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The Hallett Fiasco, and what we need to take from it.


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Alright Chumps, I didn't want to make a whole thread on this, but I'm tired of the he said/she said (not intending to call anyone female who isn't).

Both sides have stated their stories and both sides have defended what they believe. Now, whether John has provided X data here proving that SM Racing's Y data here is incorrect, or whether SM's loudmouth driver insulted the entire series and everyone involved because of one incident is not what I'm focused on. I just want to say this:

Listen, it's Crap Can racing. The idea (in it's entirety) behind the series was to make a low-budget, FUN, racing series for people to get together and just have a good time on some of North America's finest tracks. The fact that a dispute over a (in the driver's opinion) POS Miata and the rights of Chump Car to claim it has completely gone beyond what this series' drama level should ever reach (aside from the occasional upside-down Volvo or fire-engulfed Neon). This has been completely blown out of proportion. It's over and done with. Everyone is going to feel how they feel on the subject but it's not going to change the past.

Me personally, I'm just looking forward to next week at Putnam Park. Just some good, clean, midwestern fun. I say, let's leave the whole incident behind, and JUST GO RACING! Who's with me?

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I can't wait for the new rules to come out. CC now has a year+ now under their belt and I bet the rules will reflect that. I think the clarity on the $500 car value should help as the difference in perceived/average/book/what I actually got it for was huge from person to person. The new internet value or whatever they call it should clear it up. No doubt there will be plenty of forum action about it.

Izzy, you're right!!! New rules = new topic.

Sorry to hear that your SHO wasn't the bulletproof missile it was at Iowa Speedway. I was betting on your team to podium. That car is a beast and so much fun to run against at Iowa. Man that race was fun.

Bottom line is we can't wait to hit another race and wish we could be joining the fun at Putnam.

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Guest slo krt

I can't wait for the new rules to come out. CC now has a year+ now under their belt and I bet the rules will reflect that. I think the clarity on the $500 car value should help as the difference in perceived/average/book/what I actually got it for was huge from person to person. The new internet value or whatever they call it should clear it up. No doubt there will be plenty of forum action about it.

Izzy, you're right!!! New rules = new topic.

Sorry to hear that your SHO wasn't the bulletproof missile it was at Iowa Speedway. I was betting on your team to podium. That car is a beast and so much fun to run against at Iowa. Man that race was fun.

Bottom line is we can't wait to hit another race and wish we could be joining the fun at Putnam.

It was too bad that the Eggboy car went down that early, i came around the corner to see them smoking heavily and the day was over. after hearing how they did in Iowa i thought they would be contenders in Hallet, but no such luck. Tubby, we ran with you in Brainerd... hopefully we can run with you agian next year up there or somewhere else in the region.

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slo krt,

Yes, I remember your car at BIR! We will definitely run BIR again as it's our closest track and we know it well. Where is your team based out of?

The new schedule won't be out until Nov 1st but I understand there may be two events at BIR. I'm hoping. We'll also do Iowa again as that was a hoot! We still laff like school kids when we get together and talk about it. That event was too fun. I had 10-15 laps neck and neck with Bear Patrol that was some of the most intense racing for me to date. It was 111 heat index and sweat was rolling into my eyes so bad I could barely see.

Looks like you guys did some kicking down at Hallett congrats! Were there any three legged deer sightings on the track like at Gingerman?

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The weekend was a rough one for us, but still a blast. Started out with the parts car getting stranded so we had almost zero spares. A brake line failure on the tow van delayed us by 2 or 3 hours. Lost the starter around the 3pm safety break. Brakes were boiling by 5pm and pretty much nonexistant until the safety break where we were able to bleed them (Hint to anyone that's never bled boiling brake fluid, keep most of your body ABOVE the wheel well ;) ). Lost the clutch around 7pm so we too only had 3rd gear for the rest of our race. Lost the front motor mount around 2am(?) which seems to have helped grenade the transaxle as it sounded like someone threw rocks in a washing machine when the flat towed us back to the paddock. We'll be back next season. The teams going to take a little breather and catch up with life and regroup ;)

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It seems like the biggest panty twists happen when a team full of guys that have raced a specific make or model in a "real" race series decide to enter the SAME type of car in a crapcan series. Its just a giant conflict of interest. It would be like bringing an NBA all star team to play pickup bball down at the Y. They will dominate. They don't even have to cheat. And it would be "fair" to the letter of the rules. But you want to know how to turn bringing a team of NBA all stars into something fair within the spirit of the rules? The game is now water polo. They're still elite athletes. They'll probably still do pretty good.

Crapcan race series are intended to let anyone show up and have fun. And its not a utopian idea. But the teams need to police themselves a little. If you have been building and racing miatas since before they existed, then enter a FIERO. The challenge of trying to take a car that is NOT the best choice for the intended purpose should be reason enough to want to do it. Imagine beating the entire field by a truckload of laps with a FIERO! They are horrible! You would be gods! The rest of the teams would carry you around on their shoulders!

Unfortunately, we're not all built out of the same mold. There will always be people that will want win at any cost. Whether by stretching the rule book to its limits, or blatantly breaking the rules but getting it by the minimal tech/BS inspection. So the burden is really on the competitors to keep things fair and competitive. There's nothing wrong with wanting to win. The trouble starts when you bring amateur (or even pro) racing "all stars" (including or even just specifically the car) out for what is essentially a "pickup game" race. Then you start interfering with other team's fun by blowing their doors off every lap and turning the entire field into also-rans. Tony Stewart ran a chump race to everyone's amusement because they were in a bone stock car with a cage in it. They were out there ONLY to have fun. If they had tried even the slightest amount to win, they could have dominated and looked like a bunch of complete a-holes. The rules don't apply to some people in the OPPOSITE way. As in if you're really stinking good at something and going up against complete novices, TONE IT DOWN a little!

You can't write that kind of idea into a rule book. You can throw in words like "spirit" etc, but the uber-competitive guys will weasel right around that. We talk about teams that "get it" but again, that doesn't translate into a rule book very well.

What's my solution. No idea. If you churn out a massive rulebook, you'll be no different than the SCCA/NASA. You could be tougher with applications, but this series needs every entry it can find. You can be tougher in BS, but you'll run the risk of teams getting just as massively disappointed or angry, sometimes rightfully so. Honestly I think Lemons has a bit of an advantage here, as their silly black flags on a whim can quickly curb a "doesn't get it" team and possibly handicap them back down to a point where they can still have fun but not ruin anything for other teams.

The only thing I can think of is to reduce the prize money. Or make the prize money completely up to race director's discretion. Every team did great? Give every team $50 back. Highest placing Fiero gets $100. You already do a lot of this and it really does make it fun for every team. But take away the podium payouts and maybe the must-win-at-any cost guys will have a little more fun too. Or they won't but all they'll be winning is a $5 trophy. Oh wait, just like the SCCA/NASA where they honed their skillz...

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It seems like the biggest panty twists happen when a team full of guys that have raced a

The only thing I can think of is to reduce the prize money. Or make the prize money completely up to race director's discretion. Every team did great? Give every team $50 back. Highest placing Fiero gets $100. You already do a lot of this and it really does make it fun for every team. But take away the podium payouts and maybe the must-win-at-any cost guys will have a little more fun too. Or they won't but all they'll be winning is a $5 trophy. Oh wait, just like the SCCA/NASA where they honed their skillz...

Shower the winners with honors, but put the cash in the hands of the teams that "get it"

When I hear stories about guys that change out motors twice to stay in the race, those guys are the ones IMO who "get it". When I see a team feeding everyone at the track and being just as friendly as a long-time neighbor regardless of how crappy their car is running, I see guys who "get it". When I run across a guy running an old Z car that's held together more by welds than OEM steel, I know that he "gets it"

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We have run three 24 hr races with Chump Car over the last year and have thoroughly enjoyed each of them. John, Lloyd, Eric and the rest of the staff have been awesome.

I have competed in and organized many different race series over the last 40 years - Super Bike, CASC National Races and Rallies, North American Pro Rally, SCCA Nationals, IIRA (Ice Racing), Molyslip Endurance Series and on and on. I have dealt with many organizers (in fact I have organized many National and International events including the original Formula Atlantic series) - John and his group have created an awesome series.

We have traveled and spent huge amounts to be at Chump Car races (try driving 27 hrs each way to make an event). Each time we have run - we have been treated like kings - including our new drivers - (we have introduced 6 new drivers to the series - all of them have done extremely well and are life long converts to endurance racing).

This is the most challenging and satisfying racing I have ever had the priveledge of participating in - what I don't get is the bitching and whining that we hear after the events. We all would rather win than lose but anytime you enter a competition event in a vehicle - it's luck of the draw - multiply it by the fact that we are starting with a whole bunch less than optimal equipment and then trying to get them to last 24 hrs - or 7 hrs twice or 12 hrs - all of which are extremely hard to do in a well prepared race car never mind a $500 POS.

If you sign the entry form you agree to abide by the rules - so what gives when your car gets claimed and you load it up and hightail it out of Dodge?

Is everyone meeting the letter of the rules - probably not - but most teams we have run against have the right idea and are running within the spirit of the rules. Great fun!!!

We have new rules coming which we hope will clarify some of the gray areas but even if not - it is still great racing.

Does the prize money matter - not a bit! Kudos to those teams that win it (we haven't won any yet but we are ever hopeful) but the whole fun in the event and the challenge is managing to last 24 hrs - if you are entering to win - we all would like to - but being able to compete in a real endurance race is the real treat. Ask all the guys you race with how many of them have managed to race a car for 24 hrs?

If you don't get it - don't do it! Go back to whatever racing you came from and leave the rest of us alone - this a great series and we want to see it continue. If you want to bring a gun to a knife fight - go run one of the pro series and leave us back yard guys alone.

Thanks John and crew - we think you are doing a great job!!!

99 Team

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We came out with the hopes of a top 5, and finishing the race. Had we not gotten one of the two or either, I know we still would have had a blast.

Thanks to everyone out there. It was a good race and an even better time with alot of great people. Look for us next year hopefully after we examine the state of the bare metal car and evaluate where we are at.

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Shower the winners with honors, but put the cash in the hands of the teams that "get it"

When I hear stories about guys that change out motors twice to stay in the race, those guys are the ones IMO who "get it". When I see a team feeding everyone at the track and being just as friendly as a long-time neighbor regardless of how crappy their car is running, I see guys who "get it". When I run across a guy running an old Z car that's held together more by welds than OEM steel, I know that he "gets it"

I think this is a great idea and kinda-sorta what LeMons does with the IOE. Rather than simply making the IOE for people who bring horrid cars, why not make it an award that is based 50% on team votes and 50% CCWS staff votes? Reduce each of the podium payouts slightly and eliminate the theme award and replace it with a "They get it" award which pays out a bit more than a second place finish and comes with the coolest trophy. The winner could be a team that never gives up the whole race even though they have nothing but troubles or it could go to a team that goes above and beyond to help another team make repairs, or it could just go to the team with the best attitude throughout the weekend win or lose.

I think this kind of prize would encourage entering mainly to have a great time while racing hard and de-emphasize the win-at-all-cost mentality that is creaping in.

BTW VRO, my Z resembles your remark, but it's held together with mouse poop and decals. :lol:

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Like Tubby and Izzy, I'm excited (and little nervous) about the new rules. I have a feeling they'll help clarify the value of cars, which should lead to less bitching after races. I know there was lots of talking about the BMW's at Brainerd, and I too questioned it, until I talked to the teams and learned about their builds. I wouldn't have thought you could find a BMW that cheap, but I've seen it since then. But I'm not going to change our car and build one. We stumbled on our beat up rusty Lexus, and its given us plenty of trouble, but we're not giving up on it yet. Even the stupidly annoying automatic trans. Its a heap, and we hope to make it more reliable, at least enough to finish a full race. I can't wait for more races next year, and I wish we could have made more races this year. Hopefully with the rules sorted out and a year+ of previous events, people will know more of what to expect, and how to prepare and in the end, show up and have an awesome time.

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There's already an award like that. The Richard Nixon/Opel guys won it at Hallett, and it was well deserved. But my thought was to remove the cash incentive for a podium finish. You win, you get a trophy, t-shirts, hats, we spray you down with [champagne, milk, Brakleen, etc] and you get a kiss from Cathy or Lloyd. Your feat and your team goes down in the annals (anals?) of Chump lore - or somewhere immortalized on the website. You get the bragging rights.

But the money goes to the chumpiest of the teams there. Doesn't have to all go to one team, it can be spread around based on officials' observations, feats of glory (or demise), sportsmanship, sufficiently crappy car that finished the race, etc.

IMO that accomplishes several objectives:

-removes at least some of the incentive to cheat

-encourages true $500 car innovation and creativity

-rewards those who obviously get what CCWS is all about whether they win or not

-makes it a more fun and relaxed environment (at least for those who haven't gotten it yet but might still)

Unless I just really want to win the race for the sake of winning, I'm now incentivized to select, say, a Chrylser Laser or a Ford Lynx and get creative instead of a Miata or Integra with some subtle tweaks I think Lloyd might not notice. But don't make it like LeMons, keep the racing real racing, no judges wigs, no bribes, none of the BS.

I'm sure this is too late for the new rules, just a thought. I get them from time to time.

My other idea was to screw the payouts and use the money to cater dinner Fri and Sat nights and for a kegger after the race. but there are some guys who just won't show unless they think they're walking away with some "cost offset" in their pocket.

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Guest Methius

When I show up to a ChumpCar race... I am assuming a few things

1. I am not going to win

2. I am not going to get an award

3. I am not going to set the fastest lap time of the day

4. I am not going to impress anyone with my *amazing* driving abilities

5. I am not going to run the whole 24 hour race without a problem

6. I am probably not even going to finish the race

7. There is a pretty good chance my car will die.

However

8. I am going to have an amazing time

9. I am going to get some seat time

10. I am going RACING

Anything else that might happen, great! I simply don't understand the mentality of being disappointed when you don't WIN a race. Sure, we all want to win... but in the grand scheme of things... it's a pretty low percentage of people that actually win these races. Come to race, because that's what we love to do

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Guest f1race79

When I show up to a ChumpCar race... I am assuming a few things

1. I am not going to win

2. I am not going to get an award

3. I am not going to set the fastest lap time of the day

4. I am not going to impress anyone with my *amazing* driving abilities

5. I am not going to run the whole 24 hour race without a problem

6. I am probably not even going to finish the race

7. There is a pretty good chance my car will die.

However

8. I am going to have an amazing time

9. I am going to get some seat time

10. I am going RACING

Anything else that might happen, great! I simply don't understand the mentality of being disappointed when you don't WIN a race. Sure, we all want to win... but in the grand scheme of things... it's a pretty low percentage of people that actually win these races. Come to race, because that's what we love to do

+1

MeThinksYouGetIt....and we will not be disappointed.

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When I show up to a ChumpCar race... I am assuming a few things

1. I am not going to win

2. I am not going to get an award

3. I am not going to set the fastest lap time of the day

4. I am not going to impress anyone with my *amazing* driving abilities

5. I am not going to run the whole 24 hour race without a problem

6. I am probably not even going to finish the race

7. There is a pretty good chance my car will die.

However

8. I am going to have an amazing time

9. I am going to get some seat time

10. I am going RACING

Anything else that might happen, great! I simply don't understand the mentality of being disappointed when you don't WIN a race. Sure, we all want to win... but in the grand scheme of things... it's a pretty low percentage of people that actually win these races. Come to race, because that's what we love to do

Well put.

We had a slow car at Brainerd, but loved every minute of it! :D

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You can't write that kind of idea into a rule book. You can throw in words like "spirit" etc, but the uber-competitive guys will weasel right around that. We talk about teams that "get it" but again, that doesn't translate into a rule book very well.

What's my solution. No idea.

Actually, an idea I see a lot: Most oval tracks which have "weekend warrior" racing classes (usually something called "pure stock" or "hobby stock" or similar) put a line at the top of the rules sheet saying "It is the Intent of the rules which counts, not the wording; if tech says it's illegal, it's illegal", and "these rules are exclusive ; if it doesn't say 'you can', then you *can't*". Guess what happens to folks who step out of line? I've seen penalties which make Historic Stock Car racing's "avoidable contact" penalties look like a Delta House frat prank, "pour discourager les autres" (with apologies to Voltaire).

Granted, it may make some newcomers nervous, but it's likely to convince them to *not* step out of line, or at least to be *very* forthcoming when asked about something. :)

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Anything else that might happen, great! I simply don't understand the mentality of being disappointed when you don't WIN a race. Sure, we all want to win... but in the grand scheme of things... it's a pretty low percentage of people that actually win these races. Come to race, because that's what we love to do

Does it count if one really wants to win, but wishes to do so strictly within the rules presented, thus making the challenge that much greater and the glory that much greater should one win? :)

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Guest slo krt

slo krt,

Yes, I remember your car at BIR! We will definitely run BIR again as it's our closest track and we know it well. Where is your team based out of?

The new schedule won't be out until Nov 1st but I understand there may be two events at BIR. I'm hoping. We'll also do Iowa again as that was a hoot! We still laff like school kids when we get together and talk about it. That event was too fun. I had 10-15 laps neck and neck with Bear Patrol that was some of the most intense racing for me to date. It was 111 heat index and sweat was rolling into my eyes so bad I could barely see.

Looks like you guys did some kicking down at Hallett congrats! Were there any three legged deer sightings on the track like at Gingerman?

Tubby,

Thanks for the kind words... we beat the living piss out of our sentra for 24hrs, and had a blast... we (well I) literaly drove the wheels off of it... i had a blowout going into turn two at about 10:30 in the morning. it just so happened that the flogging was good enough to finish and finish toward the top of the field. Either way we had an awsome time and, like in brainerd, met some great people that i hope to run into again some time. Oh, we are all from eastern south dakota (Sioux Falls) about 6 hrs from brainerd.

if there were deer, i missed em... our lights kinda sucked!

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