The weather for the NHRA Division 3 E.T. Finals this year was perfect. Thursday through Sunday was sunny and dry, with the exception of a few sprinkles early Friday morning that went away pretty quickly. It was a little on the cool side, so I had high hopes for the Vega to see its first 7 second competition pass. The last pass at the Hill was 8.006 and with Indy being flat, I was confident that this was the weekend for the first 7. It was really just for me though, because in Indy, we run the 1/4 mile.

We only had one time shot Friday, and while it was the fastest 1/4 mile time the car's made at 12.59 (12.62 last year), the eighth mile still denied me with an 8.03. Come Saturday, we get our second and final time shot. Still hoping for a 7., I hit the tree. Again, I run a nice 12.62, but have an 8.02 in the 1/8. I start realizing that I will more than likely have to wait for the 7. until another day. With that realized and behind me, I start thinking about first round. Saturday night comes, along with first round. In my two years going, I've yet to lose first round in the Vega and I'm feeling confident. Both of my time shot lights were right where I needed them to be, .028 & .024, and the car was running great. The temp felt about the same as it did earlier, but by now the sun had gone down and felt a lot like friday night (I don't have a weather station). I headed to the lanes with a two number faster 12.60 on the dial board. I went up towards the end of the pack as I wanted to watch as many passes as I could to see what the other cars were doing. It was kind ow weird, it seemed half the cars were running close to their dial, but the other half was running about a tenth slow. As it got closer to my turn, I decide to dial up a few #'s to a 12.62 and hold it to the floor. I get paired with a 12.03, nice, older Mustang, and we get set to dance. We launch and the race feels good. The tree felt good, and up to 3/4 of the track, I was feeling the win. BUT, that's when he started pulling, and passing me! As we approached the finish line, I was a good car length behind when I decided that there was no way I was going to catch him, and cut him lose as I lifted, hoping he was on a break out run. He hit the brakes at the last minute and still crossed a good ways ahead of me. I look up and sure enough, his win light comes on. Turns out that I had the tree, my .024 to his .039, but I ended up being one of the ".10 off" racers. It was actually going to be a .08 slower run (12.70), but by the time I cut him loose, it ended up being a 12.73. He ran much closer with a 12.07 on his 12.03. The math isn't hard and I my year at Indy was over just like that. Still not sure what the common factor was with the slow run cars, but even our #1 Sportsman racer form Bunker Hill suffered the same fate running a way slow 12.26 on a 12.13 dial all while keeping it to the floor. I guess it just is what it is, and that's racing.

For the first time in two years of trying, I did get the first round win in the Camaro though. Not as dramatic though, as I cut a nice .teen light and run my number, but my competitor made it ll for not as he went red. Saturday, for round 2, I headed to the lanes. I get paired with a bad boy dragster and as we sit awaiting our turn to enter the burnout boxes, the car in front of the dragster, breaks at the starting line. No big deal, we both back up, shut down, and wait. The mess was small (and not in my lane ) and only took a few minutes for the track crew to clean up. They did end up bringing the tractor out to drag both lanes, and sprayed the crap out of both lanes at the starting line (this is where I learned something very important for future reference)! We both do our thing, then stage 'em up. Since I'm much slower I get let loose first. I hit the tree the same as in both practices and first round (all three netting nice, low teen lights), but since the track was now "super prepped", I turn on the red light with -.001. He was right behind me with a red -.002, but since I was red first, my weekend was over. We were both on "kill" mode at the tree and before the prep happened, I think it was going to be one hell of a close race as we both would have had deadly lights and we both ran dead on our dials. Next time the track is prepped like that right in front of me, now matter how good my lights have been, and no matter how bad I don't want to change anything, I will be punching .005 into the delay box. Lesson learned the hard way.

It was still a great time, as Indy is every year. I was pitted with good people and the racing was top notch. I can hardly wait until next year.