Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Erica Nocita Back Behind The Wheel Of Her 66' Nova. Test day brings out great cars and some great kids.

Last Thursday Team Dalcorp enjoyed perfect conditions at Irwindale Dragstrip for a day of testing and getting reacquainted with an old friend. It was also a time of making some new friends as students from the Mount Olive High School program came out to watch Erica and the team put three of the Dalcorp cars through their paces. There were also several other Irwindale regulars out to test and tune their rides which added additional excitement to the day for these "gear head" students.

It had been some time since Erica had been down the track in the all glass-bodied 1966 Chevy Nova that had earned her the nickname, "The Fastest Girl at Irwindale." It was track announcer John Partridge that hung the title around her neck years ago and it's been there ever since. The Nova spent a week with Bob Hansen of Hansen Chassis for some suspension adjustments. Then it was "kick the tires and light the fires" for the big block Chevy Nova. After a couple of shake down runs it was time to get after it and get after it she did. With several runs in the low 5.70's at nearly 120 mph, Erica seemed like she had never left the seat. Also in her corner with some driving tips and adjustments was long time top fuel pilot Wyatt Radke. It was a solid outing for both the car and the driver. Thanks also to Buster Baglieri for doin' some wrenching on the car. Buster's son, Philip, took some laps down the 1/8 mile in the BG Oil 64' Chevelle and will soon be driving for Team Dalcorp in the near future. It was all very good!

Another highlight of the day was a visit from some of the high school kids enrolled in a program at Mount Olive High School. The program, run by Sandy Patterson and her family, work with kids that otherwise might not be in school for a variety of reasons. What made their visit special is that they are actually building a car as a school project so they all have a real interest in the mechanics and performance of a car. Sandy and her family use all the areas of building the car as teaching tools. To quote Sandy, "Math is figuring gas usage for the race car. Art is not a book thing, it is creating a car that runs great and looks good. Computers are more than My Space or Facebook; they find answers. How to build a roll cage, where to put the fuel cell; they find enjoyment in learning." We can't wait to see the finished product...maybe we'll see you at one of our test days in the future.

It was an awesome day from start to finish. We want to thank Irwindale Dragstrip for giving us a good, safe track to race on and to all who participated in testing. Not one oil down the entire day! It was all good

It was time to give Marianne (Mernie) a real
job during test day so we made her the starter
for the day. Mernie, great job on the switch!

Erica, suited up and ready; back in an old friend!

Grandson Dane was impressed with Erica's

Erica was pleased with the early runs...

Phil Baglieri suiting up and getting ready for
his first hits in the Chevelle. Philip did a great
job adapting to the workings of the SS Chevelle.
Good times ahead, Philip.

It didn't take Philip long to master the art of
the burnout in the BG Oil Chevelle.

Dane was really focused on Erica as she got
ready to make another run.

Faith, the only girl in the class from Mt. Olive,
turned out to be the daughter of one of our
in laws! What a way to meet a new family

....right down Broadway....5.73 @ 119.55 mph.

What would a test day be without an appearance
from the one and only, "Ernie the Attorney."
Ernie had just put the car back together and was
shakin' her down.

Mernie didn't have any problems handling the
starting line all day. Great job, Mern!!

Paul Althouse had the Camaro out with son
Danny behind the wheel. The first four passes
down the track were 5.77, 5.77, 5.77, and 5.76.
Paul, you better work a little more the consistency.
What's with the 5.76?

AJ had a chance to put the Manx through it's
paces and ran the car's quickest time for the
day with his first pass.

AJ.....nice shot, Mike Morgan Photography!

When we weren't testing we were doing baby
shower stuff. Buster and his family presented
Mike, Kristy, Dane and new baby Ryan with
this beautiful basket full of "Munchkins" baby
products. Unbelievable. Thank you, Baglieri

Six days old and already at the drag strip! This
boy is being brought up right!

Erica with the group from Mt. Olive. Thank
you Sandy for introducing your "crew" to us!

Erica and Faith.

We hardly recognized Ron Walker when he
showed up in his newly painted Falcon. Looking
good, Ron!

Ben Marrone burned some serious rubber in
his beautifully prepared Mach 1.

Wyatt Radke and Erica going over some changes
that they made in the cockpit.

l to r, Jeff Hicky, Frank Marrone and Ron Walker
watching Erica do her thing.

Patrick had his Chevelle SS on the track for the
first time and had a blast...ya' think!

Wyatt was working on tire pressure settings in the
Manx. Radke had several "exciting" runs during
the day, but as he puts it, "That's really fun!"

"Mr. Excitement" himself, Mike Morgan of
Mike Morgan Photography took some great
shots throughout the day. You can check out

And a good time was had by all....

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