester (I have a jester hat and a Steve Hanson jersey). Just glad u r ok and 'next time'. 3+ years since my Mustang has seen the streets, but 'something wicked this way comes' is not far off....
On the bright side, all the problems did prevent you from getting your ass kicked on the track again. So at least you have that.
Good write up. Sounds like it was frustrating yet rewarding at the same time. Thanks for sharing.
Sorry to hear bro. You'll get your day.
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You're kill'n me Smalls.
Sorry to hear about your misfortune. On the positive side, I don't think your adventures qualify for the SOB Dumbo Award for June, as nothing you did was your fault. Except for chicken songs in the early morning...
Houston, we have a problem!
One good one...
Love the Falcons too...
At least when you do it, you do it right. Spectacular!
To save clicking!
Deb says that pic is just an illusion
I've heard something similar before - I believe Midlife's exact words were:
It's not the cars, it's the people, DUMMY!