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SPIKE FEELS READY FOR NIGHT UNDER FIRE & BOBBY TO APPEAR WITH PITTSBURGH SPORTS LEGENDS
Aug 2, 2011
Author: Bobby Martin

Pittsburgh is known for championship level major league sports in football and baseball, but how about drag racing? Well, we've been doing a lot of racing this year in and around Pittsburgh. But I have the honor of appearing this Saturday, August 6th at the CSI "For the Kids" Family Picnic Bash. There will be a special autograph session with Former Pittsburgh Pirate (and Atlanta Brave, and Houston Astro) Sid Bream, along with Steeler Super Bowl champs Jon Kolb and Robin Cole, along with little old me. I say little because when you see me next to these guys the difference in size is comical.

Here's the lowdown:

12:00 NOON TO 7:00 PM
CONWAY SPORTSMANS CLUB
100 MAGILL ROAD
ZELIENOPLE, PA 16063

All You Can Eat!
Smoked Pulled Pork, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw, Desert & Soft Drinks

Silent Auction, Fishing, Turkey Shoot, Paddle Boats, Door Prizes, Live Music

We made some huge strides with the Rush Willys the past couple weeks, running the Pittsburgh Pro Mods event on July 23rd at Pittsburgh Raceway Park, and Asphalt Wars at Thompson Drag Raceway on the 30th. These races are an absolute blast, and if you get a chance to see one, you should go, cause it's a great show for the buck.

We worked extensively on the car before Pittsburgh and it paid off with a nice, smooth lap off the trailer for our shakedown run with a 4.75. For the first qualifying lap (Q1) the transbrake button broke and I couldn't back up after the burnout. It looked like the little things were gonna bite us again. Fixing that and tuning the fuel system resulted in a nice 4.52, good for ninth. We got in the show as an alternate, but I didn't have lane choice. In the right lane, I couldn't see the tree. Not just a bulb or two, but the whole tree. It didn't matter, we got outrun, but my .3+ reaction time was the worst of my career and still embarrassing.

Asphalt Wars at Thompson is really cool. It's an 8 car run watcha brung door car shootout AND an 8 car everything else shootout. You get to see dragsters against Funnies, against altereds. It's great to watch. They call it Open Body. There were 17 door cars and 17 Open Body cars slugging it out in qualifying. The fans got a real treat! And there were lots of fans to be treated. Thompson is doing a nice job promoting the race, and the weather was great. We had the car really jacked up compared to the week before in Pittsburgh. 4.50's won't get it at Asphalt Wars. The Rush Willys just blew the tires off at the hit. Well, okay, we have some power! It's more fun to have too much than not enough. So we calmed it down at the start for the next run and it went 4.35 - almost two tenths better than last week. It sounded like it was going lean at the finish and I clicked it. The speed was 160+. We ended up just shy of the 4.33 bump. I was encouraged that we were right in the thick of a very high quality field. Then, once again the reliability factor came into play and we got in as an alternate. We were tickled with that development since we were going to make another pass anyway. At Thompson, they're smart enough to take advantage of the show they have there. They invited the non-qualified Asphalt Wars cars the opportunity to make as many runs as they wanted. It's a nice bonus for the fans as well as the racers. But now we were gonna race. Our opponent was to be a way cool twin turbo '57 Chevy from New York, Jim Bersani. Let's just say this group is not on a tight budget. But following a converter change after qualifying, they couldn't start the car for round 1. I heard there wasn't enough juice in the battery. Don't know why. They asked for more time to charge the battery. We were fist pair and could have gone last. Our team was willing to wait, but the track wasn't. We got the single. I made a full pass through the lights this time. It went 4.36, but the speed was 169.66, almost 170 mph! Now we're talkin'! Another car broke in round 1, so now we we're down to three cars. Our semi-final opponent was Todd Robinson, a cool guy from Michigan who just happened to have a big honkin' screw blower bolted to his motor. And he was spinning it to the max at 120% over. He ran a 4.08 to end our day. I was doing the Pro Mod slide to a 4.42 at 158. Todd says his was loose too. It makes it fun and exciting, but that's why these races end at the eighth mile marker. I did atone a little for last week by getting off the line first. But truthfully, if I was in Todd's position, I wouldn't have been trying to mow down the tree.

Tom Lang has been doing a wonderful job promoting and reporting these door car events. There was a full report on High Octane Racetalk on Cool 101.7 FM in Meadville Monday August 1st. The show runs from 6-8 PM eastern. Tom usually does the drag racing at seven o'clock. The call in line is 814-333-9011.

You can listen live online at: http://www.cool1017online.com/ The show is archived at: http://www.msa-sports.com/ as is Rappin' On Racin'.

There was also a report on Rappin' on Racin' Monday August 1st at 8:15 PM eastern. You can listen to the show each week on line at: http://www.speedwayproductions.biz/
You can also reach the archives through that link.

Rush Willys owner Spike Sterling feels that we can step it up even more at Norwalk. Our goal is to qualify for the field and run under the lights at Night Under Fire. Thanks for stopping by. I'll keep you posted.



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