Archive for April, 2010

Maxton ECTA Meet April 10th & 11th, 2010

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Here is kind of a blow by blow of events since Bonneville 2009. After I got home from the flats, I was met with a Homecoming put on by a bunch of friends and a bunch of people that I didn’t even know. My head was so big it was unbelievable. 

 Homecoming from Bonneville 2009The Homecoming Banner

  I started working on the car right away to prep it for Maxton in October. I put my 3.25:1 rear gear back in, tweaked my suspension, relocated the fuel tank and got rid of the unnecessary weight. I installed two new M/T drag radials on the rear and went through the fuel system again and a thorough check over. That included cleaning of salt, LOL. We took the car to Maxton in October with high hopes of breaking 200 mph there. The weekend weather was horrible. It rained most of the day Saturday and when the track finally got dried out there was a bad accident that shut us down. We got one run in that isn’t worth mentioning. Sunday dawned cloudy but the rain held off, however they wouldn’t let the fast cars run until the track got really dry, which took some time due to weather conditions. We got one more run in that was horrible too so we loaded up and came home.

Over the winter I did a leak down on the motor and found two weak cylinders. I pulled it down and went through the whole thing again. I ended up putting two new heads on it and cleaning it up inside. Of course, new rings, bearings and two more new titanium valves. I put it all back together for my Bonneville slide show in January. I went though the fuel system and tune up one more time too. We came back down to Maxton in April 2010 with high hopes of once again breaking 200 and getting in the ECTA “2″ club. The existing record in D/BSTR was 198.37 and it was ours from 2009. At the drivers meeting, Keith Turk asked us all to do a shakedown run as the track was cleaned up a lot and changed somewhat. I had driven it the night before in my 46 Pontiac Convertible so I felt comfortable with it, however I heeded Keith’s warning and put down a 191.something pass. We went right back in line and did our normal between race maintenance. The second pass was much better at 198.7something. It bumped our record, but no cigar. I was pretty depressed by now thinking that the car just didn’t have it in it. We went to impound and got our record certification. We did our checks and decided to change the fuel pill again and went back down and got in line. When it was our turn to run we flooded the engine on the line and couldn’t get it started. Many cars went around us and I kept trying various tricks to get it started. Finally, when the battery had just about quit, it coughed and fired a little. More cranking and it started and I managed to keep it running. It was running real ragged though due to fouled plugs. The starter saw us fire and moved us right into line. Ronnie gave me a hell of a push off and I popped the clutch. It bogged down, sputtered aweful but then took off and almost yanked my head off. When I went through the traps I glanced down at my tach and saw something above 7,000 RPM’s. I thought “oh no, a 199 run for sure. I got her whoaed down and rounded the sharp corner at the end of shutdown. I did my shutdown proceedure and escaped from the car. I saw Keith Turk coming down the return road in his pickup truck. He stopped a ways away so I didn’t think I was in trouble or anything. I just started picking up my chute and gear waiting for my crew to come pick me up. Keith finally came down by me and asked me how I did? I told him I didn’t know but I thought I did around a 199 something. He just said, “oh” and pulled to the side. He then opened his truck door and asked me to come over. When I walked over, he said, ”you just went over 201mph and you are in the coveted ECTA “2″ club. I was almost in tears with excitement. We hugged and my crew came flying up. we were all dancing with excitement. We took the car to impound, got everything certified, and went back to our pit.

We had our usual crew head to head meeting and decided we would change the classification of the car for the next day. Blown Gas Roadster was our voted choice and the crew proceeded to remove the rear fenders, remove the headlights, lower the rear suspension and streamline what we could with racer’s tape. We covered up most of the radiator and all cracks in the body. Then we went to the banquet that night.

The next morning, I woke up the sun, still very excited. We towed down early but we were still back in line a ways. We finally got to the starting line and fired up. Ron pushed hard again and I took off. The engine immediately went to 9,000 RPMs as intended but the transmission wouldn’t shift out of 1st gear. After I played with it and saw the finish line coming up, it decided to shift. I went though the traps at a mere 180 MPH. We immediatly went right back in line. We changed the pill again, checked the shifter and lit off. This time as I went through the timing traps I thought I saw the tach at 7,300 RPM’s. I’m thinking this is good LOL. When the gang finally got to me, Ronnie Jr said I went 198. I wanted to die. Then they told me I went 206.0 mph. YESSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was jumping for joy knowing I had just gone faster than any other roadster had ever gone here in Maxton. What a feeling.

Well after that we got through tech and got our “2″ club stuff. While we were there a guy hit 272 mph on a bike. Kinda made my feat seem trivial, LOL.    
 

Steve Van Blarcom

Car #1946