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What was your favorite race this year?


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Still in denial that our race season is done for 2011, I spent part of the morning programming an eBay radio to communicate with our others. I started thinking about which race was the most fun and why this year. I thought it would be fun to hear from the other teams which race they enjoyed the most and what made it the most fun for them?

I'll start but I don't really have an absolute favorite, I have great memories from each race weekend.

Road America - First time racing on this track although I've done many track events there. It was fun partying in the bars in Elkhart with all the teams. We met a ton a nice folks and had a lot of fun with them across the events.

Brainerd (BIR) - Had all the families and friends up for the weekend and it was 70's and sunny both days (after the Russian winter of RA). Really enjoyed various battles (3 Sheets, Shake and Bake, etc.)

Brainerd #2 - 14 hour race - I prefer the longer races. Was disappointed many of the faster cars from the first BIR didn't show (fixing or saving for the Chumpionship for some).

Heartland Park Topeka - First time at this venue and really enjoyed it. First DNF in six events received parts from people in two states and several teams in the paddock. Drove the HPT - Kansas City roundtrip three times that weekend in a rental car (minivan of course... do ya have ANYTHING else??!!). Fixed, welded, J.B. welded, glued, zip tied, bent and ran on Sunday. We'll be back to do this track again!

Chumpionship - Loved the large field of cars from California to New Jersey. Met and laughed with many new teams. Had great neck and neck stints with other teams (Red Porsche #41 and James E. from Eggboy stick out). The close ending was epic for teams all the way into the mid pack. The Iowa Speedway world class facilities and staff amazing! Met many racers and enjoyed handing out beers from the rolling Deer Cooler.

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None of us had ever driven Road America (one had crewed there) and needless to say we were in awe of the track and town. Enjoyed dicing with Three Sheets, TBR, Holy Rollers, Bear Patrol, Dragon Sumthing and many more. Despite electrical gremlins, we had our first podium finish on Saturday which was thrilling. Can't wait to go back!

Iowa was almost perfect... except that TBR wasn't there. We got our first win and will never forget that feeling.

The return to Nashville (after the washout last year) was great. The back half of that track is a heckofalotta fun. Fun to battle against our old nemesis Rusty and the Blitzen Boys, was very proud of our wheel bearing replacement thrash that got us back on track for another podium finish.

Heartland Park was a great track, definitely want to go back and try the long course. The SHO broke, and then broke some more. We did meet Pat our loaner driver from the Budgetty Veyron team there and enjoyed his company for the Chumpionship.

Chumpionship was epic. So many great teams, so much great racing... still bitterly disappointed by our finish, but that's racing.

2011 was a stereotypical season for a team racing a SHO. Checker or wrecker.

Can't wait for 2012!

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Oh dear lord...this is going to take some thinking...

Road America: My first time in any race car anywhere. We found out our cage needed extra work on Friday. We had to pack the car up, take it into town to a local cage builder. We got back to the track, said screw all the rules, drove the hauler right up to tech, backed out the car, drove it into tech to get clearance for the test and tune day as our hot-shoe suited up. We managed to lose the safety pin for the harness while strapping him in, so we spent 5 minutes looking for that. We got him on track with 5 minutes left for test and tune. He made one lap, found that at anything above half throttle the car missed terribly. We sent him out for one more lap. This, in turn, melted the rubber bracket at the back of the exhaust, meaning he spent the second half of the lap dragging it. We spent the rest of the daylight fixing the exhaust and attempting to locate our miss. We managed to spend some time with the ChumpStaff and TBR at a local bar. I took first stint on Saturday, discovering our miss was still quite present. After an hour of in and outs, our next driver took over. Halfway through his stint, we finally fixed the miss and the car was running strong (so strong that it passed the TBR E36 :lol:). Next two drivers loved the car, I got a full-speed stint and enjoyed some awesome racing (between long runs without seeing any other cars). And then in our final stint the power steering pump went out miss began reappearing. Limped to finish. Saturday night we were all so tired we could barely even function at the hotel. Sunday morning invited our exhausted, sore bodies with horridly cold, wet weather. After 2 hours of working on the car, attempting multiple temporary fixes, we gave up without it ever seeing the track. But dammit we'll go back.

Iowa (volunteer): Good racing, alot of familiar faces, some new ones. Nice weather all day, but one of the coldest nights of my life. High wind and 35 degrees SUCKS! Overall a good race though. ChumpCar enduced mileage counter for my 1991 Buick Park Avenue: 1010 miles

Nashville (volunteer): HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO BLEEDING HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good racing, diverse field. Fun few nights in Nashville after the race, including a phenomenal fireworks display on the 4th of July. Mileage counter: 2050 miles

BeaveRun: Everything Road America wasn't. Great weather, reliable car, intense racing. Had numerous teams ask me what kind of brakes we were running (look on their faces when they heard "drums on back" = priceless) as I was diving into 1 and 10 so deep that even Jhonda Deere couldn't keep with me (although they'd soon get around me and disappear). Only one mechanical issue (hub bearing, 40 minute fix on Saturday), and very tight, competitive racing all day both days. Side note: We were the only MOPAR to finish either day.

TWS (volunteer): 1100 mile drive (one way). Hot, but not actually as unbearable as Nashville. Just awesome to be at such a legendary track. Great racing, some awesome cars and a big car count. Visited some family after that I hadn't seen in a few years. Total mileage (after extra mileage to San Antonio): 5000 miles.

Chumpionship: Everyone knows this story. Some fun nights and mornings at the hotel bar with Winker, TBR, Brock, Matt, John, and so many others. Best weekend I've been a part of when not in a car.

So approximately 7500 miles later (5000 of them in a 20 year old Buick) I pick BeaveRun as my favorite, but the Chumpionship was the best racing I've ever seen. Also, I think I can truly say, I'm Chump-mad :lol:

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Guest posnova

End of season. Bah. We have 5 events left in the West, 7 trios of Podium!

Join us (you know you want to make the Sebring -> Laguna Seca tow)!

Oct 15-16 - Fontana, CA - Autoclub Speedway

Oct 29-30 - Portland, OR - Portland International Raceway

Nov 12 - Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico - Streets of

Nov 21 - Monterey, CA - Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Dec 22 - Monterey, CA - Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

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I've had a blast at every event but I think Road America was my favorite of the season thus far (still have Laguna Seca race #1 to go! B) ). It was my first time ever on a track, first time in a race car, first actual race and the excitment and enthusiasm I had before, during, and after that race is something I'd never felt before and haven't felt since.

It also helped that Three Sheets rented an awesome house just over 2 miles from the track that we could go back to every night for a nice home-cooked meal and plenty of adult beverages.

I only got 1 hot lap during the Test n Tune so I wasn't really sure what to expect during the race. Then on Saturday, we blew tha transmission before my stint and I only managed to get about 5 laps in before taking the checker flag. Taking the checker in my first ever race and I was at Road America to top it off... Couldn't get much better than that!

On Sunday, I drove during the worst conditions of the race and I didn't know enough not to drive 10/10th so I pushed and pushed hard. Maybe a little too hard on several occasions... Either way, I impressed myself by setting the fastest lap time of the day for my team. Something else I'll never forget.

Now, it may have taken 3 weeks to fully thaw out from the race but looking back at it now, I don't think I would change a thing. I can't wait to get back out there (hopefully with better weather and a more reliable car and do it all over again.

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I'd say the T&T at RA was my most enjoyable day. Legendary track, sun shining, just lapping and relaxed. As far as my most enjoyable session had to be the first race @ Iowa. The temps overnight were brutal and I was underprepared w/o my coveralls. I was miserable when I got into the car but battling with the Brain Nerds for two hours was the best racing I've ever had. They had me in the infield so I had to use everything I could to keep them at bay. Several times I went into that zone where everything went just as I'd planned. I'd see a couple of cars ahead of me, plan where I could pass them but where that damn blue 944 would get held up. At some point in there we both clicked off some 57's. THAT was a heck of a stint. The CHUMPionship was by far the most enjoyable EVENT. The variety of cars, conditions, track configurations. The talent level of the teams as well as the comraderie (sp) between them. Wish it had turned out a little different for us, but that's what it's all about.

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  • Technical Advisory Committee

The Chumpionship was my favorite. We had a car that IMO was fast enough to win, but all our custom parts failing caused us to spend a few hours in the pits!

BIR Dual 7 was the worst: Our head mechanic was in the UP ATVing the week before. We did not prep the car at all, and we even forgot to change the oil (changed it Friday night). This was the race that taught us that narrow 14" tires and stock brakes with auto-zone pads WILL NOT hold up.

Even though it was the worst, it taught us a lot.

I had the most fun running against the Shake 'n bake MR2. Our car is a perfect match-up. The Integra has a bit more top end, the MR2 has a bit more bottom end....and the braking and handling probably goes to the MR2 by a little. I battled hard for 20 laps+ with several passes a lap at Road America and BIR with these guys. I thought we would be much faster at the Chumpionship, but i was wrong. I passed them on the oval, and they had my rear view mirror filled for laps. I saw they were drafting TBR for a while also.

Our others drivers had a few good battles as well. Mayhem #8 civic at the Chumpionship, and the VW golf at BIR Dual 7.

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My favorite so far is Laguna Seca- i.e. the next one. Don't get me wrong I had a LOT of fun at the 3 events I've run so far, but the planning and preparation beats looking back on all the parts we've broken. That and who even cares about the race... I'm taking 17 days off in December, driving south till the snow disappears and crusing route 66 before heading home!

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Favorite race: Chumpionship, by far. Until the rear axle broke, we were running between 6th and 9th, and consistently moving up. Oval racing was FUN (first time ever for me)! Great time seeing teams we had only read about on the forums...surprised some folks...got the car back out in less than an hour after snapping a halfshaft, then again after losing a steering rack. Extra kudos to the safety crew, the Porsche team that loaned us fuel/fueling equipment right at the end, and all the fun time with the My Little Pony folks.

Favorite driving stint: 3-way tie:

1. Running the oval in light rain at the Chumpionship and not slowing down...great fun passing folks we had no business passing.

2. VIR South in the morning, day two, had a great time racing the Flying Tigers Miata...nose to tail for a LONG time until I finally got by (or they let me by!)

3. Sebring, stint 1: Still had 6 cylinders, climbed from 33rd to 18th and was having a ball! Then discovered the hard way that Sebring uses a lot more fuel than any other track we ran on this year. Also great being pitted next to Sweede Li'l Pigs!

Favorite watching stint: Watching the 70+ year old father of one of my teammates drive the car for the first time at Charlotte in the mist and having him run rings around MUCH faster cars. It helps that he's a former NASCAR Grand American and SAARC champion, but just seeing him passing cars that we normally point by was terrific!

Can't wait until next year! :D

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I don't think I could really pick out one favorite, because there have been great aspects to all of our races.

April at TWS: the first time we raced our car. The test and tune on Friday was the first time I had done any sort of "high performance" driving (I put it in quotes because it's suspect to call anything our car does "high performance"). The race on Saturday was the first time I or another member of the team had raced. All things considered, it went amazingly well (I'll reserve detail for the "newbies sound off" thread): we're all hooked, and we proceeded to sign up for two more ChumpCar races and two LeMons races.

July at TWS: Night racing! Racing at night was a whole different experience, as my inability to figure out where the track was going on my first lap after dark demonstrates. :P So was going back out at 9 am on an indeterminate amount of sleep. Seeing our car last to the checkered flag (with two hours taken out to deal with a split oil filter) was a huge thrill, and I can't wait to do one of these races again.

September at H2R: A tight, technical track, requiring hard work and complete concentration all the way around. Even when I knew roughly the lines I wanted to drive, I never felt like I was hitting some of them more than once in three or four times through. While we had some trials and tribulations on Sunday, Saturday was tremendously satisfying as we turned in an incredibly efficient race and finished 10th among non-EC cars (the City Garage EC car was ahead of us).

So, all of them. :)

Favorite driving stint: Checkered flag at TWS on July 24th. I had some tough racing with the #99 Fat Cat Jaguar and turned a series of consistently fast laps in sequence.

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Paris to Dakar...though i felt at times i was the only one there.

You were -- everyone else was in South America. :)

"Some say... he's so old and stubborn, he still runs the old Paris-Dakar route; and he's so insane, not even the Radical Islamic Fundamentalists want to cross his path...." >;)

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