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Bill Strong

2018 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Results

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^^^^ this guy right here. @pintodave

 

Leave the rule as it is. Yes, the red is for a reason so work should stop for safety reasons. If all is safe, let em have at it. Realistically, if the team is out for 20, 30, 90..... minutes, is anyone going to care if they rejoin the race without penalty and are battling for 30th and 31st.... no! Dont hold them at pit out for a 10 minute penalty. Use some discretion, this is just for fun. 

 

Now.... If the leading team comes into the pits 6 minutes before the red flag flies, changes a wheel bearing and tires while they are at it and is back on pit lane 15 minutes after the red flies... yeah, give them a penalty for the advantage they gained. 

Edited by thewheelerZ
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1 hour ago, pintodave said:

Is working on the car under red flag an advantage? Absolutely yes.

 

Should this rule be adopted word-for-word because "that's how every other series does it forever"? No. 

 

First: 

there is absolutely an enforcement issue. 

 

Second: 

Champcar is not every other racing series, professional or amateur (frankly, I think most of us would agree that is a good thing). So let's think outside the box a little. Put a time limit on it - if you've been off track for more than an hour (or whatever number makes sense) then you can work on your car in the paddock under red (should be enforceable by looking at last lap data in timing in scoring and certainly not any less enforceable than the rule itself).

 

You are telling me it is right to take a team that payed $1400+ dollars, traveled from who knows where, that breaks a transmission in hour #2 and is thrashing for 2+ hours just to get the car back on track just so the rest of their team can "live the dream" and turn laps is a threat to win or is gaining "an advantage" at that point? Is that the message we want to send to new teams who want to partake in this absolute madness? We all spend thousands of dollars per event to race for zero cash and some cool trophies. To answer the question of garage & paddock safety - if we are working on the car and the team next to us goes up in flames, pretty sure we are going to know it before track officials and most likely would turn into the first responders. 

 

I just think there is a better solution or compromise other than "thats the way we've always done it".

 

 

Sure.  

 

What is the advantage to changing the red flag rule?  Just so some teams in a very specific instance aren't inconvenienced?  

 

Seems silly to me to make a rule just for this series that contradicts every other race series in the world just so some teams can have an extra 20 to 60 minutes to work on their car....

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1 hour ago, tommytipover said:

What bugs me the most is: they were told to stop, stopped, and got a penalty anyway. A ten minute hold penalty sounds like a good compromise to negate any competitive advantage (as it would for breaking parc-ferme, but that's another cross to bear), but since both the rule and the punishment are not in the rulebook, this leads to the appearance of arbitrary rules enforcement. Those guys lost the race the second they went behind the wall, you don't have to keep messing with them.

 

That's what we talked about.  We did stop when it was pointed out to us.  

 

If we knew we were going to get penalized, we would have finished and been fueled and ready to take our 10 minute penalty a few minutes earlier.

 

I would think that anyone in the paddock/garage doing work can work the math out on taking a penalty vs not working on their car.

 

The time to move your car is BEFORE you get the parking ticket.  If you've already received a ticket, you might as well leave the car there all day :)

Edited by Wonkothesane
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To say "this is the way ALL racing handles it" is not true.  I've raced in events that recognized that once you're behind the wall you've already got problems.

 

Pretty sure Champ is one of the few sanctioning bodies that hosts races and allows people with no previous experience to drive.  Is it necessary to spell out how this is related to following rules of other clubs/events?

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Once you have already been in the garage/paddock before any black flag or red flag and working on the car, you should not be part of a race stop. You had already been stopped from winning. If you happen to have some good luck of being working on your vehicle already, after the bad luck of what caused you to be there- so be it. That is part of racing! Sometimes you are the bug, sometimes you are the windshield.

 

Also, not trying to run in under FCY and be sneaky. But in general, like this case, or when my clutch cable broke at The Glen and we had already been working and driving to get parts to make a new one- we were in the gargae working long before and continued to and finish. No one said we should stop and I do not feel we should have been told to stop either.

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2 hours ago, djsteviec said:

You had already been stopped from winning. If you happen to have some good luck of being working on your vehicle already, after the bad luck of what caused you to be there- so be it. That is part of racing! Sometimes you are the bug, sometimes you are the windshield.

Just like @pintodave and everyone else that believes it is no big foul, short of the fire crew availability concern, we are all paying to do this, have some mercy for the mechanically afflicted teams, not like they are bumping someone from the podium by "cheat working" when the engine/trans/diff falls out of their crapcan.

 Yes I get it, technically no one works on her car during a red flag but this series is about seat time!

Edited by Team Infiniti
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I'm cool with the idea of a team who wants to work under red getting no penalty IF they agree they are no longer part of "the race"  

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Also I forgot to post.  Whatever team in the paddock raised a pole with a big yellow flag that you see when coming out of T4,  please don't do that.   I had to keep reminding myself to ignore it.

 

not cool.

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Hey Blue that's not distracting,     now the girls at the Glen during the 6 hrs.  standing next to the armco with their tops hiked up showing their ta ta's  now that was distracting at 175mph.  😂

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7 minutes ago, DEE DEE said:

Hey Blue that's not distracting,     now the girls at the Glen during the 6 hrs.  standing next to the armco with their tops hiked up showing their ta ta's  now that was distracting at 175mph.  😂

 And I thought you were a real racin car driver seeking the groove at all times ..     oops what'd I say .

Edited by Ray Franck
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This post is on behalf of Travis Callahan - he's unable to post himself because he's in the hospital recovering from 2nd and 3rd degree burns on over 25% of his body. Travis was the driver of the red and black Miata # 529 that erupted into flames on Saturday at Thompson Speedway. Travis is my youngest son, he's no sissy - he did 2 tours in Iraq, he races, he sky dives, and he's one of the toughest and bravest men I've ever known, and I am extremely proud to call him my son!

What started out as a wonderful day of racing went horribly wrong. We believe the fuel system vent malfunctioned, causing the gas filler hose to rupture from the vacuum, and gas began spilling out until it ignited. Travis did everything right - he pulled off the track - he attempted to release the fire suppression system twice (the flames were so hot the fittings and tubing disintegrated and did not function) - while on fire he unbelted himself, removed the window net, and excited the car. After Travis exited car, he began rolling on the ground to extinguish his burning fire suit. Travis said, at that time another driver stopped his car to assist him to the ambulance (Travis doesn't know who the driver is but wants him to know how much he appreciates his courage in assisting him).

My oldest son is Jay Dee Callahan - he's the owner and team captain of Nein Shiza Autosports Club. I'm so proud of JD , he put a great team together and built a great car so two generations of Callahan's could go racing along with team members Lincoln, James, and Dave. JD's a wonderful big brother. he has not left his lil brothers side since the accident - he's with Travis right now at Rhode Island Hospital doing everything possible to assist Travis with his healing process.

I'd like to thank all of Travis' inner circle for their thoughts and prayers - Especially Ashley and Paige! I'd also like to thank the staff and volunteers of Champcar and the EMT workers that got Travis to the first hospital safety. 

Finally the real purpose of this post:

- I'm not here to throw stones as a matter of fact I'm a fan of Champcar- Road Racing for the masses - I dig that. I'm definitely not here to have endless debates over my opinions . I rode with Travis in the Ambulance, I heard his screams in agony and prayers to God for help. I watched the helicopter fly away to the burn center wondering if my son would survive. I watched his family and friends pray and cry for Travis to recover. For these reasons I feel we've paid our dues to ASK THE BOARD TO IMPLEMENT SOME RULE CHANGES SO HOPEFULLY NO ELSE WILL EVER GO THRU WHAT TRAVIS IS GOING THRU NOW.

My thoughts:

- Every corner worker stand should be manned and with an operational fire extinguisher.

- Mandate a superior fire suppression system that will function under extreme conditions.

- Mandate the interior area of the car must be completely enclosed with front to rear firewalls of 24 gage or better magnetic steel. (not just OEM panels)

- The rear firewall should be securely welded over the seat back brace to the floor - from quarter panel to quarter panel with no openings what so ever.

-  The top shelf should be welded from the #4 bar to the window shelf - from quarter panel to quarter panel  - with a seat belt box with no openings what so ever.

- To hell with OEM fuel tanks! Every car should have a NASCAR spec fuel cell with aircraft quality fuel lines and fittings and perhaps a fuel shut off valve. I suggest a 14 gallon cell for under 2400 lb cars, and 16 gallon cell for over 2400 lb cars. The fuel cell should be double boxed 22 gage magnetic sheet metal with an 1/8" steel plate welded to the bottom of the box to avoid intrusion . The gas cap should be metal from cell manufacturer and mounted to the top of the cell with no filler hose. The fuel cell should be installed within a recessed cage fabricated from 1" by 1" .065" steel box tubing (3) each way welded to the subframe, with a flat top rack of similar design and bolted with (8) 3/8" bolts. The vent host should exit the rear of the car with a check valve. 

 

Perhaps if these requirements were in place, Travis would be home playing with his son and not in the hospital!

 

Thank you for your consideration,

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I'm glad he is recovering!

 

Thanks for posting!

 

My car had a fire at the race before Thompson.  I was in the car.  I was lucky and I had no injuries.

 

That being said, I agree we could use some stricter rules regarding fire safety.

 

I did not need to pull the fire suppression system because the corner worker had it out in a matter of seconds.  I am saying this because when I investigated the fire, I found that the nozzle and hose for the fire system was melted, disconnected, and fused shut.....  Will be upgrading in the near future.

 

Also, my grommets on the firewall all melted and burnt leaving large holes in the firewall.

 

That being said, fuel cells are not necessarily easy to install in a manner that would prevent this.  I understand your point of view.  I believe you had the knowledge prior to the incident to make the changes you suggest.  For whatever reason, the priorities for you and most of us, don't align with going to that level of fire safety.  Maybe incidents like this will change our priorities...

 

I will definitely be making changes to my car after my incident and your family's incident.

 

I will say a prayer for your family tonight.

 

Also, let your son know we are all pulling for him and I appreciate his service!  Hopefully he will be back behind the wheel soon!

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Following up on Pop's posting.....I'm Jay Dee, brother and car owner.   I'm happy to report Travis is doing pretty well all things considered.  His wounds are healing well so far.  We're hoping to get him home in another week.  The "kid" is an absolute beast.  Despite the severity of his injuries, he's been making all his nurses and doctors laugh and keeping everyone around him in good spirits.  I've watched him muscle through some intense pain during cleanings and bandage changes and apologize to the nurses for making it difficult on them.  Lesser men, me included, would be weeping in agony.  Man, I can't wait to get him home so we can play together with our sons.


Pops has some good ideas for potential changes to make us all safer.  Make no mistake though, I echo Pops support of ChampCar.  ChampCar is a great organization that is full of great people, from staff to racers.  I've done all my racing with ChampCar, and I intended to continue that when I'm ready.  But we can always make improvements and we can all learn from what happens at every race.   And I hope at a minimum, we learned the importance of our safety gear.  The fire suit, shoes, nomex underwear and balaclava no doubt saved my brothers life.  I'll be  adding underwear and a balaclava to my gear for sure.  I'd ask everyone to re-evalute both your vehicle and personal safety items before your next race.  I've seen what this has done to my brother, and I wouldn't wish this pain on my worst enemy.

 

We were told today, that burn victims typically spend a day in the hospital for every 1% they are burned, and he is between 20% and 25%.  He is expected to recover fully, but we know it is going to be a long road.  We've started a fundraiser on Meal Train (https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/o3okl4/donate) to help him with bills and taking care of his young son.  If you can help in any way, even if its just cooking a meal, any support helps.  Please feel free to share in your social circles.  

 

Big thanks to @djsteviec for reaching out with support.  Also, big thank you to Dana for his support at the track and all the follow up.  Everyone's support has gone a long way in helping him get through this.   We also understand that one of our competitors got out of their car and ran to Travis' aid.  If anyone knows who that was, we would love to get in contact with them and personally thank them.  

 

Hope to see you all at the track again.

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11 hours ago, pintodave said:

Don't forget to send out texts and automated phone calls to the teams that might have left the track to work on their cars... We've literally left the track to work on the car and then drove it back to the track. 

 

Wouldn't want us to have an "advantage" after driving 20 min each way and working on the car for 3 hours. Rules are rules! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

 

Jay Dee the person you are looking for is my teammate who is not on here much.  I can put you in contact with him

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30 minutes ago, DEE DEE said:

Jay Dee the person you are looking for is my teammate who is not on here much.  I can put you in contact with him

 

Thank you so much, we would really appreciate that.  

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36 minutes ago, snowman said:

We also understand that one of our competitors got out of their car and ran to Travis' aid.  If anyone knows who that was, we would love to get in contact with them and personally thank them.  

They posted a video of them stopping, but dang if I can remember the team.

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5 hours ago, Pops said:

Finally the real purpose of this post:

- I'm not here to throw stones as a matter of fact I'm a fan of Champcar- Road Racing for the masses - I dig that. I'm definitely not here to have endless debates over my opinions . I rode with Travis in the Ambulance, I heard his screams in agony and prayers to God for help. I watched the helicopter fly away to the burn center wondering if my son would survive. I watched his family and friends pray and cry for Travis to recover. For these reasons I feel we've paid our dues to ASK THE BOARD TO IMPLEMENT SOME RULE CHANGES SO HOPEFULLY NO ELSE WILL EVER GO THRU WHAT TRAVIS IS GOING THRU NOW.

My thoughts:

- Every corner worker stand should be manned and with an operational fire extinguisher.

- Mandate a superior fire suppression system that will function under extreme conditions.

- Mandate the interior area of the car must be completely enclosed with front to rear firewalls of 24 gage or better magnetic steel. (not just OEM panels)

- The rear firewall should be securely welded over the seat back brace to the floor - from quarter panel to quarter panel with no openings what so ever.

-  The top shelf should be welded from the #4 bar to the window shelf - from quarter panel to quarter panel  - with a seat belt box with no openings what so ever.

- To hell with OEM fuel tanks! Every car should have a NASCAR spec fuel cell with aircraft quality fuel lines and fittings and perhaps a fuel shut off valve. I suggest a 14 gallon cell for under 2400 lb cars, and 16 gallon cell for over 2400 lb cars. The fuel cell should be double boxed 22 gage magnetic sheet metal with an 1/8" steel plate welded to the bottom of the box to avoid intrusion . The gas cap should be metal from cell manufacturer and mounted to the top of the cell with no filler hose. The fuel cell should be installed within a recessed cage fabricated from 1" by 1" .065" steel box tubing (3) each way welded to the subframe, with a flat top rack of similar design and bolted with (8) 3/8" bolts. The vent host should exit the rear of the car with a check valve. 

 

Perhaps if these requirements were in place, Travis would be home playing with his son and not in the hospital!

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

Hi Pops. First, let me say I'm so sorry Travis was injured. I was on track during that time and saw the car on fire and Travis rolling on the ground, still partly on fire. My heart sank.

 

I don't know if the extreme measures you posted are necessarily needed. I heard via another racer that the #529 car had an issue with the exhaust system and part of the exhaust system was removed. This prevents the hot exhaust gasses from exiting the car, which heats the fuel tank.

 

I was on track at the SCCA 13 hour Enduro at VIR a few years ago and a Miata caught fire in a similar way, for the same reason (part of the exhaust was removed). If you watch this video you can see the driver being sprayed with fuel:

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BL4_HGcAPXj/

 

I also have/support multiple Miatas (both sprint and Enduro cars), and have seen other examples of Miatas suffering from fuel heating (like people opening the fuel cap and getting sprayed by high pressure fuel from the heated tank).


The fuel system is nothing to mess around with, and a good exhaust system will keep the fuel system from overheating and becoming pressurized.

 

-j

Edited by Jeff Wasilko
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Feel free to contact me (before 8pm preferably), PM me for contact info, but I think you have it already.

 

I didn't do anything other than be the first person your brother talked to and then ushered him to the approaching corner workers first and then to the ambulance. I'm glad he put himself out, my initial plan was just to pat him out once I got there. In retrospect I almost feel like putting my arms around him may not have been the best idea as he was burned pretty bad, I hope that wasn't a bad idea.

 

My live feed video is posted already on my YouTube, let me know if you want it removed?, I have some slightly more detailed video with some of our audio, I can upload if you guys want or not, it doesn't show much, I haven't really looked at it a lot of times either.

 

Hope your brother heals up well.

 

Jon

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3 minutes ago, BeastZ06 said:

Feel free to contact me (before 8pm preferably), PM me for contact info, but I think you have it already.

 

I didn't do anything other than be the first person your brother talked to and then ushered him to the approaching corner workers first and then to the ambulance. I'm glad he put himself out, my initial plan was just to pat him out once I got there. In retrospect I almost feel like putting my arms around him may not have been the best idea as he was burned pretty bad, I hope that wasn't a bad idea.

 

My live feed video is posted already on my YouTube, let me know if you want it removed?, I have some slightly more detailed video with some of our audio, I can upload if you guys want or not, it doesn't show much, I haven't really looked at it a lot of times either.

 

Hope your brother heals up well.

 

Jon

Is that your video from Boston Whiners? This one?  

 

 

Not my call, but this video does not show Travis or anything other than the car. Which I think is good. No one needs to see him on fire or struggling to get out if that was on someone's video. Just my 2 cents.

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13 hours ago, snowman said:

 And I hope at a minimum, we learned the importance of our safety gear.  The fire suit, shoes, nomex underwear and balaclava no doubt saved my brothers life.  I'll be  adding underwear and a balaclava to my gear for sure.  I'd ask everyone to re-evalute both your vehicle and personal safety items before your next race.  I've seen what this has done to my brother, and I wouldn't wish this pain on my worst enemy.

 

@snowman  Firstly, I am sorry to read about your brother's awful injuries.  I wasn't at the race, and just happened to trip over this in the forums.  That fire shown in the video is scary big - he was lucky to get out of the car.  I'm sure all of his military training helped him avoid panic and do what he needed to do.

 

I'm glad your brother had a balaclava on - I'm sure that made a difference for his neck.  When the dust has settled and you have some time, I'd like to hear some more about what you learned that can help the community become safer.  What I mean by that is that I would be interested in knowing if he had a 3 layer suit or a single layer suit, what parts of his safety ecosystem held up 100% (i.e. no burns there) and what parts didn't.  What kind of shoes and socks did he have, etc.  Did he have a cool shirt on and did that make things worse (by maybe supplying a source of boiling water?) or better (by being another layer and a heat-sink).  It may be too soon to be contemplating these questions, so forgive me if it is.

 

I hope your brother recovers as quickly as can be expected.  My sympathy to him and your entire family.  You are living the nightmare that all racers fear.

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JayDee raced my Miata at Nelson and was a great teammate and is a friend.  He told me that the tank appeared very pressurized on the previous stop-out of fuel but the cap had significant pressure behind it when removed.  That might be a smoking gun for problems to come.  Since I also have a stock setup, this is important to pay attention too for me and others in Miatas ++.   My old team the STS has had some pressure issues as well and I plan to pass along this info.

 

I liked the post on the exhaust possibly (probably) heating up the tank and would be interested in knowing where his exhaust ran in relation to the tank.  Since I put an Ecotec motor in mine, my exhaust runs down the opposite side. but still not far from the tank.  I have an extra piece of heat shield laying in my garage, and I now know what I'm doing with it---covering the tank on the exhaust side.  We can all learn something from this.  

 

If Troy is reading, you won't have to worry about me not wearing a balaclava anymore.  I will always wear it now.  

 

JayDee, I hope your brother recovers fully and look forward to racing with you again.  Take your time deciding whether to build again or not.  

Edited by Jer
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YES to the balaclava.

 

I had my visor open and no balaclava with my fire.  Luckily the fire wasn't too close to me.

 

I think that was my one "warning shot" to take fire seriously.

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