NAPA Day Woodburn Dragstrip | Gregg Racing

Talking With Jerry While In Car


A Quick Update~

It’s been a great year for us here at Gregg Racing- our Performance has improved substantially, as we’ve had the privilege of having JERRY DARIEN join us for a couple outings over the Summer.  His knowledge and experience are unparalleled- and he doesn’t believe in “using up Parts” to go fast.  During our last outing, we made 3 pulls in the 5.40’s, and we went over 264 MPH, which hasn’t happened in many years (since the days we had 100% Nitro).  The amazing part is that we could have reused 85% of our Spark Plugs and Rod Bearings.  The Motor is finally “Happy”.  Now, we’re working to “stick” all the Power we’re making to the Track- which is NO easy task!  But, this is why I’m writing today- we have one more opportunity before we drain the Nitro out of Her and begin our Winter maintenance- and we wanted to invite you to join us!

Signage on our Rear Wing

NAPA Day at the Races- Friday, September 30th, 2011

All of us Nitro Junkies are ALWAYS looking for an excuse to hear that Nitro Cackle and to have our senses assaulted one more time and WE FOUND IT!  The CBM Means Business; Gregg Racing A/Fuel Dragster Team has been invited back out to our home track of Woodburn Dragstrip by our long time Crew Dude, great friend and NAPA Staffer, Keith McCurdy for the NAPA Day at the Races on Friday the 30th of September.  They have a number of Hot Rods that will be “strutting their stuff”, but they were looking for a “Big Car” to kinda’ showcase the event.  As much as we love to Race, my Bride and I had to do some serious talking, as, well- we were SUPPOSED to be at the Oregon Coast for a very long weekend, since October 1, the very NEXT DAY is our 6th Year Anniversary!!!  Do I have a GREAT Wife, or WHAT?!!  Keith has sacrificed a TON for us over MANY years, so if Robbie and I have to post-pone our Beach trip for a bit to help him, then we decided that’s what we needed to do!  I’ve said for a LONG time- that as COOL as our Hot Rod is- and it’s REALLY Cool- It’s all about the Relationships you build along the way!  So, Keith- this one’s for YOU!  Here we come!

 So, please join us Friday the 30th at Woodburn.  We expect to be making a couple hits between 12:00 Noon and around 3:00 PM or so.  Please come be part of the Team and Family for One More Hit of Nitro!  I’ll post after the event, but as always, you’re BEST option is to come join us- ESPECIALLY since this will be our last outing for the Year!

Fondly,

Nitro Gregg

Another Wheels-Up Launch Being Cheered on by Clutch-Guy, Crew-Dude Jake!

Results From The Woodburn Dragstrip Fall Classic | Gregg Racing

 

To Begin~
We had a GREAT Outing this past weekend! I’m attaching a video taken from the Stands by a fan. Not the best view, as it doesn’t show the Driving Job I had to do! (but, you can see AND hear what happened in that Run and I’ll explain more about this below.) THAT poor vista is a HUGE regret, as it was the most remarkable Driving Job I’ve had to do since I’ve owned the Car! I received more complements after that lap than from any other pass in the Car- EVER!

Three Laps in the 5.40’s- 2 over 260 MPH -1 @ 264.39- 2 MPH off our Career Best!!
We’d come “Out of the Box” on Thursday with a 5.46 @ 259 MPH, putting a Cylinder out at 4.4 seconds- a VERY good start to our Weekend. Nothing hurt and a TON left in it. We fixed the Cylinder dropping problem- we hoped- and tried another test pass- The Car did something I didn’t believe possible- it went out 300’ and BLEW THE TIRES OFF! Smoking the Tires THAT far Down Track takes a HUGE amount of Power, which we seemed to have now. We were going from there into Round 1 of Eliminations of the Make-Up Race that had rained out back in July- BUT that last Test Pass had shook HARD, damaging our Reverser, the device that allows me to go from Forward to Reverse so I can back up from a Burnout. We THRASHED, attempting to repair the Reverser which made us quite late to the lanes for our first Round of Eliminations, not really sure if we’d even have Reverse to be able to back up from the Burnout! I did a VERY short burnout, just in case the guys would have to push me back! I know that everyone there was startled, as I’m known for doing “John Force-esk, Long-Non-A/Fuel Traditional Burnouts”, but not knowing if you can even get it into Reverse will cure you of that RIGHT NOW!! OMG!! So, a short Burnout it was!! But, the Reverser worked, so I backed up and had to wait for the other guy, as we were then early!! I then Staged the Car- (This is the pass I’ve attached the video of)- and away we went, side by side, BUT, then the Car began to Shake HARD, again, moving around, left and right and CLOSE to the left wall- it was VERY close to the wall. When it does that, it essentially quits pulling. You’ll see in the Video above, he pulls away as I’m shaking, but he then Blows a Burst Panel (a safety device protecting the supercharger from too much pressure in the Manifold) and I get my Car to settle down and it HAULS ASS 🙂 all the way to the finish line, running 5.420 @ 264.39 MPH! We whooped up on him! This is our Best ET in a LONG time and our best MPH in a VERY long time!! When he blows his Burst Panel, you can hear a very distinct whining sound from his Supercharger (aka- Blower) as it is spinning in excess of 20,000 RPM!

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Getting Whopped –On The Track & By The Weather~
We got whooped in R2- I ran 5.49 and lost to a 5.46. CLOSE, but no cigar! This all happened before the Weekend even began, as our Testing and Eliminations occurred on Thursday and Friday. By Saturday, the Weather had turned Colder, making the Corrected (or “Density”) Altitude VERY low. This is the Altitude the Motor THINKS it’s running at. VERY good air = VERY Good Power! We were already making a TON of Power- and then it got Colder. The Sun didn’t even peak out from the Clouds, meaning that the Track never saw the Sun, so the Track Temperature never got over 71 Degrees. In our world, a Track Temperature of 90 Degrees is considered to be optimal. A Track Temperature that varies in either direction by much begins to affect the available Traction. Add to that the fact that the Cool Air was adding a ton of Power, and – well, we knew we were in trouble! We tried on two attempts to get our Hot Rod down the Track, but went up in smoke both times, in spite of attempts to pull Power from the Tune-Up. Sunday arrived with a similar forecast and I was making an even more drastic change to the Car- Changing Cam Timing. This is one that I have done before to get the Car down the Track when we had great air and the more “normal” Tune-Up moves were ineffective. As I was preparing to Move the Cam Sunday morning, the call was made- the Race was called for Rain. DOH!!! One more time- Woulda’, Coulda’, Shoulda’!

Managing Expectations
We really wanted to come away with a 5.3 Time Slip from the Weekend and we were SO Close on several tries this weekend. Racing with Jerry is SUCH a GREAT time! He was a tremendous help and we all had a TON of FUN! When I brought him up for the Woodburn Divisional back in July, the Car was running 5.60’s and 5.70’s in the mid 240 MPH range– and hurting itself on most every Pass! Now, we made 3 Runs all in the 5.40’s, the slowest of which was 258.91 MPH and up to 264.39 MPH- all with no carnage! We also had some Tire Smokers where we overpowered the Race Track for the available conditions, but our performance has picked up so much that we are now competitive again, and we again have the respect of our competitors. It’s been a while! This is VERY rewarding!

Where We Go From Here
We’ve been invited back for one more outing before putting our Hot Rod away for the Winter. It’ll be Friday the 30th of September where we’ve been invited by NAPA Auto Parts back to Woodburn Dragstrip, our Home Track, one more time. They have rented the Track for the day. They were looking for a “Big Car” and Keith McCurdy- a long time friend, Crew Dude and NAPA staffer invited us to come out for the day. So, please come out on Friday the 30th and spend the day with us! We’ll have a great time, hearing the sound of Nitro Cackling in the Pipes, smelling that distinct smell of Nitro and feeling the awesome Power of that “Bomb” going off at the Starting Line when, before we put Her away for the Winter, we say a couple more times – “God Bless it! Send it!!” Please Come Join Us!!

Thanks to all who make this happen!! 🙂

Fondly~
Nitro Gregg

Fall Classic Woodburn Dragstrip | Jerry Darien and Gregg Racing


Hey all Gregg Racing Fans, Friends & Nitro Junkies!!  We have some GREAT NEWS in the Gregg Racing A/Fuel Dragster Camp!!!  This weekend is the Fall Classic Race at Woodburn Dragstrip and on Friday the 16th, is the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series (LODRS) Woodburn Make-Up Race for the event that was rained out back in mid-July.  The CBM Means Business; Gregg Racing A/Fuel Dragster Team has come out early, today on Thursday the 15th to do some testing in preparation for this make-up race tomorrow the 16th.  The KILLER NEWS is that we have the privilege of having JERRY DARIEN join us again at this race as our Co-Crew Chief!!  WHOO HOO!!!  Jerry is one of the top A/Fuel Tuners on the PLANET and has trained more NHRA Pro Top Fuel Drivers than any other Tuner/Car Owner in history!  He has been called the “Trainer to the Stars”.  A partial list of drivers he’s personally trained includes:

  • Gary Scelzi
  • Frank Pedgregon
  • Melanie Troxel
  • Steve Faria
  • Brandon Bernstein
  • Morgan Lucas
  • Ashley Force
  • Troy Buff
  • Brittany Force
  • Courtney Force
  • Megan McKernan

His tuning skills are known for their conservative nature, keeping  his rookie Drivers safe and his parts lasting a LONG, LONG time!  The standing joke is that you NEVER, EVER cut a Zip Tie from the wrong end on Jerry’s team, or he’ll have your HEAD!  We reuse all zip ties and that attitude is representative of the ultra-conservative approach Jerry has taken to A/Fuel racing.  When others through HUGE sums of money at their programs, buying the latest part to fall off the newest CNC Machine, Jerry sticks with what he has, making it work.  And he makes it work!  His career best is a 5.22 ET at 275 MPH with Ashley driving- but that was in the “good ole’ days”, when NHRA allowed 100% Nitro.  Jerry says, “100% Nitro adds 50 IQ points to any Tuner!”  Now, after several drops in our Fuel Percentage, we’re down to 94% by the current NHRA rules, it’s WAY harder to makes these Cars run- especially when it’s hot out!  So, how’s Jerry done on 94%, WITHOUT the “50 IQ Point ‘Bonus’ Points” that used to come naturally by way of running 100% Nitro?  Well, on 94%, with Courtney in the Car, his Career Best is a 5.23 ET at 272 MPH!!  PHENOMENAL performance out of a Living Legend (That’d be Jerry, – Courtney will earn her Stripes in the Years to Come! J ) whom we at Gregg Racing are TRULY HONORED to have helping us out this weekend at Woodburn!   Come be a part of the Program and meet Jerry if you haven’t already- you’ll be glad you did!!

Jerry has been a good friend to Gregg since Gregg bought his A/Fuel Car from Jerry back in 1999- the Car Jerry had built for Melanie Troxel to drive.  It wore the In-N-Out Burger colors in those days.

UPDATE!!  Thursday 6:45 PM We had intended on making two Test Passes today, but…. , as they say, nothing’s easy.  We got one hit in today, but it was a GREAT opening to our long anticipated weekend!  In fact, in “Jerry speak”, he told me one time when I was complaining to him about how TERRIBLY difficult it is to run one of these VERY finicky A/Fuel Dragsters- He Said, “Gregg, if it were easy, the Pits would be full of 3rd Grade Girls with A/Fuel Cars!!!” It isn’t easy running an A/Fuel Car, or probably much of anything worth doing in life!  BUT, today, we had a GREAT opening Pass!

 

Allow me to share a little bit of the “Inside the Tuner’s Corner” with  you:

         Coming here today, we knew-

  • The Air would be VERY good- about 1100’ Corrected Density Altitude
  • We have been having issues with the Car “Smoking the Tires” at the Hit
  • Smoking the Tires SUCKS and you learn NOTHING doing this!
  • We’d have to REALLY “back the Car down”, by lowering all our Tune-Up settings pretty dramatically for our first Pass
  • We Set a VERY Mild Tune-Up and…….  (OMG!)  WAIT, I need to tell you just a LITTLE MORE for perspective.  (Sorry for the tease, but it’s REALLY worth it!  I promise!

When we qualified for this race, just 8 short weeks ago, here’s what our Time Slip looked like:

60′ ET

0.990

330′ ET

2.548

660′ ET

3.725

660′ MPH

213.47

1000′ ET

4.721

1/4 ET

5.596

1/4 MPH

252.80

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best we could muster was a 5.596 ET @ 252.80 MPH.  Today, we came out of the “Box” (Trailer) and with a VERY mild Tune-Up, HERE’S what our first Hit Time Slip looks like!  Below:

60′ ET

0.986

330′ ET

2.491

660′ ET

3.634

660′ MPH

219.29

1000′ ET

4.608

1/4 ET

5.463

1/4 MPH

258.91

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALMOST a tenth and a half better!  …AND, as the late night Infomercials say… “But Wait, There’s More!!!!”

On this run, it dropped #4 Cylinder at 4.4 Seconds!  Woulda’, Coulda’, Shoulda’!  But, we’ve fixed this so it (Hopefully!) won’t happen again, along with addressing a NUMBER of other issues, and we TRULY believe that our first 5.3 Pass is IN THERE, WAITING for us to turn the knobs JUST RIGHT and that it will come out THIS WEEKEND!!!  The Motor was very safe, nothing was hurt and we’re VERY excited about tomorrow! 🙂

Eliminations begin at 1:30 Tomorrow!  I’ll try to do more posts, but the BEST option is to just come out here and JOIN US!! 

Gregg