GAINESVILLE PROSTAR WORLD FINALS NOV. 8-10, 2002
The Gainesville World Finals always makes for a great end of the year finale. And WINNING is always a great way to end the season, but this one was even better than most. We had a full field of fuel bikes at this race. Everyone was running very well. So there was more rounds to get through than normal with two days of qualifying before race day. We were really tired after this weekend! We also had a lot of Fla. relatives and friends from both Alaska and Oklahoma who had come down for a weekend of racing. As we worked our way though the ladder on Sunday, the finals came down to us and Norberg. Norberg had been running very well all weekend, so we knew we had to give it everything possible. "Big Carl' really made some changes and we were set on kill! But a five wasn't in the cards this day. Or rather night. The schedule had been delayed to the point that darkness fell before we could get the final round over. There may have possibly been some dew already out. Anyway, the conditions changed totally on us. But we knew we had nothing to lose, being as it was the last race of the season, even if we tore everything up trying to win. Ron was on and off the throttle several times trying to get down the track with fire belching four to five feet behind him every time he turned the throttle off and on. The sound was deafening. It was very dark, so the fuel bikes put on quite the show. I'm sure the crowd was glad they stuck it out so late and didn't miss the "fire show."
Ron did a great job riding this weekend and the entire crew worked very hard and is very much appreciated. Especially appreciated is Big Carl and C.J. Ahlfeldt for attending this race. They had a terrible loss as "Big Carl's wife, C.J.'s mom, had passed away a just a few weeks earlier. As C.J. commented on the microphone, this win was for her.
We hope to run a full schedule next season and will post the dates and races as soon as we know. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. See ya all in 2003.
RACE OCT. 12-13, 2002
This was our first time racing here and Montgomery has quite an interesting racetrack. We had good runs all weekend, but somehow all our passes, up until the finals, had been in the left lane. Larry McBride's had all fallen in the right lane. Both lanes had a tricky bump in them. We went to the final against Larry and had lane choice for a change. So we decided the thing to do would be to put Larry in the lane he hadn't run in all weekend. But that also meant we would have to run in a lane we hadn't run in either! Well, it made for quite an interesting final round when Larry & I both had big problems with the "unknown" bump in the "other" lanes we hadn't been running in. But Larry pulled out the win and we went home with another runner-up. Apparently the track is going to be repairing the problems in the surface before we race there next year. Other than that, the weekend was very successful considering we're still having computer problems. Looking forward to Gainesville World Finals.
Indy was great this year as always. But it was very hot. Labor Day hit 97 degrees in our pit. It didn't seem to discourage the fans or racers though. There were thousands of people there. The camp grounds were packed and sounded as though there was one continuous party going on! The pits are so packed it's hard to get around. But there's so much to do and see at Indy.
NHRA had six top fuel bikes come to this race to run exhibition passes. All the bikes ran very well, even with the heat. And as usual, the fans went wild. We qualified #2 on the ladder at the end of the second day.
After the first two qualifying passes, we had to replace an engine that seemed to be starting to fail. That was a lot of work. But it paid off the next day as each pass just got better. We also are hampered by computer problems, leaving a lot of the technical decisions to be made by Big Carl's wisdom and experience! He was definitely making all the right tuneup changes.
During eliminations, we advanced to the final against Larry McBride. But, again, we took home the runner-up title. It was a great race, both running low six's, well over 200 mph. But with our E.T.'s getting lower, we're gradually sneaking up on Larry! It won't be long!!! It'll really be great if we can run a five at the next race.
PROSTAR GAINESVILLE & ATLANTA 2002
As everyone knows, the Prostar Gainesville race was rained out after the first day of qualifying. It was finished at the Atlanta race in April. The weather and fans were great at Atlanta this year.
We really needed all the
runs we could make, as we were trying to sort out all the major changes
we had made over the winter. We made several attempts using a new
experimental tire of a new size and compound, but smoked the tire
every time. It just didn't seem like it was going to work. All we
had with us was the old tire from the World Finals last November .
We made the decision to change the tire back to the old one. We then
were able to get a couple passes down the track in the 6.50's. Now
we could start dialing in the new clutch and fuel system.