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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, let me thank Dr. Roof and all the sponsors for such a great event! The weather in San Antonio was perfect and it was great meeting up with everybody and putting faces to the names.

We loaded Sal P's Twin Turbo car Thursday afternoon and left Heffner's Performance around 5 pm. The trip was only supposed to take about 26 hours, but I wanted to make sure the car got there sometime on Saturday at the latest, so we gave ourselves plenty of time. It turned out to be a good idea.

About 100 miles into the trip it started snowing and it was now dark so visibility was pretty poor. At first I didn't think it would amount to much, but snow began to accumulate on the roads. The next 300 miles (from 7 pm until 5 am) our average speed was only about 35 to 40 MPH! The storm had come through the area earlier in the day, and by the time we got there, the highways were marginal, but definitely passable. I have a lot of experience driving in snow (lived in the Rocky Mountains for a few years), so I felt safe. I was prepared to stop at any moment if the going got too rough. I didn't want to take any chances with Sal's Viper, so I decided to go slow and steady. I was concerned that if I did pull over, I would get stuck for the weekend, so I wanted to get through this.

The highways were littered with cars going over guard rails, tractor trailers that had jack knifed, and even one tractor trailer had plummeted off a third tier overpass and landed over the northbound lanes. It was clear the driver didn't make it when we saw the body bag in front of the truck.

By the time we got to Tennessee around daybreak, the snow was replaced with heavy rain. Eventually we made it through all this weather and pulled into San Antonio about 1 am on Friday morning. The 26-hour trip took us 32 hours--but we had arrived! Whew!!!

We went to the track on Saturday to watch the test and tune runs. It was great to finally meet a lot of the people that I had only talked to over the phone or on Viper Alley over the past couple of years. I also got to meet up with some of the guys that I met in person at VOI7.

Saturday night was reserved for serious partying (as if you didn't already know that), and as they say in San Antonio "What goes on in San Antonio, stays in San Antonio!!. As we were walking around town, you could hear Vipers echoing off the buildings in the distance and you could see Vipers parked in various parking lots. We definitely had taken over!! We stayed at the Hilton near the Airport so we didn't get to meet up with the Valencia crowd until the next day. Despite that we managed to represent the Viper nation well!!

On Sunday, I can tell you that everybody was having a good time. Even the guys that were having mechanical problems seemed to be happy to be there. The turnout wasn't quite as large as I thought it might be, but most of the Kings of the track were there. We saw some awesome runs by a lot of cars.

Sal's twin turbo car had just received a new clutch and it just wasn't hooking up. Jason Heffner broke his hand a couple of weeks before the race so Sal P was going to drive the car. Sal is an experienced drag racer, but didn't have much seat time in the Viper and had no seat time with the new twin turbo car. It was definitely a handful. Jason decided to see if he would have any better luck babying the clutch (despite the broken hand) and he managed a 10.5x run.

The engine is completely stock on this twin turbo car. Jason had run a 10.06 ET two weeks before San Antonio (on an older clutch) and the conditions at San Antonio were better than that day, so we had expected to run 9's. The car is definitely capable of a lot more.

There was a lot of excitement about the twin turbo car (and a lot of excitement about my high tech trailer!! hahahaha). Several people got a ride in it and they will tell you that it is awesome!

We left on Monday morning after replacing a part that had broken on my hitch and drove straight through. It only took us 28 hours coming back (with one hour of sleep along the way).

The only downside of the event was the track owner decided to rush the whole event and shut down the track before the agreed upon time. We had hoped to get a lot of time trials runs in after the racing, but it wasn't possible.

The best part of the trip was meeting many of you and burying the hatchet with a couple of others. This is probably not a complete list, but some of the people I met (or got reacquainted with) were:

Tom Welch
Lee Saunders
Dr. Roof
Cudaman
Larry Macedo
Smokin'
John H ennessey
XS TORQ
Big Carrot
Anthony - 98 GTS
GregV2KACR
GetBit
1Tony1
Serious Eric
nohsreg2000
MHQC
Moundir
Yellow Fever
superbar
GTS Dean

and probably a dozen others I can't recall right now.

It was an excellent event!
 

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Gary, my hat is off to you, Jason and Sal for making the long trip. We will try to return the favor and come to an event on the east coast some time in 2004. I have a feeling that the next time I see your car run, it will have a few new surprises!
 

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Gary,

It was in fact good to meet up with you folks in person. I was wondering why Jason shook hands with me with his left hand.....now I know.

Glad to hear you made it home OK. Looks like more weather coming this weekend, as I will be in DC and NY myself doing my "other job".

I look forward to coming to MD and racing when the V-10 event comes to town. I'm sure both yourself and Sal will be well into the 9's by then.

Take care,

Tom
 

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uuuuugh! Body Bag? Poor guy! Glad you got there safe and had a great time!

Gerald
 

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First off, I want to thank Gary for transporting my car with such care. It is not often you see someone take care of your car as much as, if not more, than their own car! I know I wouldn't have the patience to make it through the horrible conditions Gary drove through. Thank you very much Gary! /images/graemlins/thumbs2

I also would like to thank Jason Heffner for building such a kick ass car! Thank you Jason! /images/graemlins/thumbs2

As for myself, I definitely took a hard lesson in remembering how to drive the Viper. Since May was the last time I really drove the car, it was a learning experience to say the least! :help: /images/graemlins/supergrin.gif

John H.-Tom: It was a pleasure to meet you all and I promise next time I will not be such an amateur with my car! :doh: /images/graemlins/laughing.gif
 

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Mark Young said:
Are there any pics of the twin turbo setup? I've been dyin to see it.
I hope someone posts pics, because it looked (and sounded and ran) sweet!
Jason seems like a great guy, as is GaryA.
 

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Gary it was nice meeting you and rest of the guys, and wish I could have stayed for a ride in the TT car. I'm telling you that was one sweet install /images/graemlins/thumbs2 How much boost was it running? Too bad Jason had broken his hand or that thing would have been in the 9s for sure :nod: Sal I'm sorry but myself and Jason Heffner got some chuckles watching your runs /images/graemlins/drive
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sal P. said:
First off, I want to thank Gary for transporting my car with such care. It is not often you see someone take care of your car as much as, if not more, than their own car! I know I wouldn't have the patience to make it through the horrible conditions Gary drove through. Thank you very much Gary! /images/graemlins/thumbs2
Thanks to you Sal! I didn't expect it when Sal surprised me by paying for my hotel stay. Now that's class! We only had room to bring one car and thought it would be nice to try out the new TT car. Next time I hope to bring my car along.

John H: What an awesome car that TT SRT is! That thing was the fastest, quietest car going down the track. Congratulations. And thanks for the goodies you brought along.

Tom Welch: It was good to see you there and ready to race. I know I give you a lot of grief here on the message boards, but bottom line is that you showed a lot of class (and can drive the hell out of your car!).

XS TORQ: Thanks for the compliment. It was good to meet you too!

Moundir: Now there's a guy who was really enjoying himself (on and off the track)!! It was great meeting you and finally putting a face to the name.

Mark: I'm not sure if Jason wants to post pics yet, but when he does, I'll let you know.
 

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I've been waiting for some news for the Heffner camp - thanks for the post Gary - that was great.... that earned you a 5 rating /images/graemlins/thumb1

and HAH!!!!!! that lifted your overall rating from 3 to 4!!!! :atu: :atu: I've been dying to see that happen - as when I normally rate someone -- it makes no diference overall. :rant:

/images/graemlins/laughing.gif
 

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Glad to hear you made it back with out any problems, I know about doing those LOOOOONG hauls pulling a trailer. I could NOT drive for a living. It was good putting faces behind the names, also shaking everyone hands on race day.

Florida V-10 Nationals is looking like Feb7 and 8..... It will be your chance to break the Vipers out of hibernation, see Disney World and Universal, Sea World and do some hard core drag racing again!!!!!/images/graemlins/drive



Cudaman :flag:
 

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GaryA, nice to finally meet you. You guys worked hard to get here and we are grateful. You guys need to post some pics of that TT system. I saw it and it is beautiful...others are drooling in anticipation! I didn't get to meet Heffner though, maybe next time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cudaman,

You can bet that we'll be there!! It really is a lot more fun meeting up with everybody in person.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Getbit,

Nice to finally meet you too! I think there was as much talk about that bad ass Benz as there was any other car out there! 12.4 ET?!!! Wow!!
 

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Gary , it was great to finally meet you and the Heffner Crew at the V10 Nationals.

That is one SWEET rig you own :thumb: , after seeing Sal's car I can't wait to see your Rig pulling into my driveway /images/graemlins/nana

:cheers:

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yellow Fever said:
Gary , it was great to finally meet you and the Heffner Crew at the V10 Nationals.

That is one SWEET rig you own :thumb: , after seeing Sal's car I can't wait to see your Rig pulling into my driveway /images/graemlins/nana

:cheers:

Jeff
Thanks, Jeff! I can't believe you guys that flew in from California and others from Canada to attend the event!! You guys are awesome!

I can't wait to trailer that TT beauty to San Diego!! You have no idea how impressive it will be to OWN the streets of southern California with that yellow beast!

It was great meeting you after all this time. Glad you made it back safely. We will definitely be toasting to your sweet ride the next time we meet!
 

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It was great to meet you Gary. I'm glad you guys had a safe trip home, and hope to see you at future events.

I think I have a pic or 2 of the TT setup in Sal's car. I'll try to post.
 

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Pretty sweet. /images/graemlins/supergrin.gif

Gary, great to meet you too. Those pics I have of your trailer came out amazing :thumb:

I was drooling over Gary's trailer all weekend. That is the BEST setup I have ever seen. It was like the spaceship Enterprise in that truck with all the digital stuff going on. /images/graemlins/laughing.gif
 

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