Wednesday, May 29, 2013

LeMons B.F.E. GP: The Rusty Hub's Preview

(Murilee Martin photo)
The 24 Hours of LeMons returns to Colorado's High Plains Raceway for the fourth annual B.F.E. GP. Early-week weather forecasts call for a pleasant, sunny weekend.

The event has typically featured some terrific machinery and a refreshing lack of BMWs (Last year's race had one E30 and two E28s). However, this year finds an odd assortment of machinery that includes a suddenly inflated amount of Bimmers, namely four E28s, five E30s and one E36. Bavarian machines are in demand, what can we say?

That's not the only quirk of the 58 cars on the unofficial entry list (which you can get here), but we'll get to that in due time. Here's what we expect to see.

Monday, May 27, 2013

ChumpCar Daytona: Results

On Friday, we gave you our predictions for ChumpCar World Series' 14-hour race at Daytona Interational Speedway and 119 Chump teams put our hypotheses to the test.

The two favorites we pointed out--BoomPowSurprise's Ford Probe and Tired Iron Repair's Saab 9-5--did, in fact, lead much of the race, but Tiger's Wood PGA Racing took P1 with a little more than two hours remaining and brought their V8 Mercury Cougar to the checkered flag with five laps over the BimmerWorld/Red Line Oil BMW E36.

The win at Daytona is  the Cougar's second win in one of ChumpCar's most grueling events, having dominated last year's 25-hour race at Nelson Ledges Road Course. Tiger's Wood PGA Racing all set the fastest lap of the race with a 2:16.637.

Friday, May 24, 2013

ChumpCar Daytona: The Rusty Hub's Preview

This Memorial Day weekend finds ChumpCar World Series invading Florida's most famous race track while some other race goes on in the Midwest. The 14-hour race runs all day and into the night at Daytona International Speedway.

It marks the second year for Chump at Daytona and the 3.81-mile "roval" circuit will host 123 entries, many of whom will undoubtedly leave a wake of debris around the prestigious track. Unlike last year when a squall from Tropical Storm Beryl dumped several inches of rain on the Daytona circuit, weather forecasts indicate that the track should stay nice and dry all weekend.

While the layout will use the infield course, a substantial part of the oval will also come into play, meaning that ability to achieve high speeds on the banking and the front straight will likely make the difference. We wouldn't expect a car with a fastest lap slower than about 2:28 to have a chance at winning, but we love when teams to prove us wrong.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Crapcanalysis: Does fast matter? Part 3

The Freewheelin' Pikers' Saab 96 was the slowest car at The Ridge, but they still beat 11 other teams and won the Index of Effluency. (Murilee Martin photo)
At this point, we don't have much to add to our analysis from Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. Rather, we wanted to take a look at one particular race that defies the numbers: Pacific Northworst at The Ridge Motorsports Park in August 2012.

Here is the Overall Top 10 and where they ranked in fastest laps (out of 45 total entries):

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Crapcanalysis: Does fast matter? Part 2

Catching fire on the parade laps is not the best way to win or set fastest lap, but it's terrifically photogenic. (Murilee Martin photo)
Yesterday, we began an investigation of the relationship between fastest lap times and finishing position by taking a look at overall winners and at fastest lap setters from every 24 Hours of LeMons race from the 2012 season through the end of April 2013. We then expanded that to include the top 10 in each category.

Here's the brief recap:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Crapcanalysis: Does fast matter? Part 1

A few weeks ago, an email exchange with the esteemed Murilee Martin (aka Judge Phil of the 24 Hours of LeMons Supreme Court) presented us with an interesting question: How many overall LeMons winners have also set the fastest lap going back to, say, the beginning of 2012?

I found the answer quickly enough: Five out of 25 (Through Gingerman 2013).

And here they are:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Loudon Annoying: Results

Bill Danger wins their second consecutive 24 Hours of LeMons Spring race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway by a single lap from the Keystone Kops' V8-swapped Volvo 240. The second place is the Kops' best finish of all time and they narrowly missed victory.

Here are the top finishers overall and in each of the three classes:

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Loudon Annoying: Day 1 Standings

After a soggy day of 24 Hours of LeMons racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, last year's Loudon Annoying winner Bill Danger leads the race by three laps over the Keystone Kops' V8-swapped Volvo 240 coupe.

Here is the unofficial Top 10 after eight hours of racing:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Loudon Annoying: The Rusty Hub's Preview

The 24 Hours of LeMons visits Loudon, New Hampshire, this weekend for the first of two races this year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

While we may never have been there, but we absolutely love the layout of this circuit, being one of those great "roval" courses that takes the racing outside of the typical NASCAR oval outline into an almost-pastoral trip before returning to the infield and then cutting back to the oval's front straight (It's a variant of this track map).

You can get a full entry list here, but we'll give you the rundown on what we'd expect from the 88 teams registered for the race.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Eagles Canyon Wrap-Up

The race is long over and Judge Phil has written about the winners here, so give them a round of applause for not blowing up. Or for blowing up, whichever the case may be.

Let's take a slightly deeper look at the field.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Eagles Canyon: Day 2 Preview

As we predicted, one team would be competing for the win in two classes. However, it is neither the Tetanus Racing nor Lost in the Dark squads that we'd anticipated. Rather, TGTW Offroad Racing leads Class B with their solidly prepared Cherokee and the team's first-timer Comanche pickup tops Class C despite having only one functioning forward gear in its transmission.

If TGTW hangs on to win B and C, they would be the first team to win two classes at the same race.

In one of our more lucid moments, we also predicted the Model T GT could run away with the race. The Model T GT ended Saturday's long race session in first place, although the Miagra squad gave them a good dice for most of the day until they lost a motor with just a few minutes left in the day. After 10 minutes of green flag racing Sunday, the Miagra has yet to take to the track.

While no lead can really be considered "comfortable" in crapcan racing, the T GT begins the day with an 11-lap advantage over longshot second-placers Rolling Chicane Racing in their veteran Civic.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

North Dallas Hooptie: The Rusty Hub's Preview

We're trying something new where--based on past results and some dead reckoning--we give a rundown of who on the upcoming 24 Hours of LeMons race's unofficial entry list we think could compete in the classes.

This weekend, LeMons tackles Eagles Canyon Raceway near Decatur, Texas.  LeMons has typically hosted ECR races toward the end of May, when temperatures begin soaring. However, mid-week forecasts call for pleasant temps in the mid-70s and no rain this weekend.

Eagles Canyon maintains a reputation for consuming not only brake pads, but occasionally entire brake setups with overheating. For heavier cars that are hard on brakes at any track, this can make ECR a daunting challenge. Naturally, Texas racers love their heavy Ford Fox bodies, which comprise 10 of this race's 67 entries.