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Pony Express Part V – The Rockies and Middle America as Randy Seward Continues to Visit Tracks Across America

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Nearly three weeks into his Pony Express trip to visit nearly dozens of race tracks across the United States, Randy Seward had successfully completed an east coast to west coast trek, raced at seven of the ten tracks he planned to visit, and was joined by his wife Muyami in California. His tour now turned east, visiting Las Vegas Motor Speedway before journeying through the Rocky Mountains for stops in Colorado, Kansas and Missouri.

Days 18-20 – Las Vegas, Nevada to Morrison, Colorado

Completing his visit to Las Vegas with a pair of consistent 8-second runs, Randy and wife Mayumi hit the road for their next destination, Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado. After logging some time on Sunday night and stopping in Richfield, Utah, Monday June 4th dawned with the Sewards needing to roll 500 more miles to the odometer to arrive at their next track. “This was the most interesting drive; through the Rocky Mountains,” said Randy. “With a 10,500 feet density altitude, the air is so thin that you don’t get the power normally expected from an engine. Normally my car gains speed in overdrive without much effort, but in this situation, I had to take the car out of overdrive to maintain speed at times and for some of the bigger inclines.” Before rolling into Morrison, Randy needed to make a few adjustments on his trusty Mustang. “The mileage combined with the hot temps I experienced at Las Vegas made me a bit concerned,” said Randy. Thanks to the internet, Doug Paddock offered up his shop in Denver, where Randy changed fluids as well as change rear coil springs and adjust his ride height. “The original springs had fatigued and the tires had started rubbing a bit,” said Randy. “So I’m thankful Doug was able to help out.” After enjoying a day free from driving, Randy and Muyami Seward rolled to Bandimere Speedway, a scenic track that also hosts the NHRA Mile-High Nationals. Randy lined up a race for the evening, but raindrops in the staging lanes forced his opponent home while Randy waited out the delay. Finally he got a solo pass, and just getting the car spooled up was a chore. “Because of the 5700 foot corrected altitude, it took almost five seconds to get the turbos to spool to my desired 7 pound boost point,” said Randy. Despite the thin air, Randy blasted to an 8.87 at 157.19 mph. “I noticed big raindrops hitting my windshield in the shut down area, and a short time later it started raining serious enough that the track cancelled the racing for the night,” said Randy. So he packed up and drove back to a friend’s house.

Total miles: 5835      Daily mileage: 810   Tracks visited: 11     Best pass of the day: 8.87 at 157.19 mph

Days 20-21 – Morrison, Colorado to Great Bend, Kansas 

Enjoying a day of rest while exploring Denver on June 7th, Randy started Friday June 8th by taking wife Mayumi to the airport for her return flight to Orlando, Florida. He would then point his Mustang toward Kansas and SCRA Drag Strip for their Friday night test and tune. Team Shelby regional director Randy Fry welcomed Seward to Kansas and his home, where he helped Seward clean some of the road grime off his Mustang before he headed to the track. But first, Seward needed some food, so he reheated some leftovers in an unusual way. “After lunch in Denver, I had three pieces of pizza leftover,” said Seward. So he wrapped it in tinfoil, placed it in the engine bay of the Mustang, and drove to SCRA, where the pizza was hot upon arrival. Lining up for his first race with the 465-cube 2014 Camaro of Dan Nixon, Seward didn’t need long to determine SCRA would be a tricky surface. Pedaling his way to a 10.00 at 151.58 mph, Seward made another attempt but aborted the run to clock a 10.87 at just 94.70 mph. “I noticed a lot of the fast cars were using slicks, and I couldn’t hook well on either of my two runs,” he said. The After logging the pair of runs, Fry gave Seward a place to sleep for the night.

Total miles: 6360      Daily mileage: 525   Tracks visited: 12     Best pass of the day: 10.00 at 151.58 mph

Day 22 – Great Bend, Kansas to Asbury, Missouri

Departing Randy Fry’s house on Saturday, June 9th, Seward headed for Asbury, Missouri and MO-KAN Dragway, which gets its name from residing on the border of Missouri and Kansas. “The drive from Kansas to Missouri was a similar one as Colorado to Kansas,” said Seward. “Lots of wide open spaces and farm land.” The track was hosting an all-Mustang race event, and Seward arrived early enough to meet track owner Carl Blanton and his family, as well as make a test pass. “I hadn’t made a test pass at any track thus far,” said Seward. “Despite a soft leave and a 1.53 60 foot time, I managed an 8.96 at 158.12 mph.” Seward agreed to race the LS-powered Mustang of Tyler Tuggle, and the pair of turbocharged steeds lined up for a pair of runs. “My first pass was an eye opener,” said Seward. “When I shifted to second, the engine went to the rev limiter, so I lifted and Tuggle ran a 9.37 at 148 mph.” Reviewing his Haltech datalogger showed the shift, but the transmission’s sprag (needed to lock second gear for it to function) was apparently wearing thin. A short time later, Seward and Tuggle would stage for their second run. “I wanted to test the car at a slightly lower 14 pound boost level,” said Seward. “I short-shifted each gear, and had no problems this time.” Seward delivered a 9.89 pass, enough to beat a troubled run from Tuggle, ending their match with each driver earning a single victory. “Despite the transmission issues, Seward was awarded “low e.t.” and “Top MPH” of the event. “And the cherry on top was Carl Blanton let me use his camper on the property, giving me a night of sleep in air-conditioned comfort.”

Total miles: 6760      Daily mileage: 400   Tracks visited: 13     Best pass of the day: 8.96 at 158.12 mph

 


Mike Galimi
Mike Galimi is the Director of Content & Marketing at ProMedia Publishing and Events with nearly 20 years of experience in motorsport writing and photography.
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