The following is a weekend blog from the HTP/Motec Manufacturers Cup, June 20-21 by Chris Hand crewman Dick Boxell. Boxwell writes;
The crew for this race consisted of crew chief Sharon Hand, Steve Legendre and his son , Dick Boxell, Ronnie Geeslin and Dennis Bradley.
We all arrive Saturday morning and set up the Redneck Express mobile compound.
Chris has all three bullets ready. Robert E Lee is in the frame rails with Galahad and Merlin for backup.
With the two-day format we have three qualifiers on Saturday.
Saturday Qualifying Round 1.
It is already hot and getting hotter by the hour.
We get the bike ready for the run and fire it up, sounds good for as hot and muggy it is.
We are paired with Dave Vantine.
We take the right lane, Steve and Don Plesser go down track as Sharon runs the starter. We fire the bike and bring it through the water box and Chris hits the throttle to start the burnout. It boils up and a good burnout to break in the new MT slick, Chris burns out to where the reverser is waiting on him and the.
Chris pre-stages, Sharon turns on the Racepak, Tire and track temps are taken, Chris stages, the bike attempts to leave the starting line but instantly the rear tire goes up in smoke clearing all the teeth off the blower belt.
Hmm guess the Valdosta clutch setup is not going to work here in HOT land.
We get the bike back and leak down shows all cylinders good to go, so we change out the blower belt and ready for the next pass.
Saturday Qualifying round 2.
We change the clutch setup and Chris re-jets the Nitro distribution. We finish getting the bike ready and fire it in the pit and the bike and sounds good.
The call goes out and we tow to the staging lanes.
We are in the left lane against Larry McBride.
Chris stages, the bike leaves, gets a little farther down track this time but drops a cylinder and spits the blower belt off again.
We get the bike back and leak down is good on all cylinders. We replace all the belts in preparation for qualifier 3
Saturday Qualifying round 3.
Chris re-jets the Nitro distribution, to refine the fuel mixture. We finish getting the bike ready and fire it in the pits and it barks good.
Call goes out and we tow to the staging lanes.
We are in the right left lane against Dave Vantine.
Chris starts the burnout, but because I stopped him too early, the tire spins too freely, and when Chris backs it down to catch it the tire grabs and runs through the clutch , NOT good.
Chris stages, the bike leaves, flames 8 to 10 feet off the rear of the bike then about 80 feet, BOOM! The blower gets blown off the intakes, Chris is engulfed in a fire ball as this happens. The left side of the cylinder block is missing when they return. The bike comes back without belt one still intact.
We analyze the damage and Chris decides to get the bike ready for tomorrow, so we set to changing the engine Galahad while Chris swaps out the injector hat and drive snout to the new blower as he don’t want to chance possibly hurting the one that was on the bike any further. We wrap up about 4am.
Race day Sunday
We return to the track to finish up any details from the previous work.
We get ready and fire the bike to get ready for first round and the bike wants to idle way too high. The bike is put back on the stand and Chris finds and corrects the issue. We re-fire the bike as the call is made for Top Fuel but another issue rears its head. The decision is made to tell them we are not going to make first round. This is the first time we have not made a first round call that I know of.
After the disappointment of missing round 1 we look at the bike again and another change is made, and we re-fire the bike, and it sounds GREAT, hurts the ears and everything.
We offer our apologies for not making the call for first round.
We would like to thank Memphis International Raceway, crews, and staff , and the Manufacturers that pulled together to put on this race.
Action photo by – Larry Burgey
We would like to recognize and thank our sponsors.
Sam Wills/Racing Innovations
PR Factory Store
World Wide Bearings
BME connecting rods
Red Line Oil
Belt Drives Limited