What happens in Vegas… These last few months have been a whirlwind. Between production demands at the shop and racing almost every weekend, we barely have time to catch our breath before the next event is upon us. After Thunder Hill, we really needed to get our act together and maintenance became a major subject. Focusing on shocks, aero, brakes and driveline brought Ol’ Blue back to the table as a threat. But before we showed up for the USCA event in Las Vegas, we needed to give the clutch some much needed love. Unfortunately, the stars did not align and we had to head out with the old worn clutch. We arrived in Las Vegas with new clutch parts waiting for us and the Wilwood boys helped pull the C&R transmission in the pits. When Brianne arrived with the new clutch parts, we quickly realized they were wrong and ended up putting other used discs in and crossing our fingers.
Saturday started off with the autocross. It was really windy and a bit cool. Combining these conditions with an aged surface made the track wicked slick. This became a patience and tuning game. Changing sway bars and adjusting the JRI shocks became the key to success. We laid down a painfully slow-feeling 24.6 but it turned out to be just enough to hold off “The Kid” Jake Rozelle.
The next event was the Wilwood start-stop, which was really fun. You started and almost immediately made a left into a fast chicane and stop box. Jake had already laid down a rippin’ 10.5 and could get a 10.3 but the cone gods wouldn’t allow it. On our seventh attempt, we got a solid 10.3 to clinch the day. At this time, the sky opened up and started to rain. The day wrapped up with a cruise down the Vegas strip in bumper to bumper traffic, a true test of the C&R radiator.
Sunday was the road course event. Since the rain had washed everything clean, the track was really slick and once again, patience was key. As the second session came around, the track started to come in. Matching November’s best time at 1.48 was a good start but now was the time to start getting after it. When Jake came up to congratulate us for the win, we were a bit confused because he had turned in a 1.49 and doesn’t go down easy. Turns out he had a broken suspension component and was done for the day. This isn’t the way to win but during our third session out, we made it half lap and the left rear axle broke, finishing the weekend for us as well. In the end, we placed first in our class and qualified for Optimal Ultimate Street Car Invitational in November.
We had a number of Mike Maier Inc. customers in Las Vegas showing off their MOD products:
-Team Mike Maier Inc. driver Brian Hobaugh is campaigning his new 2003 Corvette and finished strong, testing new MOD C5 parts. This thing is going to be a beast.
-John McKissack drove his 1966 Fairlane with the new MOD1 coilover kit. He is constantly reminding people that this big old boat will whoop you if you don’t watch it.
-Randall Pond put his new MOD power steering kit to the test. Randall has owned his Mustang since 1977 and he’s still driving the heck out of it.
-Kenny Mitchell has a 1989 Corvette that we did work on years ago. Sporting a custom sway bar from Mike Maier, he is getting the feel of the USCA events. He lost his motor this past weekend but don’t count him out yet – he’ll be back.
Great job to everyone this weekend. We can’t wait to see you at the next one.