Well that was a long week.
I am one of the younger guys in this class who is funding this by the hard work I do. I work at TFB and I have helped build what we have today over the past 3.5 years with my boss and friend Tim Barber. We have always out sourced engines because of the expense it is to have a machine shop and run a machine shop. We never have asked for anything grey or over the edge. I personally am a guy who is always willing to show and or help fix anything that is non compliant because that is not how I roll or Tim for that matter.
I was so confident with what my engine builder sold me and now our customers, that I was bragging to be the first one with a head off to show everyone we have the correct stuff and its all good to go. This is going off of someones word and yes you should check everything going into your own car but if you are buying a $6500+ complete long block from oil pan to valve cover with a sticker on top why would you tear it apart to check blatant issues? Those would never be in there I said to myself and our customers because that is what I was told.
I did win the head off contest. I did it to the #88 car which was my 2013 SM and I did it to my personal #22 car. I had a lot of bad engine luck leading to the runoffs which had me with no engine in my car Thursday 10/2/14. The head sent to me to put on a block sent to me the day before was actually another engine builders piece with a part that we did not like taken out of it. The end of the plunge cut was blended and we do not like seeing that as it says the cut shall not be blended by machine, hand or chemicals. That was fixed and I was told no other issues with the head so run it. Once again going off trust I bolted it up and got the car on track at Sonoma Raceway Friday 10/3/14 when the car was supposed to be in Monterey waiting in line to get in the paddock.
The #88 car had a fresh engine from top to bottom installed before the SCCA test day on 9/28/14 and we used that day to break it in and make sure we were good to go. Once again a confident 100% legal engine that I was told we installed.
On Friday after the lapping session we begin the tech process with 9 cars, 6 from the top 6 and 3 outcasts. It took until Saturday to determine that all but the #88 failed the protest. I was in the room looking at both the #88 head and my #22 head and yes there was a difference and yes my grandma could notice it. This started the entire appeal process which was not set in stone until about 6pm on Sunday.
We held off tearing the #88 for as long as we could because we did not want to ruin a car if things were overturned. It was about 12 noon on Sunday when John Bauer told us to do it now. We pulled the trans, diff, LF/RR shock, CC'ed, pulled the block to remove 2 pistons/rods, and crank. Which then by 2pm failed the go no go tool on the exhaust relief cut. At this point standing in that 15x8 1 door horrible lit box I felt like I was not living.
I have put so much time, effort, and money in to this and I failed by putting trust into someone else handling my stuff. When I set up my car, I don't say 49.9 is ok when I want 50.3, I don't finger tight bolts and say "oh that should be good." I don't bend spindles even if it kills tires because it says you CANT. I raced the Runoffs with 2.2* camber in the front. I did race the Runoffs with an unwillingly illegal cut head though.