2002-Sep: Markus & Tobias
2003-Dec: Christmas Letter
2001-Mar: Travel to Europe
2001-Jun: Steam Train
2001-Aug: Novas at Indy
2001-Dec: Birthday Party
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for larger images -
Nova Nationals at the Indianapolis Speedway
August 10, 2001 - Jason
I finally made it! After 4 years of trying, I actually made it to the Nova Nationals and the Nova did too!

Yes, there is a car club for Novas, and this year was the first time we gathered in Indianapolis. You wouldn't have thought I'd make it if you saw my '70 Nova SS the week before. I pulled out the big block engine and trans and put in a small block that is much more reliable to drive. Parts were everywhere. The whole reason for the swap was so I could trust it driving there and taking a lap around the Indy Motor Speedway.

Bill helping
Bill wondering how it
will all be ready in time.
Dad and Jeff helping
My dad and brother
helping out.
Jim, me, and Jeff ready to go!
Jim, Jason and Jeff
ready to go.
The car was finished being put back together just literally hours before leaving. My brother, a friend, and I got inside the car to go. It was a three hour drive, and we were already late. I turned the key...and the car wouldn't start! Panic set in, and I thought this adventure would turn out like the other times. A very quick diagnosis determined that it was a loose battery cable...but for a moment, we were thinking the starter would have to come out. But, flexing the battery cable clued us in and tightening it did the trick. It always seems like the little things pop up to challenge us.
Of course, the next challenge was coming to a stop on the expressway. I65 was shut down to clear a major accident. We were stuck in traffic and the car began to run hot. We were lucky enough to be close to an off-ramp, so we exited and somehow made it around the trouble spot. A road trip is more fun with a creative detour on side roads, and we still made it to the track in time.
Entering Speedway at the turn
Inside the first turn.
Going into the front straight away
The front straight away.
Here comes the finish line!
Approaching the brick finish line.
We found the race track, and got in line with the other Novas. I was so proud for being able to put together the car and be there! We entered the banked corner of the track. Even though we were limited to one lap at 30 miles an hour, it was fun to experience the view the race car drivers have as they race around the track. Actually, I wanted to drive slower to enjoy it longer. We had a good time looking at the tire marks on the pavement from last weekends NASCAR Brickyard 400 race. Now I can picture in my head the camera angles when I watch the races on TV. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience to drive around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Jim, Jason, Jeff at show
There it is! We're at the
show with all the other Novas.
Jim and Jeff ready to leave hotel
Jim and Jeff
ready to leave the hotel.
Southbound IC train
A fun drive home through the
countryside led us to Gilman, IL.

NASCAR comes to Joliet, IL
July 15, 2001 - Jason
On a side note, I saw NASCAR for the first time at the inaugural race in Joliet, IL.

I don't know what I was thinking. I thought I would just go there and buy a ticket from someone right before the race. Duh! The race was sold out with over 80,000 people in attendence. Me and the rest of the people who didn't have tickets watched the race from outside the fence. Amazingly, you could see almost all the track! The sight and sound of the cars gave me a new perspective on NASCAR racing...and didn't have to spend the $175 to get in...and I beat the traffic out leaving the race.

Me and the Monte at NASCAR!
Me and the Monte Carlo
at my first NASCAR event!
The cheap seats
The race started and we
moved towards the fence.
Fenceline spectators
Fence line spectators looking
at all those people inside.
Looking down pit row
Our view down pit row.