APD Member Spotlight Blog (August): Jeremy McKague (Part 2)
The following weekend was the CDRA race at Ozark Raceway Park. I haven’t been here in a few years but I seem to have real good luck here. Jason wasn’t racing this weekend and I didn’t want to drive nearly 3 hours out of the way to get the race cars so I called Curt to see if he wanted to take the Nova racing this weekend. I had just raced this car a few weeks ago at the Jeg’s Summer Door Car Shootout. We had taken the Nova to the CDRA a few years back at Ozark and I had won both days in no electronics. Corey, Curt’s son, who normally drives couldn’t go this weekend so it was just Curt and I. I entered super pro, which pays $2500 to win both days, and no electronics, which pays $1000 to win both day. My $250 check seems more than reasonable considering I was racing two classes per day for two days and decent payout. There are 1st or 2nd round buybacks which we will try to avoid as much as possible. My two no e time trials were .596 (2000 rpm) and 6.463 in the left and .537 (2300rpm) and 6.456 in the right. Super pro I made both runs with 1.100 in the box and went .542 and 6.422 in the left and .548 and 6.408 in the right. The sun was right in my face as I made these runs. The CDRA does lane choice a little different for eliminations. The 1st round the quicker of the two cars runs the right lane. The 2nd round the quicker of the two cars runs the left lane and it alternates the rest of the night so this makes dialing the car interesting if the lanes are different.
R1 FB I dial 6.44 against a 9.52 street mustang. I dial pretty conservative for two reasons. Number one is that he is slow and will be hard to judge the stripe and number two is the sun as went down and it is getting much cooler. I expect the track to come around as the nova has spun both runs. I don’t think it transfers weight well enough when foot braking. I watch my opponent leave and know it is bad so I drop back my rpm some. I don’t know how much as I didn’t look away from the tree I could just hear it. He is .694 and 1 above with a nine. While I am .567 and 5 over taking .096 out of it 10mph. Judging by the 330 I was going 6.42.
R1 SP 1.072 Left. I have to run 2010 CDRA champion Jeff Solomon in his 4.76 dialed dragster. I dial 6.39 as it is much cooler now. I also didn’t set up tight on the box as the two time trials were in the bright sun and now it is dark. I leave with a .509 and Jeff is .504 He goes by me for the 2 above win while I drop late and go 6.427 I am slow but looking at the slip I am only .001 slower to the 330 than my time trial. I am starting to think the left lane is slower. It was 2 slower in time trials but I just attributed that to the fact I run early in the left lane but now I am not so sure. One thing is for sure and that is I will need a $40 buyback.
R2 FB Left I dial 6.46 as I am not sure if the left lane is slower or not. My opponent is dialed 7.78 and almost tattoos me as he is .498 red and dead on 9. I see his red and think to drill it. When I leave I feel early but get my slip and see .509 and 6.42 The car repeated but I am lost on the tree. The car does not react as quick as it used to but it does have a different engine, converter, and tires on it so that could change something I guess.
R2 SP 1.072 Right. I dial a 6.40 against a 4.96 dragster. We are going with the theory the right lane is the quicker lane. I also take two out of my delay box but elect to put them back in as I was just .509 and it is now completely dark. This turns out to be a good decision as I am .500 and go 6.414 while taking .025 I was out of it 4 mph and it looks like I was going a mid to high 6.39 Which actually makes sense with our right lane is quicker theory and compared to my time trial in the right I am one hundredth quicker to the half track which seems reasonable given the condition.
R3 FB Left I dial 6.42 against Sonny West, who has about a billion CDRA checks hanging on the wall of his trailer and is dialed 6.24. Sonny is also the 2011 CDRA No Electronics champion. I go .559 and dead on 5 while Sonny is .489 red and one above. Definitely got lucky there.
R3 SP 1.077 Left I roll 5 in the box and dial up to a 6.41 even though I was going 6.39 last run. We are still going with the left lane is slow theory. My opponent who is also in a Nova is dialed in at a 5.79. I miss it a little but don’t bump and get treed .518 to .507 but the dial in saved me as I am dead on 4 on the wood while only getting there by .005 Theory looks good and the dial looked real good.
R4 FB Right 4th round winners get paid so this is a money round. I have local Larry Hunt Jr. He is dialed a 6.14 and I dial 6.41. We are both .510 on the tree but I lose some all the way down the track and my 3 over on the floor loses to his .022 over on the floor by .007 Don’t really know what happened with the run as I am only .002 slow in the 60ft. Ok Ok you caught me we were both .590 on the tree but mathematically it’s the same. I suck on the bottom.
R4 SP 1.074 Right lane I have to run Bobby Mount who I just seen dial up from a 6.30 to a 6.35 I think that he may be holding and I want to be able to run the number so I dial a 6.41. I also know not to take him lightly as I have seen him the super pro winners circle at I believe Topeka just recently. I am .510 to his .518 and at half track realize there is no way he can catch me. I give it a quick rip about 400 ft to bring him in and the some more ripping near the finish line to take .010 with him killing about 1mph. My 330 says I was running a 6.40 so the consistency seems ok.
R5 SP 1.075 Right Lane There are 9 cars left and I have to run Jimmy Vaughn. I have raced with Jimmy from the very first day I raced, way back in 1994 at Mid America Raceway in Wentzville MO. Jimmy let me drive his car one day in 1996 when my truck broke. It run mid 10’s and the fastest I had ever run was 14’s In the pro class I had to dial 12.00 I think so that was interesting. Somehow I ended up finishing with a runner up that day which led me to my first and only point’s championship. I have 2 second place finishes by less than a round in Super Pro at Gateway. Ask my wife why I lost one of those. Seriously who puts a wedding on a point’s day? The second one I lost to my good buddy Corey Landolt even though I was leading going into the last night and there was a 100% chance of rain. Jimmy is dialed in at a 6.80 to my 6.41. I was going a mid 6.40 last run and want to make sure I can run the number. I am .514 to his .516 and rip is several times and it is tight, tighter than I wanted it. Turns out I took .003 which apparently is a good thing considering I was dead on zero to his dead on 1. The 330 was within one thou so it looks like I was making another 6.40 run.
R6 SP 1.074 Left There are 5 cars remaining and I have to run Shane Rees who is one of the best around. I know it seems like I’m setting the box conservative but I still have that .500 in my head and I am sitting .502 off of it. I dial 6.42 which I assume to be able to run 6.41 in the “slow lane” but I don’t want to take any chances. Shane is dialed 7.03 and from watching him earlier he appears to be honest. Shane lays down a nice .509 and dead on 8 run but unfortunately for him I am .504 and dead on 9 taking .003. I ripped it a little early to try to clip him late as I was afraid he would drop me. 330 says I’m going a mid 6.40
R7 SP 1.070 3 cars remain and I have the bye run as the only car left to not have one. I elect to run the right lane as both of the other remaining competitors are quicker than me and in R8 the slower car goes to the right lane. I also elect to make a full pull as John Hogan won in front of me and from watching him all night he has been dialing honest so I see no need to try any tricks which means the final will be a package race. I go .503 and 6.412 and wish I would have saved that effort for the final.
R8 SP 1.076 Final round We decide to split the purse money $1650 and $1600 and run for $50 and the big check. I elect to set up a little conservative on the tree as I know John was .542 in the semis and .521 the round before. I hope that a high double O will get it done and don’t want to turn it red leaving first. I dial a 6.41 to his 4.81 and leave with a .510 while John is .526. I get a couple of rips in at the stripe and take .010 to be one above 1 while John is dead on 6. My 60ft was .002 slower while my 330 was .002 quicker so it looks like I could have been going a few thou under.
Bogacki motorsports t shirt got the job done the night before but I had to sport my unofficial sponsor shirt in the winner’s circle Tuffpaw.com
Sunday comes and I decide to sign up for points. I do this even though there is only one weekend left in the five weekend series after this one because they do a weekend point’s fund. Whoever scores the most points in this weekend receives some cash based on how many cars made the call in rd 1 both days. It cost me $25 but seemed like a good gamble considering I was in the lead and if you sign up before eliminations today you get your points from the night before. Time trials go ok except I can’t cut a light on the bottom. I seem to hit my spot but the car doesn’t react quickly and doesn’t seem to repeat well off the footbrake. In no e I go .572 and 6.45 in the left and in sp I go (1.072 plus one .010 bump) .492 and 6.393 in the right.
R1 FB. I am in the left and dial 6.45 against my 6.32 dialed opponent wheeling a corvette. I am .562 to his .637 and kill a bunch to be 6 above. My 330 picked up a hundredth and half so that causes some concern.
R1 SP 1.076 I have to run the left lane against Katie Peters in her ultra cool ford digger dialed in at 5.06. I dial 6.41 thinking that the left lane will still be slow like last night. I leave with a .511 and leg it out after she is red to a 6.397. Hmm? Maybe it isn’t slow today?
R2 FB and I have a tough customer in Bryan Walker. He has won about a billion cdra races and I know just two weeks ago won super pro here while racing on the bottom. I dial a 6.43 to his 6.44 I out sixty Bryan by .06 and out run him to the 330 by .05 but he has a ton of speed on me so I don’t like that we are even at half track. Bryan nailed me to the tree .533 to .571. He lifts and I park and he wins as we are both 2 over. Looks like I’ll be visiting the buyback window to hand over $30.
R2 SP 1.074 Right I dial 6.39 against Chris Sisco’s 5.77 dialed dragster. I do not like my dial as I see several in front of us over the dial. I am .507 to his .510 but can only muster a 6.413 Chris gets on the hose and sprays around me by .009 to be one above. Looks like the $30 buyback in no e has just become $70 for both classes.
R3 FB I dial 6.45 to my opponents 6.61 With the tree being blinded I forgot about him leaving right before me and the sound of his car froze me. I was .620 to his .517 and although it sounded like an excuse most of my light from the entire weekend wouldn’t have put me in this race as given up a tenth is hard to overcome.
R3 SP 1.074 I am in the left lane and I have to run Jeremy Maples. I dial a 6.41 to his 4.80. I am .510 with the help from one bump to his .515 and he comes around and I kill a hundredth to be one over and thankfully for me he is .003 under. My 330 slowed and it looked like I was only going 6.42.
R4 Sp 1.074 and I have to run the right lane against my buddy Dustin Schorr in his 4.90 dragster. I dial in a 6.42 and know I am done the second I let go of the button. So that is what they mean when they said they met the tree. I am .490 and honestly can’t believe it isn’t .450 and going one above while Dustin takes the free ride into round 5 with his .523 and one under lap.
I can’t complain about my weekend. Back to back weeks with a Happy Gilmore check. I had a lot of fun this weekend and they are paying me. What other hobby does that happen in? Also Carl Blanton the owner of Mo Kan Dragway and the manager of the CDRA contacted me and told me I won the weekend points fund for another $480. I can’t believe all the lucky breaks I keep getting. Every time I need a thou it goes my way. I ain’t complaining I just want to see that win light to keep shinning and for them to keep handing me the checks.
$9426 beginning balance - $250 entries - $110 buybacks - $55 hotel -$500 Curt’s share + $1650 winnings + $480 points money = $10,641
Let me leave you with my random thought of the month. In the George Jones and/or Blake Shelton song Old Red he says that he took Red to see his lady friend every night. That means he was walking the dog by himself outside of the prison. Why didn’t he just run away then? Why did he need the evil mastermind plan? Just run away before they realize they are letting you outside the fence to walk a dog. First person to explain this to me and I will send you a mystery prize. Hit me up on facebook with the answer or email me at email@example.com