32 FUNNY CAR EVENT
(As Seen Through The Eyes Of Crew Member Chris Stinson)
In no particular order..some thoughts from the event ...
* Lyle can flat-out wheel an alcohol flopper. Whacked that thing a BUNCH to get it down the track first round. When he was asked why he kept pedaling the car long after if was obvious rotating the earth wasn't gonna happen, Lyle said "hey, no one wants to see a car coasting"...they paid to see us make RUNS." Don't get me wrong. Lyle was NOT happy with the track surface and slower than normal alky funny car runs. The fans however were obviously quite pleased. Aparently Lyle believes they like burnouts too. First round tire warmer was to half track.
* Lyle REALLY likes his new "round" steering wheel. No more butterfly. Could a "brodie" knob be next..??
* Laurie ain't 'fraid of work..and getting dirty. Car was ready for first round..and Laurie's asking Lyle where the stuff is to wipe the body down. Clutch inspection plate removal and install, spark plug gapping, removing and installing, valve cover removal, cleaning and installing, engine diaper, chutes etc.. Hey Laurie, did we have fun or what?! PS.....I built us a clutch inspection cover removal tool today. ;-)
* Laurie's husband (nice guy) is in deep doo-doo. Laurie spent some time in the funny car seat..with the body down. I've seen that look on other people's faces before. Just before a visit with their loan officers for a "home improvement" loan.
* Wheels (Harrison Inglis) is a PR man supreme for Lyle's deal. Shaggin' kids as they walk by making sure they get a picture handout..just in case they're too shy to ask. . Lyle NEVER turns down a kid for an autograph. May ask them to wait just a minute. Then thanks THEM for coming to the race...and tells them to have fun. BIG...BIG crowd. LOTS of autographs.
* Engine "diaper" oil pan "bucket" straps are immediately behind the Funny car headers. Funny car headers can be very HOT. duh. ouch. Mental note. Bring welding gloves next trip.
* I hope ALL of the folks running a car at that level are as safety conscious as Lyle and his regular gang. Triple check is the rule. A heim joint in the front suspension was broken enroute to the track while in-tow. Replaced in Gallup, N.M. Friday night. A Saturday afternoon pre-race inspection of the entire front end found another joint elongated. It too was replaced. I don't like thinking about the consequences of a failed rod end on that wild first pass. Triple check.
* Monster trucks undoubtedly bring some fans in to these things. Having them drive around ON THE DRAG STRIP crushing cars and leaking sh*t between rounds is NOT the best of ideas...in my humble opinion.
* Lyle is as friendly to his crew...even us dummies..as he is to the fans. But...from the time the strap is hooked to the car and headed for the lanes, until the time you pick him up on the return road, Lyle is ....shall I say...focused. Gets a strange look in his eyes. Cut a .433 light in 2nd round winner. Focused.
* Wheel's ever so eloquent description of the oil down cleanup crew: "The minions dogged with the task of removing fluids from the race surface". Dang Wheels...you been hangin' around with Cole.!?
* How to get some really strange looks from large groups: Show up at a Marie Calendars restaurant on Mother's day Sunday morning...with 4 other guys with red eyes, shorts or coveralls and drag T's. (Surfer's and RCS among them) Hey...we thought it was MUTHA'S day.
* Can't even remember the times on the runs. 7 somethin's..crossed up, shake rattle n roll deals. Don't really matter to us "part time, hired help" folks. As usual...the people made it so much fun and unforgettable.
* Never "crewed" on a blown alky deal before. Still don't know enough to be much help. Sure can't wait to do it again. -- June 17th- Firebird ..this time vs. Jet cars.
Thanks for everything Lyle. Ron is STILL smilin' too!
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