Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sears Pointless....Awesome! (Sorry 2 weeks late)

For those who didn't know, we had another race last weekend. For those who did, here is the rest of the story.

The week started with a big show at work, so everything was Damn stressful, but thanks to having a great boss we were underway on Wednesday morning at 7am. The trip was going well until we passed Reno and were caught up in a hellish storm on Donner pass.
$160.00 bucks later and two sets of chains for the tow rig, we were on our way again. Of course there were a couple of Ass-hats that thought they were impervious to weather with their O'so Special cars - I am talking to you people with Hummers and Audis. Your cars are not and I repeat "NOT" any better in a snow storm than anyone else's! Thanks to those people, a couple of other cars and their drivers had a very bad day.
Plus a Little added weight.

Anyhow back to the story. We met up with Ruben at the hotel and spent all day Thursday drinking in wine country, awesome!
We went to the track and dropped off the car and saved a couple of spots for teams we thought were worthy of special treatment. Larry was suppose to meet up with us on Thursday night but he was caught up in the storm we went through and they closed Donner pass before he could get through. He ended up going south around Lake Tahoe, and finally made it to the track on Friday.

Friday morning we woke up to rain, not too much but it was cold and dreary. We were not looking forward to driving in the rain but knew it was inevitable. We arrived at the track, met up with Pete (Killer ZomBee's) and Joe (Snowspeeder) and unloaded the car. We did some prepping and going through the checklist to make sure we had everything. We changed the oil and filter, checked all wiring, seat harness, added some more stickers and proceeded to get ready for tech. Ruben dressed up as the inestimable "Lucky" our mascot for the Unlucky Charms theme and off we went to be berated by the judges for showing up and wanting to go through the ordeal of racing in Lemons all over again.

Tech almost hit a snag when the inspector didn't like the mount we had for the fire extinguisher. I explained it was a factory mount welded to the car and lasted 7 races without once being an issue, he realized the bracket was high quality and decided he was just a little to aggressive when he was yanking on the bottle.

Ruben was sitting on top of the car through the whole inspection, making rude comments and gestures to the other teams as they passed through. A perfect little drunk Leprechaun if there ever was one! Judge Jonny was very pleased with the theme change and commented that it was one of our best. I think the bottle of Irish whiskey and cereal has a lot to do with that comment. Of course I was in true fashion; I had on my Chump Car shirt which raised the eyebrow of the judges and was promptly painted over while the shirt was still on my back. They didn't believe me when I told them we were atrocious and losers just like ###### ### Oh well..

We skipped through Tech with no penalties and no additional work to do on the car so we were all happy.

Racing started at 10:00 am on Saturday morning. Rube, Judy and I arrived at 8am to find that the car would not start. It ran exceptionally well the night before but decided it wasn't going to in the morning. After 5 minutes of going through the "Oh crap" process of hunting down the problem we found that the rotor had decided to chew its way through the distributor cap. The only thing I could decide was that the cap and or rotor were flawed from the factory. After changing plug wires, cap and rotor the car ran to perfection once again.

Ruben took the car out for the first stint. Of course it was raining, and with the rain tires and Rube's amazing duct tape job on the passenger door and the window deflectors, he seemed to have a good time. I took the second stint and of course it was raining, nothing special to report other than lots of cars were going off the track. Judy was next, she did really well in the rain being that it was her first time on a wet track. During her stint Pete's car spun out and slammed into the tire wall and then was hit by another car. Fortunately car and driver were fine, and after a good hammer job, his car was back on the track.

Saturday was bearable and tolerable and we at one point were in 26th place, proving that a fast car is not a winning car in wet conditions. Saturday night, Rube changed out the tires in hopes of having a dry day on Sunday.

Sunday we arrived at the track at 8am (it's not raining!) so we could get to the drivers meeting at 8:15 and of course the car wouldn't start. This time the battery was dead, the kill switch had been left on during the night, everyone on the team verified the car was put to sleep the night before with all accessories off. We even had confirmation from our neighbor Pete that the car was indeed off when we left for dinner. So we had Gremlins visit us during the night, just like on Friday night. After getting a double jump from our spare battery and Bo's jumper pack, we were back up and running. Rube took the car out and put the car through some rigorous maneuvers to see what kind of car we really had. I am happy to report that the electric water pump did the trick and the car was a very happy car as was Rube. I took the second stint of the day and pushed the hell out of the car, Bo (team Snowspeeder) and I got into a little competition and I found out that our little car was so in tune that it was able to perform as well as theirs with about 65 less horsepower at the wheels. It is lots of fun putting pressure on the team that's pitted next to you.

Judy was next and she went out and tore up the track, at one point she flew past Larry (Snowspeeder) - it was awesome. Later Larry would comment that he was really impressed with her driving, Rube and I pretty much said the same.

Ruben had the 3rd stint and went out and got our best time at the track 2:19.697. Right after that, the exhaust came off the car. Rube called in and commented that the car was a lot louder, I pretty much agreed since it was hard to hear him over the background noise. I told him to do a "drive by" so I could inspect the car. Sure enough, the whole exhaust had come off at the manifold collector and was hanging on by one support brace. Ruben brought the car in on a mechanical black flag. This was our only Black flag of the weekend and the car got it which means we drove a perfect race. After losing the whole exhaust in the pits (our friends over at Eyesore were great sports, they helped out and threw it on top of the car) We managed to put the system back in under 10 minutes. We lost a total of 23 minutes with the issue and we were back on the track.

Ruben finished up the race and we finished in 34th place. We were on our way to a top 20 finish but the muffler stopped us accomplishing that. I would like to say that we did finish in the top 20 percentile, based on the total amount of cars that officially ran in the race (173 cars.) Thanks to our team, our pit stops and fueling ran between 4 minutes and 9 minutes per session. Those are awesome times for pit stops since we had to do all our stops in our pits. This is the reward for the guys that finished first. $1500.00 dollars worth of Rubles in two garbage bags.

Great job to all and thanks to our pit neighbors for being so much fun!

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