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Tim White
07-02-2007, 02:55 PM
We were an incredibly lucky group as we managed to go out on a basically dry track for all four sessions. Even though it didn't rain I would like to thank Jim for the rain tires, as usual Jim is always willing to help us little guys. Obviously the generosity was enough to appease the rain gods. Also I have to thank Scott Davie for letting me use his mig welder to attempt to weld my broken right front sway bar mount. After the recap of the races I'll talk about my adventure in making the National.

A quick recap of the regional as only Scott and I ran it. It had rained hard at the start of the previous group which they let all the competors change to rains, so it was a rather long which, of course, allowed the rain to stop. Scott opted to run his rains and I went out on dries. The track was completely dry which allowed me to catch Scott pretty easily but as I got behind him my brakes started to soft and I could never attempt a pass.

On to the National. Jim walked away with it, end of story.

Qualifying:

Jim Wheeler - Firebird - 1:26.325
Scott Davie - Mustang - 1:28.955
Jeff Kopp - Camaro - 1:30.916
Tim White - Mustang - 1:33.770

Race:
Wheeler 1:27.405
Davie 1:29.353
Kopp 1:30.952
White 1:34.247

During qualifying ex-AS driver, David Long, lost a wheel on his EP RX-7 and left some debris on the track which I hit and it ripped off my air damn extension. In looking at the damage I noticed the right front sway bar mount was broken, I thought the bushing was still there though. Scott got out his mig welder and I attempted to weld it back together. When I went to put it together is when I noticed there was no bushing. I went into Cleveland to try and find a bushing without any luck but they had one in Tulsa. I went flying into Tulsa and flying back just in time, the group before us were just coming off the track. After they opened the gate to cross the track I went flying through the paddock, OK, at 20 mph and put it together as quick as I could and filled it with fuel. They took the track for the pace lap as I was getting dressed. I got to grid just as the leaders were coming around the last turn, I managed to come out just in front of Jim. I ran with Jeff, a lap down of course, until the sway bar mount let go again on lap 8. After almost missing the race it felt great just to get on the track and get a finish.

socalta
07-02-2007, 03:02 PM
Congrats to all ...:cheers:



way to go Tim for not giving up ... :clap:

Ted Johnson
07-02-2007, 06:09 PM
Come on Tim or Jim. Tell them about the rain,mud, stuck motorhomes and toterhomes, closed highways, and dams about to burst in record setting rains in an area that has been in a drought for 40 years. Good times. Sorry I couldn't make the trip. It appears a toterhome can get stuck on level ground. But I'll leave that story for those that were there. My info is second hand. A true classic...

Tim White
07-02-2007, 08:52 PM
I don't know whose motorhome got stuck but I am not surprised. I got the truck stuck when we first got there. Luckily I was able to backup to the gravel road. Yeah, the paddock was a mess. On the trip down everthing was going our way, after Neodesha we had to make a left to stay on Hwy 75, if we had to continue straight it was a no go due to flooding. Then when coming out of Independence again you have to take a left to stay on Hwy 75 and again staying on Hwy 160 was closed. Coming back we were not so luck. We tried to take Hwy 99 to Hwy 166 then get on Hwy 75. Hwy 75 was closed through most of southeastern Kansas and they didn't bother to inform us until we got there. So we took Hwy 166 to Hwy 75 then back to Hwy 99. Hwy 166 was so close to having water on it, I wish I had a camera to capture it. So we took the original route that we did way back in 1992 and took Hwy 99 to Emporia then the turnpike to Topeka. We still got home by Midnight. Southeast Kansas was ugly. It also caused a late start on Saturday because the ambulance got diverted.

jimwheeler
07-02-2007, 10:49 PM
On Friday, I drove the same route down as Tim and saw that the water was very near several bridges. Then it got serious and rained something like 20 inches on Friday night and Saturday at various areas of Kansas. The last time we raced there, in the spring, Ted and I spent 3 hours going 100 miles in a blizzard, so a little rain was no big deal, I thought.
My paddock area had three inches of water running right through the middle of it on Saturday.
Many who towed home Sunday night toward the north, had multiple detours. For some, the normal 4-1/2 hour tow to Kansas City turned into 8+ hours.
My good friend, whose house, hangar and grass strip are right next to the Maris de Cynge river lost everything, including his hand build airplane. Many towns in Kansas are flooded, that have never had a flood. On the radio, on my tow home, I heard that this was the 21st day, in a row, of rain. This is in the middle of an area that has been in drought conditions for at least a decade.
At the end of the racing, Sunday, several motor homes and tow rigs were stuck. One big M.H. tried to go out the wrong way and ended up hub deep in mud. It took a tractor towing with a tow truck winching to finally free it. The trailer was then towed out by a good old boy with a long wheelbase 4-wheel drive pickup, with big mudder tires. They put 4x8 plywood under the pick up's rear wheels and he launched them 20 feet. He had four big rooster tails of mud flying as he did a nice 8 wheel drift up the hill, truck and trailer both sliding.
The huge Renegade Toter home and stacker unit was stuck on flat ground. It took a Semi-truck tow rig to get him out as the tractor just dug great big holes in the gravel road, trying to tow him fifteen yards. He didn't get out of there until way late that night.
Of course, anyone who dropped off the track, was there until the tow truck could winch them out.
wheel

jkopp
07-02-2007, 11:17 PM
Not to take away from a fun day of racing but I have to add to the "flood" saga. We got VERY lucky coming down Saturday afternoon meaning we only ran a little over an hour longer than usual. There were many places where the water was right up next to the road on the way down so we elected to take the "long" way home via I-35. It ended up being the smart move since we were able to get back home in 5 hours. It's amazing how much water we saw down and back. It was like driving along the coast. It's acutally quite gorgeous until you think about the devastation it is causing. Then it gets scary.

Race day for me was frustrating. The car was fine except for some manageable power steering issues during the race. I was way down on power at HPT and found a pair of major causes last week. 1) A rocker arm completely loose and lying under the LH valve cover 2) A loose ground at the battery causing the motor to miss erratically. I got both taken care of before Sunday and the track was perfect. The problem was all driver. I don't know if the thought of being stuck in the mud or tires or just peer cowardness led to my slow lap times but either way I was licked. It was discouraging. As Tim mentioned, I was able to get a better qualifying time then himself (mostly due to his problems I'm sure) and held that spot through the race. Who knows what would have happened if his sway bar issue hadn't kept him from making the start and jacking up his pace.

The best thing is that even with the doom and gloom of flooded fields and lack of talent, it was still a good day at the track. Mother nature slammed us with some weather but handed us darn near perfect race conditions. Great job to Jim and Scott for some awesome drives and to Tim for sticking it out and getting his finish in. Maybe if I can find a pair of balls haning around somewhere I'll be up there someday too. ;)

-Kopp

bubba
07-03-2007, 03:07 PM
Hallet is my favorite track. I haven't made it there in a number of years. The weather is always challenging. The first trip I made to Hallet in 92, (Tim remembers this) there was so much smoke from the entire state being on fire we could hardly see the track.

Then Sunday morning we had light snow and frost on the track.

The last time was a Firecracker event and the temp in Tulsa was 116 degrees.

I still love the track.

jericker
07-03-2007, 06:21 PM
Scott, awesome run man, good to see you getting up there with Jim and the big boys. I'm getting ready to go to IRP this weekend in Indy. Hopefully I'll have as good a luck as you've had. Are you going to Gateway in August?

Jon

P.S. Good run everyone else....sorry for being isolationist!

smithpr
07-04-2007, 11:37 AM
Wheeler, nice win and good storys.:cheers:

Good job to everyone else.

Philip