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221 (6122) Whipple Superchargers Mint400 Race recap

MTPyle

Well-Known Member
I will try and make this shorter as the last couple were too long for me to read back LOL

Got to testing on Wednesday morning with Fox out in Apex. Only had a few hours as the parade down the strip was that day so we wanted to hurry. Truck seemed to run good and after a few tweaks from Fox’s Mike Kim (or as we call him, Anagram) it felt balanced and good. There was a little pop when I let off the throttle and back on. We did a log to send to Whipple to check what was up, figured it might be lean on decell.

Got to the parade and truck was idling odd and it threw a code for IAC failure. The LT1 does not have IAC motor so we figured the throttle body was acting up which made sense since it got trashed at the Laughlin mud fest. By the time we got done with parade it was too late to get new throttle body.

Qualifying- Whipple looked at the tune and made some adjustments for qualifying. We planned to take it kind of easy but we wanted to get into the top 10 in qualifying. Was running pretty good but hit a big hole by the water tank and we hit hard. At that point I said lets back off and not do anything stupid. Which was a bummer as the rest of the course wasn’t that bad. Engine was still popping so we figured it was for sure the Throttle body. We ended up 12th in qualifying which wasn’t horrible but not what we wanted. The truck is way faster than that.

We needed some new tires for the race and Toyo just told us to get some from BJ Baldwin while in Vegas. Called BJ’s guys to see if we could also work on our truck there as we couldn’t work on it in the Golden Nugget parking lot. BJ’s guys said no problem. We went to their shop and they were very helpful. Super cool group of guys and BJ came out a few times to make sure we were all good and taken care of. They even mounted our new tires for us. Haha. We left there with new tires, some Monster, and the new throttle body installed.

Race day- While in staging I texted my Son Connor and asked if I can send the first jump. He texted back, Send it!!. I put my phone away and did not see the following text that said "don't blow corner" ,LOL Took off next to Herling and let her rip. Flew over the first jump and said oh crap that corner is close. Tried to check up and nothing. My initial reaction was to gas it and try to drift around but thought I might just go off the berm sideways and roll. So I committed to blow the berm. As I got closer I saw the K rail there and had to turn to miss it. I gassed it and thankfully we didn’t roll, it was close and I could actually hear the crowd making noise. LOL kept in it at got back on course, pretty sure I said some choice words in the comms. Hehe

Got back to Herling and waited until the dry lake bed for the clean pass. We went by him and our GPS said 119mph, I was like WTH we have never gone that fast. Must have been a tail wind. Got by Herling clean and started pushing to the next truck. Was doing pretty good but the engine was still popping when off and back on. It was manageable but not helping. Was making decent time and feeling good, the truck was as dialed and faster than heck.

Then all of the sudden the throttle is acting up. I look at the ECM is not getting GPS signal. So it was back into the limp mode we had at Parker. Oh man, no… Kept doing what I could but it was hard when you have to pump the pedal 3 times to get it to go. Got passed by Travis Chase around mile 80. He was moving. Got to the main pit and replaced the gps antenna and that fixed it. Got passed by 5 trucks while in the pits. Pulled out of the pit behind Herling, back to where we started. Haha. Got around him on the dry lake bed in the exact same spot. Then started to hunt down the next truck. We were wide open on the big whoops dancing on top. What a rush. Engine was still popping but at full throttle it was good.

Caught up to a truck that was slower and could not get by in his dust. Followed him for 20 miles with siren on but didn’t want to get taken out by a rock, finally said f it lets get by. Just after Rockets we went to pass on the left a little bit off course, we hit a cross wash and a sand wall. I think we were doing about 70 or so and launched into the air longer than I have ever been in the air. All we saw was blue for what seemed like 5 mins. Landed and kept going. Made the turn onto Jean dry lake bed for the pass and then the engine died. We pulled over to a safe spot and discovered the Throttle body had failed. Come on… We had the old one in the pits so called main pits to have them bring it. They met up with RCamp and he brought it to us. Got it swapped and back on course. That took about 1.5 hours and took us out of the hunt.

Back on course we were running decent pace but knew it was over for us. Just wanted to get the truck back to the pits for the boys to take over. Had a truck a little ways behind us but wasn’t closing super fast. So we just kept going, finally that truck got closer so we pulled over to let them by. It was Adam Householder. Staying on his dust edge for some time and felt good that we were not getting killed by him. He was faster for sure but we could hang. In races in the past there was no way I could hang with the top guys. So that made me feel good that our truck was getting faster.

Called the pits and had them richen the fuel mixture to stop the popping in a new tune. When we got to the pits I had Connor load a new tune to see if that helped. They jumped in and took off for the 3rd lap. The popping was gone so that was good. They made it 27 miles and got a flat LOL Took a bit for them to get it changed but they got back on course. Then leaving Pit A they threw the driveline which took out a cooling line. Took about an hour or so to get that fixed and the cooling system filled and bled. When the first driveline went it bent the pinion yoke. The driveline ripped the safety strap and dug in, fortunately they were going slow. Then around mile 80 the second drive line went. So they put on the spare driveline and came in slow.

They came across a 10 car rolled over and stopped to check on them and get them back on their tires. I guess the good thing about being so late on course is we can do some clean up LOL. By the time they got to the pits at the end of the 3rdlap it was not worth doing the 4th lap. Especially with no spare driveline. One thing I will tell you is there were so many great volunteers out there helping. They really not only wanted to keep us safe but you could tell they really wanted to help us finish. For all the bashing of the Mint the did a lot right.

So we learned a lot and had another DNF due to engine issues. But the truck was amazing and was the fastest its been. Later looking at the throttle body we noticed the connector has something stuck in it. I think when we changed it the connector broke and it was not fully seated. Which sucks as if we would have left it alone we would have been fine. We plugged in the original throttle body and it was still dead so the bad connector may have shorted it out.

On the ECM Vehicle speed sensor issue- We got Maximum trans to get us a VSS sensor port on the trans while they rebuilt it, which they did. But we could not find the right sensor before the race so we ran the gps sensor, that’s what failed. We now have the right Motec sensor and will have it set up right for Silverstate.

I will be honest that this one hurt. I blew thru a corner on my second lap while I was thinking about how much to sell the truck for. We are pretty discouraged for sure, this one took a huge toll. The last 3 races have not been very fun. Silver state 300 is a super fun race so we are going to keep pushing and try to get the truck ready to do well at the Silver state. We have a lot of time, we have already started the prep. After that I have no idea what we will do with the truck and the team. I may just sell everything or just run some cheaper smaller races and have fun. 6100 is very competitive, I don’t think we can win against these guys but I still think a podium is possible, if we don't have proplem's. But I can’t keep spending so much time and money for such poor results. I am not the type to give up, but at some point if its not working its not working.

OK sorry, that wasn’t any shorter. LOL



Mike
 

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cynicwanderer

Well-Known Member
I race Ironman Moto and have been there (mentally) many times. I have had more DNFs for various reasons than I care to remember... but then, there will be that one race, when everything goes like it should and you achieve your goal, the rush you get from that, makes it all worth it. granted I don't have the budget/costs like you do to race 6100; I'm just a regular 9-5'er, so it hurts me financially to spend money when I fail as well. I guess, I'm just saying "hang in there". it takes a lot grit, learning, money and just plain luck, but it's worth it when you get there. BTW, I love your write ups, they are on point. maybe, we can connect at SS300.
 

MTPyle

Well-Known Member
Thanks Cynic, thats the attitude that keeps us going haha.

Here is the video my son Connor took of the start, not the greatest video but you will get the idea. I wish I knew how far ahead we were before we even hit the jump. for some odd reason I wanted to go big and give a show. Our truck can jump so figured it would be fine. Pretty stupid for the start of a 400 mile race. Haha

You can see me gas it as I went over, when in doubt, throttle it out.

Mike

 

desertspeed

Well-Known Member
Mike, you are a good guy and a great dad to do this with your boys. All of us that still read RDC appreciate your openness and willingness to share your journey here.

I have been around this sport for 20+ years now and have seen so many teams come in hot, with the biggest and best race and chase vehicles, equipment, etc and then get burned out on the costs, time commitments, etc. Its not even just a matter of income, but a cost/benefit thing. For some people spending $5,000 in a year is too much, others may be fine spending $5,000,000 a year on racing. I'm not saying that's what's happening with you guys, but from your last few posts its obvious that the cost/benefit scale is tipping for you guys in the wrong direction because of all of the struggles you are having with your engine upgrade.

My $0.02 is that only a very select few people are making a living in off-road racing, and the rest of us are funding our racing out of our own pockets because we love it. If you lose the passion its just not worth the substantial investment involved.

Rather than say F-it and sell everything, I hope you can find that balance again where the joy of racing makes it worth it. Even if that means going back to a tried and true engine package, or racing in a different class. The important part is the friends and family that you get to race with, not the class you race in or how fast you can go. The class 11 guys have the same smiles on their faces at the finish line as everyone else (OK, maybe theirs is a little more tired :) ).

Don't give up-
 

MTPyle

Well-Known Member
Thanks Desertspeed,

When we got into this we bought the cheapest truck we could find and had very low expectations. Which turned out to be pretty fun. Then we decided to get more competitive, which is where the trouble came. LOL We really think we can fight our way to the top 5, which would be huge for us. Our truck is by far the cheapest truck racing in the BITD 6100 series, we are the under dog. So if we succeed with our goals it will mean that much more. Just not sure if we are shooting too high.

We work hard for the money to race, its all we do outside of work and are 100% committed to it. We do not have unlimited funds and make every dollar last as long as possible. We have some great sponsors that help make it possible.

We are committed to SS300 and will do everything we can to do well there and be prepared.

Even though we said we would not try new things we did come up with a great solution to our cooling problem. We moved our radiator down flat last year and it worked OK with the LS but was getting hot with the new LT1 on long pulls.

We made a cool adjustable mount for our maxx trax to make them an air scoop for cooling. it worked amazing and at the Mint our engine cooling temps were never over 220 and the engine ran cool even on long pulls. it was great to be able to test it at different heights to get the balance between air flow to the radiator and drag. In the end we only lost 1 mph on top speed and have tons of air going thru radiator now. When we moved the radiator down last year we picked up 7mph. On the next version we will put a actuator on there so we can adjust it, at 88mph we can have it come up to get more air to radiator. or have it go all the way up when braking. LOL (just kidding on the braking part) So we keep making small improvements that will help us get to the top.

For now we are not giving up. It's like after a bad hangover you say you are never drinking again and by 4pm you are ready to party. hehe

Mike
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
every post race for me was wth am i doing this for??, gonna get out , sell it , week later im sitting in my race car making eng .noises counting the days till next green flag, racing is life, rest of the time is spent waiting...( m . De Laney, Le Mans 71')
 

CHASETHISTOO

Well-Known Member
Truck is definitely getting faster. Keep your head up Mike and I promise you'll break into that top 5. Just be careful what you wish for though...first you want the top 5...then you want that win...then you get it and want another...its an addicting cycle. :p
 

McCredie A

Well-Known Member
I cannot say I have been in your boat. I have been around the sport for a while. You are pushing hard it seems both financially and physically. I could see where the fun it wearing off. Maybe you should sit out for a race or two. Take your time making the changes. Make sure nothing was missed trying to rush. Go testing with your boys. Make a weekend out of it. Have fun and enjoy the process with out a deadline you have to meet.

Enjoy the journey of bettering your truck with your boys. Do not focus on the next race. There will be a race shortly after the truck is ready.

Easier said than done and some people feed off the pressure of getting ready for the next race. But thought I would throw it out there.

Thanks for the write up.
 

Ikaika

Member
I cannot say I have been in your boat. I have been around the sport for a while. You are pushing hard it seems both financially and physically. I could see where the fun it wearing off. Maybe you should sit out for a race or two. Take your time making the changes. Make sure nothing was missed trying to rush. Go testing with your boys. Make a weekend out of it. Have fun and enjoy the process with out a deadline you have to meet.

Enjoy the journey of bettering your truck with your boys. Do not focus on the next race. There will be a race shortly after the truck is ready.

Easier said than done and some people feed off the pressure of getting ready for the next race. But thought I would throw it out there.

Thanks for the write up.
McCredie A,.........good, sound suggestion that will indeed provide much needed time to reduce mistakes, increase awareness, recover from the frantic pace etc...

I'll be sure to implement the words you have spoken when the time comes for our Team.
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
truck is fast ,now,if it can just get ' seasoned' with the Current set up you should win,dont aways try the latest gizmo, just before a race,Any changes Must come w a test sesssion!,your team is fast with a totally new pakage that at best is 60-70% sorted out, and the driving team is just getting used to the setup, , dial in current set up, test test test, , & train , riding mx kept me up to speed when i did race, but keep write ups going!, even if you drop down to lawnmower racing;)
 

Robin Hood

Well-Known Member
Mike...I learned to call it a day and quit pushing when the fun factor goes away. I'm not saying quit when you are having a bad day. I'm saying take a break when the majority of your days aren't fun. I always felt a lot of pressure to perform so "sponsors" and vendors would be more willing to help us out. The truth is the extra help we got, probably cost us way more then the support we received, because of the attitude that we always had to make the race.

I don't think true racers ever really walk away from the sport. They may step away or take some time off, but they always keep their nose in the fun, and try to find a way to hit the track every now and then. I saw your burn out coming with the motor swap. I thought about saying something, but I didn't want to be negetive about a program that you put so much effort into👏. IMO...you will run a better marathon if you quit running sprints in between the marathon's.

I think you have what it takes, you just need to step back, come up with a plan, and stick to it. Best advice I can give, if you want to save money is to let someone else do the R&D. Don't try to be on the cutting edge.

FYI...I have as many good memories racing the smaller series with family and friends as I do racing the big series races.
 

MTPyle

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys. We are for sure doing the SS300 so hopefully we have the time to take it easy on prep and have fun.

To be clear our last engine problems were our fault. We were still using the gps module for Vehicle speed to ECM. That’s not a reliable way to do it.

The throttle body failed because when we went to swap it out to a new one we screwed up the connector.

Both failures were our fault and not because we changed to the new engine. These trucks have a lot that can go wrong. We don’t have the big team and top dollars to make sure everything is perfect. We make mistakes and they cost us.

Just frustrating that we have had 3 DNF in a row.

But we are pushing ahead. Prepping our raptor for the SS300 pre run and prepping the truck so we have enough time to test and not get scrambling before the race.

Thanks again. You guys are great.

Mike
 

51rcr

Well-Known Member
finish to win. to bad your deep into prep. you need to just go have some fun playing and testing. bring some fun back to it. what caused first driveline issue? rock?
 

MTPyle

Well-Known Member
Yes. Connor hit a big rock and it was vibrating pretty bad. So that’s driver error not truck issue.

We are going to have fun before the SS300. We plan to take out the bikes and truck out for a weekend of fun and playing. Might find a few corners to practice on with the fiberglass off. Haha.

Prepping the Dirt bikes right now.

Mike
 

51rcr

Well-Known Member
then take it to the dunes out there after that race and make some new fans and bring more to desert racing. Give a couple rides. Take to a cars and coffee or car shows and hang out and show off all the hard work. Its turned into a job, but thats dedicated racing. It like its your life and what ya live for.
 

Bravo

Member
Was fun watching you out there Mike. Thanks for your updates. Our truck is still getting put back together. I have a couple videos and pics of you guys, but I think yours are probably better.
 
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