APD Member Spotlight Blog: Lindsey Cramsey
Hello Fellow Bracket Racers!
I am so excited to be a part of this year’s APD Member Spotlight, I can’t wait to share some of the crazy stuff I am positive will happen to me! I’ll start with introducing myself; my name is Lindsey Cramsey, I am a local bracket racer out of Denver, Colorado. My dad, Ken Cramsey, started racing around 25 years ago in his 1970 Challenger. My parents tell me they brought me to the track for the first time when I was 3 days old (can you put ear protection on a newborn?!) and I grew up with a pretty fearless attitude and always wanted a racecar. I think my “need for speed” started on my 3rd birthday. My mom and dad blindfolded me and walked me outside to the driveway. Sitting there was a pink and white Power Wheels Barbie jeep. Of course the “stock” version of a Power Wheels tops out at about 5 miles per hour and has one 12 volt battery. However, my dad decided to put two 12 volt batteries in and it ended up topping out at about 15 mph instead. I was crazy! Within a couple of hours I was hopping curbs at full speed and doing donuts in the cul-de-sac. Unfortunately for my parents, they almost had to take out a loan to pay for my “special edition” pink plastic wheels; I went through a set every couple of months!
My dad helping me out with my new ride
Taking her out for a test drive
When I turned eight years old, I had the opportunity to begin driving a junior dragster. I won three championships and retired when I was 16 years old to begin racing in the high school and sportsman categories. Although I don’t remember this happening, I think I must have broken a couple of mirrors at some point, as basically every car I’ve ever raced ends up breaking down on me. I have raced and broken (multiple times) my 1995 Trans Am, my dad’s 1970 Challenger, my younger brother’s 1964 Nova, I broke 7 motors in my junior dragster and hell, even my Barbie jeep caught on fire! Basically, I have to sign a waiver and guarantee people some sort of warranty before they will even let me touch their car with a 10 foot pole. People will walk up to me at the racetrack and say “Where did you get this car?!?!” as I am always in something different. I have been extremely lucky to have the family and friends that I do, as I have always had a back-up car and have never missed a race.
In hopes of buying a car that would be more reliable, I took as many credits as possible in college and worked 30 hours a week. I graduated college in three years with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and immediately started a full time job. In January of this year, I finally bought a 2001 Mullis dragster. This will be my rookie season in Super Pro and in Super Comp. My hope is to have a pretty painless year when it comes to breakage (this is already going terrible, I’ll fill you in on why Matt Driskell has my credit card number memorized soon) and to learn as much as possible, all while hopefully throwing in a few race wins here and there.
The new car in the front yard after bringing her home!
So far the only racing I’ve done is a few test and tunes at Bandimere. After picking up the car in Kansas, we were changing the main and rod bearings when my dad noticed the cam was a little beat up, as was one of the lifters. Matt Driskell made the mistake of telling me I could call him anytime, so I called an ordered a set of roller lifters and a new cam from him; he has been extremely helpful and great to work with, I would highly recommend him! After getting it back together, I couldn’t wait to get to the track. The following Friday I was invited to attend a “Race to Read” event in Castle Rock and the next test and tune was Saturday. Race to Read is a program that Bandimere Speedway started back in the mid 1990’s and is a reading program designed to encourage literacy by providing prizes as students complete reading sheets. At the end of 6 weeks, complimentary tickets to the Night of Fire and Thunder (Bandimere’s National Open) are given to the reader and an adult as a prize for completing so many reading sheets. I was invited by Academy Charter School to show my racecar and make a speech about how I use reading in everyday life. It was extremely fun and I loved working with the kids. I had a great time signing autographs and pretending I was somebody famous! I want to thank Jenny and David Bigbey for inviting me as well as Tammy Schrader for her dedication to the program.
Me getting my speech on!
Miss Ella and I cheesing it up
Signing autographs for the kids!
After my day of stardom, I showed up bright and early for the test and tune, ready to DO WORK! I only made a couple of half passes, and the car was a little slower than we had imagined. Keep in mind that my dad and I are pretty new to motor building, we didn’t really know what was normal and what wasn’t. So after finding a decent amount of metal shavings in the filter after two passes, of course we ran it again! After the third pass, the lifters were now clanking away, and we could be sure that it was definitely broken. We think that it broke due to a faulty made lifter (of course I was part of the .02% of people that get a faulty lifter) so I called up Driskell, ordered another cam, and this time only a 4 pack of lifters (the racecar fund was getting low, and the shoe shopping fund was already spent). My dad and I used the next week to take the motor apart again, and I felt pretty cool washing the block with the hose out in my front yard. I am sure there are better ways to get metal shavings out of a block, but hey, this seemed to work just fine. I am extremely lucky to have my dad there in so many ways. First of all, we have a pretty good time working together in the garage. Secondly, I apparently can’t torque anything over 70 lbs. I was basically hanging off the torque wrench, trying to torque the head bolts, practically having an aneurism, and luckily my dad was able to come over and make it look easy as I pouted over my lack of arm strength. We got her all back together, and headed back up to the track two weeks later. This time, the car ran much better, and no shavings in the oil filter! I got some great passes in and really started getting used to it. I did have to add a makeshift head support to the car, as after the first couple passes, my neck was telling me it could no longer take the whiplash it was experiencing. For the headrest, I was able to use some left over padding that we had removed from my new seat because it needed a slight adjustment (slight adjustment= Me watching my dad in horror as he ripped out five inches of seat padding that had cost me $350 dollars). I was however able to zip tie that padding to the roll bar for a lovely headrest.
The piece of my seat that was used as the makeshift head rest- very classy addition
Car and Trailer
Burnout- one of my favorite parts of drag racing
I have done a couple more test and tunes since then and they have all been pretty uneventful, just working on getting a routine down and killing the tree. This upcoming weekend we have a race Saturday and a race Sunday, a double header for the first weekend which could be pretty interesting as far as points chases go. Then two weeks from now I am headed off to the divisional point’s race in Great Bend. I can’t wait; it will be my first Super Comp race ever! Hopefully I’ll get to see a few of you there!
I want to take some time now to thank my family and friends. My dad is my main crew chief and helps me with all the motor building and mechanical parts of the car. He is teaching me everything he knows and I am very thankful to have him. My mom, Kim, is my best friend and she is always there cheering me on and keeping my dad and I in line. My little brother Kyle is my favorite person in the entire world. He has been awesome and has helped my dad and me a lot with my new car. I want to thank Michael Brand II for giving me someone to bounce ideas off of, always making me strive to do better, and for teaching me everything I know about racing the finish line; Matt Driskell for all of his help earlier this year; Luke Bogacki at ThisIsBracketRacing.com for putting this program together and all of the amazing tips and ideas; and APD, Nitroplate, J&J Engine Diapers , and K&N Engineering for the great products.
Thank you all for reading. I can’t wait to tell you all about my first couple of races for my May blog! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or find me on Facebook if you want to, I’d love to hear from you all!
-Miss Lindsey Cramsey