It Was One of Those Days - Pt XIII

Raven

Here - watch THIS!
Time seemed to have stopped now that we were sitting in the lanes, ready to run for the first time tonight. To my immediate left was an ’03 or ’04 Azure Blue Mach 1 and on over in the #1 lane was either a Honda or an Acura 2-door coupe with a few stickers in the windows but I couldn’t tell for sure. Right in front of me was one of the many 5.0 Mustangs on hand this night, this one looking to be a fairly stock late ‘90’s model in Ford’s dark red color with not much more than exhaust and tires. Directly in front of Kelly was one of the late-model Ford Lightning’s – a white one that also looked to be stock; even the tires and wheels looked like the truck came straight from the dealership.

Over in front of Brandon – who was in Lane 5 with me being in 3 and Kelly in Lane 4 – was a classic Musclecar; a ’69 Oldsmobile 442. It didn’t appear to have the W-30 emblems so my best guess was that it was a standard 442. It was black with the white vertical stripe that dropped from off the hood and on down the front fenders right behind the front wheel wells. However, if it wasn’t a W-machine, it didn’t matter – the car sounded very, very healthy. I could hear HIS exhaust note from where I was sitting two lanes away; no doubt about it - he was running open headers. The car had a big cam in it because the idle note sounded like it was just one stroke away from dying but when the guy would juice the accelerator, the throttle response was crisp and instantaneous. It would be fun watching him run.

I kept looking out my passenger’s side rear view mirror to see if anyone was getting out of the Viper. Finally, my curiosity got the better of me and after we had moved ahead again, I got out of the GN and walked back to the car. Who I saw driving the car absolutely floored me…

It looked like a dead ringer for Ned.

No, I’m not kidding – this guy is an absolute identical twin (if one could possibly exist) for the late Ned Reynolds. But supposedly, this guy’s name was “Nate”. Hmmm…. Interesting…

And the odd thing? When the driver saw me walk up to the window of the gray asp he didn’t wave, smile, nod or anything… He just looked at me like he had seen a ghost himself.

“Hey there” I said, trying to start off friendly. “I hear your name is Nate Reynolds, right? Man, you have GOT to be Ned’s twin brother – dude, you look JUST like him.”

Mr. Personality just nodded at me; his eyes locked in a stare at me as if I had just run over his puppy…

“Yes. I’m Nate. I’m… uh, I’m Ned’s unc- er no, I’m his brother…”

Now THAT was an odd introduction, don’t you think?

And then – it happened… another ‘personality’ appeared from nowhere as his countenance changed…

“Har-har-de-HAR, Buick Boy! A lot of people here have confused me for Ned. But, as YOU know, Ned is dead, right? I’m his twin from Pittsburg and I, uh, came over here to help Mira sort out the car thing. HAR-HAR-HAR!!! Poor Ned – now he’s dead, his grieving wife is dealing with her loss – HAR-HAR-HAR – and she just doesn’t know what to do with all them cars, you hear me?”

Ok. This was too weird for even The Twilight Zone. “Buick Boy?” If THIS guy was not Ned Reynolds in the flesh, he was an exact clone. The looks... The demeanor of that arrogant ass... But that LAUGH… oh man, how many people in the world would have a laugh like THIS one? Something was up for sure… and “Buick Boy?”

“Well, I just wanted to tell you that I like this new Viper and maybe we can line up against each other to-“

He cut me off with a flippant wave of his hand.

“Listen, pal... I just ran what was supposed to be the strongest contender here tonight that was essentially stock. You saw what I did to the guy – I’m sure he’s all sorts of embarrassed right now. If you happen to be lined up across from me, I’ll give you some advice – don’t waste your gas. I know ALL about your ancient GN and how bad it’s supposed to be and –“
It was MY turn to cut HIM off.

“How do you know about MY car? You haven’t seen it run yet and you aren’t from around here, having supposedly just got to town right? So what makes you think it would be a, quote ‘waste of gas’ unquote, to run me? I was just being friendly but frankly dude, your attitude sucks. Oh – and one more thing. It’s a shame your brother is dead – he would tell you that that black GN over there is not a car to take lightly. But then again, if I’m right, you probably already know that. See you later, Pal…”

With that, I just nodded my head and walked back over to my car, flipping Viper-guy the one finger salute. I could see Kelly and Brandon craning their necks to see who I was talking to but at that point, the cars had begun to move up again so they couldn’t just hop out and run over to talk. At this point, there was one more car in front of each of us to be staged as the pairs were sorted across the rows. We would be pulling through the actual track entryway and onto the track in just minutes.

I’ve got to tell you – seeing “Nate” really was strange. As I sat there boiling mad in the GN, my helmet at the ready, I noticed Kelly trying to get my attention. I rolled the window down.

“Who is the Viper driver, hon? You look pissed…”

“Kelly, if I told you who I THINK it is, you would think I’m nuts. Hey – do you remember anyone named Nate Reynolds being listed in Ned’s estate as an heir or such?”

“I was just going to tell you that. No, there was NO one named Nate Reynolds listed on any of the paperwork we did for his insurance/estate work. NO ONE by that name at all. Bill? Yes. He was on there, as were the boys and Mira. But there was definitely no ‘Nate’. What are you saying?”

“I’m saying that I think that this guy is NOT -“

By this time, the track officials were ready to move the pair of cars in front of Kelly and me. When the cars started in front of us, Kelly couldn’t hear what I was trying to yell over the noise, especially since the 442 in front of B just lit off with a thunderous, rumpity-rump-rump roar of the big block Olds…

“What?” Kelly yelled back…

“I’m saying…” VaROOOM! Bap-de-bappety-bap-bap…” The words were overwhelmed again by the exhaust note of the vicious 442…

Just then, the Lightning in front of Kelly lurched and then stopped, right in front of the track official. Meanwhile, the 5.0 in front of me was already making the turn through the entryway into the track and the official standing there was waving frantically for the Lightning jockey to pull on in as well. I saw the Lightning driver hold his hands up as if to say, “I don’t know!” so immediately the track official motioned for him to get out of the truck and help him push it out of the way. In a split second, two other white shirted officials convened and the blown Ford was shoved aside.

At the same time, the guy who had been waving at the White Lightning began waving for Kelly to pull through to be matched up against the Mustang who was in front of me. I know she was disappointed because we wanted to run together but the track guys were insistent. So, she slipped her helmet over her head, fired the GTO, and pulled on through.

Which meant – you guessed it – you-know-who pulled up between B and me. To B’s right was Tom in his new Z06… but to mine was none other than -

Mr. Ass-master, Viper-guy, Nate/Ned Reynolds.

Almost immediately, I watched the 442 in front of Brandon and the car beyond the Olds (a mid-80’s Camaro with a huge cowl-induction hood) pull through… and so forth… as the officials worked off the pairs in front of us.

A lot of things were running through my head at this point. First – how would Kelly do? In all likelihood, she will run before the track official comes back around to move the Viper and me on out onto the track. Secondly, this whole ‘Ned/Nate’ thing really bothered me… if my suspicions were correct, Nate is none other than good ol’ Ned. But if that WAS the case, why was he back? HOW can it be? Why fake a death? (It was then the money thing hit me so I think that question was answered.) Hell, HOW could he fake a death like that? Getting a death certificate, getting a doc to buy off on the fact he was ‘dead’ IF he wasn’t – how do you make THAT happen? And on top of that, the racing! I wanted to enjoy the evening – for now, the evening had the makings of a CSI Miami show…

I didn’t have long to mull it over. I could hear the announcer beginning to introduce Kelly and the Mustang to the fans. Thankfully, I had a play-by-play of what was going on the minute Kelly pulled her Yellow Jacket ’05 GTO out onto the apron leading into the water box area.

“Folks, look what we have pulling up in the near-side Mobil One lane – it’s a gorgeous bright yellow 2005 GTO owned and driven by none other than another familiar face around this place – Kelly Morton. Many of you know Kelly’s husband, Steve, for the sinister Buick Grand National we’ve watched make a pass or two down the blacktop. Well, it says here that this will be Kelly’s first pass in the GTO and it ought to be a great race. In the far-side Summit Racing lane is Wild Bill King. Bill is bringing his ’99 Mustang GT to the fight here tonight and the form tells me that his car is mostly stock. Should be a good race here, race fans! Let’s watch them do their burnouts and warm the tires…”

I smiled, trying to imagine how Kelly must feel wheeling the big GTO through the water box… Her car is an A4 (automatic) and is pretty darn quick. Kelly? She’s a great driver but this would be her first time with the Poncho. Pontiac said the car was a 13.0 car but as we all know, manufacturers have a way of making some pretty ‘optimistic’ claims about their cars’ performance. We had read on the GTO forums though that it wasn’t uncommon for a car on the right track to pull a 13.0 or even a very-high 12.9x slip supposedly bone-stock. We were about to find out – all her car has for mods is a set of Nitto 555R drag radials.

“Wow! Look at all that smoke people! Kelly sure knows how to do a John Force-style burnout! I bet she took 6 months life off those tires!”

Hmm… perhaps I should have coached her a bit more? Well, I did have to admit that I told her to make sure she got the DR’s warm…

“Ok… let’s watch as these two go at it… both are pre-staged now… now, both stage lights are lit…”

I could hear the Mustang pick up some rpms – must be a stick car. I could also hear Kelly bring the GTO up against the converter… I had a feeling that ol’ Wild Bill might just have bitten off more than he could chew with Kel’s GTO…

“Here we go folks – THEY’RE OFF! Who will get to the line first? Looks like Bill’s Mustang might have got a little bit of a holeshot on the GTO but man, it looks like the big yellow Goat is about to eat some pony…”

I tried to imagine it all – Kelly would have probably been treed by the guy in the ‘Stang due to her unfamiliarity with launching the GTO. But that LS2 had 400 healthy ponies and a lot of torque – it should be a good one… at this point, the track officials were back to my left, about to loose the Acura and the Mach in the #1 and #2 lanes and then – it was go-time for me and the 600hp Viper…

“Wow! What a great race, race-fans! The GTO just simply reeled that Mustang in and tied its hooves GOOD, I’m tellin’ ya now! The GTO ran a solid 13.19 at almost 109 mph and Wild Bill’s Mustang just didn’t have the hay to keep up. Poor little pony got a respectable 13.89 but as you saw, it just wasn’t enough… up next? We’ve got a nasty 442 and Karl Kintz in his killer Camaro… driving the 442 is…”

I wished I had been there with Kelly to see the smile on her face! Dayum! What a great run for her first time. Obviously, heating the hides was what was needed… the roar of the crowd when she won the race told us all that she was definitely a favorite!

Just as I was celebrating for Kelly, I happened to look over to my right. ‘Nate’ had his windows up but since he didn’t have any tint yet, I could see him looking my way. He had on a black open-face helmet and I could see him glaring at me and the car. When he noticed I was staring back, he smiled an odd, Ted Bundy-ish grin and then looked back to the front of his car.

I could hear the 442’s burnout… I could hear the Camaro do its burnout… I wasn’t paying any attention to the announcer any more and was hoping to get a glance at Kelly coming back down the return road after having picked up her time slip – one I knew she was very proud of.

As the 442 and the Camaro launched and left the line, the track official was in front of my GN and the Viper, motioning us through… ok… focus time… I pulled the transmission shifter back into “D”, bypassing the “O” and began to pull on around and through; out onto the deep apron behind the water box the Viper mirrored my moves, sliding into the Summit Racing side of the track…

Pulling onto the track and being able to finally get a glimpse of the action from ground level is an experience everyone should do... The smells of race cars being launched in anger, the sights of the fans in the stands on either side of the track… seeing the people who were leaning up against the fence that was lined with signs from vendors such as Valvoline, Jegs, Comp Cams, and so forth, their faces eager to see race after race after race… watching the bulbs light up on the tree as cars pulled up to pre-stage, then stage… then watch the bulbs began to cycle as the starter hit the start button… listening to the engine sounds; oh the wonderful mechanical symphonies that one could hear by being directly behind race cars at launch… hearing the roar of the crowd, the excitement of the announcer’s voice - there is nothing like it in the world.

I already had my full-face helmet buckled and the visor was down… it was snug and nearly too much so… the strap and buckle were up against my chin and lower jaw, hugging the brain-bucket down tight upon my head…

I watched the pair at the tree leave and then the car in front of me (the blue Mach) and the Acura in front of Nate’s Viper pulled through the box. Watching FWD cars like the Acura do a burnout is always an odd sight – seeing the front tires wider than the rears (on serious FWD racecars) and even wheelie bars is just something an old-school racer like myself just can’t get close to… The Acura did an IMPRESSIVE burnout and as I watched him prepare to stage, I saw two white jets of vapor shoot skyward from the cowl area of the car…. Hmm… the Mach might just have his hands full if that Ricer is set up right…

Less than 14 seconds later (actually, 12.30 seconds later for the Acura), the Mach was shutdown. Sure, the Mach must have been stock with his 13.44 time slip but that little FWD car, with its gas-assisted power-adder, took the Mach to school…

As the Mach and Acura launched seconds earlier, the guy who had been keeping water in the water box via his green hose and nozzle motioned that it was time… although to my left I could see with my peripheral vision that the Viper had driven around the box and had only backed into the edge of the water, I pretty much blanked him out… winning this one was important and I did not want to screw up…

I already had engaged the radiator fan ‘manual on’ mod switch that was located beneath the ash tray cover in my GN to make sure the coolant was as cold as possible. That wasn’t an issue – the Scanmaster II showed the coolant to be a nice 157*… I had already turned on the Alky Injection progressive controller that I had bought and installed from Alky Control (thanks Razor) and it had been dialed in before… the adjustable waste gate controller was already set for 25-26psi of boost with the cutout open… the rear tires had 18psi in them (just a guess for this first run) and the fronts were at 40psi… fuel pressure was set right on the money… new fuel filter… fresh oil… it was all ready to go… now, it was really down to just taking the ride…

I pulled through the water box, pressed the brake pedal, engaged the line lock and began the burnout… to my left, I saw that the Viper had just finished his burnout and was beginning to pull up to stage… I had the transmission in “2”, brought the rpms up, did a solid burnout and released the Line lock, scooting ahead as the tires bit the pavement…

Keeping my foot on the brake, I allowed the GN to roll slowly into the beams…

The Pre-Stage bulbs were lit… so were those for the Viper…

The Viper lit his Stage bulbs just before I did… immediately, I engaged the transbrake and began to roll the accelerator forward… the shifter in “1”… hitting the ‘Recall’ feature on the Scanmaster ensured I would have accurate O2 and KR readings…

Before the tree started to fall, boost was coming up… having the 3200 stall converter made the launch fairly dramatic if the boost was ~8-10psi… well, assuming the tires didn’t melt…

*BLINK* First ambers... boost at 4psi and climbing, rpms well above 2000 now…

*BLINK* Second ambers… boost now at 7 psi and rising… rpms near 3000…the turbo was beginning to make some noise… a sound I never tire of… sssssssSSSSSSS…. The exhaust noise of the LC2 through an open dump had people staring… I couldn’t hear the announcer but I KNEW he was talking about a David versus Goliath match up… he usually used that analogy every time I was up against a big V8 opponent with the Buick…

*BLINK* Third ambers… boost at ~9psi and the GN is straining to be loosed… the hiss from beneath the hood is no longer a hiss at all… it is a shrieking valkyrie of destruction… the Viper’s exhaust can barely be heard but I knew that Nate had it up where he wanted it…

I disengaged the transbrake as I floored the accelerator… all as the third ambers dimmed and the green light cam on…

We were OFF…

Thanks to the suspension mods I had done over the winter, there was no more violent twisting of the car as it launched. It came off the line HARD but straight and true, the front tires nearly leaving the pavement as I felt the steering go ultra-light for just a second or so… but the car planted itself and leaped from the line… the red LED light on the A-Pillar pod was already lit, having set up the Progressive alcohol system to begin spraying at ~8psi of boost…

To my left, the Viper did the same but it did not rear its head or swivel to one side… it too launched hard, straight and true… neck and neck with the GN…

I watched the rpms, shifted from 1 to 2 at 6000 and felt the shift snap my neck… Janis Transmissions in Akron rebuilt the tranny and Vince’s work is second to none… his skills were no more evident than at this very moment… the liquid filled Autometer Pro-Comp Boost gauge read a solid 25psi… the electric fuel pressure gauge was where it should be, ~63psi with full boost… the numbers were looking right… stare at the track, Steve – don’t veer left or right… DRIVE THE CAR!!!!

Taking a fleeting glimpse to my left, I saw Nate still with me – and NOT pulling ahead… if anything, by the 1/8th mile, I was beginning to feel like I MIGHT have half a fender on him but at that speed, with the shifting and watching and driving, it was REALLY hard to tell… or, did he have half a fender on me?...

The 2-3 shift came and went and then it was time to cross the line… noting that my speed had to be north of 120 mph, I didn’t risk another glance left but I knew it was going to be close… it FELT like I had won but I just couldn’t tell for sure –

UNTIL I crossed the line – at that exact moment, I looked left…

The Viper was….




….


…..


……


…….


….. at least a car length behind. The new king was already dead… YESSSS!

As we slowed and turned off the track onto the return road to pick up the slips, the Viper stayed several cars back… I slowed at the shack and already had the window down… another white shirted official handed me the yellow top copy of the ET slips…

Right lane – 10.92 @126 mph…

Left lane – 11.29 @ 123 mph…

The win was sweet… yet, the night was young… I had to wonder – how long would it last?…

It wouldn’t take long to answer that question…

Actually, not very long at all…


To be continued…
 

Oneslowstang

New Member
The people of Stlmustangs.com are following this story. Just wondering why did you switch to manual cutout. When you racing Ned you had the auto cutout. Also I though you were back to stage one setup. I guess when you go to get published those small flaws can be cleared up. Great Story, I check daily for an update.
 

Quiky One

Active Member
That is sweet. Thanks for the update...I figured you would leave us hanging with who wins, but you didnt. Great job!

Jason
 

Quiky One

Active Member
The people of Stlmustangs.com are following this story. Just wondering why did you switch to manual cutout. When you racing Ned you had the auto cutout. Also I though you were back to stage one setup. I guess when you go to get published those small flaws can be cleared up. Great Story, I check daily for an update.

He is on the stock motor. Where did you get he changed?

Jason
 

Raven

Here - watch THIS!
The people of Stlmustangs.com are following this story. Just wondering why did you switch to manual cutout. When you racing Ned you had the auto cutout. Also I though you were back to stage one setup. I guess when you go to get published those small flaws can be cleared up. Great Story, I check daily for an update.


Thanks for the compliments. I think someone answered this but in this chapter, the car has the stock motor in it. The original race with Ned had the Stage Motor in it. The Stage motor had an oil leak so it was pulled, rebuilt but not put back in.

You might hear about the Stage motor again... or not... ;)
 

Jerryl

Tall Unvaccinated Chinese Guy
From ALL these boards, I know SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE knows someone who can hook this brother up with a publisher! Come-on people ......
(Wait, than we have to pay for the stories?:wink: )

GREAT writing as usual.
 

Oneslowstang

New Member
Thanks for the compliments. I think someone answered this but in this chapter, the car has the stock motor in it. The original race with Ned had the Stage Motor in it. The Stage motor had an oil leak so it was pulled, rebuilt but not put back in.

You might hear about the Stage motor again... or not... ;)

I just have a hard time believing it would got 10.92 at 126 on a stock motor.. Also on the cutout.. Did you see that your back on a manual cutout? Originally had auto cutout.
 

Quiky One

Active Member
I just have a hard time believing it would got 10.92 at 126 on a stock motor.. Also on the cutout.. Did you see that your back on a manual cutout? Originally had auto cutout.

10.92 on a stock motor? What dont you believe. Dick Kearney just went 8's on the stock motor....Explain more please. Also, in this chapter he just mentions the cutout is open. Where do you see "manual" cutout. Is it in another chapter?

Thanks Jason
 

Oneslowstang

New Member
10.92 on a stock motor? What dont you believe. Dick Kearney just went 8's on the stock motor....Explain more please.

Jason

If it goes 10.92 at 126 on stock stage.. What would it run with the stage two he had when racing the original ned? When I say stock motor I dont mean stock block. It would be impossible to run 8's with stock turbo, injectors, head, and such.
 

Oneslowstang

New Member
10.92 on a stock motor? What dont you believe. Dick Kearney just went 8's on the stock motor....Explain more please. Also, in this chapter he just mentions the cutout is open. Where do you see "manual" cutout. Is it in another chapter?

Thanks Jason

Chapter before, he mentioned getting underneath to open the cutout. Also goes on to say Santa didn't give him one for Christmas.
 
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