Some days are better than others

It's not as bad as it looks. Really.

Apparently it’s a tradition that we suck the first race of the season.

There’s no way to sugar coat it. We couldn’t catch a break at the first race of the VORRA season at Prairie City last weekend. First, we forgot to install the float in the carburetor and had fuel flooding into the engine.

With the carb fixed, we realized we had an issue with the clutch and decided to pull the engine and replace the clutch plate.

Heston replaces the clutch plate

We spent a lot of time staring at the engine compartment this weekend. Heston here is swapping out the clutch.

By Saturday night, we thought we had a good car. No fuel leaks, the clutch felt good, we had the new head and neck restraint systems installed on the helmets.

Things went to heck pretty quickly during Sunday morning practice when driver and co-driver reported a substantial loss of power after taking a jump on the course. For the next half a day we tested every engine system we could think of, replacing our Compufire ignition system with a .009 distributor and then with a borrowed Compufire. I’m pretty sure we swapped carbs. We did compression tests. We swapped out spark plugs and wires. Only thing we could tell for sure was we weren’t getting power out of two cylinders.

Toby and Ralph - two guys who install HNRs

Toby and Ralph – Two guys who install HNRs.

We got one or two laps under our belt during the first race, still DNFing. We also did one lap for the second moto. The goal at this point was to pick up enough season points to keep us in contention for the second Prairie City race in April and get back in the running when we head to the desert.

Jenn supervises Romy

Jenn Frederick, supervising like a BOSS.

Petfinder (the red one) lost a gear or two in their transmission after the second race and speaking with Jeff Lee, we agreed to go out together for the third moto and do some fender to fender racing at 3 mph for one lap.

We gave everyone (including race announcer BJ Butcher and Race Director George Henley) a heads up we’d be doing one slow lap. Between then and the call for Class 11 staging, Toby found the problem. A frayed wire in some part of the ignition system. With seconds to spare he repaired it and driver and co-driver were off the start line.

What happens next is either epic or tragic. Or both.

Dave Meek Jr., figuring we’d be cruising at a snail’s pace, blew past the second place French team on the high side, giving them plenty of room before diving down to line up the next turn. What he didn’t expect was 1107, hell bent for leather, to have also blown past the French team and be making a play for first place. We got clipped and 1107 rolled at least two times. The new HNRs did their job and no one was hurt. A recovery vehicle dragged the car back to the pits. An hour later we’d replaced a destroyed hub, threw on two new rear tires and used a sledge hammer to pound out most of the damage.

Romy signs his handiwork.


We were able to drive 1107 back onto the hauler, we packed it up and headed out. Romy is working on a new engine. Crusty drops the car off Sunday so we can inspect everything. We should be good to go for the next race.


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