Sunday, October 11, 2009

ButtonWillow aftermath

Wow... It's been umm... 5 months since buttonwillow? And I haven't TOUCHED the blog.... why?

Because Buttonwillow sucked.. big fat hillbilly ass...

Let me start by saying that Buttonwillow, CA is a LOT further in reality than it seems on google maps. Hell, it's only 300 more miles than Thunder hill... Holy crap the commute sucked! Since the weather forecast was set for a blistering 102 degrees on both race days, Free Range Racing came prepared! Thanks to Erik's grandparents, we were able to procure a 34' 5th wheel to take down to the race. AC? check! Water? check! Beds? check! would we have time to use any of those things? Nope..

It all started Friday afternoon during practice. Erik, Dave and I all had pretty good sessions on the track for warm-up but when I pulled in... we noticed a slight "ticking" coming from the top end of the motor. Assuming it was just valve noise, we send Christopher out on to the track. 20 minutes later... BOOM. Shit... really... shit...

Christopher managed to get back in to the pits, but the damage had already been done. What was the problem? No idea... It just didnt want to run anymore. We assumed the worse and started pulling the head about about 4pm Friday evening. 2 hours later, we had a visably blown motor. 18 hours until green flag.

Now the remaining 18 hours is a complete blur... Dave got way too drunk and passed out, Christopher braved the late night to keep Erik and I company, and to assist with the parts car motor pulling. I pulled the blown motor out of the car with help from the drunk passer-bys. I'd love to fill in all the lovely details about how much it sucked... but it's such a blur that I don't really care to recall it. We went to bed at 3am and were up by 6am back under the car.

Green flag! We're still in the pits.... at this point we knew the motor ran and we knew the timing was at least good enough to limp us through. 10am green flag, and we were out on the racetrack by about 11:30am. Hour and a half down... shit. Less than 10 laps later, Christopher came back in with a cooling issue. These MR2's are notorious for getting bubbles in the collant, so we assumed it would take a few laps to iron out the bugs. By 12:30pm, we were running strong(ish) and limping through on the unknown parts car motor. 83rd place. Awesome

By the end of Saturday, we worked out way back up to the 50's and managed to keep the car on the track for the rest of the day. At each driver change, we were putting in about a qt of oil in the car so we obviously had a HUGE leak somewhere.. Where? who cares... At the end of day 1, it was time for celebration.. not wrenching. Erik and I wondered around the pits, heckling anyone we came in contact with. Poor Metro-Gnomes.... sorry for pissing you off that night :)

Sunday came and went, Christpher had a couple black flags that landed us in the penelty box but overall we did pretty well. At the end of the race I think we were 36th. Considering we sat out about 2 hours in the beginning and were in every 10 laps for at least anohter 2 hours, we were happy. OK, maybe happy is not the right word... Content? Neutral? Pissed? Livid? OMGIWANTTOKILLSOMEONE? yeah, that one

It was fun, it was long, it sucked ass

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