Summer Nationals 2013

posted Jul 8, 2013, 7:53 PM by Scoob Edoo
Our first trip to Blytheville, AR, for this year's Summer Nats 4-day weekend.  After Lincoln I wasn't real sure how well this one would work.  But in preparation we did go to the Mooresville Motorplex for some practice - and magically we solved Kieran's motor "problem".  The nearest I can tell is that the clutch needed to be broken in with some proper track time instead of the short bursts we'd given it with autocross and on the stand.  The difference at Blytheville was astonishing!  We both ran the practice course and he was smoking fast.  We made a few track width adjustments for the concrete and he was very happy.  Importantly his launches seemed to be much better.  That was born out at the Pro where he was launching pretty well.  Because the Pro courses were a bit longer and faster than typical Pro courses, we had him geared for the speed over the launch - and he more than made up for the slower launch with greater speed on the courses.  It worked well as a plan and he took the win in JB easily, and in fact had faster times than Dana in JA.  He was itching for a challenge round where he could compete, so maybe Junior will get that idea some traction at future Match Tours where several kids compete.

For my Pro experience, I had my kart feeling pretty good after the adjustments from the kart track and some minor tuning on the practice course.  I was pretty happy with the handling on day 1 and went away happily leading.  Day 2 could have gone better: my throttle cable snapped at the line before my first run.  So no times on day two and I had to stand on a couple of mediocre runs from Saturday.  Jason stepped up and ran faster on one side to give him the 0.4 sec win.  I think I had easily another 1 sec on both sides to make up, but didn't.

Moving to the Tour event, we knew it would be a long, very fast course, so I regeared Kieran's kart to go even faster.  Since launch wasn't as important, it was the only decision.  And man did that kid fly!  That track time really paid off and he listened to everything we discussed (and probably some other people, too) and was right on the cones on both days.  The videos are amazing.  Saturday he improved each run, dropping 1.2 sec on his 3rd run to put the smack down on everybody.  Sunday he started where he left off, running a nearly identical time to his fastest on Saturday, putting everyone on notice early.  He did not improve from there and was frustrated by that, but was happy about the result regardless (beating Dana again, this time by 2.2 sec overall) and PAXing 13th out of 213!

As for my Tour, let's sum up this way: I hadn't brought enough fuel for the whole weekend after running through a bunch at the track, so I had to buy some from Rick Davis of the Arkansas Region who, luckily, had extra.  I, however, made a strategic mistake by adding all of it to my gas tank at once.  My first two runs were incredibly unbalanced, alternating between under and oversteer.  JBH finally mentioned the fuel as a possible source of the imbalance, so I added my rear bar back to give some grip and that helped immensely - until my newly repaired throttle cable got stuck on the really fast sweeper, forcing me way off-line while I figured out how to reel it back in.  I got a time, but that one problem cost me about 5 sec...

Sunday was a new day and I thought I had a handle on the balance issue.  I had burned through a few lbs of gas on Sat and I drained another 2 in the morning before heading out.  I went out and ran in the 53 sec range, like I should have been on Saturday, so I was pretty happy.  I kept getting caught out on a few of the sections, though, and did not improve from there, so I finished 3rd out of 3, giving JBH an ego boost.

The truck's check engine light came on during the trip out and never went off.  I added some additional oil since we burned though some on the trip, but I think it needs a full change (especially the filter that is apparently stuck on there right good - the WalMart techs couldn't get it off either!).