Archive for July 2015

Phillip Ivester and James Caserio Drag Racing: By Roger Ivester

July 25, 2015

Phillip Ivester has had excellent success in drag racing, winning “an amazing” 164 events.  He’s also built many race engines and helped many into the world of drag racing….   

His latest assistance has been helping Dr. James Caserio, MD from Hendersonville.  Dr. Caserio presented Phillip a photo book, last night (Thursday, April 22nd 2022) as a tribute for all of his help over the past year.   

Race Car Wheeley


The Dodge Hellcat pictured below, belongs to Dr. James Caserio, MD from Hendersonville, NC 

This is not just a Hellcat, but a (Demonized Hellcat) which indicates the car has received  performance modifications, and now has well over 1,000 horsepower (at the rear wheels).  The engine has 1,300 HP!    




Below photo:  Whipple Supercharger….Not your standard supercharger!  Or as the saying goes; “not your fathers supercharger.”  




Thursday night, March 31st 2022 at Shady Side Dragway in Boiling Springs, North Carolina:

Jim Caserio ran his fastest E.T. (elapsed time) and miles per hour, with an incredible 6.03 seconds, at 119.08 mph (1/8th of a mile.)   

Keep in mind…this car weighs over 4,600 pounds with driver and fuel!


Dr. Caserio (better known as Dr. C) has been working with Phillip, and others for the past year or so, exchanging ideas for performance improvements. 

Dr. C gives Phillip much credit as being his mentor in his quest to enter drag racing, and as mentioned earlier, gave Phillip a book of tribute for all of his help.  

Phillip Ivester and James Caserio (R) 

Phillip and Dr. C

Phillip Ivester, a participant of drag racing for at least forty years!

Phillip Photo


Dr. Caserio in his life as a doctor of internal medicine:   

Dr. C with white-coat

James’ Hellcat, and both of Phillips race cars

Three Cars


Screenshot 2020-07-08 at 5.27.40 PM

Heating up the rear tires for better traction…

Screenshot 2020-07-08 at 5.33.23 PM

Racing friends 

Racing Staff


After leaving the drag strip….a nice dinner at a local Italian restaurant in Boiling Springs.  


All loaded up. 

This car might appear as if it can be driven on the highway….but not.   

It’s a race car!  And as mentioned earlier, this Hellcat is capable of running near 120 miles per hour in only 1/8th mile in 6.03 seconds….again at 4,600 pounds! 

(Think about it:  1/8 mile is only 660 feet!) 

We always think about the performance in 1/4 mile:  That would be over 150 mph in the quarter mile.      

NGC 6503 – Galaxy in Draco

July 17, 2015

Observer’s Challenge link:  JULY 2015 OBSERVERS CHALLENGE – NGC-6503

NGC 6503 – Galaxy in Draco – Magnitude 10.2

Telescope: 10-inch f/4.5 reflector Magnification: 183x FOV: 0.38º Transparency: Fair to poor Temperature: 85º Humidity: 55% Dew Point: 67º NELM: 5.0 A surprisingly clear sky summer sky for the foothills of North Carolina.

However, the humidity was very high, reducing the transparency considerably. Very easy to locate and see at low power, but lacking detail. The seeing was good, therefore allowing the use of 183x. The galaxy is well concentrated, but appeared fairly dim due to the poor transparency. Highly elongated with the NW being much brighter than the SE. When using averted vision, the texture is uneven with mottling. A very subtle elongated brightening in the central region, but no core. A semi-circle of five faint stars lies just south, making a curve toward the west and going well beyond the galaxy.

The following is a “rough field sketch” using a No. 2 pencil and a blank 5 x 8 notecard.  Colors inverted via computer. 

Rogers NGC-6503

NGC 6503
Dr. James R. Dire

NGC6503 is a 10th magnitude spiral galaxy located in the constellation Draco. The galaxy is relative easy to find. The stars Chi Draconis (magnitude 3.6), Omega Draconis (4.78), 27 Draconis (5.1) and Aldhibal, aka Zeta Draconis (3.2), all lie roughly on a line. NGC6503 resides on the same line between the stars Chi and Omega. It is roughly at the midpoint between Chi and 27 Draconis.

Because of its northerly declination, NGC6503 is circumpolar for most northern hemisphere observers. Even here in Kauai it doesn’t set; although it is only two degrees above the horizon at its lowest elevation. I first spotted NGC6503 this month with my 6-inch f/6 achromatic refractor. Since I used a GOTO mount in was in the eyepiece with little effort. With the 6-inch scope, the galaxy was very faint and looked like an faint elongated patch.

Pointing the red dot finder on my 14-inch f/6 Dobsonian at the correct location, I could not make out the galaxy in the adjacent 8×50 finder. But it was dead center in the scope’s eyepiece. Finding it was actually just as quick star hopping with the Dob as it was with the GOTO mount with the refractor. The Dob revealed a tiny bright spot in the nucleus, but not much detail in the galaxy beyond that. A red giant star, HD163465 (magnitude 8.6), lies in the same field of view as the galaxy providing some good contrast.

NGC6503 is a member of the local group of galaxies. It lies 18 million light years away. The galaxy spans 30,000 light years making it roughly one-third the size of our Milky Way galaxy. The galaxy is 5.9 x 1.9 arcminutes in size with the major axis running northwest to southeast. The apparent elongation is because the galaxy is closer to edge on than face on.

My image of NGC6503 was taken with a 10-inch f/6 Newtonian with a SBIG ST-2000XCM CCD camera. The exposure was four hours. The image shows a very bright but compact core, indicative of an Sc classification galaxy. Even though not very open to our vantage point, the tightly wound spiral arms with large dust lanes are readily apparent. The bright spot to the left and slightly below the core is a large star-forming region easily identified on HST images of NGC6503. Below that, near the apparent bottom edge of the galaxy is another bright spot containing hot young blue stars not obstructed from our viewpoint by dust lanes.  James Dire 


M83 – Galaxy in Hydra – Difficult Due Only to its Southerly Location

July 3, 2015

M83, NGC 5236:  Galaxy in Hyra

Observer’s Challenge Report:  JUNE 2015 OBSERVERS CHALLENGE – M-083

Telescope: 10-inch f/4.5 Newtonian reflector

Sketch magnification: 57x;  FOV: 0.50º – 30 arc minutes 

Conditions:  Poor transparency at ~4.5 NELM. 

April 9th 1997:  Very bright, stellar nucleus, brighter elongated central region, oriented NNE-SSW, with a faint mostly round halo. With patience and averted vision, a very subtle curving arm, ESE of the core. This was very surprising considering the sky glow and southerly location of this galaxy from my backyard. Despite the light pollution, and haze, this galaxy was fairly easy to locate using my 10-inch reflector at 57x.

May 1992:  10-inch reflector @ 57x:  Faint, mostly round, but with a subtle elongated shape when using averted vision. Very difficult due to unshielded street lights in very close proximity to my backyard.  

The following pencil sketch was made using a No. 2 pencil, blank note card with the colors inverted: 

Rogers M-083 A