Well tonight was a success!
Engine is fixed: it really was just the o2. I think that combined with the first start of the season made it a bit rough. I let the car get up to temp and stay there and it was great- a bit of a vacuum leak but that was there last year too... It's good to go!
And then: thanks to an awesome extendable magnet, I was able to fish the slave pin out of the tranny without pulling it!!! So awesome! When I pulled the slave off, the pin was sitting up above the lever - guess it was misaligned during install. Well i reassembled everything, bled the clutch and it held
So I lost one evening but with two successes I'm pretty stoked! Tomorrow will be paint prep, Wednesday night paint, Thursday am reassembly, pm alignment, and Friday final touches before heading to the track