New Race Shop in North Texas : X-Factor Racing

If you live in the Texas area and need work done on your Spec Miata, checkout X-Factor Racing.  Chris offers a variety of services from race prep, engine builds, to full race car builds from the ground up.

41SM Rides Again: 2018 Hallett NASA Summer Shootout

Its been two years since I drove a racecar.

Man it was awesome to get back out on the track again.  Two years is too long between races.  Even better that it was at Hallett.  God that’s a fun track.  So, my last time driving on a track was the NASA Hallett June race in 2016 (same race exactly two years ago).  That was immediately following the retub after backing into the tree at TWS off T7.

With the two year hiatus, I knew I’d be slow and just wanted to finish the weekend in one piece.  I really didn’t expect much, and tried not to put too much pressure on myself and drive outside my ability.

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Kermit’s Last Day

I’m a long time getting around to writing this up.  These events occurred April 22, 2016.

We arrived to Texas World Speedway Thursday evening 21 April.   We’ve all known that TWS’ days were numbered, we just not sure how many were left.  In reality there were two more TWS events that followed this weekend before it was closed for good, but I never made it back.

It was a near full moon.  We unloaded and setup camp as we always do.  Then we started hanging out with the group, enjoying the nice evening, the moon, and beer.  Mom and Dad came down for the weekend to hangout, help out, and enjoy the racing scene.


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Race Report: 2015 Hallett Summer Shootout

Well that was an up and down weekend.

I’ll leave out the fiasco associated with the new RV except to say: it started with the trailer lights not working in the driveway, and continued right through the full-on Oklohoma thunderstorm raining into the open hole in the bathroom roof on the drive home.  <sigh>  Sometimes there are signs, but you have to listen very carefully..even when they are screaming in your freakin’ ear.

Also, a big thanks goes out to all the family members that came out to watch the race on Saturday.  It was fun to have such a big cheering section.  I could see y’all standing by the fence as I drove by approaching turn 1.

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Fire Suppression System

Well, its time to get ready to race.  I’m going to NASA comp school at the end of January.  I’ve had a fire system for a few months, in inventory.  Since I have the rest of the year off, I’ve been working on the install.  I bought the SPA Technique 4L alloy manual pull system.  It comes with 6 nozzles that spray in a 90 degree cone pattern.  The idea is that 3 nozzles go in the engine compartment and three in the driver’s cockpit.  However, the Miata has the gas tank directly behind the driver.  So, I decided to place one nozzle in the trunk aimed at the exposed portion of the gas tank and the filler neck.

All of the mounting brackets are handmade out of 1/16” thick 1.5×1.5 inch aluminum angle.  I cut them all to shape and then formed them over some roll cage tubing scrap using a clamp and a hammer.

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Beer Temp Controller

Parts needed to make controller:

  • 3 gang old work deep electrical box
  • 3 gang decora style cover plate
  • STC-1000 temperature controller
  • 2 decora 110VAC outlets
  • 18 Gage stranded wire in a red, blue, green, black, and white
  • Wire nuts
  • 10 Amp utility cord with 3 prong male end
  • 1/2” emt strain relief

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Alignment jig and first alignment

So, I made my own alignment jig.  Its a clone of a well known string setup.  These brackets hang off of the inner trunk and hood lips.  Their whole point is to hang a bar down at axel height at the front and rear of the car.  The bars are designed to have grooves on the ends to hold a string.  The grooves are exactly the same width in the front and rear.  A string is placed in the groove front to rear so that the strings left and right are exactly parallel to each other.  Once the strings are lined up with the axels, they are exactly parallel to the car’s axis.


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So, its been a very long time since I had anything to post!  Months and months.  Unfortunately, this same dearth in posts represents a similar dearth in actual activity on or with the racecar.  I won’t bore you with the excuses…lots of work related things.

Anyway, I bought an SP Induction Systems SPX2 intake, and finally got a chance to install it.   Its a pretty simple install, not exactly a transmission.  Anyway here’s the assemble and the junk that it replaces.  The airflow path in the standard miata is quite odd, and is very restrictive.


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MSR – Cresson : Coaching

A last minute opportunity to drive at MSRC came up for January 2nd, 2012.  I was able to go, and it was an “educational” day.  Another friend had given me some of his old tires.  The story of the day is really a separate post that should include video footage of the “incidents”.  But, suffice it to say that I “fought” the new tires until I finally flat-spotted a tire. 

Anyway, an experienced racer, Craig Janssen, offered to review my video and data with me and offer some pointers on how to improve.  We met at his office the other day.  We spent 2 hours talking things over, splitting the time 50/50 between big-picture stuff, and track specific discussions.  It was a tremendously educational experience.  Lots of things to think about as I further review the video and data.

Below are my notes from the discussion.  After transcribing these, I sent it back to Craig.  He further expanded on my notes in red.

It was an exceptionally generous thing for him to do, on a Monday night with a very busy schedule.  All I can do is hope to be able to return the favor to someone else someday in the future.   Maybe reading my own learning experiences will help someone coming up the ladder behind me.  If you are reading this a year or two from “now” and have questions or want some help, please fee free to comment here.  My email (or door) will always be open, and I’ll share anything I think I know.

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MSRCresson: 2012/01/02

Yesterday was my first time in my own car on any R-compound tires (RA-1 takeoffs). It wasn’t pretty:

  • one 4-wheel off — rear end tried to come around, saved it…realized I wasn’t going to keep it on track, let it run straight into flat grassy area (outside of wagonwheel)
  • one 2-wheel off (the front two on wrong side of the apex curbing) — turned in too abruptly, broke rear end loose, slid sideways through apex CONE before car corrected back to straight (bigbend)
  • one 180 degree spin — missed heel-toe, broke rear end loose spun to outside of track. (horseshoe)
  • one flat-spot — got greedy on entry into turn 1. (rattlesnake entry)
  • I had numerous near-misses that I did manage to save.

Basically, both early morning sessions were like driving on ice, and I just didn’t respect the situation enough (or understand it well enough to know the right approach).  Here’s the video:


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