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  • Pre-National G8 Meet: Day 1

    Posted on September 4th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Last year was the first for a National G8 Meet and it was a huge success (article in High Performance Pontiac). Unfortunately, since the meet was in Bettendorf, IA… and I was working on the East Coast… I was unable to attend.

    This year, there was no way I was going to miss out on all the fun! While I’ve been spending far too much time away from home, spending some time driving across the Country sounds like a blast!

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    I was originally scheduled to start the journey tomorrow, but just couldn’t wait! I crammed my trunk as full as it could and headed-out on the road.

    The first day of my drive to the G8 National Meet took me 551 miles up and over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I need to be in Iowa by Thursday night, but whenever possible I’m trying to avoid hours of monotonous driving on I-80. In this regard I chose to take US-50 into South Lake Tahoe and then the Kingsbury Grade down into Carson City, NV.

    The drive up US-50 was quite enjoyable. The first section was freshly paved, and after passing a slow moving car, I had it all to myself for ~10 miles. While US-50 is one lane each way, it does a great job providing passing lanes. Not only are they well marked (at the end of one lane they tell you how far to the next), but they also include curves. There is nothing better than blasting past slow cars on a climb (thank you Magnacharger) and flying past other cars when they slow down to take corners (thank you Pedders)!

    I’ve wanted to drive the Kingsbury Grade for quite a while (since July 2009). Unlike US-50, the Kingsbury Grade is only one lane each way… and I found myself getting stuck behind a slow moving car. Fortunately the road was nearly empty, so I just slowed-down and played “catch-up” several times.

    When I arrived in Carson City I was confronted with my first hurdle of the trip… a Check Engine light and the car going into “limp mode”! I quickly pulled-off the road and tried to figure out what was going on. The car was shaking quite heavily, like there was a big misfire… and there was almost zero power. Fortunately I had my DashHawk and could pull-up the Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC).

    After some quick searching online, it sounded like the DTC wasn’t going to be too big of a deal. The first time I restarted the car it exited “limp mode” on its own. I waited a little while and everything seemed good (none of the previous symptoms). I used the DashHawk to clear the DTC and hit the road again.

    The remainder of the drive was less exciting, as I just took I-80 into Elko, NV. While I’m sure I would have enjoyed going I-50 (“The Loneliest Road in America”) more, it just didn’t put me in the right place for tomorrow’s drive across Utah.

    Driving on I-80 did give me some time to observe things… like how my Carbon Fiber hood moves/shakes when closely trailing another vehicle at 75mph. It’s not a speed thing, or really a “high winds” thing, rather the turbulence coming off the other vehicle. The first time I noticed it I was a little nervous, but after some experimentation it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be an issue (fingers crossed).

    On I-80 I also spent quite some time observing how my radar detector works in the presence of LEOs (Law Enforcement Officers). In Nevada it seemed like ever few miles there was another Sheriff car/truck/bike trying to catch speeders. I was really impressed that most of the LEOs were not just sitting with their radar always on… rather they were turning their guns on/off for individual cars. While it made it a little more difficult to detect the LEOs, the Valentine 1 did an awesome job. If I hadn’t been going the speed limit, I would have had more than enough time to slow down before the speed traps.

    Tonight I’m staying in a free hotel in Elko, NV. After checking-into the hotel I went out to snap a few quick photos, refill my gas tank, and get some dinner.

    The worst part of today’s drive was the last mile of it. To get to the gas station I needed to travel through downtown Elko. It just so happens that they are repaving the main street, so I was forced to drive through a muddy construction zone. I wonder if Adam’s Waterless wash will work on the mud? Just kidding… good thing I didn’t wash my car before leaving!