WE MADE IT!!
As Jerry said I got to take a ride on Sat night. There is way too much to try to remember it all. But let me say, Jerry is exceptional in his role as a "Nitrohelper." We wouldn't be at this stage in the game without his assistance. He is such a valuable help to our team. I have no idea how he does it all, keeping track of all the cars at the races and making it look so easy.
We took the car to Doc Halladay's shop on Friday where we working on getting it ready to fire up and some further body mods. Saturday we worked on the car until around 11AM then went out to the track. It rained most of the morning and looked like more rain on the way to the track. However when we got out by the track, the sun came out and life was good.
We did try to make a run after Doc and Brian at the 7pm session. Jerry fired the car, moved back to wait for the burnout and then we were unable to get the body to latch down. That was a bit of a let down for us and the crowd. It had worked back in the pits, and when we got back in the pits it worked again. However we weren't having any more of that, so we worked and modified the latch so it couldn't bite us again.
Now we were ready for the 2nd session. Doc and Brian made a couple of nice passes with Doc running 187 and a low 4-second to set the new track records for speed and ET. Jerry fired me up and we were off. The burnout was nice straight, and the big bonus was the car backs up straight and true. It was so nice to have the car feel so solid under me. At the step it spun the tires, and kept on spinning them down the track. Around 100-ft Jerry saw a touch of smoke of the tire and right after that I stuck it in high gear and enjoyed the ride. Since it was spinning, I knew the run wasn't a stellar one and I stepped off it just before the finish line and reached for the chutes. It turns out it was a good thing I started early for the chutes, as I was unable to hit them for about 3-4 tries. The levers were too close to the roll bar and my arm wouldn't bend around enough to hit them. Right as I was ready to give up on that, I managed to hit the levers and grab a handful of brake. I was lucky and made the last turnout.
The engine is safe and sound, and seemed disappointed we were putting the car away for the night. It is a tribute to Jerry's and my friendship and many phone calls over the last few years that the car worked like it did.
I have no way of Thanking my friends who have helped make Norm and my dream of running a Nitro car come to life. The list is just too long.