Louisville Mike Buckley report

>From: Mike Buckley <Arcamike@AOL.COM> Remember our long time team motto: "Never say die" New team motto( ...

>From: Mike Buckley <Arcamike@AOL.COM>

Remember our long time team motto: "Never say die"

New team motto(#58 I think): "Louisville is our nemice, it will be beaten"

The weekend started off as it always does when we drive through Indianapolis, wind and driving rain. Storm warnings and flood waters. About ten miles north of Louisville, it stops raining.

The day at the track begins with rain. We unload our stuff, set up the canopy and begin cleanup of the car that weathered the trip south through the rain on the open trailer.

The weather finally cleared and the track was dry enough to practice. The car did not feel good on the first set of tires that were basically junk to practice on and get the car warmed up. The next set of tires felt really good and we began some serious practice. On the second practice round on the good tires, I lost a cylinder and gently brought the car back to the pit. Shut off the motor and let the crew take a look. When I restarted, there was no oil pressure. The pump (external belt driven) was locked up. We pushed the car back to the canopy and went to work removing the pump and trying to determine what was going on.

The Oberg (return filter to the tank from the pump) had aluminum in it. We thought we lost a piston and I told the guys not to bother taking the pump apart. I looked at the oberg again and in the inlet side I found broken needle bearings. When back and told the guys to continue with the pump (remember motto #1). We then began looking for a bad rocker arm(contains needle bearings) but didn't find any that were bad but found one that was real loose and had a damaged pushrod. Someone then remembered that the roller lifters had needle bearings. We took off the intake manifold, removed the rev kit springs on the bad cylinder and pulled up the lifter. Yup, it was broke. The cam didn't look bad but the lifter had some big pieces missing and of course, all of the needle bearings. Two of my guys were still rebuilding the pump, we got some spare lifters from the parts truck and reassembled the intake manifold. We then borrowed a cherry picker and lifted the motor out of the mounts far enough to remove the pan and clean out all of the broken lifter pieces. Removed the scavenge hoses and flushed the lines. The pump was put back together, and reinstalled with the now clean pan. Remember team motto #1.

We had missed qualifying and were now scrambling to finish our repair before the race. We had taken off all the rockers and the stud girdles looking for damage and now had to readjust all of the valve lash and reset the timing because the distributer was removed. We were doing this as the pit equipment(ours included) was being carted out onto the infield for the race. We fired the car, adjusted the timing and got the car to the starting line just before they wanted to introduce the drivers. I parked the car in the last starting position, walked up to the front, was introduced as the driver who couldn't qualify due to engine problems, then walked back to the car as the other drivers were introduced. I was a mess, dirty, oily, but we were gonna race and that was that.

The race started off well enough, the motor was strong, the car was handling well (suprised?) and we moved up quickly. I started in 27th spot. There were two cautions that we missed right away and moved around several cars were in 12th spot by lap 20. After the second caution the field was spread out in single file and that meant we started almost a full corner behind the leader. Bowsher was coming around to lap and I was trying to get around the car in front in order to avoid being lapped. I smelled that burnt oil smell that is like a rear end. Checked the gauges, OK, hope its the guy in front of me. Bowshers coming, lets get on it, all of the sudden. Bang, Bang and the motor goes out the bottom, seizes up, and locks up the rear end putting me into a full slide. Kept it on the bottom and didn't get hit. Radioed in that the motor was now junk. Finished in 20th position. Remember team motto #58.

I took a couple days off from the car and now am ready to pull that piece of ---- out and pull it apart if it will come apart. Our next race is not until the 31st at Kil Kare and the next day at Flat Rock. We hope to have something together for these two races. Neither track requires a "super" motor so we'll see what we can throw together in the next couple weeks. Think we need another team motto (#59?): "Find money to build spare motor"

Mike Buckley ARCA #48 http://www.fdt.net/~crest/buckley.htm

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Series ARCA
Drivers Mike Buckley