What a weekend.
We set out early on Friday morning, and met up with a bunch of folks at the Lincoln Oasis; Mike and Charlotte (with her new-to-her 2g), Mike W, Tony and another friend from SoCal, Kris (who drove down with us), Dan L, and a few others. Hit the road from there at about 11:30, and finally rolled into Norwalk around 5:00 local time, after several failed attempts at keeping the caravan together for the drive home. That night was pretty mellow; most folks who made it out Friday night spent the evening relaxing after a long drive, comparing setups, and talking smack.
The next day was the car show and dyno event at Buschur Racing, and as always, there was an incredible turnout. Albert managed a bit over 600 awhp on the notoriously low-reading Buschur dyno, both Brent Rau and John Shepherd were there with their 7-second monsters to be drooled on, and you could see how everyone there had really stepped up their configurations from last year; monstrously huge turbos could be see mounted everywhere, in some rather unique configurations. That night, fireworks and burnouts could be heard from the direction of the Econolodge and Best Western, but the Amerihost parking lot was quiet (except for a few people scrambling to get their cars ready for the next day).
Sunday was the main event: everyone packed up to head over to NRP for a day of drag racing. Several records were broken; AMS trapped 165mph in their Evo, Buschur gained the distinction of being the first Evo to hit the 8's, Shep broke his previous best time on nitrous (but did it without nitrous this time), Rau ran an ungodly 7.00 second pass, and Marco broke into the 8's and took home the Quick 16 trophy. I managed two new personal bests in the Laser (email@example.com, and a 1.763 60'), but overall this wasn't the weekend for the Illinois folks; Mike's rear diff was hanging by a thread, Steve broke another rear axle, Yusuf was having some difficulties getting the car to behave, and Dan L. was still getting used to the new transmission that was swapped in the day before the drive to Ohio.
That night was feasting and relaxing after a long day, followed by (for us, anyway) a good night's sleep, and a long drive back to Illinois the following day. Kris spent most of the drive home playing around with 110-octane tuning (and then 93-octane tuning, after the race gas was gone), while the rest of us took a pretty leisurely pace back home. This was, by far, one of the best Shootouts in the past few years; most of the drama was small stuff, and the view from the stands was fantastic this year.
Now I just need to get my car done so it can be there next year. :-)