It's the final countdown, and we are rolling along toward the Runoffs. So, the past week and a half has been crazy.
Rewind back to Sunday, September 6. We headed down to MSR Houston that morning to run the new motor in. We brought the car down the day before, so we just had to wait for Brian, our engine builder, to show up.
It started off OK. It took a while because the car kept getting hot, so we had to run the car for five-minute increments. As the day progressed, things were looking up. The motor sounded sweet, and I was looking forward to taking it out on the track.
That was until the clutch wouldn't release. My dad drove it around the paddock a bit to figure out what the problem was before putting it up for the day. The plan, bleed the clutch the next morning and hope that was the problem. I pretty much knew we were gonna have to pull the transmission. Again. Because, why would the problem be easy?
And I was right. So on Labor Day, we labored. After bleeding the clutch three times, with no change, my dad determined it must be a problem with the flywheel/clutch/pressure plate. So, he headed back to the house, while I got to work pulling the drive train. My mom shagged tools for me while I, once again, got down and dirty pulling the transmission, driveshaft, exhaust and headers.
I got everything pulled, and managed to eat a Snickers for lunch, by the time my dad got back from this two-hour trip back to the house. He switched the flywheel, clutch and pressure plates back to the ones from the backup motor. Then, we put the bare essentials back on. The idea being, we just wanted to start it to check and make sure the clutch would disengage. And thankfully it did. After another long, hard day, we left.
Tuesday, Mom and I headed back down to the track in the afternoon. I finished putting the exhaust on the car and tightening the header bolts as it poured down rain. My dad met us down there after work, and I ran the car. My friend Austin had been there earlier in the day doing the same thing.
After the track had dried a bit, I went out and ran the valves in. I didn't want to go to fast, and being on slicks, I really couldn't – haha. The motor pulls awesome and sounds sweet to boot.
This past Saturday, Austin and I took a break from busting our butts and went and saw Nickelback in concert. The band was awesome, to say the least. It was nice to get away and not think about the Runoffs for a few hours. But, of course, on the ride home we were talking all about it.
Sunday, we organized the trailer and loaded the car. There may be some engine issues, as number four isn't firing. But we're just gonna wait until we get to Road America to figure it all out. Brian is coming up, and he has some ideas.
Austin left today. He'll start practicing Friday. Michael, Alex, Pat and James are already there practicing through Wednesday. We leave Friday. And we'll all be running Monday's practice session.
Oh, and I still need to pack clothes. And go shopping for a few things. And get my camera gear all ready. Yeah, I'm really big on procrastination. I always have been. In college, there was nothing like waiting until midnight to start that five-page essay due at noon the next day. I always managed to get it in on time, and usually got a good grade. Which is probably why I still procrastinate so much. It irritates the crap out of my dad though!
So I'll leave y'all now. You'll probably hear from me again on Saturday or Sunday, once we get to Elkhart Lake. I'm sure the road trip will be memorable.
For those of you on Twitter, I'll be updating regularly with random bits of excitement and humor. You can follow me @sydxracer.
Until then, here's to a little luck, a lot of laughs, and 13 good laps.