Misc notes from the Butt 24. First off let me preface where Iâ€™m coming from. Weâ€™ve done 3 or 4 Chump races but I havenâ€™t raced in Chump in two years. Iâ€™ve got (now) 4 cars sitting here that could go racing but getting my teammates to run Chump races could best be described as difficult. The ratio of needlessly getting run into was about 5 to 1 Chump vs LeMons. The guys got tired of getting hit, run off the track by blockers, etc and nobody doing anything about it or in one notable case, being told to hit/crash back so they just went with the series where they had more fun. A few months ago one of my friends with a mini said he missed doing 24 hr races in LeMons and wanted to get other minis together to do a 24 hr race. He knew where the other minis that might want to try it were located and talked them into it. A major concern amongst all was what might be described as the Chump Reputation for crashing here in the west coast. Itâ€™s the elephant in the room. Like it or not, dismiss the problem all you like, itâ€™s there. Thatâ€™s why there arenâ€™t more cars running the Chump California races. Plus my mini friend had an even worse experience than ours with Chump from years ago and was very reluctant to try again. I had been monitoring the races from afar and saw that they started to actually black flag people for contact/incidents and found that to be encouraging. In several emails that circulated discussing doing the Chump 24, I pointed out the race reports that showed that they were flagging for contact. Another big drawback was that both of us have had what could charitably be described as less than satisfactory communication with Mr Condren which held us back (we were frankly quite pleased not to see him at the track at Buttonwillow). But the desire to do true 24 races overcame all that and we got everyone on board. The second mini came down from Washington state but the NorCal mini was a very last minute dropout. The tech experience was a bit frustrating for both sides. All we wanted was for all the minis to start with the same number of penalty laps whether it be 0 or 1 billion. 55 year old cars are not a threat to the Miata/BMW-E series/Mazda cars the rules favor. As Mr Morrison later pointed out, we brought knives to the gunfight. We didnâ€™t care, we were there to have our own race within a race but it required waay more discussion than it should have to get both cars to start dead even. That wasnâ€™t going to be allowed because both cars were not precisely the same. The byzantine rules have fostered an atmosphere inviting the rules lawyers. As with all things in life, the fun stops once the lawyers arrive. Everyone got through it even if we had to game the system a bit and both cars started even. Biggest surprise? Lack of contact. We didnâ€™t get booted around like beach balls. 99.9% of the other drivers raced us clean. I did my best to give point-bys and received more acknowledgement waves than I have seen in Chump before. It looks like people are starting to work together. A red Honda caused a fair bit of havoc after sunset. I wasnâ€™t directly affected but had to deal with the people in his wake that he chopped/blocked after they headed off track into the desert. I had run the guy down but a mini has no business being faster than a late model Honda and I knew I was gonna have to suck it up and take a ballsy chance to get around him so I just did a drivethrough on pit road to get away from the carnage. That was really the only bad driving I saw. (Bad driving vs mistakes, Mistakes happen from time to time. Bad driving is persistent). Interesting comparison. I did the LeMons 24 at Buttonwillow 2 years ago with 120 cars. This race had 30. At nighttime this time around there were moments when at least once a lap you suddenly entered a dense dust cloud from someoneâ€™s off track excursion. Like Days of Thunder/canâ€™t see your hood ornament dense. If you were lucky and there was no one behind you, you could slow down drastically. If you werenâ€™t lucky with traffic behind and didnâ€™t want to get run over, you just prayed that no one was there anymore. I canâ€™t recall exactly but there may have been 1 or 2 of those canâ€™t-see-crap dust clouds all night during the LeMons race with 4x as many cars. I liked the SRS lights better than the LeMons hold-the-flashlight-behind-the-flag solution. Also nice to get the flagger out of the flagstand as there is a track light directly in the line of sight that made seeing the flagman in the stand very difficult at night. Only drawback is that there werenâ€™t as many manned/SRS lighted flag stations as what I normally see at Buttonwillow. A dust cloud is a dust cloud, it doesnâ€™t tell you if somebody ahead when 2 off or spun to a stop in the middle of the road in-between flag stations. Iâ€™m not advocating more flaggers as that is impractical. Just maybe a short chat with the people who cause dust clouds in the middle of the night at a desert track surrounded by dirt would make things safer for others. Nice change. First ever Chump pit meeting where there wasnâ€™t some crack about LeMons. Hopefully you have decided that itâ€™s childish and isnâ€™t going to change peopleâ€™s minds. They ignore you, you should do the same. You have your own identity. Running others down only reflects upon you. My perceptions of the series have changed somewhat. Iâ€™m cautiously optimistic. I fully realize that this post could very well end up being deleted and most definitely will get a condescending response. I will be more optimistic that change is possible if neither happens. Based on what happened over the weekend, Iâ€™m seeing encouraging signs. Iâ€™m hoping I can be persuasive enough to talk teammates back into doing Chump races again in our own cars instead of me having to go drive for someone else. Itâ€™s nice not to leave a Chump race pissed off for once. I had fun. I know that these 24hr races are hugely tiring on all the staff and I want to thank you for working those long hours so we can be part of a very small fraternity of people who have raced true 24hr hour events.