Saturday, July 21, 2012

Second Time!

 We went to a different track to test 'n tune. The first race track that we went to only has test 'n tune on Friday nights and they are very strict about junior dragsters and what speed they need to be. So, we went to another track. It's less busy and they are more easy going. This allowed us to make a few passes down the track to see what this motor would do and if we could even slow it down without making that little motor chug too much.

 Finding a routine is something that usually happens at the races. This is all new to us. A large modified race car and a junior dragster are two different things all together. We are finding that the junior is much less work. With the mustang we need time to charge it, take the hood off to cool it down, fill the tank with gas, and check the tire pressure in between races. It needs an oil change only once and a while. 

With the Junior Dragster we find that if we want to go up and race right away, we can just fill the tank quick and run back up. The oil should be changed every 4 runs. This may sound like a big waste to someone who has never seen how much oil is in one of these little machines. It's not very much oil at all. We use a little plastic sandwich container to let the oil drain into and it doesn't even fill up!

The methanol used to run the junior is much cheaper and we are considering changing the mustang to it, to save money and to help the engine run cooler. We may be able to buy it in a barrel as well, which brings the cost down even more.

There are so many things for a rookie, eight year old to learn. Here is Daddy trying to show him where the dragster should be. Have you ever heard the phrase "Get into the groove!"? Well, this is a racing term that explains where the car should be when it's getting staged. "The grove" refers to the tire marks that are warn into the track surface. They are the dark marks where the tires spun a bit leaving remnants of rubber on the asphalt. These two dark strips on the track are where the tires of a full sized race car should line up. This is more important as you get into even faster cars. If the extremely fast cars (a pro-mod etc...) are not lined up "in the groove" they could crash because their tires won't grab well at the start.

Here Daddy is trying to get him into the grove. Since a Junior is so much smaller, he only needs to be in one grove and the inside grove is good because it's farthest from the wall. We are still working on this with Austyn. Also, one thing that has been overlooked a few times is attaching Austyn's arms into the race car. There are straps that go around his wrists, so that if he does crash, his arms stay inside the car and prevent injury. We will get there. Eventually nobody will even need to think. We'll be so use to a routine.

Another thing that Austyn is working on, is staging the car with the light properly. He is suppose to inch up until the two staging lights are on and stop to wait for the rest of the lights before he goes. It's a bit tricky because the car wants to move forward to quickly. He was able to do it on his own at least once. This video is an example of what happens when he goes too far forward. If this happened in an actual race it would be a "red light" and he would lose the race. A "red light" is when the driver goes before he is allowed to go.

On this second try, going to a race track, we learned that this motor is way too fast. For the age 8-9 bracket he isn't allowed to go faster than 12.90 seconds in an 1/8th of a mile. He went in the 9 seconds when the car sounded good. When we were able to get it to go slower, it sounded like it would break something. A new motor is needed. Also, we learned that the slicks on the back were too worn down. Something punctured one of the tires and they couldn't be fixed because they were too thin. So, we ordered a new motor right away and got new slicks. Not to mention... do we really want to risk trying to fix a tire and have it not hold when racing. That could be dangerous.

We all seem to be enjoying ourselves and we are all learning so much. Hopefully we will get some races in soon.

1 comment:

Maria Enqvist said...

It's so cool that he's only 8. I also have a son that is almost 8 (in october) and he is not even close to do anything like this. Keep up the good work and I'm rooting for him. =)


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