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craig71188

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craig71188 last won the day on July 8 2018

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About craig71188

  • Birthday 06/21/1960

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    Male
  • Location
    Columbus, OH
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    "Old Guy" guest driver for HoundDogs & Autobody Specialists

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  1. The horse has left the barn... 1) I have never seen a spec tire rule save money. Spec anything is a license for the manufacturer to charge more. A model where a "preferred tire" offers discounts contingencies and is exclusive "might" benefit members - if it is a brand that has a following already. 2) Banning tires is a political nightmare - who says one is softer/better/faster and what quantifiable criteria can you use? Once we went from allowing rolled fenders to stretched fenders to "wide body" kits - all bets were off. Now we have raging debates over hub values. Putting the horse back in the barn (IMHO) would require returning to a stock wheel opening rule. Wheel/tire size free if it fits in the stock opening - without a tortured interpretation of "stock opening". As to today, limit the amount of tires for a weekend to two sets (3 sets for 24 hours)? Present/mark the tires you plan to use at tech? Limit tire changes in a stop to one or two? This path would seem to be the most practical today with the current rule set. Not sure this is as big a problem as it's made out to be (now), but I can see it growing in that direction down the road given the "rules/speed creep" over the past few years.
  2. I am driving with Jeff Stewart in the Hounddogs BMW, and sometimes a stint with Brian Hoover's team, Auto Body Specialists in the RX-7. I currently have a stash of Fiero's I am accumulating parts for...
  3. Typical pit stop: 1) Driver exchange: driver exiting helps new driver into car/harness/radio connections/cool suit/etc - if you have an "extra" person fully suited up, they can relieve the driver getting out and "install" the new driver. This can be done while fueling is going on. Visors must be down! 2) Fuel: One fully suited person to man fir bottle, one fully suited fueler. Dump pan under car, open cap, add fuel. A person to hand jugs over the wall is nice but not an absolute need. Nothing else can be done while these first two items are going on. Once fuel is in, cap tank, jugs and dump pan over wall then other work. 3) Other work: this can vary greatly from team to team. Things to do include: a) Clean the windshield! b) Car walk around - tire wear, check for damage, loose items, anything that looks out of place c) Radio check w/driver d) Add water to drink bottle e) Add ice to cool suit f) Torque wheels (we don't - opinions vary, we feel hot studs stretch and once we have wheels on we leave them as is) g) Check tire pressure - generally we don't if we know our set up is good for a track. "If" we have questions, or "if" we have a handling issue we may check h) Check oil - may or may not be needed - you have to know your engine/consumption habits. #1 & #2 happen every regular stop. Under #3, a-b-c are easily handled by on person, d-e by a second person. If you are real short of drivers and crew, one can do it all, it just takes a bit more time. Decide who does what BEFORE you stop. Whatever you are going to do, have the supplies needed laid out within easy reach of the pit wall - no ON the pit wall. A folding table against the cold side of the wall works well. A "routine" stop should have you at the pit exit with time to spare on your 5 min clock. Yes, at pit "in" you will need to stop and have a 5 min countdown timer attached to the roof (typically). You will also stop at pit "out" where they will check and be sure the timer has run down to "0" before releasing you (assuming you took fuel).
  4. If you are not familiar with Lake Erie Communications (the flag crew), you might look here: http://www.lakeeriecommunications.org/home.html. No excuse for missing the car going off. Our driver was behind them and we notified the pit marshalls when he didn't see a response. That said, I have seen Champ NOT man all stations at other tracks, or only have one flagger and to be honest, it is a bit concerning. Saw an off at VIR at turn one where the car went straight off the end of T1 clear to the tires and it took several laps to get to them in daylight and in plain sight. With LEC at Nelson, many stations would have 3 people, one for communication to race control, one looking "up track" and one looking "down track" and yes, they will stand out from the "bunker" for better visibility.
  5. If they had 280 hp available, they weren't using it all. Our BMW is far from the fastest of E30/E36's that run and while the Boxster could pull away on the straights (depending on who was in our car/exit speed/etc), it wasn't a runaway on acceleration (or no more so than other teams we have run against at other tracks). Could they have been holding back??? From watching the race unfold, it didn't seem so - but they did change quite a few tires....
  6. Thanks to Champ for a great event - and the the Nelson Ledges team for working hard to continue to improve the facility and to promote this event. First off, it was GREAT to have Lake Erie Communications on site for flagging. Consistent, professional first class group. The "light boards" for yellows at night - not so much (need to be bigger & brighter - or back to lights on the flags themselves). The portable lighting in the pits and around the course - great! The Hounddogs BMW had good pace and up until a lost rear wheel bearing and later a half shaft, we were looking at making our first overall podium. Granted the race was lightly attended, but the driving by and large was very good, the new curbing was great and you could not have asked for better weather. It would be a shame to see this venue / event fall from the schedule. The track is fast and challenging and the history for this type of racing is extensive. I have been attending 24 hour races at Nelson since the early '80's as crew and driver and the new track management is working to steadily improve the facility. This year had spectators, live bands and more food vendors as they promoted the event.
  7. "back in the day" (Longest Day that is), the race turned in into quite a party in the infield. Keep in mind, there can be a few problem children who "may" like to walk off with things. I had a camera stolen out of a truck in those days. Just use common sense with valuables. Oh yea, hoping the "bike bunch" returns. They would bring a couple of pickups full of pallets and have a bonfire that lit the middle section of the back straight pretty well through the night!
  8. Don't care about "national championship" - if the "championship race" is not close, who's really going to travel across the country to compete? This is not the SCCA (Runoffs), or is that Champcar's goal? BTW...not a good plan to follow a now failing business model. More speed creep (although not free) carb/intake/throttle body. Flagtronics - their own website has a video showing a flag station going green and then a 3 second delay to the box in car. So I see a green flag, accelerate and then can be penalized for for "racing under yellow". Website has no pricing info, no location, Champcar is the only one using it. Just smells real bad from here. Can't say I'm impressed with direction taken so far.
  9. No, not a new one (depending on how you define "reasonable"). I have in the past stumbled into a "good used" 22 gallon from one of the local round track racers. Sometimes you can find one with a bladder that is still good. In another instance, I bought a complete used ATL cell with a good can and top plate (correct rollover protection) for $100 with a bad bladder and then just bought a replacement bladder from ATL - all in it was about 1/2 the cost of a complete new cell. Both ATL & Fuel Safe are pretty good about "service parts'" for their old cells.
  10. You can run a larger cell than +2, but you would need to add displacement blocks/balls get to "legal" capacity to run in Champcar. The various series all seem to have a different takes on fuel and depending on your plans, may wish to install a larger cell that would be legal in other series. We are looking at this with a current build.
  11. If we are not having problems (we typically have not), we will bleed a bit at each corner to look at the fluid and check for any air that may have worked itself in. In this case, maybe an ounce or so at each corner. If we have seen some actual degradation of performance or see any discoloration of the fluid, yes we would check the system further/move more fluid. Between races we will do a more thorough brake service including moving enough fluid to clean the old out of the calipers if not flush most of the whole system. Your results may vary. If you are in a situation where the brakes are really abused (beyond their functional limits), first, add more cooling! But if we were in a like case, we would be looking to flush that fluid from the system nightly!
  12. Was using a standard Dot 4, bled at the end of each day - no issues. Probably bleed less than an ounce per wheel unless we see discoloration or have another concern. Have now switched to this: https://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/28073/10002/-1 Per a friend who is the buyer for this category at Jegs, CAM2 manufactures it. Great price and a bit better wet boiling point than the Wilwood 570.
  13. Gimmicks in racing like mandated limits on stint times and mandatory time for fuel stops, I mean, this IS racing.... OK, no air tools due to "safety"!!! People can hurt themselves and a broken air hose whipping around can be dangerous! Now in all seriousness... Spec tires - NO! This just gives one manufacturer the ability to raise prices. Tire Exclusions list - more difficult to manage, but IF a model/generation of tire from a manufacturer is significantly faster/wears significantly shorter than comparable 200 (180 whatever) tires, then allow for it to be on an exclusion list. Allow for a new generation of that tire that is "comparable" to others to be "reinstated". More challenging to manage, but if one clearly stands out.... I have said it before and will say it again - speed creep and cost creep have killed more good series in the history of racing than anything else. The curve is typically. New series, teething problems, good rules set, success draws ever larger fields, large fields leads those with deep pockets to spend more to win/go faster, things escalate, less funded teams drop out, series collapses because there are not enough "win at all costs" teams to support its existence. The mid pack and slower teams that at least "think" they have a chance of winning sometimes is what pays the bills on most series. When you allow the spendy folks to get to a point where that seems impossible to those teams, entries will suffer.
  14. TRY IT ON, Period I had Bell helmets for many years. Decided to try the G-Force and Racequip. Fortunately Jegs is in my backyard so I went in and tried both brands in a couple of different styles and sizes. There was a great difference in comfort/pressure points from one to the next. Also, heads do have some variation in shape, what fits great/is comfortable for one may be miserable for someone else (particularly after 2 hours on your head). Take your time once you have the helmet on and pay attention to where/how hard it presses on areas of your head. Foam padding will break in (some), but if it's annoying in 2-3 minutes, just wait till you've worn it for a full stint.
  15. Until you get to 5.2.1 in the rules.... In egregious instances, you may also be required to place the “box of shame” over your head, walk up and down the cold pitlane once while all other teams can “boo” you until you find the team you affected with your less than admiral driving and apologize for the action.
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