Topic: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

I was lying in bed last night, unable to sleep, dreading the 0430 alarm for work this morning. I started thinking about Infineon, and what a rush it was to cruise around the pits Friday night in our Michael Jackson costumes in the graveyard-themed V8olvo blaring "Thriller", with a sizeable dead tree sticking out of our roof. We only did that for maybe 40 minutes to an hour total. We later wrenched for 24 hours straight during the weekend to build a replacement 302 for the one that blew on the third lap. This was after wrenching for several days prior to Infineon to install the first replacement engine. All that hard work and frustration for all of us, all that money spent to fly out, replace the engine TWICE in one weekend, buy a new starter/radiator/water pump/ignition/alternator/etc, and I only got three laps in my own car (and I was towed back in on two of them). Yet what do I think about when I relive the memories of that weekend?

The absolute blast we had cruising the pits! The way people scrambled to get their cameras (some literally ran) to take a picture of the absurd spectacle of a racecar with a big dead tree strapped to the rollcage, shedding leaves as it passed, deafening them with a Michael Jackson classic. The elation we felt when the replacement engine we had assembled in the predawn hours roared to life in the morning.

So we traded on-track stories for undercar stories---we still have stories to tell! We may not have gotten the seat time we hoped for, but I can't relive that weekend without a smile on my face. The nightmare is over. The grueling wrenching session paid off, well enough to get each driver out on the track at least once. There are Lemons drivers that go home without ever getting to turn a lap at pretty much every single race. There are teams that give up in the first few hours, without even bothering to exhaust every possibility to fix their broken racecar. I offer them this advice:

1) You gotta fix a broken racecar anyway.
You have extra hands to help with the repairs, plenty of tools available in the paddock, plenty of knowledgeable people around, and plenty more who will stand around offering moral support (and beer).  Unless you had previously decided it was the last hurrah for the car, and no additional efforts or money would be spent on it, get greasy already!

2)Your team is there to race, not to spectate or go home early.
Whether you are team captain, a team member, or just an onlooker, anyone can be the inspiration to a dejected team who wants to throw in the towel. Nothing helps a discouraged team like a stranger walking up and offering to jump in and assist with the repairs.

3) You each paid good money to be there. Make the most of it.
Some of the best memories you will ever have of racing will be of overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles and getting back on track. The fondest Lemons memory I have is of being push-started in third gear after 16 hours of wrenching and welding to convert an extinct fried 1963 Cruise-O-Matic MX three speed automatic into a direct-drive driveshaft. We had no idea if it was possible, yet we knew we had no alternative but to try. The overwhelming emotion I felt at seeing the standing ovation our efforts received as I lapped the track still chokes me up a bit two years later. A clean, well-executed pass after a hard-fought battle can be a fond memory, but unless it was at the finish line for the win, I doubt it will have the same effect on you years afterward.

4) You might not come away empty-handed.
You MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN. Whether it's I Got Screwed, Organizer's Choice, Most Heroic Fix, or some other piece of welded junk awarded to you in front of your peers, winning anything in Lemons is a truly great feeling. You can't win if you pack up and go home. You gotta make the effort first, then stick around for the awards ceremony. TRUST ME, it's worth it.

5) Your team will have a better reputation in future races.
Arrive-and-drives don't want to take a chance paying good money to run with a team that loads the trailer and goes home early on Saturday. For that matter, teammates often elect not to return after a bad experience, or seek out another team instead. If you know you will keep racing Lemons, you need to maintain a never-say-die attitude. It will pay off in the long run.

These are the nuggets of wisdom I have gleaned in more than twenty Lemons races, fielding 11 different cars in various configurations. I firmly believe that your actions in the face of adversity speak volumes about your character, and while you might be labeled a nutcase, as I have been, it will be the good kind of nutcase, the one you call a friend to their face with a broad grin, and not the straightjacketed, heavily medicated, involuntarily hospitalized kind. Future Legends of Lemons, I challenge YOU to heed this sage advice:

NEVER GIVE UP!!!

NEVER SURRENDER!!!


[/soapbox]

Captain: Speedycop & The Gang Of Outlaws -'94 Mark VIII (Least Horrible Yank Tank Stafford '09, NOLA '10) '61 Caddy (Org Choice-NL '09) '63 Tbird (EPIC Repair Failure-Gingerman '10, I Got Screwed-Summit Pt '10, I.O.E. WINNER Stafford '10!) '77 Lancia Scorpion (I.O.E. WINNER Joliet 2010!) '67 Galaxie 500 (Judges Choice-CMP '11)
Future Fleet: 1957 Ford Prefect 1942 Buick 1959 Bugeye Project GLCOAT

2 (edited by Speedycop 2011-12-13 09:11 AM)

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

Visual aids for those not present:

http://i822.photobucket.com/albums/zz148/SpeedycopPics/mjthrillercostumes.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7Zw5znFom8

Got a LeMony story to back up what I've said? Post it up, pics and all!

Captain: Speedycop & The Gang Of Outlaws -'94 Mark VIII (Least Horrible Yank Tank Stafford '09, NOLA '10) '61 Caddy (Org Choice-NL '09) '63 Tbird (EPIC Repair Failure-Gingerman '10, I Got Screwed-Summit Pt '10, I.O.E. WINNER Stafford '10!) '77 Lancia Scorpion (I.O.E. WINNER Joliet 2010!) '67 Galaxie 500 (Judges Choice-CMP '11)
Future Fleet: 1957 Ford Prefect 1942 Buick 1959 Bugeye Project GLCOAT

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

What the hell happened to that motor anyways?  Did you forget to put oil in it?  LOL

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

priapism wrote:

What the hell happened to that motor anyways?  Did you forget to put oil in it?  LOL

We honestly don't know. Topped off with 15w50 synthetic, new filter, sounded good, good pressure, running cool at 4500 rpm, then BANG BANG BANG. Four rods were knocking, oil pressure went to zero. Shit happens. You gotta overcome.

Captain: Speedycop & The Gang Of Outlaws -'94 Mark VIII (Least Horrible Yank Tank Stafford '09, NOLA '10) '61 Caddy (Org Choice-NL '09) '63 Tbird (EPIC Repair Failure-Gingerman '10, I Got Screwed-Summit Pt '10, I.O.E. WINNER Stafford '10!) '77 Lancia Scorpion (I.O.E. WINNER Joliet 2010!) '67 Galaxie 500 (Judges Choice-CMP '11)
Future Fleet: 1957 Ford Prefect 1942 Buick 1959 Bugeye Project GLCOAT

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

I have to admit we gave up once last year... but it wasn't early.

With about 3 hours to go at Loudon on day 2 our engine blew up, as in cylinders filled with water and pumping it out the exhaust.  We were 11th overall (and had been as high as 6th) which was crazy for a C-class car.  It was such an emotional weekend at that point and we just said, forget it we are done, packed up, said goodbye to everyone, and headed home. 

Honestly getting the car back running in 3 hours may have been possible but unlikely, and after I got over the disappointment, I realized I was exhausted and had a 5-6 hour drive ahead of me and work the next day.  As it was leaving 3 hours early I made it home at midnight and I was a bag of shit at work the next day.

However if we were closer (like at NJMP) or if it had happened on Saturday, you bet your butt we would have had that thing back running.

Tom Lomino - Proud to be a 23x Lemons Loser, 3x Class B, and 1x IOE Winner!
Craptain, Team Farfrumwinnin - 1995 Volkswagen Golf #14
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Lifetime Achievement (of hopelessness) Award Winners

6 (edited by Speedycop 2011-12-13 09:25 AM)

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

Three hours from the end and three hours in are two entirely different things. No shame in knowing you can't replace critical parts in under three hours. I'm talking about people giving up who actually could make repairs and get out there, yet don't bother.

Captain: Speedycop & The Gang Of Outlaws -'94 Mark VIII (Least Horrible Yank Tank Stafford '09, NOLA '10) '61 Caddy (Org Choice-NL '09) '63 Tbird (EPIC Repair Failure-Gingerman '10, I Got Screwed-Summit Pt '10, I.O.E. WINNER Stafford '10!) '77 Lancia Scorpion (I.O.E. WINNER Joliet 2010!) '67 Galaxie 500 (Judges Choice-CMP '11)
Future Fleet: 1957 Ford Prefect 1942 Buick 1959 Bugeye Project GLCOAT

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

Speedycop wrote:

2)Your team is there to race, not to spectate or go home early.
Whether you are team captain, a team member, or just an onlooker, anyone can be the inspiration to a dejected team who wants to throw in the towel. Nothing helps a discouraged team like a stranger walking up and offering to jump in and assist with the repairs.

Jeff, while I agree with pretty much all of your post (especially the overwhelming rush of emotion after getting a crapped-out car back on track in a Heroic Fix effort), the point above hit home the hardest. When we were pulling an all-nighter in our second race to swap motors and get back on track, there were several times on Sunday when we were all hitting the wall. I remember distinctly at one point that three or four of us took our best shot at getting something (an engine mount? memory is blurry) attached that required to move the motor and transmission one way while moving the part another way in order to get it to fit. Stevo and Pete and I all took our best shot at it and we were just tired and frustrated and disgusting (and disgusted) in the way known only to the man enduring a frothy mixture of kitty litter and oil in the hair.

Spent and on the verge of declaring defeat midday, another MR2 owner happened by (I'd swapped him a spare set of rear brake pads early on Saturday morning) to see how we were going. The solution to the problem was immediately evident to him. He jumped right in, grabbed the tools, and barked out instructions for us to twist this that way and pull this way and then wham bam, the problem was fixed.

More valuable than the fix itself was the charge that it put into the entire team. Where we were just about ready to throw in the towel, our new friend's energetic charge into the breach picked us all up. It wasn't the last time that day that we ebbed, and it wasn't the last time that a near-stranger's small encouragement made an oversize difference in our ability to persist and get the car back on track. And so that car, with its overnight drive and swapped motor, got back out on track for the last couple of laps and earned us a Heroic Fix. A great honor and one I hope to never need to earn again smile And I agree with you, it got a little dusty in that car when it finished its first lap. I've never been more proud of a group of guys pulling together and fighting through the problem. Hell, it gets a little dusty here in a conference room just remembering that day more than 2 years ago.

So when you see another team struggling, ask them what you can do to help. Even if they don't want or need your help (or only need a beer), just the act of asking might be enough to help pick them up off the ground. Cheers guys.

Pat Mulry, TARP Racing #67
https://youtu.be/qmf9JkedPR8

Mandatory disclaimer: all opinions expressed are mine alone & not those of 24HOL, its mgmt, sponsors, etc.

8 (edited by Speedycop 2011-12-13 09:40 AM)

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

Yeah, Pat, I've been on both sides of that coin. In New Orleans, I was able to re-energize a team in the middle of the night that had hit the proverbial wall, even though I only helped for like an hour at that point. At Infineon, I was hitting the wall around midnight when a high energy stranger showed up (the spectator who had ridden out on his Husqvarna dirt bike) and offered to lend a hand. Quirky but likeable, he kept us going (and entertained) the entire night.

Captain: Speedycop & The Gang Of Outlaws -'94 Mark VIII (Least Horrible Yank Tank Stafford '09, NOLA '10) '61 Caddy (Org Choice-NL '09) '63 Tbird (EPIC Repair Failure-Gingerman '10, I Got Screwed-Summit Pt '10, I.O.E. WINNER Stafford '10!) '77 Lancia Scorpion (I.O.E. WINNER Joliet 2010!) '67 Galaxie 500 (Judges Choice-CMP '11)
Future Fleet: 1957 Ford Prefect 1942 Buick 1959 Bugeye Project GLCOAT

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

When I'm roaming the paddock at a race and I see some blowed-up-car's team packing up on Saturday, I always tell them to at least stick around as spectators for a few more hours. When they do that, sometimes they get a second wind and fix the car.

10 (edited by Dave 2011-12-13 10:10 AM)

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

I gave up once, it was at NJ. That was my least favorable Lemons race. sad

I'm still waiting for the race that at least 1 of the cars runs the whole time

It Ain't My Fault

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

Yeah, but your chili was EPIC!

Captain: Speedycop & The Gang Of Outlaws -'94 Mark VIII (Least Horrible Yank Tank Stafford '09, NOLA '10) '61 Caddy (Org Choice-NL '09) '63 Tbird (EPIC Repair Failure-Gingerman '10, I Got Screwed-Summit Pt '10, I.O.E. WINNER Stafford '10!) '77 Lancia Scorpion (I.O.E. WINNER Joliet 2010!) '67 Galaxie 500 (Judges Choice-CMP '11)
Future Fleet: 1957 Ford Prefect 1942 Buick 1959 Bugeye Project GLCOAT

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

Unfortunately, we had to give up twice.  NJMP, with the 5 minute car b que, which melted evry single thing into 1 charred bit (up the firewall), then at Shenadoah, when the rust bucket went into the wall and the front end shifted 3" to the right.  This was after a 7 hour run to lynchburg for a clutch that went on about the 5th lap:(

Silent But Deadly Racing- Chief cook and bottle washer, Former Flyin Turd Race Team Captain 
Ricky Bobby's Laughing Clown Malt Liquor Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, Datsun 510, 87 Mustang (The Race Team Formerly Known as Prince), 72 Pinto Squire waggy, Parnelli Jones 67 Galaxie, Turbo Coupe Surf wagon.  (The Surfin Bird)
Besmirching race tracks in the Eastern US since 2001

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

We had to give up once. The first Gingerman race we were running our new car (Soviet theme Escort). Half way through Sunday the motor started to make the "death rattle". Being the team member that knows the most about auto mechanics I was in denial of the true state of the engine, so I took it for its final lap. As I was heading out for the final lap other teams were given me encouragement for was to be the end of our day. I made one lap and it went out in a blaze of glory.  Still remember to seeing piece of the engine flying on the track from the side of my helmet. We stayed for the end. Best day ever.


http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z110/coolhand454/Campaign%20to%20Prevent%20Gingervitis/215411_10150156924838085_635178084_6880336_8180345_n.jpg

Byte Marks Racing - "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it Fred."
1992 Nissan 240SX DM Edition (Drift Master)

14 (edited by fleming95 2011-12-13 12:59 PM)

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

Speedycop wrote:

Yeah, Pat, I've been on both sides of that coin. In New Orleans, I was able to re-energize a team in the middle of the night that had hit the proverbial wall, even though I only helped for like an hour at that point. At Infineon, I was hitting the wall around midnight when a high energy stranger showed up (the spectator who had ridden out on his Husqvarna dirt bike) and offered to lend a hand. Quirky but likeable, he kept us going (and entertained) the entire night.

And did I hear correctly from that 'spectator' that he had the bike quit on his way up from the city, parked it on the side of 37, and had walked across the hills to the SW of the track to get there?

<emphasis on _across the hills_.  When I first talked with him I noticed the offroad boots and gear (and the mud)  and couldn't figure how he'd ridden to the track via dirt roads. . .>

-Jeff

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

I know his bike quit. I tried to help diagnose it afterwards, but it was not starting. I think Brandon gave him and the dead bike a ride later Sunday evening. I would have if I could have, but I was going back to Chris' house in a hurry so that I could catch my flight, and not into SF with the trailer.

Captain: Speedycop & The Gang Of Outlaws -'94 Mark VIII (Least Horrible Yank Tank Stafford '09, NOLA '10) '61 Caddy (Org Choice-NL '09) '63 Tbird (EPIC Repair Failure-Gingerman '10, I Got Screwed-Summit Pt '10, I.O.E. WINNER Stafford '10!) '77 Lancia Scorpion (I.O.E. WINNER Joliet 2010!) '67 Galaxie 500 (Judges Choice-CMP '11)
Future Fleet: 1957 Ford Prefect 1942 Buick 1959 Bugeye Project GLCOAT

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

We had a LOUD failure late on Saturday at MSR October 2010.  I told the guys if they wanted the full Lemons experience we could head up to the shop and repair the car.

I thought it was a bent rod.  Well, we did bend a rod but it was a result of the crank snapping. 

While we would have probably had the resources to fix it at the shop, it would have still been a huge undertaking. 

Everyone got in a good stint and we were doing very well when the car broke.  Everyone was happy with the decision to just relax and watch the rest of the race.  Father down the road most guys thanked me for deciding to repair the car later.

Our last race we blew a headgasket late Saturday.  We fixed it that night, blew our chances for an Overall Win but we all got more seat time Sunday and finished in the top 20.

Don't give up but chose your battles.

Troy

#35 LRE
1973 Datsun 240Z

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

Our first outing with the '91, we blew a coolant seal, and were down for the count (unless we could source a rotary engine on a Saturday in Angleton, TX)

We donated our pre-mix gas to the Pistols for Pandas team, popped a few brews, and helped do a motor swap on our friends' Metro.  I still had fun!

Team monstaRX-7: #91 1991 Mazda RX-7 convertible with a 5.0, WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
Races: 2010 Gator-O-Rama(DNF, blown motor, "Trailer on Saturday"), Oct 2011 Yee-Haw Its Lemons(actually finished the race! Judge's Choice)

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

My first Lemons experience was as a spectator to witness Speedy's single speed T-bird. I took a lot of pictures because I didn't think anyone would believe me as to what this circus was about.

My first experience as a driver was with Team Anarchy in the sweltering heat of Michigan where we went through the whole Lemons experience. We had to replace two broken pistons Saturday to get back on the track for Sunday. Then we started the brakes on fire Sunday and had to replace the calipers (and another set of pads). Through it all Tim never gave up and I have to say it was the absolute perfect first Lemons experience. I'm totally hooked.

Newest member - White Trash Racing
Owner of the Traveling Hat

19 (edited by pennintj 2011-12-13 03:05 PM)

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

http://murileemartin.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/preludeswaphell-600px.jpg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMN0LD8cVAA

I think Mike is now 2 for 2 in the "failed engine swap" game. God knows how many for Brandon....

If I can get to a race this year, I'll probably double down. I mean, what else am I going to do with fireproof underwear?

-=Tom

-=HFC Tom

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

Speedycop wrote:

5) Your team will have a better reputation in future races.
Arrive-and-drives don't want to take a chance paying good money to run with a team that loads the trailer and goes home early on Saturday. For that matter, teammates often elect not to return after a bad experience, or seek out another team instead. If you know you will keep racing Lemons, you need to maintain a never-say-die attitude. It will pay off in the long run.

As an arrive-and-driver in the "Thriller" V8olvo I can confirm this is definitely true.
I'd race with Speedy again in a heartbeat because after seeing how much he busted his ass to get the car on and back on the track I know I'd have a better chance getting on the track with him than with someone who packs it in at first trouble.
The all-night wrenching session was an experience I'll never forget.

-Victor

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

My team has both given up and stuck it out. 

At our first race at Thunderhill in 2010 we had a transmission line blow on us in the last 1 hour or so of day 2.  By the time we got out of the penalty area and back to our pits we had less than 45 minutes left in the race, after a frantic half an hour we were unable to diagnose the problem (the ENTIRE engine we covered in trans fluid, it was impressive) and we threw in the towel.  That forfeiture, even with only 15 minutes left in the race, still bothers me. 

At the last race at Infineon, we clogged our fuel filter and burned out our fuel pumps most of the way through the first day.  We received help and advise from several teams and without that encouragement we would not have made it back out onto the track the second day.  Because it was a Jag, no stores that carry parts for it are open on the weekends and even if it were we couldn't get the fuel tank out.  A former Jag mechanic who was racing on a BMW team ended up being our savior by asking some simple questions and suggesting the use of a BMW fuel pump.  We pulled one off of the turtle BMW that had rolled six times.  I also sources parts and tools from Speedy Cop during his epic engine swap/rebuild and the Devil BMW team pitted next to us.  Without all of their help we wouldn't have even started on Sunday. 

Despite the assistance from other teams, as it has been stated above by other racers, the greatest help can be from a random passerby.  The former Jag mechanic asked us simple questions that to him must have been obvious, but were just what we needed.  He also came by out pit later and suggested that we try the BMW pump since it was about the same size as our filter. 

The biggest thing that kept us going, however, was my teammates.  After laying in a puddle of gas for hours Saturday night cold, greasy, bathed in flammable fluids and emotionally drained, I wanted to give up.  My teammates wouldn't give in and since I wouldn't bail on them I stuck it out as well.  Sunday morning we came back refreshed, fixed that car right up, and finished the damn race. 

You guys are all awesome, crazy and stupid as the day is long, but awesome.  I have done and seen shit that I still don't believe is/was possible. 

Photo of the fix. 
http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/6043/xj12ied2.jpg

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

FraidyCaptain wrote:

Despite the assistance from other teams, as it has been stated above by other racers, the greatest help can be from a random passerby.

Note to self: Pack a large whiteboard on which to announce our problem or need.   The more people who know we need a frumblematz housing puller, the more likely that one will appear.

"I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!"
IOE winner in the Super Snipe -- Buttonwillow 2012
IOE winner in Super Snipe v2.0 -- Buttonwillow 2016
"Every Super Snipe in Lemons has won an IOE!"

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

We managed to get through our first two races without a problem. Nothing serious enough to keep the car off the track, can't really take credit for anything, just dumb luck, and of course the SBC's well earned reputation for reliability. We had a great time. Our third event, MSR in October we spent a lot of time fixing the car over and over and over and over and over again and then we fixed it some more. The wrenching and working together to keep the car running made us a better team. The team penalty for our last Blackflag, the "Conga Line" through the pits all of us together laughing and smiling is one of my favorite memories from Lemons. I hope we get better as drivers so we can avoid falling off the track but I'm not sorry the car crapped out. We still had fun. Don't quit when the car does, find a way.

TEAM TONTO, 7 cylinders of thunder!
Now with 4 big Losses!
Steve was right

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

The Tunachuckers had one race where we blowed up and gave up.  It was February 2010, CMP.  We were still campaigning the Mightly Volvo Amazon and we had high hopes.  I'd just rebuilt the engine after the 2nd race we did with the car (which we won Heroic Fix for after swapping in a spare engine which eeked us over the finish line) and we'd run a race on it already so we figured it was ready to go.  Unfortunately, my work had put me out of town for most of the month preceeding the race, and I arrived back home a few hours before we had to head out to CMP. 

The car was at one of my teammates' house (he had an enclosed garage in which to work on the car during the winter) so immediately after landing at the airport and driving home, I hitched the trailer to my truck and drove to his house to load up the Amazon.

In the freezing rain.

When I got there, I checked the oil in the car and found it a half-a-quart high.  For some stupid reason, we or I decided to drain out the half a quart before loading up the car onto the trailer.  We did, and at this point in the weekend it gets fuzzy.  I was _absolutely certain_ that we'd tightened the drain plug on the oil pan.  Yes, I'm sure we did. My then-girlfriend (who is now my wife) and I headed off to CMP at about midnight.  We stopped at a Red Roof Inn near Camden for the night, and arrived to a rainy, soggy, miserably cold CMP Friday morning.  The rest of the team was there or arrived shortly thereafter, and we somehow managed to pitch our Hoovervillian shantytown and erect the massive effing carport, in the freezing rain.  We got the Amazon thru tech, and it was running strong as the green flag came out.  Rob was driving.

About 4 laps later the 122 was hitched to the back of the truck, coming into the pits.  0 oil pressure.  Spun bearing.  I glanced underneath.  The oil plug was gone. 

I have never had my heart sink so hard, so far, pretty much ever in my life.

Since we had no spare engine this time, we hoisted the blown motor up and dropped the pan, discovering it was the #2 rod bearing that was binding.  We removed the bearing, dremeled it out, reinstalled it, and about an hour or so before the end of the race day Saturday we managed to fire her up and send her back out.  We couldn't find a replacement oil plug, so we jury rigged one as best we could.  We were elated. 

Elation lasted about 6 minutes.  Then she came back in on the end of the hook.  Spun bearing again.  We tried every method known to Man to ressurect the engine, but it simply would not turn.  Frustrated, cold, aching, wet, tired, bleeding, and about as down in spirits as one can be, we turned to the bottle.  Hard.  That night, Tunachucker Racing CMP threw down about as hard as possible.  We drank beer.  We drank bourbon.  We drank wine- out of a bag.  We drank so much and so hard we were barely able to stand erect.  We smoked 'em if we had 'em.  We threw tarps over the carport to hold the heat in, and ran the grill and a propane heater inside to keep it toasty.  Its a wonder we didn't die of carbon monoxide poisoning.  The rain and wind ravaged outside, yet somehow we managed a bonfire of pallet wood and gasoline trails on the pavement.  I have, for some reason, an hour-long video taken on my phone of me and Phil having a conversation by the propane heater about French cars and slavery.  I don't have any clue why. 

We passed out in our sundry tents and 1970's RVs and were awaken Sunday morning by the sound of race engines.  We didn't want to play anymore.  The rain had stopped, but I had to be back on the road that evening for more work.  More traveling.  We were still pissed at the situation, and no one had any desire to press on.  So we pushed the car on the hauler, and headed off our separate ways.  To the best of my knowledge, we didn't even have our traditional post-race team dinner on the way home.  However, we did hold it together as a team and the same group of guys is still racing (in the loosest sense of the word) next March.

That was my worst memory of a race.  We actually didn't even run in February of 2011 because of the memories of 2010.  Of course, the February 2011 race turned out to be 70 degrees and sunny.  One driver actually got heat stroke.  Go figure.  I was a Judge.

The moral of the story?  Well, there's any number of take-aways:

1) Don't race Lemons.  (yeah, right)
2) Don't be a dumbass and forget to tighten your oil plug.
3) Don't race a flipping 45 year old Swedish car that you can't find a replacement oil plug, or replacement bearings for, anywhere on the East Coast. 
4) Don't let your work interfere with your racing. 
5) Don't let your drinking interfere with your...*takes a sip of wine*...what was I saying?

F F F

Tunachuckers: 10 Years of Sucking at Sucking
2008- 2010:  1966 Volvo 122, "Charlie"
2010-present:  1975 Ford LTD Landau...doesn't have a name?
2018:  1951 "Plymford".  Organizer's Choice - CMP Fall 2018 Hurricane Florence reschedule

Re: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity

I have to agree, the most complete race feelings I've had were at races where we had to fix things. At Buttonwillow, nothing broke and so it was just a weekend of racing solid. Just in the 4 races I've done, 3 of them have involved last minute fixes so the car could run the checkered flag. There's nothing quite like being covered in transmission oil and filth and seeing your car that hasn't run all day run for the last 5 minutes. That 3 hour drive to get a part you know will fix the car seems like nothing if you remember how much money and time you put into getting the car there in the first place.

#666 Devil Camaro