Brian's Post Race Thoughts

From a Drag Racer to a road course racer - what a change

 

This change is so remarkable, so weird, and so unexpected, that I really have to put it here to give it special attention.  When you are drag racing, it doesn't matter if you only have 600 hp or if you brought 2000 hp.  If you cannot drop the clutch (or transbrake) your car from whatever RPM you wish and have the rear tires stick, there is something wrong with your car.  If you add power, you will go faster, almost universally.  Until you hit 8000 HP nitro burning monstrosities, the track and the tires should hold everything you've got, or else you need to turn to a new suspension guy.


Our Volvo had somewhere around 115 HP gross stock, in 1966.  This means probably 80 real HP at the crank now.  We, folks, had plenty of power.


Wha?!


Indeed, it sounds absurd.  Forced to take the same exit speed as us, we could drag race most of the cars there and fend for ourselves.


Most of the time.

Cars like this

And this...

Were no problem.  Most of the time, we passed these guys, and had easily enough power to put them behind us.

 

Guys like this


Had stroker 350s with way too much power.  They were mean drivers too, which fitted the size of their vehicles nicely.  During one chicane stackup, the Caprice driver thought he could pass pretty much the entire field to put his car in the tiniest little gap in front of our Volvo that yours truly had left in order to not hit errant braking drivers.  

He thought wrong.

Obviously, he had not ridden near me enough to realize that I was not a pushover.  The bumper suffered, but that's what bumpers are supposed to do, right?  Also, this is immediately prior to a break in the action where I knew (really, I did!) that his attempt to basically stuff Tom the cat into Jerry's mouse hole could be safely foiled without risking my codrivers extreme distaste.  Mike welded it back on, and we were good to go.  It was probably stronger than stock, it didn't waste any track time, and those Caprice drivers knew to drive nice or suffer Tunawrath.


We had fun.  There is no way around it.  Even setting up Mike's ridiculous carport tent garage thing was entertaining even though it very nearly ended with a ratched spanning Mikes' ears.


We also realized that our careful suspension selection (read: whatever was on the car) resulted in us dialing in a bit too much body roll.  Do you agree?

Yes, that rear tire is very much off the ground.  We are going to have to carefully select (read: hit with a hammer) some alternative components to aliviate this condition next year.

 

At any rate, we were competitive, and stable, and reliable when you leave out the fuel related troubles our poor Swede suffered.  We will do better next time.