Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Voting results: Melted rubber, mullets

As today was Election Day in 'merica, we asked on our Facebook page what the ultimate '80s domestic machinery was for doing celebratory burnouts.

Pony cars were, of course, the automotive zeitgeist for the penultimate decade of the 1900s, so it's no surprise that the top vote-getters drop the eight-cylinder hammer.

With OU812 precincts reporting, we can say that the Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z is the burnout-mobile for the American public, edging out the Ford's Fox Body Mustang.

"Any non-French AMC product" got a single vote. Two write-ins also were inexplicably submitted: one for the GM A-Body and another for the Pontiac Aztek.

Enjoy the spoils of victory with a smokeshow:

Then watch this:

Now repeat.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

ChumpCar World Series releases 2013 schedule

As planned, ChumpCar World Series director John Condren released the series' 2013 schedule today last night (due to East Coast-related server difficulties). The series will run 38 endurance events with some new formats and new tracks.

See the schedule and some brief analysis after the jump.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

24 Hours of LeMons posts 2013 Schedule

24 Hours of LeMons' Chief Perpetrator Jay Lamm has released the preliminary 2013 schedule via email with the statement that "more are getting settled."

See the dates and some brief analysis after the jump.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Movie Monday: It's an ENDURANCE race, remember

Before beginning a race, most crapcan teams and drivers pause to remind each other that you can't win an enduracne race on the first lap or even on any particular turn. But you can lose it. The key is to remember that you're running the Long Race and that the teams who run a reasonable pace and make the fewest mistakes tend to be on or near the podium when the checkered flag flies.

That being said, ChumpCar World Series' "Drift Into Winter Classic" at Road America earlier this month saw four cars involved in two first-lap incidents on consecutive turns.

See the videos after the jump.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Weekend at a Glance: October 26 - 28

Ghosts, Goblins, Ghouls and Grease Enduro
Portland International Raceway (Portland, OR) - ChumpCar World Series

ChumpCar holds its fourth annual Halloween race at PIR this weekend. This is a two-race weekend with a 12-hour event Saturday and a six-hour Sunday race. Friday's tech day will also feature several non-race events, including team pumpkin carving and costume contests for both children and pets.

Past Winners at PIR Halloween races:

2009: Git Miata Here - Mazda Miata
2010: Rogue Squadron - Nissan Sentra SE-R (Race 1); Squirrels of Fury 2 - Volkswagen Scirocco (Race 2)
2011: Formula Roadster (Datsun Roadster)

Supplemental Rules for GGGG Enduro (PDF)

Halloween Hooptiefest
New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Loudon, NH) - 24 Hours of LeMons

LeMons will hold its final East Region race of the year at NHMS. In addition to the typical race schedule, NHMS will also host a bevy of non-race-related events on Saturday, including a pumpkin pitchin' contest, spud guns, and a wife-carrying contest.

Unofficial East Region Points Standings

1. Speedycop & His Gang of Outlaws - 39 Points
2. Schumacher Taxi Service - 28 Points
3. Keystone Kops - 23 Points

Past Winners at NHMS

2011: Goin' Nuclear - Honda Civic (Overall); Vermont Volvocheros - Volvo 240 (Class B); Team Rob, His Two Loser Friends, and His Brother - Volkswagen Golf (Class C); Chev-itte Where the Sun Don't Shine - Chevrolet Chevette (Index of Effluency)

2012: Bill Danger and the Road Hazzards - Honda Accord (Overall & Class B); Punisher GP - Peugeot 405 (Class C); Speedycop & His Gang of Outlaws - Suzuki X-90 Camper (IOE)

Halloween Hooptiefest Official LeMons Page

NHMS Hooptiefest Page with non-race events schedule

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Our Photos from American Irony 2012

Rod Blagojevich is top-notch material for a region-specific bribe stencil, as pictured on the the patina of the truly terrible Scuderia Craptastica Opel GT. If we judge again next year, look for the Rod Blagojevich Dishwashing and Making Friends PenaltyTM. (The Rusty Hub photo)

Check out our Facebook album from last weekend's race. We didn't get a chance to shoot as many photos as we'd liked; it turns out that judging a LeMons race is a hell of a lot of work (more on that next week).

You can find our photos HERE.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

American Irony 2012: A recap

[Editor's Note: In the interest of full disclosure, we acted as BS Judge for this 24 Hours of LeMons, earning tens of thousands of Yen in the process.]

The Flying Pigs' Ford Mustang ran cleanly for most of the weekend to finish 24th overall, though an unfortunate incident damaged its snout on Sunday. (The Rusty Hub photo)
The weather for 24 Hours of LeMons events in the Midwest has been fickle over the last years, to say the least. From the Gingerman ice rink in April 2011 to the sticky sweatfest at Autobahn Country Club in June 2012 and all variations in between, crapcanistas in the middle of the country have endured it all.

At this year's third annual October race at Autobahn, teams battled the ever-changing track conditions and variable visibility to last up to 14-1/2 hours on track. The weekend began with a steady downpour that lasted most of the race's Saturday session, although the skies cleared some and the track dried up in the session's last hour. Sunday brought intermittent showers of varying severity, interspersed with enough sunlight to dry the track for a few minutes until the next wave of rain. As a result, the track surface--jammed with 103 entries on the 1.9-mile course--was treacherous at best and most teams were beset by black flags.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Weekend at a Glance: October 12 - October 14

American Irony
Autobahn Country Club (Joliet, IL) - 24 Hours of LeMons

LeMons returns to Autobahn for the second time this weekend to wrap up the Midwest region's final race.

According to our hooptied-out calculations, Subliminal Racing leads the region with 33 points. In second is Lemonaid Racing's two-car attack--a stock three-cylinder Geo Metro and a BMW E30--who trail with 25 points. For Lemonaid to have a shot at the regional title, they'll need a strong showing from both cars.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend News & Notes: 10/5 - 10/7

When Nelson Ledges Road Course first held its Longest Day in 1980, the format was a 24-hour race sanctioned by the SCCA. When the SCCA abandoned the 24-hour race after 2008, crapcan racing soon filled the niche as a spiritual successor with near-showroom-stock racing (albeit maybe 20 years delayed).

This past weekend, ChumpCar World Series hosted its second Longest Day with a twist: Instead of a 24-hour race, race organizers endeavored to make it longer than NASA's 25 Hours of Thunderhill. At 25 hours, 25 minutes and 25 seconds, the Longer Longest Day is the world's longest endurance race.

When the checkered flag flew Sunday at 11:25 a.m., the Fox-body Mercury Cougar of Tiger's Wood PGA Racing had logged 993 laps around Nelson Ledges to take the overall win. With the course's two-mile length, the Cougar logged approximately 1,986 miles.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Weekend at a Glance: October 5 through October 7

The Longer Longest Day
Nelson Ledges Road Course (Garrettsville, OH) - ChumpCar World Series

The ChumpCar World Series will again offer their take on the classic 24-Hour Longest Day even at Nelson Ledges with what may be the world's longest road race by time (25 hours, 25 minutes and 25 seconds) this weekend. Green flag drops at 10 a.m. Saturday and the checkered flag flies at 11:25:25 p.m. Sunday.

Tech inspection Friday occurs in the normal 3 to 7 p.m. time slot.

ModSquad Racing, former interviewees of The Rusty Hub, will have lives updates on their Facebook page and possibly streaming video on their Ustream channel.

For more detailed information on the event, see the CCWS supplemental information linked below.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Weekend News & Notes 9/28 - 9/30

If you've read the Car and Driver post on the winners from last weekend's 24 Hours of LeMons race at MSR Houston, then you already know that the Z-Wrecks Datsun 280ZX took the race's overall win and the Green Cornet team's Dodge Coronet captured the coveted Index of Effluency.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Weekend at a Glance: Sept. 28 to Sept. 30

MSR Houston (Angleton, TX) - 24 Hours of LeMons

LeMons returns for the third of four Texas races this weekend at MSR. Gator-O-Rama will be the Gulf Region's final race of the season. Team Lost in the Dark holds a seven-point lead in the region over both the Z-Wrecks and Pulp Friction whips with veteran Gulf teams Team Miagra, Tetanus Racing and Property Devaluation Racing all within 10 points of the region leader.

The weekend will be 14-1/2 hours. Saturday's session begins at 10 a.m. and concludes at 6:30 p.m. Racing resumes Sunday at 9 a.m. with the final checkered flag at 3 p.m.

Tech inspection begins Friday at noon and runs until 5 p.m.

Gates open for the weekend at 7 a.m. Friday, though there is an early-bird trailer drop Thursday at MSR from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. The cost to drop the trailer overnight is $15 with no Thursday camping.

MSR will hold a Test and Tune on Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a lunch break from noon to 1 p.m. You can register for the test day here.

Early-week weather forecasts call for 30-40 percent chances of rain on Saturday and Sunday.

Onboard Video

Our onboard video for this race comes from experienced LeMoneer Pat Mulry, whose Toxic Assets Racing Program (TARP) Toyota MR2 was a ragged veteran of many races. Tag along as TARP driver Michael Mosty gives you an annotated lesson on flogging an MR2 at MSR. Of course, the instructions won't be quite the same if you're sailing a (formerly) high-dollar Teutonic tin can around the track, but you get the general idea, right?

2012 Gator-O-Rama event page on the 24 Hours of LeMons' site

MSR Houston official site

Trackpedia page for MSR Houston

2011 Gator-O-Rama official gallery

2010 Gator-O-Rama official gallery

2009 Gator-O-Rama official gallery

Monday, September 24, 2012

Editorial Assistants! Updates! Champ/Chump-ionships

Our editorial assistants slack like few others can slack.

We're back...sort of. The past few weeks have been spend training our newest editorial assistant on our production process, but she's been slow to take. She prefers to eat and sleep all day and who can blame her? Poor management breeds lazy workers.

Anyway, the time-intensive interviews we've conducted in the past are probably a few weeks away from a return, but they will hopefully be back and more better. More to come on that at a later date.

In the meantime, here are a few quick items from last weekend's crapcan races:

* Central Region superstars Tubby Butterman Racing won the ChumpCar World Series Central Division Chumpionship at Heartland Park Topeka. Their victory came after a long duel with the veteran Chump Faces BMW E30, who crossed the stripe just 36 seconds behind Tubby's venerable BMW E36. See the full results here.

* The ChumpCar race at Sebring International Raceway belonged to Flatout Racing, who finished with a commanding six-lap lead. The second-place finisher, 4 Half Men Racing, finished just eight seconds ahead of third-place team SRI Racing Iron Lemon 2. Results are posted here.

* Hong Norrth's "B" Mazda MX-3 took its first win at the 24 Hours of LeMons race at Carolina Motorsports Park. The team's "A" car also finished second. The one-two finish should secure them the Southern Region Championship after the team finished two-three at the region's only other race this season. In Hong Norrth's last seven races, the team has logged an astonishing six outright victories and nine podiums, rendering them the Audi Sport Team Joest of LeMons. By our count, that result gives Hong Norrth 36 points and the lead in the National Championship, five points ahead of California's Cerveza Racing (See next point). Read about the rest of the CMP winners here, including another legendary performance from NSF Racing.

* Finally, if you want to see our compilation of the Unofficial and Incomplete LeMons regional and national championship standings, we've put that together in a Google spreadsheet. We haven't put in the results from CMP yet, but they will be posted as soon as MyLaps is updated. You can see them here.

There's another item of interest brewing, but we can't divulge yet. As soon as some details are ironed out, we'll have a big announcement for our dear readers.

We'll be posting periodically on our Twitter and Facebook pages about assorted goings-on in the crapcan world and we'll have the periodic blog post for you, as well.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ill-Advised Life Swaps

Pardon us while we break move into a new Office.

If you've been wondering about our conspicuous absence over the last few weeks, we've been busy beating back the beast called "Life" and trying to get caught up on sleep and preparation before the arrival of the newest member of The Rusty Hub family.

While the poorly worded post title suggests that we here at the Hub are undergoing ill-advised changes, we are instead experiencing the turmoil and constantly-barely-evaded castastrophe that comes when--against all better judgment--you've elected to move Rusty Hub World Headquarters™ during your wife's ninth month of pregnancy. As such, we've been swamped with discarding boxes full of useful things and stacking in our closets boxes full of the crap we instead elected to keep while at the same time preparing for a hoon-tastic hustle to the hospital.

But we're not done here; once we get moved and settled into a schedule with our darling daughter, I'll be back to mashing the keys regularly so the crapcan masses can have their Brakes o' Fire® and Flakes o' Rust® for breakfast.

In the meantime, look for the odd post here and there, but be sure to follow us on Twitter here and "Like" our Facebook page here. We'll be posting on both sites regularly with series-related updates and with other assorted Internet detritus.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Q&A with Tetanus Racing's Chris Champion and Mary Harris

Tetanus Racing's Dodge Neon has seen thousands of miles on-track, several different themes, a few Top 10 finishes, and a hell of a lot of fun in its long second life as an endurance racer in the Gulf Region. (Murilee Martin photo)

If the racing gods ever sought a car to prove that outward appearance means very little with regard to on-track success, Houston's Tetanus Racing could present a strong case to the deities with its ceaselessly beaten first-generation Dodge Neon. Having long ago eclipsed a dozen races with its original engine block, the car's lockjaw-laden patina leaves no doubt that looks mean little when talking about long-lasting endurance racers.

While Tetanus has never won a race outright, they've steadily improved from their status as one of many green teams in the Gulf Region to a class-act who have learned through five 24 Hours of LeMons' seasons how to assemble a race. At the May 2012 North Dallas Hooptie race at Eagles Canyon Raceway in Decatur (TX), Tetanus put both of their entries--the venerable Neon and an as-fickle-as-you-think-it-would-be Porsche 944--into the Top 10 of the 24-hour race while simultaneously helping to propel epic vacationer Mike Kimball to a Class C win in his 1966 Volkswagen Beetle. [Kimball towed the Scrubbing Bubbles-themed Bug from Sacramento to Dallas to Denver for races on consecutive weekends...with a VW Vanagon.]

At the helm of Tetanus Racing are husband-and-wife duo Chris Champion and Mary Harris, the former a dabbler in and fan of motorsports prior to finding LeMons and the latter a medical doctor who fell in love with the spectacle of LeMons while attending the team's first race and also studying for her board certification. Joining them have been a sizable extended family that comprises Tetanus Racing, which may have included (thus far) any or all of the following: Andy Thor-Sout, Shauna Thor-Stout, Dan Knight, Mike Knierien, Chuck Keeton, Joe Smith, Jimmy Richeson, Bryan Fitch, Sam Miller, Anton Lovett, Dave Kirschke, Jim Tomlinson, Steve Osborne, Brian Dawson, Dave Piazza, Juan Gutierrez, Ramon Gutierrez Sr., Ramon Gutierrez Jr, Ali Forman, Bruce Vanderzyde, and Graham Helfrick. The team also occasionally entertain arrive-and-drive participants (such as automotive journalist Jack Baruth) and Champion and Harris make periodic arrive-and-drive vacations of their own.

The Rusty Hub caught up with Champion and Harris--Tetanus Racing's dynamic duo--who had recently returned home after a busy few weeks that included a 24-hour race in Dallas, an arrive-and-drive in Colorado, and an overseas vacation that was, in part, a pilgramage to some quaint little race in France. In the course of the interview, we learned all about marriage and racing, judgment, the 944's pitfalls, and the team's future plans, not to mention a rare glimpse at "Speedycop the Man."

Friday, July 6, 2012

Firing it back up

Well, the power company has restored power and we're back to business at The Rusty Hub World Headquarters™. In the meantime, we've planned a relocation for next month that will place our HQ within walking distance of both the most famous junkyard in the Chicago metropolitan area and the second-busiest airport in the country.

We apologize again for this week's break from our normal schedule caused by the cruel and foul weather and we will return to our normal shenanigans beginning Monday.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Down on power

Good evening, folks. Just a quick note that we'll be publishing an abbreviated schedule this week, as Mother Nature blew through the geographic region that is home to The Rusty Hub World Headquarters™ on Sunday. According to one pilot friend of ours, the local METARs for Sunday included the wonderful phrase "Winds 5 [mph] gusting to 60."

As far as we can tell, the brief and very violent storm was doing its best impression of a crapcan motor calling it quits. In doing so, it uprooted a few dozen trees and flung them a few hundred feet to demonstrate the action of connecting rods flying away from their nests. And, also like a crapcan, the trees sliced up a few major electrical systems on their way out. 

At the moment, our HQ is still powerless, though we're told to expect power some time in the next 36 hours. As such, we'll be catching up for the rest of the week, but we do have a pretty great interview on-deck with two of the most veteran crapcan racers in the country. Stay tuned for that and hopefully we'll have our PC duct-taped back together and ready for more of our hack journalism.