Tag - ChumpCar
You are seeing the image correctly. That is a Plymouth Voyager road racing! The van, run hard by “The Soccer Moms” race team, traveled from Oregon down to Buttonwillow Raceway in Southern California to run in the 14-hour “Summer Sunset” ChumpCar endurance race. The van did quite well getting the kids to practice and put down some pretty fast laps. Hit the jump below to see how it faired overall in the ChumpCar race. Photo by VanHap Photography. The ChumpCar “Summer Sunset” event went from 9:00 a.m. for fourteen hours straight, through the heat of the day and beyond sunset with a checkered flag being waved at 11:00 p.m. Teams did battle in $500 race cars (everything from grocery-getter vans to Triumph Spitfires). As the sun set, Buttonwillow Raceway became extremely dark and teams had to rely on their headlights and bravery to get around the course. The battle early in the race was between the #93 Nissan NX2000 “Shark Car” versus the #38 Acura Integra of Big Sausage Pizza Delivery. The Nissan was dominating on track but had to come in for fuel every hour and twenty minutes while the Acura was able to go two hours without a pit stop. These two teams had battled it out before and the different strategies (raw speed versus fuel mileage) were looking to be an interesting fight throughout the day. Big Sausage Pizza Delivery hung a stuffed animal shark from their rear tow hook to bait the “Shark Car” into chasing them. The “Shark Car” of race team Clergy MC answered back with a three lap lead. About halfway through the long race some bum racing luck struck Clergy MC’s “Shark Car” as they lost a left front wheel in Riverside corner. They were able to make repairs to the car (with some tools loaned from the Big Sausage guys) and come back out to compete. However, the #93 team lost too much time and the win and the trophy went to Krider Racing / Big Sausage Pizza Delivery (sponsored by I/O Port Racing Supplies, Sampson Racing Communications and Carbotech Brakes). Below, Krider Racing holds their trophy proud after fourteen hard hours of racing. The race was filled with great competitors, a great crowd and some really interesting machinery. Below are the competitors listed in order of their finishing position: Finish: First Place Number: 38 Team Name: Krider Racing / Big Sausage Pizza Delivery Make: Acura Total Laps: 312 Fastest Lap: 2:23.785 Finish: Second Place Number: 30 Team Name: Thundercock Racing Make: Mazda (disguised as a BMW) Total Laps: 299 Fastest Lap: 2:31.126 Finish: Third Place Number: 14 Team Name: Zoom-Zoom Boom! Make: Ford Total Laps: 292 Fastest Lap: 2:25.725 Finish: Fourth Place Number: 18 Team Name: Parabellum Racing Make: Mazda Total Laps: 282 Fastest Lap: 2:35.619 Finish: Fifth Place Number: 42 Team Name: Old & The Wreckless Make: Ford Total Laps: 276 Fastest Lap: 2:36.006 Finish: Sixth Place Number: 84 Team Name: Barbarian Motorworks Make: BMW Total Laps: 269 Fastest Lap: 2:21.268 quickest lap for event Finish: Seventh Place Number: 69 Team Name: Racey Diva Make: Datsun/Nissan Total Laps: 255 Fastest Lap: 2:24.377 Finish: Eighth Place and the “I got passed by what?” Award Number: 52 Team Name: The Soccer Moms Make: Plymouth Total Laps: 233 Fastest Lap: 2:32.015 Finish: Ninth Place and the Chumpiest Chump Award Number: 66 Team Name: The Sex Pistons Make: Triumph Total Laps: 210 Fastest Lap: 2:45.651 Finish: Tenth Place Number: 55 Team Name: Das Cucaracha Make: BMW Total Laps: 193 Fastest Lap: 2:37.136 Finish: Eleventh Place Number: 15 Team Name: Top Gun Down Under Make: Ford Total Laps: 178 Fastest Lap: 2:30.008 Finish: Twelfth Place and the Maytag Spin Cycle Award Number: 26 Team Name: The Carpet Pissers Make: Honda Total Laps: 168 Fastest Lap: 2:34.478 Finish: Thirteenth Place Number: 93 Team Name: Clergy MC Make: Nissan Total Laps: 157 Fastest Lap: 2:21.822 Finish: Fourteenth Place Number: 98 Team Name: Gurney’s Fleagle Make: Toyota Total Laps: 153 Fastest Lap: 2:26.858 Finish: Fifteenth Place Number: 32 Team Name: Dirt Track Pirates Make: Mazda Total Laps: 141 Fastest Lap: 2:29.160 Finish: Sixteenth Place Number: 16 Team Name: Top Gun Mavericks Make: Ford Total Laps: 100 Fastest Lap: 2:32.443 Finish: Seventeenth Place Number: 6 Team Name: Strictly Legal Racing Make: Volkswagen Total Laps: 70 Fastest Lap: 2:35.962 During the event Matt Adair ran his Jeep Cherokee around the course as a camera vehicle for a future episode of GoRacingTV.com. For more information on ChumpCar races check out the Racer Boy post on Speed:Sport:Life.com.
Photos by Adam Haas Happy Father’s Day! Here is a quick update on the ChumpCar race this weekend. I’ll post a full report later. The last time Krider Racing ran the Big Sausage Pizza Delivery Acura Integra around Buttonwillow Raceway they were leading on the last lap and then had an epic roll-over at the "Phil Hill" turn costing them the race. The team came back to Buttonwillow with the same car and a new plan. The new plan was "don’t roll-over" and "win" the race. The ChumpCar 14-hour enduro would set the stage for Krider Racing’s return to Buttonwillow. It was a lengthy tough battle with some awesome racing and great teams in attendance. Steve Kuhtz, AJ Gracy, Randy Krider, Keith Kramer and Rob Krider all shared driving duties during the long event. As the checkered flag was thrown on the dark racecourse at 11 p.m. the #38 Krider Racing Big Sausage Pizza Delivery Acura headlights were the first to illuminate the flag giving them the win –the second ChumpCar win for the team. Huge thanks needs to go out to the Course Workers, The ChumpCar Crew, the Kramer family, the Nees family, Amanda Hargis and Stephen Young for crewing such a long race. Also thanks to I/O Port Racing Supplies, Figstone Graphics, Sampson Racing Communications, Carbotech Brakes and GoRacingTV.com. The Big Sausage crew weathered and tired after 14 hours of battling in the desert heat at Buttonwillow. For more information on ChumpCar races check out the Racer Boy post on Speed:Sport:Life.com.
Photo by Jennifer Birtchie Summer is here and it’s time to kick the tires and light the fires for some racing. Problem is with this economy most of us don’t have enough coin underneath our seat cushions to pick up a spare Slurpee at 7-11 let alone a spare set of tires for an automobile race. That’s where ChumpCar comes along. Take your $500 beater and go racing. Not exciting enough to get you off of the couch and risk letting your Forza Motorsport ranking fall? ChumpCar has a National Championship and also races internationally, yup, Mexico, U.S. and Canada. How would you like to consider yourself an international racecar driver? This weekend Speed:Sport:Life will bring coverage from ChumpCar’s latest adventure -14 hours of Buttonwillow. Teams will be doing a solid day of battle, racing through the desert heat and attempting to survive the epic darkness with the checkered flag flying at 11:00 p.m. on Saturday. Set down the remote control and get in the garage. You have a lot of work to do to your Mom’s Camry if it is going to pass tech. See you at the track!
The racing circus that is the 24 Hours of LeMons rolled into Infineon Raceway March 26-27, 2011. Speed:Sport:Life was there to cover the automotive mayhem represented by a 169 car Guinness Book of World record field of entrants. To get a real flavor for the event and be immersed in the car-nage we entered the Krider Racing Big Sausage Pizza Delivery Acura Integra. The weather forecast for the race weekend in Sonoma California was rain with possible showers. If we were lucky we might even get high winds and lightning. The wet weather was not optimal for the tires we brought which sent our team on a hunt for some solid rain tires. B&G Tires in Napa helped us get some deep treaded performance donuts. We rolled into the track on Friday and found the paddock slammed with teams. Ironically, open practice on Friday had a Ferrari club sharing Infineon with the LeMons teams. I don’t think there is an example of further sides of the car culture spectrum than Ferrari F430 racing owners with their eighteen wheel trucks filled with Italian tools (yes, they really do use Italian tools to fix Ferraris) compared to our team with a rusting car trailer and a 5 gallon bucket filled with half a set of sockets from Costco. Infineon was smart enough to keep the cars separated on the track, but we did share the paddock together. I think our entire LeMons budget for 2011 is still less than the cost of one wheel and tire on a Ferrari. When we lowered our trailer door we were happy to find out that the new tire rack we installed in the racing trailer from Pit Posse Motorsports didn’t fall down and scratch the hood of the racecar during the long road trip to Infineon. The last thing our LeMons car needed was more dents and scratches. Most teams jumped into the tech line at LeMons to find out if their roll-cage would pass inspection from the keen eye of John Pagel from Evil Genius Racing. Teams were anxious to find out how many laps LeMons Supreme Court Judges, Jonny and Phil, were going to bestow on their “racecars” disguised as “$500 heaps.” The teams stood in the garages sweating as they held on to fake Ebay receipts and fraudulent Craig’s List ads in attempt to explain how new coil-over shocks only cost 10 dollars in Uzbekistan. If the judges didn’t like a team’s theme then the judges may arbitrarily help with a theme, or maybe just spray paint on your car what they really think, like “Your Theme Sux.” While other teams suffered the wrath of the judges we decided to run some tire tests. We found that our tires worked great but our fire extinguisher managed to fall out of the mount and jump around the interior of the car making an awful amount of noise. Luckily the damn thing didn’t go off while we were driving. One call to Ken from I/O Port Racing Supplies and he set us up with a double strap extinguisher mount. The last thing you want while rolling into Turn 11 at Infineon at over 100 miles per hour is a loose fire extinguisher wedged under the brake pedal. Your day will be over quite fast. As "racing" luck would have it, we destroyed a lug nut while blasting tires on and off the car during tire testing. The guys at Phase2Motortrend set us up with new extra super lightweight aluminum lug nuts from Circuit Sports. Once we transitioned to the Circuit Sports lugs we didn't have any issues again. At the event we were filming an upcoming episode for GoRacingTV.com. We had a bunch of GoPro Hero HD cameras to get different shots. If you have ever played with a GoPro camera then you know that sometimes you take video for forty minutes and sometimes you take only a single picture within 40 minutes. Steve Kuhtz is a great crew chief and driver for our team but he struggled with turning on these cameras. I included the above shot because that is all we ever got out of a camera he attempted to turn on -one single picture of him looking at the lens… a bit confused. We sported the number 138 for this event which meant we needed fresh number panels from Figstone Graphics. We also installed a fresh set of endurance racing brake pads from Carbotech Brakes. When we rolled into tech we gave the judges a LeMons themed inspirational poster. The poster was a hit and rumor has it that the poster now graces the walls at LeMons HQ. After taking a quick look at our Integra the judges said, “So this car is a prior winner, and a prior car that was on its roof.” My first thought was, “Oh crap! Here come some penalty laps.” Then they laughed and said, “Were letting the fast cars run this weekend, Eyesore Racing, Evil Genius, POS Racing, Metro Gnome. We didn’t give any of those teams laps. Go have fun.” Sounded good to us! Friday night we cruised around, drank heavily and partied with the teams in the paddock. We swapped lies and stories with other teams and held flashlights while guys pulled off miracle motor swaps. We did a few team interviews for the GoRacingTV.com coverage. Watching the video footage later, we realized due to the party getting quite rowdy, that this episode would have to be rated NC-17 which Errol Tucker from GoRacingTV.com said was not going to happen. Maybe we can do a Director’s Cut? The next morning we found out why they didn’t give any previous winners any penalty laps, there were so many cars on the track, going fast was going to be quite a challenge. There were 169 teams that registered laps with their transponders –a Guinness Book of World record submission. Before our team can head out on a weekend long endurance race they are subjected to an extremely long (and lame) speech from me. The speech goes something like, “drive fast but don’t crash” and “save the car but make lots of passes” and “have fun but let’s win!” Rumor has it nobody listens to a word I say, they just look at their watches to see who will win the money pool –a competition about on how long my speech will actually be. In their defense, the speeches do go bit long… sort of like this article. I found a spot high up on a Sonoma hillside where I could spot most of the track. Armed with new radios and headsets from Sampson Racing Communications I was in perfect position to watch over our first driver, AJ Gracy, who owns Performance In-Frame Tuning in Napa, CA and is our team car chief. Since I was set up with a radio I could continue my ridiculously long pep talk. Traffic was insane during the race. AJ did a great job staying out of trouble, had a reasonably uneventful stint and brought the car in for our second driver, Rob Diehl. During our first driver swap, the team fueled the car, did a four tire swap (rains to drys) and added new cameras to the car. The pit crew of Stephen Young, Tim Jackley, Swayne Mason, John Linbarger, Sun Massera, Rachel Kuhtz, Anna Kaufman, Amanda Hargis, Tim Bringman, Dan Bordeau, John Persico, Karen Long, Ryan Hackett, Dan Olguin, Adam Haas and Lori Carter did an outstanding job getting the car back on the track quick. They also kept us out of the grease. Trouble and the judges are what you want to avoid at LeMons. This poor guy had to write hundreds of sentences on his car for spinning out in the rain. This car passed us a couple of times, but since it was sitting still for sentence writing we got those laps back and then some. My brother, Randy Krider, was the final driver for our team on Saturday. The team did another perfect pit stop and we were on the track and moving up the standings. We went all weekend without a penalty and without even trying hard or driving too aggressive we were sitting in 9th out of 169 teams by the end of day one. Saturday night they had a “Cheaters Pinewood Derby” and we entered a couple of cars: a camera car for the GoRacingTV.com footage and a beer can with wheels called “Miss Budweiser.” When the smoke cleared our beer can won first place and we earned this badass trophy which represents the scales of justice with the rulebook on one side and our cheater car on the opposite side. You can see the sweet taste of victory video here. The pit party on Saturday night was absolutely epic. So epic, in fact, that most of the Krider Racing crew got blackout drunk. A team rolled around the pits in a limo with a roll-cage in it passing out vodka soaked gummy bears. The results are viewable in the photo above plus one crew member mistook my RV hallway for the bathroom and peed on the floor. The details of that little incident can be read in the Man Overboard column in the Santa Maria Sun. Due to the number of radios we had I was able to try to find the drunken pit crew early Sunday morning. Some replied they were too drunk to volunteer to work for free on the racecar all day long. How dare them!? My dad, Jim Krider, was in charge of corralling the crew before each pit stop. His list of available guys was dwindling as more crew dropped out due to vomiting and diarrhea from being hung over. He and I brainstormed about the best way to do the first pit stop with limited resources. Maybe we would have the driver get out and fuel the car himself? Steve Kuhtz put down a solid early Sunday stint without any problems. I stayed in contact with him thanks again to Sampson Racing Radios and we worked together to find a nice yellow flag for a driver swap. Keith Kramer, my driving partner last year (we earned the NASA E3 2010 Western Endurance Racing Championship in his Nissan Sentra), waited patiently to get in the car to try to move us up the standings. Eventually a nice yellow flag came out and we did our pit stop. Even after 12 plus hours of racing, the traffic was still thick on Infineon. Keith was careful to move through traffic without any fender rubbing. As the race unfolded we started to really watch our position and fuel mileage. We had moved up to the top five and we wanted to make sure we didn’t run out of fuel (we lost a ChumpCar race in ’10 at Infineon for that very reason). We used a laptop and our nerdy spreadsheet to keep track of stats but the backlighting near the computer made the screen impossible to see. Our solution to the viewing problem was to use a laptop hood to block the sunlight. We scored a great one from Photodon.com. It works so we can see our screen in any condition (and also keeps other teams from spying on us). We had been watching the leader board all weekend waiting to see the number 138 make an appearance. If finally did on Sunday. We were sitting in third with only a few hours to go. With our team short on crew, suddenly a miracle arrived at Infineon. An old racing partner of my dad from go-kart racing back in the '80s, Craig Bulleri, arrived to watch the event. He had his three sons Nick, Jeff and Andrew Bulleri along with him. Apparently in order to be a Bulleri boy you must sport the beard. Before they could argue, we outfitted them in Krider Racing Nomex, slapped helmets on their heads and stuck a fuel can in their hands. We came in for our last pit stop. They gave me some gas (like they were seasoned pros) and I jumped in to bring the race home. The number 187 motorcycle powered Geo Metro Gnome was absolutely screaming around the track. I did everything I could but I had nothing for them. During my stint I think I may have lost two laps to them, only to get one back due to a penalty they incurred. With the race coming to an end our strategy went from “save the car” to “BALLS!” The other car on the track that I couldn’t make any positions on was the number 760 BMW of Team POS Racing. These guys drove an incredible pace from lap one to the final lap. I kept waiting for them to put a wheel off and find themselves in the penalty box, but it never happened. They drove awesome and when the checkered flag dropped it was Team POS first, Metro Gnome second and Krider Racing Big Sausage Pizza Delivery on the final podium position. Phil Greden, Jonny Lieberman and Jay Lamm from LeMons held court during the awards ceremony. Team POS earned $1,500 dollars paid in Russian rubles and a sweet bottle of $1,000 tequila. The event was a great time. Finishing third out of 169 is an incredible accomplishment (the entire podium was previous LeMons winners –POS Racing -Buttonwillow ‘10, Metro Gnome -Thunderhill ‘09 and Krider Racing -Altamont ‘08). The crazy part about this event for our team was we had the “perfect race” which I have never had in my life. In this event we didn’t have a single mechanical problem, we didn’t get a single penalty, all of our pit stops were solid/quick and that only netted us a third place finish. Crazy. The next adventure for the team will be a 14 hour one day enduro at Buttonwillow Raceway in Central California with the hardcore racers of ChumpCar on June 18, 2011. See you there! The new episode on GoRacingTV.com will be out shortly (after we bleep out all of the curse words). And last but not least a huge thank you to the crew! Photography by Adam Haas, Rob Diehl and Amanda Hargis.
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 Krider Racing Big Sausage Pizza Delivery machine won the ChumpCar L.A. Freeway Enduro at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday. The win was based 100% on the work of the Krider Racing pit crew who had the fastest driver changes of the entire field. I have ton of people I want to thank and some great racing stories to tell but after my stint in the car and a long tow home I'm totally beat. I'm going to call it a night and I'll shoot the rest of the racey details to you guys later. Here is some quick coverage on Jalopnik.