Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Interview postponed - next week!

UPDATE.....Steve LeTempt had to postpone our interview until next week, as he came down with an illness. Sorry if you logged into the website and couldn't find it. We are on for NEXT WED 10/31 (Halloween) at the same time. Now I have a week to worry about saying something stupid.

One more thing to mention. After being pretty bummed out about our DNQ in Rockingham, I got home and the Oct 19th issue of DRM (Drag Review Magazine) was sitting in my stack of mail. DRM is the official publication of the IHRA, and is a really, really good publication. However, the last thing I wanted to do was open it up on Sunday night and be reminded of our failure.

But by Tuesday, the sting had worn off enough to where I could bring myself to look at it. You know it's said that God works in mysterious ways, and just when I needed a little pick me up, Mike Perry, the IHRA's Director of Communications and Public Relations decided to write about us and our blog in his column. It made my day for us to get some recognition, especially in the way Mike did it.

Hey, why not join IHRA and subscribe to DRM? Here is the link

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Live Webcast Interview

This is cool. I will be interviewed by Steve LeTempt through a live webcast on Wednesday evening (10/24) from 8:00-8:30 on as part of his weekly "Straightlining with Stevie" program.

The link is

If you can't make it to hear it live, it will be archived on the website, and by the way, it's a pretty cool website with alot of good news in interviews on all types of racing.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rockingham and Season Wrap Up

Just got back from Rockingham, and we finished what was a frustrating last month and a half with a whopper. A DNQ at our "home" track in the season's last event. We had really been running well at night, and as you guys know, struggling with hot tracks in the daytime. Coming into this event, we had gotten in the mode of running a great time on Friday night, and being basically assured a spot in the field, were able to experiment a little on Saturday's.

Well, we went out to qualify on Friday night, and to everyone's surprise, we smoked the tires at the hit of the throttle. No big deal, as we had two more shots on Saturday. Going into Saturday, the bump spot was 5.20, and we could see that it would take a run in the 5.0's to get in. Everyone has stepped up thier game. In addition to the guys like Creasy, Wyatt, Gilbertson and Haddock, guys like Jeff Diehl, Mitch King and Todd Simpson have gotten thier cars dialed in and are running well.

We had a good run on Saturday, but we tuned it a little soft just to get down the track, and I also got out of the groove at the top end, which probably cost us a 4 or 5 hundredths, and ran a 5.20 at 285. Not good enough, as the bump spot went down to 5.18. So going into Saturday night we were #9, and on the outside looking in, a spot we're not familiar with.

I think we were all pretty confident, as Saturday nights have been good to us. We took advantage of cool air and track conditions in Epping and Milan to earn "Last Man Standing" awards on Saturday night, and it's also the session where we set our (temporary) best speed yet of 305.01. But for reasons we are still looking into (and the computer has shown us some strange things) we smoked the tires at the hit and failed to make the field for the first time this year.

It was like getting hit in the gut. All the other drivers and crew came by to pay thier respects and tell us how bad they felt for us, and I swear it was like being at a funeral. Gilbertson went on to win the event and pass us in the season points standings, so after holding on to the #4 spot since May, we give it up on the last day of the season to Bob (who by the way, ran very, very strong in the 4's all weekend).

So now it's time to go find some sponsorships. I know we can help some company or companies promote their products and/or brand, and in exchange get some badly needed funding to help us get some fresh parts, and also give us the freedom to tune a little more aggressively. We ran a complete IHRA season and didn't throw a rod, put a hole in a block, or anything. We used a few pistons, cracked two main caps, and broke a blower and that was it. I had a great crew that volunteered a tremendous amount of time to help us chase our dream, and I owe them a ton of thanks. I want to mention them all.

Ray Murphy who put aside his own nitro car (the nostalgia funny car "Slabtown Hustler") to help us. Ray's experience is so valuable to us. Jay Giles, who works on weekends we don't race, so he can help us on weekends we do. He does top end and is as professional and hard working as they come. Don Lynch, who helps me with the bottom end. Don is a great asset to us and busts his tail to help us. Butch Beacham. Butch drives the transport and does our clutch. He has spent a ton of time on the road, and has to set up and tear down by himself sometimes so we can get back to Greenville in time for work. If you've ever set up or taken down our awning, you'll know how much we owe him. Jim Poynter who helped us in the first part of the year but as a Federal Coal Mine Inspector had some very important job duties take him away from us late in the season. Richard Hartman, who tunes the car for us. Richard is crew chief for Bruce Litton (who won the IHRA Top Fuel Season Championship today!!) and sets up our motor and clutch settings for us. Paul Constantine, who despite being a mechanical novice, helps by doing anything we need from cleaning parts, setting tire pressure, etc. Jill who cooks for us and also mixes the fuel, hopefully not getting them mixed up! And last but definately not least, my Dad, Pat, who I owe everything to.

Finally, thanks to all our fans. We met so many GREAT people this season. We can't wait to see you again next season when we come back to San Antonio, Tulsa, Rockingham, Edmonton, Grand Bend, Epping, Grand Rapids, Milan, Cayuga, Budd's Creek and anywhere else IHRA goes!

I'll update you all on offseason developments as they happen.

Andy Kelley

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

President's Cup wrap-up

Well, wouldn't you know, we smoked the tires again in the first round. It's frustrating. Another race where we qualify in the top half of the field, only to blow off the tires immediately in round one. We made three good passes in qualifying, one in similar conditions, and then Sunday comes and we can't go 10 feet. There has to be something causing this. Obviously we've yet to figure out what it is.

So we're still 27 points behind Terry for third place. That's a gap we can make up in Rockingham if we qualify strong and go a couple rounds. Gilbertson is only 21 points behind us so we have to have a good showing to stay in fourth.

I've had a few people ask me what happened Saturday night during qualifying when I got "no time". We were pumped up, getting ready to take a shot at the 4's. I was wired when I pulled into the lights, and just after I lit the second bulb I swear I saw something flash, and I went. As I launched I caught a glimpse of the tree with only the first bulb lit in the other lane and I knew I screwed up, but I stayed in the throttle and made a decent pass. No time slip though.

Hey, if any of you want to sponsor the car for the final race of the season, go hit Ebay....I had to cancel and re-do the listing. The new Ebay listing number is 190158971359.