Topic: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

Hey guys and gals. Just had an email exchange with a team that really applies to everyone, so I thought I'd share. Names have been changed to protect the hella lame.

My team was denied entry to the race for our one car, while other teams were able to gain entry with multiple cars. We certainly understand that it's fundamentally a difficult decision to allocate (say) 150 positions to 200 applicants. But It doesn't seem like the decision to allow entrants was done by lottery or first-come first-serve, so we're a bit bummed.

Thoughts?

For starters, we try to make the application process as transparent as possible, which occasionally hurts feelings--I guess that's a disclaimer for the rest of this message!

The reason why it doesn't seem that the picks are made by lottery/first-come is that they aren't and never have been. We always have made our cuts based on the strength of your team concept--essentially, how entertaining do we think your team is going to be, based on what you wrote in your concept. If a race isn't full, this doesn't come into play, and if a race is full, it does.

The black-and-white example of how this works would be a team that promises, say, to make their car into a self-propelled camper trailer, versus a team that doesn't promise anything. The camper gets in, the other team does not, end of story.

In reality, though, the process plays out in a slightly more complicated way. We accept all the camper-type teams, reject all the teams with no concept entered at all (or concepts that say "We are 4 buddies who love 2 race"), and the rest of the teams are in sort of a gray area, where the chances are about 50/50. As a result, some gray-area teams with arguably weaker concepts make the field, where arguably stronger ones don't. So, the lesson there is, don't be in the gray area!

While it's not within many teams' "normal" creativity to do something like make their car into a camper, we're pretty clear on the idea that if you do something like that, you'll be out of the gray area and into the accepted pile. But over the years, we've told many teams more or less exactly what to do for next time and they STILL DON'T DO IT. We appreciate that some things may be outside a certain team's comfort zone, but at a race where slots are at a premium, going beyond the norm is often necessary.

OK, with all of that said, let's take a look at your team application. In a nutshell, as far as I can see, it's an 3-series BMW with a BMW Motorsport paint job, under the team name "DeustchlandSpeed." To me, that sounds a lot like the ingredients for a Spec E30 race. And Spec E30 is fine, if you're racing Spec E30. The whole point of Lemons is that it's a place that doesn't follow the conventions of normal racing, with the most important element being NOT taking it seriously. So that's probably why you missed the mark.

But, I think there are some pretty easy steps you could take to tune up your idea for next time. The most obvious would be to really sell the BMW idea by doing significant body mods to the car to make it look like a 3.0 CSL or M1. Papier Mache, surfboard foam, wire, etc, can be used to great effect. That would be the "parody" approach.

Another idea would be the "satire" approach, which would be to mimic Spec E30 or other "serious" racing to the point you were making fun of them. I actually thought about this idea for my own team. If you go to a real race weekend, it's filled with pissing contests about lap times, race wins, blah, blah, blah--you could take all of those elements and dress up your pits like "REAL RACERS" with trophies, winner patches, a map of the track, in-car video, corner-weighting scales, tire warmers, etc. Could be hilarious if done right (i.e., done excessively).

The final recommendation is perhaps the most dangerous--ask Judge Phil what you should do for next time. He has more twisted ideas than any of the rest of us, and his ideas are typically difficult to execute, but if you do it, you'd probably be a slam dunk.

So, to sum up, there are a lot of ways to really bolster your chances, and not leave things up to the uncertainty of the gray area. Only catch is that you may have to expand your creativity a bit. But, if you can do that, you will likely solve your problem. Hope that helps!

EDIT: I also gave this bit of advice to another team--also valid for everyone:

When you submit your application, there will be a box where you enter your concept. Basically, we're looking for teams that will be entertaining to us and your fellow competitors.

More than that, we're looking for tangible stuff we can really latch on to. For example, we get a lot of concepts that say "we're doing a NASCAR theme" and don't offer any details. What we really want to see is "We are doing a NASCAR theme. We're taking a '71 Dodge Dart and making it into a Superbird with a body kit made of tupperware and aluminum foil. Each driver will be dressed as a classic NASCAR driver with fake mustaches and beer guts."

So, anything specific/tangible you can mention is good.

http://24hoursoflemons.smugmug.com/Other/On-Track-Photos/i-bbjstRV/0/L/IMG_4976-XL.jpg

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

For me the dressing up part was a turn off until I got to a race and realized that I was really out of place by not having any good ideas for a theme.  Our cars carry us vs our creativity.  How many times have I thought to myself, "I wish I thought of that?"  We started out as a bunch of engineers in cool old cars and have devolved into a multi-generational, multi-gender team with better themes because of it.

PS thanks for not using DC Doug's name.

This space for rent.

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

Nick_LeMonsHQ wrote:

We accept all the Space-Shuttle type teams, reject all the teams with no concept entered at all (or concepts that say "We are 4 buddies who love 2 race"), and the rest of the teams are in sort of a gray area, where the chances are about 50/50.

I suspect another valid approach is to say "We are 4 buddies with no theme but we want to enter our 1964 DKW F12."

1982 MG Metro 1300: IOE 2015 Pacific Northworst GP, Longest Distance 2010 Cd'L Box Wine Country Classic
1980 KV Mini 1: Worst of Show and Fright Pig Supremo 2009 Concours d'Lemons
1978 H Special: Second-Round Elimination 2010 Lemons Pinewood Derby at Sears Pointless
1967 SAAB 96: IOE 2012 Pacific Northworst GP

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

mharrell wrote:
Nick_LeMonsHQ wrote:

We accept all the Space-Shuttle type teams, reject all the teams with no concept entered at all (or concepts that say "We are 4 buddies who love 2 race"), and the rest of the teams are in sort of a gray area, where the chances are about 50/50.

I suspect another valid approach is to say "We are 4 buddies with no theme but we want to enter our 1964 DKW F12."

This is true. You can have a boring car or a mediocre concept, but doing both puts you at risk.

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

There's a thread full of themes the judges would like to see.

The Lemons Facebook page drops regular hints about cars and themes.

It's not like there's a shortage of ideas...

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

papal_smear wrote:

There's a thread full of themes the judges would like to see.

The Lemons Facebook page drops regular hints about cars and themes.

It's not like there's a shortage of ideas...

It's true, but it is hard for some teams to get over the hump. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a rejection to kick those teams into gear. We just want to be as transparent as possible about what really happens, especially for the newcomers.

That said, we have limited patience for teams that ask for advice, ignore the advice given, and THEN get annoyed about missing the cut!

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

Nick_LeMonsHQ wrote:
papal_smear wrote:

There's a thread full of themes the judges would like to see.

The Lemons Facebook page drops regular hints about cars and themes.

It's not like there's a shortage of ideas...

It's true, but it is hard for some teams to get over the hump. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a rejection to kick those teams into gear. We just want to be as transparent as possible about what really happens, especially for the newcomers.

That said, we have limited patience for teams that ask for advice, ignore the advice given, and THEN get annoyed about missing the cut!

I wasn't accepted with my first application. I was waitlisted / rejected. So I found & read the forum, "got it", revised our theme and rewrote it in the online application, and started to build the car (the Mr. Bean Mini) anyway in the hopes we made it off the waitlist.

We were moved off the waitlist!

When we showed up at tech, we got sweated HARD, mostly for the tires.

And then we (I) got a 2 hour penalty for "speeding in the pits" prior to the start of the race. (The car had never been driven before and I was on the skid pad making sure it actually ran before venturing out on track. Apparently the skid pad isn't the skid pad once Lemons takes over the track.).

We went on to beat the 1275-powered Sprite and won the IOE, which created a Monster.

The rest is history.
http://hubgarage.s3.amazonaws.com/photos/1571204/100_2576_detail.JPG

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

huh, I never knew it was so hard to get in. I guess I was smarter than I thought for keeping the 50s era inline six in our 70s era not a Mustang Fox body car.

Constructor/Owner/Driver - Billy Beer Ford Futura

9 (edited by BoB 2013-03-19 09:07 AM)

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

I just couldn't see ever showing up without some kind of theme on the car. Our themes are never going to be an epic one like the Stair Car, and we are in a region where typically the races don't fill up and we are in a car that it seems no one else wants to race, but still would rather have an obnoxious paint job that will hopefully atleast make one person smile then just stick some numbers on the car and race.

Racing 4 Nickels - 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera
2011 SHOWROOM-SCHLOCK SHOOTOUT  IOE Winner
2012 The Chubba Cheddar Enduro Class C winner
Facebook Page

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

BoB wrote:

I just couldn't see ever showing up without some kind of theme on the car. Our themes are never going to be an epic one like the Stair Car, and we are in a region where typically the races don't fill up and we are in a car that it seems no one else wants to race, but still would rather have an obnoxious paint job that will hopefully atleast make one person smile then just stick some numbers on the car and race.

And, you can do SOO many wonderful things with Duck-Tape!

"Real ZomBees prefer Bacon"
IOE(x2) MGB/SAAB 96, Judge's Choice, Class C Win, & 2011 Hooniverse Car of the Year!
MRolla, Stick Figure/Animal House, Free Range MR2, SAAB Sonett, "The Death Flip"
2008 Exoskeleton Jag Fiasco, Concours d Lemons - Rue Britannia, worse British car.

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

BoB wrote:

I just couldn't see ever showing up without some kind of theme on the car. Our themes are never going to be an epic one like the Stair Car, and we are in a region where typically the races don't fill up and we are in a car that it seems no one else wants to race, but still would rather have an obnoxious paint job that will hopefully atleast make one person smile then just stick some numbers on the car and race.

You race a cutlass ciera.  You are fine.  I imagine that you wouldn't even need to paint it.

Bloomington, IN
We'll bring Beer!  Motorsports
Team Fiery Death! #0 2009 Lamest Day(65th), 2010 American Irony(24th), 2010 Detroit Bull(4th),2012 Capitol Offense (8th) 2012 American Irony (11 th), 2013 Capitol Offense (3rd) 2013 Chubba Chedder (4th, Judge Choice!) Now sadly part of a scrap pile. 
Toothless Racing Deadbeats #110 2011 Summit Point (61st) Currently being rebuilt into the new car!

12

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

davisriley wrote:

You race a cutlass ciera.  You are fine.  I imagine that you wouldn't even need to paint it.

I know we don't need to theme the car anymore, but I just couldn't think of not doing it.  Its like bribing the judges.  We have no reason to bribe them but we see it as part of the fun.

Sure we could just have stuck a number on the car, roll it off the trailer  and through tech, and only spend time at the track while we are racing, but doing that we would miss so much of what really makes Lemons great.  Of course every race a see plenty of teams that seem to do that, of course that means more Bacon for me.

Racing 4 Nickels - 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera
2011 SHOWROOM-SCHLOCK SHOOTOUT  IOE Winner
2012 The Chubba Cheddar Enduro Class C winner
Facebook Page

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

Come race in the midwest and you'll have no problem getting accepted. The downside is we only have 3 races this year.

Bacon, oh bacon
Bacon, bacon, oh bacon
Love in five letters

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

davisriley wrote:

You race a cutlass ciera.  You are fine.  I imagine that you wouldn't even need to paint it.

This is true. Just need to glue on some cotton balls.

-Robert, Party Sheep Racing
The Jerry Lundegaard GMAC Financing Award, Joliet 2013 [Cutlass Ciera w/ Iron Duke]
Now an Eta E30: Joliet Fall 2015 - got beat by a minivan, Gingerman Spring 2016 - still made of slow,
Joliet Summer 2016 - way too humid for a head swap, Gingerman Spring 2017 - less slow but still breaking cooling system, NCM Summer 2017

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

How many cars will start @Sebring? 

We ran all of the Chump races  in the SE  with about 110 cars @Sebring.120 seemed like a good fit. , TIA, MM

Mike Ogren, Racing in Florida, GA.   ogren-engineering.com
352 4288-983
.

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

Does anyone know which race track, races, regions tend to fill up the most, and which have the least number of applicants?  Where do all the applicants typically get accepted, and where are there applicants that get rejected...just wondering  where are the most Lemony areas...

MarioKart Driving School: 1987 Honda Prelude Opus #28  (still can't win anything...)

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

West Coast races fill up the most, followed by East Coast races. I don't think there are many wait lists for midwest or gulf region races.

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.

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

The California races are by far the hardest to get into. We've been racing there the longest, and it's a state full of racers to begin with. The East Coast races tend to fill up as well, though the demand is slightly lower.

Midwest, South, and Gulf races usually have room for everyone. The LeMoniest part of the country... well, if you go by level of general enthusiasm and madness, I'm torn between the Upper Midwest guys and the Colorado guys (disclosure: I live in Denver and spend a lot of time with the half-dozen craziest Lemons racers from around here).

Anyway, the easiest way to ensure acceptance to every race is to bring a car we like, i.e. something that conventional wisdom says doesn't belong on a race track. A Toyota Crown wagon will always beat a Supra. A '72 Country Squire will always beat a Mustang. A 733i with Cadillac 500 engine swap will always beat an E30. And so on. Another good way to make sure you get in is to avoid getting a rep as a particularly crashy/aggressive team at previous races. Yes, we take note of that stuff.

Re: Will my team get accepted/Why didn't my team get accepted?

We are a brand new team just breaking into the wonderful world of the 24 Hour of Lemons... Our team name is the Wreckless Lexus and our trusty steed is that of a 1992 Lexus SC 400 that was purchased for the same price as a PS4. In fact thats what the original owners son was going to do with the mullah. The car has definitely seen its prime and all the original owners son only wanted enough money to purchase a new gaming system..... We are currently in the process of attempting to prevent the SC400 from permanently staining our garage with its "love juice" or the circa 1997 "Grease Monkey" oil change. We will fill you in on the build as we progress and invite the naysayers and enthusiasts to help us on our journey to full enlightenment.