Transmission Gremlin Forces DNQ for Matter's Season Opener BAYTOWN, Texas -- The Top Alcohol Funny Car Team of Nancy Matter had hoped for better results at the 21st Annual running of the O'Reilly Spring Nationals in Baytown this past weekend....
Transmission Gremlin Forces DNQ for Matter's Season Opener
BAYTOWN, Texas -- The Top Alcohol Funny Car Team of Nancy Matter had hoped for better results at the 21st Annual running of the O'Reilly Spring Nationals in Baytown this past weekend. The team, armed with a complete new arsenal of parts, was plagued with transmission issues for each pass keeping them from qualifying within the 16-car field.
"We made some significant changes in the fuel system prior to going into this race", stated Matter. "On the first pass, when the car launched, it shook and bounced around a bit but I opted to drive through it. When I shifted, there was a delay in the 1-2 shift which resulted in the motor hitting the rev limiter forcing me to quickly lift to avoid any carnage."
"We serviced the car, double and triple checked everything and it appeared we were good to go for the second qualifier. Unfortnately, we experienced the same result at the same location on the track. At that point, we knew we'd already lost two mid to high 5.60 passes which would have qualified us well within the top half of the field."
The team worked many hours into the morning going through everything with a fine tooth comb for Saturday's third and final attempt. During the warm up, plagued with even more problems, they were forced to pull the bottom end, valve train and one head, change some rods and pistons, and reassemble everything. Since the Top Alcohol Dragsters had already been pulled to the lanes, Matter's team pulled together and completed all the necessary repairs in a mere 17 minutes, during which Matter suited up and was already strapped in the car and getting into the lanes with three pairs of dragsters left to run.
"Even though we suffered the same shifting problem during that third run which forced our DNQ, I was so proud of the guys for doing what they did", lamented Matter. "If there was ever an award for a Sportsman Team Mechanic Award, our team earned it that morning. It was quite amazing to witness. It would not have been possible if we had to remove the manifold and supercharger, but in this case, even though we fixed that issue, we still missed the boat somewhere in the drive train."
Matter's team has since disassembled everything at their shop in Austin, Texas, since the race. After numerous trouble shooting phone calls with Mike at B & J and Jackie Stidham, there is nothing visibly or physically wrong that can be found inside the drive train or transmission. The team is going to rebuild everything and try again next week at the second of six Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division 4 Event at Ennis, Texas.