MOROSO DRAG WARS - August 10, 1997
Man, what a weekend! Here's how the story went:
Myself and Michael Gallagher (also here in Pensacola) got together around 2:00 pm on Friday and hit the road. Just outside of Pensacola my car hit 100,000 miles....whoo-hoo! I guess this means more stuff should break on it, eh? We weren't on the road but 15 or 30 minutes when we came to a dead stop. Traffic was COMPLETELY stopped on I-10 heading east for about an hour! Turns out a van pulling a motor home lost control in the wet, and the motor home whipped around and hit the side of the van. The damage wasn't really too bad (no one was hurt) - I wanted GORE considering I had to wait around a whole damn hour!
Regardless, the rest of the trip to Jacksonville was....RAINY! It rained almost the whole trip there - NOT FUN. Finally made it to Jacksonville and headed to Carlos Iglesias' house. He was still out having dinner, so we called up Dean Colver and headed over there. Mike spent the night at Dean's, and I spent the night with an old girlfriend in Jacksonville.
Got up too darn early in the morning. Went and got Mike at Dean's house, and we headed over to Carlos' house while Dean was finishing up his packing/etc. Once Dean got over to Carlos', we hit the road. It was pretty fun watching Carlos and Dean do boost runs most of the trip down - they'd suddenly punch it, then backfire as they let off. Man, thems is some loud cars! My stock exhaust is jealous! It was pretty funny watching people point and rubberneck at their two cars - EVERYONE was checking them out!
At a McDonalds off I-95 due east of Orlando, we met up with the Orlando crew. At this point, we have:
Myself and Mike in my '88 10th Anniversary
Carlos in his black '93 R1 with racing stripes
Dean in his yellow '93 R1
Dave Girvan in his '93 Montego Blue base model
Matt Baron in his maroon '87 base model
Keith Rivera in his (VERY) black '84 GSL-SE
So, we start formation flying down I-95...we're HAULING ASS the whole way. It was pretty cool when I-95 went up to 3 lanes, and we were whipping by minivans in the middle lane on both sides! Woo-hoo!
Well, we hit rain AGAIN once we get near Ft. Lauderdale. It gets VERY heavy...visibility is only about 50 ft. It finally breaks through, and we approach the off-ramp to get to Pettit Racing. Traffic is pretty backed up, so we inch toward the on-ramp. Of course, some jokers decide to pass everybody on the shoulder, not to the liking of Ketih Rivera! Mike and I are cracking up as he inches over into the shoulder, blocking traffic. As one guys starts getting pissed at him, he lights up the tires! Man, too funny!
We FINALLY get off I-95 and get to Pettit...man, I've never seen so many RX-7's in one place! The whole place is JAMMED - I would guess at least 30 RX-7s are there, mostly 3rd gens. We get to check out the shop and meet some people from the list. After hanging out for about 15 minutes, we learn that everyone's headed to a place called Active Auto - there's supposed to be a photo shoot or something. We get some hand-written instructions and everyone tears off - pretty impressive sight! Well, myself and Matt Baron get WAY lost...we finally ask directions, and discover this place is in MIAMI! Oh, man! Well, we get pretty close to where it should be, and see the rest of the gang tearing ass the other way! We 180, and find out everyone's going to dinner at Fuddruckers! The Actve Auto thing petered out, unfortunately.
We all park together at Fuddrucker's and have some burgers. It was pretty fun shooting the bull with everybody. Afterwards, some of us head back to Pettit to take in the shop a bit more. We spend a few hours checking out Pettit, then decide to call it a night and head for West Palm to spend the night.
The gang at Fuddruckers...picture1, picture2, picture3
Got to check out Jim V. O'brien's (JVOB) car..wow! Here's Brooks checking it out, and another shot from the rear...check out the license plate!
Saw some cool stuff at Pettit - Cam's IMSA car's motor, 2 10th Anniversaries, one with '89 turbo rims painted white, a 20b 3-rotor engine, Chip Kinter (I think - correct me!) cool steering wheel-mount boost gauge, Dave Liberman's Yellow R1 (from Alabama).
At the lousy Econo Lodge in West Palm (the rooms weren't too bad, but the lady at the front desk was EVIL) we all settle in. After FINALLY getting a hot shower, we head to Applebee's for some eats and talking. We crash kinda early that night so we can get up early for Drag Wars
Sunday morning arrives sooner than expected, and we head to Moroso Motorsports Park. We get there around 7:30 or so, and slooowly move up through the traffic at the gate. After paying for the ticket and getting in, we all park at Pettit's area, next to their support truck. We help Pettit set up their tent, then work on getting Brooks' car ready to run. His new Ford Explorer support vehicle was there, carrying race gas and tires. Driving it was none other than Kevin Wyum, who flew down to race Pettit's drag car.
The event itself was kind of a letdown. Fortunately, there were TONS of people there...much better turnout than the races in Bradenton. It was cool seeing all the cars (and all the Riceboys :) and checking out all the cool stuff at the vendor booths. The event itself was VERY poorly run - Carlos and Dean only got 1 run in! It started raining VERY hard around 1:00...we were very glad Pettit had a tent up! Pettit was pretty cool about the situation...we had barbeque chicken wings and punch while waiting out the storm! Thanks! After a while, people started leaving in DROVES. Carlos and Dean were pretty fed up with the whole situation, so we decided to pack it in around 4:00. They were drying off the track to run again, but we decided to call it a day. From what I heard, Brooks stuck around and came in 2nd place in C class! Way to go, Brooks! A TurboII came in 1st in C Class, so at least RX-7's ruled the rankings!
Some pics...Brooks' car in the staging lanes, then at the tree, an '87 Turbo with a cool body kit and 300zx rims, another '87 Turbo with sharp rims against a Camaro. Pics of all of us at Pettit's compound, another shot (that's Dean in the foreground), Bill Brennan's '93, a white 3rd gen (can't remember who's car it is! ack!), Ketih Rivera's very black GSL-SE, Cam's IMSA car (or is that ProSportscar Car?), Pettit's 20b with a "For Sale" sign on it (sign didn't come out in the pic - sorry!), the motor in Pettit's Stealth drag car.
Around and about at Moroso...a black '87 Turbo with 3rd gen rims and the Border kit, a FERRARI TESTAROSSA (no foolin'!), a VERY sharp 1st gen with a TurboII hood on it, a silver 3rd gen with sharp red highlights, a 10th anniversary with a NICE body kit (goofy rims, though).
The technical shots...FD with a big turbo, a TurboII with a pile of upgrades, another shot of it's intercooler ducting, the black TII with the Border kit, from the other side, shot through the Border duct, above shot of the border, the intercooler ducting. Unfortunately, the fellow with the Border kit got towed home - he blew an apex seal. The guy who set up the car said he didn't need an FCD! How ridiculous!
After leaving Drag Wars, we got some eats at Burger King and everyone hit the road. Mike and I stayed an extra night, and headed back on Monday - it took 8 hours to get back to Pensacola. And that was FLYING down the road, too!
Overall, I had a good time and I got to meet some great people and see some cool stuff! I've decided that the next Florida club thing I do WON'T be drag racing - I've gotten pretty burned out on it. That and the poor organization of the Drag Wars people, who seem to run most of the events down here.
BTW, I ended up driving a total of 1,550 miles that weekend - about half of that in the rain! I was about sick of the inside of my car by the end of Monday, and it was VERY dirty!
August 24, 1997