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[Extra-special help to Murilee Martin for assisting with many of the photos. All photos as credited.]
TRASHED TRANNY REGION:
Marvin the Martian (5) vs. Team LemonAid (12)
Marvin the Martian - BMW E30
|Marvin the Martian abbreviated their number because 3.1415926535897932384626433832795 is hard to fit on a door. When ChumpCar used only two-digit numbers, the Martians horrified science by abbreviating pi to 3.1. (Murilee Martin photo)|
The Marvin the Martian crew has long been a crapcan staple in California, first as a the "pi" car and more recently as a perennial contender for the top slot in Golden State ChumpCar races. When ChumpCar traveled south of the border to Ensenada in July 2012, the Martians' BMW E30 took home a first and two second-places in the three sprint races, netting them the overall win for the weekend. We're not sure if an Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator is budget-exempt, but the Martians use theirs more effectively than their Looney Toons' namesake.
Resume: ChumpCar - 3 Overall Wins, 5 Top Tens; LeMons - 1 Top Ten
Team LemonAid - Geo Metro, BMW E30
|One of LemonAid's two race cars has earned an armload of hardware and it isn't the E30 that looks cranked to 11. (The Rusty Hub photo)|
Three Class C wins is not enough for the LemonAid Racing Geo Metro, which has plodded along with all of 60 horsepower in Midwestern races. In the Metro's first four races, it never finished lower than 22nd place and even cracked the Top 10 once. The three-cylinder econobox consistently outlasted and finished higher than the team's E30. But that's all long gone now: The team is doubling the Metro's cylinder count for 2013 by stuffing a BMW straight six under the bonnet. It's not all just for giggles: LemonAid raises money from their endeavors for the Wildwood Hills Ranch and they even have a book and a plush replica of their Geo for sale with proceeds going to Wildwood Hills.
Resume: LeMons - 3 Class C wins, 1 Index of Effluency, 2 Top Tens
WRECKED ROD REGION:
Skid Marks Racing (5) vs. Team -Ing With Bad Ideas (12)
Skid Marks Racing - Dodge Neon
|Skid Marks heads onto Autobahn's racing surface in full Juggalo regalia during what ultimately proved to be a race fraught with frustration. The team bounced back with a victory in their next outing at Autobahn. (The Rusty Hub photo)|
When The Rusty Hub first saw Skid Marks Racing, they had fallen on some rotten luck. Within six months, though, Skid Marks would make their single-cam Neon one of the heavy hitters in the Midwest. It isn't the fastest car in a straight line, but the car's dialed-in handling and experienced drivers skate it around most circuits with similar times to higher-horsepower whips. They've sweetened the deal with active aerodynamics and a geographically appropriate Juggalo theme.
Resume: LeMons: 3 Overall Wins, 5 Top Tens
Team -Ing With Bad Ideas - Volkswagen Beetle
|The Scrubbing Bubbles Beetle became one of the most-traveled LeMons with two trips across the country in 2012. Results were mixed, but Mike Kimball cemented his reputation as a crazy man in the process. (Murilee Martin photo)|
Team -Ing's perpetrator, Mike Kimball, is known as Crazymike in the LeMons community. While it may be a self-chosen forum name, Kimball has definitely earned it. In June 2012, Kimball towed the Scrubbing Bubbles-themed turbocharged Beetle from his home in Sacramento for a small crap-cation to Eagles Canyon Raceway near Dallas for a 24-hour race where he absolutely stomped the Class C competition. From there, he headed north to High Plains Raceway in Colorado--where the race results were less-than-stellar--before going home. As if that weren't enough, he headed back to Eagles Canyon six months later, where he promptly nuked a few air-cooled motors. Did we mention that his tow vehicle is a Vanagon?
Resume: LeMons - 1 Class C Win; About 3000 miles of towing behind a Vanagon
SHEARED SHAFT REGION:
Duct Tape Motorsports (5) vs. Model T GT (12)
Duct Tape Motorsports -BMW E30, BMW 2002tii
New Jersey's Duct Tape Motorsports possess a long line of credentials, but maybe what's most impressive is that their E30 doesn't have any of BMW's hot-rod six-cylinder motors. They run a simple four-cylinder, base-model E30 (along with a battered old BMW 2002) and have won not only a very competitive LeMons race at New Jersey Motorsports Park, but they also captured a win at the 25-1/2 hour slog around Nelson Ledges at ChumpCar's October 2011 race. How do they do it? Practice, both on the track and in the driveway.
Resume: ChumpCar: 1 Overall Win, 2 Top Tens; LeMons - 1 Overall Win, 4 Top Tens
Model T GT - Ford Model T
|The Model T GT resembles a freak assemblage of discarded auto parts in some kind of dystopian SciFi novel meant to fulfill some agrarian role. So much for appearances; this car can absolutely fly around a race track. (Murilee Martin photo)|
Dave Schaible's Model T GT is a perfect blend of new and old. The Model T bucket that serves as the car's core is the oldest crapcan to ever run. Attached to its skeletal frame are a modern Ford 5.0L V8, a modern suspension, a roll cage, a seat, a large fuel cell and little else. The T GT has managed to win a LeMons race and finished on the podium twice more a slew of the country's best Spec Miata drivers at its helm.
Resume: ChumpCar: 1 Top Ten; LeMons - 1 Overall Win, 7 Top Tens
CRACKED CRANK REGION:
Formula Roadster (5) vs. Robin Bank Racing (12)
Formula Roadster -1966 Datsun Fairlady Roadster/Datsun 280Z
The chopped-up Datsun Fairlady is the oldest car to win a ChumpCar race. Sure, its swapped-in SR20DE motor is more modern than the one originally put into it in Japan, but the pint-sized proto-Miata held its own against many far more modern entries in the Pacific Northwest. In 2011, the Fairlady rattled off three consecutive race wins, including sandwiching a 24-hour victory at Spokane between two seven-hour wins at Portland International Raceway. More recently, the Formula squad retired the Roadster after a wreck and will campaign a 280Z in ChumpCar while rebuilding the Roadster for competition in the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill.
Resume: ChumpCar: 4 Overall Wins, 9 Top Tens (Including Datsun 280Z
Rbankracing.com/Robin Bank Racing -Saab 900/9-3/9-5, Eagle Talon
|Robin Bank Racing's original Saab 900 looked to have survived at least a half dozen serious accidents before it even became a crapcan racer, but crumpled bodywork mostly just serves as camouflage to the untrained eye. (Murilee Martin photo)|
Not everyone is willing to bring a Saab to an E30 fight, but Robin Bank has made it work for several years, winning five races and finishing on the podium six more times with a variety of Swedish machinery, beginning with a now-retired 900 that have since been replaced by a 9-3 and a 9-5. The two newer Saabs finished in the Top 10 at Daytona in 2012 and the same two cars finished 1-2 in both races of a ChumpCar Double-7 at Beaver Run a scant month before. As if winning with a Saab wasn't enough, the team also captured the Nelson Ledges Longest Day win in the one-off UsedCar Racing series with an Eagle Talon.
Resume: ChumpCar - 2 Overall Wins, 10 Top Tens; LeMons - 2 Overall Wins, 7 Top Ten; Used Car Series - 1 Overall Win, 1 Top Ten