May 31, 2011

The Thirty Day Wonder

So you want to go Junior Drag Racing? Follow our example at your own peril!

Throughout the winter of 2010/2011 we encouraged Alaina to attend the Junior Dragster Racing School taught by Cosby Motorsports. We anticipated that the School would again be available at Saskatchewan International Raceway in Saskatoon. When spring arrived with no announcement of a school, we called “Skippy” Zezula, Saskatchewan International Raceway track manager and learned there would be no school in 2011. However a quick call to Cosby Motorsports confirmed a class and a space for Alaina was available on April 30th at Medicine Hat. Alaina said “yes” to attending and giving it a try. Thus began the count down.

April 29th & 30th – Chartered Accountants AWOL in Medicine Hat.

Off to Medicine Hat on the old guys’ birthday and two of the busiest days of the year for Chartered Accountants. I can’t remember a time when the last days of April were not spent in the office counting beans. Thank goodness for a great staff! Alaina was under the weather and had managed to slam her hand in a bathroom door but she soldiered up and went to racing school on April 30th regardless. She had a great time learning to drive a Jr. Dragster and an even better time watching her dad trying to keep up with a broken big toe. (Lesson to the wise, don’t walk around the house at night in the dark.)

May 4th – Zoom Zoom

By the time we left Medicine Hat, the old folks were all gung-ho to go Jr. Drag Racing but we told Alaina it was her decision and to think it over for a few days. That she did and on May 4th she called Grandpa George and said “Zoom Zoom, Let’s Go Racing!”. Now the countdown kicked into high gear. Alaina had no race car, no Jr. Drag Racing Membership or license, no tow vehicle, no trailer, no support equipment and everybody wanted to go racing at the Saskatchewan International Raceway opening weekend May 28th& 29th. In addition it’s a busy month at work for Adam and George and George had a certain 1965 Barracuda Superstreet race car that needed a bunch of attention to be ready for the end of the month.

May 1st to 8th – The Big Pieces

This first week of our countdown was spent finding what’s for sale in the world of Junior Dragsters. (Thanks to Blair Alderton for the Nitro Image Forums). We focussed on a 2003 Cosby/2010 Martin Components up grade driven by Alyssa Hicks for a number of years. After talking to Mike Osemlak (crew chief to Junior Racers Matt and Kim Osemlak) and conferring with Louie Martin of Martin Components a deal was made and we picked up the Junior Dragster on May 7th and dropped it off at Louie’s shop with a “do whatever you think needs to be done” purchase order. Alaina put her mark on the Junior by asking for purple seat belts and taking about 100 pictures that day.

Adam and George also made a quick trip on Saturday to “Fast Toys For Girls” in Davidson and acquired an 18 ft. enclosed trailer that fit George’s requirement that a trailer be any color but white. Arrangements were made for a few options to be added to the trailer and for pick-up the following Saturday.

May 9th to 15th – The Little Details

I begin the week of May 9th by making a list of everything that needed to be done to get the Junior Dragster ready for the May 28th & 29th weekend at Saskatchewan International Raceway. It was a long list and was accompanied by an equally long list for the Superstreet Barracuda. Apparently my “work list” was going to suffer this month as a result of the other two lists. Thank goodness for great staff!

First thing was to get Alaina licensed. Ester and Adam got the paperwork (including a medical) done and it was couriered to NHRA on May 10th. A phone call to say it was coming and needed for the end of the month did wonders and a fax copy of the license arrived by the end of the week.

Online research (isn’t the Internet wonderful?) on a golf cart got started and sometime during the week Adam’s truck got a brake controller and hitch so he could pull the trailer. A trip to Moose Jaw on May 13th to Classic Caddy Golf Carts gave us a good look at what can be done with a plain old golf cart. Another trip to Davidson on Saturday May 14th and Adam got his first experience pulling an enclosed trailer.

Everything was going well, the countdown was running at a normal pace and it appeared that being ready for May 28th & 29th would be a piece of cake.

May 16th – 23rd Progress Continues

The week began with more research on golf carts and our attention shifted to Ace of Carts in Saskatoon. I talked with Darren at Ace of Carts and we made a deal on a mildly customized golf cart, subject to a trip to Saskatoon to finalize the deal. On May 20th everyone piled into my truck and off we went to Ace of Carts in Saskatoon.

A little forewarning here: over the years I have always made sure our race cars, tow vehicles and trailers looked good. Much of this is due to Diane’s influence and insistence that everything looks good.

Well, once Diane and Ester got to Ace of Carts my budget for a golf cart went out the window. When they were done accessorizing the Cart the price tag doubled and the Cart now matched the new Dodge Durango Citadel that Diane bought for her milestone birthday (dare I say “Old Geezers Club” ) in March. Darren committed to have the cart finished and delivered to the track on May 28th.

A busy weekend ensued at home in Regina while we acquired cabinets and flooring for installation in the trailer, and spend 2 days doing the installation. It would have been easier if most of my tools were not at the lake.

Everything’s going well, the weekend of May 28th& 29th is well in reach, what can possibly go wrong?

We ended the weekend with a meeting with Louie Martin at Martin Components to get an update on his progress in getting the Junior Dragster ready to run. We then learned that everything was not going well and that the engine we were going to use was in need of major surgery and parts. Louie came to the rescue with a solution, a used motor that could be quickly rebuilt and used instead. Louie assured us that everything would be ready for the coming weekend and told us “don’t worry, everything will be ready on Friday”.

The countdown is now running at max speed as the weekend deadline approaches.

May 24th – 29th We Made It

The week progressed smoothly and I spend an afternoon and evening finishing my list of to do’s for the Junior Dragster and picking up the last pieces to equip the trailer. A call to Louie Martin on May 25th ensured us that everything was progressing well and would be ready on Friday.

Come Friday I loaded the Superstreet Barracuda and left for Saskatoon in the early afternoon. I left my driver Diane behind with Adam and Ester and the girls’ to follow later. Louie ran a little late on Friday and the JuniorDragster arrived in Saskatoon around 8:00 pm.

We made it!!

Our goal was to be ready to run on May 28th & 29th at the Saskatchewan International Raceway opener. We made it and Alaina got to make her first runs at the test’ n’ tune on May 28th. Her first run was a get acquainted 19.125 @27.83 mph. This was followed by a 13.725 @42.72 mph and a final pass of 13.377 @49.16 mph.

Alaina’s first day turned out well but the old drag strip adage, “HURRY UP AND WAIT” proved itself true on Sunday. We hurried out to the track Sunday morning and then waited in the rain until the race was called at noon. But we’re ready and “We’ll Be Back”.








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  • May 31, 2011

    The Thirty Day Wonder

    So you want to go Junior Drag Racing? Follow our example at your own peril!

    Throughout the winter of 2010/2011 we encouraged Alaina to attend the Junior Dragster Racing School taught by Cosby Motorsports. We anticipated that...