We were pleased upon arrival to discover that the other team had thoughtfully set aside some prime pit real estate to receive us. So both cars were offloaded to prepare for tech:
<= I Wanna Roc
Huey Newis and the Lose =>
Both cars were frantically prepared, and passed tech with a minimum of trouble. (Minimum being "lets Sawsall a hole in our hood so the air cleaner fits", or "why doesn't our fan work?") The Huey Newis team's bribe was excellent, so they received no penalty laps. Ours was a bit rockier. We were awarded six penalty laps for a new serpentine belt, headers, and a new radiator. (Confusing since the radiator isn't new and has marks on it from hitting rocks, animals and possibly orphans.) Our case was strongly advanced by Ben from the other team who helpfully informed the judges that our 305 was actually a 350, and that our rear end was positrac. (Editor's note: both claims are false.) Having assured our entry into the competition, we suited up and managed a trifling few practice laps before the end of the day.
The morning of the 23rd, we hustled to the drivers' meeting and rushed our car to the starting line. Sixth from pole position! Awesome! Racing was happening! Both teams were racking up laps in a hurry, and things looked bright for our LeMons future.
Then both cars broke:
We were a handful of laps quicker to break and thus were losing to the other team. This being a shame we could not bear, we threw ourselves into the task of fixing the car. Our car had tried to destroy itself with Pat along for the ride. One side of our exhaust was dangling, our transmission mount was in pieces, and we had a delightful knocking sound.
See that bright spot? =>
That's where our oil pan got slammed by one of our steering bars and was rubbing on the crank. It took all five of us five hours and a borrowed block of wood to make it right.
In this case, the best way to fix the car was to get a bigger hammer. Here's Mike pounding that dent back out so we could put the oil pan back on the car:
It took us the rest of day one to do it, but we fixed the car. Didi (our car) was ready to rock again! It was a ton of work and we all did what we could, but we couldn't have done it without our mechanic/crew chief Dave:
Thanks Dave! We're putting you in the drivers seat next time!
We took a victory lap around the paddock. Meanwhile, the Huey Newis team continued to do everything they could for their ailing stallion:
During the night Pat and Dave added red eyes, and white teeth to our car. It looks scarier and
hungrier than ever. The next morning we scrambled to the starting line ahead of almost everyone else to make up all the time we could. I hadn't gotten to drive the day before, so this was my first experience actually racing. I was excited, I was terrified, and I was certain that this was the most epic thing I had ever done. I was finally a race car driver!
The car ran like a champ and we were completing laps like pros.
We netted only three black flags. Pat got one for being too awesome and putting two wheels off track. I got one for failing to corner properly and putting all the wheels off track. Mike earned his via brake failure. He struck two other cars and went careening off into the sunset. (Or the desert, whatever.) We all got to drive at least twice through out the weekend. The Huey Newis team did get their car running for a while and chalked up a few more laps.
Kudos guys, especially you Ben.
The final results. We lost bad. We didn't give up though. We pulled off an epic fix and managed a full day of racing afterward. We're already prepping for the next race. See you at Thunderhill!