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Happy Holidays #PEAKSquad!

Happy Holidays #PEAKSquad!

  • PEAK Squad
  • PEAK
  • December 20, 2022

Dan Fletcher talks holiday preparations and looks forward to big things in 2023.

Happy Holidays my #PEAKSquad Amigos! Here we are less than a week away from Christmas, so I hope everyone has done their shopping or at least has a solid plan of attack. If you’re like me, married for 33 blissful years, it might not be the easiest thing to come up with that special something, but let’s be smart guys; no vacuum cleaners or toilet brushes wrapped up with a bow and placed under the tree. If you don’t have a daughter like I do to help out, please allow me to offer two words of assistance; gift and card. Well maybe four; spa and day…


Much easier for me to buy for is in fact said daughter, mostly because that’s her mother’s job, not mine, and frankly one in which she revels. Let’s just say my bride has significant staying power when it comes to the shopping thing. In the afore mentioned 33 plus years, I’ve learned that when she says “I’m just running to store xyz, shouldn’t be long”, that I might as well start deciding whether I’m ordering pizza or Chinese. So my only real shopping responsibility these days is for my son, and that’s super easy. He has a diesel truck, a diesel motor home, and a race car; pretty hard to screw that one up. I’m not kidding, as much of PEAK’s BlueDEF as my wallet can stomach and he’s super happy and I’m super done.


When we spoke around Thanksgiving time, it was still racing season here in North Carolina, Well, we’re learning that once the clocks change it might be time to consider putting a wrap on things. Colder temps mean later in the day start times and when the sun goes down at 4:30 the track gets sketchy in a hurry. I love all of these little local tracks, but it’s not like an NHRA national event in regards to equipment and staff. With big car counts and limited available track time, it made the last couple races hard to complete. With that said, when you’re addicted, you’re addicted. If a Christmas tree is lit up at the track and not yet at the house, it’s hard not to go.


So speaking of Christmas trees, we have never been a fake tree family. Never ever. We’d always go to one of the many local Christmas tree farms back home in Western New York and cut one down. There was always a plethora to choose from, so it was just a matter of picking the perfect one. Well, that’s not the case here at all. If you want to cut one down yourself you generally have to take a drive to the mountains. Not wanting to make it a whole day project, last year we went to a local nursery type place and bought a pre-cut one. It was OK, but I will say they were pretty proud of it price wise.


Well, everything is a learning curve, and this year we learned that if you wait too long to go find a tree there’s none left to find. You better be out there not long after Thanksgiving or its Charlie Brown time. Well, as luck would have it, this is the first Yuletide season ever that we’ve had to invite Snoopy over to help decorate the tree. But not unlike in the old Charlie Brown Christmas special, when you decorate it with family and love, it trims out nicely, so it was all good. Insert smiley face emoji…


So with holiday preparations handled and the smokey burnout portion of 2022 complete, it was time to do a little winterizing and preventive maintenance on the equipment. We have a couple motor homes and trailers, as well as four, count ‘em four, race cars to take care of. The trailers are easy, dry systems, so we just put tire covers and battery tenders on and call it good. Given that we live in a milder climate these days, an extended hard freeze really isn’t a concern, so the motor homes just get the water drained and all the lines blown out with compressed air, no real need to pump PEAK RV antifreeze through all the lines. Pull the anode rod out of the hot water heater, open every faucet and pour a non-freezable solution down every trap and you’re money.


The race cars, well they get a little bit more attention. Like I said, an extended freeze down here is very, very unlikely, and the cars sit inside a heated shop. But if everything went super wrong and we had an Arctic blast for several days coupled with a power outage or a heater failure, well I’m just not in the market of losing an expensive race motor. Especially when there are several retailers just a few miles up the street that have all the PEAK 10X or PEAK OET Antifreeze and Coolant a man needs to sleep easy at night. I don’t need to be prepared for -34, but I do want to cover zero. With a race car that has an electric water pump and no thermostat, it’s super easy to do, so there’s really no excuse to not say “better safe than sorry.”


Last up on tucking the cars away for a few months of beddy by time is to “fog” the motors. In my world, some guys will actually do this after every race. “Fogging” the motor is basically coating the valves and cylinder walls with a lubricant so things don’t rust up. I know this might sound odd to some, but you carefully pour the lubricant down the carburetor while the motor is running till it starts smoking out the exhaust. I choose to use Marvel Mystery Oil, but back in the day, people would actually just use transmission fluid.


One of the cars we compete with is an fuel injected LS motor, so with that one the process is done with the engine off. I put the Marvel in a spray bottle and just mist it through the throttle body while spinning the motor over with the starter. Depending on how OCD you are, feel free to take the plugs out and squirt some directly into the cylinders. Not trying to tell anyone what to do, but if you have a healthy motor in a street car that sits for extended periods, especially in high humidity, this procedure isn’t a bad idea for you either.


Well, that’s all I have for now, but I’m going to touch base more often in 2023. I’m basically going to chronicle the life of a professional little guy drag racer trying to pay the rent in some pretty rugged times. There will be some ups, probably a lot of downs, but I’ll always keep it real. Our first race will be the NHRA GatorNationals in Gainesville, Florida. I’ll try to get a pic of me and our GOAT leader Mr. Force doing work in the pits!


Happy Holidays to all my #PEAKsquad family and enjoy what you celebrate with family and friends this season.  Let’s work hard, stay loyal, and be kind; let’s get this deal going the right way again in 2023.

Dan Fletcher

106 time NHRA National Event winner and featured PEAK Squad Blogger.