Aaron Allison: July Blog
Hello again, everyone. Well, this month hasn’t been exactly what you would call successful in regards to racing. It was unsuccessful for three main reasons; (1) I only got to race twice (2) My round record was 1-4 (3) I had to do some unplanned maintenance which made me miss one of the biggest races of the year.
When I left off last month I was on my way to the NHRA National Event at Norwalk Raceway Park in Ohio. Norwalk is only a few hours from my hometown and I always enjoy going there because it is such a nice track. Thursday during time trials my Cavalier was making a clanking noise, and when I got back to the trailer and put it on the lift, I realized that my starter was broke. Thanks to my great racing friends, I was able to fix the problem at the track and hoped that my car would be okay for eliminations.
It always rains during this race, and this year was no exception. The race was rained out on Friday and we entertained ourselves by having a cookout and a cornhole tournament. We had a great time and Charley Downing (Stock racer from Michigan) got runner-up after working way out of the loser’s bracket. Since the race was rained out on Friday, the Sportsman category didn’t run 1st round until the end of the night on Saturday around 9pm. I haven’t raced at night all season and I just started using a blinder to block the tree. Needless to say, I was very late on the tree and was a 1st round runner up (My car seemed to be running okay, though!). My good friend Ronnie Traupman was still in so I decided to stay to help him. He ended up getting down to five cars on Sunday and I’m really glad I stayed.
During the Rain-out on Friday we took time to go check out Thomas Edison’s Birthplace in Milan, OH
The next weekend was Independence Day weekend. My Dad’s side of the family always has a family reunion this weekend, so I didn’t go racing anywhere. I always enjoy spending time with my family and I look forward to the reunion each year. We had another cornhole tournament, went fishing and swimming, and ate a lot of good food. Definitely a fun time.
Playing Cornhole at the Family Reunion.
Fishing with my cousin Melody (we didn’t catch one lousy fish)
My plan was to go to the IHRA Sportsman Spectacular the next weekend in Budds Creek, MD. I was looking forward to going back to a really nice track that I have had quite a bit of success in the last few years at. Plus the race was paying $5,000 to win in addition to contingency. Sounds like a great plan right? When I was at Norwalk I also noticed that my rear-end was getting quite noisy so I decided that I would pull it out Tuesday morning and worse case if it was bad I would put in my spare that we have been carrying around in the trailer for 5 years. Once we removed the gear we found out that the rear end was severely damaged. It literally had hundreds of cracks. It wasn’t a question if it was going to break, but a question of when it was going to break. So into the trailer I went to grab my spare. My dad suggested we should check the ratio before we out it in. It turned out to be a good Idea since it was not even close to what we thought it was. Next step called summit and of course they did not have any 5.86 ratio gear sets. So I made an executive decision to stay close to home and take the Vega out to the local track and get some much needed seat time (especially at night).
On Thursday night I took Misti to her first professional baseball game. We stayed overnight in Cleveland and had a great time. We were at the Indians game against the Blue Jays where Hafner hit a walk off grand slam to win the game. What a great day to be an Indians fan.
Picture we took at the Indians game
On Saturday we went to my home track, Quaker City. Since I had only been to Norwalk that month, I hadn’t driven my Vega in awhile and wanted to get practice for the upcoming IHRA races. I raced the Vega in both Top and Mod. I drove great in both time trial and put up very respectable packages in both first round, but was in the way. In top my opponent was .002 and on with a .006 to my .021 on with and .008. In Mod I was .030 .01 under to my opponents .015 on with a .004. At Quaker City luckily you are able to buy back. I bought back in mod, won one round and then was .070 third round and lost again. Like I said, this month hasn’t been very successful.
I didn’t take any pictures at QCMP so I figured I would through in this picture of the only time I ever got the opportunity to race Luke a few years ago at an IHRA Event (I was red)
This past weekend Misti and I moved into an apartment in Stow, Ohio. Initially we tried to buy a house or a condo, but we didn’t have much luck with our first house hunt. Everyone tells you it’s a buyer’s market. Well, even if it is, it is not as easy as it seems. We found one house that we wanted to put a bid on, until we found out that the house was an absolute money pit and was literally sinking into the ground, the walls were caving in, and had severe water damage. (Thank you fellow Super Stock racer Bob Lowery for the free home inspection) Then, we put a bid on a really nice foreclosure but the bank didn’t accept our offer. We decided that it would be best to live in an apartment for 6 months while continuing the house hunt. Once we started looking for apartments, we found out that wasn’t easy too! Most of the apartments are at 99.9% occupancy and didn’t have openings until mid September. Luckily, we found a nice apartment complex really close to my work that had one opening left (and only because somebody cancelled that day!). It’s on the 3rd floor and while we are glad about that, it was a lot of work moving everything (especially since the building doesn’t have an elevator!). We spent the weekend unpacking and it is starting to look nice. We ordered a nice couch and it takes 4-6 weeks to be made, so we have Misti’s futon from college in the living room now. I will be happy when we get our couch.
I started my job at Matco Tools on Monday. I am the Product Manager for Allied Tools. I think it is going to be a great experience but I am without a doubt going to be very busy! I am hoping that I will be able to finish out the racing season that I have planned. Tentatively, I am going to the NHRA points meet in Columbus this weekend, followed by the IHRA race in Richmond, VA, then off to Pittsburgh and Clay City, KY later in August. Hopefully I will be able to write about more success than I was able to this month!
Again, I would like to thank Luke and all of the sponsors that make this possible. I really like being able to share my life experiences with you and I hope you find my stories relatable. I would also like to thank Hoosier Tires, Jason Ekcard from Bullet Racing Engines, my Dad, Alex Miller, Mark Hursh, Jerry Coblentz and Ronnie Traupman for all of their endless help.