Sunday, November 4, 2012

Post 2012 Chubba Cheddar Enduro residual

With the preliminary new schedule being posted I figured it was time to ask for a residual.  Normally I am quicker to ask for one but being that none of us have looked at the car since the race I kept putting it off.  With winter coming fast I knew it was best to get it done now so we can plan for next year.

Here is what I wrote:

Ok, honestly none of have even looked at the car since the race.  It finished the race, it somehow was able to be slightly faster than a 60’s MG B on a high horsepower track, and not break down as much as everyone else in our class.  I stuck the key in the car and it started up and made the usual mixture of good sounds and bad sounds.

So the schedule came out today and while I’m sure we aren’t actually going to look at the car anytime soon I’m guessing the rest of the team will start wanting to plan for next year so I guess we should know how much money we can spend and make grand plans that we will procrastinate on and not bother doing anyway.

And this is what I got in reply
I think your car is a little too good for Class C now, so that means I'm giving you a residual that will let you upgrade its performance to compete in B class. We'll say $1 residual, so you can get some good suspension stuff. Or, if you're crazy, you could get a more powerful engine. 
 I guess our little Cutlass Ciera has graduated out of C, which I guess we should be proud of our little guy, but it's not really what we were looking for since I'm not sure we the drivers\crew are ready to move up, even if the Olds is.  I just hope if we are in B that we are still eligible for the let the Simca pass you for bacon program.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Look who is Hella Sweet

Being that it seems like I'm one of the few people who actually watch all these, I was rather surprised to see me getting the Hella Sweet arrow.

Yeah thats me in the back with the Cap on and clearly I'm Hella Sweet.

Of course this may be out of context and maybe its not me that is Hella Sweet, maybe the Hella Sweet was for Jay's driving prowess, or maybe it is for Judge Eric's first day, or maybe for Kim, cause she just is Hella Sweet.  Maybe it could even possibly be for a certain fine red Italian vehicle.

Its a shame that you can't just watch the video on some kind of internet video site, or can you...

You will also learn what Lemons HQ thinks about puppies and what Jay's stomach feels like after eating a yard of beef and a summer sausage football.  Do they think it is Hella Sweet or Butt Turrible.  The answers may surprise you, although probably not.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The secrets to our success

We have run 3 races and have won 2 trophies and an honorable mention in a car so hopelessly awful no one else runs.  I figure this will be the best race per award ratio we ever will have so this is a good time to share the secrets to our success.
Like most teams we came into this completely clueless.  We were so clueless we actually thought that running a 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera was a good idea.  So we go to our first race with random things fixed while other things not touched or looked at and off we ran.  And it ran until it started to act up randomly and around 14 hours into the 15 hour race it stopped running.  So up it gets pushed on the trailer

Even without finishing the race we ended up mid pack and was given an honorable mention nod for IOE.   So we reflected on what we had to do so we could finish the next race, besides fix the car.  Clearly we needed help from a higher power.  God really doesn't have time to answer all the prayers from LeMons Teams.  Luckily being Catholic I know about the Saints. A group of people that God delegates to help out in specific situations.  There isn't a Patron Saint of car racing, at least not yet, so I figured for Lemons the most appropriate Saint for LeMons would be Saint Jude, the Saint for Hopeless Causes.

So next race with a little divine help from the key chain the car runs flawlessly all weekend.  Now with the car running fine we had a new problem, Black Flags.  A pass under yellow, a spin and a bit off the track, a couple cases of mistaken identity.  All these things add up to wasted time hanging out in the penalty box.  This ended up having us mid pack again but we actually walked away with the IOE.

As everyone knows its never the drivers fault for black flags. So the problem must be the car.  The Olds wasn't built to be on a track so it never was taught what it was suppose to do.  But where could it learn what to do or not do.  Easy enough let it learn where the rest of us do.  Bring it to the drivers meeting.

After that meeting the car no longer passed cars when it wasn't suppose to, nor did it spin out, nor did it go off track and play in the grass.  Not only that but it seemed our car must have told the other cars cause very few of them decided to do that either,  so few that Jay told us we didn't need a drivers meeting the next day.  At the end of the second day we found ourselves in the top 20 (19th) and we somehow won class C.

So now you know to be successful you need divine intervention and an educated car.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Merchandise

Since we changed our theme it meant we made all kinds of new merchandise that no one else will buy.  Even so I thought I should at least try to sell them just cause.

In case you miss the link on the right, you can buy all our stuff old and new here

So now that you know where to buy these fine and stylish items, its time to show what's new.

First is the Official Godzilla Defense Force Team shirt.
These are the shirts that were given to all the drivers.  So you show up at a race with this people will just assume your driving on our team.  While wandering around the paddock looking like a driver lets you get all kinds of interesting offers like bacon for letting another team pass you.

OK so maybe you aren't ready to look like a driver but still want to show support.  We have another shirt for that too.

Besides not looking like us, this one is made of a bit heavier material to better protect you from things like the cold, and giant monsters, and getting hit by cars. (We make no guarantee that this shirt can protect you from cars, monsters or even the cold) You also can choose your own color, cause we really don't have any idea what colors really go with each other so maybe you can have better luck in it then us.

So what if you wish to purchase a shirt for a tiny person.
We now have shirts for toddlers.  You can choose colors with this shirt too so you can also make it more girly

What if you are concerned about safety, or just really enjoy being bright and noticed
We also have the high visibility safety vest.  As a bonus most places people assume you belong where ever you are if you are wearing a brightly colored vest.

Maybe you don't want clothes, maybe you are a nudest but still would like to show your support.
But not only does this cup have the Godzilla Defense Force Logo but also our old logo.

 Well those are the new addition to the shop that no one ever buys anything from.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2012 Chubba Cheddar Enduro Recap (Long)

As I promised in the last Blog entry here is the long writeup.

While the last one had the facts, this one is filled with all kinds of details no one cares about, but it will have pictures.  People like Pictures so I guess you can ignore the words and look at the pretty pictures(thanks to Barb Noverini.)

So on to the boring word part.

Well after last years race most of the comments about our car referred to it as the Slow Purple Olds.  No one really wants to be known as the Slow Purple Olds so we decided to fix that the only way we could think of.  We repainted it.

Now we don't want to take credit for the design to much since its an homage to this car.
Which was originally built by the Chief Perp 10 years ago for the Double 500.  Figured a little homage to Jay couldn't hurt.

With a spiffy new paint job we headed up to Road America on Sunday (it was a Monday/Tuesday Race so we weren't going really really late).  While stopping for gas we had two people ask about the Cutlass, the first asked if it was for LeMons, and how they always wanted to do a LeMons Race.  The next just wanted to know what we used it for.

We got to Road America after noon, to find out the staging was pushed back til 2, but we found a place to sit and start cooking dinner and do a little repair work on the exhaust that got disconnected while loading it on the trailer.

About the time we were ready to eat the paddock opened up to let people find spots.  We decided to eat instead of move so we got a spot a bit back but really didn't matter since they let us use the hot pits for the race.

By the time we finished eating and got ready to go to tech it started to rain.
I asked for an umbrella girl but I never seemed to get one.  In fact if I didn't bring an umbrella with me I'm pretty sure they would have let me get soaked.

Well tech went pretty painlessly and it seemed Jay got a big kick out of the new paint scheme.  So much so that with the line waiting for BS and the shortened time for tech Jay signed us off with a class c 0 laps.  Of course this meant we didn't get to go through BS.  If we had to do it again we would have just gone through to hand out the bribes and stuff in order and not bother to have Phil sign anything.  Either way we did give them bribes anyway and after getting everything else we headed back to the Paddock to setup camp.

Of course once I no longer needed to sit in a car without front windows it stopped raining.

Monday morning came and we sent Pete out for the first stint.
The car seemed to be running well, and the first hour went off without any problems whatsoever, well at least for us.
Next went out Albert.  Pretty sure early on he got the fastest lap for us over the weekend which was nice but sometime during his stint the tailpipe got disconnected again.

We didn't know this until we saw him coming down through the hot pits.  It would be OK most of the time except for left turns where it would drag on the ground.  Unfortunately the hot pits were after pit out so after putting gas in the car I jumped in and did a lap so we could get in and fix it.
After a little time wrenching, hammering and other things. We were back out on the track.  The Olds seemed a lot more stable than before in the turns.  So I had some fun running around until I looked down at the fuel gauge mid stint and realize I was down to an 1/8th of a tank.  I guess we forgot how to properly use the cans and did it with the vent down causing it not to work right so we probably only put in half of the can in.  Well I called in the fuel situation, and all I got was a nonchalant you got 20 minutes left.  Since no one else seem to care about the car running out of gas I had to go into fuel conservation for the rest of my stint.  It did show me something odd about our car though.  I've heard nothing but bad things about GM Fuel tanks but it took until we were on E before I started getting fuel starvation in corners which puts our little A-Body as possibly the only GM that had a properly designed fuel tank of that era.

Once we put some gas in the tank and got Duffy strapped into the car I went and looked at our standings.  For the most part C class was pretty tightly grouped.  We were a couple laps down from most the pack except the Red Shirts that were 5 laps up on us.

So now with a fixed exhaust we had to chase down the Canadians.
That was how the rest of the day went.  Trying to catch the Canadians.  For the last stint of the day we put in enough gas in to finish off the day, stuck Albert in the Ciera and sent him on his way.  I walked over to see the standings as the new ones were being posted.  I guess somehow in our chasing of the Red Shirts Nissan Pulsar we missed the fact that it had been sitting in the paddock with a busted engine.  All our chasing did was get a us a bit of lead on the other C Class cars.  We decided to  keep this fact from Albert during his stint so we ended the day with a 5 lap lead in class c in 26th overall barely in the bottom half of the 51 car field.
Of course now that we were in 1st place we actually had to work on the car to make sure it would be ready for the next day
The next day I was the first driver.

Since we had a bit of lead, and we put on old used brake pads I thought I would take it easy to conserve the car.  This I did for most of my stint, well up till the point that the Lotus Elite popped up in my review mirror.  The Conserve plan was replaced with the racing the Lotus plan.  Also it seemed that the plan to let the faster cars by also got put on the back burner.
Eventually I got passed by the Lotus while I was stuck behind the Squareback and a line of A and B class cars boxed in while they passed us.  But it was fun while it lasted, in fact was the most fun I had during the weekend.

Shortly after that my stint ended and I handed it back over the Duffy.

Shortly after my stint ended the Lotus came in the paddock.  It seems we may have had a bit more fun than the old Lotus was capable of having anymore.  They were hoping they just overheated, but the laps left on that engine were pretty limited.

As for us the Olds kept going round and round.  The only problem we had was trying to explain to people that it wasn't a new car.  It seems everyone assumed it was a different car.  The Slow Purple Olds was not only no longer Purple but somehow not quite the Rolling Chicane it was at Autobahn last year.  While the faster teams could still pass us I guess it was a bit more of an effort than it used to be.

Whether they believed it was the same car or not the Cutlass Ciera kept going and continued to slowly pull away from the MGB-GT. 

 That pretty much sums up day 2 for us.  We kept going and somehow ended up crossing the line 1st in C class, and 19th overall.

The Lotus on the other hand crossed the line a bit more dramatic than us.
Well with that done we could finally live up to our name and get a big pile of nickels.  Well not quite.  For whatever reason we once again denied Nickels and instead got a check for $500
Well at least we got another shiny trophy and by my calculations our $200 car has earned us $2001 in prize money which is over 1000% profit, if you ignore all the other costs it takes to race which of course still puts us quite a ways in the red.

The End?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chubba Cheddar Enduro Quick Summary.

Once I get some pics and time I'll write up the full race Recap but I figure I should at least do the super quick summary.

First the inspection write up.

Do to us being awesome jay signed us off as c and 0 laps and told us to get out of line so you can just get a couple quick shots of us wandering around.

Day one write up
We were pretty surprised ourselves about where we ended up in there.

Day two write up
Award Ceremony

So yeah we won, but still no Nickels, I'm starting to think this is a conspiracy.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Driver Comfort

Do to the very hot summer we have been having and the fact that we are racing in August this year we decided to install a driver cooling system.

After reading every thread I could find on the Lemons forum and looking a some of the manufactures of cooling systems,  I drew up this diagram


After spending sometime on the McMaster-Carr website, I came up with the parts list for connectors and tubing, some of that info is on the picture above.

The 2 other pieces to the puzzle were the pump and the cooler.

The pump needed to be 12vdc,  be submersible, and move a decent amount of water. My research led me to bilge pumps for marine use.  They are designed to be submerged in water, pump at a good rate and are 12vdc


The pump came from Amazon the dvd was thrown in to qualify for the free shipping.

For the cooler we just ended up getting a large blue $20 cooler at Kmart

Since I had all the parts, I worked on my shirt first here are some pictures;
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We will see how well it works, but it wasn't all that hard to put together. I wonder what the other guys shirts will end-up looking like?

For the cooler side , just drilled some holes, Installed the bulkhead quick release connections and caulked up the holes

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Still need to attach the pump to the bottom of the cooler and get it all mounted and connected in the car.

Hope to have an opportunity to at least test the system with some water and my shirt this weekend.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Racing 4 Nickels Team Heads to the Junkyard (Spoilers Ahead)

After analyzing the Road America course, we realized that with longer distances, and longer straights, there is the potential for higher speeds.  Because of this, some form of aerodynamic addition was required from the car.

We looked at a number of automobiles, ranging from a Cadillac Sedan DeVille D'Elegance, to a Dodge Shadow convertible, but finally settled on an Intrigue we spotted.

First, the spoiler fit all of our needs:  slightly raised so we could bolt it onto the contours of our vehicle, and had the proper width and length dimensions.

Most importantly, however, it came off an Oldsmobile.  There must be continuity of theme, and the joining of two Oldsmobile parts will add overall harmony and balance to vehicle. (Hm, important Japanese qualities... maybe we'll talk about that in a future post....)

Another item we are thinking about is heat.  The race is in late August, so, (as I am the self-proclaimed team science guy) just to throw out some data:

Average Weather Data for Elkhart Lake, WI:
Taken from here.

-29° (1982)
60° (1944)
-27° (1996)
64° (2000)
-18° (1962)
82° (1910)
8° (1954)
89° (1990)
21° (1966)
92° (1978)
30° (1945)
101° (2005)
39° (1968)
107° (2005)
36° (1915)
101° (1988)
25° (1926)
98° (1953)
6° (1925)
88° (1976)
-7° (1976)
75° (1944)
-20° (1983)
67° (2001)

Aug 19
45° (1950)
95° (1955)
Aug 20
42° (1950)
96° (1955)
Aug 21
43° (2004)
97° (1955)
Aug 22
38° (1967)
94° (1936)
Aug 23
40° (1967)
97° (1947)
Aug 24
40° (1977)
98° (1948)

So, two things pop out at me.  First, it can get hot, highs in the upper 70s at least.  There was a record of near 100 degree temps as well, so something we need to think about.

Interestingly, August tends to be the wettest time of year as well, with a half an inch of rain higher than other months.  That may also figure into strategery.