Menards Chevy Show
October 13-14th, 2018

October in Virginia.  What a beautiful countryside and part of our great country.  We rolled into top-class Virginia Motorsports Park on Friday night and found a little piece of ground to camp out for the night.  We woke early on Saturday and weaved our way through the lines of racers, show cars and attendees and into our area in the pits for the Great Lakes Nostalgia Funny Car Circuit’s 6 funny cars in attendance.

We pulled the car out of the trailer and set up our pit.  Denny Salzwimmer stopped by and let the team know the driver meeting was at noon in the tower.  We service the car, filling with fuel and getting ready to fire up in preparation for round one.  The warm up was successful and we set the pill for the first round.  Check the tires and slicks for pressure.  Pack the chutes.  Top off the fuel.  Let’s get ready to line up for round one.

We’re paired up with Johnny K and his Pol-Cal Corvette as the first pair of cars.  The plan is big burnout, dry hops, hammer down and pull chute at 1320.  We get the signal to fire up the cars.  My crew squirts the fuel in the injector, hit the ignition and squeeze a bit more fuel to keep the engine running til the pump catches up.  The Quarter Pounder roars to life.  The crew detach the cable for the starter and put the body down on the car.

We both roll forward to and then through the water box and start our burnouts.  It’s a big smokey burnout out to about 900 ft or so.  Put it in reverse and roll back to the starting line.  Crewman Bruce Schafer backs driver Kevin Johnson into the groove so he gets the best launch possible.  Next is the dry hops.  These short bursts are a tribute to the old days when drivers would test the traction and if the slicks needed more heat.  The dry hops between the cars seemed like a duel or a loud banter back and forth of the cars.

First attempt at the dry hop and there’s a problem with low gear.  We’ve been here before.  It’s likely burned out.  Time to put it in high and roll into the beams and make the best of it.  It runs an 8 something.  The upside was that we managed a .001 reaction time enough to take the Good Vibrations Motorsports Best Reaction Time Award for the event.  The downside was the transmission damage.  We roll back to the pits to dig in and assess the problem.

There’s no low gear and we have no backup transmission or a way to fix.  We plan to do another big burnout and launch in 2nd again.  This time we’re paired up with John Cerchio and the beautiful WarPath sommerset.  Another big burnout to 800 ft or so and back up to stage.  We launch in second and it slips at mid-track.  Another failed run that was transmission-related.  After a birthday celebration for Kevin with all of our funny car friends we had a few cold ones shooting the breeze and called it a night.

Sunday morning brought with it a little rain in our forecast.  First round was delayed which gave us more time to try more things to fix our transmission problem.  We head up to the lanes and line up.  We have a bye run due to Brutus breaking an input shaft on Saturday.  Once again we roll through the water and lay down a big, smokey burnout for the crowd.  This will be the last pass for 2018 and since the trans is hurt we’re giving it our all in the burnout.  Staged and off, slips in 2nd…we’re done.  Coast down and off the track and that’s all for 2018.

We had a blast for our first visit to VMP.  We hope to be invited back in 2019 so we can make up for this years lackluster performance and parts breakage.  Thanks to Rick and his staff at VMP along with Denny Salzwimmer for his work all year long to run the GLNFCC and all of its events.  We look forward to seeing our fans at a show next season.  Stay tuned by watching this website for upcoming shows and news over the winter.

 

Photo by Carl Skillman

Photo by Carl Skillman

Photo by Carl Skillman

Photo by Carl Skillman

Photo by Carl Skillman

Photo by Carl Skillman

Photo by Carl Skillman

Photo by Carl Skillman