October, 2020

What’s Up?

It has been a very unusual year, not just for us but for most everyone we know. With no racing to report I have not had much to post on this site. Still, I wanted to share some good news since many of our friends and fans do check in from time to time.

So how is Steve doing? That is the question so many caring friends have been asking us over and over again this summer. As we posted earlier, Steve has been going through cancer treatment since January. The four months of chemo went by with little complications. July and August were intense, with Steve spending 17 days in the hospital for a bone marrow stem cell transplant. Although it is not something anyone should have to go through, he was a real trooper and powered through it pretty well. He came home on July 31. The month of August was spent getting lots of rest and gaining his strength back. Every week has been better than the last.

On the Road to Recovery

We are happy to report that so far he has had no complications and other than his hair is just starting to grow back, he looks as healthy as he did before all this. I’ve actually gotten used to his new look. He has had several follow up visit with the doctor and they say he is tracking really well. The chemo before the stem cell transplant essentially killed all his built up immunities, so he has to be extra careful during these next few months. He even has to get his childhood immunizations over again in January. The next phase of this treatment will be to start onto some maintenance chemo drugs that he may have to take for the rest of his life. Fortunately, we are told that could and hopefully will be a very long time to come.

In the meantime, Steve is finding lots of projects he put off over the years and is keeping very busy getting them out of the way so he can once again focus on the race car. It is still many months off, but if all goes as planned, we will have a fresh built race motor for Susie Q and a full schedule to race her.

Thank you to all our friends and fans who’ve reached out to us with caring messages and who have kept Steve in their thoughts and prayers. We are grateful for our racing community and hope to be reunited with you once we get back to racing next summer.

Until then, stay healthy, stay safe, and God bless.

Susie Q

June, 2020

All Races Cancelled for Susie Q This Year

Sad to say we will not be racing at all this summer. It’s been an unusual year so far, to say the least, and there are several reasons for our decision. First, due to the pandemic, some of our early races were postponed or cancelled. Second, and the main reason for this decision, Steve is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. Due to the Covid-19 it seems best to stay home and focus on staying healthy, which is our number one priority.

Over the winter Steve was diagnosed with multiple myloma cancer. Initially, it seemed that he would only need to undergo some radiation treatments; however, additional diagnostics indicated more extensive treatment was called for. We visited Mayo Clinic at the beginning of February to get a second opinion. They confirmed the diagnosis and the recommended treatment plan. Back in Michigan, Steve began four months of chemo therapy which he just completed. The next step in his treatment is a bone marrow/stem cell transplant which is scheduled for the middle of July. The recovery from this could take the rest of the year.

Early in the Spring we still thought we might do some racing in June and July, if Steve was up to it. We anticipated having to drop our later races because of his treatments but then, as we all know, Covid-19 happened. This brought about changes in the race schedule and increasing concern about exposure. Steve didn’t need to risk being around a lot of people at this point so we finally waved the white flag. We are keeping a positive outlook and will be making plans for a busy race season next summer.

News from the Race Shop

As some may recall, we had a crankshaft break during a qualifying pass at our final race last year. Once we were home, the car went into the shop and everything came apart. It took a while to determine all the damage, which was extensive. Work began soon after because Steve wanted to determine what he would be shopping for before we went to the PRI (Performance Racing Industry) trade show in December.

Initially the goal was to have everything back together again by the end of April so we could go racing. That isn’t happening but Steve did manage to get a lot of the thing accomplished. For those of you who like to get the technical update, here is a partial list of what has been done so far:

  • The block was damaged when the crankshaft let go so it went to Bowens’ shop in Montrose, MI. It required new sleeves in # 7 & 8 cylinders, #4 & 5 main caps and saddles, welding, machining, and line honing of the crankshaft bore. They not only did a fantastic repair job but finished it and got it back to us in short order.
  • Next the block went to Ross Smith in Flat Rock, MI, to have the cylinders honed to size.
  • The larger bore meant we needed new pistons. We ordered up a set of Diamond PistonsTrend wrist pins along with MGP connecting rods and rings from Total Seal.
  • The new crankshaft came from Bryant. Once we had the new piston and wrist pin weight, the crank went to John Kaminski at Precision Crank, in Flat Rock, MI, for balancing.
  • The cylinder heads went back to Total Flow for some repairs and service and they are back in the shop ready for installation.
  • New rocker arms and rocker shaft stands are on their way from Reid Machine
  • The torque converter had some damage so it had to go back to Marty Chance. It’s back and ready to go.
  • The Lencodrive was undamaged, but it comes apart for inspection and service every winter anyway. With a few new parts from Mick Snyder, it’s back together and ready as well.
  • The rear end has been inspected, serviced, and ready to roll.
  • Steve took the blower back to SSI in Ohio for it’s yearly service.
  • The bellhousing went back to Jeff Bohr for recertification. It turned out it also suffered some damage and needed a little machining before it could be installed.
  • With the chassis recertification and new seatbelts, everything is up to date.

As you can see by the list, a lot of work was completed before we decided to put everything on hold. Steve decided to wait to finish rebuilding the engine until next winter, making sure it’s fresh and ready to go next year. If things go as planned, we will be back warming up the tires on Susie Q in 2021. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers and we look forward to seeing you then.

Susie Q

Christophersen Racing Sponsor News 2020

Uncle Earl’s Once Again a Major Sponsor

 Hand Healing Soap will once again be a major sponsor of Christophersen Racing. They’ve been with us for 10 years now, ever since we first started racing the Susie Q Alcohol Funny Car in 2011. We are grateful for their continued support and enjoy being ambassadors for their awesome hand soap.

We use Uncle Earls every day, in the shop, at home, and especially at the race track. It can clean the dirtiest hands better than anything we’ve tried. It was developed for machinists and mechanics so it’s made to clean up even the toughest dirt. It made with all-natural ingredients that penetrate deep into the skin, moisturizing and healing cracked damaged hands. Find us at the races and you’ll find Uncle Earl’s.

Parker’s Hilltop Brewery Renews Sponsorship

Parker's Hilltop BreweryParker’s Hilltop Brewery renews their sponsorship of Nostalgia Alcohol Funny Car, Susie Q, for 2020 as well. This is one of our top choices for a place to eat and meet friends. We are so excited to have them sponsoring us again and look forward to helping promote their business.

Parker’s Hilltop, located in Clarkston, MI, is an upscale brewery which offers a unique casual atmosphere, a perfect place to kick back and relax. It’s a family restaurant with big screen TVs, table games and darts, a fun place for a group party or just to socialize, all under one roof. The menu offers just the right variety, from burgers to filet, pizza and pasta, soups and salad, and one of their specialties, handmade pierogis. Much of what comes out of the kitchen is cooked from scratch. Hilltop offers a long list of signature brews, made on site from start to finish; a great selection including seasonal favorites and a few specialty brews.

Parker’s Hilltop Brewery