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Kentuckianaians have the best worst luck (true story to and from Rd Atlanta)


sporqster
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Cut and pasted from my facebook post, too lazy to retype.

We Kentuckianian racers have the best worst luck, but we stick together help each other out and somehow get by! This is a long status update, but worth clicking on the dots, I promise. Thursday Carrie, Miles and I departed in our beater E250 van towing the Little Lamb-orghini for Trudy Edenfield's place to lay our heads en route for a Chumpcar race at Road Atlanta. I paid $1500 for this van, it's

quite rough and has never been further than across town since in my possession, but it hauled the 4200+lb load plus probably another 1000 pounds worth of tools through Nashville rush hour stop-go traffic, through the mountains, all the way to the track with no complaint, until we were litterally at the gate to enter the track, and the radiator exploded. What great bad luck, at least we made it! Bob Jennine Frankfuter was awesome enough to solder the radiator back together, a fix that I hoped would be good enough to get us home, at least. The events of the race are another story all together, but after it was over, Carrie and I went to a near by bar to enjoy a toast to a race at least finished. In a bizarre stroke of best worst luck Carrie forgot her purse at the bar, and did not realize it until the next morning. She called our friends Paul and Lora Blaylock on our race team who were staying in a hotel near the bar. They were kind enough to delay their departure for Evansville to go pick up the purse which was (luckily) still there and (luckily) still containing our traveling cash. We too separately departed from Trudy's house later in the day with the same, now repaired beater van and race car in tow. On the Blaylock's journey back they enountered a trailer traveling down the highway which appeard to have a tire with the tread separating. They pulled along side the van hauling the trailer to signal to the driver, and who was it? Our friends Gene and Julie of the Kentucky Spirits racing team! They got the trailer pulled over, limped it to the next exit and Paul and Lora were kind enough to lend Gene a hand getting the tire changed. At a slightly different time and slightly different place but on the same highway, a lone Barrry Schonberger was hauling the Larry Tech 944 back to Evansville from the race when he too had a flat tire. Unfortunately, the spare tire was at the front of the trailer, requiring him to partially back the race car out of the trailer to access it. By himself and unable to restart the car, he could not push the car over the threshold of the trailer, and was in a bit of a pickle, when Jane Bridges happens to be driving by to lend him a hand. With the car back in the trailer, he was on his way for Evansville, and just made it to the first traffic light in town, when the truck he was driving died and refused to restart. And it was POURING rain and lightening. And his wife Angie was out of town and unable to come pick him up, even if he did get the truck and trailer towed to a repair shop. Just at that moment, who approached on the highway by pure coincidence to save the day for Barry? Paul and Lora Blaylock. The Blaylock's gave Barry a ride home in the rain and were back home by about the time we (remember us?) were arriving in the area in our beater van and car in tow. Our trackside radiator repair had been working great. Made it back through the mountains, several major metropoli, and were soldiering on through blinding rain at a speed of 30-40 mph as we crossed the Ohio River bridge, at which point the bridge was struck by an enormous bolt of lightening. I have never seen anything like it in my life. Actually, I didn't really see anything, just everything went blinding white light for about a half second, after which my hair was standing straight up and I had the distinct sensation of having just had an out-of-body experience. FREAKY! But the van was still working, everything was OK, we just kept moving like nothing had happened all the way to our home safely. I stopped the van with the trailer in front of our house, let Carrie and Miles out to run into the house in the pouring rain, then backed the van up a bit to get it a little closer to the curb as my parking job in the dark rain was a bit poor. No sooner had I moved the van in reverse 10 feet and... The radiator exploded again.

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No sooner had I moved the van in reverse 10 feet and... The radiator exploded again.

It seems like there are seriously about 5 or 6 good comedic novels that could be written detailing the expereinces of ChumpNation after every CCWS race...

Glad all ya'll made it back to KY!

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Two words: NO BRAKES! Which, when discovered at the end of the back straight, then results in lost exhaust, destroyed motor mount, bent shifter linkage, shredded tire, bent rim, big rut in the grass at Rd Atlanta. BUT, kept the car upright, and got her back on track around lunch time. The bent shifter linkage was making it all but impossible to jam it into any gear but 1st or 4th though. Basically we did 90+% of our laps in 4th gear for the whole track, until the V8 suddenly started having cooling issues, causing us to make hazardously slow laps on a 4 cylinder and a 2-speed manual transmission.

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Ah bummer. Which brakes failed and why? Did Glen get a few laps in it?

"Well much of our problems started right at the beginning of the race. As we pulled out of the pit to go on track, there was a thud-thud-thud - uh oh, backed the car back to the pit stall after about 50 feet to discover the wheel weights on the rims were hitting the strut (had never put the new wheels and tires on the car, but assumed they would fit, my bad). After prying those off, there was a much lighter thud I could hear as the car got up to speed. I radioed in 'something rubbing on the otherside, but it's pretty light, it'll self clearance'. Well it did self clearance. Rear BRAKE LINE self clearanced. Glen was awesome enough to run out to the nearby parts store and buy us a replacement.

broken.jpg

We got it fixed and Glen was in the car for a couple hour stints before we started having cooling issues.

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The brake line thing was another good/bad luck story, while having no brakes at top speed on the back stretch at Road Atlanta is a bad thing there is actually a pretty good runoff area there and it's much better than having it happen on the street, which I think Chris had at least been tempted at one point to drive the car to the race. Luckily rear (er, I mean front) brake lines for Lincoln Continentals aren't too hard to find and it only took me 3 parts stores (try that with a BMW). By the time I got back with the brake hose, they had already fixed the motor mount and radiator hose and cut tire that were collateral damage from the off, lots of work 4 laps into a race, but we were having fun.

The car had a fairly uneventful second stint before I got in third. I spun it at the first braking zone (brake then turn) and had to come in to get the V8 shifted back into drive, on the next lap I crested the hill at 12 and found myself about 20 feet off the "line" luckily that's where the pit road entrance is :ph34r: (did the same thing on my first video game lap at this track too, it's hard to convince yourself to turn when you can't see what's ahead of you) and just for good measure I came in again on my third lap to have the mirrors adjusted :P So finally on my 4th lap I put on my big boy pants and dove down the hill at turn 12, wow, that's the most intense single corner I've driven yet. Both engines were running well enough, but with the gears we had available the speed and acceleration were holding the car back from it's potential. It has been awhile since I've had to constantly worry about staying out of other people's way on track and it's very distracting, so with that and learning the car and the track it took quite awhile to get comfortable, but the car ran fine for the rest of my stint and a couple more after that. I got back in for my second stint, in the dark, and the few additional challenges that go along with that, but no issues with the car really.

Chris went out near the end and got stuck on track during a long red flag and that started some overheating issues we couldn't get a handle on with quick fixes and eventually got black flagged for the steam coming out <_<. We decided to let it cool off in the paddock and went back out for the checkers. Pretty good accomplishment considering only about half the cars finished and doing it with two engines is twice as hard ;).

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your car had some pretty scary rear toe settings going on, based on the pictures I took

The alignment was a bit effed in the eh after the off on lap 5. Having said that, a tiny bit of 'rear steer' tow out under lateral load is by design. Gets the car to rotate easy, a bit weird if you're not used to it.

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