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SSCC May 2001


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Silver State Classic


May 2001

Black Tiger Races in Silver State

Silver State Classic gets another taste of classic American Muscle. By Jack Blum

This time Bill was going to drive and I would play navigator. We headed for the Las Vegas speedway so Bill could get qualified like I did back in September 2000. After some trouble with the filler neck leaking on the new gas tank we installed, he headed to the track. Unfortunately, because of the delays of getting to the track, Bill was not allowed to make any practice laps to get use to the car. He had only 2 days of driving it the week before and was not feeling very comfortable behind the wheel. When he had driven the week before it was without his helmet. And now, with his helmet on, his head was hitting the roof. Myself and Bill wear the same length pants, but he is 2" taller than me. When I sit in the car with my helmet on it just touches the head liner. What this meant was that there was no way with the electric seat brackets that Bill was going to be able to drive. And there was no time to swap out the seats or the brackets. Next time we will put some racing seats in with mechanical brackets.

This meant that I was going to drive again and Bill would navigate. We talked about stepping up one bracket to the 150mph class, but since we did not finish the 125mph class back in September we decided to just finish it this time. 

We then headed up to Ely NV. Bills wife Betty came with us this time and wanted to see the cars racing. But the only way to see them racing is to volunteer as a course worker. So she volunteered and got gate watch duty on the course. What this means is that she had to get up and be passed the starting line before 4:00am and get to her assigned gate. There she just had to make sure that nobody wandered onto the road with cars zipping by at 200mph plus.

We started the race this time much the same as last time. At least this time the cut-outs were closed so we could hear each other better. We followed the same notes Bill had made for the last race and all was looking great. We both had a great sigh of relief when we passed the 82nd mile into the course (where we had vapor locked last time). Bill was again counting down the last 10 miles. At mile 88 he was telling me "4 seconds fast". Then again at 89 miles "4 seconds fast". You may get the impression that I wasn't listing, but I was. It gets hard to slow down just 4 seconds/mile. If we went over the finish line at 43 minutes and 12 seconds we would have won the class. But we crossed at 43 minutes and 7.646 seconds just 4.354 seconds to soon. That put us at an average speed of 125.2103mph and 12th out of 24 cars in our class. Hey, we were so happy just to finish we didn't care if we were last. We had a great time at the finish pit area. They were selling hot dogs and drinks so we both got a dog and commented to each other that that was the best damn hot dog we ever ate!

Now that we FINISHED the 125mph class, we step up to the 150mph class! 

The math:

125mph for 90 miles.  (60 125) x 90 = 43.2min. 0.2min = 12 sec. 43 min 12 sec.

  That's 183ft/second and we were 4.354 seconds to fast, therefore:

  we were 797ft ahead of time. Or 15% of a mile fast.

150mph for 90 miles. (60 150) x 90 = 36.0 min flat.

  That's 220ft/second. Not a lot of braking room.

Where you really have to play with the math for this race is when you consider that there is a 5 mile section of the course where we have to go about 100-110mph (the Narrows). So we go about 127mph in the first part to get some time into the bank. And then slow for the narrows. Then back up to 125 +/- for the last 10 miles.

Where that computer in the trunk will come in handy is programming my own cruse control to adjust speed based on position to the finish line. The sensor on the drive shaft gives me every 3.2" of forward motion per pulse. That means I should get 1,782,000 pulses from start to finish.




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