Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March Crapness: First Round, 1 vs. 16 (March 27)

The play-in round players return to face the top-ranked entries today. Of course, "top-ranked" in this case just means "lucky," since the seeds were drawn randomly. Still, this is a marquee day for Crapness.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: We'll be using Google for the polls from now on. You may notice that you can vote multiple times. DON'T DO THIS. We get a log of all vote and WILL NOT COUNT ANY VOTES WHERE YOU'VE STUFFED THE BALLOT BOXES (even though we live near Chicago).]

Go to the March Crapness tab for the full rundown, up-to-date bracket and schedule.

Read the introduction to March Crapness here.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates. Tweet about March Crapness using the hashtag #crapness.

[Extra-special thanks to Murilee Martin for assisting with many of the photos. All photos as credited.]

Anton Lovett (1) vs. POS Racing (16)

Anton Lovett -Your car

Anton Lovett won the LeMons Drivers' Championship in 2012 by a wide margin, but he's as renowned for his wrenching abilities as his skill  behind the wheel. (Murilee Martin photo)

Traveling across the country to race in crapcans is something many teams and drivers wish to do, but Anton Lovett has done it regularly since carting the One Night Stand Endurance Team (ONSET) Chevy Cavalier wagon from his home state of California to the Detroit race in 2007, bringing home an Index of Effluency. ONSET eventually went away, but Lovett has continued to drive with other teams since, earning two National Drivers' Championships and a substantial LeMons hardware collection along the way while driving dozens of absolutely wretched and insane entries. He's been part of far too many Indexes of Effluency to count, but he did win a Heroic Fix trophy for himself by helping two teams make major repairs in the same weekend.

Resume: There's at least a 50 percent chanced Lovett has driven or fixed your car.

POS Racing - BMW E30

POS Racing hold the distinction of winning the largest race every by car count, besting 171 other entries at Sears Point in 2011 in the 24 Hours of LeMons. (Murilee Martin photo)

POS Racing has run successfully in the top-heavy California races for a very long time, campaigning their E30 all over California (and Mexico, when the opportunity arises). They're always a shoe-in for the pointy end of the field, having missed the Top 10 only one time at the team's first race way back in 2009. They bring smart strategy and tireless preparation to every race and throw in a couple hotshoes--most notably DIY rally builder/driver Bill Caswell--to hold it all together. Of note: In-N-Out Burger also sent POS Racing a cease-and-desist letter in April 2012 regarding their livery.

Resume: ChumpCar - Third Place Overall in 2012 Ensenada sprint races. LeMons - 2 Overall Wins, 11 Top Tens 
Play-In Round: def. Looney Tunes 39-15

The Cannonball Bandits (1) vs. Eyesore Racing (16)

The Cannonball Bandits -Toyota Supra, Toyota Corolla FX16

The Cannonball Bandits bring a sense of well-planned absurdity and a refreshing disregard for political correctness to racing. They're also reasonably fast on the track, but have typically finished mid-pack. (Murilee Martin photo)

In their latest incarnation, the Bandits raise money for charity with their Rockstar Toyota Supra while hanging out scantily clad in the paddock area (At your own risk, see an example here.). It's a sight to behold, but the four-time Organizer's Choice winners have exhibited a great spirit for excellent themes, from the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile replica to a tribute to Tiger Woods' fidelity issues to the border-crashing Canadian-trafficking "box truck" and complementary Border Patrol car. This team's passion for ridiculousness may be unparalleled in the crapcan world.

Resume: A well-earned reputation for turning LeMons into a circus

Eyesore Racing - Mazda Miata, Honda Prelude

Eyesore racing's Miata barely resembles a car at times, but appearances can deceive. The car has won more races than any other crapcan. (Murilee Martin photo)

Eyesore have been the most consistent team for a very long time in the toughest crapcan region, not to mention they exercise great resourcefulness in design and a top-notch sense of humor. What's not to love about a ghettocharged, saved-from-the-crusher, ugly-as-an-Aztek Mazda Miata in the hands of competent drivers? If you know about crapcan racing, you know about Eyesore.

Resume: LeMons: 6 Overall Wins, 21 Top Tens, 2010 National Champions. ChumpCar: 1 Overall Win, 2 Top Tens
Play-In Round: def. Exhibition of Slow 47-4

Team PettyCash (1) vs. Sputnik (16)

Team PettyCash -Jeep Cherokee

A Jeep isn't the most logical choice for a road racer, some might say. Others on the Internet will claim that it should tip over at ever corner. PettyCash has proven naysayers wrong and their Cherokee has held up to the punishment of endurance racing. (Murilee Martin photo)

Team Petty Cash may have never won a race outright, but they're one of the best-known and most respected teams. And they race a freaking Jeep Cherokee on road courses. They've earned an Index of Effluency award for their troubles and also taken home a very messy I Got Screwed trophy from an unfortunate incident involving poor pre-stint food choices (Red Vines are not great for endurance racing, believe it or not). The team also runs a Jeep at King of Hammers, which is awesome.

Resume: LeMons - 4 Top Ten finishes, 1 Index of Effluency, 1 Class C win

Sputnik -Nissan Stanza, Chrysler K-Car

The crew who campaign the Sputnik Nissan Stanza are an interesting crew who periodically grant some terrific interviews. On the track, the car leans precariously through turns to the point where rollovers seem inevitable. Yet, the Stanza has always stayed on its wheels and churned out laps. (Murilee Martin photo)

The Sputnik Nissan Stanza wagon is currently heading to the crusher due to its banishment at the 2013 LeMons season opener for being mostly held together by welds, but it captured three Class C wins in consecutive races within a mere four months of 2011 while competing in the East Region, a hotbed of Class C competition. Somehow, the Stanza never grabbed Index of Effluency. With the Stanza heading to the crusher, the crew will be taking part in NSF Racing's fantastic "K-It-FWD" Share-A-K-Car program.

Resume: LeMons - 3 Class C Wins
Play-In Round: def. TSR 28-10

Keystone Kops (1) vs. Mid-Drive Crisis (16)

Keystone Kops - Volvo 240

The Keystone Kops have led in a number of races, but minor setbacks have prevented them from being the first stock-engined Volvo to win a race. For good measure, the team also added a V8-swapped 240 to its fleet. (Murilee Martin)

We haven't scoured through the numbers to back it up, but the Keystone Kops turbo Volvo 240 has probably run more races than any other crapcan. The team, run with at least some token help from some people at Volvo North America, also run a V8-swapped 240. They've come just short of winning on several occasions and are a good bet to be the first stock-engined Volvo to win a race. The team also uses the races as an opportunity to raise funds for the Alex's Lemonade Stand charity.

Resume: LeMons - 7 Top 10 finishes

Mid-Drive Crisis - Mitsubishi Mirage

We can't recall the last time we saw a Mirage on the street, but Mid-Drive Crisis found one that ran, then hacked it up to drive like an LMP car...well, the driver sits in the center anyway. If Mitsubishi ever starts a factory sportscar program, they should probably look up the Mid-Drive Crisis crew. (Murilee Martin photo)

Mitsubishis have perhaps the worst track record of any make in crapcan racing, but Mid-Drive Crisis pulled off five overall wins in their Mirage, converted to make the driver's position in the middle of the car. We're not really sure how one goes about engineering a center-drive position, but we're glad someone did it, they did it to a Mitsubishi and that Mirage slew its rivals repeatedly.

Resume: ChumpCar - 4 Overall Wins, 4 Top Tens; LeMons - 1 Overall Win, 2 Top Tens, 1 Class C Win
Play-In Round: def. Krider Racing 23-22 

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