Topic: K-Car after Buttonwillow
For K-Car stalkers that still exist, here is the Buttonwillow report. Briefly.
After the car blew up at Sears Point, a first time arrive and drive member of the team decided to take it on and do the engine swap. He and his wife were refreshingly enthusiastic about taking on the car. Ryan got the swap completed, by himself, and the car made it to Buttonwillow running and shifting and making engine sounds and everything. She ran great (well, K great) for most of the day. Only three drivers. Ryan (his second race ever - the guy that did the swap,) Toni (first time arrive and drive) and me (lots of races and three in the K.) We stayed steady, stayed out of trouble, ran longish stints and climbed up the standings. We could race for a while and then she would start to run a little hot and we would back off and cruise for a while. We never ran her as fast as we could because we were trying to make the end of the race. And she wouldn't run below 200 degrees if we pushed her hard.
Anyway, we climbed the standings as cars started falling out. When the Billy Beer car and the Poorolator Buick broke, we were the fastest left in C at that moment but we were behind a 914 and Dirtbags 282 Luv. During my stint toward the end of Saturday, the 914 and Luv had a few minor issues. Even though the K has the most uncomfortable racing seat known to man, I stayed out for my full stint and we got up on C class by 7 or 8 laps. The K car was leading C class toward the end of the first day. Some people were starting to feel strange little twinges of…hope. Toni got in the car and slowed the pace down but still kept the car about 7 laps ahead. I mentioned something to Doug and Anton that "The K is leading Class C. But, we know she has a way of breaking racers hearts.."
With about 45 minutes or so left, there was an off-track excursion for the car. First black flag of the day, if I recall correctly. Toni brought the car to the paddock and there was some oil dripping that hadn't been dripping before. But we checked all the levels and everything seemed okay. Toni had had enough so an old friend of the K, Steve McDaniel, got in to finish out the day. He made it about two turns before she blew up in a big, fiery way. There was something wrong with it when he went out. After the long tow back to the paddock we took a look and the engine was only held in by one engine mount and was laying off kilter and kind of diagonal. Pieces that may have been from the K were brought to the paddock. One of those pieces ended up going through the windshield later in the night. Some talk of the clutch exploding and taking other stuff with it through the oil pan. Some talk of motor mounts breaking before or after. We never really dug into it to find out. Just sort of used her for a chair and a beer caddy the rest of the weekend.
She is going to need an engine. And a clutch. And a transmission. And a windshield. And a paint job. And, for gods sake, a better seat. The Super Snipe had a seat like a cloud. The K needs one of those.
All in all, I'd drive the K again in a second. She has a C class win in her. Sorry to see her moving back to the mid west and I hope to see her again at some point. She has some sort of bewitching power. After Ryan, the new guy that did the swap by himself, did the swap he was ready to have her be gone. After driving her in the race he was sad she was leaving. After blowing up, he was disappointed. But, he told his wife he was thinking about finding another K car and building one himself. No joke.
Anton overheard his wife telling me that story, by the way. All he could say was…"What?…..What?"
That…is the power of the K.