We actually made it all the way to Pomona California for the Winternationals and brought along the wettest, nastiest weather that those poor people have ever seen. It rained almost constantly from Friday through Sunday. Sometimes it was steady light rain other times it was a full blown monsoon. It rained so much that the asphalt of the pits started to come apart. It was as though we had travelled in an envelope of North West weather.
We arrived on Wednesday afternoon and set up our pit area. On Thursday morning we got to make a couple of qualifying runs. On the first one my front brake hung up and the car ran a tenth slow at 10.94. We fixed the problem for the next run and ran a 10.84. I was basically happy with the performance of the wagon. Then it started to rain and we started to drink beer. Despite dire predictions, the track was actually dry for the first round of eliminations on Saturday morning.
One of my favorite parts of drag racing is when all the Stock Eliminator cars line up in the staging lanes. It's like being in a parade. All the cars are beautifully polished and shiny. Cameras are everywhere. "Enjoy the moment" is a cliche but that's one moment that I just savor. I dialed the car at 10.8. I meant to make it a 10.83 but I never got around to putting the "3" on my windows. That, along with a sleepy .161 reaction time sealed my fate as a first round loser when I ran a 10.84. Oh well, it started raining as I pulled back into our pit area and didn't stop for the rest of the weekend. There would be no more rounds of competition for Stock Eliminator until the following Tuesday!
By Sunday morning we were all miserable and sick of the rain. We wore plastic bags over our socks because all our shoes were soaked. The drone of the track dryers cruising up and down the strip in the rain had gone from funny to pathetic. It was time for us to go. We loaded everything up and drove towards Phoenix. When we got close, we pulled over and spent the night in a motel. I didn't sleep very well and there was nothing on TV but it was still glorious to spend a night alone without having to listen to the "snorechestra" of five men sleeping in an enclosed trailer.
On Monday morning we dropped the trailer at Firebird Raceway and then went to the airport and caught a plane home. Our weather curse was still intact--it was snowing and cold when we arrived in Seattle. We'll be returning to Phoenix for the Arizona NHRA Nationals February 20-22. Hopefully it will be sunny and warm.