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Everything posted by Tobey

  1. We went without power for 36 hours, back on for 6, back off for about 6, then no issues since then. I only have a small generator, but we kept the small spare bedroom warm with a space heater. Down to 46 inside the house. I did run a cord to the bathroom for my heated toilet seat. Priorities, you know. We have had water for all but a few hours, so I've been dripping faucets and no burst pipes. But a lot of neighbors have broken pipes. Was I just lucky, or did I do something right? We'll probably never know. I will say that a lot of people with tankless water heaters seem to have had issues. Glad I have old school technology heating my water. And I drained the water from my circle track car. I tried a drop light to keep the BMW racecar engine warm in the trailer, but that obviously failed. I haven't looked in the trailer yet, but we dropped a valve in the last race, so it's not a catastrophe if something happened to it.
  2. I once made my own using small (1/2"?) angle aluminum. Built a little frame for each end that attached to the hood and deck lid pins. Clamp the main pieces together and drill the holes for the string so they will be parallel. Once I set it up the first time, I made little marks on the front and rear bumpers to line up with the center of the cross bar. After a few uses, I could have it set up and ready in under 10 minutes. I also built some wooden stands to put the car on with lubricated turn plates. With the car a foot in the air, it was really easy to measure and adjust. I don't have it anymore, or I'd show you a picture...
  3. What's crazy is that I never felt like I was going to hit the wall. Then I watched the video...
  4. Why this stuff always happens in the race, and not in practice.... The Saturn has an automatic transmission. Once we go green, I drop the shifter into second at the end of the front straight, and leave it there for the race. In practice Saturday, it worked fine. I even qualified #2, 0.016 seconds behind 1st. But then for the race, the shifter cable must have developed too much slack, because it wouldn't lock in 2nd gear. With the shifter all the way back in 2nd, the transmission was still in drive. So I entered T1 side by side with 1st place, went to get on the gas, and it hesitated as it downshifted, and everyone blew by me. And at the end of the straight, it would shift into 3rd, killing my acceleration for the last 20-30 feet. I kept messing with it, but eventually gave up. Those first few laps were a nightmare. It took me about 4 laps to figure out where to go back to the gas so it would be downshifted and ready to go when I needed it. I would use the brake to control the speed at the same time. So that was the first 25% of my race. But I was in 4th, hanging with the lead pack. (We race 20 laps, at about 18.5 sec per lap. Yellow flags don't count) Worked my way up to 3rd on lap 9. Got trapped down low on a restart and fell to 6th. Back up to 4th, about to pass for 3rd, when another yellow came out. Again battling in the top 4 after the restart when the freaking rain came on lap 15. We're on street tires, so they let us keep going. But my left rear is almost completely bald. And I had the car set up to be a little loose from mid-corner to exit. That was working excellent in the dry. In the wet, it was horrendous. In the groove, where the rubber was laid down, it was like ice. And so I spun. 4th place to 7th in one corner. I berated myself. I know how to race in the rain. Get out of the grooves and go search for traction. I found that traction up high and went from 7th back to 4th in a few laps. And that's how it ended. I won't make the next 2 races. Next weekend, its back to road racing with ChampCar at Indianapolis. Then we will be moving into a new house the weekend of the next race. But I should make the last race on Oct. 17. Here my video. Yes, I need to make a new camera mount. And new this week is the track's video. It was their first time, and it worked pretty well. Race starts at about 19:40: https://youtu.be/emVLvYBJaks
  5. Car is all repaired and we're racing this weekend. 6:00 start time this week.
  6. Tobey

    Track Insurance

    Lockton is a popular one. We have the race car, trailer, and contents insured through them. For the race car, it's storage, transport, paddock insurance. It covers damage and theft anywhere except on the track. But they also offer HPDE on-track insurance. No clue what it costs, though.
  7. Not a great day at the track yesterday. Started 3rd, and ran most of the race in 3rd. With about 8 laps to go, I made a mistake gong into turn 1, and got passed by two cars, dropping to 5th. The top 6-7 cars are very competitive. At one point, about half the front straight was all that separated 1st through 5th. So any little mistake can be very bad. Then with about 3 to go, I had some contact with my right front, and it damaged my tire. It started coming apart, and I ended up in 10th. I have a lot of rubber to clean off the fender now, and some touch up on the paint and vinyl. And reconnect the bumper cover. But, it was a lot of fun. Very competitive, and fairly clean racing. Some "rubbin' is racing", but no serious incidents. Looking forward to the next race on Sept. 5. Also, I got asked before the race if I'd take the car to Ellington in a few weeks for pictures with a plane. So of course, it gets all marked up last night. Most of it came off pretty easy this morning. But there will be some paint and vinyl touch up later this week.
  8. We're racing this Saturday, 7:00. Come for the Ecostocks, stay for the fast cars. https://www.texasshorttrackracingseries.com/
  9. I know nothing about this car, just passing it along: http://www.lonestarspeedzone.com/topic/79915-hmp-eco-stock/
  10. Yes, I should be at the next race on the 15th.
  11. The track announcer called it the Flyin' 50. 😀
  12. Here's the in car video from Saturday. I really need to move the camera to the right. Watch as the release tether for my neck restraint acts as a g meter... 😀 😀
  13. Forgot to give a heads up, but we raced last night. The weather was miserable, unless you just love that warm feeling from the humidity. But otherwise, it was a good night. Mostly because I won! Since the last race, I made a few setup changes. I bounced some ideas off a friend that is good with racing setups, and he gave me a few tips. And it all worked. I qualified first, but they had the top 6 draw chips for starting position. I drew #6, of course. But by the end of the first lap I was in 4th. Stayed there for a while, got up to 3rd, then with 7 to go, I started outside front row after a caution. I'm about the only one out there that can run the outside line with any speed. It's because I have no horsepower, so I had to learn a new trick. And the setup changes helped a ton. Anyway, I stayed neck and neck with the 1st place car for a lap and a half. I'm pretty sure I would have passed him after a few more laps, but before it came to that, he got bumped from behind and lost his momentum. With 5 to go, I found myself in the lead. I jumped out to about a 7-8 car length lead, and was never challenged. Once I was in open track with no traffic, where I could run the fast line for my car, it was wicked fast (that being relative to the pack; it's still a 124hp Saturn). There is one other car about equal to mine, but he was stuck back in 3rd. He eventually got to 2nd, but was too far behind me to challenge me. Racing nose to tail in a 4 car pack like we did for the first 12 or so laps was a lot of fun. But running out front with a decent gap to 2nd place is a lot of fun also. 🙂 1st place normally pays $150. But some businesses chipped in to up the purse for last night, so I won $320. And I'll get another $70 bonus for fast lap. 18.325 sec.; next fastest was 18.368. $390, not a bad payday for having fun. A couple of pictures. First is on the front straight for pre-race festivities. In this crowd, nobody kneels for the anthem... And we had a flyover with a couple of planes from the Commemorative Air Force. Pretty cool. The other is obviously after the race.
  14. Forgot that part of the rule: you must start with a minimum of 30 psi. I start with 31 in the RF (Giving 1 psi margin for the rule). 33 in LF and RR. 35 in LR. They will all end up about 37 psi hot. The RF obviously gets abused like crazy. You can't get rid of the built-in understeer (only suspension mod allowed is slotting the right front for camber), but a little trail braking will make it rotate. With equal hot pressures, it's pretty easily controllable and predictable.
  15. Tire rule: DOT, minimum of 55 series sidewall, and all 4 tires must be the same size. Last year, a new guy showed up with the all seasons that were on the car when he bought it. Toward the end of the race, the belts were excposed and throwing sparks in the corners. He got the nickname Sparky. He built a new car for this year, and won the race saturday night.
  16. How about an outside pass for 2nd on the last corner of the last lap? That was a fun race last night. It was a 20-lap battle with the car that started in front of me. Initially we were battling for 3rd, then toward the end, the 2nd place car started overheating and lost power. So the last 5-6 laps, we were battling for 2nd. I went to a practice day a few weeks ago, and tested different toe settings, and spent time running traffic lines. I did a lot of laps keeping a car width or two off the bottom. Or not tracking out on the straights, so that when I ended up in traffic, I'd have some experience with how the car behaved in different situations. And it paid off big time. I knew I could beat him to the finish line on the outside as we came close to the end. I just needed to be on his outside entering 3-4 to pinch his entry a little. Then, 2 laps from the end, we ran up on some lap cars, and I had to fall back in line behind him. Luckily, we cleared them taking the white flag, and I was able to get back to his outside on the back straight. Then powered around for the pass as we took the checkered flag. I got him by about a hood length at the line. (I use the term "power" loosely. My Saturn is rated at 124 hp, 122 ft-lbs. And mine has over 100,000 miles on it. But it's light, and carries a lot of speed in the corners compared to the bigger engined GM's.)
  17. Last Saturday, we raced with WRL at Daytona. Finished 2nd in GP1, 9th overall. This week, I get to knock the speeds in half for opening night at the circle track. Racing starts at 7:00 at Houston Motorsports Park.
  18. I'd call it the handle or lever. Maybe the release handle? I'd be surprised if you could get it without buying the while slider assembly. Call a vendor that carries Recaro or maybe ebay?
  19. What part of town you in? I'm going to be using my engine hoist in 3-4 weeks when I get my engine back. But you're welcome to borrow it in the meantime. I'm in the Seabrook area.
  20. The Saturn has plastic fenders. Last year, I stitched a crack closed with safety wire and fiberglassed over it. Fenders aren't super easy to find at the wrecking yard, but I scored two pairs back in December.
  21. I put it at two weekends before it's at a point I feel the need to touch it up.
  22. All right, looks like the season might finally kick off June 20. In preparation, I gave the car a new livery. There's several practice days scheduled before the first race; I'll hit at least one of them.
  23. I just bought a set of decals from him a week or two ago. 😀 But these metal ones are only about 8" long/wide.
  24. Not exactly a car project, but I knocked out these this weekend. All the tracks I've raced on except Barber, which is ordered and will be added when it arrives. The track cutouts are from https://www.plasma-tracks.com/ . Shadow boxes from Michaels.
  25. Yep. Or a different car. Here's a link to the rules: https://www.texasshorttrackracingseries.com/rules/ I made it to my first race for about $2700. Including a seat, belts, etc. I already had all my safety gear.
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