Topic: CYBERFUKD Butturrible
The team is 3 guys in their early 30s with mixed racing experience. The least of which was the owner.
A week before the race we still had so much to do, as is tradition in auto racing. A week of wrenching til the early hours of the morning to get it ready. 6 more hours on Thursday morning and we had it on the trailer by 4:30pm. We made the 5 hour trek to Buttonwillow and made the track “gates locked” time by about 12 minutes. Our Aussie driver had already picked up his RV and found one of the most optimal spots…”one of” being the key words, more to come on that. A little wrenching that night and we were in bed by 1.
Woke up around 6 after restless sleep. We drew first tech time, I don’t think that was a coincidence. I waved over John (the head tech inspector) and he seemed happy with the truck, but wanted to see a few changes. Sheet metal shears, some rivets, and duct tape got us in compliance.
Even with the wooden fenders, we rolled through tech flawlessly, still wearing the green front end. We didn’t put any cheaty race parts on our car and it was quickly graded as a C class car with no penalty laps, no bribes needed.
Test session started at 1:00. We put a quick heat cycle on the tires, bed the brakes, and pulled off the 15” wheels. We slapped on our 17” test tires and ran some laps. Turns out our measurements on the wheel wells was a little off and we were rubbing on the fenders at full bump. We were smart enough to cut the sheet metal short, so no slicing on the tires. We each put in 45 minutes. The Rookie had a gnarly spin coming off the hill before the bus stop. Dropping a wheel in the dirt and mashing the gas is a great way to do a 720. Unfortunately the go pro didn’t save the footage. It was pretty epic and thankfully nobody was around when it happened. We finished up the test, made some adjustments, and buttoned up the car.
We made a trip to Home Depot, had some 5 Guys, and made it to bed by 1. Up at 6 the next morning, we installed ducting to cool the cab and delay the inevitable carbon monoxide poisoning. Slapped on some metallic paint, improved the window design and got rid of the rear lexan panel. It was just a parachute as we left half the roof for the fastback at home by mistake. (Give us a break we made the entrance gate by 12 minutes AND nobody put the roof on the packing list). The mylaps transponder mount we had didn’t fit the transponder and we got the new one hooked up.
We were one of the last in line and turns out you need a sticker to get on the track. After a minute of hair on fire searching we found the packet, rolled onto the track and were half way through the first warmup lap when the green flag flew.
Our first driver is our most experienced Lemons racer his only job was to keep it out of trouble. The fuel gauge wasn’t working and he brought it in out of an abundance of caution. We struggled all race to understand our fuel usage and it cost us positions. We will have this corrected by the next race.
Our second driver was the Aussie, our hot foot. He was a bit frustrated with the track limits rules as he is extremely talented, but understood given the type of series. He had a clean outing putting in a best lap under 2:30.
Next up was the Rookie. Never been on a proper track, never owned a stick shift, but had a full tank of optimism as always. After some smooth laps he decided to cruise it onto the dirt coming out of the last turn. There’s a chance he would have made the turn, but with faster cars on his ass, spinning in front of them could have been ugly. So he took the dirt offramp. Explained to Jay he’s just learning and trying to be safe and he let him go back out with a penalty. 10 laps later he found another black flag for putting 2 off (some claim it was 4, doesn’t matter). He was nicely told to GTFO and go think about what he had done. We were allowed to put another driver in without penalty because of the kickass theme.
We finished up the day around 6th in our class, despite 45 minutes wasted between fueling and black flags. We then looked in the back of the truck. As if the racing irony Gods were looking down on us, the battery exploded. Was it the vibrations, the overtightened battery strap, or the overcharging alternator? (Narrator: it was the alternator filled with paint dust from sanding the cab, Idiot). Luckily our chief electrician spotted this potential issue weeks prior and we had a spare alternator just in case. What we didn’t have was a spare battery. An optima red top was purchased (ouch) to replace the semi-truck battery previously in it. The previous owners had hooked a GM alternator and bracket that wasn’t quite right and made the change much harder than it needed to be. We found a bolt from our neighbors that fit and were on our way to start the day.
Hot shoe started off and dropped his best time mid-way through his session. He believes he could find 2-4 more seconds on a clean lap if there wasn’t a penalty for dust clouds. But it wasn’t worth the risk. Despite slightly-over pressurized tires, he bested his prior time by 2 seconds. A 2:26.9 in a bone stock 1990 2.9L Ranger is nothing to scoff at. Unfortunately he dipped a couple wheels on the dirt of the final turn setting a fast lap near the end of his session as he felt it was safer than trying to keep all 4 on. So much for that takin it easy. We short pitted and fueled the car. Being a team of 3 we really had to be coordinated to get the car serviced and back on track quickly. The strategy changes worked. We cut our pit time in half as we started to understand the Hunsakers, but we will be making minor tweaks to speed that up.
The Lemons vet was up next. Before his stint we debated tire pressure and they were set a little higher than he wanted, but they were 3-4 lbs less than the Aussie’s stint. First lap by he gives us the thumbs down and continues to do it every lap after that. We assumed he didn’t like the grip. After 45 minutes he brings it in. Wasn’t the tires, but the truck was down on power and cutting out. Pop the hood and the alternator wire was sheared. We quickly replaced it, topped him up and sent him back out. A little before his stint was over he got spun by one of the Sorry for Partying cars. Jay let him go without a penalty after our driver finally relented that it was probably because he was untalented and not because he was punted. Normally I wouldn’t name call, but after they didn’t pay us their sponsorship dues for the “Sorry for Partying” sticker they put on the truck at 1am, calling them out is the least we could do.
In the 6 Lemons events he’s raced, this was our driver’s first ever black flag.
His stint was about up so we put the Rook in the car. We jerry rigged some communications to allow the Aussie to coach him. He was able to calm down and start learning some things. Allowing someone to pass in the final turn he went wide, found the marbles and went to talk to Jay.
He explained the situation and wasn’t penalized. Decided a gas and go was cheap insurance. You remember when I said we had “one of” the best pit locations, well the only downside is we were parked literally next to the judges. Being parked next to the judges is great, other than when you forget to put your visor down. That required a coordinated dance which had to have spinning involved to keep consistent with the Rook’s driving. With the dance done, we fueled properly and were on our way.
With 18 minutes left in the session he did the exact same thing as earlier in the session. Jay took pity on him for the umpteenth time and let him go run the last 18 minute without penalty. I believe the quote was, “You don’t seem to be a danger to others, just to yourself.” Thankfully there’s not many walls to hit. He recommended we hang out and wait to get back on the track 2 minutes before the end of the race. Obviously that advice was ignored and the Rook went and laid down 6 consecutive laps ~2:40, showing he had started to take some of the Aussie’s advice.
We ended up 5th in class and 24th OA. Left a little bit on the track and a lot off the track. The entire Lemons staff was fantastic. Many thanks for their understanding and patience caused by our stupidity. We look forward to posting fewer than 7 black flags in a future race.
We had a tremendous time meeting many of you and will be back competing for class wins soon.