Monday, June 9, 2008

Hot Rod Power Tour day 3!

An amazing day! Last night we got into our KOA campground well after dark and the office was closed. We were fortunate enough to have pre-checked in... We saw the storm in the distance and it did make it's way into our part of the world.

Getting up this morning I had a puddle on the floor in the GTO - as the V8TV folks did not get to any real body work other than a spraying some paint over the existing body. There are still a few "holes" in the car from rust. Being totally honest about it - the trunk floor is pretty holy, and there are also holes around the rear window and the dashboard. Each of these holes lead to the car being a bit wet inside.

Well combine that with the fact that there are no wiper arms on the car, it was a challenge to see where I was going. A quick stop into an AutoZone got me some Rain-X and Fog-X... Worked like magic! No more foggy windows and a clear view out of the windows. The trip into Topeka was a fun one. We ended up leaving so late that we got in the middle of the rest of the hot rodders on the tour.

The majority of the cars do not take the freeway - we take the more backroads thru small towns. The driving thru the small towns, while fun adds a lot of time if there are stoplights. Think for just a moment about 1000+ cars trying to make it thru a stoplight? You have a recipe for a long rush hour in a small town with a stoplight.

Each town we went through had people lined up on the streets looking for the hot rodders to do burnouts or rev the engines up. In one I drove really slow handing out the DRIVEN1 flyers. Everyone wanted one! Once I got the first one out the window everyone else was not far behind coming up to get one.

Ok, so just about 40 miles out of Topeka my GPS battery decided to take a nap... leaving me without the navigation to find the venue. (Well, I guess I'm ok seeing as I'm one car in a line of over 1000 cars trying to get in to Heartland Park. (the local venue for car racing) As I pulled in, the sun was shining and there was a huge buzz all over the place - this being the 3rd day in the Power Tour I can say this was the best day yet.

You ask WHY was this the best day? Well we have had the chance to set up the AVE/DRIVEN1 booth now a few times, and then also the GTO was DRIVEN into the show... and don't forget this venue had the 1/4 mile track!

Are you ready to live life more than 1/4 mile at a time?
That's the D1 tagline - and what did I do that day? I took D1 down the 1/4 mile track! (twice none the less!) It was a very exciting experience being that I'd never been down a track before like this. I got some advice from veteran racers and it went quite well other than a few technical difficulties with the car. The first run was not so good for ET. (that's Elapsed Time - or the total time it takes the car to drive the 1/4 mile.) The speed at the end of the track was respectable, but my problem was fuel starvation. (I burned up most of the tank of fuel driving from Springfield, and the other thing is accelerating that hard all the fuel in the tank sloshed towards the back and the engine bogged down like I was out of gas... speaking of GAS - I passed through a town called GAS today... and no I didn't pass gas in Gas...)

So what's it like going down the 1/4 mile track for the first time? Well here's my take... First you have Tech Inspection - this is where they check the car over for any safety issues. They check things like the battery being securely attached to the car so it can't go flying out. After the inspection - (I passed) they put a number on the car with white shoe polish and then have you sign a release. Next you drive into the staging lanes - where people wait their turn...

When it was my turn - they signaled me into the burnout box - to do a quick burnout, which warms up the tires and makes them more sticky. I did 2 short ones to just clear the tires, then pulled up to the "tree" - there were two small lights telling me when I'm at the right position to start the race. Once both me and my opponent were "ready" the tree - a set of lights that count down to a green light - I put my left foot on the brake and the right on the gas just slightly. The tree counts down and on the last yellow light I let it rip!

As you can see at the end of the video the car ran a 13.4 second time and a speed of 106.8MPH. If you listen close to the video you will hear the tires spinning all the way into 2nd gear (lack of traction from the street tires) and while I was going down the track, on the 2-3 shift I had to let up on the throttle because I shifted too late and I didn't want to over rev the motor and blow it up, as it only has about 300 miles on it as of right now. (the motor had 8 miles on it when I bought it!)

So what else happened today? I got the chance to meet two friendly ladies hanging out in the shade between two cars - Marsha and (sorry I forgot the other ladies name, but I do remember it starts with an M) - we talked for a while and they were asking why we were taking so many photos of the GTO - well here's your answer - it's for this website! It's also a great conversation starter!

There were also several other people I had the chance to meet with today and talk to about AVE, DRIVEN1 and why we are here in the first place - to tell people about the love of Jesus. No matter what - there have been a lot of people that come up asking questions about the car and I can turn it into a breif conversation about what I do for a living and most importantly WHY I do it. When it all boils down - simply put I'm DRIVEN by ETERNITY.

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