Thursday, August 27, 2009

Buttonwillow Belly Flop!!!

Well, Team StimPack's core drivers wanted a break and decided not to enter the Buttonwillow LeMons race on August 15-16. So, we let our rookie driving crew members take the car and enter the event to try out the LeMons scene out. (We sent two drivers to "chaperon" and help them out.) Driver Terence was filling in as the team leader as yours truly was in Hawaii. :-) Terence said he'd give me a more complete write up soon, but I'll give the short story here.

Friday test day: boom! The engine blew first thing in the morning. They rip it out and await Mark's arrival that evening with the spare motor. They finished the swap at ~4:00 am. The car ran briefly and they went to bed.

Saturday: The car wouldn't run well when they tried again. They weren't able to get it running again until and hour or so into the race. Things went downhill from there... *Every* driver out spun the car (mostly going off into the dirt) and got black flagged to come in for a penalty. I'm told they were almost not allowed to continue into Sunday!

Here's a video clip that shows a really close call (skip to 8:00 to see TSP):

Sunday: It went *further* downhill from there... The every session spin rate continued, and by the end of the day they had their wristbands clipped early and were told to pack it up... Here's a video summary that driver Aric put together:

And, lastly, here's how Judge Johnny felt about TSP and another "notable" team after the event as posted on the LeMons forum:

C.Plavan wrote:
Is there anyway to post how many Black flags each team recieved? It would just be for pure shame...and laughs....

Judge Jonny, Justice of the Court, responded:

Worst offenders this last race were car #5 (the Blue 944) and #78 (Team Stimulus Package in the gold Civic).

The #5 Porsche was so awful they ran up SEVEN black flags on Saturday. In their defense (why am I defending them?) one of their drivers went four off, spun, passed under yellow AND ignored black flags for an hour. So, they got four at once.

Still, I had a nice talk with them and explained that the record of 9 black flags (set by the Sharks, of course, in Houston) will never be equaled or broken. They had to drive the rest of the race as angels.

Late in the day on Sunday, after they'd been driving very well all day, they pull into the pits. Metal on metal with car #78. Honestly, I shouldn't have let them back on the track. HOWEVER, it was car #78, in all honesty the worst team we'd seen in a while. And from all accounts, car #78 was at fault.

Taking a risk (one more black and #5 would tie the Sharks!) I sent both cars back. Within three minutes #78 was back for hitting a car, and I cut all of their yellow drivers bracelets off their wrists.

Well, there you have it. A Buttonwillow Belly Flop by TSP! Now we're going to up to LeMons HQ with our tail between our legs, and bribes under our arms, and let them know that this was just a fluke!

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