Monday, October 31, 2011

Headed off to Bondo this morning

We are about leave the hotel this morning to start a 3-Day Advanced Road Racing class at the Bondurant School. Today should be more basic, but the real fun tomorrow with track-time in the Vettes starts on Day 2 and 3. As you see below, we couldn't ask for better weather so should be a great week!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Leaving for a Bondurant 3-Day Advanced Road Racing Class Today

I'm flying out to Phoenix today for a 3-Day Advanced Road Racing class with several of my friends. Flight leaves in about two hours so I'm all packed up with driving gear, cameras, etc. The Advanced Road Racing class is the next step for my driving education after completing the 4-Day Grand Prix Road Racing class (more basic techniques and fundamentals) last July. Here is the salesman-pitch description of the class on the Bondurant School website:

Features: Personalized instruction, real world race scenarios, nearly 5 hours seat time per day
Vehicles: 2008 Corvette Coupe (Formula Mazda upgrade available)

What do professional racers Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Elliot Sadler, Brian Vickers, and Dale Jarrett, and Rusty Wallace all have in common? They are all graduates of the Bondurant Advanced Road Racing Course. Even seasoned professionals can learn and improve well into their career. All pro athletes have coaches and pro racers use the knowledge and skill of Bondurant Instructors to help them hone their skills. Stock car racers frequently do refresher courses before their road races to brush up on road racing techniques strategies and skills.

Any current racer or graduate of the Bondurant 4-Day Grand Prix or other accredited racing school is qualified to apply for this advanced course. Advanced Road Racing students will improve in all areas of race technique. The curriculum includes off-line passing, qualifying techniques, reading multiple track configurations and late braking. Your lap times will tell the tale!

Each Advanced student can look forward to individualized instruction. The course will be customized in areas that focus attention and time on personal areas of improvement. Class size is kept to an absolute minimum.

There is no limit on what you can do! How fast you go depends on your talent.

I have my GoPro camera with me and will be taking some video from the school driving as well as our battles at the Phoenix indoor karting tracks. Should be a great learning opportunity and loads of fun as well!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Got My Picture in Sportscar!

The latest issue of SportsCar magazine had a full feature article on the 2011 Solo Nationals results. With my A-stock class win, I have a portrait photo and a driving photo in the magazine with a short article on A-stock class action from both courses. Thanks to my hometown friend Donna Marx for writing a great summary of the class.

A-Stock Class Summary in SportsCar

Article continued on the next page

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Final Results from the 2011 SCCA Solo Nationals Relased

SCCA published their final results from the 2011 SCCA Solo Nationals after all protests were settled(only 2 this year surprisingly). I got the results book in the mail today and I didn't get protested so still on top in A-Stock....good news.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The SWRC S2 Stock Shifter Points Championship

I was able to (barely) maintain 4th place in the points after my disappointing finishes at DKC a few weeks ago. Here is the final points tally for the 2011 season...lots of work to catch the top guys!

Shoutout on 3G Kart Racing's Website

I got a mention on team 3G's website today for my points finish in the Southwest Regional Cup (

Thanks to Mark, Dave, Abe, Dallas, and all the other 3G Kart Racing guys for a great season. I learned a lot and will be looking for better results next year!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Garage Setup for the ESP Camaro

My Mom and Dad made the 1,300 miles trek to Texas in our new ESP Camaro. After sitting outside for a week or so, I setup my garage to accommodate our new racecar. I plan on running my first event in the Camaro in a few weeks so more updates to come shortly.

Free Tires!

I received four 315/35ZR17 Hoosier A6 tires in the mail a few days ago as part of my National Championship winning contingency package from Hoosier. These tires are for the ESP know a race tire is proper sized when your fiance can fit inside of it!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Race Recap: Southwest Regional Cup Finale at DKC

Joe, Stuart, and I made the trek to Caddo Mills, TX for rounds 9 and 10 of the Southwest Regional Cup at the newly built Dallas Karting Complex. My parents were also in Dallas for the weekend so we had a big crew of family and friend out at the racetrack which always makes for a great race weekend!

The DKC crew did a great job of promoting the event with many more spectators watching from the view deck than at most regional kart races. In addition to the crowd, they was plenty of "talent" to look at from the DKC Girls to the 105.3 the FAN Fantasy Girls, a spectacular paratrooper entry for the American Flag, and the largest field of karters this year in TX. However, the event did not go on without it's growing pains. The schedule changed every ten minutes and the program took much longer than previous SWRC races which made it tough on the racers especially those traveling long distances to race at DKC. I expected to get back before 10PM on Sunday, but didn't get back into well after 1 AM after schedule changes and delays. Also, their scoring system works great for rental racing, but is not so fine-tuned for competitive kart racing. But I'm sure the DKC will get these items figured out as they host most big-time kart races in the future. Now for the track, it was very challenging and physically demanding. The entrance to two parallel corners quite bumpy probably due to some groundwater (or lack thereof) issues. Other than these two corners, the pavement has good grip and rubbers in nicely throughout a race weekend and the curbing is excellent for kart racing. Overall, it drove more like a road coarse than a sprint kart track with long stretches of full throttle to run the kart fully through 3rd and 4th gear and a long 85mph straightaway.

Despite the great weather and atmosphere at DKC, I did not have a great weekend on track. I was plagued by brake issues all weekend and really did not get the brakes working properly until Sunday. Thanks to the 3G Kart Racing crew for helping me work through these issues! This was my first time at the track so I was at a disadvantage to the many Dallas-area racers who had put in some practice laps at DKC. I used Friday's practice sessions to learn the new track, but luckily my base setup and gearing worked very well here. This helped me to focus on my driving without too much kart tuning. Up to this point, I had not missed a single racing or qualifying lap in the SWRC, but I had my first two DNFs of the season in both features. I was fighting for top-ten spots in both races, but had a engine mount come loose in Saturday's 15-Lap feature and then had a coil wire break during Sunday's 16-lap feature race. I finished the weekend with disappointing 14th and 11th place finishes respectively. The 6-week layoff between kart races did not do me any favors so for future, I need to do a better job of staying in karting shape between big races. It's all uphill from here!

I have a few more NTK club races planned for the remainder of 2011 in my shifter kart and will hopefully be running our new E-Street Prepared Camaro Z28 in some TX autocrosses to begin my run for the 2012 ESP Solo National Championship so the racing season is not-at-all finished!

Here are some onboard video from the SWRC DKC races:

Here are some great photos from the race weekend taken by my Father and Father-in-Law. It's always great to have them at the track supporting me, especially when they have their high-dollar cameras!

Sky Diver presenting the American Flag

Cool panning shot taken by my Dad

Discussing seating position with one of 3G mechanics

My Dad caught me off-roading after getting a little too aggressive with the kerbs in practice

Lots o' Shifter Karts in the pre-grid

On-Track action from Sunday's feature race

Battling with Joe and Stuart

Battling with Joe and Stuart II

Several Pro Tour drivers racing in a pack

Link to my Dad's photos:

Photo Credits: Charles Rutherford and David Ogburn

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Killer Video from SWRC Shifter Kart Racing at DKC

This cool film was made by John Shofner with clips from the pits, on-track action, and some cool music. I made it into a couple of clips and you will see my buddy Joe doing a nice burnout in the dirt when his throttle stuck on Sunday's feature race.

DKC SWRC S2 Shifter Kart Final from John Shofner on Vimeo.

video credit: John Shofner

Monday, October 3, 2011

Latest Driver Rankings

I moved up a couple spots to 34th in the latest EKN Stock Moto Driver Rankings that were published on September 26th...

This past weekend, I was racing against #5, 9, 10, 11, 21, 22, 25, and 33 on this list plus talented drivers like Nick Lucido and Mike Jones who have not run enough races this year to be near the top in the EKN ranking. It was a competitive field to say the least! Race report coming soon from the SWRC Finale at DKC.