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I'm sorry about my recent leave of absence but this season has served us so many lemons that we've started referring to it as the "Lemonade Season". Anyone who's been following this column or known me over the years knows that I am a total optimist but, man, there are times when it is really hard to keep up the good attitude. After the latest round of set backs I just couldn't think of anything positive to write. I still can't so I'm just going for it. I'll start by giving you the blow by blow and see where it goes from there. If you are a racer, be happy that this wasn't your season. Maybe you'll learn something, like "Don't Go Racing!"
I started out the year with high hopes, coming off my big win at the end of a solid 2009 season. The team was in place. Uniforms were printed. The Savoy was ready to continue kicking ass and Brutus was nearing completion. I printed out our schedule of NHRA events for 2010 and mailed copies to fans, friends, and family. Then, during the first time out at our local track for testing and tuning an intake valve came apart, severely damaging the super bad Max Wedge in my Savoy wagon. It rendered my carefully conceived schedule useless. It was such a disaster that it took a while to get my mind around. I felt light headed when I first saw the top of the mangled piston and the destroyed head. I've seen some horrible destruction before and I tried to be upbeat but "at least the rods aren't hanging out of the block" doesn't provide much solace. I crated the disaster up, along with a previous disaster and put it on a slow truck back to our friend Dan Dvorak's machine shop in Waldo, Florida. We put the Savoy into the trailer and tried not to think about it too much. This picture still makes me feel queasy.
We still had Brutus to play with and keep our minds off our wounded wagon. We finished up all the chassis work, the wiring, fuel system,interior and the rest of the list then brought it out to the track as
often as possible for testing with temporary power from our super low buck "Courtesy 440". Eventually we got it into the 11.6 second zone at 115 mph. Driver Mark Maez was getting comfortable enough to win a few rounds and all our work really seemed to be paying off. This really is a gorgeous car and it felt great to show it off to our peers at the track. We were still waiting for delivery of our Dvorak built 383 to make it legal for NHRA Stock Eliminator competition. The hold up was basically financial. The cost of building a Stock legal motor is always a huge hurdle to cross and this project was no exception. I try to tell anyone who is thinking of going Stock Eliminator racing:JUST DON'T DO IT! Every second of joy is balanced by thousands of dollars and hours of hard work. Between three dudes with good jobs we were able to finish paying it off in time to maybe race it at the Northwest Nationals if everything worked out which, of course, it didn't. It took a while to sort out the car, that was to be expected. Then it took a while to get the motor in our possession. Then we were out of time.