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Curious about other teams and their Journey to their first ChampCar race :). 

 

Do you remember what you did and how much it cost, to get "the racecar" and run it at your first event. 

 

 

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Car:

$650 for the running car

$110 Factory water pump

$65 parts store premium ceramic front brake pads $20 more for a cheep set of semi metallic spare pads (thank god)

$65 seat belts

$0 Sponsor donated cage tube and shop to bend/weld ourselves

$0 Recycled dirt track seat

$0 for 6 accumulated used fusion brand tires

 

$1000 split 3 ways to get a viable track car = priceless

 

Things were different in 2009 :wub:

 

Race 2 was the $

 

 

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Found the car at a South Carolina Dealer for $800.   Bought my seat and belts from Sri Racing for a good deal.  All we could afford were two USED Azenis racing tires, and two street tires (our spare tires where on the spare car!)  Also bought the trailer for 150 dollars a couple months before the race, we had to replace all the wood and paint it before loading the car!  Used my work truck, just had to pay gas

 

We bought $120 dollars worth of tubing, got a tubing bender with die for 400 dollars shipped (Have since built three cages with it).  ONLY thing we bought new was the fire suppression system.. 

 

Entered our first race, 2015 March race at VIR

 

Finished our first race we entered, 36th out of 62 cars entered!  Didn't plan on making into the night.. Ran around STOCK headlights with no brights. Sure was a fun time!  I think we had, without entry fee 1400 ish?  Including the price of the car

 

Been hooked ever since! Car sure has come a long way since

 

Agreed, Race #2 was some $$ :P  

 

Building our second Champcar, plan to debut later 2018!  

V__704F.jpg

427 Dodge Stratus VIR 12hr March 2015_31.jpg

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In 2011 heard about the upcoming ChumpCar race in Calgary.  At the time I had been a member of a local car club that did track days.  Asked one guy there, hell yeah.  Asked three other friends, hell yeah.  There is a local race series with first gen RX-7's, bought one for $2,500 with cage, header, ported engine, race suspension.

 

Read the rules - took off the race suspension, put on the stock suspension.  Did a test day - handling on cut springs was crazy wild.  Swapped the race suspension back on and went EC.  I think there were about 24 cars for a double 7.  Finished around 6th or 9th place.  Thankfully Gearjammer quit so I didn't have to kick him out:

 

 

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Some interesting lines there ...

 

Good to see Race City again, I did a few laps around there.

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In 2012, my racer friend asked if I wanted to go racing again. I was just finishing up as crew chief for a local team and after ten years without a race car (family instead) decided it was time to build something for me.

 

Found a $200 Fiero GT, sold the heads and intake back to the previous owner on the spot for $150 and helped him pull the parts off and came home with my $50 investment. Started out well but I did my usual and took my time to do it right, so put in a lot of time and money before it hit the track. 

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really cool stories, awesome read and they are wild as i thought they would be lol 

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On 1/31/2018 at 3:57 PM, Romer said:

Curious about other teams and their Journey to their first ChampCar race :). 

 

Do you remember what you did and how much it cost, to get "the racecar" and run it at your first event. 

 

We took our BIC (Basic International Car) that we ran in the $500 claimer class at Lake Geneva Speedway that had an actual cost of $67  and put a bolt-in a used auto power roll cage we got for $300 in it, we put a kill switch in the car as well as tow hooks.

 

We read the flyer that said "Bring your snow tires" we run in all conditions to heart and actually ran on 13" 165 general arctic ice snow tires that we borrowed from my teammates mothers DD civic. 

 

We won that first event at Road America on Sunday despite putting the car into the wall on Saturday. 

ccws_raDSCF7899c.JPG

 

ccws_raDSCF7957.JPG

 

 

We parked next to Peter and Kent Merkle because we assumed they knew what they were doing, and we have been good friends with them ever since. 

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2010.
VIR24
We had already done quite a few Lemons races in the two MK2 MR2s

We were so afraid of "insert former owners name here" stealing our money as his track record was well documented on the Internet.

So I built a MK1 MR2 I had laying around and used a 2.2 engine out of the MK2 MR2. We tested it by racing around the back roads here in Nelson County. Not our normal way of testing. 
The car build was cheap for me as I had so many spares laying around as I have this mad collection of MR2s. 
I think I spent under $350 for the whole build. I had an old cage from an ITA MR2 that I cut up, and refitted to the car. Updated it a bit. On the first test drive found out the stock clutch was toast. as you can hear.

 

 

Build... sorry, pictures are dead.
http://www.mr2oc.com/58-3sgte-mk1-5/397453-how-build-quick-dirty-mk1-22-5sfe-powered-mk1-aw11-mr2.html

 

My Rusty Hub Interview...
http://www.therustyhub.com/2012/06/q-with-bill-strong-of-modsquad-racing.html

 

 

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Our first Chump race was in our old number 10 1.6 1993 Miata at VIR South, the first 24 ever in the series in 2010 (same as Bill!!!).  I remember Tony Stewart being there, and that we finished 7th and him 8th.  Interesting enough, it's the same car we are running now, brought back out of part car retirement!   Laguna was it's first race since 2010.  :)

 

I paid $900 for that car, sold the hardtop for $1050, and had a free car.  Before it became a race car I used it to teach my fiance at the time how to drive a stick.  We put in a cheap, used bolt in cage and ran it at the Lamest Day in Lemons at Nelson Ledges, then at VIR in Chumpcar.  It ran two 24s and was retired in favor of a 1.8.  Until now.  lol   One last note-our fast lap at that VIR south race was a 1:34.  That would be about dead last in today's world, but it wasn't far off the pace in those days....  And we blew front main seal on that 1.6, putting in a quart of oil every hour to compensate.  What a mess!  

 

old #10.jpg

Edited by Jer
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October 2012 I asked a friend in Spinning Class what he did that weekend. He had just finished the weekend at Portland International Raceway. I told him I'd always wanted to be involved in racing and to let me know if he ever needed a hand wrenching. Little did I know what I was saying. Over the next year I helped him work on his 1985 Thunderbird getting it ready for the October 2013 race.  After the race was over, one of the drivers decided he was done racing so they had a spot for me to drive if I wanted it. Umm, dumb question! Car owner decided to move his 5.0 parts to a Fox Body since the penalties for non-stock on the thunderbird were stock on the fox body.  Spent the next 4 months removing all the parts from both cars to get ready to put into the mustang. (By the way, treat the defroster in Oregon like gold and make sure it doesn't end up in the scrap pile), and working on the Mustang. About April he took a new job in Arizona and said he'd pay for the parts to finish the car if the rest of the team would do the work back here in Portland. Sounded like a good deal and we found a guy who was willing to let us use his shop to finish the build.  He was awesome and helped a lot, but I quickly discovered that the other members of the team who used to help when the car was around the corner were now not willing to drive about 25 minutes across town to help. (I lived about an hour away)  Long story short, we moved the car to my dad's shop where he and I basically put the cage in and built most of the rest of the car and had it about 80% finished with 2 weeks to go. (Keep in mind dad and I had never done anything like this before.)  My wife called that car the Blue Mistress. Even the kids adopted the name.  Kids: "Where's dad tonight? With the Blue Mistress?" Wife: "Yup" 

The car owner took a couple weeks of vacation right before the race and we finally got the other team members to help by moving the car back to one of their garages.  Got the car to the race but about 3 laps into the race we lost all oil pressure. Decided something must have damaged the bearings so pulled the engine, took the pan off in order to replace them just to find the oil pump had sucked up a blue shop paper towel. Nearest we can theorize someone stuck a blue shop paper towel into the oil cooler line to keep it from dripping and forgot to take it out.  Put everything back together and had the car ready about 6 AM Sunday.  The car ran OK (other than having very little power because a wire in the MSD got wired in reverse so I guess we were running on the retarded start wiring rather than full output) and we all got our fix of racing for the rest of the day.

Even with all of that, the experience was totally awesome. I was hooked and decided to build my own car.  My wife calls this one the "other woman".

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Got a chance to race at the Glen with RediImports in a 1991 Acura Integra (Spork Sports).  First stab at endurance racing after a couple seasons of SpecE30 racing and driving a Porsche in HPDEs.  That one race blew me away and I decided that was all I wanted to do, looked to prepare my BMW for sale and find a Chump Car.  The end of the following season when I got to race with the guys from Redi again in the East Coast Chumpship and then by the Spork Sports car off of them to build my own team.  Best decision ever in racing!  Now I have a team with 2 college buddies, my wife, and my father.

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It started when my friend Dave sent me a link to this video:

 

Closing in on seven years ago next week we bought the car for $1200.  Came with a cage, seat, gel battery, H&R sport springs, KYB struts, cold air intake, spares and a few other racy bits.  Bought the car in southern Ohio and drove it like 3 hours to get home that day. 

 

Our first race was 25 hours in Nelson Ledges in 2011.  We drove the car to and from the track - about an hour drive.  We ran maybe 16 for the 24 hours - plagued by bad front wheel bearings and we ran out of spares and had to wait for a good part of the night to get parts at the local parts store at 9 am.  When the last good bearing failed I recall we had one extra bearing, but no hubs, so at like 1 AM I was walking around finding someone to cut the race off the old hub so we could reuse it.  It only made it 5 laps but made for a good story!  Once the parts arrived at the store we reassembled the car and we did finish the race!  Best I can recall we had about $2k each in it including car, spares, entry fees, fuel and all our safety gear.  Pics are from the day we got the car. 

 

Car still running and has made almost 10k miles of racing.

IM004715.JPG

IM004716.JPG

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Am I the only one to be amazed you found an already caged Saturn?

 

You've done very well with it. B)

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On 1/31/2018 at 10:20 PM, Ron_e said:

In 2011 heard about the upcoming ChumpCar race in Calgary.  At the time I had been a member of a local car club that did track days.  Asked one guy there, hell yeah.  Asked three other friends, hell yeah.  There is a local race series with first gen RX-7's, bought one for $2,500 with cage, header, ported engine, race suspension.

 

Read the rules - took off the race suspension, put on the stock suspension.  Did a test day - handling on cut springs was crazy wild.  Swapped the race suspension back on and went EC.  I think there were about 24 cars for a double 7.  Finished around 6th or 9th place.  Thankfully Gearjammer quit so I didn't have to kick him out:

 

 

Wow!!!  Chump has REALLY changed since then.

 

A few questions:

  • was that snow that I was occasionally seeing along the wall there to the left?
  • was watching that Mustang what made you decide to build one (it looked like he was having fun)?
  • where are your more recent races (like Road America) - I didn't see the on your channel
  • Where did the team name come from?

 

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Wow indeed, after watching some of these I checked the archives to find a couple of lonely, wet, tired, terrible,dark laps @ the poorly attended Chump Homested 2010, car had been built and waiting since 09 but series scheduling kept changing... Our first event outside of going in dirt circles, in a partially stripped, stock street car, street alignment/tires/brakes/full dash, CB radio on PA mode inside the car using Morse code to reply :lol:

 

Edited by Team Infiniti
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3 hours ago, Racer28173 said:

Wow!!!  Chump has REALLY changed since then.

 

A few questions:

  • was that snow that I was occasionally seeing along the wall there to the left?
  • was watching that Mustang what made you decide to build one (it looked like he was having fun)?
  • where are your more recent races (like Road America) - I didn't see the on your channel
  • Where did the team name come from?

 

 

No snow, I think you were seeing the plastic wrap on the hay bales to keep them together.  We do sometimes get snow in May though.

The first gen RX-7 was convenient for 2011 - 14, after two blown engines and the 12A getting rare we decided to go with the 5.0.  Back in the AIV days it was hard to drive down the listed price of running and driving Mustangs - people just want more money for them, because Mustang.  We built one when it was assigned 200 points.

My team usually doesn't put in the effort to mount a camera, we only occasionally do so our videos are rare.

Tachophobic, tachophobia = fear of speed.

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1 hour ago, Team Infiniti said:

Wow indeed, after watching some of these I checked the archives to find a couple of lonely, wet, tired, terrible,dark laps @ the poorly attended Chump Homested 2010, car had been built and waiting since 09 but series scheduling kept changing... Our first event outside of going in dirt circles, in a partially stripped, stock street car, street alignment/tires/brakes/full dash, CB radio on PA mode inside the car using Morse code to reply :lol:

 

 

I honestly stopped the video to check the playback speed, I figured it had to be half or 3/4 speed,  but NOPE,  it was just way slow compared to now.    :) 

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   Back when your car number was determined by your entry  ..  2012 VIR 24 I got out of the car after a full 2hr stint took my helmet off and was thinkin WOW . Then I looked and Bobby Labonte was climbing out of the car behind me and I said WOW ..  Yeah this is where I want to race ..  You know 4 Corners just isn't enough on a racetrack anymore. .

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On 2/9/2018 at 10:47 PM, Bandit said:

Am I the only one to be amazed you found an already caged Saturn?

 

You've done very well with it. B)

Thanks :)

 

The prior owner was doing some SCCA solo events and had planned to run it SCCA ITA class, but then priorities changed.  His ad said it needed a new owner who could "treat it the way it needs to be treated".  We did that. 

 

We were kicking around a Fiero and a similar vintage Ford Escort - kinda glad we did not choose those.  We were looking for a FWD, DOHC, 5 speed, independent rear suspension.  Reasoning was if we were racing around at night in the rain with a bunch of newbies did we want FWD or RWD?  Being a GM guy helped move us into the Saturn camp.

 

I have seen many a caged Saturn since then - including one that Saturn gave to Hendrick Motorsports to run some stock class, then spent most of the rest of its life as a pace car at some small track.  Most of them are set up for compact asphalt or dirt.  One guy had 10 of them. 

 

 

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I was going to have Allen Berg in our car but it didn't quite work out.  Allen raced in Formula 1 in 1986.

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And he ice-raced out at Sylvan Lake and did Formula Atlantic at Westwood in the '80s. I was there as timing official in the first one and corner flagger in the second. Helped turn his FA car back over after he flipped it in turn #3.

 

I think Bobby Rahal, Keke Rosberg, Howdy Holmes and Ross Bentley were also at that race.

 

 

Edited by mender

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