Friday, July 17, 2009

Team Cardiosport Koni Challenge Race at Barber Day 1

I just got in to the hotel in Birmingham, AL for Cardiosport's 4th race of the year in the Koni Challenge series. Last year, driver Terry Heath qualified on outside pole at Barber, but we were moved to the back of the grid for a FR camber infaction. The Grand-Am stewards measured our LF camber at -3.2 deg. (rules mandate -3deg. max), but our guage registered -3 at the shop so it was a tough break as we were certainly not trying to violate the rules. However, we know we have the pace to compete with our 997 at Barber so with good strategy and improvements in tomorrow morning's practice, we have high hopes for Sunday's race. We have changed team structure since our last race at Mid-Ohio and this will be my first race at Crew Chief so it should be an exciting weekend.

I flew down to Alabama after work today which makes for a long day. We are heading to the track at 7 AM so I need to get sleep. Look for Cardiosport in SPEED's coverage of the race and root on the 07!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rusty Hood Racing is in LeMons South Fall!....and rollcage prep tonight

Team Rusty Hood Racing is officially in the LeMons South Fall race at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, South Carolina. Our team consists of three of my co-workers from Honda and my Dad. The five of us are campaigning a 1985 Ford Ranger that is fashioned after the Big Rigs that race in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. We bought the car in February and have slowly worked on it for the past few months waiting to spend too much money before we got official word that our entry has been accepted. Here are a few pics of the car so far and our "team concept" that we submitted with our entry. Please note that at the time I wrote this my Dad was his own team that folded so he decided to join up with us.

Rusty Hood Racing Team Concept
"We are four recently gradumacated college students looking to get our LeMon popped. Unfazed by low salaries and lots of overtime, we are looking to get our automotive jollies off in the most fun of ways. All four team members are ex-FSAE/Baja SAE engineers with combined 7 total cars built, currently work for Honda R&D, and are equally obsessed with all automotive and racing debauchery. Our entry is to be a pick-up truck styled after the Pikes Peak hill climb big rigs. LeMons Pikes Peak Replica Essentials: 1) No truck bed 2) Big ass wing fashioned out of street signs (also cockpit adjustable)3) Smoke stacks 4) Rollcage extending from cabin to wing 5) Flat black paint 6) Rusty hood. Upon reading this entry, you may be wondering why 4 Ohioans would not choose to run The Lamest Day event at Nelson Ledges. Simple, Ohio is cold and South Carolina aint. To make this even more fun, team captain Dave Ogburn will (hopefully) get to race his old man in South Carolina. The chance to put your Dad into the wall does not come around often when your name isn’t Andretti (just kidding, we will play nice). Also, we promise to bring attractive women and lots of booze. Hope to see you guys in September."

LeMons Danger Ranger on the day we drove it home

LeMons Ranger after hood rustification and bed removal
LeMons Ranger after Wing Building

Currently, we are prepping the car to the rollcage fabrication. We spent about 4 hours tonight removing the doors, seat, instrument panel, dash, and heater ducting. Next step is to clean the cab and begin laying out the rollcage members. We purchased a "weld-it-yourself" cage from JEGS to make our lives easier. Here are few pictures from today's work (we keep the wing inside to keep it fresh).

Wanna buy a nice bench seat?

We still eat like college kids

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Update...Grand-Am, Karting, etc.

Oh man, it's been a while since my last post. I went on vacation two weeks ago and haven't had an Internet connection all last week since I am moving (not far, I'm still in Columbus). As always, there has still been plenty of time to race.

Team Cardiosport competed in the June 21st Mid-Ohio round of the Koni Sports Car Challenge. With drivers from Lexington, KY and Indianapolis, this is our best track and we had high hopes for out 1st top 10 finish in GS class. We had a disappointing qualifying and only managed to start P14 out of the 21 car field. Driver Terry Heath went out on stickers for qualifying but a miscalculation on tire pressures made the car treacherous to drive after 3-4 laps. We were 1 second of our pace in practice with old tires on the car. The team decided not to gamble and go for a safe 2-stops strategy for Saturday's race especially with the small field taking the grid. The race started out very well as we moved up to 8th place by the 12 lap, but things went south quickly. Terry tagged the right rear of the #52 Mustang in the Carousel which punctured the left front radiator and ended our day. It was a very disappointing end to a promising race, but we will back in action at Barber Motorsports Park on July 21.

Driver Change during Practice

On June 27th, I ran my first Saturday night kart race with the Mid-State Ohio Kart Club. Heat Races started at 5 after two VERY hot and greasy afternoon practice sessions. I started 3rd and finished 3rd in the first heat race. I got hit hard in the rear directly before I was passed by Matt Milless so I had some bumper repair to do between the heats. I started P9 in the 12 kart field in Heat 2, but I had a poor start dropping me back to 10th on the 1st lap. I moved back up to 9th when I dropped a wheel off of the curbing on the exit of the high-speed Turn 5 and, in an instant, I was facing backward looking at the kart behind me. I pulled my kart safely off track and inspected the damage which turned out to only be a bent sprocket. With my 3rd and 12th place finishes, I started 5th for the feature which started at 9:30 under the lights. Only the corners are well-let so it very difficult to judge braking zones, etc. when you are coming in and out of the light. I went the wrong direction with my tire pressure adjustment which resulted in an incredibly tight kart. I had nothing coming out of the corners and it killed my lap times which were 1 sec. slower than in the previous heat. However, a few incidents behind me kept the pressure off and I was able to cruise home in 5th place.

Sorry, no pictures from this race. I was by lonesome for this race which makes it difficult to take picture of me racing and I was having a few technical difficulties with my GoPro. I have a busy couple of weeks ahead with the Koni Challenge race at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, followed by an MSOKC kart race and then the Commercial Point Grand Prix which is an annual karting street race about 30 minutes from my house. Go to for more.