Sunday, June 23, 2013


Here's a secret that a lot of people know about ChumpCar but few people will tell you.  Gather in close now, you may not hear this anywhere else...

ChumpCar will take years off your life.  It's not from high-speed accidents, although those do happen.  It's not from exposure to various chemicals and exhaust fumes from every possible type of (poorly running) internal combustion engine.  It's not from stress and excitement, or even from unintentional exercise running back to cold pit to get your gloves and oh yeah the voltmeter (and hey has anybody seen the fire extinguisher).

It's from sleep deprivation.

You will lose hours and maybe days prepping the car.  You will lose more hours actually racing.  Even if you are less adventurous, and prefer to see where you're going, so you sign up for a daytime event, the ol' switcheroo may take place and you'll find your race starting a 8pm instead of 8am.  And you'll got to bed at 3 or 4am.  And you'll want to do it again.

First thing's first, mucho thanks to our awesome sponsor Husqvarna.  They even loaned us their super-nice pickup and trailer, which were rock solid and fantastic.  Here's a picture of our paint scheme/theme.  It's Husqvarna blue with a white hood.  If you've seen the Husqvarna fast tractor sold at Lowe's - the one that Jimmie Johnson has been riding in all those cool TV commercials - that's the look.
The paint scheme for the Zip6Racing Husqvarna 300ZX
Due to the messed up schedule, the race really didn't get started until about 9pm.  A couple of guys spun out on the first green-flag lap right in front of Eric, and he narrowly missed piling into them.  He hadn't been out long before he radioed in the car was overheating.  We brought him in and pulled the bumper cover and the hood off hoping the extra airflow would help.  It didn't do much.

We also had a charging problem.  The voltage kept dropping, and it was apparent the alternator wasn't working.  Jason found a blown fuse, and replacing it seemed to help.  But this was a persistent issue.

We spent an hour or two in the pits flushing the radiator, which seemed to fix the overheating problem.  The VG engine Nissan made seems to be pretty tough.  We ran this one a few hard laps with the temp gauge maxed out, and it hung in there.

We also had an intermittent miss that kept popping up again and again.  This pretty much ruined Duncan's entire stint.  But Travis was able to get maybe 45 mins in where the car ran flawlessly.  But when he came in for the driver change and cut the motor off, it never ran right again.

We just weren't able to conquer the intermittent miss.  We finally threw in the towel around 1:45am.  I think we were able to run approximately 55 laps.  I hope to find an official lap count and placement in the next few days.  Also, I'm sure some more photos will surface and we'll post 'em up.

We went through some grief due to the shower of sparks from the front brakes.  With a night race, the sparks were very apparent, and the tower kept radioing the pit bosses who came and argued with us a bit.  They insisted this was indicative of metal on metal, and we were out of pad material.  But we had put on fresh Hawk DTC-60 or -70 pads before the race, and we were confident they were ok.  Driver's insisted the brakes felt awesome.  And in the hot pit, after borrowing Nic's iphone to use as a flashlight (oops, somebody forget the flashlight?) I could see what looked like plenty of pad material and abused but not scarred rotors.  We will investigate more and report back, but we are thinking the brakes are ok.

After everyone recovers, I'm sure we'll get the Z rehabilitated and ready for the Chump race in Nov.  Or possibly a track event or two before then?

No comments:

Post a Comment