Team Half Fast Moves to First in AMRA Class

Chip Sutinen moves to #1 in points in the Eliminator Class of AMRA after Nationals in Maryland

Chip Sutinen of Team Half Fast at AMRA Nationals at Mason Dixon DragwayMay 31-June 2, 2013 – What a weekend for the AMRA Nationals at Mason Dixon Dragway near Hagerstown, Maryland!  Our traveling “crew chief”, Nate Thompson with Super V Cycle, came up from Florida and so did good friend Rock Wright from Virginia, who runs in the 9.90 class.  It was SO good to see Rock - he hasn’t been out to the races since September 2011!  SO good to have him back at the track!

We were very happy to have Nate on board with us this weekend to help us finish getting our baseline tune set from all the carb and other changes we’ve made since last September.  Thank you, Nate!!!

We decided to not partake in Friday night’s test and tune because we were exhausted from the trip and the night testing wasn’t going to be the right weather, and the local cars were also running, so we may not have been able to get very many passes in for the price.  We instead used the time to set up all our displays and banners and visit with fans and fellow racers.

Saturday morning was sunny and hot.  It was already nearly 87 degrees by 10 am, and 95 by 11 am!  We “knew” we’d have trouble with the power in this high heat, but we were ready to give it our all and had Super Nate in our corner helping along the way, so we were not discouraged at all.

Our first three passes were tuning passes, and we ran an 11.343, 11.398, and 11.417 – each time trying to slow down to hit that seemingly elusive 11.50 for the SE class, since the SE class was going to be first-up in qualifying.  Chip’s lights were phenomenal, too - .010, .109, and .020.

Our first qualifying run, in SE, did not go as planned.  Oh, sure, the bike slowed down, but the rider red lit AND the latest changes made to the bike after the last tuning run did the opposite of what we planned, so Chip only ran a 12.377.  Nate and Chip quickly made a few more jetting changes before the next round of PE, and Chip cut a good light (.024), but the rush of the jetting change caused a double-bump in the shift, and Chip was only able to run an 11.902 in the 10.90 qualifying run.

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The next round was for “E” (Eliminator), and Nate and Chip knew they had the jetting right for the air and weather.  We were very happy with the 11.190 it ran, but the power seemed a little bit more off (though by then the heat had dropped to a “mere” 92 degrees) because the mph was not as fast as it could be, so they made one more jetting change and ran it for the SE (11.50) qualifying run just minutes later (wow, what a crew!), and Chip ran an 11.796 for our SE run.  Good enough to get us into the field, we expected.

One more minor and QUICK jet change for our PE run, and Chip ran an 11.186.  That may not get us into the field, but we were hopeful we could improve on that once the 3rd Qualifying round came about.

Anyway, there was very little change in the weather from the 1st round of Eliminator qualifying and the 3rd round of SE qualifying, so it was easier to get a handle on the jetting and the bike’s needs for air/fuel.  Nate and Chip made one more jetting change for the 2nd round of qualifying in “E”, and Chip went out and ran an 11.062!  Our best run of the day, but not our best mph (116.93).  Not bad J.

The next round of qualifying in SE was… well… off.  Chip left before the tree activated.   No time or data for that run, but it felt (and looked!) like a great pass, so we just went back around a few minutes later and ran our final PE qualifying pass.  Chip ran an 11.094, bettering the previous 11.186 from the 2nd round of PE qualifying.  Definitely good enough to put us into the field of 16 bikes!

See you at the races!!!
- Team Half Fast

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