Topic: Sputnik@NCM, or How to Step on Your Wiener Repeatedly:
1) Teach your new driver (Hillary) to drive stick at 6:30 on Friday before the race, in the back of the paddock lot, because procrastinating for 2 months is fun. Start-stops 20 feet at a time, 180, more lurching start-stops, rinse-repeat. Several minutes later, angry security guy drives up and tells us "race time is over, park it, DON'T MAKE US TELL YOU TWICE gawr gawr" (as it later turned out, NCM dictates no race motors after 6). We shrug, say roger wilco, and park the car. Sometime between then and the next morning Jay gets an angry call about #119 doing donuts, hooning, and setting the Great Chicago Fire, all while ignoring repeated calls to stop. Hillary does retain enough knowledge to launch herself onto the track and turn laps, but not before us spending the first 30 minutes of the race explaining ourselves.
2) Check torque on axle nuts on Friday, realize they're already to spec, assume that lugnuts were torqued, too. Same poor new driver comes back an hour later and mentions clicking and front-end vibrations. Now she's mildly terrified. Lost 10 minutes checking lugnut torque and everything else.
3) Keep the same wrong temp sender for three effin races, promising yourself to replace with the correct one after people would come in, hair on fire, complaining about the car running hot. Of course, on Saturday two people come in, hair on fire, complaining about hot temp readings. Another 30 minutes. Finally gave in and replaced it with correct sender overnight.
4) Delay tire rotation until the morning because eff it. The next morning, find out that one of the rear lugnuts merged itself onto the stud and would leave a chunk of its own guts on the stud once pried loose. 20 minute operation turns into an hour-long thread-cleaning adventure. Missed green by 10 minutes.
5) Add some oil, ask teammate to top off the pan, get on with life. Check oil in the morning, realize it's a little over full. Then, against better judgement, cave in to "Ehh, ok, it'll burn up anyway" calls. On the same poor first-time driver from yesterday. Car gets towed in after smoking like a coal steamer. Fact: 4 extra quarts is not "a little over full". Another 40 minutes sorting out the aftermath (which involved another tow after all the oil in the exhaust started smoking). Hillary now refuses to get in the car because obviously we're trying to kill her, although a few hours later, we talk her into taking checkered. Which leads to:
6) Keep using wonky oem starter switch instead of a usual push-button. 10 minutes before checkered on Sunday, as if she didn't have enough, Hillary spins out in #10. She then can't get the motor to crank while blocking half the track, sideways, thanks to ambiguously acting switch. Miraculously avoids getting creamed thanks to quick work from NCM towing guys, flaggers, and all the drivers actually paying attention.
I'm surprised she didn't tell me to sleep on the couch. That patience.