It has been nearly three years since Jim Robbins has been to an Outlaw 1/8th mile event. The team has had their share of a few ADRL events and shown some impressive numbers at ¼ mile events over the past 2 seasons, but the last Outlaw race attended was at Huntsville in 2007. Robbins decided to put the weight back in the car and go down south to George Howards’ $20,000 race at Holly Springs Motorsports Park. Putting it back to the trim that the car was originally built for: Outlaw 10.5 1/8 mile racing at 3,000 pounds.
Robbins is one of the last 10.5 racers that is still running nitrous. The field has been over-run with massive twin turbo engines but Robbins believes his little 650 CI Nitrous engine built by AES has what it takes to put these turbo cars on the trailer.
When the team first arrived at the track, it was nearly a ghost town. Two trailers and about 3 track employees, the team was determined to make a test pass to see what the Camaro would run. The skies were dark and rain was starting to fall, but there was a need for data on the new combination. They pulled the car to the starting line while the rain was lightly coming down. Robbins ran a relieving 4.43 and the race was on. Saturday morning was the first day of the race, with one test hit and then qualifying beginning at around noon. Robbins decided to make one more test hit to get the tune-up right in the below average temperatures. The team came to the line and ran an average pass of 4.48.
Qualifying came around everyone was ready to show the competition what the car has became over the past few seasons. While most cars were trying to get a handle on the track, Robbins came out and blasted off a 4.42 @166 mph to take the top spot of the round. Robbins’ went on to qualify with a better 4.39 with a 1.04 60 foot. But the nitrous Camaro placed in the 4th seat as Bill Futch, Tim Lynch and Ken Rainwater were able to run a bit faster.
Sunday eliminations started with a good feeling and a competition bye in the first round. The Camaro ran a below average pass and came back to the pit to find out three of the valve springs were destroyed. The team replaced the broken parts and were ready to face Jimmy Blackmon, who won the last Outlaw 10.5 race at Holly Springs.
Round One Eliminations – Jimmy Blackmon Slips Up
Robbins lined up against Jimmy Blackmon and the tree went down. Robbins smoked the tires about 100 feet out and damaged some transmission parts. In the other lane Jimmy Blackmon was determined to win. Not knowing Robbins had to lift and could not regain speed, Blackmon stayed in it a little too long and brushed the left hand retaining wall, handing Jim the win – not the way Robbins wanted to win the round. Robbins’ crew thrashed until the next round, changing gears and fixing the transmission. Something Robbins has that some 10.5 racers do not is a clutch assisted car, which is also much more challenging. They got the car back together and made the call to race Ohio racer Bill Lutz.
Round Two Eliminations – Bill Lutz and a Semi Final Battle with Number One Qualifier Bill Futch
Robbins’ team was prepared and were not going to leave the race without a fight. Robbins was quick off the tree with a .0005 reaction time and charged down the track with a 4.43 leaving no sight of Lutz. Next round Robbins was paired with Florida racer Bill Futch in the semi finals. What made the situation worse, there was only a 30 minute turn-around time. In this short window, gear ratios needed to be changed. Robbins made it to about 100 feet before the track gave out from the power the car was making, giving Bill Futch the win to the Finals.
Overall the team was pleased with the performance their little 650 CI Nitrous engine was making and have will be attending more eighth mile events in the near future. Jim Robbins wanted to thank AES Racing Engines, Canary Hotel and Casino, CFE Racing Products, CP Pistons, Gillig Motorsports, Johler Demolition, Nitrous Pro-Flow, Racecraft Inc. and Wilson Manifolds for helping the team make all the races they have this season and for all the help they have contributed.