I'm fielding a bunch of emails asking why I need a hoist and stand, so here's a narrative of my race weekend.
My weekend had very high points and low points.
New wide Hankooks and new Koni struts that actually work is a good thing. Dropped over a second in Saturday qual from my personal best at the track and ran a 1:53.1 During the race ran a high 1:52. Had a great nose to tail race with Jason Albright in his stout RX7 the entire way. I led the first 6 or so laps, made a mistake and he shoved it in next to me mid-apex. I gave and stayed glued to his bumper the rest of the race and we had Mark Frost in his CRX coming hard and fast behind us as we dueled. The CRX caught us into T15, but then he slid wide and pounded the wall hard. He wrote the car off, bent the roof and floorpan. They took forever getting the car picked up and drug off the front straight right at the exit of T15, so as I was working the RX7 I was running out of laps to make a move there - probably my best chance to repass. The flagged the race two laps short. I was slightly pissed.
Sunday morning I only took two hard laps in quals as I was getting pretty close to having enough brake pad to finish the race. Ran a 1:51.3. That's 3 second faster than I had run there last year. Good start, started 6th, but was again surrounded by Spec Racer Fords. Had Matt Downing on my rear with his Civic. Coming thru 4 on the first lap the car slid a little and I had a bad entry into 5, the WOT right hander going on to the back straight. The pavement drops off at drivers left there and it's a bad place to do that - many cars have ended up smashed against the wall to the right. Car was sliding over, I had Matt on my ass (he told me he was going to dive bomb me at 6) and my car is geared so that if I have a good run thru there I have to shift at redline from 3rd to 4th right past the apex. I missed the shift under the heavy side load and my effort to not dropp a wheel and wreck myself and everyone behind me. Stuck it in to 2nd instead. Poof. Same thing I did a few years ago at T11. Matt said the back end of the car just stood up and Kevin Ruck in front of me said he saw the nose dip to the ground.
Matt did a great job of not hitting me, as it would have been very ugly as we had the other half of the field stacked up behind us. He estimated it was in the inches category of a miss. I coasted down to the Baker fire station just past 7 and got to stand in the sun watching the rest of the race. Majorly pissed at myself. Cost me at least $200 in tire contingency money that I need. Plus I figured I had another fu$%ed set of cams and broken rockers. I got drunk that night while unpacking everything. And I had some heavy tourettes cursing and screaming moments that started with the letter F most of the afternoon and evening.
On Wednesday I finally had time to pull the valve cover and discovered this:
6 of 8 rockers broke (one of those is crushed), scratches on cam lobes, and one of the exhaust springs on #1 came off and the valve has dropped. All sorts of bits and pieces scattered about. Could not maually turn the motor over with a wrench. Pulled the spark plug and looked in and turned the motor backwards. I can see gouges in the top of the piston as it drops down and I'm sure the reason the motor won't turn all the way is that the valve is all mangeld up in the top.
So I'm not even bothering pulling the head off. I'll be ordering in a used motor to replace it, hopefully in time to race the July 4 weekend. Yippee.