May 13th, 2000 NASCAR All Pro race at Memphis, TN

Updated Dec. 16, 2000

Boy what a learning experience! Since this was the first time at a race this big, I didn't know what to expect. On Friday a.k.a. "practice day", during the tech inspection on we found out that the fuel cell bladder, and some other minor items needed to be changed. So Kevin took off running around the track infield to get the parts we needed while I was attending the rookie drivers meeting. But even though Dad and Keith were working feverishly we still missed part of the first practice session. However we did make the start of the second practice session and was getting better each lap until the oil to water heat exchanger busted and forced oil into the radiator. My advice is "Don't buy a Griffin Radiator"! So once again Kevin was off and running to find more stuff - cheap oil and more oil filters to use for cleaning out the system. The only difference this time, he had to leave the track to find a parts store and get back before the officials closed the pit entrance. Dad and Keith got the radiator changed and flushed the oil and water system just in time to be the last car to qualify even though the NASCAR officials had said we could start the race scratch if we couldn't fix the car in time. So with our sticker tires on I set out to make a good qualifying time. However, my qualifying time was not as good as my last practice time, but we did find out that the motor was ok. On race day I could never get myself up to speed and decided to park the car about halfway through the race before potentially hurting the motor or car. My finishing position was 22nd.

We learned a few things to do differently so next time things will go much smoother. One of the main changes we need to make is to take a couple of extra people along just to help push the car! We continually had to move the car from here to there - and the infield of a 3/4 mile track is pretty big. We also need to find safer lawn chairs. Both Dad and Mom had scuffles with "People-Eating" lawn chairs. My hat is off to the NASCAR officials. They treated us super nice and even helped push the car to the starting lineup position. - Kris

Our little open trailer packed in with the other haulers. Since the Craftsmen Trucks were there too, the All Pro haulers were parked near the back straight. Waiting to get in the pits on Friday morning. The pit entrance is near the middle of the back straight. We had to move the car to pit road for pre-practice tech. Dad and Keith are taking out the old fuel cell. They didn't have much time to change it before practice started.
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Dad preparing the new fuel cell. NASCAR official checking the carburetor. NASCAR is pretty adamant about having the proper stickers on your car before they will let you on the track
click for larger picture click for larger picture All of the technical inspection problems happened while I was in the Rookie Driver's Meeting. I saw Kevin and Dad, with looks of panic, running back and forth past the window. However, I could not leave to see what the problem was until the meeting was over. click for larger picture

Getting up to speed on the 3/4 mile track at Memphis Trouble. The oil cooler in the radiator busted and forced oil into the water and water/oil onto the right side tires. Taking the gear back to the hauler. The two carts to the right of me were our only pit carts. Dad and Keith built a super self-propelled pit cart after this race.
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