Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New London-Waterford Speedbowl (and a little bit of Spitfire)

I may or may not have mentioned it in previous posts, but several times during the spring-summer-fall, me and the boys go to the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, which I'm lucky enough to have about 20 minutes away from me, to enjoy some short track racing. It's cheap entertainment. My ticket runs around $17 and the boys are free (under 13 is free, 13-16 is $5). Heat races start at 5pm, the main events at 7pm, and racing wraps up around 9:30, all times based on cautions and other delays. Concessions are very reasonable (beer is $5.50, ice cream $3.50 (with jimmies, of course), a hamburger is $5, soda is $2.50). However, in keeping with NASCAR tradition, you are allowed to bring anything in that you want as long as it isn't in a glass container. For me and the boys to go for a night, get a beer and some ice cream (we usually pack water and other snacks) and enjoy around 3-4 hours of racing, it costs me under $40. Not too bad, I say.

Saturday, they had their annual Wings and Wheels event. This is their biggest show of the year with car classes that you normally don't see. This race had SK Modifieds (my personal favorite...and they race just about every week), ISMA Supermodified (the big ones), Valenti Modified (a northeast racing series that, as far as I can tell, uses SK Modifieds), Pro-4 Modifieds (mini-SK Modifieds...it was this car class' first visit to the 'Bowl), NEMA Lights and NEMA Midgets.

It was very entertaining and fortunately there were very few accidents so the racing was good.

Well, except for this accident. That's an SK Modified.
The ISMA Supers are wild. They have big wings on them (as you can see in the picture below) and they have everything offset to the left side...the engine, the wheel track. They are funny looking from behind but, then again, they are the fastest short-track car in competition, using methanol for fuel. I was timing them at about 110mph for a lap average on the 3/8-mile track. I don't know how the drivers can react so fast, but they obviously do. The top wing is sprung so as the car slows for a turn, it comes up to help with cornering, then dips down as the car picks up speed. Something you need to see to fully appreciate.

They don't have batteries, transmissions or starters, so push-start only.
The video is unedited and a bit loud, so you may want to turn your speakers down. It runs about 30 seconds or so. It's pretty shaky, but you may be able to see the fins dipping as they come out of the turns. Of note, in the first few seconds of the video you'll see a sign on the track fence. It says "Family Section: No Alcohol, No Profanity, No Smoking". Love it!



The other cars that don't often visit the track were the NEMA Midgets and NEMA Lights. The differences are the horsepower and weight, as the Lights are not really lighter as they have gearboxes and starters. Because this track is paved, you don't see the sliding like you may have seen on dirt tracks (Tony Stewart), but they do seem to get a little shaky at times. The Midgets were doing about 105mph averages and the Lights just shy of 100mph.

A little blurry, but you get the idea.
If you get the opportunity and there is a track near you (look here for NASCAR Home Tracks), I'd highly recommend going. I'm not a big NASCAR guy, but it's fun to see guys out there, doing it because they love it with little hope of real monetary reward. And, like I mentioned, it's cheap and fun family time.

As for the whole point of this blog, I unfortunately haven't done much. The bathroom re-model has taken longer than I thought and the family is coming back earlier than planned. However, I did replace the driver's side motor mount with an actual Spitfire one. The spares that I had, I quickly discovered, were not from a Spitfire, but it did fit.

My spare engine mounts. That's a SpitBits sticker on the bottom one. Spitfires have only one stud, not two. Still fit, though.
To put the correct mount in, I just lifted the motor a bit with a jack and a piece of plywood about 10" square to help spread the weight so I didn't collapse the oil pan. Worked like a charm.
New mount, all pretty-like.
I also put a new pair of horns in. Impulse buy here, obviously, but the look nice and I didn't have any. Think you need those to drive legally.

New Lucas high- and low-note horns. Of note, the new ones are plastic.
And, finally, work continues on the driver's seat. Well, I guess I can call it work. More like soak. I'm soaking it about two days at a shot per "area" as I rotate it through the vinegar. Tonight was the last night, so I'll pull it out tomorrow and clean it up. I have the old boot lid still since I just couldn't bring myself to through it away. I intend to compare metal thickness and use the old lid to repair the seat. Kind of like a skin graft, I suppose.

The seat continues to soak. That white vinegar works wonders, though it's not too white anymore. Takes the paint off, too.

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