January 15, 16, 17 Firebird Main
February 12, 13, 14 Firebird West
March 6, 7 Arroyo Seco with SWMS http://www.arroyosecoraceway.com/
March 26, 27, 28 Firebird East
April 30, May 1, 2 Firebird East
May 28, 29, 30 Inde Motorsports Ranch http://www.indemotorsports.com/
September 3, 4, 5 Inde Motorsports Ranch http://www.indemotorsports.com/
September 24, 25, 26 Bondurant Track
October 29, 30, 31 Firebird West
November 26, 27, 28 Firebird Main 60 minute Enduro
December 11 Firebird Appriciation Day Firebird West
January 10-11 Firebird Main track, Chandler, Az.
February 13-14-15 Firebird East track, Chandler, Az.
March 13-14-15 Firebird East track, Chandler, Az.
April 17-18-19 Firebird East track, Chandler, Az.
May 9-10 Firebird West track, Chandler, Az.
August 14-15-16 Sandia Motor Speedway, Albuquerque, New Mexico
September 25-26-27 West track, Chandler, Az.
October30-31-1 Firebird East track, Chandler, Az.
November 27-28-29 Firebird Main track, Chandler, Az.
December 12 West track, Chandler, Az.
I bought a helmet mounted camera from goprocamera.com and we used it last weekend at the race in Albuquerque. We ended up having a horrible bog at times and in the video you can see Tyler raise his right arm in frustration when the bog hits him.
When we got there for the practice only Friday sessions we did not change anything on our setup from our last race down here in the Valley. First session was just to set a baseline, knowing that our carb jetting would be way rich and that our gearing would not be right either.
After the first practice we leaned out the main jet from 175 to 165 and went back out. Engine ran better.
After the second session we changed the gearing. Went from an 18/22 to an 18/24. The third session seemed good.
Saturday morning we went out for first practice with the same setup we ended Friday on. Tyler came back in and I asked him what I needed to change or adjust. He said the kart was perfect. I did not have a transponder on the kart for that session but our MyChron Data logger showed a best lap time of 55.36.
One more week on the trot
The parts arrived to put the 250 back together. Cleaned up the bore and put in the new piston, everything is looking good. Take the 125 off and switch things around on the kart. Decide to make a new water pump cover/inlet for the 250. Get that made and check the water pump while I’m getting ready to put the new cover on. Is it supposed to spin like that? Check the pump on our old parts motor. It doesn’t spin. Hmmm…Oh yeah, it’s only supposed to turn when the engine is running. That’s why the motor stuck at the March race – broken water pump drive gear! Glad I decided to make that cover. After a quick switch job on the side covers the kart is all put together and fired up on the stand. Everything seams to work. That’s good because tomorrow morning we leave.
Got going with same routine as last time. Waited a few minutes until George pulled up. Went and got gas at the Luvs station across the freeway from Firebird. Filled the truck and bought some race gas. Their race gas pump is over by the RV and Diesel pumps. I wouldn’t want to accidentally fill up my RV at the wrong pump!
The drive to Tucson was the usual deal. Lots of cars, lots of trucks. Lots of people that like to drive exactly in my blind spot and go exactly the same speed as me. Grrr..
We knew we were in Tucson because the road construction started. Got through most of the city and decided to stop for lunch. Found a Chinese fast food place and chowed down. The place also had the windiest path to the bathroom I’ve ever seen. Then back on the road. The drive to Benson was easy and traffic was light.
Then it was time for another stop. You know the one. The destination you’ve heard about your whole life. On every family vacation you saw the signs. Bright yellow and blue. Asking if you’ve seen it. Calling to you. It can only be one thing. And that one thing is, THE THING!
Last race in November we burned up the gears when the bolt in the weep hole came loose and ported out the tranny fluid. I most of the replacement parts for the gearbox (shafts, gears, bushing, forks, etc…) but our engine builder did not get the additional three parts we needed (a main shaft, a bushing and a shiftfork) in time for this weekends race. Found that info out on Thursday afternoon so I was scrambling to find a motor we could use. Another racer who had moved up from a 125 motor to a 250 had one he let us use.
Got that motor late Thursday night and I got it mostly mounted Friday evening. Had to instruct out at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday so it was a sprint Saturday night to complete mounting this motor to our kart. Got “done” just after midnight. The sky looked ominous so before heading to bed I checked the weather report and saw that the forecast was for rain all day long.
Alarm goes off at 6:30am and first practice is at 9:30. Decide to skip it since it will be cold and wet. Got dressed but took a nap for another two hours before heading to the track.
The kart had run well at the last event so we have not made any changes to it. Then this morning just prior to the practice session Tyler decided he wanted to try and adjust the throttle cable to help the kart idle better (well, actually to idle at all). Adjusted the cable and off he went to the grid but the kart was activing odd so he asked me to take the tension back out of the cable. Thought I did. He heads out for the track at increasing amounts of throttle. When he approached he first corner where he would need to lift the throttle did not want to cooperate and he had to kill the engine there in the first turn. Missed ALL but about 100 yards of practice. Not real helpful for dusting the cobwebs off.
Got the kart back to the paddock after the session and made sure to get rid of the tension in the cable. Gave the rest of the kart a once over and pronounced it ready .
Head out for Qualifying with some sticker tires mounted. Not sure how many karts but it was a lot. Not as many as last months 48 karts but certainly more than 30.
Qualifying went well except for a short black flag incident where another kart also had a stuck throttle and did not end as well as Tyler’s incident. First reports we heard on grid was a “broken ankle”. Turned out to be a broken axle. Big difference! The kart did flip and the driver did play superman but other then some bruises he was ok.
I was blown away with Tyler’s qualifying effort. No practice laps, just 7 full laps run in qualifying and he ended up third!
The really amazing thing however was seeing the times posted by the top four karts.