TACOMA, WA :: This week is race week for me. After being sidelined for a couple races due to engine troubles, I’m excited to be returning to the driver’s seat for the “Toyota Super Late Model 100” at Evergreen Speedway this Saturday, August 16th. Our race will be 100 laps on the big 5/8ths mile oval as an undercard to the NASCAR K&N West series 150 lap race, held right after our race.

Leading up to this race things became a whirlwind of activity. It all started with a phone call from the Speedway on Monday asking if I could display my car and do an appearance at a local Toyota dealership. Wait, let me get this straight. You mean you want me to put my Toyota Camry SLM in front of a Toyota dealership and show off to as many people as possible? Where do I sign up??? Hey, let’s get one thing straight. If there’s a chance to show off, I’m all in! But I had just one problem. We needed to put an engine in the car so that we could be ready for the race this week. So when I presented this to my crew they all thought I was totally insane (like, more than the normal amount they currently think). But I had a plan! I would take the car to the dealership, do the appearance with no engine in it, rush back to the shop and pull a late night stuffing the engine down in the car. Then we could finish it up on Sunday and do setup work if we had time. Worst case scenario, we do the setup Friday night before we load up for the race. This could work! I mean, what could go wrong?

So Friday night I went out to the shop and loaded up the car. We had to do a little work to get it to sit right with no weight in the front. But nothing major. I took the car home with me on Friday night so that I could get up early Saturday and haul butt to the appearance. We got there an hour early to give me time to get set up and ready. My wife went with me as my only helper. The crew was back at the shop finishing up my brother’s car and getting the last few items (power steering pump, transmission and so on) on the engine that would go in my car. We hung out at the appearance for the agreed upon couple hours, handing out discount tickets to the race, signing autographs and having some fun before making a bee-line for the shop. I got back to the shop at about 5pm.

After a quick bite to eat we all tackled the car. We had a couple setup things we wanted to change first, we’re going to try something slightly different than what we had been doing. So the first thing we needed to do was change the sway bar out. And we also knew we needed to fix the radiator fan wiring, which had melted in the last race. After those repairs/changes we could move on to the engine install. There’s a lot to hook up when putting an engine in these things. First you need to set it in the engine compartment. Then there’s power steering lines that run to the reservoir. The clutch line has to be hooked up and bled. The driveline needs to go in. Shifting linkage needs to get hooked up. Various wiring to the distributor and starter. Exhaust headers need installed and hooked to the exhaust. Throttle linkage. Radiator hoses. It all went in pretty smoothly really, which is a shock. Usually when you need it to, nothing goes right. We finally called it a night at about 10pm with only the distributor, plugs and plug wires left to install. We’d meet again the next morning and finish all that up.

Sunday morning we got off to a slow start. We met at the shop shortly after 10am and got started on the car. Once we got the engine fired to make sure it would run okay it was time to put the car on the scales. We had one more change to the setup we wanted to make, at the right rear spring. When we set the car on the scales we were surprised to see that it was not that far off even after all those changes. So the setup work went relatively smoothly too. It was a lot of extra work that I put on my guys crammed into a small amount of time. But they came through amazingly well and did an outstanding job. I’m looking forward to returning to competition Saturday, this time in the car instead of in the spotter’s booth.

Note: “Terrible” Tim McDougald is the driver of the #68 Mo-Dane Trucking / Clevenger Associates / Rev-Equip / Late Model Racer / Ringers Gloves Toyota Camry in the Whelen All-American Late Model series at Evergreen Speedway. When Tim is not driving the car, he helps the 3-car family owned team on the pit crew. Tim also handles the spotter duties for his brother, Tommy Rasmussen’s, #92 Mo-Dane Trucking / RPM Sales & Service / Vital Signs / Mauritsen Enterprises Chevy Impala racing in the Pacific Northwest. Tim is the HayWire Racing team’s web site editor and Media Relations Director handling all team pr, media obligations and sponsor relations. Tim is an avid blogger, active Twitter (@TerribleTim68) and Facebook user and a published author. For more information about the team, visit http://www.haywire-racing.com. For inquiries regarding marketing coaching and sponsor package help, contact Tim through the HayWire Racing website.