Lincoln wrap-up (pt 1)

posted Sep 10, 2010, 6:37 PM by Scoob Edoo
Man, that's a long trip.  I'll try to remember at least the highlights, then elaborate in a later post.

Wed: leave early and drive to Joliet, IL.  Weather was mostly nice and the rig got slightly less fuel mileage than I'd hoped.  I actually ran out of fuel 4 miles from my planned stop - truck's lie-o-meter lied the wrong way this time.  So that was scary, but resolved itself nicely and only cost us about 90 min.  Made it to the Joliet hotel late, but slept well.

Thurs: Rain in the early AM, but we missed all the Chicago-area traffic and had smooth sailing the rest of the way.  Arrived in Lincoln at about 4:30 and went to see Nana Cathy at work.  Then to Grandma Wanda's to sleep.

Friday: Early start to get to the Airpark to wait in line for a paddock spot.  Got in right behind the Garfields and we managed to get some prime spots.  We got unpacked and checked out the karts.  I got mine ready for some practice on the TnT course.  I ran into a few problems: a ground problem and a fuel problem.  Fixed the ground and hoped the other problem would go away.  The TnT course was really quite good prep for the Pro courses.

Saturday: My Pro runs were terrible: stuttering in most corners and terrible launches.  Partially my fault for not effectively clearing out the carb before I started, but it turned out that I was also jetted too rich.  Kieran couldn't even get his morning runs in due to the clutch not engaging at all when he tried to go.  I spent some quality time swapping clutches for the afternoon session.  My PM runs weren't much better than the AM session.  We ran so long int he PM that the kids got caught up with timing problems when the sun got so low on the horizon that it was setting off the finish light.  Kieran had two 'golden' runs but the right side didn't count due to the aforementioned problems.  By his last run, the clutch was acting like it was over-heating and it was engaging higher and higher.

Sunday: I rejetted to a 175 jet (from 180) and the stuttering went away and the kart ran much better.  Unfortunately, due to an earlier car tranny blowing up on the right-side course start line, I red-lit both of the right-side runs and screwed my chance to finish mid-pack.  Oh Well.  Kieran's kart started strong, but we quickly realized that the clutch was experiencing the same problems as Sat AM.  On his 2nd run, on the left side, he was revving VERY high and on the last kink before the finish, the end of the crank snapped off and his clutch went rolling.  That was an expensive loss.  We got it back to the trailer and swapped on the standby Comer K80 for Nationals duty.  Not ideal, but it would allow him to play.  The rest of the day we headed out to Eilleen and Kevin's house and Kieran played with Thomas and Ryan for 7 hours.

Monday: I went to UNL and walked around an extremely deserted campus.  Largely the same as 15 years ago.  I got to see Jim Takacs and his group and the revised labs/offices in Hamilton Hall.  Really nicely done and much safer and more sanitary than it was back in the day.  Kieran hung out with Nana for awhile and I went to the Airpark to tinker with stuff and to walk the East Course several times.  Cathy brought Kieran and we did several walks between us to get ready for Tuesday morning.

Tuesday: F125 ran first thing, and it was cool in the morning.  So cool, in fact, that several of us understeered badly at the first turn and at least a few of us spun there.  The good news was that my kart ran very strong and the only thing that held me back was on my second run my drive sprocket bolt came loose and prevented me from shifting.  I limped back to grid and tightened it down.  I ran my third run safely to get a time.  Kids ran in heat and it worked beautifully (both days).  We had zero problems with the K80, but it was simply overpowered and he was down about 4 seconds on the others in class.  Regardless, Kieran ran faster each run and was smiling!

Wednesday: Another cool morning and clouds, so NO sun to help warm the tires.  This time I got my safe run in early, then pushed harder on my next two runs.  2nd run my J-arm fell off as I was trying to down-shift into the circle at the beginning of the course.  I understeered badly, off-course, then finished the course stuck in 3rd gear.  I fixed that with some help from Sebastian Strauss (Thanks!).  So my 3rd run I pushed hard again, but understeered off in the same place!  I guess adding all of the weight to the rear of the kart (because I'm running a PI) was not a great idea.  My turn-in was really adversely affected and I didn't recognize it before this West course.  Argh.  Kieran started the day in 5th and went fast on his 2nd run.  He tried to push harder on his 3rd  run and spun, but kept it going and finished with no problems.  He finished Nationals in 5th place and we both learned a lot.  He was reasonably happy and I was very proud.