DND Racing 2005 Race Report
Indy Spring, Division 3 Points Meet
Welcome Race Fans!!!
Following a very long cold winter in Michigan, the DND Race Team is happy to report that they are back on the track!
Thanks very much to the CDS Race Team for once again allow us to run their 360 V-8 Dakota in the NHRA Stock Sportsman class E/FIA.
Ironically, the first meet of the season finds us back at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The very same track at which we closed out the 2004 season.
It will be good to see all our friends and competitors again.
When you ask a racer, “So, what changes did you make over the winter?”, the standard answer is usually something like, “ Oh, nothing much, just standard maintenance.”
Then when you see the ET’s they‘re turning, you know they are giving you the regular racer’s lie!
Thursday April 14, 2005
Believe it or not, Crew Chief (Dave), Driver (Dan) and mascot (Rockwell, small 120lbs. Rottwieler) depart the DND Race HQ, pretty much on schedule Thursday night. Dan drives the 74ft. rig, all the way to Indy.
This leaves the crew chief time to plan race strategy, go over last years numbers, steep up the pre race check list and down a few “diet barley pops” along the way.
Unlike last year, we make the trip to Indy in good fashion.
Our goal was to reach the entrance gate prior to the 11:00PM cut off time.
We roll into the main gate at about 10:45PM. We pause to read the marquee that states,
“T/AF,AFC, SS/S, S/C, S/G enter Main gate, all others use Gate 8.
Dan carefully turns the rig around and we head to Gate 8. Promptly roll thorough the “back door” gate, through the empty back pit area, only to find the interior gate to the front pit area locked!
A big u-turn again, and back to the main gate we go.
We enter, down the drive towards the check in trailer, only to see a number of cares heading the other way. We get to the credential trailer, just as the they are locking the gate.
“See you boys at 7:00AM” says the attendant. Oh, well, back on DND Race time.
We camp out in the stacking area for the night.
Fellow Super Street racer, Jim Clark has our pit spot reserved, just behind the start line grand stand reserved for us, so life is good. We do have the dubious honor of being the first in line for the morning entry.
Friday April 15, 2005
7:00AM bright and early, we roll into the track, find our buddy, Jim Clark and set up the pit area.
Our plan is to replace all the tires on the Dakota with new rubber. We decide to make then first pass on the old tires, to get a good A-B comparison.
The “pre-race” check list that the crew chief prepared on the way down is put into action. The preparations go flawlessly (believe all that & and there’s a couple of bridges you can buy).
Now, I should warn you fellow racers that the DND Race driver has been practicing on the “tree” over the winter. First pass “jitters” subside, and the Dakota rolls into the burn out box just before 10:00AM.
Dan takes the Dakota through the burn out, and rolls into the start beams.
Air temp is a pleasant 61 degrees, humidity at 49%, and barometer at 29.47 in. Hg, , with the air density at 836, track tem is a little cool at 73 degrees, winds are not a factor. Should be good run!
It’s good to hear the race engines, smell the rubber, and the sweet exhaust from the race fuel.
The Dakota turns a 11.828 second pass, 60 foot time clicks off at 1.513 sec. Dan’s reaction time 0.016 sec. GOOD PASS!
The truck checks out OK at the weight scales at 3490 lbs. a little heavy for the class, but we’ll live with it.
Now it’s time to get the new rubber. While searching for the correct trailer, my cell phone goes off. It is the 911 Operator from the River Rouge, Michigan Police department. She is following up on a 911 hang up call from my cell phone number. Now, I haven’t been in River Rouge in 10 years. She says I must have dialed the number by mistake. No way, I don’t even have it in speed dial, and I know that Rockwell can’t push the tiny number buttons with his club like paws. Chalk this one up to ????????????
We get the truck up on jack stands and remove all four tires. It looks like a victim of midnight auto in Detroit.
All new rubber installed and we make the call for the second qualifying run at 2:00PM.
Now the outside temp is up to 73 degrees, humidity at 29%, and barometer at 29.43, and the density altitude at 2175, winds again are calm. Good air! Track temp is around 110 degrees. I leave Dan in the water box a little longer to speed up the break in period on the new Mickey Thompson radial slicks.
His reaction time on the second pass is 0.018 seconds, the Dakota covers the first 60 feet in 1.522 seconds and posts a final ET of 11.850 sec. at 108.97MPH. Another good pass.
The Stock field has 140 entries for only 128 qualifying positions. This last pass puts us in the 78th spot.
We enjoy the company of fellow racers, good food, telling large lies and moderate beverage consumption. After all, tomorrow we get one last qualifying run and then, eliminations.
Saturday April 16, 2005
Again we go through the pre-race check list. Raise the rear tire pressure a bit, and all is ready to go!
We roll into the stage lanes a little before 9:00AM.
Air temp is 67 degrees, humidity 39%, barometer 29.53 and the Air Density is an even 1000. Track is cool at about 72 degrees. Very similar conditions as Friday.
Again, I leave Dan in the burn out box a little longer to break in the new tires.
This time, his reaction time is a blistering 0.008 seconds. The 60 foot time is 1.546 seconds. A little off yesterday. Looks like the tires are coming in. Next time, a shorter burn out maybe in order. The yellow Dakota, Yankee Flyer, posts a 11.812 second pass at 110.43 MPH. Another picture perfect pass. This qualifying run puts us at the 98 position, still solid in the 128 car field.
We prepare for first round eliminations.
I should know better than to get too confident in the way the truck is performing, but…….. With three passes within 0.004 seconds, and the driver nailing the start line, things are looking good for first round eliminations.
We are paired up against Jamie Fenner, a driver from the local area. Jamie is a real nice guy and veteran racer in a beautiful 1970, 340 CID, Plymouth Duster. He qualified at # 34 with a 10.91 sec. pass. Jamie will have to catch the Yankee Flyer, if he can.
Conditions for the first round eliminations are good. In fact the deltas from the morning run on Saturday to the deltas between the AM & PM runs on Friday are very close. Neither Dan nor I seem to have any first round jitters. I am confident of the 11.83 sec. dial in I put on the window.
The Top Fuel dragsters and the left side of the Stock ladder(32 cars) preceded our turn on the start line. The weather is good, air temp at 79 degrees, humidity at 39%, barometer at 29.42 in. HG and the Altitude Density at 2130. Track temp is about 108 degrees. This time I cut the burn out a little short.
Dan stages the truck, Jamie just after. The lights come down, Dan nails the throttle, the truck jumps forward unexpectedly, then promptly spins the new M/T slicks and the dreaded “Red Bulb” comes on. I watch is disbelief as the ET shows 12. 141 seconds on the board. I wonder what else could have happened to screw up this pass. We are first round runner ups !
Back in the pits, the time slip shows Dan was “red” by 0.009 seconds. The 60 foot times dropped to 1.766 seconds! That’s what tire spin will do. We lost 0.200 seconds in the first 60 feet.
Checking the “differential” time shows other than the start, the pass was very close to the three previous.
Note:Our opponent, Jamie, went on to defeat all the other 127 cars in the field for the #1 spot in Stock for the event.
We stay the night to support our fellow racers who are still in the competition and enjoy for another pleasant evening at the track.
Special thanks to the CDS Performance team for letting us race the Dakota, McCormack Racing for helping with the new tires and a the Clark & Sniesak , Blue Water Competition Engine Super Street team for saving the pit spot.
Until next time………….
Keep the revs up.
DND Race Team