Team Half Fast Season Finale & Results

The points for AHDRA have been posted and not only has Team Half Fast finished in the to 10 in all 3 classes we competed in this year, but we have also earned our first national number plate in the AHDRA!

We are very proud to announce that afer the AMRA finals in Bowling Green, Kentucky at the end of September, we finished:

#6 in PE Pro-Eliminator 10.90 Class
#5 in "E" (ET) Class
#7 in SE Street Eliminator 11.50 Class

And #9 in SEP 11.50 Class in the AHDRA

We attended 4 out of the 9 AHDRA races in 2012, and we missed the #8 position by ONE POINT to someone who attended 7 out of the 8 races. We're proud.

AHDRA's Jim McClure Nitro Nationals

DEI Sponsored Team Half FastOctober 12-14, 2012 - Another bittersweet weekend...sure, we love to go to The Rock in Rockingham, NC, but the October event means the end of our 2012 racing season. Heavy sigh...

We got to the track Thursday night just after dark.  We got in line and settled in for a cold night.  We got up bright and early, ate breakfast, and waited for the gates to open so we could get in and set up and be ready for test and tune at 3.

We made many passes on Friday.  Our first pass was awesome – 11.091 at 118.96 mph.  We made five more passes, tweaking our jetting each time.  The 10.90s remained elusive, though, and we started suspecting a wiring or power gremlin.  We made great progress, and with our seventh pass, just as it was getting dusk, we ran an 11.075.  We made one more pass, hoping to duplicate that last run, and we completely lost power to the rear cylinder.

Chip started the troubleshooting process just as the track shut down the lighting in the pits.  No worries… we carry a great, bright pit light.  Chip set it all up, got out his tools, and not five minutes later, the light dimmed, then died.  Power obviously was not our friend tonight!  Luckily, the light has a 12-volt bulb and wiring, so Chip rigged it to work with our 40-year-old battery charger and he was back in business to go through the troubleshooting process.

The plug wires tested fine.  The next option: the coil could be the culprit, so he replaced that (of course we carry a spare), but it wasn’t that, either.  By midnight he pinpointed the problem and started pulling out the ignition.  Thankfully, we had a spare of that, too.  Chip called it quits for the night, set the alarm clock for before sunrise, ate a quick dinner, and got some sleep.

Bright and early on a cold and windy Saturday morning, Chip wired the new ignition and finished with about ten minutes to spare before the 9 am riders’ meeting.  We didn’t get dialed in for the 10.90 field, so we decided it would be wiser to run only our two “usual” AHDRA classes – ET and SEP (11.50).  We were running too fast for SEP, but we were hopeful we could determine the shift points and detune for the bike enough to hit the 11.50.

All our efforts and planning did not prepare us for our first run, however.  The track was loose and we spun off the line.  With a 1.66 sixty-foot, it was hard to believe we ran an 11.244 instead of the 11.50 we were striving for in our first round of qualifying in ET.  We lowered the launch even more, even though we knew the bike hated launching that low, and we ran an 11.731 for our first SEP (11.50) run.  Good enough to get us into the field, certainly, but a far cry from 11.50.

For our next pass in ET, we raised the launch a little, but we bogged really badly again and only ran an 11.749.  We’ll have to launch where the bike likes and shift at a lower RPM and hopefully find our 11.50 there for the next pass of SEP qualifying.

Nope, not going to do it in our second round of SEP qualifying.  We broke out, hitting an 11.398 even though we had a horrible sixty-foot (1.747).

For our third round of qualifying in ET, we decided to change it up completely and use only four gears in the pass.  We ran an 11.661 that time and decided that was definitely the way to go.    For our final round of qualifying in SEP, we intended to duplicate that run, but the track was even tighter and we had a great 1.612 sixty-foot, and we broke out again with a 11.430.  It gave Chip great data, though, for what we needed to do during eliminations on Sunday, so we were really pleased with our qualifying results.

We were qualified 11th in SEP after the first round, 15th after the second round, and held our ground at 15th after the third round.  There were 25 SEP bikes there.  There were over 40 ET bikes, and we were qualified #17 after the second round.  We don’t actually know where we qualified in the ET field after the third round of qualifying.

The morning was a lot warmer than Saturday on Race Day Sunday.  There were clouds in the sky, but it was still warm and sunny.  Saturday morning had been 58 degrees at 10 am, and Sunday morning it was 68 – huge difference.  The wind was down, too.

Our first round of eliminations was in ET, and Chip had our plan set and he was ready to thump the quarter mile.  It was going to be some good old-fashioned wheel racing at the top end.  That was the plan.  Chip popped the old red eye, though.  It was almost a perfect light:  -.002.  Two thousands of a second slower (less than a blink of an eye), and it would have been perfect.  Even though he red-lit, Chip kept with the plan to see where we would be for our SEP (11.50) run, and we got the data we needed.  We bogged at the line and only had a 1.736 sixty-foot, he banged it off the limiter at the top end, and we ran the expected 11.743.

We were out of ET, but were ready for our SEP rounds.  We faced Jeffery Ellis.  Chip cut an AWESOME light:  .001 (one thousandth of a second from perfect, also known as a good try at a red light), bogged again, and planned to hit 5th if needed.  He was way ahead of Ellis, though, so he stayed on the limiter, took the stripe, and took the win!  We’re going to the second round!

For our second round of SEP eliminations we once again, for the third time this season, faced Brad Croneberger.

Chip knew exactly what to do to eke out the win.  He cut a great light for the hole shot – an .026 to Brad’s .089, and Chip knew he had a good sixty-foot, nailed all his shift points, and banged it off the limiter and did not hit fifth at the top end, AND sat up and made himself “wide” near the finish line and STILL broke out with an 11.394 to Brad’s awesome 11.523.  Good going, Brad!  Chip did everything right on that run, it’s just that neither of us expected the sixty-foot to go from a 1.84 to an awesome 1.54 – our best sixty-foot of the weekend!

The Rockingham crew really did a great job on track prep all weekend, even with the cold track on Saturday.  It was, as always, a pleasure racing at The Rock once again.  We look forward to coming back next year, and hope we can make both the spring and the fall events.

One of the highlights, and there were many, of this trip was getting to talk with Carrie and Kerry Tate of Amazon Racing.  Carrie is the rider of a Pro Drag Nitro Harley in AHDRA, and Kerry is her husband, mechanic, and tuner.  They’re a great couple and their passion for the sport is positively energizing.  We’re looking forward to seeing them again next season!

For more on Team Half Fast, visit their website