SONOMA, Calif. - NHRA Federal Mogul Dragster driver Kevin Brown hasn't had the summer of racing he had hoped for. After nearly setting a new national record in April with a stellar 5.31 second run, the season looked full of promise. Instead, it...
SONOMA, Calif. - NHRA Federal Mogul Dragster driver Kevin Brown hasn't had the summer of racing he had hoped for. After nearly setting a new national record in April with a stellar 5.31 second run, the season looked full of promise. Instead, it has been filled with enough parts breakage and headaches to fill an Excedrin commercial. After fighting the same problems last weekend in Seattle, Brown and team believe they have found the culprit and hope to return to their early season form during this weekend's Fram-Autolite Nationals at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
Brown's main problem this year has been blowing head gaskets during the run. After consulting with fellow A/Fuel racer David Baca, the class' quickest and fastest driver, they believe they have a handle on the problem. The Clearfield, Utah, resident feels that if they can put that problem behind them, strong runs are just around the corner.
"Our problems really started back at the second Mission race," said Brown. "Going into Seattle, we figured we had the tune-up set, and we did, but other problems have jumped up and bit us in the backside. As it turns out, our problem was in the cylinder o-ring, and we thought it was a problem with our tune-up. We got some help from some of Baca's boys, they did some machine work for me. We think the head gasket situation is a done deal. Hopefully we can get back to where we can tune this thing to run some .40's and .50's, and maybe even pop off a .30. This is a humbling game. One day you're running .30's, the next day you're lost."
Brown ran a Division 7 race here last month, where he lost in the second round to eventual winner Brandon Bernstein. He hopes to use the data he collected here last time to help him dial in his combination this weekend.
"We'll be going back into the log book for a tune-up," explained Brown. "We're always looking at the tune-up paperwork, from one run to the next.
Even on the 'botched' runs, we analyze the data. One of the runs in Seattle, I was out of the throttle at 3.6 seconds into the run, when it ran out of power because it torched the head, and coasted through to a 5.70. The car has an awesome run in it. We haven't been able to tune the car because it has been wanting to blow the heads off. I don't think the tune-up itself is an issue, I think we have a handle on it. I think if we can keep everything happy and all eight lit, we'll be back in the hunt."
Qualifying begins on Friday for the Federal Mogul Dragsters with sessions at 1 and 5:30 p.m. Final qualifying will be ran noon Saturday, with first round following at 3:30 p.m. Final eliminations will conclude the event on Sunday. Stay tuned to InsideFMRacing.com for the latest news from the world of Federal Mogul racing.