Monday, April 21, 2008

2007: A Year in Review

2007 was a challenging season for Dalcorp Racing, but also one of the most fulfilling. GM Racing decided to upgrade the performance level of our 2005 Cobalt, which included an engine and turbo change, suspension modifications, a different computer system and even a new paint scheme. Ultimately, we ended up with an all new race car. This meant a lot of testing in the early months of the year to “get to know the car.” We focused our efforts on the handling and performance of the new set up, and with GM's help, we were able bring the car up to speed in a relatively short period of time.

We were very proud of our showing this year in the SONY Xplod NHRA Sport Compact series. The July race in Las Vegas was huge, and combining the event with the drifting series it drew more than 20,000 fans. Erica made it to the semi finals, but a small electronic glitch put us on the trailer. The car made some low 10 second runs and was a real crowd favorite.

In August we were privileged to attend one of the largest sport compact events of the year at the legendary Indianapolis Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our Cobalt qualified well and ran consistent numbers in the low to mid 10 second range. We made another semi final round appearance in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd.

By the time we went to the last NHRA race in Pomona in October, we were 2nd in the points chase (16 points back) and felt we had a good chance at another Quick 16 championship. Heading into the semi final round we had a considerable performance advantage and Erica was driving like the champion she is. Unfortunately, a small gasket in the transmission failed and ended our day just short of our goal. It was a tough loss, but as we say in our pit, “If it were easy, everyone would do it!”

Those were the few lows - now let's get on with the highs! We had great success this year with our two VW drag race cars. In March, both cars made it to the finals and raced each other at one of the largest drag events for Volkswagen's! It's great knowing that no matter what happens in the race, you'll be in the winner's circle. Pete Selders, driving our turbocharged 67 VW, won the race with my son, AJ taking the runner up spot in the Manx. Both cars were featured in the July issue of Hot VW's magazine. We ran several events at our local track at Irwindale Dragstrip with all five of the drag cars running some “King of the Hill” events. Erica made runs in the Chevelle and A.J. and Pete piloted our VW's. We also had several “Match Race” events pitting our Cobalt (the new) against our Chevelle (the old) and racing sister against brother. These races are extremely popular with the fans, who range in age from teens to 50 and 60 year olds.

We had the opportunity to run events sanctioned by the Import Drag Racing Series and Battle of the Imports at California Dragway in Fontana. These are “lifestyle” events featuring drag racing and are also well attended by crowds of young people. We have the car on display at these events whenever possible. The Cobalt ran some great numbers at this track and really surprised us, as well as everyone else, considering the poor track conditions during the summer months.
One of the highlights of the year was the photo shoot we did for Turbo Magazine. It's is one of the most popular import car magazines around and the pictures were awesome. We were the featured car in the December issue which showcased the Cobalt in a 20”x 30” poster (front and back). In addition, it was the issue passed out at the SEMA show in Las Vegas at the end of the year, which is one of the largest automotive shows in the country. Nearly 100,000 copies were handed out on top of their regular subscriptions nationwide.

October and November were busy months. On October 31st, the Wednesday before the NHRA Powerade World Finals drag race at Pomona, we were invited back to participate in the Los Angeles County School District Career Day event. Over 7,500 high school students attended with parents, teachers and advisers. 10 to 12 teams were invited to put their cars on display and then have the opportunity to make an exhibition run down the ¼ mile. It was a great day, and to make it even sweeter, our Cobalt ran a best ever 9.90 e.t. at over 153 mph! When we brought the car back for display, it was mobbed by the kids. They really appreciated the performance and what they'd just seen.
Nov. 1-4, the Cobalt went on display in the GM Performance Parts booth for the NHRA Powerade World Finals at Pomona. The race drew more than 250,000 people over the four days and attracted a tremendous amount of media attention. Erica ended up with writer's cramp! It was a great weekend.

2008 is lining up to be every bit as exciting as last year. The Cobalt is race-ready and we can't wait for our first race in March. The Nova and Chevelle will be running events at Fontana, Bakersfield and Las Vegas. The VW's will also run in March starting the season off with another Hot VW's meet. Our schedule this year will take us to Denver, Utah and possibly back to Indy. In addition, we will be running the Cobalt in the Pacific Street Car Assoc. events which feature V8 powered cars. We are looking to turn some heads with the Cobalt's performance and power as it is a 4 cylinder car.

So much of what I've outlined for you wouldn't be possible without the support of General Motors Corporation, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Chicago Title Insurance, Holiday Inn, BG Oil Products and Avcomm Communications. They have made these past few seasons ones we'll never forget. A national championship in 2006, a runner up in 2007 and several event wins. We can't wait to see what excitement 2008 has in store for us.

As I said at the beginning of this letter, it was a challenging, but satisfying year. We had some wonderful experiences and are thankful for the opportunities we've been given. But more importantly, we are thankful for having had a safe year with no injuries on or off the track. And lastly, thanks to our spouses and families for the support and patience throughout the year. It's been an “E ticket ride!”

A.J. and Pete - Victory at the Hot VW Drag Day at Irwindale, Ca.

Last minute adjustments....Hot VW Drag Day

Poster shoot - Turbo Magazine

Erica started the 2007 season as NHRA Quick 16 Champion!

Pete - Summit Racing Series - 2007

Erica - All smiles! - just another day at the office...

It's "GO Time"....

Erica - Thursday Night @ Irwindale

Newspaper photo, work, work!

AJ - Semi final round @ Irwindale

Erica Boilin' the tires at a Summit Race...

Erica's Nova at the first annual Sierra Madre Car Show, June 2007 (great food at The Only Place in Town....did we mention that they are one of our sponsors?)

The support team - Mom and Aunt Colleen - Vegas, July 2007

GM's head of technical support Steve Moore with Al and Erica (Erica's the one in the car!)

Erica in the OC Energy Drink Chevelle on a Thursday @ Irwindale.

Our fearless leader, Louis Chevrolet with words of wisdom - "Never Give Up"

In the lanes at Indy, August 2007

Coming to the line at Indy...sacred ground.

Pato - working his magic.

#2 qualifier and all smiles - Indy, August 2007

A small but mighty group - Pato, Andy, Erica and Al - Indy, August 2007

Erica's number one and head of Dalcorp security, Brian (or "B" to his friends) - and you WANT to be his friend!

The Cobalt on display - NHRA World Finals at Pomona - 2007

Los Angeles County High School Career Day at Pomona, Ca. - 7,500 kids!

Erica puttin' on a show for the kids....Pomona 2007

NHRA World Finals at Pomona, 2007

"It's missing four cylinders!" - Pomona, 2007

Erica after a long four days at Pomona - But, "It's all good!" Thanks GM Racing, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, BG Oil Products, Barney's, The Only Place in Town and Avcomm Communications. You make it all happen!

Pete - Takin' out another bug - Hot VW Drag Day - April, 2007

"Good numbers but they could be better." Erica's never happy....Pomona - 2007.

Semi final match up - Pomona, NHRA Quick 16 - October, 2007.

9.90's at 155 mph. - not bad for four cylinders...Pomona, 2007

The winner and runner up - Pete and AJ - April, 2007

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lookin' good Dad!