We showed up at Sonoma in December of 2017 with high expectations. We had a brand new engine, and made a ton of power, and being our 4th race, we felt like we knew what we were doing. The race started off great, withing the first 20 minutes we set our new lap record of 2:03 vs our previous 2:07.
Disaster struck after the first driver change. The car started to run horrible just as it had at Buttonwillow 8 weeks earlier when we dropped a valve. Fearing the worst we came in and removed a valve cover to find a broken valvespring. In our rush to build the engine we failed to realize our new cylinder heads might not have the correct valve springs for the gigantic cam we installed. Our new cam had over .600″ lift and the springs were only rated just below that, and they were used. Unable to find any replacement valve springs in the Sonoma area, we drove to Summit Racing in Nevada that afternoon to buy the complete Trickflow kit.
After a 400 mile round trip with the valve springs in hand we got back to the racetrack around midnight on Saturday. Around 1am we had half the engine finished with the new springs, and as we started on cylinder 5 we realized the Trickflow kit we bought was missing half of the keepers. There should have been 32 in the kit, but only 16 were packaged. They keepers for our new springs were different than our old ones, and yet again we were dead in the water. Sunday morning came, and after a call to Summit Racing they admitted that Trickflow made an error and the would send us the remaining parts on Monday morning. We could have ran the car with half the engine on the old incorrect springs, but decided not to risk our brand new engine any further. Luckily the valve never made contact with the piston and wanted to keep it that way. We packed up the trailer and watched the rest of the race from the grandstands.
The race was bitter sweet. The car broke, but after a few parts the next day we got home we knew it would be ready to run again.