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BRYANT FAMILY RACING
El Mirage - November 20th & 21st
Well, we scrambled to make the necessary repairs to our explosion damaged car and were ready to make the trip to the last meet of the year, but alas, it didn't happen. The area had received rain earlier in the month and we had a wet race course. Mike Cook and the BLM checked the lake bed on the 8th and it to be partly under water. It was determined that giving another week of drying would give us a better chance at running. The date was moved from the 13th to the weekend of the 20th. However, the weather did not cooperate and the drying was not sufficient to allow us to run. What a bummer! The second year in a row that we have been drowned out of the last meet of the year. Could it be "Global Warming"?
Now it becomes time to prepare for the next season. As usual, we have plenty of work to do. The car has just finished its twelfth year in competition and needs some rejuvenation. It will get a frame up cleanup and repair, refreshing of the engine, as well as attention to other tasks that are scheduled. This year we start early...I have said that before, but hopefully this time it will happen. Until next year then....Happy Holidays to All!
WORLD FINALS - OCTOBER 13 - 16, 2004
We arrive on the salt for the World Finals with a new driver, Ken Smith who did his licensing and got some seat time at the World of Speed last month. I had arrived in Wendover on the 5th of October to take part in the filming of "The World's Fastest Indian", as did several of other Bonneville racer with older styled cars. I was contacted a few weeks ago by Ron Christensen about bringing my car. Since I was at Bonneville during the 1962 meet when Burt Munro made his first runs, it was a special event for me. I knew Burt and enjoyed his stories and admired his determination to go fast with a very old bike. His story can be read on line at...Burt Monroe Story
My son Dan arrived the evening of the 12th and my nephew, Ken, was on the salt before noon on the 13th. Jeff and Barry, my other sons, arrive in the early afternoon on the 13th. On our first run, I tried advancing the timing again falling short of the 243.502 MPH record at 236.759 MPH. This was basically the same speed we had run on our last pass Speedweek with the same timing setting. Obviously the engine didn't want that much advance. For the next run we retarded the timing to the setting where it had performed best before and tried again. This time we ran 242.756 MPH, less than 1 MPH under the record. Our 3rd pass gave us the numbers we were looking for, 245.565 MPH, we were well qualified. The next morning Ken ran 242.956 MPH for a 244.260 MPH Record and membership in the Bonneville 200 MPH Club. This gives us seven family members in the Club. I got in in the Pierson Coupe in 1990 and all the others gained their membership in our present ride.
Now we were just going to have some fun and try some new combinations. We had had problems with the High Speed By-Pass valve so had decided to remove it from the system. I miscalculated the required jet and we made a rich run on Jeff's first pass which gave us a 241.378 MPH time. We went back to the pits, chose a one step leaner jet, refueled the car and were ready to make another pass. The Burkland streamliner was going to make a parachute test run so we waited about an hour in the pits to see it come through. After the Burkland car came through we went back to the starting line for a second ride for Jeff. When it came our turn to go, we fired the engine, I jumped in the truck for the push off and the starter frantically began waving for us to abort. I didn't know what the problem was, but everyone on the line was pretty animated. To make a long story short, there had been an explosion underhood when Jeff revved the engine. It appears that alcohol fumes had collected underhood while the car had been setting closed up between runs and revving the engine had ignited the fumes resulting in the explosion. We got the minor fire extinguished and pushed back to the pits. Our week was finished. There was extensive damage done to the car, but it is repairable and we plan to run at the Lakes November 13th & 14th.
Every accident is a learning experience...I learned at least two things...first, have good ventilation for the engine compartment, and second, install doors for easy access for fire extinguishers.
Overall, it was a great meet. There was a great course and good weather which translates into exceptional performance.
Not only did we run well, (a 223.628 MPH 1/4 and a 250.823 MPH terminal) which was pleasing to us, but George Fields ran 304 MPH in D/BFCC and then spun, remaining upright and going to impound. The next morning he blew the center out of a spark plug and generated some fire damage ending his week. Fred Dannenfelzer ran 361 MPH to claim the title of "The Fastest Open Wheel Car" while setting a record of 355.109 MPH. Although we were not there to witness the event because of leaving early Saturday AM, it was good to learn that the Burkland Streamliner averaged 417.020 MPH on Saturday for a new B/BFS Record. This eclipsed Nolan White's record set a couple of years ago. I was told that Rick White stayed to witness the event.
To look at event picture albums, Click on this link ...http://www.picturetrail.com/saltracer
WORLD OF SPEED - September 17th-20th-2004
On our last run at Speedweek, we damaged a rear tire which put us in a bind for competing at the 18th Annual World of Speed. Since we already had an entry in and, as yet, we had not missed a single W.O.S. it was doubly important that we locate some new rubber for the rear of the car.
After a couple of weeks diligently seeking tires, with the help of several on the Land Speed Network offering suggestions and use of tires, I had purchased a pair of new Goodyears and accepted John Beckett's offer of a set of used Mickey Thompson like I had been running, we were finally adequately equipped to go racing.
Margaret and I left for the Salt on Wednesday morning, stayed the night in Elko, and arrived in Wendover before noon on Thursday. We proceeded to the race course and found a pit, put the car through inspection and were all set to go racing on Friday.
Friday we arrived at the Salt to find my brother Gary already there. My sister Norma, brother-in-law Jack, their son Ken Smith (our designated driver for the week), his wife Lisa and son William arrive a bit later. We picked up our two sons, Jeff & Barry at the Wendover Airport about noon and were now set to go racing by early afternoon.
As is customary, I made the first pass. We are running alcohol for fuel as we did Speedweek. We had added a High Speed By-Pass to the fuel system and changed to a higher gear ratio in the rear axle. It was a great run, posting our fastest ¼ mile, 222.022 and also the fastest top speed, 247.722 MPH. It seemed that we had a good race car and it was now time to put my nephew, Ken Smith in the car for licensing. Weather had not been our friend at this meet this year. It was Monday morning before we completed the three licensing passes. We were third back in line on Sunday evening when the meet was called because of wind so we got an early run giving Ken his "A" license at 213.289 MPH. Since there were not very many competitors left on the Salt, we were able to get in three qualifying runs, but fell short of the 243.502 record that we had set at Speedweek, posting the best speed of 239.182 on the third pass. This was not what we had hoped for, but Ken was satisfied having had the opportunity to get some reasonably fast rides. He will have to wait for another day to make the record attempt again.
As usual, the World of Speed was a great experience for us. I thoroughly enjoy these meets, their more relaxed pace and friendly volunteers. It harkens back to the earlier days of SCTA-BNI. I don't say this to criticize the SCTA-BNI meets, it is just that Speedweek has become so popular that it has lost its atmosphere of old.
As I had said earlier, the weather was a bit of a problem for this meet, but we did get in seven runs. There were a couple of accidents that did considerable damage to two beautiful streamliners, Nish and Burkdol. So far as I know the drivers were not seriously injured. The Herbert/Steen Streamliner posted top time with a pass in the mid 300s. George Field's Comp Coupe ran 301 on four cylinders in the D blown fuel class, setting the record at 296.278 MPH. There were several records set...Keith Young set a new record for his class at 153.432 MPH in his Jimmy powered '39 Chevy Coupe. I was too busy to zero in on others, but everyone had a great time. Now it is, clean it up...check it out... and on to the World Finals in October.
SPEEDWEEK - August 14-20, '04
What a great week for Bryant Racing!
Margaret and I left Redding for the Salt on Thursday August 12 and drove straight through to Wendover. Dan and Shirley were there when we arrived. The four of us arrived on the Salt early Friday morning and began getting ready for the week of competition. Mid-day Friday my other sons, Jeff and Barry arrived at Wendover airport. We picked them up, had lunch and went back to the salt. At the end of the day we were all setup, inspected and ready to run. Due to the misfortune of the Glass Crew, who had engine problems before leaving for the Salt, we were given a spot on the front line, courtesy of Joe Timney, who had saved a spot for them. We were pitted next to Ace Allen the new owner of John Beckett's Chevette. (The car is continuing its record setting ways, two A/GCC Records by week's end, Ace @ 246.107MPH and his helper Scott Griswold @ 251.430 MPH, both gaining membership into the 200 MPH Club.)
Besides our sons, Jeff, Barry and Dan, Dan's wife Shirley and son Tim and my brother Gary and his wife Pat, we had lots of family attending the meet for the first time. I brought my 15 year old grandson who was visiting with us from Idaho, a sister and brother-in-law from Missouri, another sister, brother-in-law and nephew, his wife and small child all from the L.A. area. It was important that we do well to protect our reputation.
This year we had switched to alcohol for fuel. On Saturday, as usual, I took the first ride to check out the car. After fumbling around a bit, unable to find low gear, I got under way in second gear and posted a 215.095 quarter and a 243.378 third mile which qualified against our record of 241.022 MPH. Since it was our goal to give Tim the opportunity to set a record and gain 200 MPH Club Membership, I chose not to go to impound. Tim's first run down the salt after licensing at the World Finals '03 at 207, was a 240.958 third mile. It took three more runs to get him qualified. His second pass was 241.002, then 219.778 (a seven cylinder run due to a broken spark plug) and a 245.521 MPH qualifying pass. Next morning he made his backup run at 240.824 for an average of 243.172 MPH.
Since our goal was accomplished, I wanted everyone to have an opportunity to take a ride. My brother was in the car next and posted a 243.482 run which again qualified the car, but he declined to go to impound. Barry took a ride, also qualifying at 243.801. Next morning he backed up the time with a 243.202 for an average of 243.502 MPH and new record.
I had been trying to find the right combination all week and still not getting the EGTs that I felt that were good numbers, so on Friday Dan took one last run with a tuneup change which didn't work. He ran 238.629, the first time all week that we had dropped under 240 MPH except for the seven cylinder run. He did have a head wind (4 mph NE) so I am not sure that the tuneup change really caused the drop in time.
I still have some ideas to try for more speed. My goal is to put the car over 250 MPH, however if it never goes any faster, I have no complaints. I am amazed that we have done as well as we have.
Last Updated: 09/09/2010