I’ve been delaying this blog post about the 20th Annual Blackhawk Classic at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in South Beloit, Illinois. Time to catch up as Chief Torque Wrencher Joy is behind the wheel of the rig as we head for Portland, Oregon. Just a little 2000+ mile road trip.
We got down to Blackhawk on Thursday night, June 15 to join the Swedish Pavilion with Ray Freiwald, Jeff Babcock. Alex Christopher, Joe Brabender, and our Swedish cousins (Saab) from Appleton Mark and Dennis. Practice started the next morning, but I deferred until the afternoon session in favor of some relaxation in the morning.
Joe was on his inaugural trip with a freshly built motor, completed just a day or so before, replacing the one that shed metal out of the carbs last fall. And you may recall that Alex got intimate with the wall in the Kink last fall at Road America; his car was destroyed. Not to be discouraged, Alex tested and bought Dale Schmidt’s “No. 3” 1800. I teased him that his new number (13) was appropriate.
Alex’s new ride, joined by Ray’s No. 93
Blachawk Farms Raceway has undergone some really nice improvement since last year. The pavilion has been completely replaced with a fully enclosed lower left and a covered but open viewing area above it. Makes for a great spectator place. There is a dispute going on between the owner and the asphalt contractor about an unacceptable repaving job in Turn 1.
View from the second story of the pavilion. Group 2 was crowed to say the least.
The Blackhawk Classic is a fund-raiser for the Shriners. Here they do their version of a fly-by.
Absent Crew Chief Dave Buettner and Race Engineer David Farrington, Babcock crew stalwart Doug Senk agreed to help us out over the weekend. Little did he know what he was getting into. Neither did we.
Doug Senk in his hippy attire checking over the Babcock car
At 1 o’clock I pulled out for my first run. Turns out it was my only run, and an abbreviated one at that. All the gauge readings looked great, but coming out of Turn 7 in Lap 2 a major clunk came from the drive train. I stuck the clutch in and it went away. Let it out and returned so I immediately headed for the pits.
We put the car up on jack stands and could see nothing obvious. Ray took the stethoscope while I went through the gears, determining that something was amiss in the transmission. So Doug and I crawled under and spent a couple hours pulling it out.
This was a scene I was hoping to avoid for a change
And here’s where it came from
Nice photo shoot opportunity for the boys. Christopher, Freiwald and Babcock
Fellow VSA member John Tuteur stopped by to hob-knob with the gang and visit the race dogs. Shooting Starr's Teasel (Perry) needs a T shirt, but not a 122!
I went to the P and B Motorsports Parts Department to source a new axle with a welded differential. That’s pretty much the long and the short of it. We’re on our way for the Portland Adventure!
Stay tuned …