That's when I found out the controller was programmed wrong-and reprogramming it would take too much time. I wouldn't make the last two qualifying rounds for the Street Class. I decided to bypass the controller and figure out another way to boost the car. Donnell Branch from the W.A.R CRX was nice enough to lend me a vacuum tee I used to bleed off wastegate pressure. Cautious of bleeding off too much pressure and over-boosting, I decided to restrict the tee with a vacuum line air filter from the HKS controller. The second round with the vacuum tee and filter locked in a 14.1 e.t at a steady 11 psi. I needed to figure out how to squeeze a few more psi out of the car so I decided to take the vacuum line filter off the tee which would bleed off much more pressure. The scary part was not knowing what the car would boost. On the last round of qualifying, the 240 boosted exactly 22 psi and took the number three spot in the Street VIII with a 13.1-second e.t. All I had to do was pull up to the line for the quarterfinals to win $100. The 240 ran a 13.2, taking the win light to enter the semifinals.

A quick check of the coat hanger revealed it was working, but was also getting stretched out because there was a lot of play in the hanger. I loosened the clamps, pushed the pipe back in and gave the hanger a few more twists. Problem solved.

The next run would be against a Skyline that was running consistent low 12s; all we had to do on this run was pull up to the line and we would come home with $250 and a big-ass trophy for bragging rights. Of course, we lost to the Skyline but the 240 was still able to make a complete pass, turning 13.4 in the quarter.

With the help of some from the racers, I was able to re-live an experience I thought I never would again. To be behind the wheel of an import and competing in a heads-up event made me realize how much fun it is to be one of the racers-and even a pit crew member. Not only was it a blast for my adrenaline glands but this experience reminded me what we are all fighting for-pushing the limits and having fun. I love the smell of race gas in the morning!

Results

High-Tech IV
Qualifying
1 Ernest Lum 11.745@103.96 Aiea, HA  
2 Michael Hinkle 14.838@96.17 Pearl City, HA  
3 Leonard Barboza 16.948@77.03 Mililani, HA  
4 Vivian Barboza 17.247@77.30 Mililani, HA  
Semifinals
1 Ernest Lum 11.985@102.27 1.064 r/t  
3 Vivian Barboza 17.016@76.00 .699 r/t $100
2 Michael Hinkel 14.668@95.11 1.027 r/t  
4 Leonard Barboza 16.607@80.22 1.066 r/t $100
Finals
1 Ernest Lum 11.528@104.21 1.307 r/t $500
2 Michael Hinkel 16.348@91.49 .661 r/t $250
Nitto Tires/Turbo Magazine Quick VIII
Qualifying
1 Paul Umholtz 10.771@135.11 Wahiawa, HA  
2 Wade Segawa 11.426@129.69 Honolulu, HA  
3 Donnell Branch 11.863@125.30 Golden, CO  
4 Lanny Higa 12.367@91.25 Mililani, HA  
5 Lance 12.555@99.93 Honolulu, HA  
6 Kazu Yamaguchi 13.491@87.56 Honolulu, HA  
Quarter Finals
1 Paul Umholtz -Bye Run-
4 Lanny Higa -Broken-
2 Wade Segawa 11.280@133.87 .793 r/t  
5 Lance 12.414@115.13 .648 r/t $75
3 Donnell Branch 12.174@120.02 .528 r/t $75
6 Kazu Yamaguchi 10.737@142.44 .915 r/t  
Semifinals
1 Paul Umholtz -Bye Run-
2 Wade Segawa 11.310@124.27 .790 r/t  
6 Kazu Yamaguchi 13.952@118.66 .721 r/t $250
Finals
1 Paul Umholtz 11.099@130.73 .875 r/t $750
2 Wade Segawa 11.628@131.58 .694 r/t $375