Hey, look at that. The Rusty Hub's not dead yet.
We wanted to do a proper 2012 recap, but you'll get this instead and like it. So here's a look at crapcan's big winners from 2012!
24 Hours of LeMons
National Points Winners: Speedycop and His Gang of Outlaws
This is a no brainer. Speedycop scored points with entries in all five regions, including the team's first Top 10 finish at the season ender at Eagles Canyon Raceway with the Lancia-clad MR2, despite surviving a major impact. Along the way, Speedycop also built a Suzuki X-90 to look like a pop-up camper, took the same car to a Class C victory at Gingerman as its only driver, raced a Titanic E36, saved and ran the venerable V8olvo in California, ran a two-car Monitor vs. Merrimac theme and probably a half dozen other outlandish entries that we can't recall because he had something like 25 race entries for the year, all of them ridiculous.
Eastern Region Winners: Speedycop and His Gang of Outlaws
Did we mention that Speedycop and company are building a road racer out of an old Cessna 310 for 2013?
Southern Region Winners: Hong Norrth
What can you say about Hong Norrth? The South Region only had two races--both at CMP--and these Georgians took four podiums with two Mazda MX-3s in each race, including a race win at the second race. In their last seven LeMons races, the Hongs have racked up six wins and 10 podiums. There are certainly faster cars, but no LeMons team east of California (possibly anywhere) puts together a better, more complete race.
Central Region Winners: Subliminal Racing
Subliminal Racing came out of nowhere in 2012 to stomp the Central Region regulars like Skid Marks Racing, Clueless Racing and Bucksnort Racing. In 2011, the Indianapolis-based team traded their wadded-up Honda CRX for a BMW E30 and they put it all together in 2012. They snagged Top 10 finishes in all four races they entered, including an overall win at Autobahn in June. Oh, and if you ever wondered what their name and livery means, read this.
Gulf Region Winners: Lost in the Dark
The two-car Lost in the Dark team headed into the season's final race in a dead heat with the Z-Wrecks Datsun, which won two Gulf Region races in 2012. But when Z-Wrecks failed to make an entry into the final race, Lost in the Dark broke the tie simply by making the race's start. Lost in the Dark fields a Mazda Miata--which, like Subliminal's E30, finished in the Top 10 of all four races it entered--and a battered, glorious Malaise-Era Ford Fairmont. It's an odd pairing, but we like it.
Western Region Winners: Cerveza Racing
In LeMons' toughest region, Cerveza made an impressive showing. It's not easy to dominate the West Coast, but Cerveza showed how it's done with their BMW E28. In four starts, the straight-six-powered luxury machine grunted its way to three wins and a second-place finish. It was a showing that called to mind the exhibition of awesome from Eyesore Racing--2012's Western Region runners-up--during their 2010 season in which they ran away with the national title.
ChumpCar World Series
Since ChumpCar doesn't have a national championship per se, here are the winners of the Regional Chumpionship races:
Northern Region Chumpionship (Grand Bend): Van Winden Racing
Van Winden Racing made an impact as one of the the handful of top teams in Canada, alongside Mealtime Racing, Johnda Deere, Mopar 4 Life and Red Green Racing. The Van Winden's E30 had put up three podiums, including an overall win at Calabogie Raceway, prior to heading to Grand Bend for the Northern Region Chumpionship. In the 12-hour race, Van Winden finished three laps ahead of the Mopar 4 Life Dodge Neon to take the checkered flag.
Central Region Chumpionship (Heartland Park): Tubby Butterman Racing
To those who follow ChumpCar, Tubby Butterman being at the top of the scoring sheet is almost not newsworthy. TBR won three races before the Chumpionship, including the race at Iowa Speedway less than a month before heading to Heartland Park. In a squeaker, the Butterman E36 edged out Chump Faces' E30 by just 36 seconds to earn their fourth win of the year.
Eastern Region Chumpionship (Atlanta): inACURAte Racing
This finish came as a bit of a show. Not only had inACURAte not won a race before this, they also had the handicap of driving an Acura Legend. Just kidding. We love luxury cars and love that this race's podium went Acura Legend, Infiniti J30 (Team Infiniti) and Mercedes 190E (Blitzen Benz). inACURAte finished the race with 1:26 in hand over Team Infiniti to take home their first win and it was a big one.
Western Region Chumpionship (Sonoma): Geo Metro Gnome
The Metro Gnome is a Honda CBR-powered rocket of a Geo Metro so it's no surprise to see it leading a race. What's remarkable is how reliable Alex Vendler has made the car to hold itself together for the duration of a long-format race. This five-lap win marked the Metro Gnome's third ChumpCar win and second of the year, though it's worth noting that the car's other 2012 victory came in the short-format race in Ensenada. Just for kicks, the 'Gnome set the Chumpionship's fastest lap, too, with a 1:38.864.