MASTERCAM AA/FD TO BREATHE DEEP AT INDY by Cole Coonce, NR Mojo Wire 6/08/00, Los Angeles, CA--After claiming Runner-up of the "B" Main at the Goodguys 41st March Meet and then taking a small hiatus from the front-engined fueler wars, the ...
MASTERCAM AA/FD TO BREATHE DEEP AT INDY
by Cole Coonce, NR Mojo Wire
6/08/00, Los Angeles, CA--After claiming Runner-up of the "B" Main at the Goodguys 41st March Meet and then taking a small hiatus from the front-engined fueler wars, the Mastercam AA/Fuel Dragster Race Team is preparing to breathe deeply this weekend at the Goodguys Hot Rod Nat'ls at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Although the team was happy with the overall results from the March Meet, they felt the tune-up had nosed over after qualifying. During their hiatus they have found the culprit--the supercharger. "We are going to be running a new blower," confirms team member Tom "Slick" Shelar. "The old one that we ran at the March Meet had the rotors in backwards and that had us chasing the tune-up all weekend. So we have a new blower and have redone the fuel system to put it back were it belongs."
So: They can compress more air. But the team wonders about the quality of that air... Although preliminary reports call for relatively moderate temperatures throughout the weekend, the weather at Indy is notoriouly fickle and potentially grueling. Look for the Mastercam bunch to compensate for any possible fluctuations in atmospheric conditions by any means available. As driver "Techno Tim" Gibson relates, "With the Goodguys' (rules), the blower overdrive is spec so you have to tune with compression ratios, timing, and nitro percentage."
This will be Gibson's second outing with a front-engined nitro-burning dragster and he has a hankering to learn more about the dynamics of these racecars. "Since forward vision is a problem with a front engine fueler," he says, "getting used to the feel of the car is important." Gibson, who also shoes the Bill Miller Engineering Top Fueler at select NHRA races, is continuing to gather data on the nuances of the different driving styles of his two rides, not the least of which is the difference between carbon brakes utilized by the BME rear-engined car and the steel brakes employed by the Mastercam front-engined model. "Clutch drag and the brake pressure required to hold the car on the starting line are important in staging. In other words, the more seat time the better," he said.
(For more on "Techno Tim" contrasting the particulars of driving front-engine retro fuelers versus contemporary rear-engined diggers, visit http://www.nitronic.com/topfueldiary/ )
Goodguys Hot Rod Nat'ls Schedule:
*Friday June 9th: Top Fuel Qualifying Session: 2:00 pm
*Saturday, June 10th: Top Fuel Qualifying Sessions: 11 am & 3 pm
*Sunday, June 11th: Top Fuel eliminations: 10 am