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The Children of the Sun 24 -- from Spokane, WA

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Greetings, Chumps... from Spokane County Raceway! :D

Today is an open practice day. $100 per car and $25 per driver -- the CHEAPEST open track practice you'll ever find! The race starts tomorrow at 12 noon and ends on Sunday at noon.

34 cars entered, with 2 reported late entries -- one arriving from Portland and one from Seattle. Great field, great track and great weather!

This track is AMAZING! Longest damn straight I've ever seen. 4,097 feet long! I'm guessing that my Porsche 965 would easily reach 170mph on this piece of road, and that my GTA Trans-Am Chevy Monte Carlo would hit 185+. Geez, I wish I had them here this weekend! Turn 1 (the locals tell me) can be taken flat-out (yikes!)... but T2 is wickedly deceptive. Ten (10) turns in total, packaged nicely in a 2.6-mile track. Lots and lots of open run-off (with a few berms to keep you in the State of Washington). Cindy Gibbs and Jim Black (co-track managers) have done a FANTASTIC job of making SCR a terrific and safe place to race.

84 degrees today and 89 tomorrow. No wind; all blue sky. And, speaking of the sky, Fairchild Air Force Base is just down the road from Spokane County Raceway. The track is also directly adjacent to the Spokane International Airport. Both the City and the USAF are hosting "AirFest 2010" this weekend -- complete with the USAF Thunderbirds! The aero team has been practicing for the last 2 days, using the 0.8-mile front straight of the raceway as a turn-in marker. F-16's at 700mph, 300 feet off the ground... makes our crap-cans look even slower than they really are! Those planes and pilots are very impressive!

Anyway, we'll be holding tech and registration this afternoon. Both Cathy and Lloyd are ready... and Erik and Leo are busy doing double-duty this weekend... because both of them are coordinating our Timing & Scoring, as well as racing! Leo has entered a team with an RX7, and Erik (along with our Northwest Chumpster, Matt Updenkelder) will be racing their Free Range MR2. Dave Marden (Asst. Tech Chief) will be also be busy doing double duty in tech and racing, with his John Deere Agricultural Racing VW Rabbit.

Ron is at-the-ready as Chief Steward this weekend. Me? I'm going over to the local Indian gaming casino (100 yards from the track!). I don't gamble but I hear they have a great rib-eye steak for $8.99.

That's all for now.


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Rib-eye steak for a little more than a Whopper /cheese meal? Sign me up! You buyin'?

Great fun watching the Thunderbirds practice and flying low over the race track. Could have seen them last week at the Duluth Air Show, but I didn't go.

Looks like 34 cars entered for this weekend's race. Photos posted on our Facebook page.

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Entries for "Children of the Sun" 24.

Car# / Team name / Year, make model

0 - Squirrels of Fury, 1981 VW Scirroco

1 - Redcar Racing, 1974 BMW 2002

2 - Coalition of the Willing, 1983 Mazda RX-7

4 - Apex of Failure, 1987 Mazda RX-7

5 - Rogue Squadron, 1991 Nissan Sentra

6 - Stumptown Chumpsters, 1992 Chevrolet Camaro

7 - Cone Damage, 1996 Mazda Miata

8 - Pony Excess, 1976 Ford Pinto

9 - Rutabagas, 1978 Datsun 280Z

10 - Squirrels of Fury-er, 1982 Audi 5+5

11 - Old Guy / F1, 1975 Fiat X/1-9

15 - Pontihack Racing Spincycle Fiero, 1986 Pontihack Fiero

18 - Slingshot Racing, 1974 Ford Maverick

20 - The Brian Towey Surrfing School, 1991 Mazda Miata

22 - Cash Cab, 2004 Nissan Sentra

29 - Produnk, 1997 Mazda Miata

30 - ProOne Racing, 1986 Chevrolet Camaro

33 - Git Miata Here, 1995 Mazda Miata

37 - The Kamikaze Kops, 1985 Mazda RX-7

39 - Full O Bull Racing, 1983 Ford Mustang

40 - The Flying Lumberjacks, 1988 Volkswagon Fox

42 - Beach Dudes Racing, 1971 Datsun 510, 3.3L V6

43 - Richard Petty and the Parts Breakers, 1983 Mazda RX-7/5.0 Ford V8

44 - Sloppy Seconds, 1985 Chevrolet Corvette

45 - Formula Roadster, 1967 Datsun Roadster

67 - Size Does Matter, 1967 Plymouth Fury

77 - Wir gehen Schnell!, 1977 BMW 320i

80 - Free Range Racing, 1988 Toyota MR2

84 - Big Brother Mustang, 1984 Ford Mustang

89 - Team G.I. SHO, 1989 Ford Taurus SHO

97 - Lawn Tractor Racing - Team Tequila, 1978 Volkswagon Rabbit

99 - Eh! Team, 1989 Honda CRX

70 - Pole Position Racing, 1985 Toyota MR2

72 - Team TSR, Camaro

Tech and registration is taking place as I write this. A whirlwind just came through the work area, upsetting EZ-ups and awnings, scattering papers. Hopefully that will be the worst weather disaster for THIS weekend.

Some photos have been posted on our Facebook page:

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How's this for a deal for racers from the local O'Reilly Auto Parts store?

The paddock area at Spokane Raceway is on the INSIDE of the track. That means no crossing the track while racing is underway. To accommodate this issue, there are 15 minute Safety Breaks every three hours during the race until midnight to allow track crossing.

But if a team needs parts during the race, they would have to wait until the break, go buy their parts, and probably not make it back until the next break. Many hours could be lost waiting for parts.

The local O'Reilly Auto Parts store has offered to DELIVER parts to the track. That way, when the track opens for a break, the parts will be delivered and teams can get repairs done that much quicker. And O'Reilly will offer this service until the 6pm break and again beginning Sunday morning!

As if that were'n enough, they brought loads of baseball caps, screwdrivers, tire gauges and drink can sleeves.

So, a great big thanks to O'Reilly Auto Parts!!!

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43 - Richard Petty and the Parts Breakers, 1983 Mazda RX-7/5.0 Ford V8

I approve (says the man making the Pilgrimage to Randleman next month... :) ).

Tho', I'm curious: Is that "a Mazda Rx-7 body with a Ford 5.0 V8 stuffed into it", or "a Mazda RX-7, and a Ford with a 5.0 V8"?

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Tho', I'm curious: Is that "a Mazda Rx-7 body with a Ford 5.0 V8 stuffed into it", or "a Mazda RX-7, and a Ford with a 5.0 V8"?

It is a Mazda RX-7 with a Ford Mustang V8 5.0 powerplant. The team is out of Salmon Arm, B.C. They have matching blue t-shirts, each with "Petty Officer [driver's name here]".

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Time for an update, so here are the standings at two hours into the event.

1. #5, 50 laps

2. #2, 49

3. #29, 48

4. #33, 48

5. #20, 48

6. #99, 46

7. #89, 46

8. #70, 45

9. #7, 45

10. #4, 45

and at the time, our heroes in #80 had just moved into 11th place.

Unfortunately, the #80 Free Range Toyota MR2 is now in the pits getting an axle replaced.

#6 Stumptown Chumpsters Camaro made the grid and pace lap but did not survive to the green flag.

#39 Full O' Bull Mustang was a no show.

#22 Cash Cab Nissan suffered an electrical problem on lap 6. When a rod went through the engine block it took out some wires.

#72 Team TSR Camaro has spent a lot of time in the pits with fuel system problems.

#43 R. Petty & the Parts Breakers MazStang lost their highly engineered plywood splitter on the pace lap.

#4 Apex of Failure Mazda suffered a blown hose and consequent overheating issues. It has been repaired.

#9 Rutabagas Datsun Z has a blown head gasket and needs a clutch. Parts are being delivered by the O'Reilly guys.

#67 Size Does Matter Plymouth Fury went straight into a berm and bent the frame. A crowd gathered to watch the repair attempt as it involved an articulated fork-lift and concrete blocks. Apparently it was successful as the car Fury is on the grid for the re-start.

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Thunderbirds flying low over the race track again. Shoot a few pics of race cars... try to focus on the T-Birds as they fly by... back to shooting race cars.... Get called away from updating the notes to shoot photos of the Datsun 510 on fire... sell some t-shirts... All in a day's work for your intrepid ChumpCar blogger.

#37 RX-7 had an oil line fail. They have apparently decided to block it off and run as is.

#30 Camaro blew the front transmission seal.

#42 Surfer Dudes Datsun 510 caught fire as it came into the pits for driver change. The header wrap is apparently getting soaked with oil, enough to be flammable at low speed.

Nearly time for the 4 hour update. Gotta run.

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The 4 hour update, on time! Mazda Miatas dominate the top 5.

1. #5 Rogue Squadron Sentra, 100 laps

2. #29 Produnk Miata, 97

3. #33 Git Miata Here! Miata, 97 (+ 6 sec behind #29)

4. #20 Brian Towey Surfing School Miata, 96

5. #89 G.I. SHO Taurus, 95

6. #7 Cone Damage Miata, 93

7. #70 Pole Position MR2, 91

8. #77 Wir gehen Schnell! BMW, 91

9. #99 Eh! Team Honda CRX, 90

10. #0 Squirrels of Fury Scirroco, 89

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#22 Cash Cab Nissan suffered an electrical problem on lap 6. When a rod went through the engine block it took out some wires.

That's funny. Probably not so funny for the team, but funny for a guy sitting half-way across the country wishing he was racing.

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#70 Pole Position Racing is using homemade cool suits for their drivers. They sewed some surgical tubing to a t-shirt (or t-shirts) and have hooked up a small electric pump to a cooler full of ice. They say it works quite well for a fraction of the price of a commercially made suit.

Cheap! It's the Chump way.

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We reported earlier that the #67 Size Does Matter car, a 1967 Plymouth Fury, suffered a bent frame when it went off at the end of a straight.

The frame was bent back into something resembling nearly straight with the assistance of an articulated fork lift. The car is back on track, 46 laps behind the leader.

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#37 Kamikaze Kops Mazda RX-7 has turned in their transponder, ending their involvement in this race. An oil line failed and they thought that the engine was still getting some oil pressure, but apparently it was not enough. The engine is toast. They're thinking about finding a V8 for the car for the Portland race.

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The mandatory 15 minute Safety Break took place at 6:00 pm and cars are now back on track. Bonus and penalty laps have now been applied, so some positions have changed as a result.

At the six hour mark, here are the standings:

1. #5, 160 laps;

2. #89, 151;

3. #20, 150;

4. #33, 149;

5. #29, 149;

6. #77, 143;

7. #99, 142;

8. #42, 140;

9. #0, 138;

10. #70, 138

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Bonus/penalty laps

(Includes bonus for theme, bonus for charity, penalty for exceeding ChumpCar rules)

The good...

#5 - +15

#42 - +13

#8 - +12

#20 - +11

#10 - +10

#89 - +10

#99 - +10

#5 Rogue Squadron Nissan was awarded 10 bonus points for theme.

The Bad...

#44 - -25

#11 - -5

#80 - 0

#44 Sloppy Seconds, Chevy Corvette, was awarded 30 penalty laps, because it certainly does not look like a $500 car.

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8 hours into the action, that's 1/3rd of the scheduled race.

1. #5, 217 laps

2. #89, 207

3. #20, 206

4. #29, 204

5. #33, 202

6. #99, 194

7. #42, 193

8. #0, 192

9. #7, 192

10. #70, 191

From my vantage point at the ChumpCar trailer, I can see #8 Ford Pinto on jack stands. They are replacing the clutch. Fortunately the wife of one of the drivers was on the outside of the track, so she picked up what parts were needed and was able to deliver them to the team at the 9:00 Safety Break.

#4 Mazda is still in the paddock area. They were unable to re-start the car after their overheating incident. They are continuing to work on it, replacing the engine.

The sun is going down, so the temperature will drop quickly from the 90s to the 70s.

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Lap times have suddenly gone down... because the ChumpCars are now on the SHORT course following the 9:00 Safety Break. The #33 Miata has set fastest time of 1:41.1, and the #89 SHO and #29 Miata are in the 1:42s.

The My Little Pony themed #8 Ford Pinto has made repairs, thanks to the availability of parts from O'Reilly Auto Parts. They are wrapping up the clutch installation and expect to be back on track shortly.

The #4 Mazda RX-7 has the replacement engine installed, and the team is trying to get it to fire.

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Ten hours in. We're not even halfway, yet!

1. #5, 267 laps

2. #89, 261

3. #20, 259

4. #29, 258

5. #33, 255

6. #99, 245

7. #7, 241

8. #70, 239

9. #10, 239

10. #0, 237

Fastest lap is now 1:39.560 by car #29, Produnk Miata. #5 & #33 have run laps in the 1:40s.

#42 Datsun is out with a blown transmission.

#18 Maverick is also done for the weekend.

#4 Mazda has not fired, though the team is still attempting to make it happen.

#9 Datsun made it back onto the track for a few laps after replacing the head gasket, but still has overheating issues, supposedly due to an aging radiator.

#67 Plymouth has been in the pits a few times recently with overheating also.

I may squeeze in another report if anything major happens, but I am going to sneak away to catch a few hours of sleep when the track opens for the Midnight Safety Break. Back after the 8am Break.

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