Aug 26- Sept 3

2007 US Nationals
The US Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis IN for drag
racers is the biggest race of the year.  It's compared to the Indy 500 for
open wheel racers and the Daytona 500 for stock car racers, but the
difference is this race isn't limited to the professional racer it includes a
broad variety of NHRA sportsman classes. This race is a week long
marathon that starts as soon as Saturday the week before labor day
weekend  with racers getting in line to park and running till the Monday
of Labor Day with the running of the last car down the track.

Sunday after a hot weekend in Bowling Green, I finally arrive in Indy late.  
I make some calls and bedded down for the night in anticipation for a
long week.

Monday is a day of waiting, you sit amongst hundreds of other racers
waiting for your turn to be parked. Finally, Monday afternoon, I'm let in.
Now the work begins. I set up camp for the long week.

Tuesday, I finally figure out the problem with the generator, a bad voltage
regulator.  I get the part ordered and on it's way.  This puts Melissa
another day out, so she can get me the part when it gets in. Tuesday is
also spent servicing and teching the race car and getting our credentials
for the week.

Wednesday, I get up and to my delight, I here the sounds of race cars
warming up getting ready for their first time run of the week. The call
finally goes out for Super Comp and I head for the staging lanes. My first
run right out of the trailer is a 8.87, this a nice place to start from. Melissa
and Dylan arrive as I return from my run. This is a nice sight because I
really miss them.  I install the voltage regulator and now have electric
and air conditioning. Oh what a relief. On our second time run, the
temperature goes up and the track goes away, we run a 8.93.  I'm sure
the conditions will be different tomorrow, this is the beauty of national
event competition.

Thursday, like I said, the weather conditions are all together different.
Instead of sunny and 90's, it's 70's and cloudy with a chance of rain. The
throttle stop is going to get a workout on this one.  I run a 8.88, not too
bad for my only run of the day.

Friday, first round is today. The weather is beautiful, temps in the 70's
and sunny. The call goes out for Super Comp, I pull into the staging
lanes, the guy I run in the first round of Bowling Green is guy I have to
run here in the first round.  I have a gut feeling, he might go red so I put
some time in my delay box, so I don't go red.  I was right, he went red by
.013 of a second and I made a good run myself of .019 on the tree and
8.88 on the 8.90 index.  Anytime you go a round at the nationals is good
especially when one of your sponsors shows up. Gary Garzolini, a
dealer for Crow's Hybrids, just missed our first round but got to enjoy
the win anyhow. That night, we got to see some great qualifying from the
pro classes.

Saturday is a long wait for second round lots of qualifying and class
eliminations. Today, the temps are in the 80's with sunny sky's, they call
Super Comp to the lanes around 5:00 pm. Eliminations are now set on a
ladder so I get paired with my opponent, a div 7 runner I don't know. We
do our burnouts and go to the line, we stage as the tree goes green, I'm
.025 to his .026 nearly identical at the line. He's a slower car, so I'm
chasing him, as we near the finish line, I know I'm too fast and decide to
dump him and at the same time he dumps me it's close .008 at the stripe.
His 8.900 to my 8.893 prevailed, he just dumped a little harder than I did.
We're spectators again and you know how I feel about that.

Sunday is spent picking up camp and heading home.

Monday, I serviced the race car and picked up the motorhome.  As I did
my work, I listened to the races on the Internet. My good friend, Andrew
Thomas from Brazil IN won Super Gas. Congratulation Andrew!

I would like to thank the Marshall Merchants that supported us this
weekend:  Van Tarble & Sons, Marshall Realty, Crossroads Realty,
McKimmy Investment Services, Martin's IGA, Riedle Inc. and Neal Tire.
Congratulation Andrew Thomas
for your win in Super Gas at the US Nationals