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Team ‘Blown Inheritance’ Nostalgia Drag Racing Blog 2017

 
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David Graves
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 8:43 am    Post subject: Team ‘Blown Inheritance’ Nostalgia Drag Racing Blog 2017 Reply with quote

Another year of racing and another blog. We have seven events on the calendar this year for our class (Alkydigger Nostalgia Eliminator 1) in the Southwest Heritage Racing Association series, listed as follows –

April 15 – Noble, OK
May 6 – Denton, TX
June 3 – San Antonio, TX
June 24 – Temple, TX
July 8 – Paris, TX
Sept 9 – Wichita Falls, TX
Oct 2 – Denton, TX

The Old School Bracket classes have 6 events with an added date, May 20th in Denton. They don’t travel to two events in Noble and San Antonio.

The off season resulted in no big changes in Blown Inheritance, other than some new paint. Off came the paint we have run with for the past 6 years and on is a dark purple metal flake that is unfinished at the moment, but plans have for us to be fully painted by San Antonio. The desire was to change the paint to a look that you might see in the late 60’s and early 70’s on dragsters. Hopefully when the paint is all dry that goal will be accomplished. Mechanically the car was untouched.

Our first event in Noble, Oklahoma at Thunder Valley Raceway Park just south of Okla City was big. In our class, the largest car count ever showed up, with 17 cars showing up for a 16 car field. This means one car would not qualify. Our class runs the 1/8 mile, and on an index of 4.65 seconds. Run quicker and you are penalized or lose. The goal is to run 4.65 seconds in the 1/8 mile or slower. This controls costs, as you can push these things to run a lot quicker, but doing so increases maintenance costs. It had been October of last year when we last ran in Bakersfield, Calif, so before going to Noble I got the car ready and fired it at home to make sure everything would work. I pesty starter issue seemed to remain. Nothing real noticeable, but at times when the car starts I could hear some grinding indicating something is not right. This first appeared in the SHRA event last year in Wichita Falls. I had the starter (and a spare) rebuilt hoping that issue was resolved – but perhaps not. At Bakersfield we got through the event fine so I thought it was behind us. This year at Noble, the problem appeared to be getting worse. Regardless, the car would start and we proceeded with qualifying. Our first of two runs produced a 4.84 at 149 mph, an ok run but I expected more. I had moved the timing a bit at home during the test fire up, hoping to have a positive effect on the starting issue. That had me thinking maybe I needed to rethink that as the performance was not there like I expected. With the temperature in the low 80’s and the adjusted density altitude around 3000 feet, the tuneup should have resulted in a better time. In our second attempt, leaving everything alone and having Chris stage a little shallower, the car ran a 4.71 at 152 mph which is better but still not what I wanted. So with the starter issue seeming to be getting worse, I changed starters before our first round and I bumped the timing up just a tad. Our first round opponent broke, so that resulted in our first round being a single, and with a single in eliminations running quicker than our 4.65 index will not disqualify you since there is no opponent. With the change in timing, Chris ran it through hard and the car ran a 4.61 at 154 mph, more what I wanted to see! Our second round opponent was Andy Mears from Lubbock who with a new engine in his ’57 Chevy funny car was running very well. We needed to perform well both as a tuner and a driver to get this win. But that was not in the cards as at the 60 foot mark Blown Inheritance shook the tires and Chris had to peddle it (on and off the throttle) and with that we ran only a 4.85 but was charging with a 153 mph pass. Mears had his ’57 Chevy at the finish line first with his 4.70 run and we were done for the weekend.

Before the next event in Denton on May 6th, I will do the normal service to the car and investigate more into the starter issue. The last thing I want is to lose a race or an entire weekend because the starter is acting up! Below is a shot at Noble of our warmup before the first qualifying session.



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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stop two of the 2017 season had us at North Star Dragway in Denton for the SHRA Spring Nostalgia Nationals. A huge turnout of over 130 race cars attended and the weather was perfect for drag racing.

We left the previous event in Noble, Okla with upbeat attitudes. Only that persistent starter grinding issue needed prompt attention. Before the Denton event, I played with all three starters that I had, and I purchased a special geared starter just for magneto engines (just in case). The deal with magneto equipped engines, you need to spin the motor fast as the magneto (generator) creates its own energy, unlike a traditional ignition system that depends on the battery and alternator. The way I do it is by putting 24 volts to the starter, which spins it a lot faster. But I got the special starter just in case and to play with, but not in time to experiment on our car. My experiments with the existing starters all found they performed fine, and I noticed that there is a small amount of play when mounting the starter to the block. That play can affect how the starter aligns to the flex plate. Starter shims and such I don’t really have a lot of knowledge about, but I started learning. The trick is to use a paper clip to set the spacing of the Bendix gear to the flex plate. I did this along with the routine maintenance between events and figured we were ready for Denton.

Our first qualifying pass found some great air. Little humidity and cool conditions indicated making power would not be difficult. But with that comes other issues to adjust for. Our first run was under our 4.65 index, a 4.59 at 156 mph in the eighth mile which indicated I would need to back it down – a lot! So, all I did was richen the fuel mixture a bunch and with that our second and final qualifying pass resulted in a 4.70 at 151 mph, pretty close to what I wanted. We had a full 16 car field, so after qualifying, Blown Inheritance was sitting in the #5 slot and we would draw the #13 qualifier in Round 1. Unfortunately, our opponent broke in qualifying and we found out that our Round 1 run would be a single. So, I had the option to run it harder as going under the index on a single in eliminations does not disqualify you. I elected to tuned it what I thought would be just under our index of 4.65. The run produced a 4.62 and boy was I feeling good! The motor seemed to respond exactly like I wanted with my changes. Advancing to Round 2 put us against the Number 1 qualifier Tommy Drozd of Lake Dallas, Tx. He qualified with a 4.66 but in Round 1 he fell off to a 4.73 to advance. I figured this would be a pretty good battle, and was I surprised! Chris took off and the dragster went into some violent tire shake. He was off and on the throttle to get it to settle but Drozd was long gone. But .. Drozd drove it all the way with the pedal to the metal and went 4.62 which is under our 4.65 index handing the win to us and our 5.65 run! That’s call racing luck! The tire shake was so bad that it broke a stud that holds the crank support on the bottom front of the engine. With three studs remaining I figured those would hold for the semi final and hopefully the final round that lay ahead of us. My goal was to eliminate the tire shake that we just experienced. The causes of tire shake is when the slicks wad up just in front of the contact patch because traction is to good, there is no tire spin. You want some tire spin to prevent this, so it’s a fine line between tire shake and spinning the tires and losing traction. Tire pressure is one of the methods to get that tire spin and I normally run 6 lbs of air pressure in the slicks. With the good air and sticky track I dropped it to 5.5 pounds after the first qualifying run to get more tire spin (smaller patch). That worked for Q2 and R1 eliminations however you can go to far with this method and it appears I did. Seems I needed to go up on tire pressure with the sun setting and the track cooling off and becoming even tackier! So, for the semi final round against Steve Dunkin I elected to raise the tire pressure to 6.5 lbs and hope for that tire spin that we needed to keep the tires from wadding up and shaking the car under acceleration (or it would put it on the wheelie bar and unload the rear tires!). I also richened the fuel just a tad to produce a little less horsepower than that previous run in an effort to prevent it hitting the wheelie bar hard. Dunkin was running very good, with a #3 qualifying run of 4.67, a round 1 win with a perfect 4.65 and then a slower 4.77 in round 2. Nobody had the advantage. Time came to fire the motors and Dunkin fired and Blown Inheritance didn’t! Nothing but a grinding starter was heard. Freaking amazing! It is so disappointing to lose like this when I thought we were on our way to an event win. And of all things the dang starter again! Dunkin ran a single and put up a 4.55, going way under the index, which would likely have resulted in a win for us, but it wasn’t to be this time. Dunkin went on to win the event, beating my daughter in law Tera in the final round.

I had a race car needing attention after this event. Starter issues and drilling out a broken stud in the block was on the agenda before we head south to San Antonio for the 3rd stop of the season on June 3rd. I have to determine why our starter issues continue to haunt us. Regardless, we sit in 5th place in points in our class ‘Alkydigger Nostalgia Eliminator 1’ just 35 points from the ‘Dragon Slayer’ ’57 Chevy funny car of Andy Mears who is number 1. The goal is clear, address the starter issue (again), repair the broken stud and go more rounds than Andy Mears in San Antonio!

Below a shot of Blown Inheritance from Denton.



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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can catch 'Blown Inheritance' on TV this Sunday on the Car Guy Show! Make note to watch or set those DVR's! Sunday May 28th on Channel 47 KTXD at 3:30 here in North Texas. In the next 6-8 weeks the show can be seen on the REV'N Channel nationally.

The show will be about the SHRA with lots of clips and action shots of racing at our SHRA Championship Finals last year in Denton. The focus will be on the Dooley & Sons Hot Rod Shop Shootout for the Alkydigger NE1 class which we run in. We qualified for the Shootout based on our performance throughout the year leading up the this event. A 8 car field is set and paired up and the quickest two winners from that group face off for the final round and $500. Blown Inheritance made the final round, along with my daughter in law Tera. So it was the Chris & Tera show for the money and that race was about as close as it comes with Tera winning - the numbers Tera reaction time .0326, ET 4.7263, Chris reaction time .0389, ET 4.7264, Tera won by 7 thousandths of a second!

I am told it is a great show, so relive that excitement this Sunday on The Car Guy Show!




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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well the TV station was having technical difficulties at the air time for the Car Guy Show last Sunday, so ... for those in the DFW area watch or set those DVR's for THIS SUNDAY June 4th as it will re-air then - Sunday June 4th at 3:30 on Channel 47. It will also appear in 6-8 weeks nationally on the REV'N Network but no specific show time is available at this time. http://www.revntv.com/watch/watch-online/

Also, the car is ready for San Antonio this weekend, the crank support bolt that broke off at the block has been drilled and extracted out. Luckily I did not have to remove the front motor plate to get this done! Here is a photo of the broken bolt, and the new bolt in place.





Also, this pesky starter problem that has bit us at several races beginning last year, I think is resolved. I have thought this several times and proven wrong so only time will tell. I did order a new gear reduction starter for magneto and blower motors, but was not able to get it to fit due to interference with frame rails etc on the chassis. In spite of the ability to clock the starter, it just would not fit within the dimensions I had to work with. There likely is another aftermarket starter out there that will fit but for now I went back to the original starter set up that I have used for the past 5 years with success. Only this time I educated myself as much as I could about starter placement, starter bolts and starter shims. I never understood the knurled bolts that starters come with, but after reading more about them I decided that I needed those for this instead of the Grade 8 standard bolts I was using. I also found a excellent document that illustrates shimming starters. Between those and a more precise measurement with a paper clip where the flexplate and drive gear of the starter meet, I think (again I use that word lightly) I have this figured out. As in the past, after my efforts the starter spins the motor great in the shop so I am hoping it continues at the track this weekend. Here is the document that I found was excellent in adjusting the starter, you might want to book mark this!

http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/wiki/images/3/33/Delco_remy_starter_shim_bulletin_tbstr01-2.pdf
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The third stop of the season for Blown Inheritance on the SHRA series took place at San Antonio Raceway on June 4th with rain, thunder and lightning all around the race track. Somehow, we got the race in but I don’t know how. Having been in San Marcos just a couple of weeks prior for the Lone Star Classic Chevy Convention, I had hoped for similar weather conditions that we had there, cool with overcast skies. But no, we had a hot baking sun, humidity off the chart and typical South Texas summer weather with storms all around.

Our first of two qualifying runs didn’t produce the number I hoped for. Normally we run pretty well in hot and humid air. The tune up I had in the motor was one that should have produced a 4.60 something based on past record keeping, but this run only got us in the 4.80’s. Not happy and wanting to make a big change to see what it would result in, I lean it out a lot for the second pass. That got us a 4.75 which was better but still a tenth from where we needed to be which is our index of 4.65. But that run was a bit off also because during the staging process, our opponent took off before the tree came down confusing Chris. He normally flips his visor down right before he lights the last stage light and with the confusion on the line, he didn’t lower the visor on his helmet. After a couple of second delay at the green, he took off and realized his visor was up. He threw his hand up to slap it down and didn’t shift at the typical RPM that he normally does which threw off our time. So, in the real world I didn’t get complete data from that run and didn’t learn what I hoped for from it. We ended up qualified #4 out of a 12 car field and had the number 10 qualifier Larry Bradford from San Antonio in Round 1 who had qualified with an off the pace 5.12.

That first round race we won when Bradford drew a red light start and with that a ‘free’ run for us to see what the car would run as I had left the tune up the same as it was in Q2. Chris had a brain freeze and lifted at the end thinking of not breaking out, but with Bradford’s red light it would not have mattered as the race was already won. That tune up got us only a 4.87 at 124 mph with Chris lifting early, but the 60 ft and 330 ft times indicate that it likely would have been a high 4.60 run. I would have liked to have seen him make a full run. That threw us into the 2nd round against Jason O’Neill of Balch Springs who had lane choice over us with his R1 4.83 pass. His altered can run the number (4.65) so even though he only qualified #8 we could not take him lightly. I elected to fatten the fuel up some to slow it down a tad, since we did not have a full pull on that tune up and I was concerned about going quicker than our 4.65 and losing. But again, the race was over at the green as Jason red lit and Chris lifted a bit early again giving me incomplete data again. (Got to talk to my driver about this!) But looking at the early numbers, that run looked to be a low 4.70. Because of the car count, we earned a bye run in the semi final so we got lucky and had a free pass to the final round. After a little talk with the driver and a clear understanding to run it through to see what we would get, I leaned it a little from the previous run hoping to get in the 4.60’s. All we could get from it was a 4.75 in that single pass. Our final round opponent was the points leader, Andy Mears of Lubbock who drives the ‘Dragon Slayer’ ’57 Chevy funny car. He was running mid 4.60’s without missing a beat on his march to the final. I knew we had to step it up so I leaned it even more, and made a blower pulley change to spin the blower faster getting more air into the motor. At this point I am experimenting trying to get this thing to go faster. More fuel or less fuel with the pulley change? Heck I am not sure! We pulled to the line hoping to get our first win of 2017 and at the green Chris had a .0409 reaction time to Mear’s .1270 but Blown Inheritance lit the tires up and the Dragon Slayer took yet another win, his second of the year and he has a big points lead. We left San Antonio in 3rd place in the points and the goal now with 4 events remaining is to get more round wins than Mears in the remaining events.

We hit the mid point of the season with the next event at Little River Dragway in Temple on June 24th. It will be hot and humid and I hope we can get ‘Blown Inheritance’ into another final round! Below is a shot from San Antonio and the results from our class.





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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ‘Car Guy Show’ SHRA feature is now online that was shown recently on TV. No one knew what to expect from having the production crew on site last fall in Denton or what they would capture but the results turned out to very special and they got a great story about my son and daughter in law. ‘Battle of the Sexes’ is what developed and Tim Miller and crew did a wonderful job capturing it all. Check it out …

https://youtu.be/q47jplIYU9c



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stop number 4 on the SHRA 2017 season found us at Little River Dragway in Temple. It was not a good showing for us.

Chris wanted to try a different method on the starting line so I agreed to let him try it in qualifying. Our testing is done during actual events as we just don’t have the budget or time to test. He normally foot brakes it, meaning he leaves at an idle. We have been having some tire spin issues lately so the thought was if he left on the trans brake it would not shock the tire as hard. Our success has been foot braking it so I was a bit hesitate but figured what the heck, we just needed a solid effort in eliminations. The first qualifying pass it was warm, track temp at 105 or so, just a little cooler than what we had in qualifying in San Antonio. His attempt with the trans brake in Q1 was unsuccessful, his routine was messed up and he didn’t shift normal and the run was a throwaway at a 4.91. Before Q2 he practiced his routine for leaving off the trans brake so we hoped for a better result. It didn’t happen, tire spin immediately and he coasted to a 5.89. That put us using our 4.91 as our best run for qualifying and put us #8 out of 11 cars. Our first round opponent was #3 qualifier Kent Carley from Frisco in an supercharged altered. He is a new driver but the car is owned by a longtime SHRA racer and tuning help from Guy Tipton who is the crew chief for John Hale’s nostalgia funny car, so they are not to be taken lightly. The plan was to footbrake it and leave from idle and go with what has been successful for us. I took a pound of tire pressure out hoping that would help prevent tire spin (or shake). Kent showed a rookie mistake in the R1 matchup as he was caught sleeping on the line and Chris left big time on him with almost a car length lead. But the transmission would not shift in spite of Chris hitting the shifter several times and Kent drove around him for the win putting us on the trailer. We came into Temple 3rd in points, but this R1 loss likely will take us out of a championship run as at the end of the night we fell to 4th place. We are 48 points from the lead and with 3 events remaining for 2017 moving past the 3 other racers ahead of us will be nearly impossible. We are not running and performing as well as I would like. The tranny issue has to be investigated, and I am hoping for a simple solution, like a cable adjustment or something. We did put the car up on jack stands and fired it after our R1 loss to see if it would shift and it did. But of course this was with no load on anything. With no time to test, if the issue isn’t obvious and simple then we will go to the next event in Paris and hope for the best. There unfortunately isn’t enough time to pull the tranny and have it freshened up without missing the next event so we will take our chances and hope for the best. And as we approach the next race in Paris, rained postponed the event so instead of running on July 9th, we will now be running on August 5th. With as much time between Temple and Paris now, I likely could have gotten the tranny inspected and freshened up, but it’s to late for that. We will show up at Paris Drag Strip and roll the dice on August 5th!

Below is a shot from Temple in our Round 1 pass, and those tires are sticking good so dropping the pressure from 6.5 pounds to 5.5 pounds worked I guess, it was just the failure for the Powerglide to shift to second that prevented us from a round win. And the link below the photo is a Facebook Live video that appeared on the track's FB page of that first round matchup with Kent Carley.



Video link
https://youtu.be/KG3HvXUmOdo

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stop 5 for this season found us in Paris, Texas on August 5th at the Paris Drag Strip (make up date for the previous July rain out). This track dates back to the 50’s and with a new owner that is pumping money into improvements the future looks bright for this NHRA sanctioned track.

We left the previous race in Temple with a first round loss when the tranny would not shift into second. At that race we put it on jacks and it shifted fine, so we didn’t know what to expect next time. With no time to ‘test’ we rolled the dice and showed up at Paris. The warmup went fine, shifted like it supposed to, so we went up for Q1 ready to lay one down. Didn’t happen. Tranny didn’t shift and in fact it was very lazy off the line, likely related to tranny failure. So, we took our qualifying points and loaded up and watched the rest of the qualifying and races. The next event in Wichita Falls we won’t compete in and the Finals in Denton in early October is also in question. I will be pulling the tranny out and taking to my transmission guy to rebuild and depending on his workload that could delay us from making even the October Denton event. All of this is part of the game so this year for the first time we will not finish in the Top 5. We have been fortunate to finish #2 in the points for the past 4 years in a row so it’s not been a bad run!

Below a shot of the team towing back to our pit after the first qualifying pass.


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David Graves
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our season ended early for 2017. The transmission has been rebuilt (stator damage in the convertor) but we will not make the final two events. This winter I intend to pull the rear end and do a rebuild on it, and in order to get the rear end out I have to remove the tranny (no driveshaft on this guy). With little to gain in points or finances, I have elected to call it a season rather than put the car together for one event and then take it apart again. Call me old and lazy.

So we will look forward to 2018, with a fresh tranny, rear end and I will get the paint job finished on the car over the winter. Looking forward to hitting it hard next year!




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