Hey everyone and happy fall! I am sad to say that the 2016 racing season has come to a close. We had quite the running for a good points standings for most of the year in the NMCA West series this year but at the last race, we had some bad luck that turned into round losses. We came into the last race in 6th place in the Quick Street class, and were hopeful for some win lights on race day. But in the first round of eliminations on Sunday we had severe tire hop and shake after launch, causing the tires to loose traction and me to lose the round. Since there are no buy backs in this class we were out of competition for the year in Quick Street. We ended up going a few rounds in the Bracket 2 class, but we were still done early on race day.
The good news is that our mechanical problems with our belt are solved thanks to the folks at American Racing Solutions. We worked with Frank Cressibene out of New Jersey to alleviate our belt cutting issues, and he was an incredible help to us. He introduced us to their racing high performance belt tensioner. Not only do they make these for a variety of makes and models, including late model hemis, but they make them absolutely bullet proof. I don’t know if we would have been able to get down the track this season without them. If you have a high horsepower car or a supercharged engine, I highly recommend giving them a call. Visit their website at http://americanracingsolutions.com/ for more info!!
The 2017 racing season is the first season that we are not starting out the year having had changed something major on the race car. I learned a lot about the Magnum’s problems this year and about drag racing in general, and I can’t wait to put those lessons to work next year. Thanks to everyone who has supported us throughout this season, I would not be racing if it weren’t for your help. See you in 2017!
Now that the summer break is over it’s time to get back into racing again! We have been changing and updating a number of things on the car over the last few months, and with a little luck, we will be ready to be back on track for the next NMCA race next month. Toward the end of the spring we had some electrical problems crop up, some of which we didn’t know how to fix right away. It took a lot of diagnosis and investigation for us to find that our alternator was bad and causing a number of issues both with the serpentine belt and the ECU. This caused some inconsistency at the last few races of the spring, which was a hard pill to swallow since there are only 4 races in the points season. Right now we are sitting solid in 4th place, and with two races left in September and October, I’m really hoping that both the car and driver are up to the task of going some rounds to make that fourth place more like first place. It’s going to be an exciting end of the season, and I’m very grateful to all of my supporters and sponsors for putting so much effort into making the car right again. Here are a few shots from the last couple track events that I haven’t posted yet. Our next event is the NMCA West Street Car Nationals in Fontana, CA. If you’re in the Southern California area, this race is really worth it as both a spectator and a competitor. NMCA has plenty of heads up and bracket cars and it’s not expensive for spectators to enjoy the racing from the stands, as well as walk anywhere in the pits! I hope to see you there watching or maybe even waiting in the staging lanes! #NMCAWest #DragRacing #TeamChampion #MAHLE #MickeyThompsonTires
Hey there everyone! I just wanted to give you a quick update about the past couple of weeks and let you know what’s coming up for Team Liquid Glow racing! Right now the car is at Hedman Hedders here in Southern California getting some work done. Ever since we got the new 426 HEMI from Arrington Performance, we have needed larger diameter headers for the engine. As of the last event we had 1.5″ headers on when we really need 2″. Hopefully, this larger diameter will mean higher mile per hour on the top end of the track. It might even mean faster elapsed times as well. We’ll have to wait and see! Thanks to Hedman we will be getting a brand new set of custom 2″ headers to compete with! We plan on running the car at the NHRA Summit race on April 30th and May 1st in Fontana, CA. This should be a good place to test the car and get some competition in before our next big race.
We were able to make an appearance with the car last weekend at the Red List Series at Famoso Raceway. It was cool to be back at Famoso again after such a long time. Though the format of the event wasn’t really a competition in the way we are used to racing, we got to use the day as more of a test session to try a few things out on the car. The first pass, I was half expecting the car to spin at launch because normally the first lap off the trailer on a new track has a little tire spin. I couldn’t have been more wrong about that. Not only did it have traction, it had so much traction that it produced the best 60′ ever for the car, and had the biggest, highest and longest wheelie we have ever had in the Magnum. For a 4000 pound car, a 1.30 60′ is really quick, and I sure felt it. In fact, it launched so hard that it threw me off guard and I missed my shift points so the RPM hit the rev limiter and the car only ran a low 10 second pass. Had the shift points been good, I bet it would have been a solid 9.80 second pass. The next pass we decided to play with a few things that eventually led to tire spin, and after a few attempts, we decided to call it quits for the day. It was a fun event and I am looking forward to being at Famoso again sometime soon. It was also great to be a part of the event that Magnuson Superchargers sponsored. They have been a supporter of mine from the very beginning and I am very proud to be associated with them. We will actually be heading to their facility soon for some dyno work so I’ll keep you posted on the results!
Soon enough we will be heading to Fontana CA for the Summit race, and then racing the West Coast Classic Fig Speed race in June. I hope to see you there!
We finally had our first points race of the year. Since the PSCA series is no longer holding races in southern California, we decided to give the NMCA West series a shot this year. We are very happy with the first race of the year. We had the opportunity to compete in both the Bracket 2 and Quick Street classes with some of the best and most competitive racers in so Cal! The Quick Street class, which is very similar to a Summit Series Pro class had just under 40 entries for the weekend. We knew going into this series that the racers are all very tough. The level of competition is higher here than in some other series that we’ve raced in. Overall, it was a very successful weekend for the Magnum and our team. Having competed and won at the last race in Vegas, the fastest we got the car was in the 10 flat range, so this weekend at lower physical altitude we were really crossing our fingers for a 9 second time slip. And to our delight, during Friday’s test runs we were able to get the car well into the 9 second range, running a best ET of 9.85 at 136 mph. We stayed in the high 9s for the rest of the weekend. It was great to finally show off a 9 second time slip, especially to the Arrington crew, who worked so hard to get this car consistent and fast. At the end of Saturday’s qualifying sessions, we decided to go for a stellar reaction time in an effort to grab that #1 position. All the stars aligned because I was able to cut a .000 reaction time on the tree, giving me 10 extra bonus points and the potential bye in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations. It was great to go for that light and actually get it.
Sunday’s eliminations lasted well into the afternoon. Having a bye in the first round allowed us to see what the car would run first thing in the morning without having to worry about breaking out. In the second round we faced veteran racer, Mike “the Machine” Nordhal, in his gorgeous candy apple red Nova. Having both broke out and had similar lights on the tree, it was close at the top end, but he ended up breaking out more and the win light came on my side. In the 4th round I faced eventual event champion, Jeff Interliccia, and I knew that I had to be on my game to beat him. He is one of those racers that is always good on the tree and his car will run the dial in number the majority of the time. Unfortunately, I pushed the tree an little too much and went red by -.018 ending the race before it even started. Good news is that the car ran within a 9 thousandths window for 5 passes in a row. We ended the weekend sitting 4th in points in the Quick Street class, and are very much looking forward to the rest of the races in this series. Next weekend we will be showing and demonstrating at the Red List Series event. Check my Alex Blog post for more info on that race. Since it’s not a bracket race, we will be making test runs and promoting our awesome sponsors, like Magnuson Superchargers, Arrington Performance, Diablosport and Westminster Performance Transmission.
Great news! I have been so busy for the past few weeks getting the car ready for the first race of the year, but it finally paid off because we won the first race of the season!
As I have been saying in the last few blogs, we got a new engine and transmission all put together for the beginning of this season. We had a brand new 426 HEMI with a TH400 transmission and it made about 900hp on the engine dyno at Arrington. It made just over 700hp to the tires on the chassis dyno, but we are running it with smaller than optimal headers. So once those are exchanged for proper ones, we’re confident we’ll pick up some more horsepower and run even faster, but last weekend, the car ran consistently in the 10.00-10.16 range all weekend at 134 mph.
We decided to race in three classes at the Muscle Cars at The Strip event in Las Vegas to give us the most amount of practice before competition started on Sunday. We had a few hiccups in getting the car set up before the race. In fact, we were even working on the car in the parking lot of the race track to make sure we were completely ready to go once the gates opened. One of problems was that the automatic air shifter would not work properly. We tried a couple different things and realized that there was nothing we could do in the short amount of time that we had. So I had to learn how to shift the car in a very short amount of time. Shamefully I admit that I had never shifted a car before, so it was quite a learning experience. It all worked out great though because thanks to our Diablosport Trinity data logging the runs for us, we knew that my shifts were within 150 rpm consistently from the previous run.
On Sunday we started the morning off great with 3 round wins in a row, one in each of the classes we were competing in. By the afternoon we were still running strong in the New HEMI Challenge, lost in the 2nd round of the Mopars Vs The world and lost in the 4th round in the Pro class. But we were able to keep it going in the Late model class and ended up winning the race. One of the most amazing things about this win was that we got to do it in front of the Arrington crew that was at the race with us. Thanks to Tim, Alex and Chris for making the long trek from Virginia to Las Vegas to see the newly improved Arrington build Maggie on track for the first time. They were good luck! And since we landed in the runner up spot in the same class last year, it was awesome to finally seal the deal and celebrate with them.
We have our second race of the season coming up in less than two weeks starting on April 1st. There are a few things yet to be worked out on the car, but we’ll get it all done. See you in Fontana for the NMCA race on April 1st!
Currently in a hotel outside of Portland, Oregon, it has been one crazy week and a half. Having left Southern California almost two weeks ago, we flew to Virginia to visit the people at Arrington and see the car tuned on the engine dyno. The guys at Arrington worked their butts off all week trying to get the car ready to trailer to Oregon. They even went so far as working late on a Friday night after a problem with the fuel system arose when the car was on the dyno. The goal was to get a power number at the wheels on the chassis dyno, to compare to the number we got on the engine dyno. Unfortunately, due to an issue with the torque converter, we never got a solid dyno number to publish. And due to our time constraints, we had to leave Arrington with the fuel system fixed, but knowing that we had to change the torque converter before our first time on track with the new set up. I want to say thank you so much to everyone at Arrington, and I mean everyone, that worked into the wee hours on the Magnum.
We just dropped the car off at RPM Rollbars where they will be welding in a brand new roll cage that will certify down to 8.50. There are a few things left to do on the car before it’s track ready, but we are confident that we can get everything done in time to go to the test in tune in Vegas the weekend before Muscle Cars At The Strip.
If you haven’t been to this event, Muscle Cars At the Strip is one of the best races of the year. Not only is it one of the most Mopar-filled events in the West, but it has a car show, swap meet, autocross event, Mopar thrill rides and of course, seriously awesome drag racing. We are competing in the Modern Muscle class sponsored by Arrington Performance. We went to the final round at last year’s event and this year we are really hoping to take it all in the final this year. I will also be singing both the Canadian and American national anthems on opening ceremonies on Sunday. Please come out to this event on March 18th-20th in Las Vegas. You won’t want to miss it!!
Hey again everyone! Just wanted to update you on the status of the car right now. As I mentioned in my last post, the Magnum is currently at Arrington Performance in Martinsville, Virginia. Not only are they building an amazing engine for us, but they are also installing our brand new TH400 racing transmission. Tomorrow I am flying to Arrington’s facility to see the car on the chassis dyno! Not only do I want to see the tuning process and see how much power the car makes to the wheels, I love visiting and learning from all the amazing and talented people at Arrington. They have done such an amazing job with the car and I cannot wait to get it on track in a month!
If you have seen any of my Facebook posts lately, you’ll know that new 426 HEMI was recently on an engine dyno at Arrington and the power numbers were finally announced last week. Officially, Maggie will now have an engine with the highest horsepower output Arrington has ever measured for a Magnuson Supercharged Gen III HEMI, at 908 hp and 868 tq! It even made 853 hp on regular pump gas! This is going to feel like a totally different car! Check out the dyno sheet below to see for yourself how much of a beast engine Chris and the gang at Arrington built for the Magnum. Special thanks to Dan and the people at Magnuson Superchargers for working so hard in getting all the intake components to Arrington in such a rush!
After arriving this week and spending some time at the facility, we are embarking on our third road trip with this race car. The difference this time of course is that instead of driving the Magnum we will be towing our trailer with our big blue 3500 RAM! Because of the increased power and torque, the Magnum is in need of some major upgrades to the chassis and rollbar. We are trailering the car accross I-4o and up to Portland, Oregon to visit Rob and the folks at RPM rollbars. The car will be with them for a few weeks and when it is time to pick it up, we will be driving right to Vegas to get the car on track to test!
I will update my blog as the days go by to let you know any new developments that come about with the car!
New Year, New Series
It’s a little late, but happy new year to you all! As I mentioned in my other blog, we are going to be getting a whole new Maggie come March of this racing season. We are getting a brand new 426 HEMI built by Mopar late model experts, Arrington Performance. Based on the reliability, strength and power of the last engine they built, we are incredibly excited to race with an ever faster and more powerful engine in the Magnum. We will of course have in it, MAHLE pistons and rings, Clevite Bearings, Manley connecting rods and crankshaft, and of course a Comp cam. Not only are we getting a new engine, but we are upgrading the transmission to a TH400 with a Reid Racing case, Coan internals, a B&M pan and it is being built by our great friends at Westminster Performance Transmission here in southern California. There will be a completely different approach to driving the car now because it will be shifted by a timer that will be consistently the same every time. Not only will it be more consistent, but we will have faster ETs than ever before. We don’t know the exact times yet, but we are confident it will run well into the 9 second range, which is why we are going to visit Rob and his team at RPM Rollbars in Oregon to make the car certified to 8.50. Along with a new driveshaft from Driveshaft Shop, a new torque converter from FTI, and new rear end gears from Strange, this car will be a different beast.
The best part is that we are debuting the car at the MATS race in Vegas this year. Normally we run in the Modern Muscle class, and this year Arrington is the title sponsor. So we are really striving to do well at this initial race to show off how amazing Arrington Performance is in the late model HEMI world. Not only are we racing with a new combination, but we are trying out a new series this year. The NMCA West Series has 4 races in Fontana, California that we intend to compete in for points. This is a series that is getting more and more attention and I am looking forward to being a part of it and trying something new. With some developments in the works that I can’t quite talk about yet, it’s possible we might even run a couple of NHRA Super Street races this year.
There is a ton of fun coming with racing season and I will keep you posted on how it turns out!
The last of the Premier Street Car Association races took place this month in Fontana, CA, and it was one hell of a final race. We went into the last race of the year solidly in the 3rd spot in points. We were 4 rounds out of first place, and only 2 rounds out of the number 2 spot. We had just come off a final round appearance in the previous points race, and we were feeling quite confident in how the car would run. Much to our disappointment however, the first pass down the track during Friday’s testing, the transmission started leaking quite a lot of fluid. Because of the design of our factory transmission, whatever was broken inside was not fixable by Sunday’s eliminations. So we ended up borrowing a Volkswagen Jetta for the remainder of the weekend. Why VW you ask? Well, in addition to racing the normal PSCA classes at this weekend’s event, Fontana was also hosting the Powderpuff racing series, which is an all female and all VW class. Thanks to a suggestion from Mel Roth, we decided that it would be beneficial for us to race a VW because it allowed us to have an extra round of time trial and eliminations to help better dial the car for our points classes.
All day Saturday I spent my time runs trying different staging and launching strategies to get the best reaction time and the most consistent elapsed time. My experience in the Magnum a couple years ago came in very handy this past weekend, because I had to remember how to launch a car with a near 3 second 60 foot time. For those of you who aren’t exactly drag race junkies, that’s very VERY slow. I was definitely one of the slowest cars in competition that weekend, but at the end of Saturday, I felt like I had a good handle on how to drive the car. And it worked out pretty well! I ended up seeing 5 win lights on my side of the track on Sunday. And I went to the third round in the Bracket-1 class, after being beat by a good friend of mine in the car that I used to drive. Dick Krieger, in his 23 Altered T, was great on the tree and had a more consistent car than I did. He did a great job and deserved to get to the final round. And now I can say that I lost to the champion, since he took home the 2015 Bracket-1 championship.
We will know more this week about what exactly went wrong with the car, but overall it was a good weekend. I didn’t expect to go 5 rounds in a street car, let alone one that ran in the mid 16 seconds in the quarter mile. Never a dull moment in drag racing. Next race is the awesome Street Car Super Nationals in Las Vegas November 18-22!
After a rain storm canceled the United Pacific Industries car show in Long Beach this past weekend, we are heading to Denver this week. The car show wasn’t completely rained out though, as I still had time to open the show with the National Anthem on stage live. Check back in a few weeks for a video of the performance. It was a great experience and I have to thank Ron Olsen for giving me the opportunity! Early Thursday morning we will be flying to Denver for the NHRA Mopar Mile High Nationals. The event kicks off with the Mopar Block party in downtown Golden, where tons of Mopars will be on display and the streets closed down for some Mopar-themed fun! It was a blast in 2014, so we should be in for another treat this year! Then it’s to the track to see Allen Johnson, the DSR funny cars, of course the stock/super stock cars and all the other Mopar branded cars race against the rest of them! For one reason or another, the Mopars seem to do well at their title race, and I am looking forward to cheering them on at this cool track again. If you’re going to be in the Denver area, come on out to the race track. You never know what you’re going to find there. Last year I got a chance to sit in and rev a brand new Hellcat Challenger before they were even being sold to the public. I also got to meet veteran Mopar stock eliminator racer, and one of the first women to win an NHRA championship, Judy Lilly. I can’t wait to go back to Denver again and I’ll see you there!
The Cops For Tots show in Pasadena was a success at the end of June for us, so we decided to amp up our car show schedule this summer. This Saturday July 11th, we will be vendoring our Liquid Glow Performance Car Car Products at the Collector Car 6 show in Simi Valley, California. Not only will we be selling our wax, polish and Quick Paint Cleaning System, we will also have the Magnum on display. Come on by to our booth to see the car, see a demo on how our Quick Paint Cleaning System works, or just say hi! If you’re not available for this weekend’s show, we will also be vendoring and displaying the race car at the United Pacific Industries car show in Long Beach on Saturday July 18th from 12-5. There will be a band playing all day, and I will be kicking off the show at noontime with a performance of the National Anthem. We will be having huge sales on all of our products and will also be giving away free decals, hats and more! See you there!
We have been doing quite a bit of traveling and racing in the last few weeks here in So. Cal. Last week we went to the Inaugural FigSpeed West Coast Classic race in Fontana, California. We were very excited about this event because it was a chance to win $3,000 on both Saturday and Sunday’s races, plus extra prizes and awards. We had the car running strong all day on Friday’s test laps. Running the high power set up that we have, the car was launching with the wheels in the air and consistently 60 footing in the low 1.3 second range. We were very excited for the event to begin on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, looking over some data on Friday night convinced us that we were in danger of hurting the transmission if we went forward with elimination rounds. There was a problem with our torque converter that could have severely damaged our very expensive transmission. We decided it was tough, but safe and smart to pull out of the race, and we became spectators for the remainder of the weekend. It was cool to see the fierce rounds of competition on Saturday and Sunday, but also very hard to watch from the sidelines. Congratulations to all the winners of the event!
We will be taking a bit of a summer break from racing over the next few months. We have some serious upgrades planned for the Magnum, so check back for more details as they’re announced. The goal is to make the Magnum a repeatable, dependable and reliable race car for the remainder of the 2 PSCA points races happening in Las Vegas and Fontana in the fall. We are very much looking forward to having a new and improved Maggie!!
This past weekend we competed with the Magnum in the Super Street class at the NHRA Lucas Oil Racing Series Divisional at Fontana, California. It was a really cool experience racing with all the racers at the divisional level. I loved flying Maggie’s colors at a race with a new crowd.
We made a lot of changes to the Magnum to run this class. The normal racing procedure for us is to put a dial in number on the car based on the weather, track conditions and other factors that we consider. With the Super Street class, we had to move the car to run a fixed index of 10.90. This was difficult because we had to add and subtract weight with a ballast system in the back of the car based on the conditions. In order to run the car in the 10.90 index we had to lower the horsepower of the engine. Thanks to Arrington Performance, MAHLE, Magnuson and our other partners, the Magnum is now running solidly in the 10.30s, and even in the 10.20s in cool weather. Getting the car to run a quarter second slower was challenging to say the least. The part of the car that suffered the most was the launch capability. Because we had to dial back so much power, the car had a very hard time getting out of the lights quickly, and on a .500 pro tree, that was not going to cut it. I wasn’t able to get any decent reaction times with that set up, so it was difficult to get a solid pass down. We went into first round knowing that it would be difficult, but anything can happen on Sunday.
For the first time, I sang the National Anthem at an NHRA race and the racers seemed to enjoy my rendition. After that, it was time to race in our first ever round of competition in Super Street. We ended up breaking out by 17 thousandths of a second. The car ran close to the number, and I give my crew chief Richard huge credit for that. It was a fun weekend and I hope I can race it again someday soon.
The next event for us is the West Coast Classic big bucks bracket race in Fontana on June 12-14th. Both Saturday and Sunday have $3,000 up for grabs in the pro class, and $5,000 in the Super Pro class. This should be fun with some fierce competition. Come on out to race or to hang out, it will be an awesome weekend! See you there.
Last weekend we raced the PSCA Spring Break Nationals at Auto Club Dragway at Fontana. Because of a rain out earlier in the season, this particular event was a “double points” race, so it was important that we do well. From the start of qualifying on Saturday, the car was running exceptionally well, and I was able to cut some killer lights, some even close to perfect. We ended Saturday night with the 2014 Championship banquet, where I got to hand out the championship trophies and jackets to last year’s winners and runner ups. It was fun to see everyone’s smiling faces and hear some of the heartfelt championship speeches.
Sunday morning started with two good time runs in the Magnum and we felt that we were in good shape for eliminations. In round one of both Street Muscle and Bracket-1 the win light came on my side of the race track and we were on to round number two in both classes. Then I was off for my regular race day duty of singing the National Anthem in the tower. There were a few new faces in the tower this time, and everyone really enjoyed my rendition of the Nation’s most famous song. Luck was not on our side in round two of eliminations though, and we were done for the day pretty early when the car couldn’t run the number on the window. We were very disappointed as this was a grand opportunity to capitalize on the double points event.
We have decided to race some Divisional races in the Magnum in the Super Street class. We have never raced a Lucas Oil NHRA divisional in the Magnum before, and we’re really looking forward to showing Maggie off to a new crowd of racers and fans. This class is a 10.90 index that leaves off a .500 pro tree. This new racing procedure and rules will take some getting used to and we had to make a few modifications on car set up, but we are excited and think we have a shot at being competitive in this new class. Our first race is May 22-24th at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana. I’ll keep you posted on how the car does, but come on out to the track and cheer us on!
As if we couldn’t get enough of racing in Las Vegas, we had only been home about a week from our last trip before we headed for sin city again. This time though, it was for NHRA racing. The first of the two weekends was the NHRA Summit Nationals. We didn’t race at the national event, but we got to cheer on a bunch of our sportsman friends that did, and we also got a chance to say hi to our favorite pro teams. Bob Vandergriff racing was kind enough to let us hang out with them for a while, and it’s always fun seeing Mopar drivers Matt Hagan and Jack Beckman at these events. The weather was beautiful all weekend, and it was a blast seeing the Top Fuel and Funny cars run again.
The next weekend was the NHRA divisional race. I decided to drive Dick Krieger’s altered wheel base dragster in the Super Comp class. I have only done a few divisionals before and it’s always challenging to be around such tough competition. I struggled a bit in the car with the new set up. The father and son team at Westminster Performance Transmission did an amazing job upgrading the transmission and transbrake valve body in the car. After a few practice runs, thanks to Joe and Mike at WPT I was able to cut some good lights in qualifying. In the first round of competition, I had my best light of the whole weekend but the car just couldn’t run fast enough to meet the 9.05 index and we lost. It was a tough first round loss but we learned some lessons that we will carry on to our next race.
Coming up is the Pacific Street Car Association’s Spring Shootout at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana. We are very excited to improve our standings in this series as this is a double points race. Hopefully we can go some rounds and move up to the top spot! I will also be singing the National Anthem before first round on Sunday morning, so come on out to the track to see some great racing!! Spectator tickets are on sale for only $20!! See you there.
The first few points races of the year were a whirlwind of activity in Las Vegas, NV last month. We went to the Motor Speedway a little early to get some practice with our newly set up Magnum on the track because we hadn’t raced there in quite a while. It wasn’t long before my crew chief Richard got the set up just right and we were able to get consistent traction lap after lap. A red light in the early rounds took us out of competition on Sunday though, and we moved onto the second race in the three week swing.
The PSCA Magnafuel Las Vegas Nationals took place the following weekend. I handed out the number one qualifier awards with my Liquid Glow Car Care Products to all of the winners on Sunday morning. Of course, opening ceremonies occurred just before first round of the heads-up classes, and I finished the ceremony with my performance of the National Anthem. The racing at PSCA went well. The Bracket-1 class was a tough one this time, because it was heavily populated with dragsters and door cars equipped with electronics. In the Street Muscle class we went to the third round and lost to last year’s champion, Larry Pittenger. It was a close race, a double breakout but we ended up on the wrong side of the slim margin of victory. Though we were out of competition for the day, we were in great shape for the last of the 3 races in this three week swing in Vegas.
The Mopars At The Strip race is always one of the most fun events of the year for me. There were thousands of people there, including Dodge themselves. The folks from the Dodge Chrysler world brought out lots of cars on display and had free “drag and drift” thrill rides in Hellcats and Vipers running all day. It was amazing to see so many Mopar branded cars both in and out of the staging lanes.
We had the most success in the Modern Muscle class, which is just for late model HEMI cars. Maggie was the fastest running car in the class, so I had the advantage of launching second for all of the competition rounds that day. After 5 rounds of competition, we made it to the final against a 14 second Charger. Unfortunately, I lost my edge on the tree and the race was lost by a couple of hundredths. It was a great event and I can’t wait to come back next year. Thanks to Phil and Jill Painter for putting on this awesome spectacle year after year.
The next racing for me is coming up this weekend in Las Vegas again. I will be attending the Toyota Nationals as a journalist representing MoparMax Magazine. Look to www.MoparMax.com for info about race results in the next week or so. I will also be racing the Divisional the following weekend in the Altered car in the Super Comp class. The pro tree is new for me, but I am looking forward to some variety in the racing style that Super Comp brings.
Check back for racing updates soon!!
Race blog update
This year for racing we focused heavily on racing the Magnum in the Pacific Street Car Association series. With the reopening of Fontana, we got to test earlier in the season and have more races closer to home. At the first race of the year, we had a mechanical issue on the Magnum that resulted in having to race a friend’s Dodge Charger R/T in the two bracket classes instead. Although we went some rounds, it was disappointing not to race our own car.
We had a couple of cool racing opportunities that came through the Frank Hawley Drag Racing school in the early spring. For the first time Frank’s school ran a Media Day event at Fontana Dragway. Since MoparMax was invited, I got to drive against a number of other automotive journalists in a traditional bracket race. First we were trained how to use the cars, what the basics of bracket racing were, and how the ladder worked. We were racing the super comp dragsters that were detuned to run in the low 10 second range. After a few practice runs in the cars, we were qualified based on reaction time. I was in the middle of the field, but when it came to bracket racing, I was able to go 4 rounds and made it to the final round of the race. In the final I faced fellow Speed Scene Live co-host, Donny Couch, who was able to beat me in his first ever drag race. It was a very fun day, and we got a chance to hang with some pro drivers like Jack Beckman, Jeff Arend, Robert Hight and of course, Frank Hawley.
This was followed by a day at the Dragster Adventure course, where Frank does a condensed version of his Super Comp class. This lets students race side by side without experience or requiring an NHRA license. We got to spend the day with WBO Super Featherweight Champion Mikey Garcia while he learned the ropes in a dragster. It was interesting to hear him compare his experience in the ring with driving a race car. Not only was it fun to watch the racing, but I always love to see a new driver get excited about the sport of drag racing.
I also began racing a new car this year in both the Super Pro class and Super Comp class. Dick Krieger, the owner, asked me to drive his short wheelbase altered last year and I finally got to go to my first race in May. It is a very fun car to drive, and is a totally different racing experience. My first race in the car I went a few rounds and good seat time with a new launch procedure, tree and top end game. I also raced the car in Fallon, Nevada in June, and was able to get a round win on Shawn Langdon’s dad, Chad. It was a pretty cool race!
After taking a huge road trip across the country, (for more info on my trip check out the Alex Blog) we raced at the Street Car Super Nationals Anarchy Under the Arch event in St. Louis, Missouri. It was really amazing to see the track prep and attention that the officials put into making that racing surface as prepped and stuck as possible. The problem though was that the weather was absolutely unbearable. Being used to dry southern California proved to be problematic in the 80% humidity air with 90 degree temperatures. It was difficult to race in these conditions, and we ended up being beat by a couple of local racers. It was a tough loss, but we went to the next race with more data and information about the car.
The PSCA season came down to the last race where we went in tied for first place in one class, and in the number two spot in the other class. When race day came, we needed to turn on six win lights, and we only turned on four. It was very close, but we weren’t able to take the Championship trophy home this year.
The last two races of the season were only a week apart, and both took place in Las Vegas. Although the points season for PSCA was over in October, there was still the Street Car Super Nationals race in Las Vegas that we attended. This race has big purses for all classes, and lots of fast cars including pro mod and out law pro mods show up to this event. And although it’s stressful at times, it’s always fun to sing both the Canadian and American National Anthems before first round on Sunday. From there we went straight into the Thanksgiving Nationals where I raced both the Magnum and the altered for all four days of competition. Because the pro and super pro classes were called so close together, there was very little time between rounds to prepare for the next car I was racing. Since they were different trees and different cars, I had to really focus on the car I was sitting in the present moment, and not think about the next round ahead. It was great experience, and on Sunday I got to race Vincent Nobile in his borrowed Nova. Unfortunately I cut my slowest light of the weekend and the win light was on his side. But it was a thrill to say the least.
We learned a lot of great lessons on the car this year, and we feel very confident that after some changes during the off season we are going to come out swinging at the very beginning of the season. The Magnum has come a long way in the last five years and we are very proud of the progress we made. Our first testing session will take place in mid February and the first PSCA points race of the year will happen two short weeks after that. We will keep you apprised of our progress all year, and hopefully I’ll see you at the races!
It feels like quite a long time since the last race, so we are really looking forward to the next event in the Pacific Street Car Association series. The Chris Alston’s Chassisworks Nor-Cal Nationals will take place in Sacramento, California on March 21st to 23rd. I left the last race of the series in 4th place in both my Street Muscle and Bracket-1 classes, so we are really hopeful for the next race. We’ve never raced at this track before, so it will be an entirely new experience. And of course, I’ll be doing the normal Sunday morning procedures of handing out the Liquid Glow number one qualifier awards and singing the national anthem before eliminations.
After the last race, we needed to figure out what was causing the mechanical issue we were having with the car. Thanks to the people at Mountain View Performance in Rancho Cucamonga, California, the Magnum had a place to live while we sorted out the possible problems. With their help and the help of the people at Arrington Performance and shopHEMI.com, the problem was fixed in no time. The car is running strong and ready to have our test session at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California this Saturday, March 15th. With new custom valving in the Strange Engineering shocks, a new type of fuel pump from shopHEMI.com we have a few plans for launch points and suspension set up, and can’t wait to get the car dialed in for the second race in the PSCA series.
So if you’re in the Sacramento area on the third weekend in March, check out the PSCA race at the track! It will be an awesome racing event and have an awesome vendor midway for spectators to cruise and peruse! We will even be displaying our Liquid Glow Car Care products, including the new Miracle Paint Cleaning System so make sure to stop by to say hi!
We are also very proud to be running the Champion decals and flying the red, black and white colors at the test session and race this month for the first time. I am so excited to be part of Team Champion, and am really proud to run the decals on the car and trailer and the pit. And now that there’s only less than two weeks left in the contest, we are really pushing for everyone to be voting every day! Again the link is http://alwaysachampion.com/search-for-a-champion/entry/1568631
Wow, what a month! First, thanks to you, I’m a finalist in the Champion Spark Plugs Search for a Champion contest! I am officially a member of #TeamChampion! I will be proudly wearing Champion logos on my race car from now on. Thank you to Champion for this honor and opportunity.
Now, you helped me get here, let’s keep going! You can vote for me every day and I need your vote! Help me win this contest and I and my team will be able to build a late model Dodge Challenger NHRA Super Gas race car. Use the link at the end of this update to vote. And thank you, all of my friends that have voted for me!
You may notice some new marketing partner logos at the top of this page. You all know I’m a big advocate of safety on and off the track. I always go beyond the minimum requirements in my safety gear and equipment. So does Bell Racing, the best helmets you can buy. Every race I’m safe and secure in my SNELL SA 2010 Bell Helmet and HANS device.
My car is quick off the line and much more consistant thanks to my new FTI billet Hemi torque converter. Trust me, I’ve been through more than a few converters on my high output Hemi race car and FTI is the real deal. I’m so excited to see what we can do on the track together this year.
And you’re going to hear a LOT more about the MAHLE logos on this page. A great company with amazing people and technology.
I’m so lucky and blessed in my life. I wake up every day excited and eager to get to work. “Live at Wide Open Throttle.” 🙂
I experienced a roller coaster weekend at the opening Pacific Street Car Association’s Magnafuel Record Breaker Nationals. I race two championship classes in PSCA, Street Muscle and Bracket-1. After a promising first round of qualifying, I had to drop Maggie out of the race weekend with a fuel supply issue that after several hours of work in the pits we determined to be unrepairable.
My car had run its quickest ever ¼ mile pass and I and my crew were thrilled with the car prior to the mechanical failure. The new FTI Torque Converter was working really well in the test session on Friday. We are also running a new, larger diameter carbon fiber driveshaft from the Driveshaft Shop which was really getting the car off the line. And finally we are now running Mickey Thompson Tires ET Street Radial Pro. With the new converter, driveshaft and switching from bias ply slicks to radial ones, we really didn’t know what to expect. But my crew chief really nailed the set up. Right off the trailer the car’s first lap, even with green tires, just hooked and flew down the track.
This made the mechanical issue extra disappointing. We went from flying high to crashing down and scrambling. The team made a phone call to our friend, Tony Rowe of Tony Rowe Enterprises. Tony had a shop full of cars, one of which was a 2006 Dodge Charger Daytona which he loaned to me.
It worked out really well, I’m very comfortable in late model Mopars and since we were down to a single time trail per class and then eliminations on Sunday, that was really important.
We’re calling this the weekend of ‘Friends and Sportsman’ because the whole race needed a lot of them to work for us. Our friend’s at BSG Racing, Gavin, Emil, and Ryan loaned us a truck to tow the car to the race since our new one isn’t available yet. Another good friend, Jim Bassett loaned us a trailer, again because our new one isn’t available yet. And of course, ultimately Tony ended up loaning us a race car.
In eliminations I managed to go rounds in both of my PSCA classes and made it to the quarter-finals. The way the ladder worked out there were only three pairs in the quarters, so ending my weekend there left me in an unexpected fourth place in the points after the first race of the seven race season was completed. This closed the loop on the team’s weekend rollercoaster ride from high to low and back to high again.
Of course, we always want to win. But, given all that we went through this weekend, we’re very grateful to end up in such a great position to start the season.
Please help me win a $50,000 sponsorship contest to build a new race car! I entered a two minute video in Champion’s “Search for a Champion” contest. About 388 entrants are competing for 15 Finalist positions–which win $5,000 each. From those fifteen, one $50,000 grand prize winner will be selected. The scoring is done 33% by number of votes for my video, then Champion internally determines the rest of the score with 33% based on “Best Depiction of a Champion,” and 34% on “Inspirational Quality.” I want to win this contest, if I do it will enable me to work with my partners and build a Mopar NHRA Super Gas or late model Challenger Stock Eliminator race car.
You can help me win. The link below takes you to my entry page in the contest. I think the video is very watchable, it’s a fast moving two minute video, I think you’ll enjoy it. Then please vote for me. But here’s the IMPORTANT thing, you can vote once every day. So please bookmark the page and vote for me every day. The contest is open for one month and if you can vote for me every day that leverages your vote up to 30 votes. Also, everytime you vote you get entered to win prizes too!
Secondly, please spread the word through your family, friends, co-workers and especially your social networks. If everyone gets 10 people to vote for me everyday and they get 10 people to do it, I’m 1/3 of the way there. I am deeply grateful for the support that all of you have given me, and with your help on this contest I hope to take my racing to the next level. In a few weeks we’re ordering a new diesel tow rig and a 40′ race hauler. We’re building the infrastructure, now I just need the race car.
The last race of the year came fast, and we were excited for the end of the season. The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway put on their annual Bracket Nationals, a four day race on the Thanksgiving weekend. There were over 300 entries for the race. Each day was an individual race, so we had 4 chances to do well during the weekend. Our crew was a little bigger than normal this race, because Richard’s family joined us in Las Vegas for the holiday. It was a great mixture of racing and family gathering, and the weather turned out to be a warm 65 degrees. We made it to the 4th round on Thursday’s race, and carried the success over to Friday’s race where we made it to the 4th round again. Saturday and Sunday we went to the third round, and were very happy to make it that far. And since we are now partnered with Mountain View Performance shop in Rancho Cucamonga, we are part of the Mountain View racing family. There were several other cars at the race that were also part of the Mountain View Performance family and it was encouraging to see so many cars carrying the Mountain View logo.
All in all, it was a great weekend, and a great way to end the racing year. We had a lot of fun and very much enjoyed the 4 race day format. We are really looking forward to testing the new upgrades and improvements we’re making to the car over the winter. It will be a very exciting and interesting season next year, and we can’t wait for it to start!
Click a thumbnail on the right to enlarge the image.
The end of the year Pacific Street Car Association race, Street Car Super Nationals is one of our favourite non-points races of the year. This event brings participants all the way down from Canada and the Northern states of the US. It also has quite a large Pro Street and Pro Mod contingent, and in fact this year it had over 40 cars entered in the Pro Mod/Street classes. It is not only a great race to participate in, but also to spectate. The car was running well, especially after my crew chief and I installed the new Driveshaft Shop 4 inch aluminum driveshaft. The weather was beautiful, and we even set up our Liquid Glow vendor booth in the midway. Thanks to the new addition of the Street Muscle class, we were able to run 2 classes on Sunday’s eliminations. After making it to the third round in the Bracket 1 class, we were pleased with the car’s consistency. And of course, I was able to sing the national anthem on Sunday morning, but since there were so many Canadians in attendance, I also sang the Canadian National Anthem. It was a pleasure to represent both countries on race day opening ceremonies. Thanks to race promoter Mel Roth, we were able to hand out Liquid Glow Car Care products to the number one qualifiers at the driver’s meeting on Sunday morning.
Mel Roth also announced that he would be adding another Street Car Super Nationals event to the 2014 schedule on August 20-23, 2014 in St. Louis at Gateway Motorsports Park. We are very excited to compete in this race as it will be the first time the Liquid Glow Mopar Max team competes in a race our east. I can’t wait to meet some new racing friends from the other side of the country. Thanks Mel!
We were extremely excited for the last points race of the season in the Pacific Street Car Association race series. Since it was a three day race, with test and tune on Friday night, qualifying on Saturday and eliminations on Sunday, we had plenty of opportunities to get runs in before competition started. The practice rounds on Saturday held lots of promise for a successful competition the next day. The car was running awesome, my crew chief Richard had the car running within a few thousandths of the predicted dial, and my lights were on it. Maggie was launching and hooking so well that I was able to go trip zip perfect .000 on the tree, followed by .002 and .005 during qualifying. We were absolutely thrilled with the launch set up of the car, and had finally figured out the strategy to get optimum traction. Thanks to companies like Weld Racing, Mickey Thompson Tires, Strange Engineering, Unitrax Drvietrain and Driveshaft Shop, the car was in the 1.4 sixty foot range.
Unfortunately, to our utter shock and disappointment, on the 4th qualifying pass on Saturday, the driveshaft failed at launch. We brought the car back to the pits to figure out what went wrong. Unfortunately there was no way to fix the problem before the next day’s race, so we decided to stay and cheer on the rest of the racers on Sunday. I also had the duty of singing the National Anthem on Sunday morning during opening ceremonies. I also had the pleasure of presenting the car show awards to the "best in show" winners after the eliminations started. And lastly, it was a pleasure to hand out the trophies in the winner’s circle at the end of the day Sunday. If I wasn’t going to be able to get there with my team, it was nice to hand out the trophies and be a part of sharing the joy of the winners.
Even though we didn’t get to race on Sunday’s eliminations, it was an enjoyable last race of the season. I want to thank my crew chief, my wonderful racing friends, and of course all my marketing partners that helped us get the car working and running so well. Oh, and it turned out that the driveshaft failure was a unique mechanical failure, never seen before. That’s part of racing, things break.
We finally have the car working as a whole package again. We spent most of the year getting the rest of the car to live up to the awesome Arrington Performance engine that was installed in February. We’re running a Driveshaft Shop 9″ IRS rear with their 1400 hp axles and their carbon fiber driveshaft. We have a Strange Engineering 3rd member with 3.50 gears and a Wavetrac limited slip. Our wonderful friends at Westminster Performance Transmission completed blueprinted our transmission, valve body and torque converter. My crew chief, Richard Kratz, has figured out the setup for the Strange double adjustable shocks which work great with the small rear brake kit and 15×10 Weld Racing wheels that the amazing folks at Mountain View Performance install with some beautiful fabricating work. This has all led to terrific traction, 1.50 sixty foot times and 10.87 ETs. I didn’t win the race at the Division Finals, but I went four rounds in the Friday Gambler and three rounds in the Saturday divisional race. And this was against the best racers from 16 tracks in 7 states, so I’m proud and the car is ready!
I can’t believe it’s already here, but we’re headed off to the Pacific Street Car Association’s Mickey Thompson West Coast Shootout race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway! I love racing PSCA, and I’m really excited to end the points season with this event. The promoter, Mel Roth, always does a great job of making it fun for not only racers, but spectators as well. With the addition of the car show, people can come for a weekend and get to see both show cars and race cars at the same event! In addition to racing the Magnum in the Bracket-1 and Street Muscle classes, I will be handing out Liquid Glow car care products on Sunday morning at the driver’s meeting for all the number one qualifiers of the event. I will then be heading to the tower to sing the national anthem before eliminations begin. With the Magnum hooking and booking on the track, we are confident that we can run well into the 10s this weekend—as we did two weeks ago at the NHRA Division 7 ET Finals where the car ran 10.87—especially with the relatively low temperatures predicted in the forecast. So make your way to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend. It’s going to be an awesome event with really fast cars, an awesome car show, and the weather is supposed to be fantastic. See you there!
After a successful night of testing at Irwindale Speedway’s Drag Strip, we learned that the Magnum is very capable of cutting good lights and launching hard off the line. Thanks to companies like The Driveshaft Shop, Wavetrac, Unitrax Drivetrain, Weld Racing, Mickey Thompson Tires, Wilwood, TCE Performance, Strange Engineering, and especially Mountain View Performance, we got down the track successfully at Irwindale and ran a 7.14 best elapsed time on their 1/8th mile.
We were hopeful and excited for the potential of things to come at the next NHRA Summit Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this past weekend. One of the problems we were having in the last few months was cured when Dave Beckley of Mountain View Performance fabricated a solution for our belt-shredding problem. Before his brilliant fix, we were only getting three runs per belt because of the belt “walking” on the idler pulley that was shredding the material. Thanks to Dave, we are getting a lot more life out of our belts!
We had a couple of things to do before the race began on Saturday night. Before the Friday night test session we decided to bring the car in to MoparMax’s official Las Vegas race shop, Hot Rods and Horsepower. We wanted to inspect all of the new parts on the car to make sure everything was in ship shape before the long stretch of racing ahead. While there, Jason and Scott, who both race the Outlaw 8.5 class at the track, gave us some helpful tips on suspension set up and tuning. Without their advice, we would not have had the same success on the track. So a big thank you and shout out to them for their help!
Friday night brought the new “Showcase” class at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In this new class during the Friday night Midnight Mayhem, the racers are allowed to use slicks, have up to two crew members at the line, water in the waterbox, track prep, and the ETs and reaction times are not displayed on the scoreboards. Only the driver gets to see their timeslip, and their opponent does not know what the other ran. This was a perfect addition to the regular test and tune because it was a better simulation of an actual race test and tune. We were able to obtain usable launch data, good information about the ETs, and also what the reaction times were like with the new set up. Saturday’s testing came much easier having already started this process the night before. I was cutting good lights in the car, and the 60’s were down in to the mid 1.5s, which is the best the car has ever done. The Showcase also brought out some hardcore fast street cars and there was some serious grudge racing occuring to delight the spectators.
On Saturday, the first round brought an electrical glitch in the transmission, and the car did not run its dial. So we were out for the race. But with 4 races left to go before the end of the season, I’m confident that we can go some rounds in the Magnum, it’s hooking and running consistantly now. I’m really looking forward to the next race! Come on out to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend August 30th to September 1st, and also the next weekend, September 6th to the 8th!
Last entry I told you guys about our wonderful new partnership with Mountain View Performance in Rancho Cucamunga. Since then, the relationship has been blooming, and we are very proud to be part of the Mountain View Performance team! The car has been in their shop for a few weeks getting upgrades and fabrication work done by the amazing Dave Beckley. There are going to be quite a few new things on the Magnum by the next test session, Strange double adjustable front and rear shocks and springs, a new small brake kit from Wilwood and TCE, and new Weld Racing Wheels just to name a few. This Thursday we will be testing all of the new equipment at Irwindale Speedway.
Also happening that night at Irwindale, WBO World Featherweight Boxing Champion Mikey Garcia will be attending and racing his Magnuson Supercharged SRT Challenger. Mikey is a huge Mopar fan, and loves to race his car. He is also a big supporter of local charities, City of Hope and Second Chance Food Pantry of San Bernadino and Ventura Counties. Mikey and I will both be attending this Thursday to not only race our cars but to promote the upcoming drag race party for charity. Happening on Halloween night, we will be hosting the event that’s going to include a live DJ, a dance contest, face painting, a costume contest and of course, drag racing the eighth mile! So come on out to support these awesome cause and get your autographs signed from Mikey Garcia and Alex The Car Girl!
Teaming up with Mountain View Performance/Tire
You may have heard of the Mountain View Tire franchise though their Mountain View Racing NHRA Pro Stock team with Vincent Nobile driving. Their head office is located in Rancho Cucamunga, California, where they also have a Performance Race Shop. Well, I and the MoparMax car and crew are teaming up with Mountain View Performance, a complete high performance fabrication, engine-building and dyno facility, to help my crew chief and I bring the car up to the next level. I am so excited to show racers and high performance car enthusiasts what Mountain View Performance can do for our car and for their customers’ cars. It’s in a great location, its a beautiful facility, and is owned by a wonderful car loving family, the Mitsos’. They are a shop that offers high level fabrication and dyno capabilities that are good for both street and strip cars. I am very excited to start our new partnership and I can’t wait for everyone to try out Mountain View Performance too! To read the whole press release, click here.
New Driveshaft Shop 9″ Ford IRS Swap Kit with Strange Center Section and Wavetrac LSD
This coming week we’re heading off to Vegas for an upcoming NHRA Summit Bracket Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on June 29th. But before the Magnum is back on the track, the rear end will be swapped for a brand new Driveshaft Shop 9 inch independent rear conversion kit. We have a center section from Strange and a limited slip differential from Wavetrac. Driveshaft Shop is also providing us with 1400 hp axles and a chromoly driveshaft. Last race, the increased power that the new Arrington Performance engine is making proved too much for the previous rear end. Although the rear was upgraded and handled 600 hp for hundreds of passes and tens of thousands of miles, with the Arrington engine making more like 800 hp it was a bit too much for the old rear and it broke the ring and pinion. So thanks to Hot Rods and Horsepower in Las Vegas, NV, we were able to leave the Magnum in Vegas while we went home to organize the shipping of parts for the new rear end. Now it’s all coming together and we’ll be putting the parts in the car this week, just in time to hit the track on Friday night for the test and tune. I am currently in 8th place in the points, and I hope to go some rounds this weekend at the track. I am so excited to be back in the Magnum again, even if it is going to be 114 degrees in the hot Nevada sun!
Lots of stuff going on! This past weekend Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosted their third and forth ET Bracket races at the drag strip. The weather was a beautiful 88 degrees all weekend, and the racers were out to have some fun. I was especially excited for this race because I wanted to rack up some points early on in the season. But because of some mechanical problems with the car, and my crew chief not being able to attend the race, I was without the Magnum to race for the weekend. Lucky for me, the father and son racing team of John and Jon Irving were incredibly generous in lending their car to me to race for the weekend. I was nervous about racing another car without having any prior experience driving it, but I decided that it was better than getting no points at all.
After a few runs in the car on Friday’s test and tune, I was feeling fairly confident about my launch procedure and driving the car on the track. Saturday evening brought lots of surprises. The Irvings were doing an awesome job at predicting what the car would run, and for the first round of eliminations we were feeling pretty good. After I got my first win light, I was thrilled. And as the night went on the dials kept getting better and the car was running great. After one extremely close quarterfinal win, where I won the round by only thirteen ten thousandths of a second, I was on the way to the semi final. My opponent was Bob Coulter, previous track champion, and unfortunately for me, his experience showed. He cut a better light than me and ran closer to his dial, so I was out for the night. But to make it to the final four cars out of 64 was extremely exciting to do in a borrowed car.
Sunday’s race was not quite as successful, but I did make it to the second round. I would have liked to have done as good or better as Sunday’s race, but it was an extremely pleasing weekend overall. I was so thankful to have a car to race, and I learned a tremendous amount from John and Jon Irving. I owe a huge thank you to them for all they did last weekend.
The next race will happen the last weekend of May. The Magnum is in the process of getting some updated suspension bushings from Whiteline Performance, new Strange Engineering drag shocks and some other upgrades. They are being installed at Voss Performance in Fullerton, CA, and I can’t wait to get the car back and race it. I am hopeful that these new parts will help the car’s stability at the top end. Hopefully we’ll be able to rack up some more points for the championship by the end of the year. I can’t wait to see what happens at the next race!
It’s been an action packed season opening! We just returned from a two week trip to Las Vegas where we had a very busy schedule. First on the calendar was Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing school. Thanks to Frank and my good friend Tony Rowe, I got to attend Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and I got to drive a Super Comp Dragster! For more details check out my Alex Blog page. After the driving school was completed, we were off to test the Maulin’ Magnum at the test and tune before the upcoming racing. The car was running well and we were excited about Saturday’s racing. But the swarming locusts served to be a problem for both me and the car. There were so many millions of locusts swarming the track that I was forced to seek refuge in the only place that wasn’t infested, the car. I am not a fan of bugs, especially those that jump and fly in your face while you’re walking around the pits. When it was time for eliminations, the locusts were piling up everywhere, including the track, and they only served to exacerbate our already existing traction issues. Alas, we were out in round one.
But Sunday was a new day, and had a happier ending for the Arrington Powered Maulin’ Magnum. The locusts were gone and the car was hooking off the line. Round one of eliminations came and there were about 70 cars in the lanes for the Pro class. After several hard fought win lights on my side of the track, we were in the top six of the 70 cars that came to race on Sunday. At the stripe it was a double break out, and our opponent won the race by a mere fourteen ten thousandths of a second! It was a respectable way to go out of the competition and we were proud of our accomplishments. The lessons that Frank taught us were crucial to our success during the rounds that day. We always took time to look around and be thankful that we get to do what we love. We also knew that we had to take it one round at time, and focus most on what we could control about the race.
Next came the Pacific Street Car Association’s Magnafuel Nationals race. Saturday’s practice went quite smoothly, and the car was running well. The track personnel did a great job of prepping the track in the warm weather and the car was hooking off the line. I was even able to cut a perfect .000 light in a practice round and follow it up with a .004 light right after. The car was predictable, and we went into Sunday with confidence.
I was asked by Mel Roth of the Pacific Street Car Association to help hand out the trophies and plaques at the awards banquet on Saturday night. It was awesome to hand out the awards to such deserving racers. And it was also awesome to receive my Runner Up Championship plaque for the Street Muscle class. The surprise of the night was the special recognition award for none other than my crew chief, Richard Kratz! The food was awesome, the people were awesome and it was a great end to Saturday’s practice. I really want to say thank you to the whole PSCA crew for putting on such an awesome show. It was a fun time.
So Sunday morning came around and we were excited to start the day. But the first round of time trials proved to be a little confusing for the crew chief, and when eliminations came we needed to step up our game. The car was having trouble getting off the line, and my reaction times were not up to par. So we decided to stage a little deeper to get a better reaction time, and I turned the red bulb on. It was tough being out in the first round. We had high hopes for the weekend, and Saturday was going so well. But the car’s set up is new, and traction continues to be an issue. The power that the Arrington ShopHEMI.com engine is producing constantly astounds me. I can’t wait to get the rest of the car set up to handle it to show its full potential.
Lots more racing coming up, so check back for more updates on the next races and events. And of course, don’t forget to tune into www.speedsceneracing.com every Tuesday night at 6 pm PST! – Click any image below to enlarge:
Lots going on in the racing world! We made it quite a few rounds in the last PSCA race, and I was especially happy to be back in the racecar again. I also got to wear my new race gear for the first time ever. I recently got a gorgeous and wonderful helmet from Bell Racing. It’s incredibly light, good looking, and does not fog up no matter the level of humidity! I love it. I also got to wear my one-piece Crow Racing suit for the first time. It was awesome to have this for the cold weather in Vegas since on race day we had a snow delay! That’s right, it was snowing at the top end of the racetrack, and racing had to stop for several minutes.
We decided that the best way to show the streetability of our new 6.4L Arrington engine was to drive it from Virginia to California! To start the journey, we traveled to Martinsville, Virginia from California to drop the car off and leave it in the hands of Arrington Performance Industries. We drove the Magnum all the way from Santa Clarita to Martinsville in under 40 hours and over 2700 miles of travel. But it was so worth it. We got to get an exclusive shop tour of the facility and meet all the awesome people that are part of the Arrington Performance legend. We’ll be covering their facility, the build of the motor, dyno numbers and tuning, as well as the track numbers and results extensively in upcoming issues of MoparMax Magazine. We’ll also be talking about a lot about the other companies participating in the project. Of course Magnuson Superchargers, Mahle Pistons, Clevite Bearings, PSI Springs, Manley Connecting Rods, Fuel Injector Clinic Injectors, as well as a number of Arrington’s own engineered parts will all be a part of the awesome new engine.
I’m super excited to be debuting the new engine at MATS on March 21-24th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This is going to be a great event with tons of Mopars on display as well as awesome racing. I’ll let you know what kind of numbers the new Maggie throws down!
P.S I want to give a huge shout out and thank you to our friends at Jim’s Towing and Unitrax Drivetrain and Arrington Performance. Our driveshaft broke on the way home from Vegas a few weeks ago, and Jim Morosan from Jim’s towing was ready and willing to tow us all the way from Victorville to Anaheim where Unitrax got the part that Arrington shipped overnight repaired in time for us to head to Virginia. Without them, we wouldn’t have made it there. I owe them a huge thank you!
As many of you know, I’ve been racing my two past seasons on my stock 6.1L Hemi engine. Of course it’s supercharged by Magnuson, but it’s a completely stock motor, and it’s still running after 58,000 miles and 500 drag strip passes! So we thought it was time to give her a break. I’m very proud to announce that this year I will be racing with a new 6.4L Hemi engine built by my new marketing partner, Arrington Performance & shopHEMI.com! If you don’t know Arrington, basically all you need to know is that they are the BEST performance Mopar engine builder and performance parts company. They have the best facility (FIVE engine dynos!), do the most R&D, are the best engine builders and technicians with the most Hemi expertise, and they build the best, most reliable and fastest motors on the planet. And through shopHEMI.com they seel everything they develop in addition to every performance part your late model Hemi wants or needs!
We’ll be covering the build of the motor in the magazine this year in great detail, as well as what makes Arrington so great. But this means that we’ll be making our way out of Sportsman and into the Pro class, because the Magnum will be running faster this year! I won’t say how much yet, because the numbers are still just calculations. But I will tell you that I’m very excited to unleash the new 6.4L supercharged beast when I get it!
To kick off the season, I’ll be going to the PSCA Record Breaker Nationals February 8-10 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It’s the first Pacific Street Car Association race of the season, and I can’t wait to get started. And this Of course, I’ll be singing the national anthem on Sunday morning just before eliminations start, so even if you don’t race, come out to see the awesome racing and hear me sing! And as extra bonus, The West Coast Outlaw Pro Mod Association and the Pacific Street Car Association have formed a partnership for three events over the course of the 2013 season. The Record Breaker Nationals are the first race with the new fastest class being WCOPMA, so you get to see the wild and wicked fast Pro Mods race!
We won’t have the new motor ready just yet, but I’ll keep you updated on when the install is happening so you can see the debut of the new awesome motor! See you at the races!
Hey everyone, sorry it’s been so long since I’ve last updated. It’s been a busy couple of weeks! Our last race of the year was the Street Car Super Nationals race The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and it was a semi-successful race. Although we lost in the second round of eliminations on Sunday, we did finally get the car into the high 11s in Vegas! The car ran three 11.8 second passes during the weekend, the lowest being 11.810 on Saturday. We were very happy with the low ET slips because we’ve been trying to get the car into that high 11 second range in Vegas for a few months now. For a streetcar that tows its own pit to the races, that’s a pretty respectable time!
When it came time for eliminations, in the second round I gave up too much stripe at the top end, and lost by only a few thousandths. It was a close race, and it would have been nice to advance in the competition, but I learned a lot about racing from that round, and I plan to use that information in the 2013 season.
At the NHRA Auto Club Finals at Pomona I got to interview Pro Stock World Champion, Allen Johnson. He is a very genuine person and a very nice guy. Congratulations to him, his father and the whole team for such a tremendous accomplishment. Look for the interview in MoparMax magazine next month. Also got to see our friend Jack Beckman win the Funny Car World Championship. Jack is a great racer and great guy, Richard and I really respect all that he has accomplished both on and off the track. Congratulations to him and his team.
We’ll be starting our new engine build project very shortly, so we’ll be posting updates on that throughout the winter. We’re working with no one less then legendary Pro Stock engine builder Bob Lambeck, who is not only a great racer and engine builder, but a very nice guy who tells some of the best and funniest drag racing stories you’ll ever hear. We’ll also be planning a few Irwindale trips over the off-season, so we’ll keep you posted on those too!
Although we weren’t racing, the excitement of the Big O’Tires National race in Las Vegas last weekend was almost as much as if I was driving in the race. It was incredible to see the cars qualify and race after growing close to some of the drivers over the last year. The points chase is extremely close, and it was suspenseful to watch the funny car drivers in the final battle it out for the lead before Pomona.
On Sunday’s qualifying we decided to wander over to Jack Beckman’s pit to say hi and wish him good luck for the next round of competition. After standing there for a few minutes, he asked me to help him fold up his parachute! I got to step into the pit and assist Jack with putting the laundry in their proper containers. I sure was glad when the chutes opened in the final round. I also got to see one of my friends and mentors Paul Lee drive his new funny car in the quaterfinal round on Sunday afternoon. Paul has been a friend of mine for a while and I was really looking forward to seeing him drive again this year. He did really great for driving a brand new car so well in qualifying and elimination rounds. He is an incredible business man as well as drag racer, and it was great to see him win a few rounds in such tough competition.
The race ended up in a great spot for Pomona. The races are close in almost all the fields, and I can’t wait to see who will end up the champion!
Street Car Super Nationals
The next race for the Magnum and I will be the Street Car Super Nationals happening in Las Vegas on November 15th to the 18th. I will not only be racing in Bracket 1, but I will also be in the vendor isle selling my Easy Elegance Car Care Products all four days of the show. Be sure to stop by and say hi and check out our awesome Liquid Glow Quick Detailer. It’s perfect for racers as well as car show fanatics. And I will also be performing the National Anthem for the opening ceremonies on Sunday morning. It will be a great weekend of racing with lots of fast cars and awesome bracket and heads up racing. I hope to see you there!
After a long and tiring week in Las Vegas, we ended up in a pretty good spot for the 2012 year. The week started out with something totally different than anything I had ever done before. I had the pleasure of attending the Frank Hawley Drag racing school at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway the week previous to the race, and learned a great deal not just about drag racing, but about life in general. Although I never got to drive the race cars, I was able to hear and see everything that Frank teaches his students about the physical and mental aspects of driving a car. Because of this class, Richard and I were able to keep relatively calm and level headed during Sunday’s races.
The morning started with a couple of time trials in our two bracket classes, followed by my performance of the national anthem. After that was over, we had to focus solely on the upcoming round of eliminations. After several successful rounds and win lights, we were paired with fellow racer and Las Vegas teammate, Scott Parsons for the Semi final round. At this point, all three racers left in the competition, Kevin Houmard, Scott Parsons and me, were tied for the championship, which meant that whoever won the race was claiming the 2012 championship title. Parsons and I had a great race, and the win lights came on my side of the track and the end of the race. But after I received the time slip, it was easy to see something had gone wrong with the lights. Parson’s mile per hour at the stripe was apparently 210 mph, and only going 11 seconds made that quite unlikely. So the officials declared a rerun, and we were paired in the Semi final for the second time. After yet another close race, my win lights came on at the stripe, and I was going to the final round! I had to race Kevin Houmard in the final round in the April PSCA race, so it was the second time we faced each other in the final race in the Street Muscle class.
Because the eliminations were only 10 minutes apart, we did not have time to go over as much data and information about the runs as we would have liked. At the launch, I knew I had a good reaction time, and I assumed his was good also. It was very close at the top end, and we both ran it all the way out until the top end. Unfortunately our dial was a bit slow, as we broke out by 7 hundredths to his one hundredth break out. My .018 light to his .014 light made it a close race all the way until the finish line. It was an incredible race to top off an incredible day. We went home with a new trophy in our hands, and the satisfaction of knowing that in our second season of racing, we are the runners up in the 2012 Pacific Street Car Association’s Street Muscle Championship!
I’d like to give a huge thanks to my crew chief, Richard Kratz who gave me dials that got us through 7 rounds of racing. It was a difficult car to dial this weekend, but he did everything to make it work all the way until the final round. I am also very thankful to all my sponsors, including Elwin Luzon from Mickey Thompson Tires, who gave us great advice on our 60’s and getting better traction with our drag radials. Also LAT oil, whose transmission fluid and oil were rock solid in consistency all weekend, no matter the temperatures. Of course I want to recognize Mike and Joe and Westminster Performance Transmission, as well as Magnuson Superchargers, The DriveShaft Shop, Diablo Sport, and Hedman Hedders for their awesome exhaust Hedders that got us an extra 30 horsepower!
Our next stop is the Full Throttle race in Las Vegas at the end of October, followed by the SEMA show. As far as racing goes, there are no more points races for the season, but we will be racing in the Bracket-1 class at the Street Car Super Nationals race in November.
Check back for more updates and news!
Well, all of the upgrades and work we’ve done to the car were definitely worth it! The new Hedman Hedders produced more power than we expected, per Richard’s calculations we went from 505 horsepower to 540! The Magnuson supercharger really likes the long tube headers. In fact, we ended up needing to add weight to the car to keep it legal for the Sportsman class, as we were heading for the eleven second range in very hot temperatures. Besides the fact that the car sounds mean and awesome, the headers made for an awesome top end rush as I approached the stripe. Our mph increased on the top end, and the car felt more responsive off the line.
It was two races in two days and Saturday we won several rounds, making it to the quarter finals in Sportsman. Sunday was tough as we lost in the first round of eliminations. After analyzing the in-car video and external videos, we realized that the staging strategy we’ve been using all summer long at Las Vegas isn’t right for Famoso. So we’re working on that for the next race, the NHRA Division 7 ET Finals which starts this Thursday September 27th.
Our goal was to end this weekend feeling confident about the upcoming ET Finals race that sums up the NHRA Summit Series division races and for the winner leads to the National Finals at Pomona in November. Not only did we get good data for the track and conditions, but we realized we have an extremely consistent and dialable car. Maggie was running great, and I can’t wait to show her off to everyone from Division 7 this week!
I’d like to give a special thanks to our new friends Gil and Richard for all their support and help on Sunday. I’d also like to give a big congratulation to fellow racer Wesley Eisenga for working hard to achieve his dual championships this year in West Coast Hot Rod’s D Gas class and the Famoso NHRA Summit Series Pro class track championship!
We finished the Tony Rowe Enterprises Bracket Race series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last week, races 8 and 9. We got the car to the 1/4 finals on Saturday. We are having an issue with the transmission’s shifting. It will occasionally short shift and then we can’t run our dial. On Sunday in the first round I cut a .007 light – that’s the good news – then I ran too soft on my dial and it was over. We end the year in 9th place in the points. Hopefully we get to go to Divisional Finals for the second LVMS team.
Other news, I cut my first perfect light, a .000 RT. I worked my way to it, Richard’s found a set up and I’ve found a staging and launch strategy that is consistant and fast off the line. I love seeing RT’s starting with “.00” 🙂
We purchased a new Mopar controller for our transmission and at tonight’s Tony Rowe Enterprises Midnight Mayhem street legals at LVMS we hope we discover that it’s solved our problem. If you’re in Vegas, come out tonight, run what you brung on the track for $15. Don’t face off against your friends or enemies on the street, bring it to a real track and do it like a grown up.
It’s been a long hiatus since the last race, but we’re due for another 4 week busy race schedule, and I couldn’t be more excited. The next race we have coming up is the Tony Rowe Enterprises race in Las Vegas this coming weekend.
To prepare, we’ve been attending the Thursday night drags these past few weeks in Irwindale. We went to test out a few new components on the car, nothing major. But we also went to have fun. It’s so thrilling to see all the people that line up for the 1/8th mile race on a Thursday night. And the stands are almost always full, no matter the weather.
So we’re eager to put the things we’ve learned to the test this weekend for competition. Hopefully we can move up our standings in the points. I’ll be posting an update next week about how we did so check back for results!!
We had the car running well and went several rounds in the low roller gambler race on Friday night and Saturday. We lost with an oh so close .008 breakout and then went on to make the top 16 out of 64 for the Run For the Money race on Friday afternoon. We left on Friday evening feeling confident for Saturday’s Division Championship race. We raced several great racers and made it to the third round when I was lined up against a Famoso sportsman racer. At launch, I felt I nailed the tree only to find that the accelerator pedal could not withstand the force any longer, and broke from its bracket causing me to coast past the starting line. After putting at idle all the way back to the pit, we brainstormed a way to fix the petal for the race on Sunday. After help from so many of our awesome Vegas team pit neighbors including the Phlegars, Cecil Jr and Sr, Wesley Eisenga and Carl Cannavo, we repaired the pedal in time to get a few hours sleep before Sunday’s eliminations.
Round one brought a red light on the opponent’s side, and sent me onto round number two. After a really close race, I ran 12 thousandths off the dial to his 19 thousandths off, but his reaction time made the win light come on his side. Even though it was a loss, we knew how hard we worked all year to get to this point. We were very thankful to have the car running so well, and to be part of the top 24 sportsman racers in Division 7. I’d like to thank my awesome crew chief for all his hard work on the car and for giving me awesome dials to race with. I’d also like to thank team Las Vegas as well as everyone at the track for helping with the pedal. It was an awesome weekend and I’m really proud to be a part of such a great team. I also want to say congratulations to Team Las Vegas for wining the Team Spirit Award, the Track Championship for Saturday’s race, and the Track Managers trophy for Sunday’s race!
We’re incredibly excited to leave for Vegas this week and race in the final PSCA race, the Mickey Thompson Tires West Coast Nationals. We are confident in the car, and can’t wait to see what we can do at the last race of the year.
Wow, am I running my life at full throttle right now. On Labor Day Monday, LVMS gave us permission to do a photo shoot on the starting line of the completely empty race track. It was strange to stand on the track with total silence around us instead of roaring engines. But the photos came out great! Look for some on my gallery before too long.
After the race we thrashed for two days to install the new 2-piece aluminum driveshaft from The Driveshaft Shop. This is another great product from the Driveshaft Shop. This light weight beauty can handle the power of my motor and even the new one we’re planning on for next year, it is unbelievably smooth. My car shakes and vibrates significantly less then it did with the stock shaft. But most important of all, at the race the
following weekend, same track, same conditions, the new shaft was good for a consistent .05 faster reaction time! Huge thanks to my friend Joshua Ward and his business partner Roy Spenner for not only letting us use their lift at their warehouse but spending two long days and a night turning wrenches with us to install. Oh, the long install wasn’t the fault of the shaft, just other issues with the car.
We also upgraded to the Mopar TCM to handle shifting duties on the car. This upgrade made a huge difference and we were cautiously optimistic going into the penultimate round of the Pacific Street Car Association (PSCA) race the following weekend. And while I didn’t win, we went a few rounds and left Las Vegas tied for first place in the Street Muscle class. We look forward to the last race of theyear on October 7th, it’s going to be epic!
We’re going on a 10 day racing swing!! Our own version of the western swing consists of two Tony Rowe Enterprises Bracket Series Races in Las Vegas this coming weekend, followed by the Lucas Oil Slick Mist National PSCA race also in Vegas the following weekend. This TRE race weekend is our last chance to catapult ourselves into the top few spots to go to the Race of Champions, so it’s a race that counts for a lot. Then we’ll be doing a photo shoot for a sponsor, (can’t say which yet) in between races during the week. The PSCA race is also a big one because I am trying to keep my second place standing in the points, maybe even move it up to first place in Street Muscle. I’m really looking forward to seeing all our PSCA racing friends again, and maybe singing the National Anthem again on Sunday morning.
We also just received our new Drive Shaft Shop Driveshaft that we’ll be putting in the car very soon (and covering in the magazine)! I can’t wait to get back out to the track and wrap up the season with some success! So come on out and race with us, or spectate at the track! It’s always an exciting time with lots of cool cars and people to talk to. See you there!
The drag strip and MoparMax.com teamed up to honor local hero, Jack Beckman. Beckman won the NHRA world super comp championship in 2003 and now races the Valvoline NextGen Dodge Charger funny car for Don Schumacher Racing. But it’s as much for his deeds off the track as on that he was honored. Jack was born in Southern California and still lives east of Los Angeles. He went into the US Air Force after high school and mustered out as a sergeant. He became an elevator technician and worked all the overtime he could get to pay for entry fees and parts for his race car. His vacation time was spent traveling to races. His hard work and effort paid off when he beat out over 1,400 other dragsters nationwide in 2003 to take the world title. He has helped over 7,000 drag racing students over the years as an instructor at Frank Hawley’s school of racing. But Jack’s biggest win light in life came shortly after winning the title when he was diagnosed with stage III lymphoma cancer. Now, among his many charitable efforts he is working with the Amgen Chemotherapy: Myths or Facts campaign. Jack shared with us his passion for communicating with and helping cancer patients take charge of their cancer journey by speaking openly with their doctors.
Jack not only signed autographs for fans in our MoparMax booth, he acted as crew chief for my race car for the evening. Jack watched me stage and launch and offered suggestions to Richard and I on things we can improve. I got to have Jack Beckman bring me into the waterbox and watch me run from the starting line. Amazing. Thank you Jack and it was a privilege to be a part of the team that honored you.
After a small break from racing, we were back at it this past weekend in Bakersfield for the West Coast Hot Rod Association’s race. During that racing break, we had our stock transmission upgraded and rebuilt and made stronger by the guys at Westminster Performance Transmission. Friday’s qualifying started out with a great reaction time, one that would have won a race easily. But the second and third practice runs were red lights. After looking at the data, we learned that I was doing my normal reaction time, but the car was actually leaving much earlier, actually leaving faster and faster with each round, since the transmission upgrade. Despite us trying to slow the car down, we ended up red lighting in the first round of eliminations. So the bad news was that the race was blown, but the good news is that the transmission is much more reliable now. Thanks to Westminster, we have a transmission that shifts solidly and leaps off the line. After we get a few practice runs with a new launch strategy, the car will be reacting much faster. So thanks to Mike and Joe at Westminster, we have a great transmission that will get us through many more races!
Our next race comes on August 9th, where we will be going to a special Thursday night test and tune at Irwindale Speedway. Nitro Funny Car driver Jack Beckman will be at the speedway being honored by the track, signing autographs, talking to fans and best of all, being my honorary crew chief for the King of the Hill race! It’s going to be a great night full of fun. Jack will be there for the evening so come on out for the race and say hi!
Well, after another tough weekend in the heat in Las Vegas, we realized that the car is not performing as well as it should be. There are a few things that need attention. We will be getting a new tune in time for the next race, as well as a different set up on the exhaust system. After a decent number of test runs, the car was not as consistent as it has been in the past, and it hurt us on race day. The car ran much softer than its predicted dial and we lost in the first round of sportsman. We collected points, but not many, so doing well in the next few races has become even more crucial in order to be in the running for the points.
Our next race is a late, one night race in Las Vegas for the TRE series. We will also be attending a Thursday night test and tune at Irwindale on the 28th. So come out and cheer us on!
It was a tough weekend again in Vegas for this last TRE race on July 3rd. The car had mechanical issues and we knew that going into the race weekend. We had a bad fuel pump and while we fixed that just before the race (in 110 degree heat!) we ended up running way too rich and the car was inconsistent. Also had some other issues which are being repaired right now. We did win round one, but the mechanical issues were too great to make it past the second round. It’s all part of racing.
Our new friend Josh Ward helped us out in the pits and brought a generator and big fan to try to help cool down our trans between rounds. And Josh took the very cool photo in the staging lanes under a full moon to the right. Josh is a great singer and has made it to the next round of The Voice on NBC. Thank you and go get ’em Josh!
However, as you read this, the car is being taken care of by our awesome transmission doctors and good friends at Westminster Performance Transmission. They’re modifying and improving our “NAG1” transmission and installing the new B&M Hi-Tek Transmission Cooler with temperature switch controlled fan. I can’t wait to have a new and improved transmission for the next race, which is the West Coast Hot Rod Association’s “Shootout at Sundown” in Bakersfield, California. It should be a fun night of nitro cars and awesome bracket racing so come out and watch!
It’s good to be racing! I’m sorry it’s taken so long to update the site since the last few races. As you can guess, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. The TRE race in Vegas went decently well. We made it to the quarter finals in the Sportsman class, and were paired up with none other than veteran Las Vegas racer Jon Irving. It was an exciting double breakout race as we both played top-end against each other with Jon ending up with the win. But we learned something and are hopefully going to be applying our new knowledge at the next race in Vegas coming up this weekend. It’s hard to tell where we are in the points right now, but our guess is somewhere in between 5th and 6th.
This past weekend we attended the West Coast Hot Rod Association’s Summer Nationals in Bakersfield at Auto Club Famoso Raceway. The car was running consistently on Friday night so we went into Saturday’s qualifying and race feeling pretty optimistic. We got three qualifying runs on Saturday and after my 0.015 light I qualified in the number 4 spot. The first round of eliminations was against a good racer by the name of David Dodd Jr. in the green Duster. I cut an .014 light but David unfortunately went .007 red on his side giving me the round win to face Terry Rolin in the next round. The car was running well and we advanced to the quarterfinals, moving past Terry’s motorcycle. These were two very tough contenders as they were both in the top 3 of the points for the Sportsman class. The next round I faced Wesley Eisenga in the green Valiant. His car had been running great all day and he had also been cutting good lights. But I got him at the tree with .009 light to his .036 but then unfortunately the car picked up power somewhere and I lost on a breakout. It was respectable though, as Eisenga is currently leading in the D Gas class points for the season. Overall, it was a good weekend. Winning is always better than loosing, but we advanced in the points standings because of how many rounds we went. We’re in a provisional second place in the Sportsman points, but we won’t know until the official points are posted as there was computer glitch and all of the qualifying points for Sportsman may be tossed out.
This week we’re off to Las Vegas for the fifth TRE Summit race. I’m really looking forward to moving up in the Sportsman class points for that series also. I’ll be posting an update next week so check back to see what happens!!
So we’re getting a little time to breathe after the past four straight weekends of racing (which is up to five days with travel time). Over all, we did pretty well. We placed in the semis and then runner up in the last two races in Las Vegas, and past weekend’s race was the West Coast Hot Rod Association MagnaFuel Spring Nationals at Famoso Raceway north of Bakersfield. It was a decent race for us, we made it to the top six in the class. I hadn’t raced there in over six months, so I had to get used to the staging and track, but once I did, the car was running great during Friday’s test and tune. It finally threw down the 11 second pass again that I was waiting for. It ran an 11.937 at 117 mph on Friday evening.
We were looking good after Saturday’s qualifying too, ranking 3rd thanks to my 0.011 light. We went two solid rounds on Sunday morning. In the quarter-final elimination round we faced David Dodd in his green Duster. I unfortunately made an error in staging and red lit by 0.035, so we were knocked out of the competition for the day. But it was an exciting start to the season, and we’re now 2nd in our PSCA class, 4th in our WCHRA and top 5 or 6 in our NHRA Summit series.
I especially want to thank Elwin from Mickey Thompson tires for all of his help and generosity. With his expertise and a new set of his company’s excellent ET Street Radials our launch and 60 foot times are consistent and reliable.
The next race isn’t until June, but from then on the schedule gets very busy with racing six out of eight weeks. We’ll have racing every weekend up until the end of June. I now have a public Google Calendar where you can see my schedule: Alex Rogeo Public Calendar. And keep checking here and on my Facebook page for updates and results!
Hardly home this last month! Off this morning to Famoso Raceway north of Bakersfield, CA for the West Coast Hot Rod Association Kings Oil Tools season opener race! Hoping to keep the good performances going.
We’ve posted a video for you. It’s my semi-final and final rounds from the PSCA MagnaFuel Vegas Nationals race last week. You can see the two rounds from outside of the car, the final round from our in-car camera and then the award ceremony. The video is in full 1080 high def, so make sure you watch it in the highest setting you can. Hope you like it. We used our new Replay XD1080 video camera for the in-car footage and it’s amazingly stable.
Rob Mathis and Tim Hynen, proprietors of RPM Rollbar, undoubtably make the best bolt-in rollbar ever made. And maybe the best rollbar period! Rob has been building racing chassis (including Top Alcohol) since 1991, so he knows the rules for NHRA and SCCA like the back of his hand. Tim has been in the robotic welding and fabrication business for about 20 years, so he knows how to make a close tolerance and exactly repeatable product. Together, they are amazing.
We’re doing a story on their rollbars for MoparMax using the Maulin’ Magnum as the feature. Tim and Rob came all the way to SoCal from Portland, OR to make sure the bar was installed correctly by doing it themselves. Richard wasn’t able to help as he recently had shoulder surgery and only had one working arm. Our friends at DC Performance kindly let us use one of their lift bays to make it easier to work and take photos.
I learned a lot about rollbars and NHRA and SFI rules and standards. I found out that many if not most rollbars with swing out bars aren’t really NHRA legal (RPMs are!) and why. Our rollbar came with a beautiful red powdercoat high gloss finish, but check out RPM’s website as they offer wild optional finishes! The photo of me sitting in their 392 Challenger SRT (yeah, Mopar guys!) below shows a rollbar with a red and black pattern of skulls that was awesome!
Since we expect to start the new season next month faster than 11.49, the rollbar was a requirement. Finding RPM Rollbar was just a thing. Richard is thinking of titling the MoparMax article, “Best. Bolt-in. Rollbar. Ever.” And he’s seen a lot more than I have. If you need a rollbar, you can’t do better then to contact Tim & Rob.
At the Big O Tires NHRA race in Las Vegas on Halloween weekend, I got the chance to sit down and talk about women in drag racing with one of the best there is, funny car driver Melanie Troxel. Melanie is a great lady, a great racer and a really nice person.
This is a topic that is close to my heart. Check out the video.
Recently, I got to drive a Dodge Magnum SRT8 at top speed at El Mirage dry lakebed in the desert of Southern California. I reached 166 mph, and rode shotgun on a 170 mph run!
El Mirage is a Federal park. It’s completely fenced off and is something like five miles long and five miles wide. After the winter rains, the lake bed dries almost concrete hard and very flat. It’s near the famous Edwards dry lake and Air Force Base. For the $15 entry fee, you can drive as fast as you dare (at your own risk!).
Let me tell you, getting to legally unleash some 450 horsepower and drive at 166 mph is a great rush. You hear the 6.1L big Hemi scream at 6,000 rpm wide open, the wind blast roars around the car, you feel the wind push the car around a bit and the pebbles and slight dips of the lake bed really get your attention.
If you ever get the chance, stop by El Mirage and play on the lake bed yourself!