Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March Crapness: First Round, 8 vs. 9 (March 26)

Some very veteran crew are included in the 8 vs. 9 seed matchups with heavy doses from the Gulf and Western regions.

[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.]

Morrow's Racing (8) vs. Tiger's Wood PGA Racing (9)

Morrow's Racing - GMC Van, Pontiac Grand Prix, Bradley GT, Buick Reatta, Toyota Supra, Saturn SL

Morrow's Racing's twin-turbocharged, mid-engine GMC Van would be awesome enough with a plain paint scheme, but the Snoopy paint job made it a fan favorite before it was put out to pasture. (The Rusty Hub photo)

Dave Morrow is crazy. When he debuted his chopped-up Snoopy GMC Van at Nelson Ledges, he ended up swapping engines while neck-deep in the mud. The solution to the van's engine woes was obvious: Add twin-turbocharging to the small-block Chevy V8 and, for good measure, bring an old Pontiac Grand Prix with a 400 cubic-inch motor to the next race. Sure, the Van's turbochargers caught fire, but Morrow became an instant legend. The madness continues and has so far included a bright-pink Bradley GT (the VW engine eventually replaced by a supercharged Buick 3800 V6), a Supra powered by the Grand Prix's 400ci V8 and the effluent Buick Reatta.

Resume: LeMons - 1 Class C Win, 1 Index of Effluency, a small pile of Heroic Fix trophies next to a much larger pile of broken car parts

Tiger's Wood PGA/Anti-EPA Racing -Mercury Cougar XR7

Ugly doesn't beging to describe the Tiger's Wood PGA Mercury Cougar, but the 'merican V8 under the hood absolutely howls when it's flogged. (Murilee Martin photo)

We've written about this car before, but it stands as one of the few crapcan testaments to Ford's Fox platform. The Cougar is blindingly fast and shockingly reliable, if nothing else. And if it's anything else, that something else is ugly. Extremely ugly. But looks don't win races, after all, and this car does. V8 Powaaaaaa! We hope more teams follow this example and bring Cougars and Fox-Body Lincolns to crapcan races.

Resume: ChumpCar - 1 Overall Win,  4 Top Tens; LeMons - 1 Overall Win, 4 Top Tens

Team Sensory Assault (8) vs. Squirrels of Fury (9)

Team Sensory Assault -Mazda RX-7s, Mazda RX-2

Team Sensory Assault's addition of a second rotary-powered entry meant twice the headaches for those with sensitive ears. Look for the team to bring an even more insane Wankel-powered entry in the near future. (Murilee Martin photo)

We were once told that some LeMons race officials refer to this crew by an unflattering (to some anyway, but not to the Sensory Assualt crew) nickname. When uttered, everyone in race headquarters knows exactly who is being discussed. Sensory Assault are so named not only because the ear-splitting noise of their Mazda RX-7 is pervasive and painful, but also because they do crazy things on the drag strip and used the super-hot Wankel exhaust to smoke meat and later used coolant lines to run a still. The still-equipped-as-such RX-7 took home an Index of Effluency, as did the team's second entry--a Mazda RX-2 rescued from a collapsed barn that has since met an unfortunate end.

Resume: LeMons - 2 Indexes of Effluency, 1 Top Ten

Squirrels of Fury - Audi S1 replica, Volkswagen Scirocco

The Squirrels of Fury Scirocco's engine internals find a big and on-fire world out there. (Murilee Martin photo)

The Squirrels of Fury began their many-years-long in the crapcan world with what spectators really pay to see: Spectacular fail. When their Volkswagen Scirocco motor asploded with what can only be called flaming automotive diarrhea, photographs captured a classic and enduring image of crapcan racing. It would be silly, however, to define this team by that image. Through much trial and error, they've emerged as a solid crapcan team, campaigning their Scirocco to an eventual victory. If that weren't enough, they also run one of the best crapcan replicas out there, an Audi 4000 decked out like the Audi S1 Pikes Peak car (after it's tumbled off the mountain a time or two), complete with a precarious-looking and potentially ankle-devastating front splitter.

Resume: ChumpCar - 1 Overall Win, 11 Top Tens

Z-Wrecks (8) vs. California Mille (9)

Z-Wrecks - Datsun 280ZX

The Z-Wrecks space shuttle has quietly blasted its way to three victories in the Gulf Region. The name, of course, refers to the team's fantastic dinosaur livery in earlier races. (Murilee Martin photo)

For years, the Datsun/Nissan Z was considered radioactive in crapcan racing for the multitude of ways it can fail spectacularly. Texas' Z-Wrecks has tamed their 280ZX, however, and managed three wins in LeMons' Gulf Region. One win came in the dinosaur livery, one in the space shuttle design and the third came in with the car resembling the Black Gold edition 280Z, whose advertisement--featuring the world's least subtle sexual innuendo--we are always eager to share.

Resume: LeMons - 3 Overall Wins, 5 Top Tens

California Mille -Alfa Romeo Alfetta/GTV6

California Mille's Alfa Romeos have been a staple of West Coast LeMons races since the days of the brutal infield-oval course at Altamont Speedway. The team's Alfetta finished in the Top 10 in their first race but didn't win overall for more than five years. (Murilee Martin photo)

We can't have a list of crapcans without including the car that became a favorite of ours through crapcan racing: the Alfa Romeo GTV6 (which we first fell in love with after seeing and especially hearing Corsa Nostra's unmuffled V6 at Gingerman in 2010). California Mille have campaigned their Alfetta(s) on the West Coast since the series' second race at Altamont in 2007 and finished in the Top 10 regularly. However, they didn't get over that last hurdle for an overall win until September 2012 with a win at The Ridge Motorsports Park.

Resume: LeMons - 1 Overall Win, 8 Top Tens

Killer ZomBee (8) vs. Team Operation (9)

Killer ZomBee -MG MGB

The ZomBee really does resemble the undead from certain angles. Many have tried to campaign British metal in crapcan racing, but none have succeeded in the way that Pete Peterson has. (Murilee Martin photo)

What can you say about Pete Peterson's weary old MGB? It famously flipped but was rescued by Peterson's magic hammer and has since gone on to win Index of Effluency and Class C at separate races. His ZomBee also earned the 2011 Hooniverse Car of the Year award. The best part is...well, there are a lot of best parts: The car is Peterson's daily driver, the motor is borrowed, its tow/pit support vehicle is a crappy RV named Brownie, Peterson has driven the MG more than 900 miles to race it and--perhaps most frighteningly--it's a British car that runs most of the time.

Resume: LeMons - 1 Index of Effluency, 1 Class C Win, 2011 Hooniverse Car of the Year, Peterson's daily driver

Team Operation -BMW E30

Team Operation isn't the only board-game theme in the March Crapness tournament, but it is the only one with a functioning version of the game. Team Operation aren't too bad on the track, either. (Murilee Martin photo)

Team Operation run one the better-themed BMW E30s in the Gulf Region. They've fared well in the past in both series, but their namesake sets them apart from other Bimmer teams: The car's hood features an oversized, functioning replica of the Operation board game, which the team at one time used to bribe LeMons judges with a small flotilla of salty snacks. Can snacks form a flotilla? We think they can do anything they want if they put their mind to it. Nevertheless, Operation opened 2013 with a strong showing at ChumpCar's Hallett race, narrowly missing a win.

Resume: ChumpCar - 2 Overall Wins, 9 Top Tens; LeMons - 3 Top Tens

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