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Last month I talked about the excitement that used to build up around qualifying at your local track so you could go to the biggest race of the year, the ET Finals for your NHRA or IHRA Division. Well, some 25+ years after my first one I must admit the experience this year was quite possibly the best one yet. Not because I won the event but rather because of the experience I had at the event.
I will break it down for you and to some of you it will make sense and to others you will probably get bored and quit reading. Either way is fine with me, I just wanted to share something that meant a lot to me and hopefully you have or will get to experience the same things.
There are always highs and lows at every multi-day event and the ET Finals and the traveling experience is no different. Our trip from Iowa to the ET Finals in Topeka, KS was actually uneventful and to be quite honest... that made it memorable! We now have a 1995 diesel motor home manufactured by Hawkins Motor Coach in Pomona, CA. They have been out of business since 1996 and I have done my homework on getting the "Hawk" ready for this summer. I had one major issue a few weeks before the ET Finals where the engine just shut off going down the highway. We checked everything we could think of and every electrical wire had 12.8 volts. I finally wiggled the ignition switch and it started. Got home and tightened the connection and we are ready to go. I must have started it 20 times over the next two weeks and no issues.
Like I said, the trip to Topeka was smooth as silk. We arrived at the track and the gate personnel were very friendly and organized. Rolled in under the tunnel and got a great parking spot in the area saved for the 2011 Team Champions, Team Cedar Falls Raceway. They had Gambler Races Friday and Saturday, and for $50.00 you had a shot at about $2000 to win and solid round money. Of course, all you had to do was survive nine rounds of brutal competition from every track's best racers. I raced pretty good, but got hammered Friday night by a .006 package and Saturday I went to the 4th round and got paid. The Gambler Races were run VERY EFFICIENTLY, kudos to the crew at Topeka and the track operators who helped out.
Sunday we got the dragster ready for round one and made a good run, but I hogged it up a bit when my opponent dumped me to be dead-on 5. Good for him and not so good for me.