VLVTLVS62 Posted April 22, 2013 Report Share Posted April 22, 2013 Sorry for the delay, but I would just like to share my experience â€“ Where to beginâ€¦To many, this may be old hat, but to me, this past weekend (12 â€“ 13 APR 2013) was one of the most exciting and adventure filled weekend of racing I have ever experienced.First, I would like to Thank John, for creating such a cool arena of racing. And to ALL his support crew, for putting on a fantastic event at Watkins Glen.Secondly, I must Thank Kent, for not only buying my â€™87 Chevette, but to let me drive it, at the Glen, for its inaugural event. Although it did meet a rather untimely demise, the experience (albeit short) will resonate in my memories for ages. And again, a great deal of Thanks go out to Kent, as he was able to secure our team another vehicle to race â€“ an IROC Camaro â€“ fastest car I ever raced! THANK YOU SAL, for allowing us to not only race your car, but also to break it, fix it... and break it again. That said, this car was so much fun to drive that an hour wouldâ€™ve been too easy â€“ cause it was so-much-fun! In spite of this, as it wasnâ€™t meant to be, this car also expired (twice) throughout the weekends event.Along side Kent, was a crew that made me, and my wife Karen, feel as welcome as relations. Tobin, Tony and Pete â€“ THANK YOU!In addition to Team Phoenix, there was Johnny Lighting, Big Joe, and Edgar. I hope your weekend was as exciting and event-filled as mine.Tobin, you, my friend, will be a force to reckon with once you finish school. Tobin is a â€˜Never Say Dieâ€™ kind of guy. When the Chevette broke, we, under Tobinâ€™s directions were able to disassemble the little engine in short time. And with the hopes of repairing any damage, we sorted out some ideas as to how to fix it. Only to find a cracked head (in 3 places) and a spun bearing, that ultimately collapsed our hopes of running the Lilâ€™ Red Chevette at the Glen (or anything else for that matter). Thus, we were finished, as there were no parts available to make repairs. In light of this setback, as I was informed (with confidence), you have not seen the last of the Lilâ€™ Red Chevette.After the Chevette officially expired (Friday), we were offered the opportunity to race this car; bright as the sun, loud as thunder, and fast as lightning; a nearly 600hp, IROC Camaro â€“ WE TOOK IT! (Thanks again Sal!)Saturday had its ups and downs, and, yet again, not more than a few hours into the event (for all the team drivers), the engine was showing the stresses of not being ready for the rigors of this endurance event. We nursed it as best we knew how, and followed Sal's guidance. To no avail, By Sunday morning, the engine was presumed too stressed and near death. In the garage the long faces were distressing enough to pack-it-in and go home. But, as our unwillingness to fail and the determination to succeed, was well in our desires, Kent, Tobin, Sal, and the team decided to give it once last shot at reviving the engine. By this point none of the team had much more then moments on the track. But we were not willing to give-up this easy. We would fix it; at least to have the 2 (never before raced) rookies get their Hot-Lapsâ€™. Considering they only signed-up to race a 1987 Chevy Chevette, with barely 100hp, this was an opportunity highly unexpected, and greatly appreciated.With Salâ€™s blessing, Tobin and Myself started disassembling the engine. Now, I have never been known for my mechanical prowess, in fact, I seldom, if ever, build my own engines. But, with Tobinâ€™s knowledge and experience (then later), Johnny Lightningâ€™s expertise with the big bore cars (and again Salâ€™s awareness of his own engine), we were able to disassemble, repair the damage (a head gasket, an intake gasket, and a serious overheating problem), and reassemble in a 4-hour window. This was well beyond anything (mechanical) I have ever done.To many, a laugh will be had, as this is outside the norm for me. To some, a glint a pride might be expressed or shared, as we were able to get the car roaring and back on the track. Short lived though. With only a few hours of the event left to go, we sent the rookies out for a reasonable amount of time.But, when â€˜Iâ€™ gave it my last go, the car was still suffering from overheating (odd, as it was barely 40 degrees all weekend), and, the car was struggling to sync the gears anymore. So in my last ditch effort to turn in a fast lap, I sped down the front straight, exhilarating as nothing Iâ€™ve ever felt, 500â€™, 400â€™, 300â€™, time to break and shift â€“ canâ€™t find 3rd, break again, find 3rd, overshoot corner, roll up on the curbs, settle the car downâ€¦ gulp of air. Feeling better, race up through the essess (super cool feeling!), slide into 4th at the top of the essess, roaring down towards the bus stop, 500â€™, 400â€™, 300â€™, time to break and shift â€“ canâ€™t find 3rd, break again, NO 3rd!!! Whatâ€™s happening, no steering input, no breaking, canâ€™t steer, (car stalled), cars to the left and right, must muscle through the corner, canâ€™t make second turn, cars pass, I hit the grass between track and wall, car is dead â€“ DAMN! Had to be flat towed in (thanks Rescue Team â€“ super nice people). Car not overheated, good oil pressure, all systems go â€“ what went wrong? Iâ€™m done.With 40 minutes left in the event. Johnny Lightning wants to give it one last run. Car starts, still struggling to find gears â€“ find one and goes â€“ for one lap, only to find yet another issue (gears, clutch or transmission???). This was the last straw that sidelined the car for good (or bad, as it were). I would like to sincerely Thank You - Tobin, Sal, and Johnny for teaching me so many things, and for your confidence to have me assist. Tony, thanks for all your support and videography â€“ I hope this footage works out, canâ€™t wait to share with my family, friends and students. Pete, thanks for keeping us up-dated on the weekends events and photos, as most of us were unable to see much of the racing.I will finish by thanking my wife Karen, for having the patience to sit out in the cold, enduring auto travel of 7-8 hours (each way), only to be rewarded by a couple hours of sleep each night (and having to go to work on Monday). Even though she enjoys sharing in the sport I love, she also enjoys the meeting of great people and enjoying the company of many newfound friends.I could not have made this any shorter, as my excitement has overwhelmed me.Our Sincerest Thanks and Appreciation go out to ALL the Chump Car Family, for letting us experience this with you. We hope to participate, in one capacity or another, in the future.Michael "ELVIS" (and Karen) HintzeVelvet Elvis RacingWaterford Hills Road RacingVLVTLVS@comcast.net 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.