Well I guess I don't have a lot to report but bad news.
First off we had a great time and going to the desert is our vacation and what we love to do the most. We have tons of friends and family out there and tons of support so we love it. Fresh air, riding and telling stories around the camp fire at night is just the best thing in life. Spending with my wife who also enjoys it is just the the icing on the cake.
Well lets see we went to Tech on Friday and set up Kitt with TrailGlow so he could show off our new panels and light on Kitt. It was pretty much a mini party as we had tons of people stop by and friends hang out with us all night long. Very cool and fun.
Here our a couple pics from Tech.
Anyways fun night and a lot of good times meeting up with everyone and talking about the great race and adventure we were going to have the next day.
Well Saturday race started at 2pm we were pretty far back on the starting list and with nearly 200 cars we did not get off the starting line until 2:46pm and that was starting cars every 15 seconds apart from one another!
Race course was in Lucerne Valley, California. Nice day little warm at about 92 degrees but a slight breeze kept things cooler.
Pepper was driver as she is the driver of the entire season racing for the points and to see how she does in points over a 7 race season. This is her 3rd race in the season and she is currently the points champ for her class.
She started 6th off the line of a class of 7 cars in our class.
First lap was going to be one of the toughest with 200 cars racing and only 15 seconds a part dust was massive and you rarely had fresh air to see. I did my best to navigate and tell her when she could pass or had to wait. She actually passed cars at a very high rate compared to almost never passing any cars at her last races she was passing cars about 3 every mile. Considering these are cars that are supposed to be faster and started in front of her she was doing an amazing job of, well... Racing!
Pepper was actually in 4th gear for most of the lap and only went into second on the most severe sections and only for a mile or so and then would climb right back up to 4th and pass more cars. She was doing outstanding and we actually were running probably a little to fast for a 500 but she said it seemed slow and she was fine. (Pep tried to reach down and shift into 5th gear a couple times even though we are only a 4 speed so I could tell she wanted to go even faster...
Ok. So mile 52 on course, the course actualy was closed and you had to u turn and go back on another course cutting across our course heading back the way we came almost but taking you up a sandy wash.
Hmm not good as we had our oil light flicker a lot and our temperature was very high from the heat and rpm we had been pushing.
As we made this hair pin turn we came into a valley with a wash bed of soft sand that went up hill. Several cars were stuck and we had to climb a hill to the side of them to go around. The hill climb was first gear and if you let off at all you would just sink and get stuck like the other cars. We had several cars follow us and had now caught up to the back of us especially a big truck right on our bumper. Pepper gave it all she could in first gear to make it up the hill and valley section. The only problem was the valley went on for over a mile.
Pep had a tough time trying to grab second with clutch problems, one it is way to stiff for her so I already changed out the 4 puck disc to make it easier and two oil from the main seal was leaking onto the clutch making it spin and hard to get into gear. We did not know this as we were in the car being chased down by a big truck and trying to get up this soft sandy wash bed and hill climb as fast as possible.
The oil light came on and sent a warning telling us we had lost all oil pressure.
Not good. No where to pull over as the valley walls were like 2 story buildings and were more steep and soft then what we already were driving in.
I told Pepper to get into second gear back off as much as she could and pull over as soon as we reach the top of the hill.
She did great and pulled over when the trail was a little wider. When I got out the motor had oil everywhere.
Poor Kitt was just to hot and we had no idea we were going to push her so hard in this section or we would have cooled her off and got ready to attack this section.
Man sometimes it pays to pre run or maybe have others tell you that the track had changed from last year and this u turn section had to be added to move you to the new part of track. Dang either way our fault and a big set back as with the main seal blown and oil pouring out of everywhere even out of the stater! We were in a bad way.
We were also on track in a bad spot with cars going so close there rocks where hitting us. I added the spare oil we carry and let her cool. 25 minutes for the oil fan to shut off from how hot she was... Dang... not good. We waited for a quick break in traffic and took back off to get to the next road crossing to get help and out of harms way sitting on course in this bad section was not safe. Pepper talked to Kitt and said sorry but please just get us to mile 62 which was a road crossing and help. We called Jay our pit support to bring us oil and more tools etc. to meet us there.
We were able to just get through the soft sandy section from about mile 55 to mile 62 to the road crossing running on what sounded like 3 pistons when we pulled up onto the road crossing section we heard a loud *BANG* and Kitts motor blew a piston and rod through the block and cylinder. She was done but did get us to safety and our chase/pitt crew. Good girl, good car.
Well that is to bad but at the same time I have raced 8 years now and I have never blown a motor. I have had to shut one down do to lack of oil or over heating and these things happen. But in all that time this is our first blown motor with an actual hole in it.
I would have to say that is great considering this is racing and Kitts motor is going on it's 3rd season of racing with no rebuild and ran hard for me her first 2 years and now running for Pepper so I can not complain. We were being cheap and saving money and just letting Pep go have fun. So she did and we were not racing to win just for her to have fun. But she is doing great and as I said she is the current points champ so maybe we better fix up the car right for her.
Well we never made a lap and came in 7th out of 7th. A big let down after just coming in off a first place win last race. I feel bad to all of our friends and sponsors who support us for letting them down.
We did have fun hanging out with all of them as we were able to actually watch a race. First time in years. Very fun.
Here are some pics of the day.
Almost ready to head out having a talk with our friends and pit support Jay, Christine and Chris. Thanks for the help.
Kitt ready to go
Me getting into what feels weird but the Passenger side of the car.
Heading up to start the race.
Last but not least here our the final pics of Kitt after the race.
Look close and you can see how close she put us to the road crossing. Nice.
Well that is racing. We had fun Pepper is still in 1st place for points because the other cars that were close to her in points also broke down just a little ways down the course so she is still the points champ and we are getting the motor fixed up and getting ready for the next race.
Well if your ever in the area please stop by our next race.
It is free and you can play with your own toys.
Next race is a night race July 18