Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Well, Eric and I took part in the 2012 One Lap of America car race. I won't take up space explaining the event since anybody can go to www.onelapofamerica.com to see about it. I think I should try to create a blog post to help me remember and preserve the experience. We had some nervous days leading up to it since the transmission broke on Tuesday and we were hoping to leave on Thursday (May 3). John Boos, www.boosperformance.com , worked amazingly fast pulling the trans and tearing it apart to find the broken output shaft. RPM had machined the shaft in a not acceptable way which caused a weak point that broke. They overnighted a shaft that didn't have the weak point. But, that required John to fabricate another part to make it work. During this they also replaced the entire steering rack and pump and upgraded the pump pulley to a stronger type. And they rebuilt the front brakes. We were at the shop finishing it up at about midnight Thursday. I think we left John's shop about 0100 hrs. on Friday. We drove home and hooked up the trailer and finished loading it and the car.

We started driving about 0300 hrs. Getting on the highway Eric decided we had overloaded everything and needed to lighten the load. I had tried to get him not to load so much junk on but he wouldn't listen to me. We went to the Blumel's house in Woodbury since it was on the way to Indiana. We unloaded everything not deemed essential. Mac came out about 0500 hrs. and helped us put everything on their back porch for later p/u. We got on the road and made it to Hudson, Wisc., about 0600 hrs. We were supposed to be in Indiana at 1500 hrs. for the driver's meeting. We made it by 1530 hrs.

We got a room at the host hotel and Eric spent all his time in the parking lot putting all the stickers on the car. I unloaded most of the trailer since we couldn't lock anything and I didn't want to leave all our tools and such on it for the night. Very tired and we hadn't even started yet.

Saturday, May 5th, first day of competition. Wet skid pad, then over to a 1/4 mile banked oval. The skid went okay. He did about as expected. The oval was a shocker. He got 4th place out of 75 entries! Wow, I couldn't believe it. Caitlin's (Eric's girlfriend Caitlin Nosanov) parents had come over from Michigan to support us. They were great and got some super pictures. Then we loaded back up and drove to Joliet, IL, for the road course. Good think Mike and Kim followed us because they raced up next to us on the highway and waved us to stop. I guess I was still learning how to tie things on the trailer. One of the spare tires, a Michilin PS2, 335/30/18, had gotten loose and fell off the trailer and was dragging along behind us. I had also tied a 5 gallon gas can inside said tire. The gas can was dragging and rubbed through the side so it was leaking gas out. We also had lost a rubber wheel chock that I had tucked inside the tire. Eric took off running down the highway looking for the chock. Most excersise he's gotten in years. And he never found the $5 chock. Oh well. Fortunately we got everything tied on better and got on the road before the highway patrol showed up. Eric did great at Autobahn. We said our goodbye's to Kim and Mike. And headed on our way to Mid America, Council Bluffs, Iowa. Long drive (as usual). Paula and Caitlin were driving there and getting a room nearby so we met them at the motel. We got in about 0200 hrs. They had brought us another tire so we could switch that for the one we destroyed dragging on the highway. A few hours sleep and on to Mid America for Sunday.

Eric drove very well the morning session. Then the afternoon session he didn't. Drove off on a turn and had to go through swampy grass and get back on road. At least he managed to keep it rolling and not need a tow.

Gotta run for now, more to come.

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