Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fernley, End of day 1

Back out on the track again, I started to find my groove.

I realized 2 things however. 1. my mirrors sucked. 2. I still had not learned the track. Ug.

Soon however an even bigger obstacle presented itself. In the form of a mini-van painted up into the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine.

The MGB was still not revving like it should, which meant we ended up stuck in 3rd gear exiting the corners and lugging the motor, because in second gear the car fell flat on it's face. The result was not having enough umph to pass the slower cars if I got stuck behind them, and this is how I got introduced to "Mystery Machine", a Chrysler mini-van painted up as Scooby Doo's wagon.

I could have passed them by getting my speed up and trying to out-corner them, if only they were not driving all over the road. Several times I tried to get by, only to be run over each time I came along side. I found myself getting more and more frustrated. There was no line I could take that this thing would not cross. It was not long before a big pack of cars were backed up behind them and I decided to drop back to get out of harm's way and see how others handled getting around the waggy-wagon. They all had the same trouble, and it was amusing to watch the others dart left and right trying to get around.

Then the fast cars caught up, and all hell broke loose. I did not see what happened, but there was suddenly a bunch of tire smoke and cars bunched together in real close quarters. Whatever the outcome, the minivan finally moved over and stayed to the side letting everyone pass...

...Except me.


#$%&^$*^&$^$%#@$ why you sonofa #^%^$&@@$%$#@4!!!!! Round and round we went together, and every time I got a run on Scooby he cut me off.

This was starting to get personal, and I was out for blood. Next thing I knew it was the end of day 1 and the cars filed off the track and back into the pits, and we were still running! Not only that, but the day's standings were posted, and we were in 49th position! FAR OUT!! Exactly half pack, half were ahead of us, and half were behind. Damned good for our first day.

After the race we began to BBQ and rotate the tires while I bitched about Scooby and a wild driver from the Chevy pickup, and set around making a game plan for day two. The front tires were nearly bald on the outer edges, which surprised me. As we were munching on burgers and deliberating if we should mess with the car or leave it alone, someone said "Hey look, the car is drooling".


Sure enough, the big tongue on the front of the car was drooling and a little puddle of water was starting to collect underneath.

On closer inspection there was a pinhole in one of the radiator tubes spewing a tiny but steady stream onto the backside of the tongue, making it drool. I pulled an old mountain engineering fix out of my bag of tricks and pinched the tube closed with a pair of pliers, but the leak tripled in size. Oops. I found the tube was completely rotten and so were all the others! I touched them with my fingertips and within minutes the entire bottom of the radiator had crumbled apart!

"Well gang, it looks like I get to change out the radiator".

"Where are you going to find another radiator?" Gargamel asked. I disappeared into "Brownie, the World's Greatest Crappy Old RV" and came out with a magic spare radiator.

"Where did you get that!?!?" asked my wife-who-has-her-own-MG-spouse.

Uh... I borrowed it? :)

MY wife slapped her forehead as everyone laughed, and I got down to swapping parts. Then I disconnected the rear sway-bar hoping to eliminate some of our under-steer. MGBs do not like rear sway bars. They were only introduced in the last few years of production in an attempt to correct some of the evils of being jacked up by the then-new government mandated ride height laws. Our car was lowered back to normal so it had to come off, and I hoped this would help with our heavy push condition.

We left Brownie at the track and loaded up the wife's smart car for the trip to the hotel.
BUT, it turns out Gargamel's Miata had no passenger seat, and the seating area was full of gear, so we had to find another way to get "Hey-WOW-man" Chong back to the hotel. We stuffed him in the back of the smart car, curled up like a circus bear with our travel bags piled on top of him.

By the time we got to the hotel we nearly had to use a crowbar to get him back out. People stopped and stared, jaws dropped in disbelief.

That night I had recurring dreams, and woke up in the middle of the night screaming "AAAHH!! PANDA!!"

Next: Fernley, we finished!

Previous: Goin for Broken #2, Saturday afternoon.

From the VERY beginning of this mess: The Hook

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