Wow, what a week! Wish it wasn’t over already.
Day 2, Gateway – Ran a best 11.87 ET. Not surprising as I was on gas and not E-85.
Day 3, Byron – 11.67. Best run of the week. I was back on E-85.
Day 4, Great Lakes – 11.72.
Day 5, Cordova – 11.69.
Day 1, Cordova to St. Louis – Left the track looking for an E-85 station but couldn’t find one as the GPS on my phone was all cattywhompass. I ended up having to put 93 octane in the car to keep from running on empty. The trip was long and through the countryside. Not much to see but cornfields. I had problems using the provided Google maps direction and as mentioned, my phone GPS was screwy. The drive was more than 5 hours, so it ended up being a pretty brutal first road trip.
Day 2, St. Louis to Byron – Although this was the longest stint of the trip, it was mostly highway so I made pretty good time. Checkpoint was a pretty cool ice cream shop. I wasn’t feeling well so I was looking forward to getting to the hotel early and settling in. Only they canceled my reservations on me while I was driving up. There wasn’t anything available within an hour’s drive but I managed to luck into a B&B. Pinehill Inn Bed & Breakfast. Most gracious hosts and a beautiful home. I rolled into the sack at 10pm.
Day 3, Byron to Union Grove – Before leaving Byron, I topped off with Rocket Brand E-85. $11 a gallon but good stuff. :-O Fairly short distance wise, but thru a lot of beautiful country. Checkpoints included a stop at Lake Geneva. Beautiful community; some people were curious about us and some, not so much. 🙂 I managed to get to see Lake Michigan and did a (sorry) burnout in front of the restaurant I ate at.
Day 4, Union Grove to Cordova – A little melancholy on this drive knowing that it was all soon to be over. I had a great time and met a lot of great people.
Hats off the David Freiberger and the crew at Hot Rod Magazine and Roadkill. Everything was perfect. It started off brutal as if to say, “Yeah, you might have bit off more than you can chew.” But as the week went on the thoughtfulness of the drive and checkpoint locations really shown through. All the evidence is in the videos where guys pulled over to the side of the road trying to fix their car, are still grinning ear to ear. I talked and walked the whole week and didn’t hear a single negative word or see a single disappointed face. I can’t wait until next year to do it all again.
I’ll post up links to all my videos & pictures later.
Well, the first day of Drag Week is in the books. LOOONNGG day. And glad it’s over.
My first pass, the car didn’t want to shift if I didn’t lift. Halfway down the track, the dash pop up a message, “Performance Shift Activate”. No idea what happened. I was in track mode with Traction Control & Stabilitrak off. Used Launch Control. <shrug>
The second pass I put it in Sport mode, left Traction Control on and left off idle. Ran down the track just fine. Tomorrow, I’ll do my first pass like this and once that’s in the books, I’ll try Launch Control again.
So pressure is off now. I’m 50+ on the chart. Only the top 32 get to go rounds. Currently that’s less than 11.0 and I’m at 11.71. 😦 Guess I’ll just enjoy myself.
One other thing. I’m might have been a little harsh on the (lack of) performance from the Halltech CAI. Looks like these drag radials are at least an inch taller than the same size factory tires. That would explain the slower MPH and a little bit less performance. I noticed this today driving the directions to checkpoints that my mileage was off. Looked at the MPH from the GPS and it was fairly consistent being 2-3mph faster than my speedo at highway speeds.
Tomorrow, Gateway Motorsports Park, then tracking back north the historic Byron Dragway in Byron, IL.
Today was test ‘n tune. Long day to get “registered”. I was onsite and in line at 8:15am but I wasn’t finished teching & registering until 1:30pm. I can’t complain (too much) because there were still over 150 cars behind me. :-O
Really disappointed in my runs. 11.6 @ 120mph. Freaking drag radials are sketchy AF. No better traction than the Michelin Pilot Sports that come from the factory. 60′ are still in the 1.75 range. Car is consistent, but the DRs aren’t any better than the factory tires as far as traction and worse for ride quality. Also, and I know I’m going to catch grief for it, but the Halltech CAI isn’t any good. Absolutely no improvement. 11.6’s are my best before the Halltech & DRs and I have no improvement with those mods. I’m pissed because to make the 32-car field on Friday, I needed to be consistent 11.0. This is why people keep spending money on parts.
Hassled with a guy from Ontario with a Hellcat. His plates say “KrazyKat”. I was freaked about a Vette that had plates that said “KtyKilr”. Funny guy.
Ran into all the major actors, Frieberger, Finnegan, Lutz. Elana took pics of my car and I asked her if she got all the bug guts. She said she made sure to get pics of the failed attempt to wash them off. Hahaha.
So 11.6 @ 120mph is my baseline. Racing starts tomorrow in Cordova then south to St. Louis.
How ’bout them Cowboys!
I left Plano today to participate in Drag Week. I had planned on over nighting in Kansas City, MO, but realized on the way that I would still have a drive of over 5 hours Sunday to Cordova, IL. Check in starts at 8am, so I decide to push thru to Des Moines, IA. Lovely place. I did a 5 hour stretch and that was about my limit. 12 hours total and I am beat. Need liquor. 😉
Here are some picks of my packing list of tools…
Additionally, I have my Yoga 910 laptop, HP Tuners suite and Garmin Virb camera.
I leave tomorrow morning for the Land of Lincoln. Registration, tech and test & tune in Cordoval, IL.
I got my car fully serviced and ready for Drag Week. Engine, transmission & rear differential.
Dropped off an LT1 intake manifold to Reher-Morrison Racing Engines for Darin Morgan to work his magic on. This will be a nice complement to the heads that I got.
Should be ready while I’m at Drag Week.
Packing for Drag Week. Basically a bag of tools, with bailing wire, duct tape & WD40. Mini air compressor & tire maintenance accessories. Helmet & fire jacket. Clothes. And Technology items. If I get around to it. I’ll post pictures of everything.
Texas, Our Texas
Our hearts and prayers go out to all our family, friends and fellow Texans all along the coast, from Brownsville to Orange.
And also to our fellow Americans in neighboring states impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
I got my new tires installed and road force balanced for Hot Rod Drag Week. For reference, the front tire size is 245/40R18 and the rear is 285/35R19. Can’t say enough good things about my local Discount Tire shop for the install.
Before I get into the new tires, I want to briefly mention the old tires that came off. The old tires are the factory original Michelin Pilot Super Sports ZP (Zero Pressure aka runflats). The rear tires were near the wear bars, but the front tires were at the wear bar. I’m right at 10,000 miles and although I have several burn outs on the rears, I’ve never road course tracked my car. Pretty surprising wear for the front tires. Especially with others reporting 20,000+ miles on their original tires.
On to the new. As previously mentioned, I went with the Mickey Thompson ET Street S/S Drag Radials for the rear.
The tires fit well and seem to be a little bit wider than the old Michelin PSS’s despite being the same listed size.
The fronts are the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S.
Despite the nomenclature, these are not 4 season tires, they are max performance summer tires. Word is these tires will replace the Michelin PSS on the new Corvettes, but the current model is not a Zero Pressure, so not sure when/if that will happen.
Speaking of, obviously the drag radials are not runflats. When running these tires, it’s important that the fronts are also replaced with non-runflat tires. People that have mixed these types have reported very squirrelly behavior on the top end at speed, likely due to the substantially difference in sidewall stiffness.
Driving impression: Just wow! The car rides much quieter and smoother. There is a definite seat of the pants inprovement in the feel of the car with the less stiff sidewalls. The softer sidewalls on the drag radials also contribute to a more “cushy” feel. The car does seems to float a bit at highway speeds; kinda like a Caddy, hahaha. I am surprised there is such a difference with such short sidewalls. But that said, it’s a relative difference. I’m sure I’ll little notice this as time goes on. After all, I had a year and a half and 10,000 miles on the old tires.
So one more action item checked off in preparation for Drag Week. 🙂
In honor of my beautiful bride blowing out a tire today, I thought I would discuss my tire prep for Hot Rod Drag Week. But this may not be what your thinking when I say tire prep.
Tires are going to be my weakest link. 99% of the Drag Week racers will be trailering their cars to the start/stop location at Cordova International Raceway. I’ll be driving the roughly 850 miles there in my car. And with no trailer, I won’t have any backup tires.
So the concern starts with the requirement to run drag radials. At my power level, the factory Michelin Pilot Super Sports actually hook pretty good. Being Zero Pressure (ZP) tires, I would have no concerns if I ran over something during the trip. Plus I’m sure I could source replacements locally if need be.
But the organizers have mandated drag radials. 😡
Thankfully, I have some experience with this. I had a 2014 Silverado I raced and drove daily for two years with drag radials and no spare. So I’ll be carting the following with me to account for any tire problems.
I’ll also be packing the following for any needed tire repairs.
The drag radial I’ll be using is the Mickey Thompson ET Street S/S Radial Tire P285/35R19 (Jegs). So glad they just recently came out with this size, which is a perfect fitment for my car. Saved me from having to futz around with new wheels or odd sized tires.
So if I damage one of these during the trip or event, I’ll be screwed because I doubt there’s anyone local in that area that I can source from. Hopefully, it won’t come to that.
I finally pulled the trigger on a better camera setup, the Garmin Virb XE Auto Racing Bundle.
Charged the battery, read the instructions, 😮 and got everything configured for a test drive. I drove to the Post Office and back. It’s about a 10 minute drive round trip. On the way to the PO, the first half of the video, I had it set to the wide angle view. In the PO parking lot I changed the view to what I call “normal” but Garmin labels as Zoom. I did not turn on the auto-stabilization. I need to do that for a test, but as you can see the video quality is much better than the iPhone 6+.
Test Drive Video
The file uploaded to youtube is 480p resolution; file size is 665MB. The 1080p resolution file was over 2GB. 😮
With the remote it’s a much simpler setup to turn on/off. Now I need to find a data overlay that I like.
I can’t wait for my next opportunity to put it to use.
Followup (7/10/2017): Here’s a viddy with auto stabilization turned on. Looks good to me so I’ll leave it on.
Test Video w/auto stabilization