2011 – Race #8 – Limp to the finish

Derek Eldridge

With only one week leading up to the next race after blowing my engine in race 5, the hunt was on to find an engine that could get me through the rest of the season. After much frantic searching, I was able to find one, though without history. It was already out of a bike and I wasn’t going to be able to hear it run, but it was my only option. It was 2.5 hours away and I drove up on Thursday after taking the day off of work. On the way, I encountered issues with my truck, and broke down a few times. Thankfully with a little help from my uncle of Patriot Fuels out of Canaan, I was back on my way. I didn’t get home until around 9:00 p.m.

Drew and I immediately tore into the job of swamping engines for the next day. With time not on our side, we were forced to open the new engine 3 times and removing the clutch twice before addressing all of the internal issues with the new engine. In the short, there is a tab that holds the gear shift from falling into the engine. That tab was broken and could have caused havoc the first time out.

Finishing the assembly by 9:00a.m. the morning of the race, we went to sleep till 12 to get a few hours before the 1.5 hour drive to Canaan. After sleep, I finished a few things on my own and loaded the car and all my gear. As I drove out of the driveway, I got the call that the race was canceled for rain. That would have been Race 6. The following race 7 was also canceled for rain.

That brought us to Race 8 and my limp to the finish. While I was packing the car, I tried to fire it up and make sure it ran ok. It wouldn’t start. Then when it did start, I couldn’t keep it running. I traced an issue back to the starter fuse assembly but couldn’t find a new one while calling the local motorcycle shops. I was going to have to find a way to get this one to work. I tried a wire tie and duck tape to hold the assembly together where I thought it needed to be. While idling, it seamed to work just fine. During the heat, Drew and I started the front row. Drew on the pole, I was to his outside. On the green, my car fell flat on it’s face, with the pack of cars maneuvering around me. I struggled to keep it going until I was almost lapped. At that point, the car started skipping real bad and I pulled into the infield before the leaders were on top of me. With the car running the way it was, it was only going to get me into trouble if I stayed on the track.

Before the feature, I was able to fix the fuse assemble where there were a couple of leads that had loosened up. I also found that my cam sensor harness had pulled apart. I reassembled it and and the car would stay running just fine now.

The feature would start us in the same order in front. At the green, my car fell flat on it’s face once again just past the start finish line. I stayed high to allow the other cars to go under me. As I lifted off the throttle, the power came back. ??? It would seem that there was a sweet spot where the car would run, any more throttle than that, it would bog right out. So I continued to search for that sweet spot for the rest of the race and trailed at the tail of the pack. With a few restarts and one or two spin out for Drew, I finished 7th, and Drew 6th out of 10.

Without much time before the next race, I was going to have to get these engine issues under control. Considering the only time they present themselves was under load on the track, it was going to be hard to do. The only thing I could think would be the issue, is that the fuel map for the engine I blew up was for a CBR636RR overbore. This would be a stock CBR600RR. Maybe it was flooding under full throttle.

I would have to find a new fuel map and take my chances in the next race.

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