Memphis Blues Again


June 1, 2017

In the continuing saga of the racing here it always seems to get more complicated before it becomes simpler.

The ManCup race in Memphis was originally scheduled for May 20-21.  This only ran across my youngest daughter’s graduation from college.  Now this is a big deal as she is the youngest and theoretically the last to do so.

Well, then we checked and the race had been rescheduled.  I was thinking to myself that it would be fine, as later would be better, weather-wise.  Well, the weekend it was scheduled for is June 2-4.  Why the panic you ask?  It just so happens that Fred’s father is hosting a big show of his artwork in a prestigious Chicago gallery and that precludes him getting to Memphis before Nick leaves Friday night to pick him up on the way there.

That takes care of Mitch Brown’s crew.  I wondered why I felt uncomfortable about that week end and then I was reminded by my wife that it was the same weekend that my youngest, she of the recently minted degree, was getting married.  At first, the response was “You can’t go”. I was completely taken aback by this statement, as she who must be obeyed had never in nearly fourty years of our relationship forbade me going to a race.  It was at this time I knew careful negotiations were in order.  After discussing it with my daughter and my wife it was agreed that after the Father/Daughter dance had happened, I was allowed to go to Memphis.  To add to the good fortune, my eldest daughter Samantha agreed to accompany me on the trip, a ten and a half hour drive which would put us there about 8 am Sunday morning, in plenty of time for eliminations, assuming nothing goes awry Saturday.  We then work the race and afterwards decide on a night in Memphis or another ten hour drive home.  The one cool thing about this forced march is the possibility of Samantha meeting her namesake, Sam Wills, for the first time.  The fact that there are members of my family back home for the wedding is the incentive to head right back home again, so as to not miss any more time with everyone.

Well, sending my toolbox with the boys at least allows more capabilities with the maintenance, and I will come down with the fuel kit on Sunday morning, as I don’t believe there are duplicates in Mitch’s arsenal, and you just never know.  Nitromethane is involved.

I will guess the next installment will be done after the race and we will see how the best-laid plans of mice and men actually go.

Until then,


Bill W.

June 2, 2017

Eleven hour drive there with my daughter Samantha and a rainout.  We luckily discovered a failed magneto rotor during warmups and used the cap and wire set I had the time to build when in OKC in February.  Setting the valves and finishing up for getting ready to run and the skies opened up.  It was one of those settling in on top of you storms that went on forever in all directions.

One pm and the race was called.  So back in the car and home again.  I have to say that the high point was having my daughter Samantha finally meet Sam Wills.  I got to meet Ron Teson, a pioneer of the modern single engine supercharged Top Fuel bikes at last.  A forward looker and brilliant mind, along with being just an all-round nice guy.  There is a photo of well over 150 years worth of nitro bike experience.

Once again it my support crew that helped me get through the weekend, with Samantha driving through some absolutely torrential rains.  Many thanks to her forbearance and patience.


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