Once we warmed up the engine and checked for any obvious fluid leaks, Dalton prepared to take the first hot laps. I had already taken the car out to bed the brake pads. Using a method described in the last issue, I ran at moderate speed and applied light braking for six cycles with a 10-second period between each cycle. Then I increased speed to do six more cycles at medium braking pressure with the same 10-second gap between cycles. Then I went faster and did six hard braking cycles with the gaps in between, followed by a few laps of cool down with no brakes and a complete cool down in the pits
While getting the brakes ready, I got a chance to feel the car at close-to-maximum midturn speeds on the last cycles and it felt very neutral in handling. Once Dalton was able to get it up to full speed, we would have a better idea of how balanced it was.
As Dalton straps on his belts and HANS Device, we need to thank Butler Built seats for providing the modern seat with the latest in head-and-shoulder supports. Safe-Quip supplied the seatbelts. The cockpit was a bit cramped for Dalton and I, as we are both over 6 feet tall, but there was sufficient room. He insists on using a three-layer driving suit, quality fireproof gloves and shoes, and a new racing-rated helmet.
The float levels had to be adjusted on our C&S Holley carburetor. After a little fooling around with fuel delivery and jetting (5th image), our acceleration smoothed out, and we were able to get up to full speed.
The car was found to be very neutral, once we discovered that the right-rear tire was going flat on the initial run and corrected that. In Turns 1 and 2, he ran the bottom on every lap. We ran short and long runs, and the car stayed neutral and consistent. Dalton has run his ASA South series car here, and we were a full 400 pounds heavier than that car and still only a half-second off his ASA car's times. I think we are going to be very competitive. For the race, we can lose 100 pounds by virtue of running a crate motor.
Below, we see the car running through Turns 3 and 4 with the same results. The left-side tires are on the stripe. The blacker surface (tire marks) on the left is the wide apron at OSW, where just the day before a TV crew was shooting drifting scenes for the series Hogan Knows Best with the Hulkster in attendance.
All in all, we were very satisfied with the results of this project. The next step is to take the car to North Carolina and Tri-County Motor Speedway for a practice session and a race on Friday night. Then, it is on to Hickory Motor Speedway for a Saturday night race. We'll let you know how that goes. Stay tuned.
We want to thank the following companies who helped make our project NASCAR Late Model Stock Car possible. Without their generous support, we could not have accomplished all of this. The project has provided us with a lot of valuable information to use for our tech articles as well as a means to put into action all of the advice we have offered over the years. We will continue to race and test this car on tracks in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. We will keep you up-to-date on all the developments as they happen.