Factory Team

Winning Aint Easy!

A while ago my dad and I started to build a 1983 Buick Regal Station Wagon. We worked for two and a half months straight on the thing before it was finally ready to race. The car is powered by a Buick 455 that my dad built. The car has run a best of 11.88 @ 111 mph. We race the car every Tuesday night in the highly competitive high school eliminator class @ Gateway International Raceway, located just outside of St. Louis, MO. The high school eliminator class is a bracket racing class in which you must dial the car in and run as close to that number as you can without going faster than that number. The fastest you are allowed to go in the high school class is 12.00, so we had to slow our car down.

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Last night was round 6 of the 11 race series. After 5 rounds I was sitting in a 3-way tie for 7th place in the points standings. The first 5 rounds, I made 2 semi-final appearances, 1 second round appearance, and 2 disappointing first round losses. Throughout the course of those five rounds, I found myself losing not by being out run, but red lighting at the tree. Well I wanted to prove I could race in round 6. During our practice runs, the car spun off the line pretty bad. We ran a 12.42, 12.19, 12.28, and 12.41 in those practice runs. I had no idea what to dial the car in at, so I dialed it a 12.20. I raced a first time high school racer in round 1. She red lit coming off the line, so I knew all I had to do was not red light and run my car to see what I needed to dial it in at for the next round. It’s a good thing I ran the car as hard as it could go, because I ran a 12.17.

When I got back to the staging lanes, I told dad to dial it down to a 12.17, so he busted out the window chalk and wrote down our dial in. In round 2, I was racing the point’s leader, Drew Skyles, in his Camaro. He also red lit off the tree. I ran the car hard again and it posted a 12.15 @ 107. So we dialed the car down to 12.15 and waited for the semi final round. In the semi final, I was racing against Aaron Hagen, who was sitting in second place for the points. He cut a .043 light to my .047, so I had to run him down. My car ran right one the dial with a 12.15, while he broke out by .02.

I couldn’t believe it; I was heading to the final round. In the final, I was racing against one of my good friends at the track, Ashley Tepen. She has been running high school eliminator for a few years now, so I knew she would be tough. Coming off the line, her light was a .042. Waiting for my bulbs to come down I hammered the throttle and took off down the track. I caught her about half-track and at the end I let off a little so I did not break out. The win light came on in my lane.

I had won my first high school event of the year!

When I got my time slip, I found out that my reaction time was .002, .000 is perfect. I couldn‚Äôt have gotten much closer than that. It was a great night. My dad helped out a lot and I was so excited. We will be racing again July 1, lets see if we can’t get another win!!!