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.

Friday, July 20, 2012

His First Pass EVER!

We went to the track for a test 'n tune. We were a bit late arriving and still needed to eat. We kept moving and got everything we needed out of the car trailer. Here Daddy is placing pillows under his butt to boost him up high enough to see. 

This is his very first drive. He drove it around the pits to get use to it. As he drove, the more nervous he became.

After a quick bite to eat we went up to show him the track. We wanted his first pass to happen before it was too dark to see well. Here he is getting his first overview on what to expect and what to do.

The track was shut down for an injury in the staging lanes so we drove him down the track to show him where each marker that was important to him. First, where he races too and then starts to slow down. Then where he gets off of the track and what he does next.

When we got back to the car there was a crowd around it. Everyone was checking it out. This weekend was a weekend for old cars and there are not junior dragsters, so I guess it made his car more interesting.

Here is Daddy getting him ready.

Here is him giving me a nervous smile while he waits.

It's time! He is getting his final pep talk.

It was a bit of a challenge to watch Zoe and take video at the same time, but I did it! I wish I could have got closer and kept it on for his burnout.

Here he is all excited and wanting to go again. Unfortunately he went too fast. We kind of expected that after talking to some of the people who recognized the car.. The car is set up for a faster speed. So, we can't send him down the track again without some adjustments. At least he made his first pass. It was all worth it!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Creativity at Home

Everyone tells me she should be in drama, but I can't find anything that is available for her age. She dresses up, paints her own face, acts out plays, makes different voices, dances, does acrobatics, sings and so much more. She is just an all around creative and outgoing girl. Being home provides a great place to practice her creativity.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Toy!

We purchased a junior dragster for Austyn! He is old enough to race and we always told him that we'd let him when he was old enough. We found this one online, saw it at the track one weekend, and went the next week to see it and bring it home. 

He was so excited! These are pictures of Austyn's first time in it and us moving it from our car trailer to the house for the first time. His sister is wearing the fire resistant shoes.

There is so much to learn when racing. Most of you probably have never been to see drag racing, or if you have you likely didn't totally get it. My husband started racing when he was 17 years old. I've been around for that whole time (I stared dating him when he was 16... believe it or not). We have learned so much in that time and still continue to learn. Junior dragsters are new to us. 

Here he is showing me the inside details. Already he has learned so much about how it works and the parts. He will soon learn about the track, christmas tree, safety, the mechanics of adjusting things to make the car do what we need it to, maintenance, racing rules/regulations, and finally the math/science involved in predicting an accurate time. I said science in that last one because weather conditions and mechanics change the outcome of a race.

It should be fun!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rocks and Minerals

He is still interested in rocks and minerals. This is a used book I found at the local book store. It wasn't even used. It's the Usborne Spotter's Guides Rocks and Minerals Sticker Book.

It is proving great to test identification.

Book Sharing Monday - The Lorax

 We loved this book. The movie was good too. The Lorax has such a great message. It's all about greed and what happens to the environment when someone wants to make money from using resources. 

The Once-ler who is at fault ends up being the only one who can help to bring back a healthy environment in the end.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Science with Arts and Crafts

We made some para-scopes (seen at the back of this table. Right after making them Zoe decided to repeat a science experiment she did at our Homeschool Co-Op. I got my camera out a bit late. What she did was pour milk on a plate and add drops of food colouring and then stir it up a bit making a marble design. She did it many times to this milk and now the design looks almost black.

This is Austyn using his Para-scope to spy on people walking by our house. I think the real reason for it is to spy on animals and birds from around a tree, but he is having fun.

My hope is that by being more creative or by making things that are crafty, that Zoe gets more interested in Science.

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