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Team Phoenix's MIS story


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*deep breath in*


 


Our MIS week began with bad news. On Tuesday when the engine was supposed to go back in the Shad we discovered a cracked piston that we had overlooked and a replacement could not be shipped in time. We had to call it.


 


Or so we thought. In a last ditch effort, Tony (the masochistic SOB) found an entire set of pistons, and on Thursday morning set to work pulling the engine from our donor car (a junkyard '93 Daytona that we had never tried to start), tearing it down the the bare block, putting in Shad's cams and the new pistons, replacing any suspect parts with either new parts or good parts from Shad's engine, buttoning it all back up and putting the engine and trans back in. At 6:30am Friday the car was ready to fire, when upon adding water to the radiator, he found that the brand new water pump was junk. To replace the water pump in this car is to pull the engine. All his work in vain.


 


Still, we had paying drivers anxious to drive our new E36, so Tony packed up and headed home to get the Bimmer. We all headed north trying to overlook the disappointment and focus on the task at hand. Shad or no Shad, we still had a 14 hour race to run. But now we were focused on a single car that we knew could be competitive.


 


Saturday morning Mike started strong, but called in on about lap 4 saying he had a horrible vibration coming from the right front. He came in and we discovered the rim hadn't seated quite right before we torqued the lugs. Luckily Mike caught it and we righted it before any damage was done (Note: Foreshadowing).  We lost maybe 3 laps during that stop, but Mike ran hard and gained us a few spots by the end of his stint. As a team who isn't necessarily used to competing, we spent a lot of time discussing pit stop strategy to make sure we were nailing the 5 minute stops. Boy did it pay off. On our best stop of the day the car rolled out of our pit stall with 1:20 left on the timer (and me praying our driver didn't pull away before pit out could ask him "Did you fuel?")


 


By mid-day we had climbed our way into the top 10, and attrition was very high. We knew we were within striking distance of a top 5 if things kept going the way they were. Then all of a sudden we were IN the top 5, and our ability to go 2 hours on fuel (which not many other teams seemed able to do) was paying off big time. At 6:45pm we sent Paul out for what would be our 2nd to last stint of the race. He was in 4th, running faster than 2nd and 3rd, and both of them still had to make two stops. We were on the same lap as 3rd, with about 2 laps to 2nd. Pit strategy alone would put us in third, and with a little luck we could track down 2nd.


 


Then around 7:30 my phone rings. It's Tony, spectating out in the infield. "Paul just wrecked in T3. I heard a BOOM and then he went straight off. The right front wheel came off." (Remember the foreshadowing?) The wrecker towed us in (bending our radiator and breaking the lower fan mounts when it picked us up. Thanks.) and we stood around debating what to do. The last few hours had been discussions of 'Podium this, podium that' and that was now not even on the radar. With all 5 studs gone, the discussion started out as "Lets just harvest some from the other hubs to get it on the trailer." Then Mike decided that we weren't done. Tony got a few studs from Victorious Secret Racing (thanks guys) and I got a donation from Premium Dudes (thanks guys again) and suddenly we had enough to make it work. One sheered stud wouldn't come out of the RF, but we got 4 good ones on and decided we could baby it home. Mike suited back up and got the car back on track with about 50 minutes left in the race. We had a 9 lap cushion on 11th place, who were running very slow just trying to bring it home. Mike held on and we managed to scrape together a 10th overall finish (9th non-EC).


 


All in all, probably the most successful team effort weekend we've had. Can't thank all the guys enough for busting donkey to put us in a position to really compete.


 


Thank the racing gods we didn't win. Because if WE won with an E36, it really is the car.


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Ok so was it you guys that were looking for big sockets?  I know I loaned out three of them.  I assume they came back have not looked yet.


 


Regarding the enbine build story - funny this is the first time I recall knowing the story before I read it here. 


 


#pushtheshad


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Yep, I borrowed them. Thank you!


I put them back in the drawer along with the other couple that were sitting out. I think your one guy was in the garage still and told him thanks again.


It was a great race all around and I am very proud of all the hard work our guys did!


With a couple new hubs and a new fender, we should be in good shape for NCM  in October!


Thanks to the two teams for donating lugs! That not only got us back on track, but got the car on the trailer this morning!


Thanks again as well to the chumpcar staff and volunteers!!


#raceorpushtheshad


#bmwforthewin


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We happened to be in the right place at the wrong time, I guess :)

We were trying to bribe the corner workers into throwing a yellow flag so we could get off-track with our rig when your car gracefully sailed off track to the accompaniment of a wheel merrily bouncing off into the distance.

 

Many chuckles were had by all as soon as we were sure the driver was OK.

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All in all, probably the most successful team effort weekend we've had. Can't thank all the guys enough for busting arse to put us in a position to really compete.

 

Thank the racing gods we didn't win. Because if WE won with an E36, it really is the car.

 

So, now that I've woken up after falling over from reading that you've succumbed to the allure of the Ultimate Driving Machine: Do you have a new opinion of the E36 as a cheap, effective racecar? All kidding aside, you and your dad have probably gone through more different (obscure?) Chumpcars than anyone, with very limited success despite your hard work and dollars spent. Personally, I don't see a more cost-effective option out there for this type of racing, I'm just curious as to what your opinion is now since historically you seemed to have been dead-set against them :ph34r:

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I for one have never been against bimmers. I've always loved bimmers...never having one because I feared I never be able to afford one. Also never have worked on one I was leary of them. Tony and Mike did all the work and said easy though challenging. But so is a Shadow and Supra . I have only ever been against Tubby not bimmers ( arch enemy thing)

Bimmers are not perfect but they offer a great starting platform.

But Shad will always be the love of my track life. He will return...and TRIUMPH !

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Many of us BMW owners were against the e36 becoming a ChumpCar car. Many of the non-BMW owners were against it also.

Point being, the car is here and likely to stay here so why not embrace it and applaud the efforts of the ground breakers that made all this possible. It is because of these brave souls that I can build my E36 with zeal as I look forward to next season.

Sooner or later. .. everyone comes to the dark side. ...

Muuhhwahahah, Muuhhwahahah. Muuhhwahahah

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I for one have never been against bimmers. I've always loved bimmers...never having one because I feared I never be able to afford one. Also never have worked on one I was leary of them. Tony and Mike did all the work and said easy though challenging. But so is a Shadow and Supra . I have only ever been against Tubby not bimmers ( arch enemy thing)

Bimmers are not perfect but they offer a great starting platform.

But Shad will always be the love of my track life. He will return...and TRIUMPH !

Welcome to the dark side, Kent Hidious!

Now you'll be tailgating like crazy and flipping off anyone going slower than you while yelling for the "idiot" in the sh!tbox/crapcan/beater/POS/etc. to get outta your way.

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