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National Chumpionship - Pt 2


WinkTimber
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Since part 1 extended to five pages, and it's a new sunshiney day, let's start a fresh page. And speaking of the weather, it is currently mid-50s with not a cloud in the sky. High today is supposed to be in the 70s.

Several cars will not be starting today.

#44 Old Fart Racing Nissan was seen leaving the track this morning. They reportedly cracked the frame on their car after a close encounter with a wall.

#5 Beaver Express Nissan, hole in the engine block. They are part of a 2-car team from Alberta (Calgary and Edmonton). The other car is the #46 Docspeed Honda.

#24 Bear Patrol Lexus. A badly worn wheel bearing caused the brake rotor and caliper to bounce around. While they were able to find a suitable rotor, a RF caliper for a Lexus is not so easy to locate.

#58 Speedlab BMW went out early on Saturday with a blown engine.

#1 My Little Pony Mustang, transmission. They only have 2nd & 4th gear, but plan to take the start, then run her until she's ready for the glue factory.

A surprising number of teams continue to work on their cars, probably more than at a normal ChumpCar race. These are, after all, the podium finishers from the past year+, and they didn't get there by luck. It takes a lot of perseverance, organization and hard work to finish at the top in any form of racing. ChumpCar is obviously no exception.

More as it becomes available.

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Thanks to the Boss for posting while I was busy on track. The Saab is still not as fast as the front runners, but I was able to run with more cars today on the oval than I did on the road course. It was a hoot! I saw 110 on the speedometer (yes, my crap-can racer has the stock speedometer) on the main straight and 90 +/- thru the turns. Had to watch the mirrors closely, although the left side mirror is difficult due to the window net, as there as some damn fast cars out there.

I must have had the best seat in the house for the big incidents in the first couple of hours. Seems like they all happened right in front of me... and we hadn't installed the Hero cam before my stint.

First, the Danish Flash Mustang passed me in the low line in turn 1, then got a little loose in 2, enough that I was planning evasive action. Fortunately he saved it.

The bright green #83 Miaro had just passed my Saab in the back stretch, and apparently got bumped coming into turn 4. I saw it slide up the track and tag the wall, then slide down the track right in front of me, close enough that I had to tap the brakes and swerve to avoid it.

There was a pair of black BMWs, #13 Fringe Class and #36 Ambitious But Rubbish, that passed me and I was able to hang with them for a couple of laps, but I dropped back to my 90% pace and let them go. As I came through turn 2 I saw the #36 car sliding down the track and onto its side. Don't know if it went over, but looked like it was going to. Apparently not much damage as it is back on track as I write this.

The My Little Pony Mustang #1 (or #01 in the photos) motored past me in turns 3/4, and the #59 Clown Shoe BMW got by me at start/finish. I saw the Mustang spinning in the low lane, and the BMW had chosen that same lane while I held the middle lane behind him. The BMW drivier locked up the brakes, but hit the Mustang hard and both cars are likely done for the weekend. The Mustang's gas tank is mangled along with the rest of the rear sheet metal bits. The BMW is probably not repairable... ever. The engine is pushed back, the frame is cracked, the windshield broken and all front sheet metal twisted.

After I got out of the Saab I watched as the #2 Snake Oiler RX7 got passed by the #46 Docspeed Honda in turn 1. It looked like the Honda started to drift up before completing the pass and both cars slid sideways into turn 2. I don't think either of them did any further damage.

There are several drivers who seem to take this final race day as a 12 hour sprint race, making daring moves in traffic, missing other cars by scant inches.

Fortunately the Saab has not been hit by anyone. I did have a couple of spins and bumped a tire barrier last night on the wet track, but no body damage. Jim Seubert is out on track now, driving the high lane in the Saab.

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Here is the 12:30 update of the top ten:

post-487-131515771988_thumb.jpg

Hey, what happened to Tubby? They had such a big lead and now they're in third place???

In their usual well-planned way, the Tubby Butterman team brought the BMW in for fuel and driver change shortly before the pits were to be closed for the changeover from oval course to road course. Unfortunately, they missed getting out of the pits by 45 seconds. That meant they had to wait in the pits for the 15 minutes while the track was reconfigured.

The #68 BSD Racing Acura now takes the lead. #51 British American Racing BMW is in 2nd, 12 laps in arrears, but also turning the fastest laps by 3 seconds!!! Team Butterman is 20 laps behind the leader.

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Guest AWiley1953

Hmmmm, Held in the pits during a track reconfiguration while those on the track circulate under the yellow. I never heard of that one before. Kinda makes up for those given back laps from the shunt. Whatever goes around comes around.

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#36 ABR BMW is in the garage again. They are stealing the rear shocks off someone's street BMW as those on the race car are kaput. The car looks pretty good despite it's earlier near rollover in turn 2. Some scrapes on the driver's side and a broken mirror, that's about all.

#79 Firebird has been on track a few times today. First they were able to replace some bent pushrods and did a valve adjust. Then they had carburetor issues, so came back to the garage to clean the carb. It is back in the garage again for more attention.

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It's been a tough few minutes for cars with alpha-alpha-number designations:

#3 Three Sheets ZX2 out with a blown gearbox.

#26 Shake N Bake MR2 also in the garage with a cracked LF steering upright. Hoping to locate parts.

#0 Riff Raff TR6 broke a RR half shaft which took out brakes and pretty much everything else attached to it. They are working on it now.

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Hmmmm, Held in the pits during a track reconfiguration while those on the track circulate under the yellow. I never heard of that one before. Kinda makes up for those given back laps from the shunt. Whatever goes around comes around.

Winker is correct that this was mentioned thoroughly in both drivers meetings. And this Butterman thing needs to stop. John made a bold call, he's followed it up in other instances this weekend, Butterman never asked for laps back, and in a month or so this will fade away just like the Miata incident last year...

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#1 My Little Pony has made repairs... at least to the crash damage. The gas tank may be crumpled, but it does not leak. The team has also fabricated some taillights. After an inspection by Chief of Tech Dave, they have been approved to go back on track.

#14 Tow Mater Dodge Dakota has been circulating today with only one gear, 3rd. The car (truck) is back in the garage with an engine issue this time.

And did I mention that #88 Dirty Escort is out with engine failure, holes in two pistons. They have another engine, but decided that after all the other issues they have had this weekend, they were going to pack up. BTW, Steve Smith of Autoweek was one of the drivers in that car. Watch for a story.

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Butterman never asked for laps back, and in a month or so this will fade away just like the Miata incident last year...

So one of the best-organized teams in Chumpcar just happened to get caught in the pits while the track was being reconfigured knowing full well how many laps they would lose? :rolleyes:

Kudos to them for trying to make the best of a controversial situation that they had no control over. Unless it really was a mistake in not getting out of the pits fast enough...then I'd just say better luck next time!

:D

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Guest MaddogTBR

It wasn't a miss-calculation, but still a mistake. We were getting a bad vibration/noise from the front right and we started to back off our pace. The unsuspecting #79 Firebird hit us from behind, maybe from us backing off our pace. Nearly spun the car the car is T2, but caught it. The potential damage from the hit, plus the noise forced us to a quick decision to pit immediately. We missed the course change window cut-off by 30 seconds. Turned out our right-front wheel bearing was starting to go out and we changed it. Now our right-front strut seems to be going out too. Likely all from yesterday's incident.

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Another top five car is out!!! The Eggboy Racing SHO is out with transmission failure. They say a gearbox transplant takes 7 hours, and with less than six hours 'til the checkered flag, they will be putting the car on the trailer. They had been running well, just ahead of #47 ChumpChange Miata and #8 Mayhem Honda.

Also on the trailer is the #74 Leftover Parts Mazda RX7. They went through two transmissions yesterday and decided not to look for a third one.

#79 Firebird Art Racing Team is also on the trailer as they were never able to resolve their poor running issues.

#11 Brain Nerds Porsche 944 had engine issues yesterday, but they worked on the car, swapping out heads, valve springs, and a whole lot of other parts. Back on track today, but it blowed up again today. They are done for the weekend.

A great battle for 8th place with #46 Docspeed Honda, #18 Danish Flash Mustang and #42 Beach Dudes Datsun 510 all on the same lap!!!

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#49 Slugworks in the garage with a fried left front wheel bearing. Going back out soon.

#14 Tow Mater sitting in garage with no team members to be found. May be done.

Danish Flash and Docspeed running 8th and 9th on same lap. Keeping an eye on the Flash, they are actually holding back a bit to save the car for the oval. They're quietly lurking in the top 10 and are lightning fast on the oval so look for them to move up the standings later this evening.

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It wasn't a miss-calculation, but still a mistake. We were getting a bad vibration/noise from the front right and we started to back off our pace. The unsuspecting #79 Firebird hit us from behind, maybe from us backing off our pace. Nearly spun the car the car is T2, but caught it. The potential damage from the hit, plus the noise forced us to a quick decision to pit immediately. We missed the course change window cut-off by 30 seconds. Turned out our right-front wheel bearing was starting to go out and we changed it. Now our right-front strut seems to be going out too. Likely all from yesterday's incident.

Thats was one of our drivers (#79). I'm sorry about that. It definately wasn't intentional. We were bummed to find out we had contact with the leaders. From what I was told, our car was running very similar speeds as yours (but a few hundred laps down) and was comfortable running relatively close with you. He got caught out when the car slowed in the corner. He said he wanted to hit the brakes, but was worried about spinning. He lifted but couldn't get out of the way in time.

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Guest MaddogTBR

Thats was one of our drivers (#79). I'm sorry about that. It definately wasn't intentional. We were bummed to find out we had contact with the leaders. From what I was told, our car was running very similar speeds as yours (but a few hundred laps down) and was comfortable running relatively close with you. He got caught out when the car slowed in the corner. He said he wanted to hit the brakes, but was worried about spinning. He lifted but couldn't get out of the way in time.

No worries! It was as much, or all my fault for slowing (not so much regarding our incident on saturday). I was really worried about the right-front noise and it was only a matter of time before I was comming in to check it out. I agree with the instinct to not brake, it's dicy on the oval! I'm glad we both survived. As hard as the hit felt, there was no damage to our car. Cheers!

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#18 Danish Flash has brought out a caution flag. Not sure if he skidded and hit the wall or if the rear end locked up and caused him to spin.

#8 Mayhem Racing having light issues so have been black flagged. They also have six lights on the car, two in excess of ChumpCar rules.

Here is the rundown as the cars returned to green flag racing just after 8 o'clock.

post-487-131518473732_thumb.jpg

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BAR just 4 laps off of the leader BSD Racing. Butterman being heavily pursued by Free Candy Racing just 3 laps behind him. Going to be an awesome finish.

Slugworks is back on track just to gain a position from a retired car and to take the checkered.

Taking the checkered also on the minds of Team Tow Mater and My Little Pony. Mater is lapping, and MLP will be on track at 9:15 as per ChumpCar safety ruling on damage they sustained.

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How long until the Checker Flag??

Sorry, you missed it. It was at 9:30 pm. Here are the results.

What a crazy finish!!! The #68 BSD Acura had held the lead for much of the afternoon, but it looked like they might not make it on fuel so slowed the pace. The #51 British American Racing BMW 325 was runing second only a few laps behind and trying to make it up. Whe they realized they had a chance, the team got on the radio and told the driveer to step it up. With three laps to go, BAR passed BSD for the lead! The margin of victory at the checkered flag was 10.552 seconds.

Let me repeat that:

After 25 and a half hours of racing, the difference between first and second for the National Chumpionship was just over 10 seconds.

Could Hollywood have written it any better?

And for those who might care. The Fart-hinder Saab finished! In 22nd place, but FINISHED.

More tales to come.

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