Tag Archives: Chase for the Sprint Cup

Wow what a race on Wreck Free Sunday

The Superman car (sponsored by the movie Superman vs Batman) won the Sprint Cup race in Fontana today, and I got to watch the whole race because I was having an allergy attack and stayed home from church all day. I have been chugging coffee and tea and “other” beverages all day because if I stay hydrated I can see and talk, but as soon as I start drying out a little bit it’s like a gauze curtain has been dropped across my eyes. I mean it isn’t anything more than bothersome, certainly not so much as uncomfortable, just annoying. But I still don’t want to go to church in that condition. Weather.com reports that my discomfort is due to high tree sex activity in my area.

One of the things I did with my off time yesterday besides watching the 12 Hours of Sebring was to mock up the kit I’m building the mini Sprint-T from as an unchanneled body on top of the frame instead of the way the kit builds it with the frame covered by the body. I haven’t hung the wheels and axles on it yet, but the carbs on the Street Engine from the kit are just even with the top of the firewall, while the entire rear frame clears the bottom of the shortened pickup box that covers where the gas tank and battery would be on the 1:1 car. So if the kit was 1:1 I could put a slightly larger gas tank in the car.
Mock up frame, engine and unchanneled body
Looks good, doesn’t it? I’m strongly thinking about doing the finished model like this
And while I’m thinking about it, this is $29 in raw stock, tax, and shipping fees.
.060 round rod, .060 square rod, and .010 flat sheet raw stock
There is enough flat sheet to make several frames, and a couple monocoque tubs, too. I have been thinking about that, using one of the engine kits to make a 1/25 V8 powered SCCA A/Mod Solo racer. The tricky part would be making room for real legs between the engine and the rear axle and keeping the weight and polar moments both down and maximizing downforce without a wing, and then putting the wing over the top like a sprint car or Supermodified. But that’s for later, after the mini Sprint-T is finished. As it is now I need to get 4 sets of Wide 5 wheels to make the wheels for the 3 cars (one car will have the race tires mounted, which will take 2 sets of wheels spliced together to fit the tire). Or 3 sets and turning some bar stock aluminum into wheel shells and the rims off of one set of wheels so the centers could be glued into the shells. Basically I would be doing a model version of this and this.

Speaking of wheels, I’m still debating the vendor for the wheels. I don’t have the skills to make a plug for making a mold to cast a set of wheels on my own, so those I have to buy. I can do things like turn raw stock into a reasonable replica of a straight axle with steering arms, 4 bar, and coilover brackets, because those are basically 2D cuts and glue them together to make them a 3D part. But I have never been any good at sculptures, complex 3D shapes are outside my skill sets even before I got my TBI. I might be able to do a simple shape with little surface detail, but a Wide 5 hub in scale with everything in the right place is way outta my pay grade. The best looking wheels I have seen so far are the W_1 from Ron Coon and the asawheel from VCG Resins. Either one will look great with the tires I have or the tires I want to get.

And these allergies are making me tired, so I’m wrapping this up.

PSA, Opus

Happy Daytona Day, on a Wreck-Free Sunday

Congratulations to Denny Hamlin on his exciting win of the Daytona 500. This was Toyota’s first Daytona 500 win, so double thumbs up for them. This win puts Denny first in line for the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup.

The congregation, at least the part of it that meets for morning service, has tasked me with helping the homeless people who used to hang out near our church. Specifically I was tasked with making living on our little plot of land easier for them with a suggested porta-pottie and garbage can for their use. I checked and as a church we don’t have the resources to support that kind of thing. Renting a portable outhouse runs into the $ hundreds every month. We might be able to afford the small charge for an extra garbage can so they don’t wind up leaving piles of trash on the property (like they did the last time we allowed homeless to live on property), but that would be the extent of it. Unless we get a whole lot more money coming in I don’t see anything we could do as a church besides asking GPD to not harass homeless people on property at night. But I will bring the subject up with the Board in 2 weeks. One thing I see as likely would be getting local shelters to send us a couple of people who won’t live in a shelter and letting them stay at night on our property on a regular basis. There would have to be documents made on some kind of waterproof paper that whoever we gave permission to would be able to present to GPD as proof that they were there by permission. I shall have to cogitate upon this further.

Something else I have been cogitating upon was how to build a scale Tri-Y header for the Mini Sprint-T. I had decided to run such a thing on the 1:1 version many months ago because that configuration would move the torque curve higher in the lower end of the RPM range and work better for the racing this car was being built for. If I was trying to make it optimal for SCCA Solo racing, and just barely drivable to get from one race to another between races I would build it with a Powerglide transmission and a semi-manual valve body that would allow manually shifting between low and high gear, and swap out the transfer gears in the QC between a lower gear for racing, and a very tall gear for driving between races. This would take almost 100 pounds out of the car, at the risk of making it really lazy on the street and run as fast as 110 MPH in low gear. I mean with the calculated race gear the car would hit redline at 150+ MPH in top gear but would only go 60 MPH in low. The downside would be cruising above 3000 RPM on the Interstate between races without changing gears in the rear end, just swap out the race tires for the street tires and go. That is clearly not a good option. So the way to make the car race and livable on the street and the highway is to go with the heavier 4 speed slushbox and accept the weight penalty, or accept a car that might as well not have a high gear on the street. But anyway, the Tri-Y header would let the car accelerate harder at speeds below the torque peak, and get better cruise economy, and now I have to figure out how to make them in scale for the Mini Sprint-T.

And it’s getting late and this was entirely too much technobabble about cars in a bike blog.

PSA, Opus

Biting my nails watching the last race in the Chase on a Wreck-Free Sunday

I have a few minutes to watch TV before I have to go back to church for evening services. They had a rain delay while I was at church celebrating one of our younger member’s 14th birthday with way too much chocolate cake.

Now I just got home to see Kyle Busch on stage as the Sprint Cup champion, his first and Toyota’s first. There are a bunch of people wearing shirts that say “ChaMps” with the “M” being a red M&M candy. That he was even in the chase was amazing after the races he missed due to that Xfinity series race crash in Daytona where he broke both legs (OK one leg and the foot on the other leg, that’s still both legs out of commission), and was out for the first 11 races of the season. I’m really happy for both Kyle and Toyota, but a bit sad for Martin Truex Jr. running with the Furniture Row team out of Denver CO, instead of the normal Charlotte NC area, and a single-car team against other teams running 3 or 4 cars.

As they are expounding upon on TV this makes two championships for Busch this weekend as he won the truck series owner’s championship on Friday night. And now the “hat dance” has been replaced with the “t-shirt tease” as team members shimmy in and out of sponsor t-shirts instead of just swapping out ball caps. It’s a little slower than the hat dance, but the pictures look a lot better for the sponsor as the logos on the shirts are much more readable than they would be on ball caps and there are no other sponsors’ logos competing for eyeballs in your publicity pictures.

On other fronts I’m still trying to get the Sprint-T built for as little money possible and still get close to or meet my performance goals. Of the available engines the one with the lowest rated power and cost is the 4.6 liter Ford out of the Crown Vic police car at a rated 250 HP, and also the 2nd heaviest at just under 630 pounds equipped. The smallest V8 weighs almost as much as the largest engine on the list, the 502 in3 Chevy big block, by less than 20 pounds. This will result in a car that weighs in at roughly 1750 pounds with enough fuel on board to make a day’s runs on a Goodguys or SCCA autocross. But the good thing is that motor can be replaced by the 5.0 liter Aluminator without changing the frame in any way, reducing the all-up weight to just over 1600 pounds and 430+ HP.

Going next up the cost chain is a crate Chevy small-block 350 at roughly 330 HP and 575 pounds equipped. The 350/350 engine/transmission combination will make the Sprint-T weigh in at 1700 pounds +/-. The streetable combinations that can be upgraded from this are almost unlimited, as there are dozens of head, cam, and intake combinations that will both reduce weight and increase power with a possible power output of 500 HP at 490 pounds equipped. This will result in a car weight of 1600 to 1650 pounds depending on the head, block, and intake combination. This is potentially the fastest car of the pack, but also potentially the most expensive as the aluminum blocks and stroker cranks are “not cheap”.

Moving higher on the cost chain comes the LS series GM crate engines, with the LS3 based engines coming in at 415 pounds delivered, or 465 equipped (and a slightly heavier transmission), and up to 525 HP with a warranty, as much as 600 HP without a warranty. This also is potentially the fastest combination of the bunch, with also the potential of getting the best highway gas mileage because of the sophisticated engine management system developed by GM factory engineers to beat tight CAFE standards while also meeting strict EPA emissions standards.

Still higher on the cost ladder is the GM big-block crate engine series, with more than 640 pounds equipped, and potential power outputs of more than 1000 HP that are less streetable as power increases because of the difficulty of preventing tires from breaking traction. With the iron block and heads and the transmission that can handle the power, we are looking at almost 1800 pounds of Sprint-T, meaning the lowest amount of overall grip of any of the potential engine/transmission combinations. Also these are the highest cost base engines (before power upgrades) of the list. So the only way I’m putting a big block in the car is if I get a screaming deal on the engine and transmission, like free or “I’ll pay you to take this away”. Since the chances of that happening are only slightly better than I had of surviving my wreck I don’t think there will be a big-block in the car.

And now I have run out of words to share. I mean sure I could type some more but I would just be running on at the fingers. So rather than do that, I’m just going to sign off and hit publish.

PSA, Opus

My sermon was a big hit on a Wreck-Free Sunday

The sermon published in the last post went over well today, mostly because of an audible I pulled in the middle, opening up the floor to discussion after the paragraph full of questions before the offering. I tried to steer the discussion away from reminiscing about dead people repeatedly, but there were some of those that were pertinent to the subject. Overall the service went well with everybody paying attention to the videos during the service.

The Sprint Cup race out of Phoenix had a huge rain delay, they should have been finished before I left for evening service, but they were just starting engines when I got back from evening service. They are running through a series of green-flag pit stops so I’ll wait a few to say who’s leading. And after all the stops it looks like Harvick got out in front again, just past the halfway point.

While I’m waiting on the Sprint Cup race to be decided, I’m still working on the Sprint-T and the Mini Sprint-T. Like I posted last week, I found a place that does 3D printing for $50 a month and the cost of filament needed to make the parts, for as many as you want. I just have to get a 3D file for the Wilwood Starlight5 hub (the one with the 8 bolt drive flange) for the printer to use so I’ll have the hubs I want for the real car on the model. Anyone have a .dwg file for the outside of that hub?

And NASCAR just declared the race official after yet another rain delay, Junior won, and they have 3 Chevys and one Toyota in the Final 4. There was a chance for 2 Chevys and 2 Toyotas, but Carl Edwards was not far enough in front of Martin Truax. Nothing against Truax, in fact I really wanted him to still be in the Chase in Homestead. I just didn’t want to see that many Chevys in the Final 4, and I didn’t want to have no Fords in the Chase. If I had my ‘druthers, I would have had 1 Chevy, one Ford, and 2 Toyotas in the Chase next week only because Dodge dropped out of Cup racing a couple of years ago and Toyota has never won a Cup Manufacturer’s Championship or Driver’s Cup.

And it’s getting late so I’m putting this to bed and then me.

PSA, Opus

We have new family members on a Wreck-Free Sunday

We picked up two new members of the family this morning.

Meet Clint.


And this is Clyde.

Clint and Clyde are rescue kittens hand-raised after their feral momma cat either abandoned them or got killed. They are litterbox trained and almost totally on solid food now and very playful but also very affectionate. They are currently getting used to their new home so they are sleeping behind the washing machine. They were trying to hide behind the toilet when I took the picture.

I found a picture of a professionally built version of one of the kits I want to use to build the Mini Sprint-T.

Whoops, hit the wrong button there. Everything from here on down is edit after posting.

Anywho, the kit has what I consider a “placeholder” engine (430 cu. in. Lincoln from the early ’60s) and basically I’m only getting it for the body, which I’m going to use to pull a mold for a vacu-formed shell to put on a scratch-built chassis with the “right” engine. I might use the kit front and rear axles for the Mini Sprint-T with the rear especially appropriate.

Oh yeah, there was a barn-burner of a race going on down the road a bit from WoaB World HQ in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. Jimmie Johnson is seriously disrupting the Chase for the Cup by winning the Texas round of the Chase, preventing a Chaser from locking in to the Final Four. That means 2 drivers are going to have to get in on points.

I have to write a second post tonight because I am doing the sermon next Sunday so I will wind this up and go to evening services before I come back and write my sermon.

PSA, Opus

What a day for a Wreck-Free Sunday

Well, this has been a busy day even by Sunday standards. As far as church doin’s are concerned we had morning and evening services as usual and then a Board Meeting. So about 4 hours of the day was church or church-related. Nothing much to report about that as today was Pledge Drive Sunday, the day when members are “encouraged” to meet the “doors open” part of the budget or more if they can spare it. That’s pretty standard and boring.

The interesting parts of the day were the time between the morning service and the board meeting while I watched the Mexican GP and the Sprint Cup race from Martinsville. There was a lot of drama in the F1 race even though I didn’t see much passing on the track not caused by a wreck or near-wreck of the car being passed. Most of the drama was caused by pit strategy, who was stopping for tires and when, and how long they took to change the tires when they did stop. Now that the F1 driver’s title has been decided for Louis Hamilton all he has to race for is the total wins record, and everyone else is racing for a job next season either with their current team or a new team that picks up the pieces when their current team possibly folds at the end of the season. F1 is the most expensive form of motorsport on the planet, and some teams lack the financial muscle to compete.

The Martinsville race was typical NASCAR short track beating and banging, with many cars finishing with less than the number of fenders they started with or missing other body parts. The incident between Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth looked a lot like “payback” for the Kansas incident where Joey took Kenseth out of the lead and ultimately out of the Chase. There were a lot of other incidents that looked like just trying too hard in too tight a situation, and that wreck that knocked Kurt Busch about 3 feet into the air was an extreme example of that. I don’t recall the other 3 drivers involved in the wreck, but Kurt’s car was the last in that chain to get hit as one car hit another, that hit a third, that was sent violently into Kurt’s car causing it to climb over the third car’s tire and continue to climb on a ballistic trajectory for about another tire diameter after that.

And after all the beating and banging was done Jeff Gordon won on his final start at the track and his first win there in a long time and first win all season. So Jeff is in the final round in Homestead and waiting for the next two races to tell him who else is racing for the championship.

And it’s time for me to wrap this one up because I have a lot to do tomorrow.

PSA, Opus

Watching another Sprint Cup race on Wreck-Free Sunday

I’m watching the race from Kansas Speedway. It has been good so far with few wrecks, some wheel to wheel racing, but mostly follow the leader. There is a chance of another fuel economy race with JJ staying out to trap some of the Chase contenders a lap down after they stopped under green right before a caution for a blown tire and a car into the wall. Now Kenseth and Logano are going at it, with Kenseth looking to win his way into the next round of the Chase and Logano trying to win and force Kenseth to get in on points. And now Logano just did the bump and run on Kenseth when Kenseth pulled a block on him. Kenseth got sideways and is no longer in the running for the win which means he will have to win next week at Talladega. Whoo boy! And Logano blows another rear tire celebrating the win… just like last week.

So, that was a race. The last few laps were something. Now I can’t wait for ‘dega next week. There are 5 drivers who “must” win to make it through to the next round, the 4 below the cutoff in the points and the guy who might get bumped if one of the 4 drivers below the cutoff wins the race.

So, I have been looking at donor kits for making a Mini-me Sprint-T (I may turn the fiberglass body of the full-size version into a hot tub if I can’t make a real car out of it). I found a donor kit with the right engine and transmission. I will need to get a quick-change rear and scratch a frame, but I would have to scratch build a frame anyway model or full-size. The frame would be a mix of 1/16” square and round plastic stock that would replicate the frame on the full-size Sprint-T.

I can use the front axle pretty much as it comes in the kit, the shocks I can turn into big body inverted coilovers with the addition of springs and a shock shaft that replaces the bottom half of the shock. I might be able to use the trailer axle to build a straight axle for the car, or I might cut the axle at the kingpins and use 0.08″ round stock to make a scale straight axle, should I decide I want a bit more scale appearance.

The one thing I’m having no success at finding is a 1/25 or 1/24 scale power steering pump, because none of the kits I have seen for T-buckets have PS. I’ll need to add that in when I build the model, because there is no way I’ll be able to turn the steering wheel on the real thing at the 1:6 steering ratio I need for SCCA Solo racing. That would be a touch twitchy for street driving if I hadn’t had lots of practice being steady on my recumbents.

Well even breaking this post composition into two parts with evening service looking up non-existent parts has just wiped out the time, so I will go ahead and publish this now.

PSA, Opus the Poet

Lots of church today on a Wreck-Free Sunday

This has been a very long day for me, from helping to open up the church about 1030 after being up late last night and not getting out until nearly 1300, then having to be back by 1700 for a board meeting as head of the Social Justice committee and not getting home until 2000. Basically I spent a full 8 hours away from the house on church business of one kind or another. It was “interesting”.

In between I saw most of the Sprint Cup race from Dover, where Happy Harvick was leading again when I had to leave for the board meeting, but it was another fuel economy race and nobody knew for sure what their fuel level was. So while Kevin Harvick was leading when I left I have no idea who won the race. More importantly I have no idea of who was eliminated from the Chase for the Cup, because when I left Jimmie Johnson was in 14th place in points as they ran because he had a rear axle failure that required a replacement in the middle of the race putting him 36 laps down when the repairs were finished. So I’m going to have to wait until I get the report in my inbox tomorrow morning.

What I spent most of Saturday doing was looking up various suppliers of parts and plastic model kits to build a miniature test Sprint-T for the geometry of the full size version that is looking more and more out of reach given the budget and Mrs, the Poet’s restrictions on donor vehicles. Basically my budget is completely used up as soon as I get a crate engine and transmission, leaving me short a rear axle, hubs, brakes, the front axle, shocks and springs, headlights… So I went with a $50 budget for the kit and supplies to build a replica, which seems to be do-able. Now to find the right parts for the build.

Basically I’m going to use the Wide 5 wheels I put in Friday’s blog post, and as I said I’m going to make two versions of the wheels. The supplied version is a scale 11″ wide, the full size car uses an 8″ street version, and a 14″ race version. I haven’t been able to find anything close to the 23.5 x 13.0R15 Hoosier Formula Atlantic tires in 1/25 scale, but I did find a close replica for the 27 x 10.50R-15 LT Hoosier Pro Street tire for the street version in a similarly-sized dirt track tire.

And I’m going to be doing some errands in the morning, so I have to get to bed soon. Also I have been spending almost as much time fixing typos in this paragraph as I have composing it, so I really need to hit the hay.

PSA, Opus the Poet

Another busy day at church on a Wreck-Free Sunday

This has been a very busy day, what between 2 services at church, a committee meeting, and getting ready for pot luck, and a supermoon total lunar eclipse on the one hand, and a Chase Race in the Sprint Cup on the other.

Let’s cover the Sprint Cup race first. It was a 300 lap race around the 1 mile flat oval at Loudon NH, and most of the race was dominated by Kevin Harvick in the 4 Chevrolet SS, and once again I had trouble staying awake for the first 2/3 of the race. Happy Harvick wasn’t running away like the guy did last week in ChiTown, but it was pretty bad. Then it turned into a fuel economy race, and things started to get interesting, even though visually it was still the same race. Again it became a nail-biter of wondering who would run out of gas first, the guy in front or one of the guys behind him. This time Harvick ran out with 2 to go, giving Kenseth the lead, and most of the top 10 lead lap cars ran out on the white flag lap, except Kenseth, who won by a wide margin what with most of the lead lap cars having to get pushed by lap down cars to get back to the pits after the race was over. There were a lot of teams betting they would be the last ones to run out and betting wrong.

The other interesting moment was Kyle Busch blowing a right front tire and hitting the wall, because it totally changes the Chase for him to not finish the race and I don’t know if they got that car back out on the track before the checkered flag.

For evening service we had the first Veritan public Full Moon, which was a little rough around the edges mostly because this was their first public Full Moon and they didn’t quite have a handle on what a FM means in their theology. I know what it means in mine, but I’m not Veritan, I’m Eclectic Pagan. In my theology, a FM is time to celebrate women as well as mark the slide of the seasons from one to another. The quarters and cross quarters also mark the changes of the seasons but more abruptly and more male. I’m not going to get into any arguments about one being “better” because neither and both are “better”. You just have to go with what works for you and let it ride from there.

Also the Supermoon was peeking in and out of a high thin cloud layer tonight and was not really all that impressive because of it, although the dim red thing hanging in the east was cool when there were no clouds blocking it.

And that’s all I got tonight, aside from a severe case of allergy nose and eyes.

PSA, Opus

Almost done with the extended stem on a Wreck-Free Sunday

I wore out three dremel cutting bits but I finally got the donor stem and the raw stock fitted together. Now I just have to find my brazing wire out somewhere in the garage (or run by the welding supply store to get some more) and apply some heat with the torch to get the metal parts joined together. Getting everything matched up was a long process, because this was a “sneak up on it” operation. I only had one donor stem and one chunk of raw stock to work with, so I had to not make the hole too big or ruin the donor stem trying to get it inside the raw stock. Plus there was the whole “pride in workmanship” thing. I wanted something that looked as good or better than the bike it was going on, so as to not distract from the beauty of the bike with an ugly stem extension.

Anyway, this was where we left off last time I had a chance to work on the extension.

And this is what I have now.

And this shows how the cap from the donor stem is flush to the top of the raw stock.

Now the plan is to heat the raw stock until braze fed in at the edge of the opening flows into the tiny space between the donor stem and the raw stock to make them a solid piece capable of withstanding ferocious forces, or at least that won’t fall apart when I ride exuberantly. Seriously this thing is fitted so tight that I doubt it will take more than a couple of grams of braze to completely fill the gaps. The rest will be used to make a smooth fillet between the raw stock and the donor stem, that will have to be filed smooth after it gets applied.

Something I have been thinking about is cutting a filler piece to cover the gap at the top of the donor stem, so the donor stem looks like it grew through the raw stock, or out of it. I also want to grind down the weld where the clamp joined the donor stem, because that MIG weld looks like a worm crawling around the clamp. You can see the weld (but not clearly) in the “before” picture at the top of the post. That’s the “pride in workmanship” thing again. If I’m going to put all this work into making it I will go ahead and do the little bit more work required to make it “not ugly”. I don’t see the point in just making something ugly.

I watched the Sprint Cup race from Richmond last night, at least the parts I could stay awake for. Yes, I fell asleep (several times) watching that race, it was that exciting. I’m glad Matt Kenseth had such a good race, but dang, what has happened to short track racing in the Sprint Cup? Now we go to the first race on the Chase for the Cup in Chicago.

Now I have to get ready for evening service at church, so I’ll see y’all tomorrow.

PSA, Opus the Poet