By Jake, Jason, and Paul

Route 66 Raceway is an enormous facility, large enough to handle a POWERade event with room to spare. But we're testing its limits this weekend - the unofficial racecar count as of Friday afternoon is 450, not including brackets. The pits on the south side of the property are almost completely full, from the starting line to the end of the shutdown area, almost a full mile of cars and trailers.

As was foretold in prophecy (actually, it was Bits from the Pits from Maple Grove) Carlo Catalanotto brought out his new MSD SSO car, described as “the best car Mike Duffy's ever built” outfitted with a turbocharged 347 small-block with Yates heads, but they're still having some teething problems with the transmission and as of the second round of qualifying, Carlo's still looking for a clean pass.






Today's best “he's coming right at me!” photo comes courtesy of BFGoodrich Tires Drag Radial racer Jason Lee, who put his four-eyed Fox hard on the bars in the first round of qualifying. He did it again in the second round, but this time we wisely missed the shot instead of staying in it and holding the shutter release down.






Tremec Pure Street driver Shawn Hansen had some problems early on in the weekend, as he had to replace an oil pump on Thursday and a camshaft on Friday. When asked about their thoughts on the breakage his team simply pointed to Hansen's bumper sticker: “Racing is Stupid.”






5.0 Magazine Real Street racer Robin Lawrence was on the grounds this weekend with a new hood. Apparently his old hood was trapping air and possibly slowing the car. He was able to grab the number four spot as of the second round with a 10.30.






Swill Racing picked up a new sponsor for the year, Infinium Capitol Management. According to Swill's driver Scott Lovell, with their new sponsorship they plan on defending the championship despite their claim that pushrod racers like themselves have a disadvantage compared to the Modular combos.






NMRA Martin, Michigan Toyo Tires Open Comp runner-up and University of Northwestern Ohio instructor Steve Tucker told Race Pages that they plan on building a car for the highly competitive ProCharger EFI Renegade class. The car will be out by next year and they plan on giving it a shot with a blower from ProCharger.






SSO racer Billy Laskowsky, fresh off his 7.52 pass at the Martin, Michigan race, found at the end of that race that he needed to replace the short block in the car. Engine builder Mark McKeown thrashed over the last three weeks to get it done, but Laskowsky also decided the old Sticker Dude wrap needed to be replaced, and came out to Joliet early to end up with this masterpiece on the car.






Super Street Outlaw is now home to another nitrous car. Mike McKay, out of Illinois, has been building this car for a while and is finally done. Jason Smith of Performance Automotive supplied the chassis work, Speedtech supplied the nitrous, and McKay supplied the cash. McKay made a few short-track hits today, but is expecting to do the deed in earnest tomorrow.






Former Race Pages head honcho and current Hot Rod Magazine editor Rob Kinnan had planned on competing with the SplitFire giveaway car in Open Comp this weekend. He qualified 32nd out of 41 cars in the first round before disqualifying himself by inadvertently running the car in both the NMRA and NMCA Open Comp qualifying sessions.






Race Pages editor Paul Huizenga resorts to sign language.






We gave you a sneak peek at Don Shobe's brand-new SSO ride in our WFC9 coverage, and he's finally make his NMRA debut here at Route 66. The paint on this car simply has to be seen to be believed. The supercharged combo was good for mid-8's on a soft tuneup.






It's 10pm, all of our cars are down the track, and we can officially call it a night. That's it for today's Bits from the Pits. See you tommorow!