Lemons Sonoma Diary: Saturday “race”

It’s Saturday and our race is over. We replaced the motor mount, which should have taken about 15 minutes, but took closer to 2 hours. The motor mount didn’t fit properly and had to be repeatedly modified to get it to fit. Modified means hit with a sledge hammer and hogged out with a step drill. In the end, we were only able to fit 4 out of the 5 bolts holding it in place.

Mike drove the car and declared it okay except for inner wheel spin.

Danny drove the car and said it was the second most scared he has ever been on track (the scariest moment was also my doing: Danny drove with me at Buttonwillow in a 24 hour race and his first stint ever on the track started at 11 pm). Danny reported the handling was darty, and when he tried braking at the bus stop he ended up going straight through. He also complained of wheel spin.

Next was my turn. The motor felt really good. The handing was indeed crisp. It wasn’t what I was used to, but it worked okay in my hands. The wheel spin was a huge problem on acceleration. Braking? What braking? In 10 years of endurance racing, I have never had a black flag. That changed today. I hit the brakes with what I thought was plenty of time and the car just kept going. I tried to modulate the brake and turn, but there was just so little brake that I ended side-swiping another car.

When we got to the penalty box, the other team was really nice about the incident and drove off to have some more fun. I was gutted. I don’t think the middle of a Lemons race is an acceptable place to fix and tune cars. And yet that’s how the weekend was going. So I decided that this race was done. I wasn’t going to take a chance ruining someone else’s weekend.


So what’s next? I’m not all that excited about wrenching on the car. Prepping a racecar takes a lot of time, money, and effort. Right now, half of me wants to sell the car and become a guest driver. There are a lot of tracks I want to race that I don’t want to prep for. On the other hand, I’m really attached to my shitty racecar. It would be hard letting it go.

I’m declaring that my off-season starts today. I’m not going to think about real racing for a month or so. Let’s see how the new year changes my mood.

One thought on “Lemons Sonoma Diary: Saturday “race”

  1. I’m unsubscribing to your email posts because I read your blog every week. I think I must have signed up without realizing it. The notify me of new posts via email must have done it.


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