Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Rusty Hub's Recommended Summer Reading

Sometimes a "Never Give Up" attitude comes into play before the race even begins. Team Skid Steer performed an engine swap on their Mercury Bobcat in the paddock at the 2011 Showroom Schlock Shootout a full day before the race's Green Flag. (The Rusty Hub photo)

Without blame or excuse, we here at The Rusty Hub took a certainly unmerited vacation from interviewing this week to enjoy instead the glory of Memorial Day racing. And by this we mean ChumpCar World Series' 14 Hours of Daytuna and the 24 Hours of LeMons' North Dallas Hooptie 24-hour race, of course.

Apparently, some other guys drove some funny-looking cars around a big oval in the middle of the country and then some other other guys drove some even more funny-looking cars around some city or country or something on the Mediterranean Sea. But we don't know much about that.
What we do know, however, is that there is some great crapcan reading to be found elsewhere on the Web. Here's a smattering of the good stuff to keep you busy until we have a new interview next week.

So You Want to be a Chump - Phil Hare of Team Slimer put together a great ChumpCar World Series primer on the ChumpCar forum in March 2011. This should pretty much be required reading for any beginner in the crapcan world. Many of these lessons apply to 24 Hours of LeMons entries and--particularly the latter half about planning for races and so forth--club racing as well.

What Would Smokey Do? 24 Hours of LeMons Tips from Judge Murilee - As far as I know, this is required reading for new LeMons teams. This can spare you some grief when you take your car through BS Inspection. Please note that this does not apply to ChumpCar, where bribes and cheating are expressly prohibited in the rulebook.

NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! Speedy's guide to success in adversity - Few, if any, crapcan racers have undergone so many insane projects as Speedycop. The list is insanely long and you can find a lot of it just sorting through Murilee Martin's archives. But this LeMons Forum post focuses on the projects that have failed mid-race and needed extensive repairs. It's a bit of inspiration and advice for muddling through the tough times that turn up from time to time at the torture test that is crapcan racing.

Best-Engineered Cars of LeMons - Eyesore Racing's Dave Coleman writes three excellent pieces on some of the West Coast's most famous crapcans. While LeMons is known largely for its decorative creativity, these cars a testament to the engineering creativity that goes into many of them.

The Ultimated No-Budget Race Transporter and Boneyard Brain Surgery - Alex Vendler--creator of the Geo MetroGnome mentioned in one of Dave Coleman's articles above--also contributes to MotoIQ, particularly with his expertise on making the most of limited resources. Both articles capitalize on his ingenuity to create surprisingly elegant solutions to crapcan problems.

Say Goodbye to Team Trailing Throttle Oversteer - Teams and drivers come and go in the crapcan world all the time without comment. But we seem to lament the passing of a car, perhaps because it's the physical representation of our labors of love in the crapcan game. Hooniverse's Jim Brennan writes a little eulogy for the TTTO Corvair that many crapcan racers will identify with.

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