Woodburn LODRS Divisional Race #1 ~ 07-14-13 – Gregg Racing

Woodburn LODRS Divisional Race #1 ~ 07-14-13

If you’re following us here, by now you’ve seen the Pics of our Carnage from our Dropped Intake Valve that happened during our final Qualifying Pass late on Saturday. Parts failure is a constant threat when pushing our Equipment THIS hard. We normally do VERY well, in fact we have VERY FEW Parts fail, owing to a TON of Maintenance, however, someone said it best a long time ago ……… “Poop Happens”. It certainly did to us during Q3!!

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The Crew worked VERY hard, burning a LOT of Midnight Oil and a few Adult Beverages too, as they got our Hot Rod all ready for the Dance on Sunday- but, alas a repeat performance of our Win in 2012 was simply NOT to be, as when we started Her up for Round 1, it was pretty clear- something was DRAMATICALLY wrong. I was given the option to shut it off, but I decided to go ahead with the Burnout and then opted to Stage the Car, having a pretty darn good idea, it was NOT running right. BUT, if we shut the Car off- we were GUARANTEED a R1 Loss. If I took a Green Light and Stepped down on ‘er, there was a CHANCE, however small, there WAS a chance of a Win. We were Racing Shawn Cowie, who was coming back after a 2 ½ year absence, returning after a devastating Motorcycle Accident injury he sustained through no fault of his own back in Tennessee. (Sidebar- I saw a sticker on Joey’s Car {Friend and Competitor, TAD Driver- Joey Severance}. It said- “Enemies for 5 Seconds; Friends for Life” Very Well said.) With this sentiment in mind, although we REEEAAALY wanted to whoop up on Shawn pretty badly, we all felt that if it wasn’t ours to win that day, it would be good for Cowie to take it that day. He’s been through an AWEFUL lot. Along with most TAD and TAFC Racers, we too have carried a sticker on our Car in his memory and honor during his recovery. But, regarding our R1 pairing, Shawn COULD have Red Lighted, or he COULD have Crossed the Center Line, or he COULD have had his OWN problems ……… but- he did not. He made a GREAT pass. BUT – we DID put ourselves in a position to win and that was all we could do at that time. I often refer to it this way- “Swing at the Damn Ball!!” We swung. Sometimes you connect. Sometimes you don’t. BUT, always Swing!

Shawn went on to win the Event and we at Gregg Racing congratulate him and his entire team!

One more- Before every Pass we make, we do a Warm-Up in the Pits. This allows us to not only Warm the Motor up, but we’re also able to check the Ignition Timing, Fuel Settings, EGT’s (Exhaust Gas Temperatures) and a variety of other items to make sure they are just right prior to our Run. One other routine is for us to check the Reverser- to go between Forward and Reverse gear. This is MUCH easier said than done, as the saying goes. My Bride, Robbie, has had the “Driver’s” duties in the Pits for the Warm-Ups for many years now, and She has always found the “Forward and Reverse” chore to be the most challenging. There ISN’T any “Synchro” between Forward and Reverse. If the Rear Tires are spinning- AT ALL, She can DESTROY a $1,500.00 Reverser in a FLASH. There’s just not much “forgiveness” in the process. Oh yeah- NO pressure either. J And, the Clutch works like no other, being a Centrifugally operated one. Did I mention? No Pressure. She’s gotten QUITE good- My point is- it’s MUCH more difficult than it looks. Prior to one of our Qualifying Passes this weekend, and after completing a truly Picture Perfect Warm-Up, including the requisite “Forward and Reverse” test- Which Robbie ALSO completed Perfectly, Robbie NEW she’d “NAILED IT” and the Picture that follows is her “Candid Camera”/“Kodak Moment” reaction captured as it happened by Cheyanne Helvey, the daughter of our Social Media Guru, Julie Helvey. The raw emotion seems to say a lot about her feelings of success. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Thanks, as always, for following us here! Our next outing will be on July 26th and 27th, back at Woodburn as we go to a Night Race there- Nitro Flames under the Lights! WHOO HOO! Come join us, or at least follow our results and stories here. Thanks much and God Bless!

Gregg Racing- Good Times with Good Friends at 260 MPH!
Nitro Gregg

Gregg Racing – End Of 2012 Season Party

Written by Julie Helvey- Social Media Guru & Fuel Chiller for
Gregg Racing, Inc.

Our Awesome 2012 Racing Season ended with the annual Gregg Racing Crew Dude Party that Gregg and Robbie throw for us Crew Dudes at the end of every Season-This year was no different from the previous Season’s Parties- It was AWESOME!!

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It started off with Happy Hour, as we all sat around and chatted about the great 2012 we were celebrating, especially our return to the Winner’s Circle at the LODRS Race at Woodburn the past July, with everyone just enjoying each other’s company.  Gregg BBQ’D while Robbie and Irene, (Gregg’s Mom and the Team Chef), put everything else together in the kitchen, and all of us Crew Dudes just relaxed for a change, something that we are NOT accustomed to doing in each other’s company.  Normally when we’re together, it’s “Mach 9 With Our Hair On Fire” as we work PROUFOUNDLY hard and as fast as we can, like a (fairly) well choreographed Dance Team- trying not to run into each other as we work in such a confined area, working SO closely together- each with our own Job and area of Responsibility- All with VERY tight Time Constraints.  The Car MUST be ready on time- and…… it MUST be right.  Nothing like a little Pressure!  That’s what made the Party SO different!  And SOOOO Nice!!

Clutch Dude Jake decided to build us a nice bonfire, albeit an “upside down” fire, (you would have had to have been there- OR, you should feel free to ask him about it next time you’re at the Track with us!  Jake’s a pretty Funny Guy- and his take on building a Fire is a perfect example on his perspective on most of LIFE- upside down from most everyone else!!  LOL!!  BUT, that’s why we LOVE Jake!!…) He actually did a pretty good job of building a Bitchin’ Fire in Robbie’s Fire Pit.

After dinner, we all went down into the Family Room and got comfy on the couches, while Gregg readied his Slide Show that he spends OODLES of hours making every year- (and I DO mean OODLES)….

Just prior to beginning the Slide Show, Gregg offers his thoughts on the Season, which always includes his sharing how much we each mean to the Team, and how much he and Robbie appreciate us all, but more importantly to them (and all of us Crew Dudes too!) are the relationships that are built and the true friendships and families that are created from working so closely together.  We all LOVE this part, ‘Cuz it is soooo true.

Next came the Slide Show we were all anxiously waiting for- Gregg does such an incredible job of doing this, right down to the music he picks out, and making sure that the beat of the music hits where it is supposed to-NOT an easy task!  We all sat back, and re-lived the AWESOME Season we had in 2012, and remembered some dear friends that we lost along the way as well~ But BEST of all…was reliving that MOMENT….the one where we KNEW…

WE HAD WON THE WALLY!!!  I am pretty sure we were all crying, watching those pictures roll, frame by frame, right up to the ones of us Crew Dudes literally EXPLODING on the starting line as we saw OUR win light come on!!  OMFREAKINGGOODNESS!!!

The Slide Show was SUCH a hit this year, that we convinced Gregg to share it with MORE than just US Crew Dudes!!!!  So, YOU now are able to be a part of our Year- The AWESOME Year that was 2012……… As WELL as the Relationships that we build along the way.  More to come on this to follow.

After the Slide Show, Gregg customarily hands out gifts to the Crew.  This night was a little different.  While he and Robbie always make sure we know JUST how much we are appreciated with Gifts- This Year we each got two pictures, one from our Night of Fire Race, (with the header flames shooting out.  Who doesn’t LOVE Header Flames??!!!…) and a Winner’s Circle picture, with a personal note written by Gregg to each of us and then signed by Gregg.  These Gifts are pretty “Standard”- BUT, 2012 WASN’T a “Standard” SEASON!  So,  THEN…we EACH got……..OUR VERY OWN WALLY!!! They actually got us each our own Wally, and not just some cheap imitation, either, but identical Trophies to what Gregg received in the Winner’s Circle!!!  These Wally’s are SOOO COOL!!!  🙂  Made us one VERY Happy Crew!!  It was a pretty awesome moment, for sure…just sayin…

Gregg and Robbie are such an amazing couple, have a great Team to work with and for, and are BY FAR some of the best Friends you could ever ask for- I know I, along with the rest of our crew, cherish them GREATLY!!

Thank you, Gregg and Robbie, for a Great Party, Stellar Gifts, and more than anything, for your Friendship!!

Let’s do it again in 2013!!!  🙂
 
 

Be a Part of our Slide Show, AS WE watched it!!  You will need to set aside just over 25 minutes to view it all, but I PROMISE you- it IS worth it!  We’ll give you a Money Back Guarantee!!   We’ll return every dime we charge you to download it IF you don’t LOVE it!!  It’s available up to 1080p, so if you have the time to let it queue, PLEASE do!  Then, you can watch it on your Big Screen AND, MOST importantly, Like the Hot Rod, it’s MEANT to be…… LOUD, so TURN IT UP!!  J

This Slide Show was prepared primarily as a Thank You for the Gregg Racing Crew Dudes who worked SO Hard on the Car all Year, HOWEVER, there are a GREAT MANY Friends who have ALSO helped in a VARIETY of ways.  For ALL of the Friends of Gregg Racing, who have helped in ALL the MANY WAYS- and YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE- This Slide Show is ALSO for YOU!!

The Gregg Racing 2012 End of Season Slide Show is below.
Enjoy!


 

Written by,
Your Gregg Racing Social Media Guru & Fuel Chiller Crew Dude~ Julie Helvey

 

Silverton Christian School Auction – Crew Dude Position – Gregg Racing

Our Hot Rod on Display ~ 
Crew Dude Position for Auction??

May 04, 2013

Silverton Christian School was the venue for the Gregg Racing Team to give back to our community as the Team worked VERY hard for a couple weeks prior to this charity event to get our Hot Rod all dressed up and ready to go. This Auction, held at the Silverton Christian School, a Preschool through 8th Grade Christian School in Silverton, is an annual Fund Raiser for the School and is VERY popular in the community. Most Auction items are a bit more “traditional”- i.e.~ a load of Bark, 1000’ square feet of turf, an Elk Hunting trip in Eastern Oregon, various Lawn and Garden equipment donated by many great local merchants who all support the School- Our entry certainly “Stood Out” as we had our A/Fuel Dragster prominently parked right out front, all 32’ of her Loud and Proud and on Display for the attendees to see what they were bidding on- and, in fact, to that end, allow me to share what that was! Here’s a copy of what the attendees saw on the handout that they all received, prepared just for them, describing the rather unique Auction item of- “Being a Crew Dude on an A/Fuel Dragster Team for a Race Weekend”.

  A/Fuel Nitro Dragster

Be A Crew Dude

On a 260 MPH, Nitro Dragster Team

  • Be a Member of an A/Fuel Nitro Dragster Team for a Race Weekend, with your Entry & Pit Pass Provided for the Entire Weekend!
  • Sit in the Driver’s Seat for a Nitro Warm-Up in the Pits as YOU Experience TRUE “Sensory Overload”, With the Smell & Feel of Nitro, as the 4,000 HP Rumbles Through YOUR Seat!!! Incredible!!
  • Be at the Starting Line with the Team, in the Restricted Area and FEEL the Chest Pounding Thunder When a PAIR of Top Alcohol Dragsters Leave The Starting Line!
  • Go to the Top End With the Team to Retrieve the Hot Rod & Driver
  • Get Your Hands Dirty, Working on the Car with the Team All Weekend
  • Receive a Framed Picture of YOU, Taken With the Car, Driver & Team
  • Awesome Food, Great Friends & Lifelong Memories- Many Experiences That You Will
    TRULY NEVER Forget!!!! Don’t Be a Spectator! Come and Be a Part of a Winning Team For a Weekend!!

The Auction went GREAT, with our Winner and Newest Crew Dude……ette being:…… K’Lynn Wiley. She won the Auction, made a VERY Generous contribution to the School and has made her choice as to which race to join us for- Her choice? The Night of Fire Race- July 26 & 27th. This is a GREAT choice, as you can’t EVER go wrong with Nitro Flames at Night!!

So, we’re welcoming K’Lynn to our Team for the Night of Fire Race in July! Please Come by our Pits and say hi to her! Please make her feel welcome, a part of the Team and Family! Check out the Pics from our Auction- it was a Great time for our Team!

We’re making big progress getting our Car ready for our first Race June 8th & 9th. Stay tuned for updates as Parts are arriving by the day! As always, Thanks MUCH for you interest in our program!

Gregg Racing….
Good Times and Good Friends…
at 260 MPH!!!! God Bless~

Goin’ Racing 2013 Pre-Season Updates – Gregg Racing

576612_443329129078004_1942510023_nWe will continue to provide updates to you periodically as to how we’re doing as we prepare for our 2013 Season. Actually, it’d be more accurate to say- “WHAT” we’re doing, as until we get back to breathing some Nitro Fumes out the Pipes, we’re kinda’ Jonesin’ – as any REAL Nitro Junkie ALREAY knows! But, to prepare for ‘13 with our New Hot Rod and all, as the saying goes……… NOTHING is easy- well, at least nothing worth doing. But, Jerry (that’d be Jerry Darien, just in case you’ve been asleep so far) told me long ago that I can always quit……… tomorrow. Someday, I’ll get around to that……… probably tomorrow. BUT, for today, we’re working diligently on getting all 10,253 details ready for the Season. This included the realization that it was time for not ONLY the New Hot Rod- (a Chassis Upgrade- a McKinney Car we acquired over the Winter in case you’re new to the Gregg Racing family), but also a recognition that we needed some serious upgrades in our Parts- in two major areas.

It was at our last outing in ’12 when we threw a Connecting Rod out on a Qualifying Pass at the 2nd Divisional Race at Woodburn in September and didn’t have a Spare Motor ready that I knew I HAD to do something about the lack of a ready spare Motor. I’d dodged this bullet of not having a spare Motor for 10 years, until that day. But, if I’d have had a spare Motor then, as fate would have it, we’d have made it to the Final Round. DOH! I DID have TWO spare Blocks at the Shop, but they didn’t match what I was running now, so it wasn’t practical to put them together anymore. They need to find a home somewhere else- as they ARE good pieces- they simply no longer fit MY program. So- It’s time for a 2nd Short Block. It’s only money.

483787_443329612411289_784128576_nThen, it became clear that I needed to upgrade Cylinder Heads also. Our Heads ARE good, but Brad (BAE- Brad Anderson Enterprises) now has BETTER Heads that DO seem to work better with the lower Nitro percentages we now must Run- they seem to help the Motor Rev up better at the hit of the throttle. It’s only money. HUMM- There’s a theme here! The GOOD news is I have TONS of it – I simply need to convert it from the Aluminum & Titanium form it’s currently IN, to the 100 Dollar Bills that we NEED. NO PROBLEM! Well, maybe a SMALL problem. So, how ‘bout YOU?? Wanna’ set of A/Fuel Heads, a KB Block or two, or a Crower Titanium 6 Spring Clutch? Okay, so you’re NOT yet ready to go A/Fuel Racing- I get it! BUT, you CAN follow what WE’RE doing as we’re setting up a “For Sale Stuff” page on our Web Site- Watch this Page on our site. In the meantime, we’ll keep you posted periodically with what we’re up to, as we ready our Hot Rod for this upcoming Season, our hands shaking, heads twitching a bit, all waiting to hear that Cackle in the Pipes and smell that Nothing-Else-In-The-World-Like-It-Smell- Nitro in the Morning! Here’s today’s Update- Oh Yeah- and as always- Thanks for your interest in our program- Nitro Gregg.

We have the Block that has been repaired from the ever-so-unfortunate Rod exiting incident I referred to above. It is waiting to be shipped back to us, having been repaired by its Manufacturer, BAE. We’re acquiring a second BAE Block from Jerry Darien – So now we WILL have TWO!! Jerry will be taking our New Block out to Brad’s, who will ship both back in one shipment, which should save a ton on freight.

We have been working on the New Hot Rod, but we are finding that there are SOOO Many things to Change/Build/Adjust- and even more importantly- to BUY, that it is going to take us longer than we had hoped for to get the new Car ready- along with the parts upgrades of the Spare Motor and upgraded Cylinder Heads we need ………. So, we’re going to need to run the Old Faithful, Wally Winning Hot Rod (outfitted with new BAE VIII Cylinder Heads, however) until the New Car is completed later this Season. This way, we will stay current on all the New Technology & Tuning Updates that come out each Year and we’ll learn how to go faster with our new Parts, all the while STILL Building our Cool NEW Hot Rod!! Another benefit is that it allows the Crew to both get their “Fix” and to stay sharp in their skills. BOTH are important- I’m just not sure which is MORE important- we’ll save that discussion for another day.

Be sure to check back with us, as we will have MANY more of these updates, all under this same heading “Goin’ Racing- ’13 Pre-Season Updates~” Lemme’ tip our hand now as to our next Update- Our Rear Wing is being re-fitted for strength and safety for the new Season. We’ll Post Pics and a story about an updated Emergency Parachute Deployment Cable System soon. You’re NOT gonna’ BELIEVE the DAMAGE that Tire Shake can cause to a Rear Wing! OMG!!!

Gregg Racing~
Good Times With
Good Friends at 260 MPH~

NHRA Woodburn Dragstrip – Les Schwab Callenge West Regional Event – LODRS July 13 – 15 2012 – Gregg Racing

Did You Hear?!!! We Won!!!~

21-2012-07-15 nuff saidTo all of you who faithfully follow us here through our Facebook and Web Posts- Thank You! Most of our Posts are pretty brief- Most of them! For the Hard Core Racers among us, however, who’ve been Racing, or following Racing, for quite a while, Quickie Pics of Puppies and little Girls, as cools as they are, interspersed with some cool Racing Photos can’t replace Hardcore Racing- and all the Drama that goes with it! The “Dirt”; the background stories that you always WISHED you had access to…… IF ONLY you KNEW someone who would let you IN to what was said INSIDE the Pits; INSIDE the Trailers when the Media was gone! Well, consider this a REAL “Pit Pass”- an Invite to the “Dirt” of our BIGGEST Weekend of 2012, as we get our Hot Rod Program together for 2013! BUT, consider yourself warned! THIS Post has NO Puppies or Little Girls in it ANYWHERE! It IS, however, full of details of a hard fought Weekend of Racing, with Drama & Disagreements, but it’s ALSO a weekend where WE came out with the Wally.

The Post is also really LONG! So, now you know- if you’re looking for the lighter content- we have THOSE Posts too! THIS just ain’t IT!! This is for you Hardcore Racers wanting some real detail- along with some Bitchin’ Pics of what that Weekend was like. So- Grab your favorite Adult Beverage and get ready for some fun reading, some cool Pics and the ability to relive with us one of the best Weekends of our Racing Career!

Enjoy! And Thanks in advance for your interest – We appreciate your YOU!
Nitro Gregg~


1-2012-07-15- launchBy any measurement, 2012 was a very good Season for the Gregg Racing A/Fuel Dragster Team, capped off by our first Divisional (now called “Regional”) Win since 2003! WOW! In case one is tempted to see this as a long drought, from our Back to Back Wins in 2002 & 2003, followed by the lengthy delay until 2012’s Win, feel free to do a little homework on any of the DOZENS of Drag Racing Teams who can go for YEARS and not even QUALIFY for a Race, let alone EVER bring home a Wally. This seems to be uniquely true for Pro Stock Drivers who, by the way, spend WAY more money that we do (as hard as that is for my Bride to believe- it IS true, Sweetheart! J)

2-2012-07-15- launch-12I also concede that my Wins are, at this point, all Divisional level wins, however, as famed Pro Stock Driver/Owner/Tuner/Comedian Warren Johnson has been credited as saying- “There are no bad Wins and there are no good Losses!”. Okay, I made up the Comedian part about “The Professor”- but any of you who know JACK about the Sport already KNEW that! J In fact, for all that one could say about Warren- he’s a VERY bright guy- hence the title- “The Professor”- a title that WAS earned, I’ve NEVER heard anyone call him “The Comedian”- not even ONCE!! But, I digress- but it IS kinda’ funny! Anyway, we DID have a good year in 2012- Yep, that’s the point! As I was looking over our Facebook postings, however, I realized that I’d NEVER actually done a full Post ON that Wonderful day last July where we’d Won the Race! I’d never taken you all through that Day, describing what actually happened, as there is quite an amazing story to tell.

3-2012-07-15-test pass fridaySo, allow me to share a few of the details of that big Day, as the “Back Story” is VERY interesting, with some Controversy, Accusations of Cheating, The Division Director in my Trailer between Rounds settling Disputes, A Competitor vying for the World Championship Setting Track Records and yet- Being Put ON the Trailer! YEP, the Drama of a Good Thriller was ALL there, OMG!!! Writing this I can FEEL the Tension ALL OVER AGAIN!!! So- grab a Cup of Coffee- put a little “Adult Beverage” of your choice in it- (presuming you ARE over 21 Years OLD, of course! J
BTW- Baileys is OUR first choice)- Then- sit back and enjoy reliving the Day with us as it unfolded! It was SUCH a GREAT Day in our Racing History!! We’ve put together the Story with some Pictures so you can be RIGHT THERE at the Starting Line with us as the Day unfolded!

4-2012-07-15 test pass fridayThanks in Advance SO Much for your interest in our Racing Program!! We DEEPLY Appreciate YOU!! I trust you’ll enjoy reliving this a FRACTION as much as we did making it all happen that fateful day as we all worked together SO hard to Win the Race that Sunday, July 15th, 2012.

Wins are SOOO tough to come by at any level, but at the Top Alcohol Level and above- this seems to be especially true- with several Competitors spending serious 6 Digit Money Annually just to CAMPAIGN their Cars! That’s after they ALREADY own their Hot Rod, Transporter & Trailer- not to mention all the necessary Support Equipment, Tools, Tons of Spares and such! It is NOT for the faint of Pocket Book! And yet, we somehow find a way to persevere, spending a FRACTION of that! Yep! Ya’ Gotta’ be kinda’ Brain Dead Crazy to Wanna’ Do this! My Machinist friend Butch Stetson calls it “The Incurable Disease” to which I add- “From Whence You May Not Be Healed!” to his description. J Nitro Racing IS Very Addicting, to be sure!!

5-2012-07-15-test pass– Our last Divisional Win came way back in 2003. Back then, we were able to run 100% Nitro. We’re now on our 4th Fuel Percentage Drop since then~ Each one intended to slow the Nitro Cars down in an elusive pursuit designed to maintain “Parity” (NHRA’s word, not mine!) between the Naturally Aspirated Nitro Cars and the Supercharged Alcohol burning Cars we compete against. Parity, huh? Rule changes such as this ultimately cause us to spend the money required to regain the Power surrendered to the new Rule, so to ME, in my less than Humble opinion, the only ones who truly WIN with these kinda’ Rule changes are the PARTS Manufacturers, but I digress- Did you Hear???…. We WON!!!

We HAVE won SEVERAL Match Races over the years, but Divisional Races are WAY tougher to Win, as these Races attract some of the VERY best Cars in the Nation- each in pursuit of a Points chase- towards either a Divisional and/or National Championship. The Race in July was NO exception, in spite of a short field, each Car in attendance was a MAJOR LEAGUE “Hitter”. 6-2012-07-15-round oneBeginning, of course, with National Event winning Joey Severance, who, in spite of having a Blown Alcohol combo, is an AWFULLY nice guy. Joey has my HIGHEST Respect as a Competitor and as a Friend. Joey is as Good as they come, in fact, he’s one of those Guys where one can truly say- “if you don’t get along with Joey, there’s something wrong with YOU!” ; Then Hugh Ridley’s Car was up here- it’s a VERY well funded and competitive Blown Car; Then my Friend and Mentor- Jerry Darien with his Driver, Megan McKernan in another A/Fuel Car. Jerry being one of the TRUE Elite Tuners and Trainers of the Star Drivers in the Sport. Jerry is sought out by many people to have him Build Nitro Motors & to have him teach THEIR Kids how to Drive one of these Nitro “Rockets”. – Jerry is the BEST at keeping a Driver Safe and at Tuning a VERY Fast A/Fuel Car-; And lastly, Jerry Maddern’s Blown Car with Chris Demke Driving. WOW! With Chris Demke having a truly legitimate shot at the World Championship and Joey being right in there too, Jerry Darien getting his Hot Rod to run a high 5.30 Pass in Qualifying- we knew we were in a VERY tough field- BUT, as Bob Frey says- “That’s why we don’t Race them on Paper!” ‘Cause sometimes the Fastest Car in Qualifying doesn’t Win, IF it won’t make it all the way to the Finish Line under power- each and every time!

The Race Was On!

Round 1:
7-2012-07-15-round oneGregg Racing Vs. Joey: We had an issue as we started our Car- a Fuel Leak on our Main Fuel Line going to the Motor! DOH! THAT doesn’t give the Driver much confidence, sitting there, hoping they’ll get it fixed in time! Keeping in mind that as the Driver, with no Rear View Mirror- I have NO idea what’s going on back there!! I have to TRUST that they will do ALL that can be done- AND that they’ll do it as FAST as possible in the time available- which isn’t much! BUT- it DID become an issue, as they ALMOST shut us off, but with MUCH hard work from Crew Dude Jake and friends helping, they got it under control and sent me forward for a MUCH shortened Burnout and a QUICK Backup, as Joey had been patiently waiting. BTW- he did NOT have to wait. He COULD have Staged his Car- but he chose to wait.
Yet another demonstration of the Incredible Sportsmanship that is a part of who Joey is. I did my best to hurry and I pulled forward to Stage the Car, I “High-Sided” it (Turned the Fuel Pump all the way on), Stepped off the Clutch, which REALLY wakes the Motor up and has the net effect of putting your Head into a Paint Shaker, and I eased the Car forward into the Stage Beam. I want to be clear on this part- I Staged first. Joey did come right in behind me. The Lights came down quickly – and WE’RE OFF! I unleashed the 8 NITRO BOMBS contained in their Steel Sleeved, Aluminum Blocked Cylinders and hung on, but as is common, the Alcohol Cars jump out on you first, since they leave Wound Up (often leaving at over 5,000 RPM, whereas we A/Fuel Cars leave at a dead idle- around 2,000 RPM). I was focused on keeping my Rocket in the middle of the “Groove” and the next thing I knew…………… Joey was gone!!!! I Couldn’t See Joey!! Where was Joey?!! I dunno, but what I DO know is to keep your Foot Planted until SHE THROWS THE RODS OUT, OR UNTIL WE CROSS THE FINISH LINE!! Or BOTH! Either WAY, I’m NOT Lifting Until ALL EIGHT RODS are OUT of Her OR Until I Cross the Stripe! So- Here comes the Finish Line & NO JOEY, I DON’T SEE HIM, I DON’T SEE HIM & …………… THERE IT IS!!!! THE FINISH LINE!! The Front Tires CROSS the Stripe!!! HIT THE CHUTES and…. COULD IT BE?? I eased Her to a Stop, nervously WANTING to believe I’d won, but Joey’s Car is SO fast, how could it be? It CAN’T be, Right?? Can it? Can it?? Well, Joey’s Car had apparently gone into Tire Shake and somewhere along the way had Thrown the Blower Belt off.

I’ve raced Joey more than I’ve Raced anyone else over the years and there is no one whom I respect more than Joey and his Father, Joe Severance. If I beat them, I ONLY want to do it fair and square. To me, NO other type of Win counts, or has ANY meaning. I know of no other way to Race. After this Round, much was discussed about us holding them up. I talked with Joey and his Dad, apologizing for our delay. Ultimately, it comes down to the Officials. If they tell us to shut the Car off- We shut the Car off, if they let us run the Car- We run the Car. We did what we were instructed to do to the best of our ability. As I have made clear, I do NOT race any way but “Straight Up”, BUT, IF I were going to “mess” with ANYONE on the PLANET, the LAST person I would choose to do so with- would be Joey Severance. Catch me in person some day and I’ll tell you who I WOULD mess with- if I DID Race that way! But I ASSURE you it’s NOT Joey! Joey has been VERY good to me and remains a great Friend. I still Love Kicking his Backside on the Track, however. It’s simply a VERY Tall Order- which, I’m betting, is why it’s SOOOO Rewarding!

Round 2:
8-2012-07-15-winningpass-1Gregg Racing Vs. Bye: Joey had qualified in the #2 position and with our victory in Round 1, this gave US the Bye in Round 2, so WHOO HOO, we now had a BYE into the Final!!! I “Turned the Wick Up” a bit, not wanting to just “Smoke the Tires” and be a Moron, but hoping to learn SOMETHING, and we DID- we went a little quicker and a little Faster on our Bye run in Round 2! On to the Final Round- and what do we get for our efforts? Oh Yeah- we get to run Chris Demke!

Round 3- Final Round:
Gregg Racing Vs. Chris Demke: Chris had been running VERY well all Weekend, with ONLY one exception. During one of his Qualifying runs, his Car had a modest amount of Tire Shake that was enough to cause a Wire that was a part of their Ignition System to fall out and effectively Shut the Motor OFF at about 1.5 seconds into the Run. They repaired it and on they went, running VERY well- with low 5.30 passes most each time down the Track, with all watching and FULLY expecting them to do the same here in the Final Round- BUT, (Queue Bob Frey here too…, “That’s why we don’t run them on Paper!”)

9-2012-07-15-winningpass-2The Starting Line was PACKED with people watching, expecting what seemed inevitable, but NOT THIS day! Here we go again, the High Winding Alcohol Car, Reved Up to the Moon, rolling in to the Stage Beams, as I Step off of the Clutch after High-Siding the Pump, sending Gallons of Nitro RIGHT up to the back side of the Barrel Valve, where it sits until I HAMMER the Throttle and the Barrel Valve rotates out of the way, allowing the Fuel consumption to JUMP from the idle volume of 1.5 Gallons per minute to 26 Gallons per minute as we Thunder down the Track.

10-2012-07-15-winningpass-3

As with Joey, I saw him jump out on me….. for just a split second, and then…….. NO Chris! I was all ALONE, and I DIDN’T SEE HIM- so I kept the Hammer Down, doing all I could to virtually CRUSH the Throttle with my Right Foot. I saw the Finish Line a comin’……. It Couldn’t Get Here SOON Enough- But – In 5.530 Seconds I Crossed the Finish Line at 260.19 MPH! I was SCREAMING MY LUNGS OUT in the Car, knowing that we were going to WIN from before the 330’ Cones!! I don’t believe I’ve EVER Yelled THAT Loud in my ENTIRE LIFE!!!! After Crossing the Finish Line, having a pretty darn good idea we’d WON, I Hit The Chutes, Shut The Fuel Off and Brought my Steed to a Stop for the last time of a VERY Long Weekend. She’d served us VERY well, if not producing the quickest ET’s on the grounds; She’d CERTAINLY been the most consistent Car there, running “A – B” Each and EVERY time I asked Her to with very consistent pulls each time.

11-2012-07-15-winningpass-4The Starting Line ERRUPTED with Crew & Friends going absolutely INSANE with excitement. Regarding the Level of Insanity & Excitement, however- You see- we weren’t SUPPOSED to Win! WE ALWAYS believe there’s a chance we’ll win- or we wouldn’t bring the Car out of the Trailer!! But, the NUMBERS that day said we really didn’t have much of a chance! But, APPARENTLY, OUR Hot Rod didn’t GET THAT Memo!!! LOL!!

We clearly need to go quicker- and we are making BIG changes for 2013- but for THIS day- we’d WON the RACE- and against SUCH improbable odds!!! One last Victory for the old Gal, who’s served me SO faithfully since I made my first deposit to buy her- “Turn Key” from Jerry Darien at the World Finals in 1999.

13-2012-07-15-jay payneAs a VERY Full Dually came Flying down to retrieve an ECSTATIC Driver, with the Dually’s HORN a BLOWING non-stop. Finally, the Dually came to a Stop and about 132 people, (give or take J ), piled out of places I didn’t know that Truck even HAD to retrieve an Elated, if not Emotionally and Physically Exhausted Driver!! At one point, I asked my Crew if they had heard my Screams from about the 330’ Cone until the Car Stopped…………, but, well, I guess not! LOL! But, it wasn’t for a lack of effort on MY part!!

So, Remember that Wire that shook out during a Qualifying Run for Chris?? ~ Well they admitted to me after the Final that they had repaired it with a ZIP TIE and by Crimping it! Every Wire on my Car is Soldered & Crimped then Shrink Tubed for protection. I was VERY thankful that THEY didn’t repair THEIR wires the way I do mine! LWOL!! This mistake cost them the RACE, as their Car AGAIN Shook the Tires at about 1.5 Seconds, causing this SAME Wire to FALL OUT and Shut their MOTOR OFFFFFFF!! WOW! Chris had the BEST Seat in the House to watch me WHOOP HIS BUTT- This will be VERY tough to do again, until we step our performance up- something we are doing over the Winter, with significant Equipment Upgrades. Stay Tuned, as we have MUCH to show and tell you about!

Epilogue: Unlike the early Wins I had in 2002 & 2003, THIS Win was for my Crew, who have labored SO Faithfully & SO Diligently and yet have experienced the “Agony of Defeat”- for a LONG time, but not yet the “Thrill of Victory”. (I think you’ll need to be at least my age {108 +/-} for that one to mean much to you. It’s from an old ABC Sports Intro!) Most of my Crew have labored for YEARS and NOT for Days, Weeks, or Months- each waiting for their “turn” in the Winner’s Circle. But it never seemed to come. That’s why I was SOOO Thrilled to be able to hand a Hard Fought Win to my Crew, who have endured Race after Race with, seemingly little to show for it.

So- This Win was for my Crew Dudes (and Dear Friends) Please allow me share with each of YOU a little about each of THEM and what their role is on our Team:
Robbie: My Bride my Lover & my BFF, – Chutes, Fueling the Car & Cleanin’ The Oil Pan SOOO Faithfully Each & Every Time- She KNOWS what Should and what Should NOT be in the Bottom of that Oil Pan! She is Extremely Good at that Hot, Dirty Job!

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Keith McCurdy: Top End, Cylinder Heads & Mixing Fuel – For a BUNCH of Years. We have labored together for longer than any other Crew Dudes (except for my Bride, of course) and have seen MANY Changes- Crew, Rules & Competitors. Keith has become a life-long Friend.
Stan Wise: Bottom End & HOURS of Race Prep on Everything – Invests the most Hours of all Crew- The Car EATS Three main things: 1.) MONEY; 2.) COUNTLESS HOURS; and 3.) MORE MONEY. Stan Invests LOTS of #2. Did I mention that Stan Works VERY Hard??

Jake Vaage: Black Magic that is the Clutch – VERY Difficult Job- What IS Flat?? Jake makes the Clutch the same each and EVERY Time- a CRITICAL Job, as I CANNOT Tune the Car if the Clutch isn’t EXACTLY the SAME every single time. You KNOW you’ve arrived when Jerry Darien says HE’D take you as HIS Clutch Guy- Guess What?!! Jerry wants Jake!

Shelly Kinney: Data Entry – This Car Spins off an AMAZING Amount of Data. Come by our Pits some time and let me show you our Run Sheets- an Excel Spreadsheet we use to Track SOME of the Data the Car produces- EACH Pass! Don’t keep track of it?? – Then you get to repeat the
same mistakes! At over $1,000.00 per Pass- It’s Kinda’ spendy NOT to!! We’ve decided to keep track of the Data, Thanks!

Chris Helvey: Chris was helping fill in for this Race for Stan, who was recovering and still kinda’ on the “Injured Reserve” List. Stan had been Run Over in a TERRIBLE accident earlier in the year at the Starting Line at Mission Raceway in Canada. Chris & Julie HAVE their own Hot Rod- a VERY Fast Nova that runs in the 8 Second Range! They Parked it for this weekend, making a HUGE sacrifice to SKIP this prestigious Race, so as to help us out!! WOW! Now THAT’S a Friend!! Thanks, Chris!!

Julie Helvey: Social Media – SHE’S the Brains & HOURS behind keeping this Facebook deal going- She’s the “Wizard” behind the Facebook Curtain- it SURE as Heck isn’t MEEE! J
& My Mom~ Irene: , Gourmet Cooking with Caveman Implements at the Race Track- All to Feed an unknown and ever-changing quantity of People each day- all SO faithfully! VERY Challenging, but she makes it look easy~

Thanks, MOM!!

Gregg Racing
Good Times & Good Friends at 260 MPH~