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  • Thug was loaded into the stacker, and its ready to head to Norwalk, Ohio next Monday afternoon. I really needed the shop space it was taking. Cars are parked and stored everywhere until I can get furniture (sold my house in Katy Monday) sold that taking up valuable car space.



    The clutch pedal on my 58 Dodge Pickup wasn't engaging. Pulled the bell-housing off, and the throw-out bearing was literally held on with bailing wire. New parts ordered and that will be fixed so I can sell it, as part of my Make life easier with less stuff plan. Sold a very nice Little Red Express for $35k Friday. I'd had that truck for a long time, as I've had this 58.

    Took the motorhome to get inspected, and then to the DMV to renew tags for it, my 64 Imperial convertible, and Ole Blue - my 94 Harley. Moved a bunch of cars around, to keep them all covered while I work on getting my 12-car garage back by selling furniture in it.

    Pulled the rear suspension out of the wagon "The Screamin Woody". My shop rat will spend the next week cleaning it and the underside of the car so it can be inspected, fixed where needed, and painted before reassembly.

    Moving on to my 1999 Kawasaki Drifter 1500. removed the fenders and tank, which I'll take to either have painted or wrapped. Still deciding.

    When the bike is just started, the hydraulic clutch engages right at the end of letting the lever out, and there's no adjustment. When the bike gets warm, the clutch slips. Bleeding didn't help, so the clutch was taken out and inspected. The 8 discs were a little worn but in spec. However the three retaining springs were flattened out and not in spec. Since the discs were only $13 each, I figured I'll replace them as the bike will be in my garage when I die. It my only bike I can ride in shorts without getting a muffler burn. Unfortunately, the parts won't be here until next week.

    This morning, my ac unit on the other side of the wall from my bed woke me with the racket it was making. Outside it was rocking like an out of balance washing machine, and worked its way off the foundation. One of the blades broke off, breaking two other blades. I called my home warranty and was told the ac repair guy would call an schedule within 24 hours. No calls today. August in Southern Texas means they're backed up, and we're sitting in front of fans.



    Finally, the 46 Olds Street Rod got a new set of plugs, wires and cap. Its ready for interior, but I don't have an interior shop lined up. The one I was using screwed me the last time.

    Tomorrow the plan is to put the Vitamin C in my other trailer and move a 1960 Plymouth Project from the back row to the lift bay. The leaning tower of Power and 3-on-tree will be coming out and replaced with a BB Mopar and 4-Speed. It's interior i already done in Navajo Indian blankets, and the exterior will be a funky Southwest look. The underside has also been cleaned, painted and rebuilt. It has an 8.75" axle from a 68 Chrysler.



    So much to do, so little time!

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    • I've always liked the Indian blankets on that car.
      "You're only as old as the women you feel."
      -Groucho Marx
      Moparless for now

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      • In life, sometimes you're the bug, and sometimes the windshield.


        I left off in Part One waiting for Qualify #3, which I really needed. In Q1 I went way too fast, and Q2 way too slow. That had me as #22 of 28.



        At about noon it started raining, and it didn't stop until about 4. The track went hot at about 5 pm, and we were projected to run at 7 pm. NMCA kept it running pretty quick and we were called up again at about 8:00 pm, just as it looked like it was going to rain.



        The weather station was all over the map on predictions, but said I needed a lot of weight - and so I gave it a lot of weight to try to run a 9.77 and move up the Qualifying list and get some points. The car felt good, but the ticket told another story.



        My car usually 60's at 1.33-1.35 with little weight, and 1.36-1.37 with a lot of weight. When I got my time slip I thought I had something wrong with the car on a 1.41. However, back in the pits everyone was saying they were 4 off. For the 2 hours before we ran, they hot lapped True Street cars for 3 hits each, and had two other classes of street tire cars destroy the track for our 60-year-old 9-second cars with skinny slicks. Its a moot point, because it started raining right after we ran, so we wouldn't have run at all if they'd prepped the track.



        So I moved down to number 26 of 29, and would be matched up with Robert Killian for a 9.75 Heads Up. Robert is a very good racer who was ahead of me in points, so I saw this as a good "Do or Die" opportunity.

        Sunday morning it rained, and we were delayed a couple of hours. A racing bud of mine, Doc, drove in from Detroit to help. My strategy was simple. Even though it was projected that I needed 166 pounds, I took all weight out of the car and I'd put a fender on him at the line, as it was looking like he might have had a problem running his index.

        So they call us to the lanes and hop in the Thug and hit the starter. What I heard from my brand new MSD starter was nasty! I jacked the car up and I found the evidence that I was the bug for the entire week. No Cinderella Sunday.



        My starter had fragged and I was dead. I took the golf cart up to the staging lanes to tell Killian he had a broke bye. Insult to injury was that he was a tenth too slow, and I'm pretty sure he ran it out.

        Doc helped me load up and Deb, Smith, Wesson and I left the track at 2 pm. The original plan was to drop the car off at Randy Stansbury in Louisiana to do the body work, so I could get the car in time to clean and service before Indy. Without a starter, I had to get home quick, fix the car, and get it back to Randy. I got to Jackson, TN at midnight and got some sleep. I got sick during the middle of the night, and was feeling real sick when we left Jackson at 9 am. I got to the shop at about 9:30 pm Monday.



        I was still sick but the starter was replaced by 2pm Tuesday, and I loaded into my small trailer.



        I got up at 4:30 am Wednesday, still feeling sick, but left at 5:30 and arrived at Randy's shop at 9 am. I unloaded the car, and the sheet metal to my Kawasaki Drifter 1500 - which Randy is also painting - and picked an "Arrest Me" red color.



        I left Randy's shop at 9:30 am and didn't get home until 1:30 because of rain. I was in bed by 4 pm because I felt so sick, and still do today - Thursday.

        The plan is that Randy will do the repair, a better job on the bumpers than I'd done, the underside of the hood in the body color, and some touchup work. I'll pick up Wednesday so I have a week to get it cleaned and serviced. The starter in it is from the wagon, and while it sounded good in the shop, it sounded questionable unloading at Randy's. I ordered a new Power Master.




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        • So the Texas Thug is at the body shop having it's "Trailer Rash" fixed, paint touched up, a better job on the bumpers, and to paint the underside of the hood. I'll be picking it up tomorrow.

          The underside of Screaming Woody has been scraped, sanded, and scuffed.



          Painting starts tomorrow. The sheet metal in silver POR15 and frame and cross braces in gloss black POR15. The rear end and 4-link has been disassembled, cleaned, and scuffed. They'll be painted in gloss red. Hopefully, rear suspension to Screaming Woody will be re installed by end of the month.

          My race in Norwalk last month ended before the first round of Eliminations when the new MSD starter fragged trying to start the car to go to the lanes. I thought I'd try MSD, but I'm back to Powermaster after driving cross country to break this way.



          Naturally, you can't buy a cast nose to fit it.
          Cleaning up some lightweight work in last week:

          • Pulled the Slant 6 from my 1960 Plymouth. Going to clean and paint under the hood, and then a pretty bad-assed Low Deck and 4-speed will find their new home there.
          • 1981 Imperial was tuned up and AC fixed. Next week I hope to have buffed out the paint and take photos to list for sale.
          • 1958 Dodge pickup had its throw out bearing replaced and clutch linkage repaired. It too will have it's paint buffed out, glamour photos taken, and listed for sale.

          • Recovered the seats on the golf cart a couple of months ago. Making a cushion back, for the top cushion of the back seat, to hide the seams and staples.
          • Greased the bearings on the stacker.
          • Cleaned and repacked bearings on open trailer
          • Cleaned, repacked bearings, and installed new seals on enclosed trailer.
          • Mowed 5 acres today
          • Took 17.5" Stacker tire to Discount Tire to use their cage to inflate and let beads seat

          Tomorrow I drive through Tropical Storm Gordon to bring back "The Thug" at Randy's from Louisiana. Have some work to do to get it ready for the Indy race later in the month. Much of the next few weeks will be spent getting the Vitamin C, 81 Imperial, 78 Magnum, 2014 F150 and 58 pickup ready to list for sale. And as previously stated, hope to have underside of the Screaming Woody finished this month.
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          • Can't recall ever seeing a starter broken like that.....unless it came out of bad crash. China made?

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            • I had a new starter break exactly like that. It came from a guy in Oregon who sells what are supposed to be high performance Mopar parts made in the USA. The moment the starter engaged the first time, it blew up. The failure was bad enough, but when it came apart a large piece flew into the unreachable part of the bell housing where it wedged and locked the engine. It took a couple of hours with a home made tool and much cursing to get it out.
              My book store: http://www.wings-press.com/

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              • Did you get back with the Thug back ok?
                "You're only as old as the women you feel."
                -Groucho Marx
                Moparless for now

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                • Yes, I'll update diary later today
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                  • As previously reported, the Thug acquired a trailer rash, and I'd took it to my buddy (Randy Standsbury) in Louisiana. He was to fix the damage, redo the bumpers, paint the underside of the hood, and apply the door decals I had made.



                    So Wednesday I left at about 4 am and headed into the Louisiana swamps. I arrived at Randy's at about 8:30 and looked over the car before loading. Randy did a great job.



                    I strapped the car in and headed back to SE Texas. I stopped 60 miles up the road for diesel and DEF, and checked the straps- they were loose and I gave them a couple of cranks to tighten. I stopped another 80 up the road, and again gave a couple of cranks. And yet when I got home, the car had moved over and acquired another little rash.


                    I 'd just bought this trailer from Jim Bailey, and he'd towed a Drag Pak, which is far shorter. I've ordered a 3" metal hole saw, 4 6,000# recessed D-Rings, new straps and I'm gonna fix this problem!

                    In the stacker, I bought new straps eliminating the short strap, and some 3-stud D Rings for the aircraft tracks. Twenty years of trailering cars, and I've never had the problems I'm having with this car!

                    All nuts and bolts under the car have been checked and tightened and the oil changed. Monday the slicks come off the car to get washed on both sides and polished and rotated to other side. I'll polish the aluminum in the trunk and the Lexan before loading up for Indy.

                    In other shop news, the 81 Imperial has been taken out of a 12 year hibernation, had its gas drained, the carb rebuilt, the oil changed, and new master cylinder and wheel caliper installed. I've owned the car since the mid 80s, I restored it about 15 years ago with a high performance drive train (380hp 360ci/street-strip 904/8.75" rear end with 355 gears), but its time to move on with a lot of these cars I never drive.



                    When I bought the Texas Thug in 2001, it was a street racer with 17" street slicks, a solid lifter/aluminum head 383 that had just been rebuilt, and a V-Gate shifted 4-speed. When delivered I took for a quick ride, and it was scary fast for such a small displacement. I took the car to Mark Artis at Texas Thunder Performance. He needed the 4-speed pedals for Big Red Ram. He took the big brake pedal, engine and transmission that was in Big Red Ram and put into that car - and then back-halved with a 4-link. It was my bracket car, later getting a 540ci with tunnel ram and a pair of 1180 Dominators.



                    So the engine that was originally in the car has been wrapped and stored for nearly two decades. I've pulled the Leaning Tower of Power and Three on the Tree out of my 60 Plymouth (another of my keepers) and will put a bad V-8 and 5 or 6 speed in it. I had my engine guy disassemble the 383 (heads and oil pan) and verify that it had been a fresh rebuild. He says the bearings look new and you can see a cross hatch on the cylinder walls. So I cleaned, primered and painted the short block so that it can be reassembled.



                    Finally, for 40 years I've always had a Chrysler convertible. In the 80s a 67 Newport, in the early 90s a 64 300, and late 90's a 65 300. Almost 20 years ago, I bought a 64 Imperial Crown Convertible (my Dream Car, besides a 65 300L 4-speed convertible) off a 90+ year old lady who had received it new as a gift for her 50th birthday. I drove if for years and then it developed a lifter noise about 15 years ago, so I parked it. These are fairly rare cars now. Only 900 were made and Haggerty estimates that less than 200 exist in any condition. The best ones sell for $80k+ and ones like mine $30k-$40k.

                    Well the gas was drained, carb rebuilt, lifter noise fixed, new brakes on all four corners, new wheel cylinders, new master cylinder, and new brake lines. The top pump fixed an levels topped off. Also the fuel sender was replaced as it read empty. Yesterday I took for a 50 mile shake down ride. below are the videos.







                    I order new carpet and an Electronic ignition conversion kit. After that will be new tires and wheels, and exhaust system. The interior is in great shape, but a little over due for leather conditioner. Some of the interior chrome could use a good polishing. The paint is good except for a little bleaching on the trunk lid. I might see if I can get that repaired and the rest of the car power buffed. I've also considered getting crazy and wrapping in the same shade of green, but with wood grain side panels. The AC is worthless, and I looking at my options, including maybe installing a serpentine bracket system with modern AC/Power steering/Alternator.

                    That about brings things up to date with the shop happening.

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                    • The videos from above


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                      • Polish, D-Rings, New seats, Engine Assembly and Paint

                        What does all of that have in common? It and more happened at the shop yesterday.

                        All of the aluminum in the truck of the Thug got polished up.

                        Before

                        After

                        I needed more loose weight as I'd been borrowing from 00Joe and Dennis Breeden, so bought a couple dumbbells and chopped off the ends.



                        Photo is upside down, they weigh 11.1 pounds each.

                        I bought an aluminum trailer from Jim Bailey, but since his car was much shorter, I didn't have enough angle for front straps, and damaged the paint on the Thug. Yesterday I cut 3" holes through the aluminum floor and took a high speed bit to it to shape for 6,000 pound recessed D-Rings. A few bolt holes, carriage bolts and impact wrench to drive nuts on and I'm now good to go.



                        Moving onto my 1960 Plymouth, the Leaning Tower was pulled in favor of an approximate 450hp 383 that was in the Thug when it was a street racer 15 years ago. The 383 was assembled as far as it can go until another parts delivery arrives. Also found a bent push rod a two bad rocker adjusters, so the were ordered.




                        Also painted and wrapped the low mileage and strong 6-banger that came out of the Plymouth, before putting it into the shed.



                        I bought a set of like new black leather seats from a 2-door BMW and installed into my 78 Magnum. They looked great in the car but my "Full-Figured" ass was too wide to be comfortable. So they were yanked out in favor of new leather aftermarket, which took 3.5 months to get here.



                        Wrapped these seats, which are for sale. If you have a Muscle Car with black interior, there's nothing like the comfort of modern power seats.



                        These are the aftermarket leather seats. No power, and they have a satin look to them, which maybe leather conditioner might shine up, but they're very comfortable.

                        Also found a couple of hours to mow my 5 acres and wash Zero turn.



                        Fixin to head out to the shop for another very full day.

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                        • The last day and half at the shop I managed to clean, scuff, prime, and put two coats of Banner Red paint on the Ford 9" housing for the Screaming Woody.



                          Despite two cans of primer and two cans of red paint - I need to hit it with another coat tomorrow. Then on to reassemble it. The chuck has been rebuilt and ready. Also need to do the same with the wheelie bars and four links.

                          My wife and I will be leaving Monday for the Finals in Indy. After the race I'll be dropping the Coach off in Northwest Indiana for a week's worth of warranty work and service. While that's happening, my wife and I will drive to Western New York to visit her family. Since "The Thug" isn't the appropriate car to drive that 400 miles each way, I need to bring another car. I washed up the SRT8, but it wound up being too wide to fit on the lift, with the mirror being too close to the fender cabinet.



                          They only other modern car I own that is smaller is the Genesis Coupe that my daughter drives. So we got it washed up and strapped down on the lift. She'll have to drive one of my trucks while we're gone.



                          Then I loaded up The Thug. Since I've had a little trailer rash issue with that car, I went from four straps to eight straps - four crossed and four straight. I'm that paranoid.



                          I also wrapped the handles to the dumbbells, which I'd chopped the ends off for loose weight. I weighed them and threw them in the weight basket in my stacker.



                          The engine to my 60 Plymouth "Street Car" is almost fully assembled. Waiting on the oil pan, a push rod, a pair of adjusters, a valve cover breather, and a dip stick tube. Also have grind a little off the block for the Block Hugger headers to fit properly.


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                          • At the shop Friday, I accomplished the following at the shop:

                            Last coat of red on the read end housing for Screamin Woody.



                            That was two cans of red primer and three cans of Banner Red paint. Also, cleaned, scuffed, taped off, primered and painted the wheelie bars.



                            Pressure washed the engine compartment of the 60 Plymouth after removing hood. The underside of hood needs to be taken down to bare metal and painted Corporate Blue.



                            The front suspension needs to be rebuilt, washed again, scuffed with brown 3M pads, painted Corporate Blue, and the front suspension painted POR15 Gloss black. The reason for Corporate Blue is that the car will get wrapped to look like the King's 60 Plymouth (His first Top Rank NASCAR car) that sat out back of his shop for 50 years.



                            Headers are on the 383 that will go into the 60. Oil pan just came in. Still waiting on a push rod and a pair of adjusters to finish. Yes I'll put a new Wix 51515 Oil Filter on it.

                            Bumper came off of my 78 Magnum - Ginger. It took a three hour drive with me to the chrome shop, to be stripped and re-plated.



                            They jumped on stripping to bare metal and sent me these photos.



                            They promised it will be ready in three weeks. We'll see! The huge full width bumper mount will get wire brushed and a couple coats of black POR15.

                            While on the topic of Magnum, the radio (from a 99 Durango that I Installed 15 years ago) was pulled out and tested as it has it's volume and reception goes up and down. It works bench tested, but in car its a big power draw. Testing still required to figure out.



                            And staying on the subject of my 78 Magnum, about 15 years ago I made a custom dash panel and filled it with Dakota Digital gauges. The tach has gone dim on me, and they're not as Kool now as 15 years ago. Below is an old photo, as the column shift has been replaced with a floor shift and console.



                            So I bought a stock dash panel to fill with after market gauges.



                            The gauge holes measure two at 4" and two at 2 5/8". 4" gauges are limited, and I'm two holes short for a full set if I couldn't find a combo. While pricey, I did find what I needed.



                            I ordered them with a white face with black day face and green on black night face. Ordered a clock and a oil temp with same face and bezel to fill the 2 5/8" holes. It rocked me about a grand, and will take 4-5 weeks to make. I'm sure there will be a lot of Dremel tool action to the dash panel to get them in.

                            The sheet metal was removed from my 99 Drifter 1500 and taken to Randy Stansbury for a 3-stage metallic red paint job. The clutch was rebuilt and drivetrain serviced a couple of weeks ago. Got the frame all purdied up while waiting on sheet metal to get delivered to me in Indy.



                            That' my now almost 31-year-old son on the bike. Saddle bags, windshield and Baby Ape Hangers bars have been added over the years.



                            Red and black is my favorite color combo. I hope it looks good on this bike.

                            Finally the trees. At my little cabin on the lake, I had a 30' Oak tree that died. I had a professional crew come out to take it down and grind the stump down. It was surrounded on three sides by a pool, patio and wrought Iron fence - so I wanted no part of it.



                            Also had three 30-gallon Mexican Fan palms planted.



                            All in all, I've had a pretty busy and productive week. The plan is to just rest this weekend by paying bills and reconcile checking accounts, catch up on some computer work - and watch the Stros, Texans and NHRA. Monday we head to Indy for the Finals.

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                            • We're up at the NMCA Finals, and the Victory vs. NMCA Showdown at Lucas Raceway in Indy. Deb and I took a leisurely 2 1/2 day ride up here from Texas. It was relatively uneventful, with the exception of breaking a strap on the street car that was on the lift. That required me unloading and reloading both cars in a Walmart parking lot. Basically we left Monday afternoon and arrived at the track at 5 pm Wednesday.



                              Thursday, the track opened at 8:30 am, and we had the pit set up, credentials established, car tech'd in by noon.



                              Time trials started at 1 pm. Air was a horrible 4200'. I ran a 9.77 without weight.



                              2nd test and tune hit was a couple hours later. Starting line was horrible and I had a bad 60'.



                              My final hit was a little better when I took some air out of the slicks.



                              This morning we had a Time Trial at 10 am. The air was obviously much better, with a little tail/cross wind. I didn't run with weight, although it was predicted I should put 60 pounds in to hit my 9.75 index.



                              So the First qualifying is scheduled at 2 pm, hot lapping us for the second at the end of the 2 pm group.



                              That assumes the weather allows all of that to happen.


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                              • First round of qualifying at Indy was at 1 pm Friday, one hour earlier than scheduled. I usually set up to go a number slower on the first round, and then go for broke on the next two Qualifying. I felt like I had a good launch, so I lifted at the MPH cone.



                                Got a 9.768 on my 9.75 index. We calculated what I would have run without lifting, and it was a 9.753. Another bad decision. Tough crowd here, so I was number 8 of 53.



                                I have a street car on the lift, as I'm dropping the motorhome off at the factory and then driving to Western New York for my wife to visit her sister while the coach is being worked on. When walking under the lift fairly fast, I smacked my head on the landing puck on the underside of the lift. I got woozy and fell hitting my head on the trailer fender. When I rolled over and put my hand to my head, blood was gushing out. I had blood running down my hand and arm; and my face and gasses were covered in blood. I staggered to coach to get my wife to wet down a towel to stop the bleeding. Meanwhile another racer in the staging lanes saw me and ran to the NMCA guy directing the staging lanes. He sat me down and called the ambulance, which stopped the race. They treated me, bandaged the head up, and had me sign a waiver refusing to go to hospital for stitches. I was going to go after the second round, which was suppose to be in another 15 minutes. However, they pushed us back another two hours and we were the last ones down the track - following Pro Thug and Radial Wars, which takes a different prep. I figured the starting line was going to be garbage, and set up expecting a 1.38 60'. Another bad decision, as I had a 1.36 60' and broke out by that difference. That moved me down to 13, now with now 63 NSS racers.





                                After that round, we called the Urgent Cares in the area and was told I'd have to go to a Hospital Emergency Room. I didn't feel like I wanted to pay a $400 deductible to spend a Friday night in an Indy Emergency Room. I self treated by rubbing some dirt on it and drinking heavily for pain management.



                                Didn't sleep worth a damn last night. It was midnight when I went to bed and at 2 am I had to deal with the Carbon Monoxide detector blaring. We were to race at 8:30 am, which means they call us to the line at 7:45. I got out of bed at 6 am, got the weather station set up, generator running, and car pushed out of the trailer. At 7 am I started the car, took it for a ride to warm it up. I parked the car in my pits and put charger on.



                                The weather was thirty degrees cooker, calling for a lot of weight to be added.



                                At the line the car stuttered and bogged. Not sure if it was low fuel pressure, wrong jetting, or the car not being warm enough for the cold air. Maybe a combination of all. Anyway the bog caused a shitty light and a horrible 60'.



                                That caused me to get knocked out of the All Star Shootout. Worst yet, My back glass blew out at 136 mph.



                                There was a mandatory NSS driver's meeting after Q3. I wasn't wanting to go, as I knew I was out of the All Star Shootout, and that's what it was about. Doug Duell insisted I go, and I thought maybe he was going to pick me as his "Champion's" choice. The way the shootout works is that 16 NMCA racers go against 16 Victory Series racers. To get the best of each, they each take the Top Five from last year and the 9 best qualifiers (who's hot this weekend) from this race. Then the past Champion picks one. While Doug and I are good Buds, we're also strictly business when it comes to racing. Doug picked Doug Wright, who has been on fire this year. It was the right choice. So the rest of us NMCA racers (about 20) Each got a Raffle Ticket for the final "Lucky Dog" pick, and my number was called.



                                So now I'm in a race with a car that bogged, has no back window, and I have a screamer of a headache from the day before. Randy Stansbury, who installed the Pro Glass back window when he painted the car, started putting it back in. Barry Dorn, who has done a few came by to help him.



                                They had it in in less than an hour. Thank you very much Randy and Barry. I then put on some of my wife's "Happy Camper" duct tape to hold it in until the new Pro Glass, NASCAR window tabs and molding clips arrive at the shop.



                                So right now I'm "Chillin", trying to shake this killer headache, before they call the first of five rounds for the "All Star Shootout". Sunday, NSS has the eliminations or all 63 racers at 8 am.

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