Tag - 24 hours of lemons
The racing circus that is the 24 Hours of LeMons rolled into Infineon Raceway March 26-27, 2011. Speed:Sport:Life was there to...Read More
Right before a race weekend my favorite person on the planet is the UPS man. That truck and the dude in those sexy brown shorts are just irresistible. But seriously folks, I need the UPS man to keep our little race team rolling. Yesterday, he dropped off a cornucopia of goodies: new radio gear from Sampson Racing Radios, a new tire rack for our racing trailer from Pit Posse Motorsports, endurance brake pads from Carbotech Brakes, a rearview mirror from I/O Port Racing Supplies and new stickers from Figstone Graphics. What are we going to do with all of these random items? Well, hopefully win the 24 Hours of LeMons at Infineon this weekend. Since in LeMons there is a $500 cap on what you can spend on the racecar, there was no point in fixing up the warhorse Acura Integra. So instead, we spent the off-season dialing in the race trailer. The first step was to complete a full frame off restoration of a rusty old wagon that was sitting in our backyard and turn it into the ultimate pit cart. Figstone Graphics dialed in the graphics for us to make the wagon match our NASA Performance Touring winning Nissan Sentra SE-R. We even added a spare tire to the undercarriage. Also in the off-season we spruced up the ole Krider Racing trailer. We added a Rubbermaid tool box which we got from the madmen who put on The Leadfoot Rally (the box was featured in the April 2011 issue of SportsCar magazine). One of the biggest problems with our trailer last year was we had tires rolling all over the place. The new foldable tire rack from Pit Posse Motorsports fixed all of our problems. We will be heading out to Infineon this weekend (to show off our new pimp daddy trailer) and hopefully bring home some hardware from the 24 Hours of LeMons. GoRacingTV.com will be filming another episode of our adventures at this event and we will keep you up to date on Speed:Sport:Life.
Endurance racing is never easy. You have to go fast, but not too fast. You have to stay up for hours on end, but be sharp enough to make quick decisions. You have to order people around, but also get along with your teammates. And most importantly, you have to win. At Krider Racing we have done all of these things right, and we have also done a lot of these things wrong. Recently we remembered how to do them right again and found ourselves showered in beer and holding up a first place trophy. Here is the story of the long endurance racing road back to victory lane. In 2008, racing against another Speed:Sport:Life staff member, Jack Baruth (he set the second fastest lap in the race, while I set the fastest –not bad for the ole S:S:L staff!), my team won the 24 Hours of LeMons at Altamont. This victory will always be remembered as one of the greatest for my team because of the come-from-behind, last lap pass which earned us the win. It was very close, since as I crossed the finish line under the checkered flags steam was pouring out of the hood from a blown head gasket. If the race had been two laps longer we would have lost. After Altamont we won some other motorsports events, NASA Performance Touring races and even a Demolition Derby. But when it came to the endurance racing side of the house, my team went on a ridiculously insane second place streak. Six events, six second place finishes. Of course, like any good racer, I have plenty of lame excuses for every loss. In fact I have an extensive list of excuses for each second place finish, complete with media links. 1. Second Place: 24 Hours of LeMons, Buttonwillow -Leading, flipped car on last lap. 2. Second Place: Beetleball, Long Beach to Las Vegas -Leading, missed pit stop in desert. 3. Second Place: ChumpCar, Infineon -Leading, ran out of gas with 5 minutes to go (splash of fuel stop). 4. Second Place: 24 Hours of LeMons, Infineon -Leading, broken half shaft, flat tire. 5. Second Place: NASA Western Endurance Racing Championship, Buttonwillow -Leading, ran out of gas (again). 6. Second Place: ChumpCar, Auto Club Speedway (Saturday) -Leading, with 30 minutes to go, grounded distributor. As a race team, we really couldn’t complain. Every one of those finishes is absolutely respectable and with a field of 125 competitors at LeMons, 123 teams would have loved to trade places with us and stood on the podium in second spot. However, after six events and six near misses at winning, we felt like we were truly stuck in a rut, almost like we were hexed. What was keeping us from standing on top of the podium again? Was it just racing luck? Could I blame the unpaid, overworked, completely volunteer pit crew? I’m joking, of course, I could never blame my crew, they are absolutely the best. The only place to find fault was with me. Looking at the data from our races a few statistics were quite glaring. My gas mileage was awful in comparison to the rest of the drivers on my team and the incidents of mechanical failures were occurring 98% of the time with me behind the wheel. Some of that could be attributed to the fact that I drive the anchor position on my team, when the car is already pretty beat on from hours of racing. Like it or not the data didn’t lie, the car was dying on my watch. Sure I set some blistering lap times, but then I also brought the car into the pits shortly afterward either out of gas or with something broken. Shaving a few seconds off of a lap time doesn’t make sense if I have to spend 30 seconds in the pits for a splash and go. They say we learn from our mistakes. Apparently it takes me six times to learn something. The light bulb finally went on when I was leading the ChumpCar “L.A. Freeway Enduro” 7-hour race on Saturday with only 30 minutes to go when the car started falling apart underneath me. I lost that race by 34 seconds after having to stop to fix the problem. I realized (FINALLY!) that I needed to work less on the car and more on myself. Frustrated with another second place finish we resolved the mechanical problem with the car Saturday night and came up with a new game plan for Sunday. We would run the car conservatively (I know it sounds crazy!) and let the race come to us over time. My team ran that plan perfectly. The race was ours to win, as long as my final stint went well. I promised the team I would take it easy. They smiled but I could tell none of them believed me. Just to keep tabs on me they had one person watching live timing and scoring, if I ran a lap that was anything resembling fast they were screaming on the radio for me to slow down. I couldn’t complain though, the car was lasting. Finally it was time to put the losing streak behind us. We snaked an inside pass on Team Zoom-Zoom Boom and never looked back. I drove like a grandma, held the lead, and just smoothly cruised along. I tried to go as easy as I could on the car. And it was absolutely necessary. Because as the race finish neared, the car started running into some problems again. I was able to nurse the car along to the end, however, if I had been running hard for two hours straight there wouldn't have been enough car left to survive. The second place curse was in the back of my mind as I crossed my fingers and hoped the car would make it. But by slowing down, like my team wanted me to, I was actually able to finish in the lead and put us back into the winner’s circle. Victory was ours again! Who would have thought that going slower in racing would actually be beneficial? If you ask my team, they will tell you they all knew that. Apparently, I was the only idiot who didn’t. Krider Racing and Speed:Sport:Life now have the distinguishing honor of winning both series, the 24 Hours of LeMons and ChumpCar. Of course, none of this could have been accomplished without our crew, sponsors and the hard working operators that put on the ChumpCar events. First I’d like to recognize the Krider Racing ChumpCar Fontana crew for convincing me to do the right thing and for working hard to win the race for us: Nick Brown, Andy Bai, Jim Krider and Sara Krider. A huge thank you to our sponsors Atomic Speedware, Carbotech Brake Pads, Capital City Motorsports, T.E.M. Machine Shop, I/O Port Racing Supplies, Figstone Graphics, ST Suspensions, Performance In-Frame Tuning, Piloti driving shoes, HP 234, Circuit Sports, Racing WFO, Car Domain, Bay Ex, Napa Valley Muffler, B&G Tires, Miracle Auto Body and Paint, Napa Valley Transmissions, Bottlers Unlimited, Economy Stock Feed, Kuhtz Diehl Insurance and Financial Services, C.J. Fix Co. and, last but not least, Speed:Sport:Life. There was also some great clean driving by the drivers on the Krider Racing ChumpCar Fontana team: AJ Gracy, Randy Krider, Keith Kramer (and myself for doing the right thing and slowing down). Final results of the ChumpCar Auto Club Speedway race can be found here. Race photography from Auto Club Speedway was provided by Marco Maggiora. Teams who would like pictures can contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The 24 Hours of LeMons Sears Pointless race last weekend was host to 148 teams racing $500 cars. Once the checkered flag dropped on Saturday night, then the action switched from the world famous twelve turn technical road course of Infineon Raceway to a sloped four lane wooden straight track for teams racing $5 cars –pinewood derby cars. Since Speed:Sport:Life had featured a Racer Boy story on Pinewood Derby, it only seemed right that we should represent at this event. So to prepare for the race we built three fresh cars and brought my son’s Boy Scouts of America District Champion car. Why four cars? You wouldn’t ask Penske why he brings four cars to Indy. We did it to hedge our bets, of course. We built our #38 hero car, to look similar to our LeMon’s Acura Integra, red, sleek and lightweight. I’ll admit I got a little crazy with the Dremel on this one. We had so much Tungsten in the trunk in order to put the center mass toward the rear that we had to carve away the rest of the chassis to make the 5 ounce weight. LeMons actually encouraged cheating in this event so we built our toxic waste delivery car, the toxic waste being 14 ounces of molten lead. To really make this car wicked fast we picked up a set of nickel plated polished axles and some crazy thin and super fast wheels from Maximum-Velocity. A bunch of LeMons teams arrived with cars, some were decorated to match their actual racecars, some had different contraptions to attempt to make them faster. As the eliminations began all four of our cars won their first rounds. We were feeling pretty good until the guys from the ZZ Uber team ran their first round. These guys built a remote controlled electric engine pinewood derby car. It was absolutely ingenious and was insanely fast. Or cars were crushing the “old school” pinewood competition, especially our overweight and Maximum-Velocity wheels equipped toxic waste delivery car, but we couldn’t even touch the RC car. It was a blur as it went down the track. The car was built creatively and was perfectly executed. We’ll admit when we get out engineered and beat. They cleaned house in the pinewood race. At the end of the event they ran the car up the track backwards, using the track as a launch pad to propel the car fifteen feet through the air. You've never seen anything like it at a pinewood race. " We had to settle for not winning the pinewood race, which was fitting since the following day we finished second best in the LeMons race as well. But like Ricky Bobby’s daddy told him, second place is the first loser. Congrats to Team ZZ Uber. Outstanding ingenuity, we just wished we had thought of it too.
Krider Racing/Speed:Sport:Life wins the “good class" at the 24 Hours of LeMons at Infineon raceway this weekend in their Big Sausage Pizza Delivery themed Acura Integra. The team endured a flat tire, a broken half shaft, a leaking battery, knocking the front bumper off after hitting a tire wall, a bad ignition system and a black flag for going three wide into turn one and knocking the mirror off a competitor’s car “Whoops! Sorry…” and somehow after all of that, and out of an unheard of 147 competitors, the team won their class and finished second overall. This was accomplished by the unselfish and endless help of the Krider Racing crew who replaced a half shaft in less than three minutes and spent the entire weekend in Nomex driver suits that smelled like gasoline. The Team (Rob Krider, Randy Krider, Steve Kuhtz, Keith Kramer, Rob Diehl and AJ Gracy) would like to thank: Tim Jackley, Swayne Mason, John and Amanda Haeberle, Ryan Hackett, Dan “Gadget” Bordeau, Dan Olguin, Anna Kaufman, Lori Carter, Tim Persico, John Linbarger, Sara, Gus, Jim, Chris, Dina, Nissa, Natasha and Addy Krider, Allison Malone, Rod and Judy Kramer, and Rachel Kuhtz. Without their help the team would have finished in 140th place. You guys are the best! And I can't forget the sponsors who kept us vying for the lead all weekend, Atomic Speedware, Carbotech Brake Pads, Capital City Motorsports, T.E.M. Machine Shop, I/O Port Racing Supplies, Figstone Graphics, ST Suspensions, Performance In-Frame Tuning, Piloti driving shoes, HP 234, Circuit Sports, Racing WFO, Car Domain, Bay Ex, Napa Valley Muffler, B&G Tires, Miracle Auto Body and Paint, Napa Valley Transmissions, Bottlers Unlimited, Economy Stock Feed, Kuhtz Diehl Insurance and Financial Services, C.J. Fix Co., and, of course, Speed:Sport:Life.
Krider Racing/Speed:Sport:Life finished the first day of the 24 Hours of LeMons Infineon in second place out of 147 entries. The team POS FedEx (F'edUp) themed BMW is one lap ahead of the Big Sausage Pizza Delivery themed car with eight more hours of racing to go tomorrow. Krider Racing has to thank I/O Port Racing Supplies, Atomic Speedware, Carbotech Brakes, and ST Suspensions for a great running car. We'll give you updates on the event at Speed:Sport:Life as the results come in. Photography by Allison Shea Malone
Krider Racing, aka Big Sausage Pizza Delivery, is busy delivering pizzas to the other LeMons teams tonight as "tech inspection day" came to a close at the 24 Hours of LeMons at Infineon Raceway this weekend. The last LeMons event the Big Sausage Acura competed in resulted in a roll-over crash on the last lap. They rebuilt the car with a little help from I/O Port Racing Supplies. Since the team technically didn't "deliver" in 24 hours or less, they decided to bring free pizzas to other teams. Fazerrati’s Pizza was kind enough to donate some round dough and the team got to work delivering pizzas to other LeMons competitors and the judges (which resulted in a zero lap penalty, which is nice). The team name is now, Big Sausage Pizza (and rolls) Delivery. The team is planning on passing out cinimon rolls tomorrow. Speed:Sport:Life will bring you live coverage of the race as it unfolds.