Dead On – IHRA Season Opener at Immokalee is a Positive Event

IHRA Season Opener at Immokalee is a Positive Event

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the kick-off for the 2015 IHRA Pro-Am race series. I want to use this column as a way to inform track owners, racers and my readers who do race at a local track. When I first got a copy of the 2015 IHRA season schedule my wife, Barb, and I thought it would be a good way to start off the season. Wow, were we ever right on that one!

If you have not been to Florida’s Immokalee Regional Raceway, it is located next to a small regional airport that seems to be used mostly by these “crazy guys” who fly the crop duster single seater planes. [They did a two-plane fly-over about 75 feet above the staging lanes as I was standing next to the Project 10 Firebird and a young lady was singing the Star Spangled Banner live over the PA system. It was really cool and just part of what track owners Ralph and Tom Hester do to create a unique experience.

Let’s start off with what I had to do to get the Project 10 Firebird ready for some 7.00 (1/8th mile) Hot Rod Index. After a quick rules check all I needed was a trans-shield. A quick call to Race-Mart and Paul Fink had one headed my way. The interesting part was installing it; not because it is difficult but because I had to do it on the RV parking spot we are staying at this winter.

I had my small aluminum floor jack and my short jack stands … uh-oh, I am not getting thinner, if you know what I mean! I came to the conclusion I could slide it in from the back of the transmission if I got the driveshaft and cross member out and lowered the trans as far as the stock mounts would allow. I was right, but it was a hassle for sure.

That done and everything back together I noticed my M/T 9x29.5 slicks had cords showing on the right rear. (I guess they work until they are gone because the car was deadly last time out with two runner-ups at the Citrus Nationals.) The M/T factory truck was at Bradenton for some pro team testing and I called them to see if they had the new M/T Pro Bracket Radial on the truck. I needed the 28x9-15 and they had a set. I drove up there and they mounted them. One needed no weights and the other only 1.5 ounces and they were balanced. I opted for the shorter version because I only run a 4.10 gear and this will help bring the RPMs up a bit and probably leave a bit harder for the .5 Pro-Tree in Hot Rod.

We loaded up and headed out Friday and arrived about 2:30. Immokalee Regional Raceway was packed with race teams! The normal pit side was full, and I mean full. Nobody was hogging up extra space as they parked everyone really close and angling the same way. We were instructed to park on the right side of the track that is usually spectator parking. I would guess we ended up with about 25 race teams parked on the right side and it all worked out fine. The packed house is a tribute to the Hesters and how they approach “customer service”.

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