Notes From The 'Plex (1 Viewer)

twostep

Nitro Member
I made my annual trek to the Texas Motorplex yesterday, gearhead grandson in tow who had never so much as attended a drag race of any kind. Broke his butt in good. Anyway, we were initially dismayed by reports of 90 degrees ambient and 130 degree track temps for round 1 but the cars actually handled it well - all but the Top Fuelers who struggled quite a bit. One of the first passes right after the Pros kicked off at 3pm was Angelle Sampey's 6.72/202 pass which broke both ends of the track record so despite the heat the air must have been pretty good.

Well-run show; by 6 it was a lot more pleasant. They spent about an hour running the Top Alcohol stuff, then brought out Top Fuel Harley. Those things are cool as hell. Then Pro Mod, and they all put on a 5.70-5.80 show. I thought most of those cars had switched over to ProChargers but many of them were running Roots and screws (didn't know those were legal but I guess so?). Then the Pros again at 8...we walked down to the finish line and the boy got to watch Matt Hagen blow by at 335mph, setting a new track ET record in the process.

Had it not been for the jet car exhibition that he dearly wanted to see we would have left after the first 3 Top Fuel oildowns, one right after the other and there were plenty more to come, highlighted by Leah Pruitt's engine-destroying kaboomer towards the end. A round that should have taken 20 minutes took nearly 2 hours. Conditions were stellar for the fuel cars, tailwind and all, and everybody apparently pushed the envelope to the limit. There was talk of a potential 3.60/340 pass from Brittney but it wasn't to be. She did set the track speed record and came within a whisker of winning that 300mph 660' money but the car was soft at the hit and she wound up with a third-place 3.689.

So we watched the wheelstanding PT Cruiser (fun), the Vegas showgirl with the fire stick act (dumb) and finally the jets which is what my grandson remembers about the race as much as anything else. Long ol' day; the event lasted until 11pm and then a 3 hour drive home. I wouldn't have missed it for anything.
 
I made my annual trek to the Texas Motorplex yesterday, gearhead grandson in tow who had never so much as attended a drag race of any kind. Broke his butt in good. Anyway, we were initially dismayed by reports of 90 degrees ambient and 130 degree track temps for round 1 but the cars actually handled it well - all but the Top Fuelers who struggled quite a bit. One of the first passes right after the Pros kicked off at 3pm was Angelle Sampey's 6.72/202 pass which broke both ends of the track record so despite the heat the air must have been pretty good.

Well-run show; by 6 it was a lot more pleasant. They spent about an hour running the Top Alcohol stuff, then brought out Top Fuel Harley. Those things are cool as hell. Then Pro Mod, and they all put on a 5.70-5.80 show. I thought most of those cars had switched over to ProChargers but many of them were running Roots and screws (didn't know those were legal but I guess so?). Then the Pros again at 8...we walked down to the finish line and the boy got to watch Matt Hagen blow by at 335mph, setting a new track ET record in the process.

Had it not been for the jet car exhibition that he dearly wanted to see we would have left after the first 3 Top Fuel oildowns, one right after the other and there were plenty more to come, highlighted by Leah Pruitt's engine-destroying kaboomer towards the end. A round that should have taken 20 minutes took nearly 2 hours. Conditions were stellar for the fuel cars, tailwind and all, and everybody apparently pushed the envelope to the limit. There was talk of a potential 3.60/340 pass from Brittney but it wasn't to be. She did set the track speed record and came within a whisker of winning that 300mph 660' money but the car was soft at the hit and she wound up with a third-place 3.689.

So we watched the wheelstanding PT Cruiser (fun), the Vegas showgirl with the fire stick act (dumb) and finally the jets which is what my grandson remembers about the race as much as anything else. Long ol' day; the event lasted until 11pm and then a 3 hour drive home. I wouldn't have missed it for anything.
Carl, how old is your grandson?
 
Carl, how old is your grandson?
29 and he could pass for Matt Hagen's younger brother, stout build and all. We're really close; I personally raised him by myself in his first couple of years thanks to a sperm donor father and a mother that was off in another state with her meth head boyfriend (she's since cleaned up). He loves cars, loves to watch drag racing on television but until he moved back down here from Arkansas he never had the opportunity to attend an event, let alone a national one. He was so appreciative and it was a joy to have him with me. It's always fun to bring a rank newbie to a national event anyway...sensory overload for them....

Of note - it was nice to see Alan Prusiensky qualify his Pro Stock Avenger #13 in the field. That car runs an actual Dodge Hemi engine, not a DRCE.
 
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We got fed up and left early to beat the crowd after Leah blew up Friday. Those filler cars should have not been allowed to make a pass until they can demonstrate they can make 2 runs in a row without stopping on the track or leaking oil. Mitch King is a joke. Rest of weekend was pretty good.
 
sure seemed like a narrow groove in both lanes yesterday? seemed like there were a lot of cars moving all over yesterday.
 
really sucks what happened to clay in rnd. 1. the turn around they have made is remarkable. i'm happy for the whole team. yesterday must have been a big letdown.
parts failure? sure looked they lost fire to entire rt. side of motor. almost like one of mags quit working?
 
really sucks what happened to clay in rnd. 1. the turn around they have made is remarkable. i'm happy for the whole team. yesterday must have been a big letdown.
parts failure? sure looked they lost fire to entire rt. side of motor. almost like one of mags quit working?
Clay posted this earlier today. Total bummer to see that sort of damage. On the other hand, happy for Kebin Kinsley, great guy.
 

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what are racers saying about the sportsman finals run all the way through on saturday? i'm thinking that was a good move.
who wouldn't want to pack up and head out by saturday evening, instead of waiting another day just to make 1 or 2 passes?, and then if bad weather,
you mite get pushed to monday?, or to next event?
 
We got fed up and left early to beat the crowd after Leah blew up Friday. Those filler cars should have not been allowed to make a pass until they can demonstrate they can make 2 runs in a row without stopping on the track or leaking oil. Mitch King is a joke. Rest of weekend was pretty good.

I'm sorry Mike, but I totally disagree with your comment about "filler cars". I'm not sure if you are including Leah in this category, but you did include Mitch King. King has been racing for many years and his cars won the 2008 (with Spencer Massey driving) and 2009 (with Del Cox Jr. driving) IHRA world championships so he is no "joke". It is totally unfair to disrespect racers competing in the top class in the sport like you have. Many of these racers scrimp and save and prepare the best they can to race, and they certainly don't intend to oil the track or cause delays. Early in his career, John Force was a "leaker", but kept trying and look what he became. Where would he be if you had your way ?? Personally, I LOVE watching the underdogs competing at this level and really appreciate their efforts.
Show some respect .
 
I sure wouldn't call them 'filler cars' but rather 'less-funded smaller teams'. And they were indeed the source for most of the Q2 oildowns. My opinion is that with Friday night's conditions everyone figured it would take a best-ever effort to even qualify - there were 21 cars competing, if I recall - and those operating on limited budgets either didn't have the knowledge it takes to push a 3.90 car to a 3.70 pace in order to get in the show or didn't have the parts capable of withstanding a 3.70 pace - or a combination of both. In other words, they likely pushed the envelope too far just to get in and the envelope split open. As it turned out, the nighttime numbers weren't much different from any other qualifying session in decent conditions and halfway through the session, the bump was still something like 4.10. Five passes in the high 3.60s are great runs but they were expecting more. A lot more.

But that's how little teams learn. Too bad it's such an expensive learning process. I'd rather not have sat through nearly 2 hours just to run one round but we made the best of it. After all, it didn't affect us nearly as much as those who suffered the oildowns.

Leah? A catastrophic failure that just happens sometimes even to the best of teams and I didn't agree with her blaming her team, which in so many words is exactly what she did. Even one of the announcers ( Beckman) kept saying "Most likely a mechanical failure, not due to the tune...."
 
sure seemed like a narrow groove in both lanes yesterday? seemed like there were a lot of cars moving all over yesterday.
The groove at the Texas Motorplex were narrow the day it opened for business in 1986. It's always been like that and if you drift out of it you'll likely lose the race - or worse. Especially for the higher powered doorslammers that lack downforce.
 
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