Wednesday, March 4, 2009

We Finished

Yes, I was tired, so here's the post-race report. I've uploaded a HUGE album to Picasa that will tell the story in photos (with captions), but here's some highlights.

The racing over Saturday and Sunday was great! No one had an incident with another vehicle, although we were black flagged on a few erroneous calls. Paul and Patty were the only drivers on the team that were never called into the penalty box. Everyone drove clean and drove hard. Teddy Busick was out with the fast guys. (Relax, Teddy, that's just a joke!) Mike Poupart drove over on Friday night so he could be there to support Patty and the rest of the team during the race.

On Saturday, due to a few erroneous black flag issues that brought our drivers in and forced us to change drivers earlier than schedules, we had some extra time before the race would end for the day and put Capt. Chris back in the driver's seat for the last 40 or so minutes. After about 20 minutes, he was black flagged and came in. I still had my helmet on and grabbed my seat insert and headed for the penalty box. The truck would be able to go back out if we could change drivers and everyone else walked away without all their equipment. When I got there, Chris was calling for another driver and I threw my stuff in and let them belt me up and got the truck back on the track for the remainder of the race. It was exhilarating to take the checker flag, even though it was just for the day.

On Sunday, the race order was changed to allow the 2 drivers who were without black flags (Paul and Patty) to drive first. The others would rotate in and Chris would drive last. While he was out, he felt a tire going down and began to signal us as he went by on the front straight. It took a couple of laps to figure out the hand signals and when we did, he didn't come in on the next time around so I held up our "Buckeye" sign (signal to come in) and Mark Summers held the wheel/tire up in the air over his head so he would know that we understood and were ready. The tire change was done in under 4 minutes. Everyone had a job! It was great!

We finished the race in 14th out of 94 cars that took the green flag. Not a bad finish for the little race truck. I wonder how many more races she'll make??

Click on the link above to check out the album over on Picasa.

Till next time...

Friday, February 27, 2009

We're Ready!

During the team meeting/cocktail hour after practice on Friday, the team members pulled cards (Ace through six) to determine the driving order. Team captain, Chris Wilken, even through a Joker into the mix with the intent that whomever drew it could trade places and drive in whatever position they wanted. But it was not meant to be as the Joker was the lone card remaining after everyone drew. The "Ace" was drawn by Dr. Phil, a returning driver from the last LeMons team (The Professionals), so he'll be first up at the start of the race tomorrow. Drawing the "2" card was Capt. Chris. He was first up in the last LeMons race that we ran and paced for over an hour before the race start. I do believe he was relieved that he would not repeat that driver position. Next up after drawing the "3" card will be Panama Teddy, a new driver to the team, but a wild man on the track in his own right. Mr. Summers drew the "4" card and is happy to return to the team, although I believe his alter ego, D.J. Marky Mark, is even happier to be here. The "5" card was drawn by Paul Tellarico, a new driver to the team, who looks forward to being back in a race car (any race car) after a 3 year hiatus due to back surgery. Luckily the race truck is smooooooth! Last, but not least, is Patty Poupart, instigator of B.S. and P.R. on behalf of the team, who is looking forward to her first LeMons start after being part of the crew for The Professionals team. Patty feels that drawing the "6" card could be lucky as most of the real crap cans will have blown up and left the track by the time she gets in the car.

Dinner was graciously provided by Brent Mosing and his crew down at his condo onsite at MSR. The hospitality and company went well with all the bench racing going on. I'll try to get in another post tomorrow night, but fear that I'll be too tired and will have to do a post race report.

Wish us luck!

We Passed Tech & B.S.!

After a morning practice session giving everyone a chance to drive the race truck, we completed our "bribe bucket" and decorated the truck to get ready to go to Tech & B.S. We put decals on the truck that we made, drizzled green slime around the hood opening, donned our white "haz-mat" suits and face masks, respirators and latex gloves and put Phil in the driver's seat to set off his smoke bombs as we rolled the Danger Ranger into the tech area. We were a huge hit! We didn't see any other teams with full costumes and theme so we hoped the Judges would be impressed. The truck went through the safety inspection and soon it was our turn to move to B.S. and discuss our race vehicle with the Judges. Phil set off another smoke bomb as I handed out face masks to Jay and Judges Jonny & Phil.

With our bribe bucket in the middle of the hood, we took care of business first. The bucket contained a small replica "leg" lamp from the movie, "Christmas Story," a bottle of Kahalua, a bag of Zapps "Voodoo" chips, a bottle of hot sauce, and a bag of dirty rice mix. We also wrote a "We Owe You" for a 6-pk of Shiner Bock beer and dinner at Cafe' Lafourche on the bayou in Donaldsonville, LA for Friday, June 5, 2009 when Jay, Judge Jonny, and Judge Phil come to our home track at No Problem Raceway for the first (and hopefully not the last) Laissez Les Crapheaps Roulez - New Orleans.

Our bribe worked! We got the "bribed" stencil spraypainted on our truck and left with no penalties.

So far, the truck is running great and none of the new drivers on our team are having any trouble learning the track. Now if we can just stay out of trouble and out of the penalty box during the race, we'll do just fine!

We can still get in a little more track time before the track shuts down for the day. Then it'll be time for dinner, music, cocktails and partying!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

We're There!

The team packed up and brought the "Danger Ranger" to Houston tonight to be ready for the practice day tomorrow. Our race truck is so bad-a$$ed that we have to bring it in under cover of night! We were the only truck last time and we already saw one in the paddock. It is a Toyota with a skate board ramp mounted on the bed. Crazy!

Our truck also got a little bit of a face lift and a few extras. We have a front spoiler to add some ground effects and channel air for the radiator. We have roof flaps! Don't think they are functional, but they'll look cool if the truck spins backward. (Hopefully I won't be the first to test that!) Also, as a result of trying to get the permanent marker off the hood where we wrote on it during the last Houston LeMons race, the yellow paint on the roof and hood is gone and has been replaced with a little of whatever Chris W. had in the shop (red, orange, gray & black). It is done in a nice camoflague motif and goes great with our bio-hazard theme.

Our team has managed to get space for 3 motorhomes . Lots of teams bring lots of equipment and big rigs, but I'm not sure how many teams have a $500 P.O.S. race truck and about $1 mil in motorhomes for their drivers!

Well, it's late and the race day starts early. I'll get a pic of the truck and post it tomorrow.

Monday, December 22, 2008

We're In!

[Email from Jay Lamm, Chief Perpetrator of the 24 Hours of LeMons]

22 December 2008

Hi, Team Captain: Good news--I think. Your team has officially been ACCEPTED for LeMons Gator-O-Rama, on 28 Feb-1 March 2009, at MSR Houston in Angleton TX. We got tons of crappy entries for this race; yours was just enough crappier to be selected. Nice work.

Okay: What do you need to do now?

A: Read this email completely.

B: Forward it to the rest of your team, one of whom is certainly smarter than you are. (You agreed to be captain, so clearly you're not the genius.)

C: Acknowledge this email with a reply that says "Team (Whatever the Hell it Is) Received the Acceptance." If you don't confirm, we'll assume you've wised up and will give away your slot. And yes, I am getting tired of receiving "Team (Whatever) etc" replies. Har har. Very clever. Never saw that one coming, nosireeebob.

* * * * * * * * * *
Now its time to wrench on the Danger Ranger and get the rest of our theme presentation ready!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Gator-O-Rama Application

I submitted the team's application for the Houston Gator-O-Rama. Here's what I wrote as our "Team Concept" and why we are cooler than the other guys and should be accepted:

Our team, previously known as “The Professionals,” competed at the 2008 Yee-Haw Its LeMons Texas event. Although we were not expected to finish above 40th place, our 9th place final standing won us the “No Prayer of Finishing Award,” deemed as good as a 1st place win.

The team’s theme revolves around a 1995 Ford “Danger” Ranger, the same Crapsman Truck used in the last Texas race. Sitting up since the last race, some strange bio-hazardous fluids and growth has appeared under the hood. Granted, something this extreme could only be grown in the bayous of South Louisiana and we think taking the truck back to Texas to race the biohazardous crap out of it would be the best course of action. After all, Louisiana doesn’t need any more bio-hazardous waste and surely no one would notice if we left the hazardous waste crap in that big ‘ole wasteland outside of Houston, Texas.

Being from the New Orleans area, we know how to party (even when there is work to be done) and can’t help drawing in everyone around us to share in the fun, especially the Chief Perpetrator and those magnificently garbed Justices of the LeMons Supreme Court (a/k/a Judge Phil & Judge Jonny). The Gator-O-Rama is the weekend after Mardi Gras and we plan to have a mini-parade in the paddock to promote the 2009 Laissez Les Crapheaps Roulez New Orleans to be held at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, LA complete with beads, throws and music. After all, the upcoming Louisiana race is an inaugural event at our home track and we want everyone to bring their crap cans to the bayou.

Seriously, we have a highly motivated team with a proven crap can (race truck) who are ready to drag their sorry asses (travel) to Texas to party (race) LeMons-style.

By the way, here in Louisiana we cook up alligators and eat ‘em as appetizers!

~Patty Poupart

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Let's Get the Ball Rollin'

[Email from Chris Wilken]

Team Lemon Hauler / Danger Ranger / The Professionals / Winners of the NPF (No Prayer of Finishing ) award and 9th overall announced its 2009 schedule today.

The team plans to participate in 3 LeMons races this year, two at MSR (Houston) and the inaugural event at our home track, No Problem Raceway Park. The dates are as follows:
  • February 28 – March 1 @ MSR
  • June 6 – 7 @ NPR (yes it will be frickin hot, but all that means is "Blow-up Pool Party")
  • October 24 – 25 @ MSR

There is another date on the books at Carolina Motorsports Park, however it is right before our Charity Challenge event and scheduling might get tight.

Check your calendars, work schedules, family commitments and let me know who wants to go when!

Drivers fees for the first MSR event are going to stay the same as last time ($450) in an attempt to put together a second team to take with us. After that, tires and entry fees are all we should have to come up with. ( ***** DISCLAIMER ***** Assuming the RX7 Mike drop kicked doesn’t come back for revenge and Dr. Phil gets better at bump drafting **** DISCLAIMER ****) Drivers will be responsible for their own LeMons License fee ($50) that will be good for all three events in '09.

We are hoping the little truck that did will continue to chug along and spread cheer and good tidings throughout the entire 2009 season but if not, keep your eyes and ears open for another Ranger of similar make and year. Also, please beware that Patty and Mike have been doing a lot of research and you will need to be prepared to dress in costume, bribe judges with food and booze as well as other ridiculous things which will surely add more fun and spirit to an already good time.

Look forward to hearing from you all soon!

Chris Wilken