It should be noted, while I did have a revision to submit, I had game and internet issues and it never made it in
Nearly four months had passed since Grandpa Swanson agreed to let Kristina build a car for the upcoming TAR competition. Five races against a presumably all male field were what Roxi and herself would be up against. Tomorrow was the big test.
Roxi had gotten permission to use the local short track every Tuesday evening for the last month to help get on with the fine tuning of the engine and chassis. It wasn’t a great simulation for the races, but it was better than doing it on the streets. Her grandfather had insisted on this point because street racing was for punks and safety was always a priority. So, every week they had loaded the car onto a trailer and taken it across town to run laps around the 5/8 mile oval track, rain or shine to hammer out changes which had been made since the previous laps.
Ultimately they finalized a setup which worked for the way Roxi drove. Despite it being a fuel guzzler, they felt there was a good chance they could at least score in the top 5 consistently. The car was fast as hell, and Roxi was a nightmare behind the wheel. Now came the waiting.
The first practice run came, and the field of cars was revealed. Some were quite nice, and far more competitive than the one they were bringing, but Kristina was determined to prove that her Frankenstein motor had the balls to break them all.
After several practice laps, the fuel issues became increasingly clear. Some thoughts came immediately to mind on how to improve them, but at what cost? The only obvious sacrifice would be top speed, but would it be enough? Maybe it would be too much, and what then? Kristina promised herself to not go to Grandpa Swanson unless it was just too overwhelming, and she was just stubborn enough to not make that call. She would enter it as it sat, while throwing caution to the wind. “It worked on the oval course, it would work here,” she told herself. They would be back here in another month to prove her cause.
The car weighed in at 2663.7 pounds, and the small V8 powering the beast measured 302 cubic inches with a power output of 330 at 5300 rpm and a torque rating of 331.9 lb-ft at 5100 rpm on the dyno in the garage. Redline was peaked at 5700 rpm, and screamed like a banshee at top speed of nearly 150 mph. She did 13.98 in the quarter mile, with an acceleration of 5.82 seconds in the 0-60 tests. This thing was a far cry from that brand new Dodge Dart that rolled into the garage just a few short months ago. They dubbed it the Murder Kitty SS, in hopes it would prove to murder the competition.
Stepping off the plane at the airport in Tampa, Florida, Kristina immediately went to the cargo hanger to check on her car. It had arrived in one piece, but she would need to do a full inspection at the track to be sure. Roxi had flown with her, so Grandpa Swanson could stay back and run the shop. He wasn’t very happy about it, but his customers needed him in the shop, and besides this wasn’t his project anyway. Kristina had been left to exercise her own best judgment and stay out of trouble.
Roxi was a little annoyed that Grandpa Swanson hadn’t come. It meant she was left to babysit the 16 year old girl. As much as she liked Kristina, she would definitely cramp her style, if she wanted to stay on Grandpa’s good side. No bars, no gambling, no fighting…at least she had the track and a car to drive on it. That would hopefully be enough to satisfy her need for trouble-making.
At the track the car rolled back off the trailer. A thorough inspection was done to ensure everything was where it belonged. Everything checked out fine, and Roxi jumped in it to give it a quick few laps. This was to “test it in the real world”, but in actuality it was to satiate Roxi’s need for adrenaline, since they were just going to head to the hotel until the next day and she would be completely bored.
Race day finally arrived. Kristina was up at 5am to get ready for the big day. Roxi was annoyed at the exuberance of the young girl at such a ridiculous time of the day. “Humans weren’t meant to be up before the sunrise. That’s why they don’t have infravision!” Roxi was definitely not a morning person. The fact that she regularly stayed awake until 5am was, of course, not part of her argument.
Snubbing out her fourth cigarette while still in bed, she scrubbed her face and went down to find something loaded with sugar to get her body moving. Kristina just had a bowl of raisin bran and orange juice. Roxi found a box of donuts and ate all twenty-four of them. The line of others waiting behind her watched in horror as she stood there and ate them in the line in front of them. As she popped the last bite in her mouth, she looked back and smirked at the lot of them.
At the track garage, the two of them got everything ready. It would probably be 4-5 hours of racing. They had insisted on wearing fire suits for safety, and Roxi wasn’t happy about it. The car was already hot as hell inside, and she was going to melt away her 128 pounds of existence over the course of the race wearing one. Reluctantly she put it on and climbed into the car. The pit garages were abuzz with other teams and drivers doing the same.
The car struggled with fuel, as expected, over the course of the race. It also ran into some engine reliability issues until Kristina told Roxi to dial it back a bit on the corner exits. The car had plenty of acceleration and she didn’t need to punch it on every single exit, only to immediately slow down for the next turn. “Save it for the longer straights so we don’t lose so much time on extra pits!” she exclaimed. Roxi sneered, but did as she was told. The girl was pretty smart, and was probably right. This thing just felt so good at WOT, and it was hard to resist.
They ended up finishing 6th out of a field of 27 cars, but one was a provisional car and didn’t’ get scored. That makes it an official top 5 finish, which was exceptional for Kristina. Of course, the car didn’t get anywhere near it’s 150mph top speed and she was beginning to regret not making the changes to improve the fuel efficiency of the car. Regardless, if she could do well here, perhaps she could be invited to another competition where she could do better. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. This is the first race. Focus on the now.” Kristina said to herself.