2007 Shoot-Out Coverage
The results are in and survey says that the 2007 SC Shootout brought in at least 73 MN12's from as far away as Sherwood Park, Alberta, Boston, Massachusetts, and Orlando, Florida. Does this make it officially the largest MN12 gathering of recent times? One thing is for sure, the scope of the event is much greater than anything ever attempted for on behalf of the SC community with 47 cars on the dyno and at least 55 cars making passes down the 1/4 mile. We really had our doubts that it would be possible to top the 2006 Shootout but this year in Dayton, Ohio we did just exactly that. For those who attended last year, it certainly helped to be somewhat familiar with the area, which seems to be an ideal location. Hotels, restaurants, two dyno's and the drag strip all within a very reasonable driving distance is just icing on the cake.
As early as Thursday afternoon, MN12's were already starting to fill the hotel parking lot. Many attendees made the trek a day early in order to take advantage of some dyno tuning with Dave who had committed to a nearly impossible EEC tuning schedule. Some people needed just minor tweaks to their existing combinations, while others such as Jerrod Imerbthama, Chris Vining, and Ken Wagner were trying to maximize completely new and elaborate set-ups.
Friday the event was officially underway. Registration tables opened up early in the morning so that participants would be able to pick up their shirts and get signed up for the dyno competition that was already under way. Meanwhile the hotel luggage cart was steadily being shuttled from the parking lot to rooms carrying items such as drag rims and slicks, tool boxes, axles, jacks, helmets and most everything else that it was probably not designed for. Amazingly enough, it survived the weekend.
From the hotel, most people drove down the street to Kammer Racing to either receive a tune, watch the sessions unfold or to eye up the competition. With all of the wrench turning in the parking area, ogling over a slew of high dollar tools (and automobiles) in the shop, and occasional bench racing sessions, it was a long and tiring day. I am still amazed at how committed MN12 owners are to their rides. When returning to the hotel it was incredible to see the sheer number of T-birds, XR7's, tow vehicles and trailers that had arrived. We even had one token Mark VIII. Just getting a parking spot was a serious challenge. As it became dusk most of the crew invaded the local streets in MN12 formation to grab a bite to eat at Cadillac Jack's. After dinner it was business as usual outside in the parking lot a long night of catching up with old friends, meeting new friends, sharing stories of the road and the dyno. Why is it that the Canadians always have the best stories?
Saturday everyone was up bright and early. OK, well, some were brighter than others and others definitely more early than some. But by noon most were on their way to the wrap up of the Shootout Dyno Challenge and on to the Car Show, which was held at Precision Autosports and Beavercreek Municipal Park immediately across the street. The typical weekend park goers who wanted a nice, quiet, early morning bike ride were in for a rude awakening as the fleet rolled in. The area was bustling all day long with cars making their way to the rollers to lay down official numbers for the weekend and then returning to their parking spot to show off the bling. Lunch was provided by Jersey Mike's and this time there was plenty of food and drinks to go around.
If you have never attended the Shootout, it is hard to describe the atmosphere. Where else can you walk down a line of cars, appreciating craftsmanship such as Kevin Leitem's beautiful blue 10 second beast, Duane Nettles multi-World Ford Challenge winning showpiece, David Neibert's infamous World's Fastest SC fresh out of the paint booth, Bill Evanoff's always spotless show winner and Chris Keggan's mod motor beast, which is way too pretty for the amount of wrenching that gets done to that car. Then you have vehicles such as Scott Kalau? ultra low mileage SC which puts it all back into perspective as to just how beautiful these car are stock and how far the aftermarket has come.
The all day sound of superchargers screaming and V8's roaring which was complimented by the quiet sound of records shattering on the dyno was the perfect way to top off the environment. As usual, the bar increases each year and Ira Robinson really threw it high with 453 rwhp using no nitrous, and this was DOWN 20 rwhp from just a few days ago. There was a time when 3.8L's really struggled to make power, but thanks to advances in supercharger technology, a better understanding of the myths and proven recipes to building power and a general increase in the aftermarket, now 300 RWHP is just a matter of picking the right bolt ons.
After the car show judging had concluded and once the rollers were done spinning, it was off to dinner at the Quaker Steak and Lube. Fortunately there was no looming threat of thunderstorms, hale, torrential downpour or any of the like this year. Just plenty of good weather and reserved parking spaces, which the participants had no problem filling door to door with approximately 70 MN12's!!!! It was a site rivaled only by Carlisle 2002, when you literally could not walk without bumping into an MN12. Fortunately the weather had been cooperating all weekend and the patio dinner was the perfect climax to a perfect day.
Following dinner, and the photo op's, it was back to the hotel for the much anticipated, Russ Box-O-Crap raffle. This was a milestone year as there was not only one box, but 4 boxes from Russ and an inaugural Box-O-Crap from the TBU which was said to contain remnants of previous "Russ Box-O-Craps" and the O.G. SCCoA member himself, Russ Jamison was in attendance to verify with his own eyes that people really did buy the crap he cleaned out from his closets. Only once the bidding was over was anyone permitted to view the contents of the boxes. I am still puzzled as to why he had some of those items in his closets, but while no details about the contents can be disclosed, rumor has it that some boxes actually had some useful things. The official auctioneer, Mr. Duane Nettles was also very pleased to present the proceeds in cash to the Shootout Committee, which decided to use it as a tough luck offering to whoever would have the biggest breakdown the next day.
Sunday Race Day. Everyone had their game faces on as the hotel luggage cart was again shuttling drag rims and slicks, tools and parts to the appropriate MN12's and tow rigs. Most everyone made it to the track around 9:00 a.m. to get acquainted with the pits, perform the finishing touches to their cars and to get some test runs in. The weather was perfect for racing, as was the track prep, and the staging lanes immediately filled. And then the carnage began with Dave Sabados repeatedly testing just how much psi it takes to blow an intercooler tube off, Dennis and Mike's Team FKR SC putting the break into brake lines, and Chris Keggan proving that he hates his axles, James Smith showing what 20psi does to Sealed Power pistons, Kevin Leitem doing product development testing for Art Carr, and Dan Sly proving that blowing headgaskets is just as much of a bummer as is blowing off fiberglass hoods, there was relatively little carnage which was much welcomed.
As each car settled into its respective class, qualifying rounds began which found the Super Stock class actually running quicker than Mod 1, and left more than just a few participants scratching their heads wondering how did he do that??? It was during qualifying that Kevin Leitem re-wrote the history books again as the first ever non nitrous, M90 powered SC to run 10?. His best pass was a thundering 10.975 @ 119.63 before turning his C4 transmission into a paperweight which put him on the trailer early. James Smith also had a tough day with a melted piston only after running a new best of 13.27 @ 102.5 in his beautifully repainted 95 SC. Much focus was on David Neibert who was intent on running 10's, but troubles with his nitrous system plagued him all day. Only after doing a mediocre burnout did the system finally start functioning again, which produced an amazing 330 foot long burnout from the lights earning him the official title of John Force which was previously held by Michelle Huffman from some 2005 Shootout escapades. Fortunately this time no police were involved.
As the winners prevailed, a new calm came over the pits. The event was gearing down, there was no rush to change tires back and many were eager to chat about the results. What was done was done. For many, new personal bests were achieved, for others new frustrations were met, but for all a sense of closure was felt for at least another year. With a sense of leisure everyone lined up in formation to leave the track as one and to get ready for the SC/XR7 Shootout Awards Banquet, which was a great way to unwind after a long day. The food was top notch, the trophies were amazing (by far the best to date) and everyone was in good spirits. With full bellies for some it was a time to shake hands and take pictures while for others it was time to hit the road or hit the sack for some much needed rest. And for some of us it was not to early to start dreaming and scheming for next year?
- SC Shootout