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Author Topic:   Remember the first time.....
Eric Pattridge
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 48
posted December 18, 2004 05:22 AM  
Me and a buddy of mine from work (who doesnt know a lot about racing) were drinking a few beverages the other day. He asked me what it was like my first time out on the track. I had to think about it for awhile. I've done this two years now. But I thought this would be a good question for the offseason bench racing? What was it like your first time out on the track racing? I was nervous, had the butterflies, and everything. Just kept telling myself not to do anything stupid. I really dont remember much about those first few laps, exept the smile that hasnt worn off yet.

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 45
posted December 18, 2004 06:31 AM  
My first feature win was in my first year of racing that almost didnt happen. We were at a track north of us for the first time that year.The car was a 71 two door impala with a bone stock 400 motor.It was painted bright yellow with a black 1 on the door.After running the heat race that evening i came back into the pits and told the ole man that i couldnt go back out for the feature. My forearms hurt so much from the nervous tight grip i had on the steering wheel. But i couldnt resist and went back out any way. Started on the pole. I had to tell my self during the race to loosen up the grip on the steering wheel when i could or i knew i wouldnt make it. I kept it straight on the extremely ruff race track and won the race. Trophy and pic are still on shelf after about 15 years now.

Dirt Roller

Total posts: 9
posted December 20, 2004 12:57 PM  
my 1st time out was at hagarstown MD.
it was an enduro race I has a dart with a 340 in it,on the line up on the back strech,my exhaust pipe was pointed at my rear tire,and heated it to a blow out.i almost **** my pants!
I got the tire changed and came out on lap 3 on lap 7 I got turned side ways on the front stretch and hit the inside wall bounced back inti traffic got T-boned and turned the car was like slow-motion.

after the car stopped on its roof,I got out of the belts and tried to go through the side window ,but my helmet was hitting,then someone yelled get that ciggerett outta here this thing is going to blow up!

I couldn't get that thing off fast enough! I've been hooked ever since,though I can't afford it ,I am building a 56 chevy stockcar!!!

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 537
posted December 20, 2004 06:18 PM  
My first night out started after we finished building the car earlier that afternoon.
We were late to the track. I think were there in time for the drivers meeting.
While I was in the meeting, my crew lettered the car while it was still on the trailer.

I suited up and went out for hot laps. As I let out of the gas for the first turn, someone hit me in the back. I got all excited thinking I had to get out of this guys way. I spun out every single lap.

My whole family was there and everyone just knew I was going to be a mad man in the heat and probably get hurt.

In the heat I started 12th and finished 11th never spinning once.

In the feature I started 21st and placed 14th after the car got hot. Never spun then either.

We did not have to touch the car the first night. I think the only adjustment we made was air pressure.

We were very excited that nothing fell off or came apart.

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 81
posted December 21, 2004 09:22 AM  
Heh heh ... when building the car, had to mess with the gas pedal rod because we were running a hydraulic linkage on the clutch -- pull cylinder went through the firewall right below the pedal. Real nice engineering on our part.

Hot lapped, turned about 3800. Couldn't figure it out. Same in the heat. We thought we had 6.08 final and would pull at least mid to high 5s, had no idea what was wrong. Went out for consy, same thing. Got pi$$ed, tromped the pedal -- took off like a rocket.

What had happened was when I messed with the rod for the pedal, it made it so it had to be pressed on the very top of the pedal to get full throttle. I had my foot resting where it'd hit the pedal somewhere from the bottom to middle. That's since been fixed.

Welp, passed two or three cars, then heard CLUNK. Water temp went straight up. Pulled off. Turns out the crank pulley came clean off (bonehead me forgot to tighten it back up the week before when getting ready).

But it was cool. Never forget it. Following week, with a secure pulley and a functioning throttle, started on the pole of the heat. Was in 5th by the backstretch. (LOOK! A NEW GUY WITH A STRAIGHT-FENDERED CAR! *BOOM* *BANG* *SLAM*) Things have improved some since that, but man was it fun. Still is. Hoping for many more seasons of it.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 570
posted December 22, 2004 12:13 PM  
I watched a friend build a 1964 chevelle into a winner and decided that was for me, problem was, I was only 13 at the time. Fortunatly my parents said they would sign a waiver so I could race. (A year later) I bought a 1967 chevelle that had been burned up in a fire. ( I started when I was 14)
My brother in law and brother finished it about an hour before the first race. My brother in law decided he should drive it rather than me (maybe he was trying to save me from getting hurt)
He Wrecked it
The next week, my brother drove it (he was trying to save me too) as he passed for a spot, someone splashed him good with mud from a puddle that had formed at the bottom of the track. the third week I drove it and did very well thank you, and didn't wreck it.
That was in 1979 at the old Thunder Road Speedway in Helena Montana.
I have raced full time or part time ever since, but am taking some well deserved time off to raise a son and build a new car.
Its been fun, I have never got tired of the grind, and boy it sure was cheaper back then, and no fire suits either, boy were we living in denial back then.

[This message has been edited by uforacing51 (edited December 22, 2004).]

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