Tigges Talk - Where Are We?

Discussion in 'Pit Buzz' started by MaineAlkyFan, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. MaineAlkyFan

    MaineAlkyFan Active Member

    Oct 8, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Richmond, Reading, Norwalk, Lebanon Valley, Epping… all places we figured to be so far this year, making some noise & trying to improve on our dismal performance of last year. Obviously, the sleek black Division 1 beauty that strikes fear in the hearts of our competitors has been silent in the shop. What gives?

    2014 was a thrill. We rolled out our brand new fathead BAE with a safe tune-up and promptly won Reading right out of the trailer. As the year progressed we tweaked little things, learning the new engine & improving the performance, setting the still standing 5.55 track record ET at New England Dragway. Other than a sheared oil pump drive that got our body cracking explosion on the national event TV show highlight reel at the season closing Reading event, it was a great year. Like the TAFC champ Steve Harker, it was almost easy, we were ‘testing’ and doing better than ever.

    2015 brought a very different story. No round wins, a few DNQ’s, hurt bearings, tire shake, broken wheelie bars, vibration, electrical gremlins, a car that would not go straight… wow! We found things as we struggled, but for every imaginary step in the right direction we got kicked back a few. The only good news in 2015 was the engine didn’t fill the diaper with parts & oil.

    Spending money for nothing gets tiring. Fred & Mark have been racing alcohol for 20 consecutive years, members of a small handful of competitors that have done that. The offseason was filled with discussion, pro/con lists, thinking too much and that nagging wonder of what on earth caused all our problems in 2015.

    We had been discussing building a new chassis as the old pipe had hundreds of passes on it. It scaled correctly and measured straight, but race car chassis are like guitar strings, they get tired. Tired guitar strings don’t stay in tune, they sound dead, they are prone to breakage… hmmm, this is sounding familiar. With the BAE getting a more powerful tune-up maybe the chassis was our weak link. Looking back over the numbers, if you asked it to run in the 5.60’s it was happy all day, but if you asked it to run a 5.50 it got all annoyed.

    Work last winter was long, hard, cold & lucrative. Once all the pros & cons got put through the blender, the call was made to take some time off & retire the old chassis. A call to Murf McKinney got the ball rolling on that chassis, built with a taller cage to allow Mark to fit in the car without headbanging on the pipes and a search for a body that would fit the new pipe was started. The expansion of the shop last year made room for that body, a 2014 Monte Carlo with all the latest bells & whistles picked up from Tony Bartone.

    This past weekend Mark & Fred made the trip out to McKinney’s for ‘in-seat’ fitting in the chassis, which will soon enough be out in the garage getting stuff bolted to it. The body should fit up really well, with just minor adjustments as Tony runs a McKinney chassis as well. As with all things racing, there will be tons of work to do, re-wiring, re-plumbing, fabrication of new bits, brackets, tinwork & fitting it all together.

    Some of the negatives on the pro-con list were not being at the track & wanting to be there. That is true. Watching our peers on the Lucas broadcasts and following the regional rounds on Drag Race Central without being there is hard. The fire is still there, but it can’t really burn. Attending a race in person just makes it worse. Once the chassis is on the stands at the plant, things will change, it will be all hands on deck, working late nights, building excitement for that first squirt down the track.

    Indy, Charlotte, Reading… those are the places left for us this year to let the fire burn, make some noise, compete & feed the disease. My bet is we will be out on the road before the year is out. I could be wrong, but I know when that new chassis gets pushed out of the shop & fired up in the driveway to set the static timing the two guys that make the call are going to want to go play with their new toy. Once again, the sleek black beauty & the men & ladies that make it fly will be making the guy in the other lane nervous. I can’t wait.

    Captioned pictures of bits, pieces, family life & stuff (food & rare animals) here:

    Tigges Team Pix

    Chris Saulnier – Team Tigges
    Mechanic Falls, Maine
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
  2. Billy Anderson

    Billy Anderson New Member

    Sep 7, 2011
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    Wonderful! So glad to hear you may be out this year! Have missed having my favorite team out there to root for!

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