My GS Nationals pics and vids. (Racers POV)


Staff member
Welp, another GS Nationals has come and gone. And this one was definitely one for the Buick history books. I arrived around 1pm on Wednesday, to see wonderful rain forecast for the rest of the day. No biggie as it was expected and it always rains at least one day at the Nats. So we all pulled up chairs, sat around sharing stories and watching it rain. Later that night we had a great dinner at Rafferty's.

On the way to the track, I had a nice inpromptu street encounter against a nice metallic grey Turbo T. He pulled out to do a ricer fly by and I obliged by going WOT. It was a good run and I can proudly say I was lucky and won, as he never passed me. It was a quick T for sure. Yes, I was the crazy person who drove and parked a Grey Mustang in the pits of a Buick event. o_O
It's a simple combo really. 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 Coyote automatic with bolt ons. Runs 12.ohs at 115 N/A and high 10's on nitrous. However, no nitrous was brought on this trip. It will be getting a JPC Racing single turbo kit and built engine when it's all said and done though. Ok, back to Buicks....


Thursday's forecast looked to be overcast but with perfect turbo temps for racing. Everyone could tell this would be the year that records were shattered and racing would be excellent. Dave even predicted Wednesday night that we'd see 7.70's and maybe some 7.60's in TSO. So on Thursday morning, everyone was getting busy unloading, unpacking, setting up and warming up their cars. Getting ready to make their first test hits. Temps hovered around the 52* - 56* range with no sun. The question of who would be the first to lay down the law was on everyone's mind.






At a little after lunch time, racing had started and the track was well prepped. Slowly but surely quicker and quicker cars started making test passes. TSM and TSO cars started making hits and the track was golden.

Then "Mr. Basic Famous" comes up to make a hit and blows everyone away right off the bat.

Shortly there after, Tony steps up to bat and swings for the fences.

Billy T sorting his car out with his second test hit.

Followed a hour or so later by Dave.

After this aborted run, we head back to the pits and proceed to cool the car down for a 3rd hit.

Billy T makes a 3rd pass. That frickin starter loved getting in the way, GRRRRRR.

Dave's 3rd and unfortunately for us, final pass of the week.

Right at the finish line, the radiator cap blew off and emptied it's guts all over the engine. Dave said he reached up to pull the parachute and the car suddenly got severely sideways headed towards the wall. Quickly pulling the parachute and after 4 severe steering corrections, Thank You LORD he was able to save the car from any contact with the wall or complete loss of control. Ken and I were on the starting line and did not notice anything wrong, just a little bit of smoke that we didn't think anything about. No announcements were made and nobody was making a fuss, so we headed back to the pits. By the time we got back, others were telling us to go get Dave, he was still down at the end. We rushed down only to see a somewhat dirty GN and Dave with a wounded look on his face. Not good. We could definitely tell the car was hurt with the coolant everywhere. Popping the hood the engine was completely covered in coolant and block sealant. Sigh....

We towed the car over to a water spicket and proceeded to wash her off. Eventually others started showing up and offering to help. Before we knew it water hoses from JD and Tony and a bucket with car soap was brought over. We spend about 45 minutes carefully washing the car, hoping like all get out that the block sealant didn't ruin the paint. Finishing up we towed her back to the pits. When we got back, I proceeded to thoroughly dry the car the best I could and give her a good pep talk. After all, she had just run the quickest ET ever in TSO racing and I was absolutely going to give her some love, broke or not. After the bath, the diagnosis quickly began. All the data showed good, no issues could be found, EGT's were perfect across the board and the boost was not high at all. Everyone was pretty stumped. At this point, the track was getting close to locking us in so a decision had to be made whether to tear into it, or wait? Dave asked around and everyone agreed, let's get it done. Not knowing how much time they had before being locked in for the night, the guys tore into the car like it owed them money. First a compression test showed #1 was at 70 psi, but the rest were perfect. No coolant in the oil either.

I grabbed my chair, video camera and proceeded to watch a thorough and efficient tear down.

After 45 minutes the guys had the drivers side cylinder head off and within a couple of minutes discovered the problem. #1 cylinder's chamber had failed just behind and to the side of the intake valve. This pressurized the coolant system and caused the ugly soak down and near wreck.



After the tear down and quick pack up, we called it a day and proceeded to Rafferty's for a well deserved meal. Good grief Charlie Brown what a day it was. The plan for Friday was to try to find a machine shop that could fix the head and get her back together maybe in time to make 3rd round of qualifying Saturday morning. At least that "Was" the plan...

Stay tuned for Friday.
Friday morning dawned with sunny skies and a perfect weather forecast. No more rain for the rest of the weekend. Now the hunt begins for Team Fiscus. Dave contacted 3 different machine shops with no luck at all. Every one of them blew him off telling him it would be a 2-3 day job. Todd Humphries had a buddy that was willing to skip out on his family plans to machine the head, but we would still need a shop that could do a valve job and source valve seats. After a good 4 hour scavenger hunt and talking with a couple of very knowledgeable engine builders (Dave and Bobby) the decision was made to call it a weekend and just enjoy the racing and spending time with friends. In all honesty, that was the right call as the type of work needed to be done was very intense and needed to be done right by a competent Buick V6 machinist. You can imagine the disappointment and sadness felt by Dave and everyone knew it. But, everyone did their absolute best to show love and support to him during this and it really showed just how much class this Buick community has for each other.

Even though car count for the show was down, the car show was in full swing so we cruised around and checked out some mighty fine rides. Good Lord was this '56 absolutely stunning. It definitely needs to be featured in a magazine or six.




And these two twinkies, were stunning as well.




At 1pm, all of the heads up cars were called to the staging lanes for peer tech. It was good to see so many old friends again and I constantly had people coming over to me telling me thank you for helping them in the past. Those moments were humbling and made me proud to be in the Buick family.









After a brief gathering of thoughts, it wasn't long before qualifying started. Temps were in the mid to low 70's with a nice lazy breeze.

Let the games begin!!!

And then Don got burned down. Eventhough timeslips showed Autostart was on, it obviously failed to work during this pass. Also, the starter should have done his job better and maybe this would not have happened. There were a lot of tempers flaring after this incident and it really sucked to see this happen to Don.

After the oil down and clean up, a few more passes were made before they called it a night.

Thus ended day 2 of official racing. Thankfully no one wrecked or were hurt in any way. There were a bunch of quick passes made on Friday that I missed, but it was some of the best weather ever for a car show and qualifying under the lights.

Stay tuned for Sat.
Saturday dawned with over cast skies and temps forecasted for the upper 50's to mid 60's. In TSO, Tony Gomes was qualified #1 and Gary Harmon #2. This was the final we all wanted to see, but there was some stiff competition. I got to the track late and missed 3rd round of qualifying and 1st round of eliminations. I was however able to get a few decent videos during 2nd, 3rd and final eliminations. This year, because there was not a race last year due to a rain out, they allowed TSM racers to double up and race in TSO. This made for some interesting match ups.



The TSM final was awesome! John vs Richie.

This lead up the final everyone had been waiting for. #1 qualifier Tony Gomes, vs #2 qaulifier Gary Harmon. This race looked to definitely be one for the history books. Everyone could sense that they both had been saving their cars up to this point and now it was time to turn them loose and see what happens.

Little did everyone know, that it would be the quickest and fastest TSO final round in Turbo Buick history!!!


Gary had a slight hole shot advantage on the start. At the 1/8th, Tony's car was a couple of inches in the lead according to the timeslip. And at the finish Tony took the win with a 7.637 @ 184.32 to Gary's 7.775 @ 175.00.



That side by side pass made history, as the quickest and fastest ever for a full bodied, factory style suspension Turbo Buick. After the race, everyone gathered over at Gary's spot. Congratulations were given by all and everyone had a smile on their face. The prediction and race that everyone wanted to see, had happened. Everyone also agreed, that the track was the best it had ever been for a GS Nationals event, it flat out worked! I walked around and snapped a few pics before everyone loaded up.








All of my pics can be viewed at this link. Buick GS Nationals?sort=2&page=1

And all of my videos can be viewed here.

All in all, it was a good week. I only wished Dave's car would have behaved and held together. It would have been some excellent racing. He will be back next year even better and ready to battle it out again. You definitely haven't seen the end of Team Fiscus. I want to say a sincere thank you to all of you who jumped in to help, in Dave's time of need. And for those of you who went out of your way to try to help him fix the car, we sincerely thank you all. It was really good seeing all of my extended Turbo Buick family, sharing laughs, great food and over all, a fantastic time. It was also good to put some names with faces who I've never met before. It was nice to meet you all. I look forward every year to going to Bowling Green for this race. And even though I no longer own a Turbo Buick, the fire still burns for another one someday.

So, in closing I want to say this to all of my fellow Turbo Buick racers out there.

From this day forward, no matter what happens in this crazy country we all call home, you have all made history in the Buick world.....

Thanks for reading and sorry this was so long.

Patrick Rubio
Thank you so much I needed that. I feel like a member of a family that can't make it the family reunions anymore.
For anyone who didnt make it this year ,this is a must read and view .Patrick what a great job re living the event for me thank you so very much for sharing that took some work to compile and post all of this
That was the most awesome write up I have ever seen!!!! You are amazing brother Patrick, was good seeing you sir...... (Just noticed that my tag is only 6 months out of date.. LOL!!!)
Patrick I love you brother!!! Lol, I been dying to see he action I missed out on. Thank you so much for sharing. And congrats to everyone who filled these classes to put these awesome cars and event back on the map. I definitely will not miss this next year. Awesome!!!!
Patrick that was a Great write up. Our group from Indiana had planned on going but it didn't work out. This made it feel like I was there. Thanks!!
Great job Patrick. I was right down the road in Nashville at a different event. Never had a chance to make it up that way.