Where's that Darned newsletter?
As you might recall, in the last newsletter, (6/3/02) Alan announced the closing of his company Keen Personal Media.  Well for somebody who supposedly had lots of time on his hands, Alan sure kept busy, too busy to write a newsletter.  Or so he claims.  :-)  He did some independent consulting, and then finally succumb to Western Digital's repeated requests to come back to work for them.  So as of July 8th, he's been gainfully re-employed at WD. What's my Excuse?  Well, I was working on a very important project that was tying up each of my evenings and weekends, and finally at the end of June, I went to the Lennox factory in Washington to install a QC test machine.As long as I'm talking about Jobs, Mark was able to find Permanent employment at Dow Chemical.  It sounds like a great job, at a large, (hopefully) stable company.So what's been up with the car?  Well on June 9th, 2002, The race day dawned with a 25 mile per hour wind that threatened to cancel the meet altogether.  But by 10:00am, the new weather station showed that the wind was dropping, and by 10:30 it was slow enough to race.  Mark had had to work that weekend, so his brother Patrick came up to help.  We also had a few other visitors.  Randy, Tim & Virgil all came by.  Alan drove twice, and got a 168.3 mph for his efforts. During the next few weeks, I, (James), tracked down a nearby company that makes braided steel hose breaklines to have them make replacements for our rubber hoses.  At the same time, we needed to permanently fix a fuel leak in our fuel pump.  So Besides the hydraulic lines, we bought "banjo" fuel fittings as well.  The trouble was, that they would only fit a Holly carburetor, and not a Suzuki fuel pump.  So I had to search high and low to get a 9/16-24 tap, which I finally ordered from Texas.  With only a few days before the July race, I got the pump tapped, and we were ready to run.

For the July meet, It was finally my turn to run, but I also had been asked to get the new weather station hooked up to the timing system so that each run would list speed and weather conditions.  That took up most of my time on Saturday, while Mark & Alan tried to find a way to get more speed out of the car.  It was decided to try a different gear ratio.Sunday morning, Alan took my place in the timing tower, and I got ready to drive.  We were 15th in line, so I ran pretty early.  Unfortunately, the track was in even worse shape than ever, and about half way down, I hit a bump or hole that really shook me up, and got the car airborne.  By the time I had things running straight again, I was at the finish with a 160 mph.  I decided to let Mark take my second run, but we was only able to get 164 mph, on a track that was little more than a plowed field.   Still, 164 got us some good points, and as a result we are now 11th for the entire organization.  Our best year ever, (points wise) was 12th, so it looks like we could beat that, and maybe even get into the top 10.

One more item of note.  A reporter and photographer from "BlackBook Magazine" was at the race shooting pictures for an upcoming article and photo spread.  They took several shots of our car, so with luck, we might be in an upcoming issue.

We now have two months before the September race.  We need to decide what to with the engine.  We are leaning towards pushing it up from 1300cc to 1400cc or more. Alan and I will be timing SpeedWeek at Bonneville for 10 days in the middle of August.  If you're there, swing by the tower and say hi.  Timing the BNI's meets is how we pay for the car. In what little free time I can find, I'm working on a design for a team and company tee-shirt.  I've found that making a good looking shirt isn't easy.  But after lots "experiments" I'm starting to get some pieces that look good. If you'd like to see how the SCTA points race is going, check out their web page at: http://www.scta-bni.org/

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