Wins First Jr. Fuel Title
Kol Johnson got
his first ever Jr. Fuel - B win in convincing fashion. Johnson
dominated the field setting low ET every round and winning the
final with a 7.44 to Alan Hull's 7.64.
"The Big Wheel" Jr
Fueler sits in the staging lanes prior to eliminations.
By virtue of
being low qualifier, Johnson got a first round single setting
low ET again with a 7.363 @ 181.32. In round two (above) he slapped
a huge holeshot on Bud Hammer (0.425 to a 0.528) and never looked
back for the 7.468 @ 178.07 win. Hammer gave up and shut down
to a 9.635 @ 88.66.
The Final was just a good old
drag race. Both cars left together but Johnson drove away on
the top end to card a 7.442 @ 177.72 to beat Alan Hull's game
7.647 @ 167.55.
The crew, Marc
McCormick, Ron "Big Yohns" Johnson and shoe, Kol celebrate
on the top end after their first event win.
It's time to
tow the car back for those ever popular Winners Circle photos!
Hand Race Report
by Big Yohns
Our last race
was March Meet and we were runner up to Enriquez with a 7:378-182.22
to their 7:35 at 178 or so, Kol red lit.
We went into this race intending to use the same tune-up, making
only minor adjustment for weather. The air was better than at
MM so we added a little fuel. On our first qualification run,
the car misbehaved and Kol took it down track but ran in the
12:s. The trans-brake switch was faulty and replaced with one
from Frank Parks. Yes, I ordered a spare from him also. There
were only 7 cars there in the "B" field (OEM 23 degree
valve angle heads) so we were in, but 7th.
Second run was better, but we hadn't learned anything from the
first run. We had a 7:48 and 178 mph, top speed and low e.t.
so far, so we were now #1 qualifier. We had a 1:099 60 foot and
a 3:070 330 foot, which are both typical but not great. The tire
tracks looked funky at the launch so we took some air out of
the tires for the next run.
We studied our data and decided we had over reacted to the air
and went back to our baseline tune-up (same as the 7:37-181 at
MM). The car responded and in the first round Sunday, which was
a bye run for us, we got a 7:363 and 181.32. This was the best
e.t. that we have ever run, regardless of who was driving and
we are 80 pounds heavier than when Mendy was in the old car.
We slowed to a 1.110 60 foot but the 330 foot was better at 3:037.
So, the car didn't launch great but it ran okay from 60 foot
on. Kol had a 4:43 light. We let some more air out of the tires.
We could also see, studying the data in our RacePak and by looking
at the plugs, that we were still on the rich side. For the second
run, against Bud Hammer, we put in a smaller main jet, but I
failed to modify spring pressure in the high speed enough and
so the car moved okay off the line with a 1:092. But it laid
down at about 7000 rpm so the 330 foot dropped to 3:054 and at
the end of the track we got a 7:468 and 178.07. Hammer had about
a 7:80 and Kol had a better light than him also at 4:25, so we
were in the finals against Allen Hull, a 7:60 car.
Between rounds we were discussing what to do. We knew we were
off, on the fuel in the upper ranges, 7000 and above, so we devised
a plan. We were maybe 10 minutes from being called up, but thought
we had more time. Then Enriquez called to see how we were doing.
I told him what we had done and what we planned to do. He said
to just go back to what we knew had worked before and stop trying
to fine tune when we didn't need to. I decided he was right and
so we were just starting to put everything back like it had been
first round and Sally showed up to call us into staging.
In about five minutes we rejetted, refueled and fired up and
did a real brief realtime and went up to staging. In the rush
to rejet, I put to much shim in the high speed and so it had
at least 5 lbs. too much fuel pressure and didn't release until
way too high rpm. We could have spent another 10 minutes easily
in the pits without being late and maybe not made the mistake.
However, it cost us nothing but maybe a little speed and e.t.
Kol had another 4:25 light (Hull gated him with a risky 4:13)
but Kol passed him quickly and we won. We had our best 60 foot,
a 1:082 and a 330 foot time of 3:03. E.T. was 7:44 and mph was
177. It was just dead fat down track but we know what to do to
put it back.
I know there's a 7:20 in this thing and I want it. Only 2 cars
have ever run quicker than us with 23 degree heads, McKray and
Chrisman. Both have been about 7:28. McKray with a old set of
Dart 2's that he has hogged out as a "life passion"
and Chrisman with the same type of ProAction heads that we have.
I think it will run 185 also.
We have refined our technique for balancing left to right side
throttle shafts and also front to back temps. On one run at the
finish line the right bank 2-4-6-8 were within 10 degrees and
the left bank 1-3-5-7 were within about 15 degrees and left to
right averages were within 20 degrees. That's about as close
as possible, but we're still working on that.
It would probably run the high 7:20s and 185 just as it is, if
we were at minimum weight but we're 55-60 pounds heavy. We're
not going to get much lighter with this motor so we'll have to
do it with tune-up and it's easy to see it's there. if we can
just keep our s--t together and the weather is good, maybe at
Pomona in late June. It's an evening race so we could have a
chance to meet the goals. We won't have the performance advantage
we enjoyed this race though. McKray will be there so we'll have
at least one car to face who can run better than we have to date
and you just never know who else's going to come out of the weeds.
So that's the story. The RacePak computer is absolutely invaluable
to anyone (like me) without years of experience like McKray and
Chrisman have. Kol has gotten a firm grip on his job, three non-lifting
passes with 4:43, 4:25 and 4:25 reaction times is as good as
it gets. Nothing is hurt, the motor and driveline is all happy-happy.
We'll probably change the oil, but that's it as far as between
race maintenance. This is the way I was led to believe it would
be in Junior Fuel. I'm happy too.