June 14, 2009

How fast? Too fast. - Part Two

It’s an absolutely gorgeous day and should be a fast day at the track. Today is the Quick Sixteen race which is held once a month. As a refresher, I am currently in second place which puts more pressure on myself to do well. I figured the field would be fast today for two reasons. One because the weather is great and two because there are a lot of cars on the grounds today. As far as I can tell there are approximately 33 cars attempting to qualify for the sixteen spots.

Today we received the three qualifying runs that we normally receive. On the first pass the INS dragster ran a 7.76 E.T. which left me feeling good about qualifying. As we progressed through each qualifying round, the bump spot got lower and lower. Our second pass led to a 7.74 E.T. and the third and final pass gave us a 7.72 E.T. putting us #13 on the qualifying list. As we pull in to the staging lanes for the first round of eliminations, I hear the track announce that this was the fastest qualifying field of cars they have ever had at Tri-State Raceway. The bump spot was 7.86 which means if you cannot run that quick, you will have to race in another race.

My opponent had qualified #4 with a run of 7.50 so that meant I would be leaving first with a very fast car trying to run me down. My reaction times had been slightly slower in qualifying so I had been playing with the delay box to get my reactions closer to the green light. You guessed it, I cut it too close. I left first all right, .004 thousands of a second too quick which turns on the red light. You lose, you load up and you go home. To make matters even worse, my opponent had a .038 reaction time which will cause you to lose a lot more races than you win. In this case it didn’t matter, I was loading up the trailer and he was going to the second round.

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