Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Acts of Nature Beyond Anyones Control"

  Hopefully,  you're wondering "What Happened With Phoenix"..  I'll probably make a short story long, but here's what went down.
  Like I said in my last post, we were waiting on our clutch and ONE rear tire, we received ONE tire three days earlier.  I think the other one must have ridden with Judy.  Now I know not everybody out there is a gearhead, but it would be a sure bet that those two big ole Goodyear slicks might just be a "PAIR".  But I guess not, when it comes to freight companies. We were suppose to leave Wednesday February 16th, no later than noon. Yeah, noon at the latest,the very latest. Its only 750 miles, but we need to be at the gate Thursday morning. And we have to stop for fuel a couple of times,get the motorhome and trailer washed and add in a couple of stops for mexican food. And that's not even figuring in any unknowns, like a blown tire or such. A blown tire on the trailer, although unwanted, is not as bad as it would be on the motorhome. We carry spares for the trailer and can fix them on the side of the road.  The motorhome is another story, you have to call a road service and that usually takes a while.  Anyway we are suppose to get the tire and clutch on Tuesday, that will be fine.  Tuesday comes, no clutch, no tire.  Ok,ok,  we mean, you will have them both on Wednesday.  Wednesday @ 2:30 pm ,we get the clutch,no tire,must be on another truck you should get it by 5:00 pm.  Did I say something about noon ? Hmm. Trying to track the tire though the freight  company was futile, The only information I got was," Due to acts of nature beyond our control ".  Geez, the snow was a week ago.   Well anyway, we got the clutch set up and installed , and got the car all put back together, we are just waiting on the tire. So we look like this.

   The received and signed for by side.  OR Hollywood side.

               And this!

The "Due to acts of nature beyond our control" side.

  While all of this waiting was going on, we have been looking at the weather forecast  for Phoenix and things are not looking all that conducive to drag racing.  They were calling for rain on Friday evening, lasting through Saturday and into Sunday, with high winds and blowing mud-pies, with snow in the higher elevations for a nice safe trip home.  
  This is something we sometimes wrestle with before a race, "The weather forecast".  These race cars do not appreciate high winds, especially cross winds and they won't come out in the rain.  We love being at the racetrack.  But sitting in the motorhome for two or three days waiting out the weather is not a lot of fun.  Coupled with the fact, you lose qualifying runs that are cancelled due to weather.  After a 3 to 4 month layoff, we need all of the runs we can get.  This is starting to sound like a bad way to start our season.  The weather report did not improve, it only got worse and the tire was a no-show.  So about 6:00 pm we decide to scrap the mission.  Someone is trying to tell us not to go.  This is no way to start off this year.  Houston is in two weeks,  lets just get ready for that.
  Well, we did the right thing for a change.  The weather in Phoenix was awful all weekend. They did have to cut out Qualifying runs and sat around in their motorhomes and trailers for two days. The wind did blow hard, and the rain made some nice mud-pies.  Wind and rain in the desert is nasty.  Im glad we didn't go. They did finally get to run the race on Monday,  the top sportsman final was at 7:30 pm.   Been there, done that!  Later in the season when you are in the groove, you can "afford" to lose a run or two.    But at the first race, you are still looking for "Murphy" to show his hand, and we need those runs.
 Over the past 20 years, we have dealt with all  sorts of weather, rain,snow,wind,hail and even tornadoes.(lucky for us we didn't know it at the time)!  I remember a time in Cordova,Ill.  The wind blew so hard the porta-potties were blowing around the pits. (Speaking of mud-pies).  We have been rained out almost as much as we have been out of gas.  I spent two weeks in Bristol,Tn. one time.  The race got rained out and rescheduled for the next weekend.  Greg and Steve Hughes flew home to work and I stayed with our stuff and secured a better pit spot.  Wow, tough job, but somebody gets to do it.  We have been rained out in Norwalk,Ohio 1400 miles from home.  We sat in the rain in Rockingham,N.C. all day, hoping the rain would stop or slow down enough to take our awning down and load our stuff.  Im glad  we waited, So we could do all of that in the rain and the dark!  Once  in Darlington,S.C.  1420 miles from home, a little cloud came up and it rained for just a while.  It didn't seem like a big deal.  All of the sudden the track announcer says, "We are gonna call this thing off and just run it next weekend, see ya then".  Ah, yeah ,sure, see ya.  I can't think of all of the rain we have dealt with at the track, there has been a lot.  Sometimes  they cancel the race.  Sometimes we spent three or four days working around the rain, running when the weather will allow. (Like they did in Phoenix.).
  I want to congratulate our friend Ray Martin (alaskan 
  We are now looking forward to Houston Raceway Park - March 3rd --March 6th.  Here are a couple of pictures of the car at Houston.

We will be there Thursday, with all four tires on the ground,well sometimes all four.Barring any "Acts Of Nature Beyond Our Control".

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