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Shop Talk

7s The Hard Way

0804chp_01_z Shop 2/2

Looking back at the past 17 events--which included the Pacific Street Car Association, the third annual Street Car Super Nationals, and the newly formed West Coast Hot Rod Association--man, we did some racing.

What does it take? Unless you're independently wealthy, you better have teammates to share the expenses. That doesn't mean having one or two people to pony up for the bills every single time; instead, we all do our part for the cause. That includes friends who are nice enough to join us and get greasy in exchange for a healthy diet of water and ham-and-cheese sandwiches--sometimes we go crazy and splurge for chips.

Having teammates means you're lucky enough to have a crew you can count on for parts gallops and help with last-minute thrashes; never mind the fact that these required duties to make an event usually come up at late hours of the night--after we get home from our real jobs. Yep, your teammates become a part of your family. (Incidentally, it's never a bad thing to be good friends with your machine shop.)

Let's not forget the added help at the track. When you're going rounds and have to get the car ready heading into the finals, there's quite a bit of work to be done: charging the batteries, weighing and swapping out the bottles with the bottle heaters, and making tuning changes through the laptop, progressive controller, and digi-set timers. We're not done yet; we still have to add fuel, double-check the tire pressures, flow the fuel system, repack the chute, and check the plugs... And it all has to happen in as little as 20 minutes during the final rounds. And for that, I have to give credit where credit is due: Artis Houston, the Saikis (Mike, Gordon, and Ryan), Steve Johnson, Damon Rivetti, and Dario Yancy.

So what did we accomplish? Quite a bit, actually. Far from slapping together a combination and running the numbers, as some of you already know, it was a struggle from the start, but we closed the season with an incredible ending. Not to make this long-winded, I'll say that during the PSCA finals on the weekend of November 17, 2007, at California Speedway in Fontana, we qualified in the middle of the field in the sixth spot for Sunday's eliminations. We had a bye run in the first round, then beat out the number-one qualifier with a 7.93 to a losing 8.0, followed by a 7.94 win in the semis and a win in the final round with a 7.90-at-176-mph pass! The real kicker--we even took home the low e.t. record for the class.

We've since pulled the motor and are in the process of freshening it up for next season. What most don't know is that we're already updating our combination--except that secret will be out in the months to come. Until then--unlike the past--we'll be ready for the first race of the year. While I have your attention, if you have anything you'd like to see with our combo, shoot me an e-mail at the addy below. CHP

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