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story and photos by Ray Alexander
We left for Muscle Cars at the Strip (MATS) on Wednesday in order to spend a couple of extra days in Las Vegas. We get ten miles from home and there was a terrible noise from the rear of the car. We were coming up the on ramp for I 15. I called my mechanic Lonnie Bartley, owner of MPR Motorsports, he got me a tow truck.
The problem turned out to be a broken half shaft on the left side. Lonnie was busy getting another car ready for MATS. He had a used OEM half shaft. It was likely my OEM part because I gave him mine when I changed to DSS 1,000 hp parts. Lonnie got someone to change the parts in the parking lot.
Got to Las Vegas a lot later than planned only to find we didn’t have a room. My wife was ready to kill me before that problem was solved.
During Friday and Saturday practice both Lonnie and I were getting red lights. It is usually a onetime occurrence, but both of us got multiples. I got two in three runs. I had decided not to use nitrous because of the notoriously weak OEM half shaft. I was getting slow 60 foot times; several of my time slips were close to 13.1.
I have had a lot of bad luck here, but Sunday rolls around and I haven’t broken anything. I wrote 13.10 on my window and ran 13.110; the other car beat me, but broke out. Wow, I have never ran a second round of elimination here. The second round opponent got a red light; I ran just over 13.1 again. The next round I was picked for a possible bye, but an even number of cars showed. I beat that car.
The next race was against a lady in a red SRT Magnum, she has been there for the last several years. I was gaining on the Magnum, but didn’t catch it. Her husband had dropped her dial-in by 0.1 seconds, and she broke out. Now there were three cars left: Lonnie Bartley, Alex Roggo and me. Alex got the bye. I ran against Lonnie and beat him, but lost to Alex in the finals.
This is a great event, come on down!
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