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                              Jeremy & Barbara Herbert
                       Bracket Masters Jr. Dragster Drivers     

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4/26/03 - 4/27/03 - Jeremy Herbert competed at Memphis Motorsports Park!  With the help of teammates, Reggie Jr., Toshia and Justin Jackson.  Mrs. Marva, Mr. Houston, Mr. Glend, "Father Skip" and Mr. James all pitched in and helped with the team Jr. Dragster.  Jeremy entered the Jr. Dragster Trophy races both days in the BMRT Jr. Dragster.  

Jeremy and "Father Skip" got a lot of help from the other racers at the track and we met some very nice people.  Two of the fathers, Mr. Herkie Hill and Mr. Mike Lester, helped us work on our chain alignment and sprocket all day Sunday.  They got our monitors to working that had never worked, and they taught us how to use them.  Mr. Hill provided a spare chain to make sure we were able to run during eliminations.   Mr. Lester provided many helpful hints on tuning, lubricants and other things that he learned when his child started.  ALL of the kids running the other Jr. cars and their parents were just great to us the whole two days.  We really appreciated the help and the warm welcome.  

Our car popped the chain off on three of the passes that we made.  When the chain stayed on, Jeremy cut some very good lights (.016 .022 and .076), his worse light, other than the one red light in the last round he ran, was a .160 sec. RT in his first time trial.  His best time was 11.04 off the trailer.  He had two runs of 11.08 during the course of the races, although one was 11:50.  On Sat. night, Jeremy won his first round in competition when his opponent red lighted.  Jeremy learned an important lesson in driving at the finish line.  He lost one race when he took too much strip and broke out, and he lost another one when he let up too early, running an 8 second Jr. Dragster, and he got nipped at the light (11.08 on an 11.04)!  He is learning and when we solve our chain and sprocket problems, we will be ready to go some rounds.  

Memphis Motorsports Park will put on an all Jr. Dragster event on May 30, 31 and June 1, 2003.  All proceeds will go to the St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis, TN.  They are expecting to have close to 200 Jr. Dragsters for this three day event. 

4/29/03 - While Jeremy and I were performing maintenance on the engine and fuel system while trying to solve the chain problem, we discovered a missing bolt in the motor plate and on the clutch.  We found several sources of looseness in the engine mounting system.  After several trips to Sears, Lowe's and ACE Hardware, in the specialty fastener sections, we have made a secure mounting arrangement that will not let the motor rock or roll.  We have devised a oil drain system that will not spill oil all over the motor plate when draining the oil.  

We talked to several owners of Jr. Dragsters in our area and were given many tips on how to keep from throwing chains.  Benny, of Benny's Automotive, who has campaigned several Jr. Dragsters over the past few years, gave us a tip on sprocket hole preparation.  Relating that the sprocket should not be super tight, but just a tad loose in the radial direction.   We have made the modification to the sprocket holes (two drill sizes larger than original) that will allow the sprocket to move a few thousandths of an inch.   We were told to use new, longer bolts, captured by nylock nuts to secure the sprocket to the sprocket mount.  

5/5/03 - We discovered the clutch bolt missing and loose parts inside our Salsbury clutch.  We called "James" at Cheetah Supply and he gave us instructions on removing the clutch.  After removing the motor, the clutch slipped right off with no resistance.  The key was missing!  There were visible cracks in the plate where the belt rides and the key had come out.  The clutch cover was locked in place and the large slotted nut could not be removed using regular tools and a lot of force.  

5/7/03Mr. Keith Hunter, of PowerTrain Automotive, an owner of two Jr. Dragsters, tried to help get it apart and was unsuccessful.  I called James back and ordered a new clutch assembly (front), new belt, nut and tools to be able to work on the clutch.  We are learning the hard way!  This may be the reason for the erratic times, from 10:58 to 11:04, up to 11:50 and then back to 11:08.  We are now waiting on parts and instructions on how to maintain the clutch.  

5/8/03 - We have had several interesting conversations on the Polor Clutch vs. the Salsbury Clutch.  Since we don't want run any quicker than we have in the past, 10:50's, and our kids will most likely weigh less than 150 lbs., we should not need the Polor Clutch.  The expense is not justified since our current setup does not have a compatible motor plate for the Polor Clutch.   Maybe in a few years, but not now.  Too much to learn before we try to go faster.  

5/13/03 - The parts arrived with instructions on how to maintain the clutch.  Jeremy and I read everything and started to install the new clutch and our own engine stability system.  This will keep everything in place while the engine is running and during the launch.  We hope to participate in the Jr. Dragster Challenge Race at No Problem Raceway Park on May 31, 2003.  We hope to get in some practice before then. 

5/17/03 - The Jr. Dragster work is complete!  We completed installing the clutch and mounting the motor.  We checked the alignment of the chain and belt and made sure everything was correct.  We are ready to go!

5/21/03 - Took the J.D. to Jason Wood of Wizard Racing to have a few small modifications done to the Jr. Dragster.   

5/23/03 - We picked up the Jr. Dragster after the modifications were completed.  Jason installed a removable tow hook on the front.  He also modified one chassis bar so the clutch can be removed without removing the engine.  He also cut off the tire guard part of the back panels so we can change oil and tighten bolts on the engine and motor plate without removing those back two panels.  

Jeremy, Little Barbara and Skip went to a large parking lot and tested the new setup.  The car seems to be much quicker!  Just looking at it leave and talking to Jeremy, who was the last one to drive before the clutch went out, says it has much more pep.  Maybe we will be back into the mid 10's, or quicker.  Little Barbara and Jeremy made several all out passes and did not lose a chain or belt.  

We did experience another problem during our testing, two engine hold down bolts vibrated loose.  We had to cease testing and go find new bolts for the engine.  All the information on the internet posted by other crew chiefs say to tighten EVERY bolt and nut each time you go to the track.  Some say to do it before each round.  Now I see why.  During the clutch replacement, we discovered two bolts that were loose in the motor plate and one that was missing!  We will be ready for the Jr. Dragster Challenge Race at NPRP on May 31, 2003.  

5/27/03 - Worked on the Jr. Dragster mounting and cosmetic items all day.  The new sheet metal arrangement allows us to easily change oil and get to all the bolts that need to be torqued.  We removed all four engine hold down bolts and replaced them with longer, stronger, grade 5 bolts.  We also changed the graphics on each side of the J.D.  We now have a silver shadow on the red Bracket Masters Logo on each side of the Jr. Dragster.  This looks much better than the old graphics.  You can actually read it from a distance.  

Little Barbara and Jeremy took turns driving in the old K-Mart parking lot.  Everything worked well, except the kill switch for the driver.  After returning from testing, we replaced the switch, changed the oil, ran gasoline through the system and sprayed the cylinder with WD-40.  We did a leakdown test on the cylinder and had 8% leakdown.   According to the ARC website (Tech. Notes - "Does it Matter?"), our leakdown of 8% indicates something wrong inside the engine.  Both kids say we now have more power than ever before.  Can't wait to see what times we turn.  

5/30/03 - Took the JD to NPRP for Test & Tune.  Jeremy, and Sisters Liz, and Barbara went to the track.  Jeremy took the first turn and ran 10.69 @ 59 MPH.  Real improvement from the 11 second runs in Memphis.  Apparently all the work paid off.  Jeremy continued to have good RT lights, but Little Barbara, on her only run of the night, had a .036 RT, the best RT of the night!  The little car ran very well in the three runs.
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5/31/03 - Jr. Dragster Challenge Race.  There were at least 30 Jr. Dragsters on hand for the event.  
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Little Barbara did not attend, so Jeremy did all the driving and his Sister Liz helped at the line and in the pits.  The heat was almost unbearable, but the cars seemed to perform better in the heat.  We came off the trailer with a 10.59 @ 60 MPH.  Jeremy cut a .005 light on his first pass.  Before the day was over, we got down to 10.50 @ 60 MPH.  
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On the second pass we threw the chain during the burnout, but got it back on and made a good pass.  During the time between runs we tried to align the sprockets.  On the last time trial we did it again right after the start of the run.  Between the final time trial and the 1st round, we borrowed a Chain Break Tool from Keith Hunter of PowerTrain Specialties, and Jeremy, Liz and I changed the chain.  This was my first time changing a chain!  Those of you that have done it know what a pain it is, and this one had no removable link!  Those of you that have not, please don't wait until you really need it, to learn how to do it.   I could talk about this experience for most of the hour and 15 min. it took me to do it!  I got so frustrated at one point I almost gave up.  That was when I finally got it hooked up and found out it was too long!  Then I made it too short, then...

We made it to round one and after being paired and selecting the lane we wanted, we won our first round of competition at NPRP!  The other driver, Shane, drew a big red light. We will take it!  It goes in the win column!  The car and the chain performed flawlessly.  In the second round we fell to Lyle Mock, who ran dead on his dial with a two, and had a .017 RT.  Jeremy had a -.008 red light!  All in all we continue to learn a lot and improve.
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We met some more very good racers and nice parents.  Everyone was very helpful (thanks Mr. Fremin!) and all of the racers are very good sports.  Shane came over to our trailer and congratulated us on our win.  Lyle Mock was especially nice, allowing us to chose our lane when he actually had lane choice.  We stopped by his trailer and talked to him and his parents after we lost.  We came home very satisfied with our performance.  Maybe we will win more rounds next time out.   
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10/10/03 - The BMRT Jr. Dragster participated in the 4th Annual Louisiana Drag Classic on Oct. 4, 2003 at No Problem Raceway Park.  There were 19 Jr. Dragsters trying to win the $1,000.00 purse.  We had 8 of our Jr. Dragster kids helping with the little dragster: Barbara, Liz and Ryland Herbert, Reggie II, Toshia and Justin Jackson, Preston and Aaron Johnson.  Jeremy Herbert was the designated driver for the day.  Mr. Reggie Jackson and Mr. Skip Holbert were the crew chiefs.  

Jeremy had two good practice runs, we did not lose a chain nor did anything else go wrong for a change.  All of our hard work and maintenance had paid off.  During time trials, Jeremy had back to back 10.74 sec. ET's with .080 and .020 RT's.  Jeremy won round one when his opponent turned on the red light.  In the second round, we dialed in a 10.74 and ran 10.71 for a breakout loss.  Jeremy did exactly what he was told and stayed in it all the way against a high 8 second JD.  

The kids really enjoyed helping with the maintenance and taking care of the Junior Dragster, towing it to the lanes and making sure the driver was safely strapped in.  
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12/6/03 - The Jr. Dragster kids and BMRT kids attended an "Appreciation Pizza Party" at the Airline Hwy. Pizza Hut in Baton Rouge.  Eight youth and 7 team members attended.  A good time was had by all and everyone has more than enough to eat.  The menu consisted of 3 types of pizza, cheese sticks, bread sticks, hot wings and several pitchers of cold drinks.  

Each youth gave a brief talk about themselves and the things they like to do in school.  Reggie Jackson, Director of the Baton Rouge SMART Program, Mrs. Marva Hawkins and Skip Holbert, each gave a short talk to the youth.  

 (Photos)

9/4/04 - The Jr. Dragster kids turned out in force for the Louisiana Drag Classic.  Due to Jeremy Herbert growing so tall during the past year, his sister, Barbara Herbert was given the driving duties.  Barbara cut a .007 green light in her only time trial and then went into eliminations where she tried to cut down the tree again but ended up with a red light.  The little car ran excellent all day and we were all very proud of Barbara.  Jeremy was her Crew Chief, taking care of all the safety equipment and giving her moral support.  We had 9 kids at the track, all helping in some way: Barbara, Jeremy, Lizzie, Ryland, Toshia, Justin, Preston, Aaron and Melissa.  They are all ready for another Pizza Party.  PHOTOS

Nov. 23, 2004 - The kids finally decided to have their Pizza Party while they were out of school for Thanksgiving break.  There were 13 kids and 5 adults that took part in the party.  Everyone had a good time and had plenty to eat because it was "All You Can Eat" buffet at Pizza Hut!  PHOTOS

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