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Semi Finalist at NED Jr Dragster Divisionals - August 18-20 brought over 300 Jr Dragster racers from the northeastern US and eastern Canada to converge on Maple Grove in Mohnton, PA.  Zachary collected his best finish so far as a semi finalist in the 8-9 year old category on Saturday night.

The fun started Wednesday night for the Gospel Motorsports team with the arrival of the Mikuni carburetor kit from Motivational Tubing.  Darryl made the conversion, but could not get the car to idle.  After making a bit of noise in the neighborhood through a number of experimental starts, it was decided to use the test and tune on Thursday to perhaps do more tuning than testing.  The prayer was put forth that night that a vendor may be available so we could make the proper purchases of jets and adjustments to the carburetor to match the motor.

We arrived Thursday morning to find the prayer answered in the form of Craw's racing.  It was then that the discovery was made that you should not mix one company's carburetor theory with another as the team fought through a series of test runs with bogs, and erratic idles.  Five runs were made, from a 13.01 to a 13.25, most with a very bad leave at the line and some concern from Zachary that the idle did not settle down after a rev and it would cause him to not be able to stop the car.

Friday brought the rains which enabled the team to enjoy the culinary joy of an egg, Canadian bacon, and cheese bagel with just a hint of methanol aroma for good measure.  We sat from 8AM until 4PM when they decided to call the practice day off.  They were only able to squeeze one run in, which was considerably slower at 13.46 with a .560 light.  More quality time was spent with the folks from Craw's Racing and a gentleman by the name of Ray was incredibly helpful in making a few more carburetor adjustments.  We got it close and left for the day.

Saturday morning brought the whole team out in the new Gospel Motorsports shirts.  The day was started with attendance at the Racer's For Christ (RFC) Saturday service where we heard the message of Super Comp racer and Division 1 chaplain Dale Ressler.  He spoke from John 15 with a discussion of the vine of Jesus and how if the branches are not maintained, they can grow too long and they are out on their own, too distant from the vine of Jesus.  He brought forward the importance of bearing fruit in our lives.  Zachary received a few more RFC stickers for the car which were applied to each side.

After another Gospel Motorsports breakfast sandwich, the team headed for the lanes for the first time run.  A .690 light and a 13.23 did not make the driver very confident.  The tuning continued and to make a long story short, the idle mixture was made very rich by various text references.  The next time run was a .018 red light with a 13.61 ET.  Not surprisingly this gave Zachary relief as the car left much harder.

First round was against a slightly faster junior from Johnson Racing.  Zachary narrowly escaped a very off pace 14 second run when the opponent went red at the start.  After no real clue why the car was almost 1 second slow, a new plug was installed, and a small change made to the jets.  The team took a chance and dialed a 13.60.  Zachary had the advantage at the start with a .167 light to the opponents .212 and took the win with a 13.64 on the 13.60 dial-in.  The third round came as dusk was starting to fall and an extreme moisture was finding its way onto everything.  The dial-in remained at 13.60 where Zachary had his best run, with a .063 reaction time to his opponents .089 and ran a 13.602 on his 13.60 dial-in.  This put Zachary into the semi-final round, with only four cars remaining.  The humidity went up, and the run was against the Sand Gator car out of Shippensburg, PA.  Out of some concern that the temp was falling and it would go quick, Zachary dialed down to a 13.59.  Zachary's reaction was slightly off pace to the other runs with a .223 against the opponents .052 and he ran a 13.62 and went out in the fourth round.  The team was ecstatic after the trials of the prior days to see the success that could only come with the help of the Lord to rid the frustration. 

The team was truly blessed with this outing and remembered to thank the Lord for His victory in many ways.  This was the first real outing that promoted the Gospel Motorsports name and scriptural reference to Proverbs that brought great discussion with another racer that wanted to use their car to promote their faith and also from the Track Manager, John Krupiak, who shared his appreciation for the scriptural message.  This helped to grow the hope that this message can motivate others to bring forward their faith to this sport.

A Geezer's Success - The long awaited Geezer race brought forth a little disappointment in that Neil would be unable to race the Nova in that class due to the rules being established for true street vehicles and no DOT sticky tires.  The Avalanche was called into duty and was up to the task of carrying its "over 55" driver.  Neil received his first round win at drag racing when the opponent in round one left too early with a red light.  The next round would provide similar results catapulting Neil to a semi final round.  In that round, the opponent was able to keep the light green crossed the finish line first to take the win.  In all, it was an incredible success after trying to overcome the red lights of two races ago and to get a more consistent reaction time.  Neil had a pretty good outing for a geezer, and at this race, we certainly mean that in a complimentary way.

Darryl found the other end of the red lights in round one with a .003 red in the Nostalgic 2 class.  The weekend brought a interesting mix of classic show cars and a nitro show that included names from the past including the Hemi Hunter nitro dragster, jet funny cars, and an awesome 56 T-bird with wheel stands on the gear changes like the days of old.

We also celebrated the birthday of Debra Hoster's, Darryl's sister, with her first visit to a drag race.  Also with her were her friend Ed and daughter Kelly.

Tillotson Blues - On August 13th, the Gospel Motorsports team attended the Maple Grove points race in Jr. Dragster.  After two time runs that produced red lights, and a pretty wide spread on the ET, the crewchief decided to make a small change to the carburetor which was a big mistake.  A little more RPM, created a very strange lean conditon mid track where Zachary slowed to an 18 second run.  Since the team has found that they are the last of the Jr racers that runs a Tillotson, it was decided to discard the carburetor in favor of the preferred Mikuni...more on that later.

Super Chevy Weekend -  July 22-24 brought the teams traditional attendance at the Super Chevy Show at Maple Grove.  The weekend  started off with a Friday night race that brought a first round loss for Darryl to a racer who ran on their dial to the thousandth of a second for a total margin of victory of .0095 of a second.  That proved to be the tone for much of the racing that weekend as Darryl lost the first round in Saturday's race by a .0043 margin of victory to Lonnie Horst in a double breakout run.  Neil raced the truck on Saturday and also went out first round.

Sunday the team attended the Racer's for Christ service where Pastor Dan Laterza and his wife Claire provided the message.  After the service, we talked at length about our hopes for the Gospel Motorsports team and learned that the track chaplains do much more than offer a Sunday service. 

Darryl entered the bonus race on Sunday and made it through the first round but gave way to a much quicker and consistent car in round two.

We Do Race the Truck - Saturday, July 9th brought a new driver forward in the Gospel Motorsports team.  Neil Schueck, aka Grandpop, took a few laps in the Avalanche, aka tow vehicle, to prepare himself for the upcoming Geezers at the Grove event on August 14th.  Three times runs were permitted due to a smooth running schedule at the track.  The first being the quickest with a 17.01 at almost 80 mph.  It was decided that deep staging would be best to cut a light and on the last time run, an .090 was achieved which is pretty great for first time out, an unfamiliar vehicle, and never using a practice tree.  First round proved to have too much reaction though as a 17.10 was dialed, but the red light came on as truck crept very deep into the lights.  Four runs were good experience for the race, but that would not be the end of the day for the Avalanche and Grandpop.

Zachary had a good outing, while still not advancing in the race.  First time run yielded a 13.22, followed by a 13.23.  Anticipating that it would go quicker, a 13.20 was dialed for eliminations.  Zachary left with a very respectable .059 reaction time and ran a 13.23, only to have his opponent drill the tree with a .005 light and 9.56 on a 9.51 dial-in.  It was a very tough loss for Zachary, but his gain was in reaction performance.

The Gospel Motorsports Nova had a less than predictable Saturday, with ETs that ranged from 11.66 to 11.83.  First round of Heavy Eliminator was against Mark Sabo, a veteran Maple Grove racer in the Defiance 9 second altered.  The Nova was dialed at an 11.69 against a 9.62.  While leaving the line first with a .016 to .040 reaction time advantage, the Nova was .05 off the dial, running an 11.73 to his .01 over 9.63.  The spread at the finish line was .0041 seconds, or a matter of inches at 129 mph.

We decided to grill a leisurely supper, when Zachary heard the call for the Dash for Cash race, which is open to first round runner up racers.  Both Grandpop and I decided to give it another go.  We were soon to find out that the attendance was sparse and we were only joined by one other racer, George Walleigh in his 10 second '55 Chevy.  As it turns out, I had to run Granpop in the first run.  After more push when power braking, the Avalanche went red again, and forfeited the race.  In the final, I dialed 11.71, somewhat unsure what the car would run to George's 10.24.  After leaving the line with a .032, the win line came on in the Nova's lane with the opponent's red light.  We agreed the Dash was fun and also more practice for next week and it ended up being a blessing to the team after having lost a number of runs on red lights.

Gaining Consistency - June 25 brought forth a scorcher with 93 degree weather.  Zachary and Nate's friend, Kyle, came along for his first experience at the drag races while Grandpop took care of the starting line duties during the time runs.  We finally found a tune up that would produce numbers within the 12.90 index with the addition of 35 lbs of left over furniture stability weights (for Granpop's sake we could say the car is now well furnished, except that they are IKEA weights instead of Knoll).

The first time run, Zachary almost reached a perfect light with a -.001 reaction time and a 12.88 ET.  We removed the last two degrees of advance in the timing and readied for the next time run.  Zachary stayed focused with an .054 reaction time and the car clicked off a 13.16 ET.  We had seen the car tend to go quicker through the day, so we agreed to dial a 13.10 in the first round of eliminations.  Zachary ended up drawing the number two person in points, Eric Peterka.  After the burnouts, Zachary staged.  After what seemed like an eternity, Eric pulled into the beams with his 7.91 dial.  Zachary left first with the handicap.  Once both cars were off, it looked close, but then we heard the release of Erik's throttle to his win.  Eric had covered Zachary on the tree with an .083 light to Zachary's off pace .296 reaction time.  The Gospel Motorsports Jr. Dragster ran a 13.105 on its 13.10 dial which was good experience for the tune up.  Each week becomes something learned.

The red lights have continued to plague me in the elimination rounds.  This week was no different, only striking in the first round of eliminations.  The Nova showed consistent form by running 11.77, 11.77 and 11.76 in consecutive rounds.  After the day finished, it was a reminder that this needs to be for fun and not to supplant the blessing we have been given with the opportunity to be at the races.    

One Bad Tune - On the way to pickup our crew Sunday May 8th, we opened with discussions to remind us of last week's lesson about Gideon and also to talk about baptism and the invisible nature of the spiritual baptism that Jesus gives us as opposed to the baptism with water that John provides.  We praised with a bit of Third Day as we rode what seemed like a short journey compared to the ride to Cecil in the rain.

We arrived at the track just before 8, unloaded the trailer and got teched in.  After the quick runs a Cecil, we put the motor's timing at only 2 degrees advanced in the junior.  However, a few adjustments to the carburetor yielded a lean condition and a 20 second run on the first pass.  Zachary was less than thrilled with his crewchief at this moment.  Because of oil downs that would be our only time run so we took our best guess at the fuel mixture and dialed a 12.96.  Zachary of course thought is should be a 13.2 something, but I was sure we had a better handle on the tune up than that.  In first round of eliminations, Zachary hit a decent .135 light against the competitions .092, but the car only ran a 13.48 due to being a bit too lean on the primary side.  After an "I told ya so" from Zach, our neighbor and fellow racer Rich Pennington was nice enough to loan us a Mikuni carburetor to give a few other options for the next race.

The Nova fared slightly better in eliminations as we tried to dial in the car to run without the mufflers and take advantage of the new rules to run as quick as 11.50.  We survived first round of Heavy Eliminator with a .042 light compared to the opponents off pace .296.  This gave enough buffer at the finish to leave off what would have been a big break out run, running a 12.03 on an 11.84 dial.  Considering we were running almost 2 tenths quick, we dialed an 11.68 the next round, but the driver failed in his duties again with a .021 red light, this being the second consecutive second round red light loss ending any hopes of redemption of the crewchief through driving.  However, this day set both the ET and MPH records for the Nova running 11.691 and recording a 118.56 MPH in the time run.

Quicker at Cecil - On Sunday, May 1st, Gospel Motorsports headed to Rising Sun, Maryland to face the competition at Cecil County Dragway.   The crew members were awakened at 5:30AM and after a bit of nourishment, loaded into the truck at 6AM to head southbound.  The long drive gave us a chance to have a little praise session with the Third Day Offerings II CD and a little lesson how Gideon rescued Israelites from another round of their forsaking God for other gods and how we should not forget God, especially to continue to worship him on Sundays, even if we are at the track. 

Rain started to fall at departure and fell steadily until we were fifteen minutes from the track, while we remained hopeful that the forecast would be accurate and the weather would clear.  As it turned out the program at the track was delayed but still on after the efforts of the Cecil County crew to dry the track.  This gave the Gospel Motorsports crew much needed time to settle in after a 2 hour ride.  We also took the time to inspect the track, covering both sides and also a review of the finish line and turn off roads.  As we had time, we also ventured into the Dragway's souvenir shop to which Nate asked why they had evil hats for sale.  His reference was to the skull and crossbones that adorned a few of the items on the shelves.  It turned out to be a rather tough question to explain and we accepted that some people felt the need to wear scary things to intimidate their competition, but it reminded me of seemingly harmless mascots of various sports teams set out to intimidate the competition by threatening appearances.  We moved on, confirmed that tech would occur in the staging lanes and we waited for the call for first time runs.

While waiting, we met a great gentleman by the name of Hooper who is also a Maple Grove regular with his big car, but runs the jr. program at Cecil.  It turns out that we had pitted near Hooper at past Super Chevy events and he has a very nice custom purple pickup truck from 1930-40s vintage running Heavy Eliminator.  He was a great help to explain the program at Cecil and to ease Zachary's nerves.

First time run was called and we suited up and headed to the lanes.  A note for future reference is to not use the small entry road to the lanes as a tow strap does not yield enough turning radius without significant manual adjustment by picking up the nose of the car, which served to give the crewchief more exercise.  While waiting in the lanes, we noticed a very cool car painted in an American flag scheme with the lettering "Jesus Rocks".  We got to our chance and Nate bravely stayed on the 4-wheeler while we went to the water box.  The car fired and we attempted a small burnout but Cecil had so much traction compound that I found it difficult to walk and no doubt put a pull on the small horsepower jr. cars.  Zachary seemed to have a tough time keeping the car held back with the brakes, and he crept up in the lane when staging.  He left with a slight red light and ran a 12.91 at just over 50mph.  This was the fastest run thus far, and right on the 12.90 bump for an 8 year old.

However, Zachary commented that it stumbled off the line, so crewchief decides that we need to fix this before first round of eliminations.  Completely forgetting that this is bracket racing and consistency is everything.  A quarter turn adjustment to make the secondary a bit richer.  Seemed harmless.  One great feature about Cecil is that they pair the 8-12 year olds together for first round, which prevents the first round loss to the 18 year old with 10 years experience.  We drew a car dialed 10.20 and Zachary decided to dial 12.91, which seemed logical.  He took off with a .190 reaction time which bettered the opponent's .278.  However, when the lights came on Zachary had significantly broken out with a 12.27 at 51mph.  It turns out that fixing the stumble brought the car back to a 2.6 second 60' time.  Zachary seemed not too concerned over the loss and pretty thrilled about the quick ET.  However, he is way under index and will require a return to the retarded timing which was bumped up 6 degrees prior to this race to step it up.

We had a great lunch in the sun on the trailer ramp and packed up and headed for home a little after 1PM.  The rest of the crew slept soundly on the way home and Nate awoke just as we got home and announced that he really like Cecil and the black cars??

Opening Day - Maple Grove Raceway's season opened on March 26th with sunny but chilly weather in the 40s.  The Gospel Motorsports' junior dragster made its inaugural run with Zachary Moser piloting.  The first pass produced an ET of 13.65 seconds at 43 mph.  Increasing the RPMs to 3000 at the start yielded a 13.28 with just over 45mph on the second pass.  Zachary selected a 13.45 dial-in and proceeded to his first round of eliminations while his opponent dialed an 8.92.  Zachary did a great job of leaving the line with a reaction advantage and on a double breakout run, the Gospel Motorsports team received the victory.  Both dragsters were sporting the Racer's For Christ logo and either outcome would have brought glory to the Lord.  Second round of eliminations found a quick competitor running 7.92.  This race ended the day for the Gospel Motorsports' jr dragster as the competitor had a better reaction time and covered the race at the end of the track.  The team was quite happy with the day with one round win and achieving ETs within the index of 12.90.

The Gospel Motorsports' Nova made it as far as the second round in the Heavy Eliminator class.  In the first round, a press of the brakes at the finish line to prevent a breakout started to put the car sideways at 113 mph.   Thankfully, the correcting hand of the Lord put the car straight.  It was a reminder that this sport needs the safety equipment that can only come with faith in Jesus.  In the second round, the opponent's .001 reaction time to an .050 finished the day. 

Special thanks to Grandpop and Gramm Schueck for their help with tending to all the team members on race day and for Grandpop's help tuning the dragster and getting the trailer ready to fit all the "stuff" on opening day.

Jr. Dragster to campaign in 2005 - A 1999 Motivation Tubing Jr. Dragster was acquired at the end of 2004 to compete in the 2005 NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Series at Maple Grove Raceway.  The dragster will be piloted by Zachary Moser, an eight year old in his first season racing.  Elapsed times are limited to 12.90 in the eight mile.  The driveline is a Briggs & Stratton engine running on methanol through a Tillotson carburetor.  A Comet clutch is used to apply power to the M/T 19x10 slicks.  The dragster is the first car of hopefully many to wear the Gospel Motorsports logo.  More Pics >>


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