No matter how much planning and preparation you do, if it can go wrong....it will go wrong. And making it to the TX2K12 was no different then last year. Well, I didn't hit any possums and destroy my bumper on the way, but I sure did run into transmission Gremlins again. And just like last year, it was a mad dash crazy team effort to get everything fixed up and ready to go. And for this years mad dash... I have to personally thank David G., Tim F. and Eric K. for the countless days you spent away from your families turning wrenches all to get this car ready for TX2K12. You went way above and beyond the call of duty on this one guys, and I can't thank you enough.
Now last years transmission issue ended up being simple oem seal failure, but this year.....not so much. It all started, well hell, it didn't start, it just happened out of freaking no where. I pulled the car in the shop one night, everything was totally fine......next morning go to start the car, and now the AWD Malfunction/Visit dealer message pops up before I even move it. If you could have seen the look on my face! Seriously.....not now, two days before TX2K12....Grrrrrr!
This didn't happen on the track, I wasn't even driving it on the street. I'd been daily driving the car for weeks and everything was fine, so I knew it wasn't just a simple fix. So after calling my transmission every name in the book, I contacted Baker Nissan in Houston asking if they could help diagnose exactly what's going on. Now most dealerships would just look at my partially gutted and caged GT-R, with the 6 ft wide carbon spoiler on the rear and do one of two things. Run like hell.....or void me on the spot. Not the guys at Baker Nissan/Baker Tuning. Paul and Jason were not only able to get me in right away, they were more then willing to do anything they could to help out. And they didn't give me that.....well this things some crazy race car, we don't want to touch it type attitude.
So I get a call from Jason (GT-R Tech) a couple hours later and he informs me that my AWD ECM and the AWD forward drive solenoid has basically shit it's self. He literally tested every single wire in the loom, and everything is fine except for these crazy readings the ECM and Solenoid are showing. Now fortunately for me we just happen to have another ECM at our South Dakota location, but we didn't have the solenoid, nor the time to ship it. And that's just simply not a part you can even buy without purchasing a entire transmission. And then keep in mind at this point we had about 18 hours before the race started.....so hoping the ECM fixes everything was just not a chance we wanted to take. Now it just so happens we have a spare GT-R , and it just so happens to be a 2010 model year. So maybe the Gods where trying to show some love now....but definitely not for our techs! And a 6 pack of Redbull later and they some how managed to pull, and swap two GT-R Transmissions in a matter of hours!
So basically it's in my hands now, the car's up and running, time to get her to the track and see how she does. Now last year I ended up finishing 7th overall, and considering I drove the car from Maryland and was running on stock tires....I was pretty damn happy with that. Well this year, I stepped up my game a bit, and thanks to some very generous sponsors like Whiteline, Deka, Difflow and Seibon we were able to vastly improve over last years set up. Totally revamped and upgraded suspension components from Whiteline, a crazy bad ass 3+ way adjustable coil over system from Deka, much needed weight reduction and under hood cooling from Seibon, and Difflow for coming through with a custom SSP TX Spec Rear Diffuser.
Now once again this is going to be a new track (MSR) for me this year, with a totally new set up, so obviously it's going to take some time to get it dialed in. Not to mention that MSR had flooded out a couple days prior, so it was gonna be slick out there, and boy was it. Took me about half the day getting the new tires, suspension, and aero worked out, but overall it felt amazing. I ended up finishing 4th place in qualifying, and 5th place overall, and considering everything it took just to get to this event......I'm stoked with the results. Rest assure we'll be back out here next year, and looking to improve on our 5th place finish.
I'd like to thank all our sponsors for making this possible, we truly couldn't do it without your support. Here's a bunch of pictures I took along the way.....Enjoy!!
Go Fast Bits
Nitron Race Suspension
Crazy time spend on swapping that transmission. Car looks good.
COngrats! The Baker Tuning guys are definitely good friends to have
Thanks guys !
Here's some of the pictures from the Drag Racing Portion: