Date: August 17, 2003
Venue: Miller Field - Dalhart, TX
Results: 1st in Class (3 total), 2nd Overall (21 total), and Fastest Time of the Day
I was really excited about this event because since the last Dalhart race I've installed a Schroth 4-point harness, a custom cold air intake, a set of Eibach adjustable anti-sway bars, and I also added a little more negative camber up front. All of those modifications have significantly improved the way the car accelerates and handles, but it still has a very comfortable ride on the street. The car now has very minimal body roll (the body roll was previously so excessive during a race that it would actually distract me, but now I don't notice any body roll at all), and it has much quicker turn-in and almost no understeer. The anti-sway bars were doing their job so well that I was lifting the inside front tire off the ground slightly when accelarating out of a corner (see the two pics taken from the rear of the car below)! The custom cold air intake that I built has also improved the power of the engine dramatically (my "butt-dyno" says it's at LEAST a 15hp improvement ). Plus, it had been two friggin' months since my last race at Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, so I've been going through major racing withdrawals!!!
The weather was nice, but it was a little windy - which is to be expected in West Texas. The format for this event was done to mimic a two-day event similar to a Divisional or National Tour. Everyone ran the course 4 times for "day one", then we had a short break, and then everyone ran the course 4 more times in the opposite direction for "day two". Then the best time from each "day" is added together to get a final result for each competitor.
On each of my first two runs, I had a passenger ride along with me so that they could experience autocrossing in action (friends of mine that showed up just to watch), but even with the extra 150 to 175 pounds in the car, I still managed to run some pretty decent times. I got too agressive on my third run (no passenger), and ended up hitting a cone and I got way out of shape in a few sections of the course, so I didn't improve my time. On my last run, which was the final run for "day one", I was worried about being too agressive again and ran as smooth as possible, but apparently I was too cautious and didn't improve on my times from the previous runs. So, my second run... WITH a passenger... had to stand for "day one". Steve Sucsy ('00 Honda S2000 in B-Stock) was able to run 0.065 seconds faster than my best run during "day one", so I knew I'd really have to haul ass on my next four runs if I was going to win the overall PAX. During my four runs on "day two" I was able to put in a time that couldn't be beat by anyone, and with my two best times combined from each "day" I got Fastest Time of the Day as well as 1st place in Street Modified! However, my combined PAX time was still 0.566 seconds short of winning the overall event, so I ended up in 2nd place overall behind Steve Sucsy.
Now that the car is finally handling so beautifully, I can now focus solely on improving my driving skills throughout the rest of this season and all through next season, instead of worrying about what the next performance modification for the car will be (or to be more honest... where/how I will get the MONEY for the next mod!). My next event will be back at Miller Field in Dalhart on September 21st.
I've gotta give special thanks to George at Boost Performance for letting me use his truck and trailer (pictured below) to transport the "race car" to this event, and hopefully to future events.