My Impala SS
Second Annual Impala SS Club of America Nationals
This years event was another exciting gathering of excellent Impala SS's. Even though the temperatures were over 100 everyday, it was a dry heat. For those of use from Louisiana and Texas, that does make a difference.
Day 0 - Leaving for Las Vegas - Sunday thru Tuesday - Sunday, My dad and I elected to leave early so we could arrive early and have a little fun in Vegas. It's a 2 day trip from Louisiana to Nevada. On I-40, thru Texas on the back side of a storm (that we drove through, you always drive through a storm on the way to a car show) we saw what look like a small funnel cone up in the clouds. I was able snap a few quick pictures, but it dissipated pretty quick by the time I got the camera out. Here are the pictures I was able to take.
Monday - The other exciting event that happened was when we crossed the Hoover Dam. Homeland Security stopped us to make sure we were safe to cross the Dam. Here are some pictures of the Dam as we went over it.
We Made it! Las Vegas we are here. After 2 bad thunderstorms and 2 days of driving, we are in Las Vegas! We stopped by the Hotel, Sunset Station Casio in Henderson (the host hotel), dropped our stuff and head into downtown Las Vegas. Dad and I cruised around a bit before stopping and here are a few of the pictures we took. Again this is only a few pictures as we didn't spend a lot of time driving around if you know what I mean! And NO, I am still no millionaire!
Tuesday - Clean the car day! The car show judges score your car on how clean it is. Well, after driving it in the 2004 Hot Rod Power Tour 2 weeks before and of course those rain storms we drove through on the way out to Las Vegas, the car is pretty dirty! I spend the morning and afternoon cleaning the car. About 4:00 in the afternoon the heat has finally taken it's toll and I'm beat. The little bit I have left, will have to be done in the morning on Car show day.
Day 1 - Car Show - Wednesday - I skip breakfast and head down to put some finishing touches on detailing the car. I am scheduled to take my car over to the judges at 9:20. This year they are trying something new by having the judges stay in one place and have us come to them, in other words drive through judging. I wonder over around 9:00 to see how things are going and it doesn't look good. There's been a small hick-up as someone didn't bring or make enough copies of the judging score cards. I'm told to not worry about my judging time and just get in-line and I will get my car judged when they get some more judging score cards. Ok - Not a problem. This gives me more time to clean! I take some spray detailer and work on the car while I wait for them to tell me to move into position.
Finally they wave me in. Here is pictures of my car. I pop the hood and open the doors and trunk, stand back and watch as they start pointing out areas I missed during my intensive cleaning. I had spent around 20-24 hours cleaning the car, how car they find more dirt! GRRRR!!! They manage to find all the dirt I didn't and then some more and 15 minutes later they're done and ask me to pull out. I thank them and leave the judging area and head back to my little area we have set up.
Judging is over, all I can do now is hope for the best and enjoy the other Impala SS and Great looking B-Body's. Here are some pictures I took of them.
Day 2 - Autocross - Thursday - Time to go RACIN! I prep the car and head over the the staging area. We get 4 laps around the coned course and I manage to make it twice with out hitting any cones for a best time of 35.940 which overall puts me in 17th place out of 25 cars. This is the first time I have raced in an autocross and did better but I hit a cone on the 3rd run and you get a one second penalty when you hit a cone. On the 4 lap I manager to mangle 2 cone and just enjoy the rest of that lap. My best time would have been 35.219 which would have put me in 12 place but I hitting that cone added a one second penalty time to my time. I'm not sore about hitting the cones as this is my first time on a autox course and feel I did well for never racing between the cones before! Here's some pictures of me on the course.
Drag Race - I chickened out of going. The car was setup for the Autocross & Road Course. I would have to change my shock rates, tire pressures, sway bars and with all the heat, I figured I would just watch. I was also worried that if I broke something during the Drag Races I would never forgive myself as I really wanted to Road Race the car as that is how I have turned the suspension, etc. Since I was a spectator I did manage to snap off a few pictures. Here they are.
Day 3 - Road Course & Banquette - Friday - The day I've been waiting for. The Road Course at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This is a 1 3/4 mile course with sharp corners and flat smooth surfaces. We have our drivers meeting at 8:00 and are split into our groups based on the modifications done to our cars. I've done enough modifications to my car that I'm in the Modified Class. Here are the pictures that Dad took of me on track along with a professional.
Our group is the first out on the track for practice. Even though this course is flat, it feels like a fast course. We start opening up our cars once we have made 3 or so laps. We stop in the middle of our practice lap and our instructor gives us a few tips about the last couple corners. I cannot wait to give it a run.
After lunch we start the timed runs. Man is it ever a Freakin HOT!, the pavement was recorder at being over 135 degrees and the air temp was 109. My group is called to the staging area. As we're waiting for the group of ahead of us to finish, I watch a car an the course come by and he seems to be taking that corner really deep (really late braking into the corner). Sure enough he ends up missing the corner tire screaming, doing a 360 and puts up a cloud of dust. WHOA! Man I bet he just crapped his pants. Then the next car behind him does the same thing! MAN, that corner must be slick. I think to myself, I better slow up some before that corner, cause I don't want to put my car in the gravel! Note: the gravel has fist size rocks in it!
They call our group to their cars, I buckle up put my helmet on. I'm second in line and we head towards the starter. I patiently wait for him to wave me on course. We start about 1/3 on the way into the course, this way we cross the start/finish line at speed. The exit from the course is before the start/finish line so that means we will have a cool down lap before we exit the course. As I make it around the warm-up lap I come around the corner and nail it heading for the start/finish line. I'm approaching that corner that have had two wipe outs but don't give it any thought as I'm to focused on driving the car and holding the correct line around the course. Through the backstretch I steal a peak at my speedometer as I hit 98 mile an hours. A few more corners and it's over and I'm on my cool down lap and I exit the course. 112.832 seconds later and it's over. Bummer, for a few minute I forgot how hot it was and how fun speeding is! This is such an adrenaline rush I want more. But it's over, I take my car around and we start loading everything.
Friday Evening - Banquette - My Dad and head over to the banquette. We have a little dinner with some other Impala SS folks and then the presentations start. I patiently wait for my class awards to be called. They start announce my class and I start paying attention as they announce Third place isn't me - dang it, I start to get a knot in my stomach and my mouth is dry. Will I get second place? Oh that would be so cool. Second place isn't me either and I remember seeing that car, I thought it was cleaner then mine. Oh well I really fun and enjoyed everything. And first place goes to... member 820, What? That's ME! OMG! My dad starts whistling and hooting as I get up with this grin and head for the stage. WOW, OH WOW, I won first place!!!! I cannot believe this, I won first place, some one pinch me!
I congratulate all the winners of this years Impala SS Club of America Nationals!
Day 0 - Returning Home - Saturday & Sunday - It was a hard to sleep after taking home a First Place Trophy, but we have and early morning departure time so we can make Amarillo, TX. Luckily the trip was not to eventful. We did manage to snap a few pictures of the Colorado River as we left the Hoover Dam. Here are those pictures. From Amarillo we headed towards Dallas and I hooked up on I-20 for Monroe, LA. Made with just enough time to get the car put away before the rain I drove through hit caught up to me in Monroe.