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Posted By: SpeedSceneLiveTV
Filed Under: Cars
9:54 AM

Part two of driving a race rig across country and trying to stay legal. Can it be done?

In my last blog I mentioned the trials and tribulations of a drag racer in the world of commercial truck drivers. I am not an expert on laws regarding transportation. I am just a drag racer who wants to be legal and I am writing this to show a real world experience of what it is like behind the wheel of a big rig. I have a huge amount of respect for commercial drivers, but it was never my goal to be one. I am not sure why I didnt become one as I really enjoy driving cross country and seeing new things and meeting people. But nowadays, if you are a professional drag racer, and drive a rig bigger than a pickup and an open trailer, you have to become a commercial driver. The Department of Transportation (DOT) officers have taken a good, hard look at us and decided we need to become classified as professional truck drivers. They feel that we need to pay our fair share. They have suffered budget cutbacks and they have large pensions to pay, so they need new ways to bring funds into their departments. So they passed a few laws that incorporate us drag racers into their programs, and once you are in their program, you pay and pay.

Remember, I am writing this blog as a racer driving on the road. I am the guy pulling into the weigh stations because if I drive by I could get pulled over. I know a lot of guys just drive by the scales and inspection stations, and I used to also. But now I have a huge Currie Enterprises logo with pictures of race cars on the side of the trailer, and it is kind of hard to say I am not a pro driver. Now I get to interact with the DOT officers and when I get pulled in the first thing they want to see is my Commercial license (CDL) and my DOT and IFTA paperwork. Then they want to see my log book and maybe my medical card.

Last month, while driving through New Mexico, one of the DOT officers decided to put me through a safety inspection. She weighed the truck, checked all the lights, windshield wipers, lug nuts, brakes, steering and everything under the hood. She wrote me a fix-it ticket for my window washer being out of fluid. Then she gave me a lecture on my log book being too sloppy. Sure, the info was correct and filled out, but she didnt like the way I did it and insisted that I buy a ruler so I could fill it out in a more orderly manner. I asked her if it was incorrect, and she answered, No, I just dont like the way it looks. You can see that a lot of the rules depend on how that officer feels that day.

Stay tuned for my next blog as I will tell you a story that has racers shaking their heads in dis-belief. I will share just how crazy the DOT officers can get, and how the power has gone to their heads. Look out, racers; they want your money and they dont care how they get it.
Posted By: SpeedSceneLiveTV
Filed Under: Cars
9:11 AM

What it is like to be a racer towing cross country and dealing with the DOT

Racecar tow rigs:

A hot topic these days is the laws regarding tow rigs and Drag racers. Many race teams have stepped up to a larger truck and trailer and that has put them on the radar as commercial drivers. But many sportsman racers have just a truck and a trailer and the local law enforcement agencies have looked at them as a possible revenue source. The reason this is so difficult is that the laws are so poorly written and enforcement can be interpreted in many ways by whomever it is that pulls you over. If you are on the highway, you are a potential source of income for the local law enforcement, and they need money. Budget cutbacks have many agencies looking for new ways to generate funds.
I decided that since I drive a toter home and a stacker trailer with sponsor logos on the side, I better jump thru all the hoops required of me. I wanted to make sure that I could pull into any inspection station and be completely compliant. However, I quickly learned that it is not easy due to the many different interpretations of the laws. I got my CDL (Commercial Drivers License) and my medical card. I signed up for my DOT (Department of Transportation) number. And I signed up for my IFTA (Fuel Tax) program. When you go thru a inspection station, or weigh station, they want to see all this paperwork. You also need to display IFTA stickers and DOT numbers on the side of your truck. Of course, you also are required to fill out a log book, and be ready to show your log book at any time. The log book shows how many miles you have driven and how many hours per day. You must take a half hour break in the middle of the day, and only drive 10.5 hours per day.
I recently spent a month drag racing in Kentucky and drove the rig from California to Kentucky and back. I learned a lot on the trip and found that some states are easy going while others are much more difficult. My next blog will tell more about the trip behind the wheel of a drag racer in a commercial vehicle.
Stay tuned.
Posted By: nhra007
Filed Under: Cars
5:14 PM


Posted By: SpeedSceneLiveTV
Filed Under: Cars
7:59 PM

My favorite track, Bakersfield.

Why does the track in Bakersfield, California, hold such an allure to me? What is it about this historic venue that connects with me on a level that no other track can do?

When I think about that track, I start at the core, the track itself. I like to walk up and look at the starting line in the morning. The air is quiet, the breeze still, and I can faintly discern the smell of a mix of flowers, mulch, and VHT. There are usually very few people out on the track this time of the day. It is quiet and the world seems like a perfect place at that moment, when time seems suspended. It could be 2015 or 1950, the date doesnt really matter; it makes absolutely no difference to the track and you simply dont care. Off in the distance, the sound of agriculture goes on with a tractor or a fruit tree sprayer chugging through the orchards, but none of that matters because right now you are suspended in time at a timeless place, ready for a day of drag racing.

I look down track from the starting line and notice the rubber from other burnouts, other cars, and I see the groove as it heads for the finish line. The old rubber lays there as a testament to long-ago passes down this same quarter-mile strip of asphalt. A slight mirage effect ripples in the air as the summer heat reflects off the black, rubber-coated surface. At this moment, nothing matters but that 1,320 feet of perfect track, a finish line, and the turnoffs.

Sure, the track is surrounded by so much more that is currently out of sight. At the end, there are the turnouts, with return roads leading to a timeslip booth and then back to the pits. At the start there are staging lanes numbered 1 to 10 and at the head of the staging stands the stage master. This official is the one that pulls out the racer and directs him toward the track, and then the racer encounters another track worker who puts him in the burnout box.

The burnout box is where the fun begins, as you wet the tires and pull out of the water. On the officials hand signal you bring the motor up so the tires begin their crazy warm-up preparing for the launch. As you shift into second gear and the tires begin to really smoke like a crazy house fire out of control, you turn off the line lock and allow the car to start spinning and moving forward toward the starting line.

Then its time to stage. As your car creeps forward, inch by inch, you feel like maybe a surfer about to drop down into a monster wave, or a sky diver looking out an open door as the world spins miles below. The thrill, the rush, its just moments away. The tires are ready, the car is lined up and now you look down track just like you did earlier. Once again, time stands still. Is it 2015? 1950? Nobody cares. Nothing matters now but the track; the wonderful, eternal track; everything comes down to the track.

As the front tire creeps forward and breaks the last staging beam the second light illuminates. You press the accelerator and the motor comes to life. Powerful, loud, ready, the motor is ready to turn your car into a rocket ship. Time may be standing still, but your engine is spinning like crazy. The starter presses his button and the tree lights up.

This is the moment, the moment when everything comes together for better or for worse. This split second of reaction time is what drag racers live for, what we spend long nights alone in the shop wrenching on cars for, why we save every dollar we can just to afford rolling in the gate. This moment is our essence, our reason for being. The tortured tires grab and wrap, the sidewalls wrinkle and slingshot the car down the track.

The front of the car lifts up and heads for the sky for 50 feet or so before gently, like a butterfly, floating back to return the front tires to the track. Everything in your peripheral vision zooms by in a blur. The car rockets toward the finish line and as you cross the stripe all you know is, you want to do that again.
12:40 AM

1,700 Dodge Vipers recalled for faulty door handles

Dodge has announced a voluntary recall of its 2013-14 Vipers. In all, the recall affects 1,762 cars. The recall stems from a problem with the door handle assembly. Engineers found that the sealant didnt adequately protect the door handle assembly from moisture. If the electronic switches get wet, they can short circuit causing the door to not close properly or to open while driving. If youre lucky enough to be the owner of a 2013-14 Dodge Viper, bring it in to have the door assembly replaced at no cost to you.
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Tags: Dodge Viper, car recalls, car insurance, auto insurance, insurance quotes
Posted By: supercar
Filed Under: Cars
4:45 PM

SuperCar Crashes