#012 Live from Bonneville -- 2006.08.26
After driving back from Louisville, I wasn't looking forward to another 10 hours of driving, but it's Bonneville. I wouldn't miss it. Especially when I might have chance to drive a car. Since my boys were already in school, I took two of my nephew with me.

We got there Saturday just before Noon. There were lots of cars and spectators. Lots more than normal. I think and other people thought that may be the movie "The World's Fastest Indian" contributed to this crowd.
We drove around and found Tim and Willie's car in pre staging lane, but they were still at driver's meeting. Tim owns '32 Ford 3 window with 502 crate motor, Muncie 4 speed and 9" rear end. It was an old Bonneville race car he found. Very nice!

Soon after that they came back and waited for line to move. With 500 cars pre registered, line didn't move at all. Finally Tim got to start line on short course. In Bonneville, there are normally 2 courses. Short course for 3miles and log course for 5miles. In order to run on long course, you must first run on short course and go over 175mph. Tim drove to 168mph and that was all for the day.

Next morning, we changed to taller tires thinking may be it'll give us more top speed, but motor didn't have enough horse power to pull it off. That was all for this day. We changed back to shorter tires and lined up for tomorrow.

Monday Morning, Tim went 178mph. may be the cool air in the morning helped. Tim said he just got on it and stayed on it. After lunch, Tim and Willie decide to put me in the car. There's no way I would pass up this opportunity. First, I had to go get signed up and get rookie orientation. Few safety rules and manners. Next we had to go back to Tech and do bail out. I have to demonstrate that I can escape out of the car in case of emergency. I was strapped in the car and official tells me you are on fire! What do you do. Ifm supposed to shut fuel and power off, then undo seat belt. I was searching to undo seat belt and it just seemed I was taking too long. Finally got seat belt undone and then safety net and got out of the car. I thought I failed, but official tells me to practice some more and he signed me off.

We are ready to go get in line. We weren't too sure if we'll make it in time or not, but few minutes before they close line for the day, we were in. I get to run!
As we came closer to starting line, I was getting anxious. Tim and Willie gave me few pointers on what to do and they set rev limiter to 4,800rpm. So I wouldn't go over 150mph. on rookie run, you must drive 125mph, but not over 150mph. at starting line, official came and talked to me about few things I should know and it was time to start engine. I had official's go and on my way. I struggled a little coming out of line, but got it going. 4,800rpm came real quick. Gone through all gears and by the time I was in 4th gear, I was at 1 mile marker. I should be right around 150mph. from here, I was aiming at 2mile marker and coasted down to it and pulled chute.

Officials want to see all rookies to pull chute. When chute open, it really pulls you back and straighten the car. I shut engine off and coasted to return road.
What a sensation! It's hard to explain it. On the return road, picked up timing slip. 145mph at 1 mile marker. Good enough for "D" license. Now I can climb up the ladder. "C" up to 175mph. "B" up to 200mph, "A" up to 250mph and "AA" 250mph and up. I'm hooked now.

I'm grateful for Tim and Willie for the opportunity.

by Chico, President of MOONEYES USA, Inc.

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