Posts Tagged ‘Qualifying’

Brian Olatunji Ends Season with Momentum


October 6th, 2010 in Race Report by

The first night in October proved to be a fast one as tons of fans flooded Milan Dragway. Fresh off of a new Martin Technology car setup, Brian Olatunji continued the momentum brought on by several days of testing in preparation for the night’s festivities. “It is always great to end the season on a high note. It really speaks to the hard work the crew has put in all season,” said Olatunji. Last race season Brian O’s fastest pass in his Pepsi Hot Rod was a 10.60, and during the final race of the 2010 season he improved to a 9.82 second elapsed time in a losing effort during All Motor class eliminations.

All of Brian’s runs would have been good enough to compete for the win in the Open Comp category, which Brian O was participating in at the beginning of the night. Unfortunately Brian O and his Pepsi Hot Rod are too fast off the starting line for the Open Comp class. The christmas tree runs at a slower pace in the category, and Brian O being the fastest leaver on the grounds was tripping the red light during Open Comp qualifying before eventually switching back to All Motor. Before the night was done the Leadfoot driver was thinking about next year, “We are already in preparation for next season and look to have an even more sizable impact. The championship is all we’re focused on over the winter.”

Brian O and the team continued Leadfoot’s tradition of going above and beyond for it’s marketing partners. As Brian O explained, “The hot rod ran well and we accomplished our marketing objectives. What more can I say!” As always, Pepsi and U.S. Army prizes were tossed into the packed grandstands and Brian addressed the crowd over the dragway’s PA system. To listen to Brian O’s short discussion for the fans click here!

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Eyes Set on Victory Lane


September 10th, 2010 in Race Report by

The Leadfoot Motorsports team was poised and ready for a race win as Brian O took the Pepsi Hot Rod out in front of the near sellout crowd on August 6th. The team had made several test laps in anticipation for the race, which placed it among the fastest cars in the field. Excitement turned to disappointment as the motor suffered a major malfunction on the last qualifying lap. The team later learned that a bearing had failed due to foreign contaminants in the engine.

The team’s new partnership with Martin Technology was well timed as work began on the engine immediately after the event. The repairs and modifications were completed just in time for the next race on September 3rd, but due to the time crunch no testing dates could be worked in before the race kicked off. The car made a strong instillation lap on the first qualifying pass. Brian O lifted off the gas before the finish line to insure that the car was safely prepared. All nuts and bolts were checked on the new look engine. On the second qualifying lap the Hot Rod’s transmission began to leak some fluid and in the interest of safety Brian O decided to park the car. Due to the limitations of the racing environment repairs would have to wait until the Pepsi Hot Rod was back at the Martin Technology shop.

The transmission was quickly repaired at the Martin Technology center and testing began immediately after. Due to the new engine combination the car’s setup has changed completely from the season’s starting point in June. It is being dialed in with each pass. The Pepsi Hot Rod was tested on three different dates and the car is picking up speed as the new combination is being dialed in. Brian O and the entire Leadfoot organization expects to win for the last race of the season in October.

At both events the team did not let a parked car slow them down. Marketing Partner Initiatives were all cranked up to the max. The team made a group effort to entertain the record attendance at the August and the September Milan Dragway Heads Up Series races. T-Shirts and other prizes were tossed in front of the grandstands by Brian O, U.S. Army Soldiers and the Leadfoot Models. During the September race, Brian O hyped the crowd on the PA system. Click here to listen to the MP3!

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Independence Weekend Kick Off


July 18th, 2010 in Race Report by

On the Friday of July 4th weekend, a standing room only crowd piled into Milan Dragway. All were witnesses to gorgeous weather, hot racing action and fireworks. Brian Olatunji and the entire Leadfoot Motorsports crew showed off American pride with the red, white and blue of Pepsi. As Brian O signed autographs, the U.S. Army hosted race fans in the Leadfoot pits with a Hummer featuring the video game Rockband.

Improving from June’s performance Brian Olatunji qualified in the 10th position, after clearing up the mechanical troubles from the last race and repairing the minimal damage to the quarter panel next to the Rodgers Chevrolet decal. The team has begun fine tuning the hot rod to get a leg up on the competition. As qualifying unfolded the Pepsi Hot Rod’s Toyo Tires spun faster with each lap down the race track. During eliminations Brian O was eventually edged out by fellow Lucas Oil driver Ben Mens. Thanks to the on track improvements, Olatunji is now 7th in the championship point standings for the All Motor class.

The Milan Dragway track announcers again welcomed Brian O into the booth for another live interview in front of the capacity crowd. Click here take a listen!

In an effort to improve the on track performance the Leadfoot team installed a new ignition box onto the Pepsi Hot Rod. The crew is now able to fine tune the car with the assistance of a lap top using the sophisticated Racepak program. This also enables the team to record telemetry from major components on the car, allow for detailed analysis after laps have been made. This and other new parts and pieces were tested at Milan Dragway on July 14th and 16th. A total of 15 laps were made. Brian O is looking forward to taking this new speed to the competition at the next race on August 6th.

In addition to racing and testing, Brian Olatunji made a personal appearance at the Knight’s NAPA Auto Parts 1st Annual Car Show in Commerce, MI on July 17th. The Pepsi / U.S. Army Hot Rod was the first car on display. It was parked next to the NAPA Nitro Funny Car and was seen by customers and passersby for over 5 hours. Brian O signed hero cards and had fun chatting with the locals during this appearance.

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New Year Shows Much Promise


June 7th, 2010 in Race Report by

New was the theme when Brian Olatunji and the entire Leadfoot Motorsports team arrived for their first race of the 2010 season. Brian O and the entire Pepsi Racing team arrived with much to be excited about. The spectators on hand felt the energy with the new look hot rod. U.S. Army Soldiers provided extra excitement and pride as they set up camp in the party that is the Leadfoot Motorsports pit area. Dark clouds, rain and strong 70 mph winds in close proximity to the track threatened to cancel plans, but much to everybody’s delight the racing action kicked off without interruption on June 4th at Milan Dragway, just outside of Detroit.

Staff Sergeant Rojas and other U.S. Army personnel joined Brian Olatunji and the Leadfoot Models in front of the grandstands for the traditional Leadfoot prize toss. Brian O worked up the crowd and handed out Pepsi swag including T-Shirts & Pepsi cans. The enthusiastic crowd loudly cheered on O and the Soldiers for prizes to be tossed their way.

Picking up from where he left off last year, Brian O headed to Milan Dragway’s control tower for a few words to the thousands of enthusiastic spectators on the public address system. Due to a break in the on track action the interview was expanded to a staggering 15 minutes. Brian O and the track’s announcer entertained the masses with discussion of the intense competition surrounding the new racing season. The announcer commented about the professional look of the race team and Brian O took the opportunity to plug all Marketing Partners. Olatunji got to discuss in detail the return of Pepsi and the addition of U.S. Army, Rodgers Chevrolet and Dirget.com. Fans were invited to come over to the Leadfoot pit area and thank the Soldiers in person for the protection they provide our nation. Brian gave an enthusiastic outlook to the rest of the year leaving fans hungry for more.

Brian O’s first qualifying run of the night was a shakedown pass that showed much potential and locked the Pepsi Racing team into the 11th qualifying position. The entire Leadfoot Motorsports team had worked many man hours throughout the offseason to increase performance, particularly on starting line take off. In Round 2 of qualifying the hard worked proved itself as the hot rod got off to its fastest start ever. Unfortunately the car simultaneously suffered a minor mechanical part failure with serious potential consequences. Due to the breakage, Lucas Oil spilled oil under the rear tires, but Olatunji was able to gather the car back into his control and avoid major damage to the race car. “After I put it into second gear the rear tires began to move and I quickly corrected it to avoid problems. I talked to the car all the way to a stop,” said a reflective Olatunji. Fans who witnessed the pass told the Leadfoot team that they thought for sure there was going to be a crash. Brian O made a great save, but unfortunately nicked the right rear Toyo Tires slick. Leadfoot always has safety at the forefront and the decision was made to not make another run until the tire could be accessed properly.

Throughout the event the Leadfoot Models informed fans of the new Pepsi Swagpak™ presented by Leadfoot Media. Spectators were told that there were prizes being given away in the Brian Olatunji pit area. When they arrived they discovered that raffle ticket stubs were attached to Brian Olatunji hero cards. Last season there was only one Swagpak™ winner per event at Milan Dragway. This year the Leadfoot team has upped it to one winner every hour, giving more fans a chance at winning and also drawing more fans to the Leadfoot pit area. Each winner receive a Pepsi grab bag full of goodies.

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Double The Fun Weekend


August 5th, 2009 in Race Report by

From Michigan to Ohio & 50,000 fans in between!

On Friday night Brian O and the Pepsi Racing team charged into the 13th qualifying position at Milan Dragway and moved into 12th place in Aeroquip All Motor division heads-up points standings, four positions higher than the team started out at three races ago. In the first round Olatunji was first off the starting line by a large six tenths of a second .062 to .128, but was chased down by the eventual race winner. The purple rocket is continuing to make improvements race after race, Harold Martin and his team of engineers are now aligned with our program to ensure constant improvement and ultimately on track success.

Before eliminations began at Milan Dragway, and for the third race in a row, Brian O spoke over the PA to the thousands of fans in attendance. He discussed the double header weekend the team was entering and got in Marketing Partner mentions of Pepsi, Toyo Tires, Lucas Oil, North Channel Graphics, Bell Helmets, Jeg’s and DTS.

Immediately the crew got to work packing up the massive pit area arrangement in preparation to make the over 150 mile trip down to Norwalk, Ohio for the largest single day drag racing event in the world. The Night Under Fire actually starts in the day time with qualifying at 9 am so the crew knew they needed to act quickly. Unfortunately they discovered a broken throttle cable and made a 4 am pit stop to the team’s race shop in Detroit to repair the broken part. Thrashing quickly the crew returned to the road at 5 am in route to Norwalk Raceway Park. This trip to Detroit added an additional 100 miles to an already long night. Despite the minor obstacle the team arrived at the race track in time to assemble the team’s pit area which includes most of the items listed above and the team qualified in the 22nd position in the over 200 car field of Pro bracket cars.

Fans were drawn to the Pepsi Racing pits and scooped up hero cards, waited in line for Brian Olatunji autographs and posed for pictures with the future drag racing star. In Round One Brian O and team were victorious, but the event was canceled due to persistent rain. The team will be headed out to Milan Dragway later this week for some testing laps to continue to dial in the hot rod in anticipation to better and faster results at the next event at Milan Dragway on Friday, September 4th. The crew has already made improvements to the throttle assembly by adding a linkage courtesy of a trip to Skinny Kid race cars fabrication shop.

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Brian O’s Blog: Movin’ On Up


July 3rd, 2009 in Blog by

Moooovin’ on up… toooo, the east side! Taken from the intro to the old television sitcom “The Jeffersons.” That’s how I felt after our most recent event this past Friday, July 3rd. We improved our qualifying position from the previous event by two spots to #14 from #16. I am excited about the potential performance of our hot rod given we improved our position in both qualifying and the points chase with not only one but two broken throttle pedals. I suppose I had to earn my “Leadfoot” moniker at the race track by some antic. Obviously unplanned but a reality no less the first of two throttle pedals was broken during the first qualifying pass. I knew something was wrong during the run with the throttle assembly when the car stopped accelerating down track. Upon investigation after I got out of the hot rod on the big end my assumptions were true. My crew immediately went to work on the damaged pedal where I notoriously broke the welds on the pedal assembly to find a tig weld for repair. Thank God for our friends at Skinny Kid race cars who where on site with their hot rod who made the necessary repair. Given the time to repair the pedal we missed our second qualifying opportunity which left only one shot at making the field. With the hot rod repaired all the pressured rested on my shoulders to make a pass quick enough to earn a spot in the sixteen car field.

As the RPM’s soared during the burnout during my final qualifying attempt so did my confidence that I was poised to lay down a lap to garner a place in the field. I took the green light and everything felt great until I got to the 330’ marker and not only did the rpm’s drop but so did the throttle pedal once more. So I took a glance at the gauges and I knew there was only one thing to do… Keep my foot in it! After all I did not want to explain to our partners that we missed the show. After the pass I was a bit disappointed in the second throttle pedal failure. I guess you can not only call me “Leadfoot” but also Fred Flintstone as I tried to put my feet through the floorboards to assist the hot rod down the track at a quicker pace.

My disappointment subsided once I returned to my pit area only to find out we had in-fact made the field and were qualified #14. The ups and downs continued as my team scrambled to repair the broken throttle pedal once more only to run out of time. Therefore we missed the call for first round eliminations. I guess you can say all is fair in love and war. One thing I can assure you is the throttle pedal will be virtually indestructible from here on out, but then again even the Titanic was suppose to be unsinkable. lol

This time our travels home were uneventful and welcome unlike the events which took place with our trailer on the way home from our first event. Tomorrow is America’s holiday, July 4th and I’m looking forward to spending time with the family. Our next event is the 31st of July at Milan Dragway and I hope to see you there. Until then… Live Fast, Drive Hard!!!

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Brian O’s Blog: What Happens When the Wheel Falls Off!?


June 6th, 2009 in Blog by

Actually I mean that literally. So, I’m exhausted riding shotgun on the way back from our first event of the season and my Uncle pulls over for fuel. Seems normal, right? Well, stay tuned. He knocks on my window where my head is braced and says, “B, the trailer tire is gone!” Of course I think I’m dreaming considering I’ve just dosed off and been up for almost 46 consecutive hours. As I awake he mentions again, “B, you won’t believe this. The Wheel is GONE!” At this point I recognize this is definitely not a dream. So I exit the truck only to see that not only is the wheel gone; but also the brake assembly, wheel and tire as well as the studs which the wheel bolt to. Through my exhaustion and disbelief that we’ve been barrowing down I-94 with 10,000 lbs of equipment at about 65 mph for almost an hour I break into a hysterical laugh. In fact we both do. I mean this scene could have been a real catastrophe. Needless to say I know the man above was watching out for us. No worst for wear we limped our three l egged dog home and had this unbelievable story to gain from. And to answer your question, NO! We never found the “whole” wheel assembly or any parts of it for that matter and couldn’t tell you where it decided to “dip out” from the trailer. Lol.

Yes, we qualified the Pepsi ride! Just snuck into the field #16 but we still made the show. For our first time out in two years we accomplished our goals for the event and managed to get a story and a few pictures for the scrap book as well! Now that it’s racing season I expect to see you all out at our events. Right now, sleep is beyond necessary so check back soon for updates. Until then… Live Fast, Drive Hard!

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