APD Member Spotlight Blog (August): Jeremy McKague (Part 1)

 

I can dodge bullets, baby!
                Almost every time I should lose this month I don’t it is just like Phil Hellmuth says at 2:50 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVqCOhYGRL0 Now don’t get me wrong I’m really not that conceded I completely understand the good run I’m on and no it isn’t due to my great driving. I’m not the driver that Luke, Champ, Edmond, etc. are but I sure do like turning on the win lights.
                We started off the beginning of this week with a nice family vacation. Celia and I took our 3 kids to the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, Kansas. This place is cool but they sure are proud of it.   Monday we arrived and settled into our room which includes an all access pass to their indoor water park. We spent the rest of the day playing there before heading out to dinner at T-Rex. T-Rex is an awesome dinosaur themed restaurant. The highlight of the meal was the $13 desert called the Chocolate Extinction which included dry ice to give it the volcano effect.
If the dinosaurs died from eating too much of this it might have been worth it
We finished the night with more water park action and then hit up the arcade where our $10 got us 66 tickets. 66 tickets won’t get you much so I told the kids we would come back the next night and try to add to them.
On Tuesday we headed out to Lego Land and the Sea Life aquarium. Both of these places had their highlights and were a good time for under $30 per person. We then stopped to eat some authentic Kansas City BBQ at Gates BBQ. I felt like you needed to be a regular to eat there as most people were ordering items and in ways that weren’t on the menu. We actually had to step aside to let some of the line go by so we wouldn’t hold everyone up. We then enjoyed the evening in the water park and hit up the arcade for another $10 investment. While Max (4 year old middle child) and I were dominating Imperial Walkers on a Star Wars game Alex comes running up and says come look I just won 1000 tickets. I think yeah right no way anything gives out 1000 tickets. About 3 minutes later we get done playing and walk over to check it out and the machine is still spitting out tickets.
It really was 1000
We finish off the rest of our money and Alex is dying to spin the wheel again where she won 1000 tickets. I give her the fatherly speech of “Now you don’t always win, that was very lucky” I am afraid she is becoming a gambling addict already when she replies with “Other people might not win but I will.” I give her one more dollar to spin the wheel again and No fing way but 1000 tickets again. 
Maybe she should be picking our lottery numbers
We take all of our tickets and run them into a machine to get a voucher which says we have 2125 tickets. The kids all pick out something and then we get some other junk to finish them off and make the following haul.
1000 tickets prizes
We head back to our room for the night with me trying to figure out how I can sneak a 7 year old into Vegas but can’t come up with anything other than waiting 14 years. The next day is our last we head for home but not before stopping at the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead and touring a 1900’s Kansas Farm. What a nice trip it was great to get away with the family and see the kids having such a good time.  
                It’s now the weekend and time for one of the best races of the year, the Jeg’s Summer Door Car Shootout at I-57 dragstrip in Benton IL and no I’m not just saying this because Luke gave me a free T-Shirt. Although it never hurts to grease the wheels. (Cough… corvette ride Luke… cough). Friday night Jason and I arrived to the track to dump the trailer to make sure we got a good parking spot as I was double entering the Cavalier and Curt Landolt’s Nova. The Nova was the first car I ever raced with a delay box 18 years ago and although I hadn’t drove it since last year it still feels like home. 
Feels like home
We then left for the casino in Metropolis IL, the home of Superman, and arrived there around 9:30pm. After an agonizing two hour wait to play we were finally in. We finally decided to hang it up around 3:45am and I was happy to cash out with a $200 lose despite having my aces cracked and two coolers. Who am I kidding, I handed out more bad beats than I received and that my finds is the way it should be.  Fortunately there was a nice Motel 6; they should sponsor us, 3 miles down the road. Showered and in bed by a little after 4am, I don’t know if that is how you should prepare for a big race but it was sure fun.
                Time trials were fairly uneventful as the Cavalier ran .510 5.790 (1.130 delay) and .514 and 5.784 (1.130).   The Nova went .519 6.366 (1.110) and .517 6.385 (1.095)
R1 Cavy (1.130) I dial 5.81 to my opponents 5.51 He forgets to crossover and is red while I am .510 and run it out to a 5.826 I was expecting a slow down but not this much plus the car was loose when it left. My 330 went from 3.694 to 3.731, I don’t know if the track got bad or if I got in some oil. 
R1 Nova (1.100) was a match up with back to back “wheelie wagon” winning Rick Harless. Rick dialed his wagon in at 5.97 and I went with the 6.39 This was slower than my time run but with the Cavalier slowing up I didn’t know what to expect. I leave with a .522 and Rick gets the edge with a .518 I do a good job at the stripe taking .007 while killing 5 mph but it wasn’t good enough as I was .003 under to Rick’s nice dead on 9 pass. Looks like the Nova didn’t slow up as I was .005 quicker to the 330 than my 6.366 run but for $75 not only do I get another shot at the $7500 first place prize but I also receive a complementary T-shirt courtesy of Autometer. I have never paid $75 for a shirt before so I’m going to take care of this one.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lPyM4sS6v8&feature=youtu.be
R2 Cavalier (1.130) I dial 5.84 to my opponents 5.97 I want to make sure I can run my number. I am .502 but take .032 stripe to lose to his .512 and dead on 7   This round frustrates me as I know I am taking way too much but I think I killed plenty. How can I know I killed plenty? Good question and one I should have asked myself before the Cavalier was eliminated for completion. My 330 was 3.692 again so I was on a 5.79 run again. I’m just going to chalk up first round to a fluke. Here is what it looks like to hog up the stripe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QurXdCzAkxs&feature=plcp
R2 Nova (1.097) I dial 6.37 to my opponents 6.57 I want to hold a little here as I am quicker plus with temperatures being in the mid nineties I expect the track may go away.  I get lucky and my opponent spins badly and is .536 and 5 above. I am .510 and take .013 to be safe. According to the 330 I was going a low 6.36 so the track doesn’t appear to be bothering the Nova.
R3 Nova (1.099) I was racing the very quick Mike Luedke dialed in at 5.15 I elect to go with the 6.36 that I was running last time. I get the advantage .504 to .526 and kill some et and run dead on 9. I took a lot of stripe at .034 but I did kill 2 hundredths and was being chased by 34 mph. Felt like I was racing the Prizm again. The nova picked up a little and was running a high 6.34
R4 Nova (1.103) I lose lane choice and get put in the right lane. I elect to dial a 6.36 even though I was going 34 last run. The reason is last week when Jason and I were here this lane was a little slower and also I don’t know if the Nova can duplicate its quickest run of the weekend. I go .518 and 6.37 to take .010 on my 5.58 dialed opponents .523 and 2 above. My 330 went right back to my low 6.36 runs so I think my dial was good.
R5 Nova (1.097) 20 cars remain.   I am in the last pair of the round due to Corey still being in also in the Nova and I don’t like my draw. I have to run the bye car who is none other than my #1 nemesis in the world, Jeff Norton in the Lucky Times Vega. If you took Edmond, Scotty, Luke, Little Johns, Champs, and Bryan Robinsons DNA combined them into a super racer and let them wheel KIT from Night Rider I think I would like my chances more than against Jeff. He has been beating me forever now. Honestly I’m not sure if I’ve ever beat him, well maybe one out of fifty.  Jeff puts me in the right again as he is the bye car and has choice. I dial 6.36 to his 6.31 I am .502 and he is .506 I get lucky and Jeff is two above and I do some ripping and take .001 Lucky break for me. I wasn’t trying to be .002 and take .001 but I was pumped to see the light in my lane as evidenced by the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDSF75ZXNcU&feature=youtu.be
R6 Nova 10 cars remain and I have the bye run. It does me no good now but it does carry over. I elect to take the left as I am comfortable in the left and my opponent has been in the left. I have to run Rhea King and he is dialed in at a 6.43 to my 6.37 Corey lost this round in front of me and I followed suit by being .536 on the tree to his .516 He was .019 over and I park at the end to be 3 over. What a missed opportunity as I was going high dead on. I only needed to be in the low .20’s to win. 
Time for the bonus race the Ohlin’s King of Illinois shootout. This is a $500 cash only entry fee with winner taking all. I was ticked about my bad light so I shelled out the cash to enter the Cavalier. In my only time trial I was .503 (1.130) and 5.782
R1 I have to run Dan Stone. I time trialed next to Dan so we both know what the other is capable of. Dan dialed a 6.20 which is .005 slow from his time trial. I dialed 5.79 which is .008 slow. I added .003 to the box for this run(1.133) I was .506 to Dan’s .537 and park .005 behind to be 1 above while Dan runs .021 under.
R2 I dial 5.80 next to Peeps Pennington’s 4.78 I am holding .010 here as my car was running 5.791 in round one. I take out .001 from the box and set it at 1.132 I am .502 to his .508 rip and kill my hundredth only to see his light shine as I run 5.791   I picked up to the 330 and matched my time shot and was running 5.780 while he parked and killed some mph to be dead on 6. Guess I should have dialed honest. Goodbye $500 Seems like Hollywood made a movie about it. I didn’t think I would ever be in a movie but here I am played by Chevy Chase. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvDu3IysKiM
Sunday morning comes and it a new day. I’m ready to do some damage. We get one time run in each car. In the Nova with 1.100 delay I am .504 and run 6.350 and in the Cavalier with 1.130 delay I am .508 and run 5.800. Everything is looking good.
R1 Nova (1.104 Left) I dial in at 6.38 to my opponents 6.59 I am .516 to his .518 and rip it a ton and let him get back around me .006 while we are both 2 above. If you watch the video you can see him pull back around me with his 107.88 mph to my 106.58 mph. Looks like I need to buy a $75 bottle of slick mist. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eszKpd5c_U&feature=youtu.be
R1 Cavalier (1.133 Left) I dial 5.85 to Gary Landgrebe’s 6.22. I elect to hold a ton as the car slowed way down yesterday. I am .511 to his .521 and take .018 which puts me at .006 under as he is dead on 3. Once again I felt like I killed enough but the car picked up 1 hundredth to the 330. When I made my time trial they did spray some bald spots in front of me so that could have hurt that run a little. I hear that Lucas Oil Slick Mist is so good I’m going to go buy me another $75 bottle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2W-icxEb7a0&feature=youtu.be
R2 Nova (Left 1.100) This is my real lucky round I miss it and go to bump it only there is no bump button. Actually there is a bump button it is just in a different spot than my car. I am dialed 6.36 to my opponents 5.92 and he has me solidly on the tree .525 to .510 but I get lucky and he drives around me too far to break out .003 I drop the nose at the end to be one above with a zero. Anything I do in this car after this is gravy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHiN9r18YkQ&feature=youtu.be
R2 Cavy (Left 1.130) I dial 5.81 and assume that the slow down yesterday was a fluke. I am going with that theory until proven otherwise. I have to run Teddy Bryant in his truck and I know I have my work cut out for me here. I beat Teddy last year in the first race here with 10 cars remaining and he runnered up in the second race. Teddy dials in at a 6.01 and leaves with a .515 reaction time. I follow with a .517 and notice going down the track that there is going to be little room in front of him. I decide to park but almost too late and end up only .004 behind. Fortunately he as .009 under and I am .007 under. Talking about cutting it close I have to finish .003 behind or more and I manage to get .004 behind. I did kill 2 hundredths so although I made a good decision here I almost waited too long to make it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crsm-5T9byU&feature=plcp
R3 Nova (Left 1.100) I have to run a quick roadster dialed in at 5.61 I elect to go with the 6.37 I am .506 but off the line second to his .502   As soon as the car left I knew I was breaking out but the way the car picked up the wheels. I decided I was going to kill a hundredth no matter what. As we approached the line I knew it was going to be close so I just killed my one. I was still .002 under but luckily he was .006 under while getting there first by .008   Glad I can tell what’s going on by the way the car feels. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIMjtWIyqfo&feature=youtu.be
R3 Cavy (Left 1.130) I have to run a nova dialed in at 6.47   I dial 5.80 still thinking we could have an afternoon slow down as it is now almost 3pm. The race is over early as he is .002 red and dead on 9 and I am .504 and leg it to 5.782. If he low green then I have my work cut out for me. Dodged a bullet here.
R4 Nova (Left 1.100) I have to run Joe Davis who is dialed in at 5.92 I went with a 6.37 and got treed .514 to .511 but I got lucky and Joe can’t run the number and I kill some to be 4 above taking .011 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqChqMZFB54&feature=youtu.be
R4 Cavy (Left 1.133) I have to run a 5.77 Malibu and I dial 5.80 I leave with a .514 to his .512 and leg it taking .015 to by .008 under to his dead 9. Why did I leg it? It seemed close and I still had the slowdown in my mind. I actually thought it was closer so I don’t know if I could have killed the .008 I needed. Honestly at the time my only other option in my mind was to park. I didn’t think I could make it much tighter so I was probably toast anyways. Watching the video in slow I noticed I got parked off the last 30 feet so perhaps it was as tight as I thought. I didn’t catch that dump in real time at all. Hats off to my opponent.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvhPD4vWCgE&feature=youtu.be
R5 Nova (1.100 then 1.096) I started the run with 1.100 delay to race Ronnie Egner in his very quick 57 Chevy. I dialed a 6.37 to his 5.13 I believe. After the burnout they shut him off for leaking. Knowing there was going to be a bye run next round as there were 17 cars remaining this round I rolled some out of the box. It was a great plan but I didn’t execute as I came up with an .018 light and a 6.366 run.   
R6 Nova (Left 1.100) 9 car left. I have to run Dave Angelly in Ronnie Egner’s other car dialed in at 5.79. I dialed the Nova honest at 6.36 and knew it was a mistake as soon as it left. The Nova spun bad losing .015 in the 60 from the last run. My .514 with one bump and 3 above was no match for Dave’s .511 and two above. I can’t be too upset with the Nova as everyone that lost that round was 3 above. I can’t even be too mad about not dialing the 6.37 as I would have still lost. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgoa19FAld4&feature=youtu.be
Hard to complain about the weekend I had two entries each day and got to the 4th round, 10 cars, and 9 cars. If I would have avoided the $500 race and the buyback window I would have had a profitable weekend but then again I wouldn’t have a free Auto Meter t-shirt, two bottles of Lucas Oil Slick Mist and all this great blogging material.  It was a great time and I didn’t go completely broke.
We did have some fun on the way home. We were talking about how what a good race it was and other observations and something that came up was in the prayers they specifically mentioned since it was hot that they prayed for the Lord to look over tires. We talked about how they picked one thing out like that out of a million and about five miles later bam flat time! Time to change a tire. The driver’s rear tire is flat on the truck and of course we are right by 3 lanes of traffic.
You may recognize him as my decal guy but he does tires also
Not where you want to change a tire
 We get it changed and guess what the spare is half flat. We limp the truck the next ramp and pull out the generator, compressor and process to air the tire up. Our compressor is small and takes many fills to get enough air in the tire but we finally get it done even though we got a lot of funny looks. Also thanks to the two officers that drove by and didn’t bother coming back to see if we needed help especially when we were right off the interstate. I’m sure looking at our operation they could tell we had it under control. Yes that was sarcasm.
It took a while but it got the job done
 
$6537 beginning balance - $550 entries -$225 buybacks - $500 high rollers race + $200 casino winnings + $700 winnings = $6162
                The following week Denny and I loaded up his bike and Prizm and decided to take the 195 mile trek to Central Illinois Dragway in Havana IL. I would normally go to I-57 dragstrip in Benton IL with the Prizm as I can race for more money but they won’t allow Denny to run his bike with the cars. I entered the Prizm in the only two classes it is legal for sportsman and street. I also entered Hillary Barrett’s Camaro in the Pro class. I had never drove this car before and due to it having a different spot on the tree than my Prizm I also decided to shallow stage the Prizm so hopefully both cars will have the same spot. I struggle on the tree through time runs. In the Camaro I am .134, -.017. In the Prizm I am -.038, .0000, .074, and .031. For sure not my finest effort. It is now time for the shootout which is a $5 entry dial for dollars with the winner getting $100. The rules of the shootout are the closet to the dial gets the money. If there is a tie then the light is the tie breaker. The only other rule is you must win the round. In the Camaro I dial 8.41 and proceed to go -.003 and run 8.4101. Wish I would have turned that one green as dead on with a 01 would have won it. In the prizm my time trials were 12.06, 11.99, 12.03, 11.97 You’ll notice that every other one is quick. That is because street class is right after sportsman and I usually have less than 5 minutes between runs.   I guess a dial of 12.01 and go .006 and 12.039 Not good enough for the money but I would take it in eliminations.
R1 Pro I dial 8.41 to my opponents 7.65 I am a stellar .124 on the tree but luckily my guy has troubles and it .441 I lift for the easy win and my 330 says I’m going high dead on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-VDqmGlGgM&feature=youtu.be
R1 Sportsman I have the bye and pull to the side. Unfortunately this pairs me with Jimmie Barrett as the last car in line. I dial 12.01 and somehow go red by .048 and then the car slows to a 12.16. Jimmie is .029 and 3 thou under so I was toast even if I was green.
R1 Street. I dial 12.08 thinking the last run was a fluke and just split the difference. I am .067 on the tree and run 12.11 when my opponent rolls the beams.
R2 Pro I dial a 8.43 and plan to hold as my opponent is dialed 7.28 I am not confident in my lights so I want to be able to cover a bad one. Well my light of .125 says I should be holding a tenth my opponent is .034 and comes around me. I park and am still 4 under to his 1 above. Looks like I’ll be needing a buyback.  I keep reverting to my old spot and in this car it doesn’t work. I would like to deep stage but they will not hold the tree and the way the brakes are on this car I can’t do it quick enough. 
R2 Sportsman I decide that trying to hit the same spot isn’t working so I make the decision to go deep. I dial up and guess at a 12.22 and my opponent is 10.37   As I pull am getting close to the stage beams this is also the first run I have an “observer” watching me through my windows. I don’t hear what he says but I hear the starter respond with “I’ve already watched him.” So obviously they think I’m cheating. I guess they don’t pay attention that this is the first round I deep stage. I think it is funny and go back to staging. I am .010 to my opponents .122 and kill some et and get the win running 12.34 while taking .045 Looking at my 330 I was running about 12.28
R2 Street is 6 minutes later and my “observer” is still there. I dial up to a 12.29 and go .022 red and one above to my opponents .209 and one tenth under. Looks like I need to buyback again. Seems I’ve typed that a lot this year. Glad I pushed the tree so hard. I don’t want to make excuses but I wasn’t quite as focused I should have been when the guy was standing about two feet back of my driver’s door.
R3 Pro I have to run the same guy that beat me in round 2. I dial honest at 8.38 and he is dialed a 7.29 which is what he just ran. I let go what I feel like is way early only to be .057 but I actually have the advantage to his .091 I think he is coming around me so I rip it. He gets there by .009 but is .037 under while I am dead on 7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOYmbWGQqpU&feature=plcp
R3 Sportsman I dial 12.29 to my opponents 8.00 I am .045 and run it out to a 12.286 after he is .079 red.
R3 Street. I leave the 12.29 dial but fully expect to be able to run quicker as it has only been 6 minutes since my last run. I have to run the same guy I just went red too as he is the bye car but there are only 4 of us left. I tell myself do not red light as he was just .200 and broke out by a tenth. He does dial down to what he just ran a 10.76 Apparently my spot is ingrained in me bc my legs don’t listen to my head. I tell myself not to red light and then I go .023 He is .103 red so I run it out to a 12.210
R4 Pro I have to run the mustang that is second in points. 1st in point is Jimmie Barrett and I am driving his wife’s car so I feel like I need to win this to pay my dues for the ride. I dial 8.37 which I think to be very safe as my opponent is quick at a 6.27 I leave way early and think “oh no that is red” yet my green light comes on and I am .021. My opponent is red and I run it out to an 8.40
R4 Sportsman and there are 4 of us left. I dial 12.26 and go .035 and 2 above as my opponent is .127 red and 3 tenths over.
R4 Street is the final and I have to run Lonnie Sinclair in his Firebird. I have run Lonnie 2 times tonight, once in a time shot and once in the shootout. My lights against him were .0000 and .006 so I hope I can repeat that performance. I dial 12.26 to his 8.85. I leave with an .018 and lift when I see his red light on. He is .032 red and runs dead on 7
R5 Pro There are 5 of us left. Jimmie runs in front of me and wins so I know he is in the semis and since he has a bye and the other winner is taking a bye this round I know I will have the bye to the final if I can win. I was dreaming of maybe an all Barrett car final but then I woke up. Well I didn’t wake up until after I launched as I was .085 to my opponents .046 He took .080 stripe to be dead on 5 I wish I wouldn’t have been late or going 3 over. If the car or I would have performed I think we would have broke him out. To make it even better they only pay semis here so I couldn’t get Jimmie or Hillary some money. I red light the shoot out away and then snoozed here.
R5 Sportsman I have to run Wayne Parsons and he has been on a tear. I know he was just .004 to take out Jimmie in the semis. I drill it and go .014 red and lift to end my night. Wayne is .019 and breaks out 3 lifting so perhaps I could have broke him out but who knows. I knew I couldn’t be late so I can live with the red.
                Now is when the fun begins. I walk up to the second floor of the tower to get my money and the tech inspector is there. He says to me “you got that box in that thing?” I think he is joking and say “yeah right.” He responds with “you got away with it this time but not next time.” I ask are you serious and he says yes. Right then one of the track managers says we had trouble with it last year. Some background I have an obdII scanner I plug into my car. It will clear codes and show data and that is it. I use it for the temp gauge on it. It is no different than having a racepak dash as it reads the sensors and shows the info to the drivers. I don’t use it going down the track but I leave it hooked up as it takes two minutes to reconnect and I am lazy. Last year the old tech guy they had said I couldn’t use it. I showed him what it was and he then said it was legal but asked if I wouldn’t use it bc people were bitching. I unhooked it every run and still won.   I have been there two weeks before this one this year and been in 3 finals before the two I was in tonight. So back to the present. I then said lets go look at it now and the tech guy said “it’s legal in sportsman but not street.” The only different rules in street according Centralillinoisdragway.com are Street (No E.T. cap, licensed vehicles, D.O.T. stamped street tires, complete exhaust system required. CID track points only, no street class at E.T. Bracket Finals).
I can’t really see how I’m breaking these rules. Also I leave it lying out in the console so that isn’t very smart cheating.  I don’t really care if I can use it as I don’t need it on the track but I will not stand for being called a cheater. I pushed the checks and trophy back and told them to keep it because I’m not fing coming back and I won’t without an apology first. What is really dumb if they thought I was cheating and wanted to declare the scanner illegal why did they let me win and were still going to pay me first place money. I am not driving almost 200 miles to go to a track that runs a slow, inefficient program that only pays back to the semis and then calls me a cheater. Sportsman pays $225 and Street pays $60 so I don’t think it would make much since to go there to cheat and break even on the night. I race the Prizm for fun and competition and that is no fun. I did get home at 5:30 am so that made it a whole lot better.
$60 on eBay and you too can dominate in a Prizm, they’ll never see it coming
$6162 beginning balance - $155 entries - $56 gas = $5951
                This weekend brought one of my favorite races, The World Super Pro Challenge at the Mid Michigan Motorplex in Stanton Michigan. This race is smoothly ran and has a great payout for a low entry fee. They do have two rounds of buybacks but I feel that is fair due to the low entry fee of $500 which gets you into a 10k on Thursday, 10k on Friday, a 50k on Saturday and another 5K on Sunday. I have also enjoyed success here in our previous 3 trips with a couple of semifinal appearances, a mystery gamblers win, and a quarter final finish in the fifty. Also the temperature is usually cooler than home which gives a nice break to the summer heat. They also run door cars separate which adds more fun to the race in my opinion.  The only thing I don’t like is the 600 mile one way trip from my home. 
We took off on Wed afternoon and planned to drive to Michigan City and the Blue Chip Casino where we would play poker for a little while. I bought in for the maximum of $200 in the $1-$2 blinds No Limit game and bluffed off half my stack in short order. I nursed the $80 stack as a challenge to myself to get even. No one was splashing money around so I didn’t feel the need to reload just yet. Plus playing short stacked allowed me to play extra aggressive and pick off some dead money. Too bad I took a bad beat which put me down to $20. I was getting up to reload when the following hand was dealt. I was given pocket fours. There was a raise to $6 with four callers so I shipped it to gamble. I get called in four spots, hit a four on the turn and now had $100. Over the next two hours I turned that into $230 and cashed out at 2am for a tiny $30 profit but it sure beats the $200 deficit I was staring at. We drive about an hour to the hotel to stay for the night but unfortunately it takes us 2 hours. Why does it take two hours? Well it seems that Michigan is in what is known as the Eastern Time zone so there clocks don’t match ours. I hear its legit but for some reason we never remember this. So a 4 am bedtime and 7 am awake time is what it’s going to be.
We get up early and arrive at the track just as time runs are beginning. I have elected to race the Cavalier and Dragster but limit my buybacks as to not completely bury myself as well as to save money for some gambler action. Jason begins to check the valve lash on the dragster when there it is a broken spring. Thrash #1 of the weekend begins. Racing Jason Lynch had a spare spring and a tool to fix it. The only problem was every time you would compress the spring it would pull the spring off center and the keeper wouldn’t go it. Johnny Labbous Jr., who was our pit neighbor, says give me a shot at it, and within about 2.4 seconds its fixed. After this is fixed I only have time for one time run in the dragster. With 1.140 delay I go .009 and 4.825 @ 142.92. I get two shots in the roadster and with 1.130 delay go .015 5.840 and .019 and 5.851.
R1 Roadster (1.129 Right) I dial 5.87 to my opponent’s 6.14 I tree him .019 to .031 and proceed to take .032 strip to break out. My 330 was identical to the thou so if it is backhalfing the same I only killed 3 thou which I find hard to believe. Remember I wasn’t going to buy back as much since I had the double entry but I am tempted. I will wait and see how the dragster goes if I lose in it also then I will buyback in one.
R1 Dragster (1.140 Right) I have to run Randy Folk which is really a good draw out of the other 226 entries here. I dial 4.84 as I am pretty sure that Randy will be spot dropping. He is dialed 4.86 and when we leave it looked like I left first. At the 330 mark I am .065 ahead so the drop doesn’t matter as I kill plenty and take a “very safe” .039 to be 3 above. 
R2 Roadster. I know I said I wasn’t buying back that much but now I’m tempted. I decide to let fate decide and flip for it. It comes up no and this time I listened and didn’t buyback. When we were deciding whether to go to the Ten tuck race it came up no 3 times straight and we didn’t listen. Yeah we got rained out.
R2 Dragster I draw a 4.62 dragster. Before the run the guy with him is acting like something is wrong in the water box but then he proceeds to rip off a monster burnout. I dial 4.82 honest as my last 330 was only .001 from my time shot and now it is 6pm. I leave with a .011 and I never look for my opponent until I’m in high gear. I look after it shifts and I don’t see him. I decide to take another look and verify and the car makes quick move (the right lane here has a groove which will grab you and whip you some) then when I get over that and look again and realize he is not there we are late in the run. I shut it off and kill 10 mph but am only 2 hundredths over and take 8.44 stripe. I’m sure that looked smart from the stands.   I did pick up .004 to the 330 so I may actually have been on a 4.81 pass.
R3 Dragster I have to run a 5.02 car and dial 4.82 I’m going to let the club do the work and keep the pretty much honest dial. I am .011 and they are .038. I take .016 to be dead on 8 while they are .003 under. The 330 was now 3.098 which is .007 quicker than my time run so I am probably still going 4.81.
R4 Dragster and I have to run Randy Folk again. I dial 4.82 to his 4.86 I have him on the tree .018 to .026 and then he drops me on my big fat head and feeds me a buffet of stripe, .031, to which I only kill 3 mph to be .006 under. My 330 says I’m only going 4.815 all out yet I run 4.814 lifting. I thought it may be back halving better but I haven’t made a full pull since time trials. What is really dumb is that I should have known he was going to drop at the 330 I am already a few thou ahead. When I get back Jason tells me we are both in the mystery gamblers. Which is a race in which the scoreboards are off and you don’t get a time slip until the whole race is over.
Mystery TT Roadster I don’t know what they did to the tree this round but it came on quick. I was .044 and ran 5.843. The tree wasn’t just me as Jason was .042 and Troy Williams Jr. thought it was quick also as his light started with a 1.
R1 I run another door car dialed in at 6.01 and I dial 5.85 I am .019 to his .050 and kill a ton to be dead on 3 to his dead on 0. Looking at my time trial I was going a high 5.83
R2 I have to run Tom Dauber. I know he can lay down a run. Did you see Edmond and him run in the Super Comp final Gainesville in 2011? I dial 5.85 which is a mistake but I don’t know it as I didn’t get a time slip from my last run and normally my cars slow down a touch at night. I leave with a .024 and Tom leaves with a .015 on his 5.05 dial. I take very little .004 to break out more and end my Thursday one round short of the money.
Friday comes and the first thing I do is remove the windshield in the Cavalier. When the dew was out and the lights on I couldn’t see through it at all. I couldn’t find the groove and had a terrible time seeing even driving back in the pits. Time trials go well in the dragster I am .018 and run 4.817 and the roadster goes .010 and 5.830 at 117. Looks like my mph was up the night before.
R1 Dragster 1.135 delay I dial 4.82 to my opponent’s 5.07 I dial up just slightly as it is now 2 pm and it is getting hotter. We both are .022 and I take .006 to be dead on 7 for the win while they are .013 over. My 330 was .002 quicker so there goes the slow down theory.
R1 Roadster 1.120 I dial 5.84 to my guy’s 5.73 I am .006 to his .004 and he gets there first by .004 yet I win the double break out by .002. I think some of my et is incorrect as it says I went 121.01 mph. I think my nose might be playing tricks with me as my 330 is .002 slower than my time run. This is the first run I also wore the duck bill which is a helmet we made for up here 4 years ago. It has another shield screwed to the bottom of the first one. It is covered in tape which acts as a hat bill when it’s opened as the sun is brutal up here. Unfortunately with no windshield in the roadster the wind pulls it open and blocks half my view. I’ll have to remember to hold it down next time.
R2 Dragster I have to run a dragster dialed 4.59 I elect to be a wimp and dial honest at 4.81 I do feel better when I hear someone tell the driver “that way you don’t have to worry about lifting” which makes me think not only is he honest but he dialed down.   I am .011 to his .028 and lift a few mph to be dead on 5 while taking .028 I tried Jason’s helmet with the bottom of the shield tapped but the wind pulls it up some making it hard to see. So the last two runs I couldn’t hardly see and won both of them. Maybe this is telling me to trust the cars. My 330 is identical to the last run.
R2 Roadster 1.122 delay. I dial 5.84 to my opponents 6.47 I am .022 and he is .037 as the sun it bad right now. I block it from above with the duck bill but it still shines off the scoop. I take .012 to be dead on 2 to his one thou under.  My 330 says I am going 5.82
R3 Dragster and I have Randy Folk again and once again he ends my day in the dragster. He is .008 and takes .00 before I park to beat my .014 and one above run which was going to be a high dead on run. Nice job Randal but quit pulling up next to me before you give me a complex.
R3 Roadster 1.120 I am running Stephanie Beyer and her roadster. I get lucky and she forgets to crossover. I am .014 and run 5.810 at 120.67 There is that big mph again. The 330 says I should be running a high 5.81 However the sixty and 330 are 1 hundredth quicker so I don’t really know what happened except it is after 6pm and cooling off.
R4 Roadster 1.120 I haven’t changed my delay bc the sun is setting and I think this is going to be tight. I just don’t think I’ve been hitting it and I usually won’t roll any out in that case. I dial honest 5.81 to my guy’s 5.62 I am .004 to his .010 but can tell I’m in trouble as he is eating me up early. Right when I think I’m done I see him ripping and his nose bouncing and he lets me get there by .0006 while I run 5.830 What a lucky break as I went from my quickest run of the day to my slowest. 
R5 Roadster 1.123 and I have to run Wes May. He dials 6.94 and bumps me over to the right lane for the first time today. I dial 5.82 and as I hear the pairs before us there is a lot of breakouts. Wes drills me to the tree .006 to my .023   and I have a lot of ground to make up. I believe he drops right at the end and I rip it once not bc I know I’m getting there but bc of all the breakouts. I get lucky again and win by .0002 On the way back I think this might be my day after two lucky breaks like the last two rounds. Plus I think back to Tulsa where I was dead on zero twice in a row. 
R6 Roadster 1.121 I have to run Brian Fold in his Camaro roadster. I dial 5.82 to his 5.09 My last two 330’s were 3.729 and 3.725 so I’m going to trust the car. I am .009 to his .017 I am on the rug all the way to the stripe to go dead on 4 while he is ripping .008 behind to be dead on 4. The 330 was 3.725 so I’m starting to feel really good. 
R7  Roadster 1.123 I have to run Andy Schmall. He dialed 6.49 and I was 5.82 When we were both prestaged I looked over to get my spot and he looked over to get his. Right then I knew he may not be dialed honest. I was dialed honest and there was nothing I could do about it. He treed me .010 to my .016 and started cutting me in early. I dropped right at the end to be dead on 3 while he was 5 thou under taking only .016 from out in front. My 330 was 3.723 so I may have been going under a thou or two. Andy did a good job but just came up on the wrong end of the thousandths.
R8 Roadster 1.123 I have to run Mia Tedesco with 5 cars remaining. We agree to do a 10% kickback as the losers of this round get $500 I go with the 5.82 even though a may be going a few thou under. She dials a 4.92 When I leave I think my light is good, .007, and at about 500 ft I am certain she can’t catch me. I give it a few big rips and run dead on 5 taking .022 while she is under. My 330 was 3.720
R9 Roadster Semifinal 1.123 and I have to run Scotty Batyik and his mustang dialed in at 6.99 I am .011 to his .014 and kill some taking .012 to be dead on 8 while he is .017 over. My 330 was 3.720. Scotty and I also agreed to kick back 10%.
R10 Roadster Final 1.123 I am paired with Chris Bear and we agree to a $7000 and $6000 split. I dial 5.82 to his 4.74 I just seen him go 4.747 on his bye run. I am .009 and halfway down the track when I actually believe my win light is on. I saw it way before that but I double and triple checked it before I shut off. Chris was .001 red and dead on with a 2. I picked up to the 330 and was on a breakout pass.
Now back to the staging lanes for the high rollers race that a couple of buddies put me in. I have to run the last car in line. Yes he is a 4.81 dialed door car. Yes he is spraying. Yes he has only made one run this weekend bc he just got here after driving over 20 hours straight and yes I sucked and he whipped me. I was .034 and dead 9 out of it while he was .018 and dead on 5 out of it. Sorry boys about pissing away your money.
Hard to complain about my night unless you’re my high rollers backers. The car was pretty good and I got a ton of breaks and I got to park in my favorite parking spot. See below.
Now it is time for the big day. The $50,000 to win main event the one everyone wants to win. The day started off with incident as the water pump went out on the dragster while warming it up. I guess I shouldn’t have made it sleep outside the last two nights. Although I can’t really complain as this winter on the dyno the pump didn’t work and when it was hit with a wrench sparks came out of it and it started working and has worked every since then. It took us awhile to locate a replacement motor and get it fixed so I didn’t even get a time trial in it. Although it isn’t a bid deal as Jason made a run and from that I have a good idea of what is going on. The roadster was .010 with 1.120 delay and ran 5.866 which is quite a bit slower but seems ok as today is much hotter.
R1 Roadster 1.120 Left I dial 5.88 as I am concerned it could slow down. My opponent, who happens to be female and my record against Ladies isn’t the best, is dialed 6.25. I have the tree .015 to .038 and kill a bunch to go 3 over while taking .018. My 330 actually improved .011 to 3.729 so I would guess to be on a 5.85 pass. 
R1 Dragster 1.135 Left I dial 4.83 off Jason’s run as he was slower and I believe this to be pretty much honest. I am running a dragster dialed in at 5.06 who happens to be my second female opponent in a row. I leave and have the tree .019 to .046 and cute at the stripe and take .001 out of it 5 mph. I run 4.853 while she is .003 under. I got real close to a mistake there although it wouldn’t have cost me as she was under.
R2 Roadster 1.121 Left and I have to run Stephanie Beyer my 3rd female opponent in a row and apparently 3 is a charm for the ladies as she costs me $300 at the buyback window. I dialed 5.86 which I think to be slightly holding to her 5.56. I have the tree .005 to .013 but she is dead on with a 2 and I am .015 above all out which comes up .005 short. My 330 fell off to 3.744 which is .004 slower than my time shot but .015 slower than rd 1. 
R2 Dragster 1.135 Left and I dial 4.83 which I think to be able to run or quicker as is almost 6pm. I have to run Brian Folk who is dialed in at 4.82. I am .020 and he is .019 and at half track I am .001 behind and he runs more speed. It looks like he is going to take the stripe as he is already killing et so I park and go dead on 7 down 8mph to beat is .004 under. He still only took .012 so he was doing a great job at the stripe. I got lucky as the dragster’s 330 picked up to a 3.107 I don’t think he expected me to park as I am almost always straight up against him.
R3 Roadster 1.124 Left and I dial 5.86 to my opponents 6.09 I know it just ran an 87 but it much later now and the dragster picked up so I expect this car too also. Plus I am kind of chalking up the last run to a bad run and not putting much faith in it. I am .009 after my opponent is 4 red and leg it out to a 5.856 with a 330 3.732.
R3 Dragster 1.135 Left and I have to run Steve Schneider from around home. He dialed in at 4.83 and I dial 4.82. I pick this dial as I think I can go 4.81 or 4.82 and I want to give him the first chance to red light. He turns it .001 red while I am .011 and run 4.810 with a 330 of 3.101.
R4 Roadster 1.124 I dial 5.86 to my opponents 7.18 I am .009 to his .017 and take .014 stripe killing 5 mph to be .014 over while he is .020 over. My 330 was 3.738 so the car was going dead on.
R4 Dragster 1.131 Right and I have to run Stephen McCrory who had beat Jason earlier with a .000 light. He is dialed 5.30 and I dial 4.82 and plan to spot drop. I got bumped to the right but have run many runs in the right so I am ok with it. I turn it red by a thou and run it out to a 4.809 to give Jason info as he is still in the race. Champ would have been tough as he put down a nice .011 dead on 1 run.
R5 Roadster 1.123 Left and I dial 5.86 against Mickey Bloomfield’s 6.61 dialed Camaro. Mickey ends my day in dominating fashion as he shows me what triple zero take two thou looks like and just laughs at my .014 dead on 3 run. 
That ends me for the weekend but I don’t really think I have the right to complain as I won a race, left with some money and won a Happy Gilmore check. We head for home tonight as it is a 12 hour drive. Our plan is to drive back to the same casino play for a while and then sleep before finishing our drive on Sunday. The casino went well as I targeted some people who I though didn’t need their money anymore and came out with a $240 profit. We left there at 4am and ran into a problem. There were some big boat races there and were not any rooms for the next two hours. Well there was one which was the first one we checked but at $150 and a 10am checkout we said no thanks. This was a bad choice as by 6:20 am we gave up and slept in the truck in a computer lot. After out 1hr and 20 min nap we finished the drive home filthy and tired. Yeah I’d do it again.
$5951 begging balance - $1000 entries - $450 buyback - $250 mystery gamblers - $300 gas - $125 hotel + $5600 winnings ($7000 - $700 X 2(10% deals)) = $9426

Read part 2 of Jeremy's blog here.

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