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2019 TireRack.com Indy Grand Prix


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2 minutes ago, E. Tyler Pedersen said:

Can you please upload to YouTube and send it to me Nate?

It will be uploaded to YouTube and posted to the forum. I will try to find that clip tonight but I have everything still to unload and organize. 

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Wow. I went from thinking I didn't have a seat on Wednesday, to having one of the best weekends of my life.    I'm not sure anyone travelled further than I did from Brisbane, Australia to be

Premium Dudes Indy event recap:   All the prior posts about Indy and this venue have articulated my thoughts better than I can, so I'll just say that the place is epic and blew me away.

What an amazing weekend! We just reached the nirvana of amateur endurance racing!  First of all I would like to thank Andrea, Mike C, Dana, Mike M, Jay, Jimmie, Al, Kathryn and the rest of the

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21 minutes ago, Slugworks Paul said:

 

IMO - if EC cars are committing egregious amounts of penalties, give them the boot. They're guests in our circus, as far as i'm concerned and need to behave as much or more than any overall competitors.

 

They are also one of the EC cars that "wins the event" 🙄

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OEM #144 had a long, hot weekend that we will never forget!  HUGE thanks to all of the Champcar Staff and volunteers for making this event go as smoothly as it did!!

 

I'll start by echoing the sentiments shared previously re: flagging, PUY, and contact.  We managed to get hit 3 times and never once saw or heard of it being called in/penalized.  Did we just give up with the no contact black flagging after the backlog saturday?  One hit Saturday was hard enough (by the TRM car/our pit neighbors, driver apologized profusely) to crumple the passenger door in a good 8-10 inches and move the door sill another couple inches towards the cage.  Really had to keep on your toes with some drivers making some very interesting divebombs in T1, T4, T12.  I found the white camaro who spun off (somehow without collecting anyone!?) multiple times in the first stint Sunday to be asking for trouble.  Felt like a lot of folks would just send a prayer and hope you got out of their way or you collected them and they could continue a la Forza.

 

We decided as a team to let everyone get a 40 min stint in Saturday, lest we have a mechanical or other problem at least we would all get a chance to race at INDY.  I can say we were pleased with our mid pack running given the lack of strategy and over 200 points yet to play with and driver lineup improving.  Despite several hits on both sides of the car we   managed a relatively uneventful day; I was in the car for the checkers on Sunday and even though the car was an absolute oven I had chills all over.  Even getting them just writing this report.  Did we really just race 20 hours at INDY?!

 

Sunday we decided to go for full stints and ended up with me back in the car to verify the flatspot on the rear tires (still working on dialing out rear brake) we found were indeed the only source of the vibration we developed Saturday afternoon late.  After a couple of laps the vibration all but went away and I proceeded to have an incredible hour long cat and mouse race with whoever was driving the C class #261 red BMW.  I was not in the pit when the driver came by, but man what an epic stint!  He would pull me on the straights and I could catch right up to his back bumper in the infield, was able to get alongside a couple of times and eventually make a pass in traffic, but what an awesome stint of fair/clean/safe racing!!

 

Second driver got in and out without incident.  Third driver got in and returned about an hour later with a brake fluid light on.  We added fluid and sent him back out for another 20 minutes or so until we saw he wasn't coming by our pit.  From what we can tell, the right front brake pad on the piston side of caliper disintegrated and chucked the backing plate out for good measure sometime before our driver made it to T1 braking zone at about 1230 on Sunday.  All other brake pads were still there, and still had meat on them to finish the race.  This resulted in less than expected slowing, which the driver reacted to by inputting more brake pedal.  This locked the rear tires and sent him into the back of the same #261 I had raced back and forth with earlier at about the 100 marker.  Sent the BMW into which we would find out later ended their day.  Tried to find you guys after the incident, but took time to find an official and get an answer about which car number was involved in the incident. Lesson learned: probably had lost the friction material when driver came in for fluid top up, didn't think anything of the fact that it needed fluid other than of course we need fluid the pads are wearing...

 

Fairly good impact on our left front bumper was repairable, we lost 2 hours and were able to take the checkers for a second time in the weekend, the first time our team has ever managed that feat.  Was also cool to be able to have my 2 month old daughter's first race be at Indy, she enjoyed the Sunday morning start.

 

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Hope to get some forward looking video downloaded in the days to come, until then here's rear view looking out of the #261.  Glad everyone was ok! 

 

 

 

Oh yeah, @hotrod, I watched you get punted going into T12 in my mirror.  Was leaving room for you down the inside and when I didn't see you alongside at corner exit I looked up in my mirrror to see one of the very aggresively driven miatas (white) at a pretty good perpendicular angle to your door and hear your tires screeching off into the grass.  Would've been good to have had rear facing camera...damage looks almost identical to our first hit on the passenger door taken Saturday morning though ours wasn't nearly as heavy an impact.

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13 hours ago, Huggy said:

Just made it back to NC.  Definitely not the longest round trip, but I put over 1400mi on the Wagon, 10 hours plus each way.

 

I was not sold on Indy, but the true scale and impact of the place hit me once I got there and was able to take it all in.  This was such an awesome experience. 

I can now check off the bucket list - not only did I get to Go to indy, Walk on the bricks, Race on the track, but also got to stand on the PODIUM!  What a rush!

 

Thanks to Champcar for making this happen.  The volunteers and staff cruising pit road and the paddock all weekend in the heat were troopers,  hats off to you.  I hid in the shade and a lawn chair with a big fan and was still dying.  

 

It was nice meeting @mcoppola and @JDChristianson, among others.  @elongoran, you and your family are awesome, thanks for the hospitality.  The famous empanadas were worth the drive if nothing else.

 

I had a blast spending the weekend with @Burningham and co as usual.  The car was awesome to drive, we just needed 20 more HP and a smattering of better luck.  I'll let him tell the details.

 

The Good:

Its INDY!  The BRICKYARD!!  YEAH

 

The Track is pretty dang cool.  Not super technical or exceptional, but overall it's a well done track.  It has excellent surfaces, good curbing, clear sight lines (except entering back onto the front straight), good runoff, and adequate facilities.  The track, in my opinion, is well balanced between "power" and "handling" cars. 

I think it's fun to drive, but hard to master.  I think I only got maybe 1 or 2 laps within 90% of my potential.  I will know more when I see the data.

 

The Wrecker and EMS crews were awesome.  Hot pulls was NOT what I expected.  They were on point all weekend.  Thanks for your work, all day, in firesuits, in 100 degree heat.  WOW!

 

The area around the track is cool too.  "main street" in speedway is awesome.  10 or so good resturants/bars/brewerys to choose from, walking/biking distance from the track Trailer Park

 

The Bad:

The initial entry into the track, Just LOL.  Thanks to Tuttle Motorsports for a good laugh, I hope your rig is OK.

 

Fueling was a shitshow, as expected.  Someone made out like a bandit at $4.12/gal.  I was in line for 1.5 hours, and I definitely had it better than some.

 

Flagging was awful.  Waving yellow and standing yellow were used interchangeably.  At one point, the S/F flagger had the green flag out with the yellow flag, as the pace car led cars past the bricks. What?  The black flag was shown randomly it appeared, not pointed/shown at a specific car.  The blue flags were pretty worthless (as usual).  As noted above, the flag stations were terribly placed, and not the same as for SCCA runoff.  They also changed between Saturday and Sunday.  I saw so many PUY at T2/3 that the flagger there did not call in.  Napping, I guess?

 

The pit/paddock security yellow-shirts were, excessive, to say the least.  We did not need 14 people telling us where to go each time we came and went.  Every time you came and left, you had to stop 4 times to be told where to go.

 

I really needed to get my car to pit road to unload and load stuff, but we weren't allowed to drive onto pit road, or even to the back side of the wall, on saturday or sunday.  I felt really bad for the teams down near pit out. 

 

Lots of gates/fences were left locked for what appeared to be no reason.  This made navigation, difficult to say the least.

 

No golf carts/scooters/mopeds made for lots of (needless) walking. Most of it in the wrong direction to get around a locked gate or fence.  Bikes, Skateboards, and Razor Scooters are not necessarily safer (probably less so, per the few accidents I saw)

 

Being kicked out each night.  I don't understand.  The trailer park experience was, notable, to say the least.  We probably set a trailer park world record for the fastest a car has ever been on and off of blocks.  The locals spectating really added to the experience too.  I lost count on how many times the trailer was hooked and unhooked from the RV when I ran out of Fingers and toes.

 

Overall, I felt like Indy treated us like kindergarteners.  Hopefully they figure out we aren't idiots, and let us have some sort of respect if we ever return.

 

 

 

Finally, Shoutout to @Round3Racing.  I really enjoyed my battles with 2 of your cars on Saturday afternoon.  See here for the footage, it really lasted for 30+ minutes as I tried to wheel the big girl around and keep you in sight.   It was a heart breaker for us at the end, with your black and white car passing us for P3 with 2 laps to go.   I don't have many finger nails left after that one.

 

What happened on Sunday?!?!?  I know that was a heart breaker for your team, since we got past you for P3 with less than 10 minutes left.

 

 

Congrats to the Jacky Ickx team for your Saturday P1 (and Sunday P4 and P5), awesome job, class acts as always

Congrats to Premium Dudes for your Sunday P1 (and Saturday P2), Well done.  Awesome driving, that thing is a rocket!  Orange E30 FTW

 

 

 

 

What Kinda Foam/Where did you get it?

I was first driver on Sunday for Premium Dudes.  The corner workers were hard to see at times, especially if you were in a tight race with another car and the track was crowded.  I was passed so many times under waiving yellow I felt nervous for the workers that were out of their car.  In turn 3 I was passed by 6 cars that had no idea there was a yellow.  They were going twice my speed through the corner.   They should have made a waiving yellow at least one more stop before.  Before any pass I made I would move the car so I could see the flag station before making the pass, and I bet I still had some close calls.  Also, I am still not sure if there was an official flag station between turn 6 and 7.  Sometimes a yellow would come out of the wall but sometimes there would be no flag when clearly it was a yellow.  In hindsight it probably was a flag station and that is why I was passed in turn 6 but with so many black flags for PUY I didn't risk it.  

 

The entrance from pit lane was scary.  One lap 6 of us were prepairing for turn 1 and I saw a car coming out of pit lane, slamming his brakes with a cloud of smoke when he realized it was a very sharp right hand turn.  He did all he could not to crash the lot of us.  Probably should put down a few cones or something there.  

 

It was nice having gas there and I thought the price was reasonable for track gas, we just needed a few more pumps so people were not waiting to fill up gas.  

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With every one of these races when I look back the part that I enjoy the most is the hanging out with everybody.  We had our normal group drivers of Chris P and Casey and for this race we added @Huggy and @Hurljohn to help drive and Chris' squeeze Lexi to help in the pits.  Awesome group to hang with. 

 

The tone for the weekend was set when we got back to the trailer park/rv lot Thursday night and found a lady laying in the yard in front of one of the trailers.  At first we thought she had a medical issue, but realized pretty quickly she had indeed over-medicated alright but only on some local brew.  We helped her up and she kept pointing at a trailer so I knocked on the door and when the person got to the door they looked and saw her in the yard and just closed the door.  We were like, ok I guess this is a normal event here.

 

We knew going into this race we wouldn't have the fastest car, so we hoped to drive clean, use our fuel advantage, and have no issues to be able to compete at the end.  We had worked our way up to 3rd in the last stint when I had the clutch pressure plate break so I ran the last hour in 4th gear.  One of the boxters passed me with a lap or two to go, I just couldn't maintain momentum in traffic to hold them off so we just missed out on a trophy but got to take the wheels off so it was a good day. 

 

Since Indy kicks you out of your perfectly good garage at 9, we decided to take the car back to the trailer park and pull the trans to change the clutch.  We were quite a hit, all the trailer park residents wanted to come visit.  Nobody ended up laying in the grass but us while we changed the clutch.  We finished and loaded the car in time for the trailer park queen to come get on to us to quit moving the trailer about 10:30.

 

I started Sunday, about 20 minutes in I lose the brake booster which gives a very hard pedal in this car.  Brakes took some time to adjust to and made them a bit inconsistent and made it difficult to heel/toe so we just gave a little more brake zone the rest of the day.  Everybody seemed to adjust and made it work.  We gambled on an early caution that stretched the fuel window to the max but it helped us get into the top five toward the end of the day.  We were running a solid 4th at the end when the 3rd place boxter came in with about 10 min left which put us on the podium.  The big ole Lexus performed well other than the clutch and brake booster issue and everybody drove it well and kept it out of trouble.

 

After loading up we ended up next door at the American Legion hanging out with @elongoran and his crew eating all of his food and drinking all of his alcohol.  As always brother, you are the best, can't wait til we can do it again.  I didn't last long after the long night before working on the car and busy weekend of racing but enjoyed the time.  

 

Congrats to @Philippe, @CWag and the rest of the Jacky Ickx guys on the win Saturday and to the Premium team's win on Sunday.  It's tough to win these things anywhere, but to do it at Indy is a big deal.  I really hated to come up on turn 7 and see @Jab31169 with a destroyed car from the axle breaking, that had to be a heartbreaker.  Good to hang with you and @Gordo and the rest of the guys along with all of Dan's team of Rocketham Racing in addition to Scott and Rich of @ConeCrushers.  I was able to give @mcoppola and @JDChristianson a hard time while they stood out in the sun from the comfort of my tent, good job guys and thanks for doing the work required there.  Thanks to all of the Champ staff for putting this on, it was a great event.  Andrea, thanks for making those calls over and over until you got somebody to bite to allow us to come there.  My 80+ year old parents were able to come support us, so I really appreciate the chance to do what we did and have them there.  Can't say enough how much that meant.  

 

948893035_IMG_25601.thumb.JPG.3254e0506336234ce5ccf5aee5dd36fc.JPG

 

 

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I got some laps in our struggling Orange and Black Chop Top Neon.  It was fun.  I thought I would see some contact out there in my stints but never did.

 

And I didn't touch anyone! Success!

 

That poor White Camaro got stuck in the Gravel trap behind me Sunday Morning when I was already a stuck in there.  I thought it was awful weird for someone to be running off track during what should have been a Yellow flag section with me sitting there.

 

Our car was a blast despite all the problems we had to battle.  We had so much grip it was Unreal. We were absolutely crushing almost the whole field in the section in the section after the backstretch.

 

Just not the right power level and too many problems.

 

I have about 270 minutes of video to watch too.  Should be very interesting.  Hope nobody complains about me lol.  3 pages in and we haven't been listed as an offender yet so that's a good sign lol.

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45 minutes ago, BollingerChump said:

I'll start by echoing the sentiments shared previously re: flagging, PUY, and contact.  We managed to get hit 3 times and never once saw or heard of it being called in/penalized. 

 

45 minutes ago, BollingerChump said:

 

 This locked the rear tires and sent him into the back of the same #261 I had raced back and forth with earlier at about the 100 marker.  Sent the BMW into which we would find out later ended their day. 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Huggy said:

 

 

What Kinda Foam/Where did you get it?

It's an Allstar product they call it door bar padding. I'm a dealer for them. It's 48'x36' & 3/4" thick. It's $68.99 plus cost of shipping. I'm sure there is also other brands out there.

Edited by hotrod
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3 hours ago, Bluebandit48 said:

@hotrod

 

From Team Well Lubricated Racing, the green focus pitted next to you, we can't thank you enough for your help and support on Sunday! Going through 3 LR wheel bearings was just unbelievable! 

 

We thought we might have had your contact on video, however, we weren't close enough to see it.

Glad to always help out another Ford team. Especially a Focus!

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1 hour ago, BollingerChump said:

 

 

Hope to get some forward looking video downloaded in the days to come, until then here's rear view looking out of the #261.  Glad everyone was ok! 

 

 

 

Oh yeah, @hotrod, I watched you get punted going into T12 in my mirror.  Was leaving room for you down the inside and when I didn't see you alongside at corner exit I looked up in my mirrror to see one of the very aggresively driven miatas (white) at a pretty good perpendicular angle to your door and hear your tires screeching off into the grass.  Would've been good to have had rear facing camera...damage looks almost identical to our first hit on the passenger door taken Saturday morning though ours wasn't nearly as heavy an impact.

I thought that would of been a brake problem. It looked like a hard hit from where I was sitting. I got into the 40 car on Saturday at that same corner. Waiting to get the camera downloaded to see if we can determine what happened. I passed many cars there & also let a lot get by me there both days. Before Indy we had over 5000 race miles on the car with only a scratch on the bumper. We got hit twice and have a lot of repair work to do. Out Black Focus #111 also got beat up.

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32 minutes ago, Jer said:

Looks like brake lockup and fail on the offending car.  You can see they tried to no avail to slow the car.  Sucks...

Yes,  pretty sure I saw a FB post from the Celica family that said it was a brake failure.  Front pad was gone.   Video looks like rears locked up and nothing was happening on the front   Bummer all around.

 

Edit,   This is explained in @BollingerChumps post above.  Again, bummer

 

Edited by JDChristianson
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I got to drive my bitchin black V8 Firebird at Indy and it was awesome...    it was hard for me to not make Indycar racing line runs down the front stretch every lap...  only did it a couple of times..  lol   and for the record, I have never been to Indy.  Other than watching on TV, I've never been there and would say that this was a place I never thought I'd see, much less race there and race there with my dad, thanks @achisek for that...  

 

Track seemed to be a lot faster than I expected...   it was quite fun!

 

When I came off the final turn on the last lap and saw everyone standing along pit wall...  I smiled so big in my car and thought, I need to give everyone out here some Merica! before they go home so I hope you guys enjoyed the flyby!

 

I thought the track staff was very friendly and everyone I talked to loved our cars and our folks.  Did some of the rules suck, sure.  I never myself bought gas but we bought gas as needed every two or three stops and it was never a long wait and for $4 gallon for 93, I was ok with that.  Several times when I went to check on my buddies @Team Infiniti I never saw much of a line at the pumps so I guess they had a run there at one point but after that is was never that bad.

 

We had a charging issue appear that originally showed up at Daytona.  Think we have that figured out now, so looking forward to whenever we run again and making some changes to our handling for a little bit more speed.

Edited by Justin9
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I had a blast driving @Slugworks Paul's new datsun.  It was fun being in a power car over a handling car for the first time in my Champcar racing "career".  The Altima was ridiculous on the straights, but struggled to keep up with the BMW's and Miata's through the twisty bits.  Getting 6th on the car's debut race was impressive to say the least.  I had some fun battles including racing with my friend Denny when he was driving the Crank Yankers E30 on Sunday.  I managed to pass him and the Premium dudes E30 before the brake pedal went to the floor as I was coming in for our last pit stop,  I wanted to take it easy on the brakes, but I also wanted to try to stay ahead of Premium Dudes to try to catch a FCY to get a lap back.  Fortunately Paul's crew did an amazing job changing both sets of rear pads and one caliper and got us out to salvage a 16th on Sunday.

 

I didn't have any issues with aggressive driving during my stints. Seemed consistent with most other races I've done.  The unfamiliarity of the track definitely led to some strange racing lines, but you just had to keep that in mind when making moves.  Like others, I had problems with the inconsistent and lazy flagging all weekend.  Overall I was impressed how well Champcar ran the event and I'd love to have another go at it next year.

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1 hour ago, hotrod said:

I thought that would of been a brake problem. It looked like a hard hit from where I was sitting. I got into the 40 car on Saturday at that same corner. Waiting to get the camera downloaded to see if we can determine what happened. I passed many cars there & also let a lot get by me there both days. Before Indy we had over 5000 race miles on the car with only a scratch on the bumper. We got hit twice and have a lot of repair work to do. Out Black Focus #111 also got beat up.

We would like to see your vantage point if you have it since there were parts missing and a polished piston face...

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6 minutes ago, BollingerChump said:

I assume the part about the failed front brake at the braking zone was missed..

 

it wasn't.   still doesn't mean that complaining about contact and performing the contact aren't ironic. 

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23 minutes ago, MoparBoyy said:

 

it wasn't.   still doesn't mean that complaining about contact and performing the contact aren't ironic. 

I guess we disagree on what is avoidable contact due to poorly timed dive bombs and unavoidable contact from parts failures.  I speak for my team when I say we'd gladly take a black flag for the incident we caused if it meant better policing overall.

Edited by BollingerChump
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9 minutes ago, JDChristianson said:

Mechanical failure somehow seems different than asshat dive bombing contact with perfectly good brakes   But what do I know. 

 

Mechanical failure after car had been in the pits to address said mechanical failure.   When you change a tire and forget to tighten the bolts and takes out another team, the 'mechanical failure' is still on you. 

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11 minutes ago, MoparBoyy said:

 

Mechanical failure after car had been in the pits to address said mechanical failure.   When you change a tire and forget to tighten the bolts and takes out another team, the 'mechanical failure' is still on you. 

 

Absolutely it's on us.  I think my fairly open and honest post serves well enough, but I'll spell it out: Full responsibility taken here publicly.  Already been taken care of personally between drivers, though I would still like to find the team/owners too.  I hope we can all learn from what happened, especially our own team.

 

The point about avoidable contact in both doors 3 different times still stands.

 

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I've been chewing on this one for a few days.  Neck is still a big sore and my soul is a bit crushed.  Indy was the greatest and the worst race at the same time for WUDU.  Sorry for the wall of text, but its our story.

 

We left out of Birmingham Thursday morning and had a great trip.  Our team chemistry is a bit like 4 brothers who constantly pick on each other...its pretty freaking amazing if ya ask me.  We got to the hotel around 6pm and drank all the beers and ate at the pub across the street (Great pizza BTW).  On our walk back we found some more teams in the parking lot and talked it up for a bit.  Ended up in the courtyard throwing bean bags at boards for a while until the cooler was empty, then headed for bed.  

We woke up early on Friday morning in an attempt to beat the crowd to the staging lot, which we did.  We watched 2017 SCCA vids for a while until other teams started pulling in and we wander the parking lot chatting with everyone we recognized.  Got to meet @David Haines and @Rapido for the first time which was cool after getting stomped by both of them regularly in iRacing.  Once the line started forming for parking passes we met the RVA guys who are really cool and chatted with them for a few until the moment arrived.  We got our passes and headed for INDY!  Pulling into Indy was awesome, the tunnel reminded me of Daytona but seeing the museum as you pull in and the stands being so close...freaking awesome.  We headed for the garages and unloaded as fast as we could.  Jack took the car to tech while Paul got all our gear tech'd.  Myself and Hank got the trailer parked and we felt like we had won already.  Our renter showed up a little later, we got Fifi though tech, and we started prepping to get our stuff to our pit stall.  It was then, I got a text message "Jack Down", then another text message "In the pits".  Didn't think much of it, then Paul comes riding back and tells us Jack went over the handlebars on his bike after the chain slipped and gashed his head pretty bad.  We all run down and find Jack sitting on pit lane with blood all over.  Our renter's wife, took him to the doc to get put back together and we headed out for lunch.  Then we get the text from Jack that says the doctor doesn't want him to drive this weekend.  This was a bummer.  Come to find out, he had sprained his wrist as well as a nice 4 inch gash on his head.  After lunch, we get back and got in the line for gas.  This took about an hour or so...borderline mess it seemed, but we got though it.  Got our picture on the bricks (Thanks Champcar) and headed out to dinner.  

 

Woke up Saturday about the same time as Friday.  Get the car to pit lane, head to drivers meeting.  Was cool hearing everyone sing the national anthem.  Driver lineup for the day was myself, our renter Chad, Hank, Paul, then our renter again since Jack couldn't drive.  I got dressed and started thinking good thoughts.  Got belted into the car, got the cool shirt going and headed out for our pace laps.  Only the second time I've started a race since my first Champcar race in 2017 at VIR24.  Did our first lap and a gap had developed between the car in front of us and the car in front of them.  About the time I noticed "GREEN GREEN GREEN" comes pumping though the radio and its on.  I got caught behind a slower car and got passed by what I thought was everyone.  Got settled and started trying to make up spots.  So much traffic..so many cars.  After maybe 6 laps I come out of turn 8 and the car starts to cut out.  I make it back to pits and we start going though everything.  About 7 mins in and we find it, our ECU fuse wire had pulled out of the fuse holder.  Re crimp and bam, Fifi is back to running. I came into the pits in 60th, I went back out in 80th.  I had a fun time running with a lot of cars.  Had fun with the TWOth guys, had fun with the @Team Infiniti for about half a lap until we hit the front straight.  A few aggressive drivers, but nothing really dumb outside of the one driver in the supra who may have not have seen me at his right quarter.  I got passed under yellow about 20 times it seemed like.  Turn 11 was the worst, the black flag station wasn't holding yellow and people were not looking for or couldn't see the turn 12 station.  Got to run with Chris in the @Burningham machine for a few laps and actually ran him down on the front straight.  I had a blast in the first stint and got one good clean lap in the 2:05's and of course it was then I get the box call in the radio.  Bring in the car, hand it off to our renter, and the day continued.

 

Fifi was running great it seemed. She'd get a bit hotter than we liked, but turn on the cooling fan and she'd get right back down to what we would expect for a 90*F day.   We had already discussed treating Indy as nothing but fun.  We saw the competition we were up against.  With all the Rbank cars, burningham, Jacky Ickx's, Premium Dudes, R3R, Mostmint....we knew it would be tough to crack the top.  After our ECU fuse, I was hoping for a top 30...maybe top 20 finish.  It was starting to look like that.  Stint after stint we kept creeping up the order, about 20 positions a stint if not more.  We were nailing pit stops, all right at 5 mins from pit in to pit out.  In the 4th stint, our rental driver asked if I wanted to take the last stint.  I said we could flip for it, so we did and I won 3 times.  So I go get my stuff and get ready to get strapped in.

 

Car comes in the pits in 19th place, I get in ready for what I refer to as the longest stint of the day.  Closing always takes forever it seems.  I go out and start getting a feel for the car again.  Traffic felt much lighter and the track felt a bit greasier but manageable.  With a little more than an hour left, I start my turn into 6a onto the back straight.  Fifi starts what feels like a light slide, so I put in some countersteer.  Fifi then makes a loud thud and the car goes up on its side.  It was right about then that I thought the car was going on the roof...but somehow it didn't.  The car then pivoted around 180 degrees and came back down and slid to a stop on the left side of the track.  I then see one of my wheels roll past me into the wall.  Turned the car off, hit the kill switch and radio'd into the pits that something broke and the car almost rolled.  It was also about then I found out my rear door had come off.  Halo seat had done its job, I don't know if I'll ride in a race car without a halo seat from now on.  Dropped the net and gave a thumbs up to the corner worker and waited for safety crew.  Safety showed up, asked if I was ok, which I was.  When they finally let me out of the car, I got my first look at Fifi and she was a mess.  Left rear wheel was gone (come to find out the left axle snapped and jammed the wheel into the rear wheel well causing the car to go up on its side).  The right side of the car didn't look any better.  Both right side wheels were shattered.  I was still a bit in shock when they put me in the ambulance.  Got to take a ride to the med center and hang out with the doc and two hot nurses.  Jack had ridden over and was waiting on me.  The doc made me stay until my blood pressure came down (said it was really, really, really high).  The @Burningham guys came back to check on me, as well as Chiz.

 

When they let me out and I got to see Fifi back at the garage I was heartbroken.  I cant imagine I was fun to be around, but I sucked it up as much as I could and we got Fifi rolling enough to put her in the garage and go to dinner.  I drank all the beers and a few bourbons at dinner.  Really bummed out about everything, not crossing start/finish and knowing that tomorrow we wouldn't be racing.  I woke up the next day with a sore neck/back and we loaded up and headed out.

Big thanks to all the Champcar guys who made Indy possible.  Amazing track.  Was fun seeing all the usual suspects at the track, talking smack and meeting all the new guys.  Very bittersweet event for us.  Not sure what we are going to do next.  Not even sure if Fifi is rebuild-able in her current state.  She is currently in the trailer until we can figure out what we are going to do.  Still unsure why the axle failed, less than a year old with only maybe 4 or 5 races on them and a few track days.

 

Congrats to the Podiums finishers both days,  Really happy for the @Burninghamguys!  WTG!!!

 

AND to the genius walking down pit lane with a cigarette in hand right next to 200 Gallons of gas, you're an idiot and that is why I called you one.

 

1283091824_AbePagoda.thumb.jpg.f6001bfa082b9eb8d2603ad6aa290077.jpg

 

681128867_wheel2.jpg.c5ac069be2514b154a32790957a9063d.jpg

 

wheel.thumb.jpg.e3813f799caf432844c0f47fdc212c1f.jpg

 

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If you look ahead to 6a, you can just catch my car going up on its side for a split second.

 

https://youtu.be/2MyHuJgMlUE?t=12550

 

Edited by Jab31169
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