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A seventh place finish at the ARRC Monday, November 8, 2004
We woke up Thursday morning in the parking lot of Road Atlanta to a pouring rain that lasted until about 10 am. After we got to our paddock site, set up the canopy and unloaded the car, we registered for the two afternoon sessions of the test day. We wanted to give Kevin some seat time on the beautiful Road Atlanta course, and we wanted to confirm that we had licked the half shaft problem with our shortened shafts before we were qualifying and racing in the ARRC race itself.

By the time we went out for our first practice session it had quit raining but the track was still a bit soggy. Kevin went out on the damp track and explored the amazing turns and even more amazing elevation changes of Road Atlanta. His best time during the session was only a Both shafts came in just fine.

By the second session the sun had come out and the track was dry which allowed Kevin to get a little more aggressive and he turned in a Unfortunately the left half shaft once again overheated and we had to come in. At this point we were ready to call it quits with no good shaft to replace the broken one and with no clue on why the shafts were breaking. Kevin seeked out Athony Serra for advice. Anthony was the only person running an Integra at the last ARRC and had considerable experience with the car that we did not have. He suggested that our problem was one of the susspension allowing the wheel to travel too high in hard corners and go beyond the design angle of the outer joint of the shaft. Apparantly this is a problem on the Integras even though it is not a problem on other Hondas. He suggested that we install a front roll bar and an additional bump stop on the left front shock and raise the car. We borrowed a bump stop from Anthony, borrowed a roll bar from Trevor at OPM Autosports, and bought a rebuilt half shaft from Auto Zone since that was all that was available. We also raised the car up 1.5 inches.

The next morning on a beautiful sunny Georgian day we took the car out for the first of two qualifying sessions. We didn't believe the rebuilt shaft would last 2 laps but it did. We finished 10 fairly hard laps and the shaft held. Kevin turned in a on the less than optimixed car setup. Before the afternoon session we lowered the car 1/2 inch and rebalanced the corner weights. Kevin went out to set his best lap and to really test the shaft. If it was going to break we wanted to break it in qualiying rather than the race. To our surprise the shaft held well and Kevin turned in the fourth fastest lap out of 32 cars on the track, a 1:45.805. His overall qualifying position was 7th out of 32 cars and 25 cars in the ITA class.

Kevin was on the inside of row four behind Robert Stretch in his 240SX, Alex Muresan in an Integra, Anthony Serra in his Integra, Robert Moser in his CRX, Dave Beyersdorf in his CRX and Bowey Gray in his Miata. We were surprised to see the Miata so far up in the ITA field but it was no mistake. Although the car couldn't keep up with us in the straights, Gray was a great driver and knew the track like the back of his hand.

Kevin finally had a great start and blasted up into about third place and came out of the congested turn one in sixth right behind the leaders. In the ITB race earlier in the day, 6 of the top ten cars left the race. In the ITA race only one of the top cars didn't finish. Kevin worked his way up to fifth for a while before succombing to the well driven Miata and another CRX to fall back where he started in 7th. Kevin was thrilled to see he broke into the 1:44's with a fastest lap of 1.44.988. A 7th place finish among this great field of drivers was a very successful result for our first year in the car and Kevin's first year at the track.

Oh, by the way, on the cool down lap of the race, Kevin radioed in to say he had a drive shaft that he thought was going. The shaft actually broke and he coasted into the pits where we had to be towed back to our paddock. To our surprise, the shaft that broke was not the cheap left shaft but the right shaft. We attribute that to not having the additional bump stop in the right shock. Even though the right side of the car doesn't get as much action as the left, it still gets some and apparantly got enough to do in the shaft. We now know that the problem with the shafts was too much travel allowed by the suspension and we know how to prevent it.

A Great Week at Watkins Glen Monday, October 18, 2004
On Monday & Tuesday, Dick drove his NSX in the instructors run group and taught a novice student the fundamentals of driving at speed on the challenging Watkins Glen Road Course. His student Chris had a beautiful 1997 NSX that gave him many great moments of driving at speed on one of America's most exciting courses. Dick's old 1991 NSX still has it, as he reached 132 miles per hour on the back straightaway before mashing the brakes for the bus stop.

On Wednesday & Thursday Dick explored the Finger Lakes area in the NSX. In addition to several winery stops, and museum visits, he managed to walk up all 832 steps in the one and a half mile long Watkins Glen state park gorge - a highly recommended visit for anyone in the area.

On Thursday, Friday, & Saturday, Caleb Vernick & Ian Green attended the last chance of 2004 SCCA drivers school. Ian drove a Civic in SSB borrowed from Honda R&D and turned in a 1:55.008 on the short course, and Caleb drove the Ruck Racing 1985 Civic S in ITC and turned in a 2:09.712 also on the short course. Both did great and completed the school. Caleb drove well enough and was lucky enough to be waived from the second school and was OK'ed to race.

On Sunday Kevin drove the 85 Civic in a Regional race on the long course. Wanting to hit about 2:40 in qualifying, he actually turned in a 2:34.945. We were all surprised to see it was for second place. He qualified right behind a 1989 Honda Civic driven by Meg Meyers. Kevin had his usual poor start which put 3 or 4 cars between him and the other Civic but he quickly worked his way back up to pass the Civic after turn ten on the short front straight. He had 3 or 4 car lengths lead on the Civic after turn one and all the way through turn four. That's apparantly when Meyers decided to put the throttle to the floor. She passed Kevin like he was standing still and even proceeded to motor past several Spec Miatas before reaching turn 5, putting at least 5 cars lengths on Kevin. Needless to say we were "very impressed" with her Civic doing what no other ITC car including Fruth, Ching, Holbrook, Shearer, etc. could do to our Civic when it was running well. She must have "got new tires".............. Kevin turned in his fastest lap of 2:34.945 and Meyers turned in a 2:32.788 (that's all about the car in the straights as Kevin had to slow down to keep from hitting her in the corners).

A great finish to the regular season Monday, October 4, 2004
The WOR games is a slightly different event in that it is practice and qualifying on Saturday and a single longer race (17 laps) on Sunday. They always have the electric race cars from universities racing as well. For us this was a final shakedown for the new Integra before the American Road Race of Champions coming up in November, and an opportunity for Dick to drive the Prelude for the first time in 2 years to see if he got any better.

The weekend started out pretty well when both Kevin and Dick went out for their slightly damp practice sessions and turned in the fastest times in their respective run groups. Kevin with a 1:48.452 and Dick with a 1:47.710.

Later that day in still cool and slightly damp conditions, Kevin went out for qualifying and turned in a 1:47.067 which we certainly thought would be on the pole. However, the pole was captured by Jan Rief in another beautiful blue Integra with a 1:46.794. That meant that the top two positions in ITA were not CRX's this day. Robert Brooks in his CRX took third with a 1:48.495 and Mark Hopkins took fourth in his CRX with a 1:48.794.

Dick qualifyed 4th in ITS out of 17 cars and 5th overall with a 1:47.085.

On Sunday, the weather cleared and it was a beautiful sunny day, although cool (41 degrees when we got up). Kevin went out in run group three at 10:20 AM. The start was amazing as Robert Brooks launched ahead of both of the Integras to grab first place. A Saturn followed Robert up the side to take 3rd which left Kevin in 4th place. Kevin quickly dispatched the Saturn in the second lap and went after Robert and Jan who had pulled out a pretty good lead. It took Kevin 7 laps to pass Jan in turn one so he could concentrate on passing Robert. Three laps later he passed Robert at the end of the back straight. Almost immediately after he got past Robert a full course yellow came out due to a crash in turn four of a spec Miata. After 3 yellow laps following the pace car they threw the green flag and Brooks blasted past Kevin again in turn one to take the lead. On the 16th lap Kevin re-passed Robert to take the lead for good. It was on that lap that Kevin turned in a 1:44.989 making him only the sixth ITA car in history ( and the only one that was not a CRX) to run a lap at Mid Ohio in the 1:44's.

After burning out the year and a half old gas in practice and qualifying, Dick fired up the Prelude and had a great start. Taking a lesson from the Brooks start method, he hit the green just right and let the torque of the Prelude blast him up the inside row. He went from 5th to 3rd overall and 2nd in the ITS class. He stayed in 2nd place for 6 laps but couldn't hold off the RX-7 that passed him and put him in third. After about ten laps, the transmission got harder and harder to shift. It made Dick miss at least a dozen shifts and slowed him considerably. However, he managed to hold off the RX-7 behind him to take 3rd place and keep his record of ALL PODIUM FINISHES for the this entire year intact. He turned in a 1:47.059 which was 2 1/2 seconds faster than his best lap at Mid Ohio in this car before, but still more than a half a second slower than Brian's fastest lap in the Prelude at Mid Ohio.

Another great weekend that could have been better. Monday, September 13, 2004
It was a beautiful weekend with plenty of sun but not too hot. It was a week before the Runoffs start so Mid Ohio was in a frenzy getting ready for the big weekend. The Mid Ohio Security Nazis were out in force also getting ready for the unruly hordes.

On Saturday Kevin went out at 8 am to see if the money we spent on shortening and re-valving the Koni shocks did anything. We set all four shocks right in the middle of their adjustment and hoped for the best. Well, the new shock valving sure made a difference since the rear end was dancing all around in the corners when before we couldn't get it to move at all. We brought in the car several times and softened the rears but it was still pretty happy in the rear. After all that Kevin turned in a pretty decent 1:47.271 for 4th place and Robert turned in a 1:47.328 for 5th. First place was held by Beyersdoorf and 2nd by Moser - two very good cars and two exceptional drivers.

We quickly determined that the two tires we hadn't replaced in the last race weekend were now pretty worthless and were part or most of the reason for the extra loose rear end. Twenty minutes later we had new Hooziers on the rear and were ready for the race. Robert passed Kevin with a great start to take 3rd place but Kevin re-passed Robert after a few laps and then concentrated on catching Beyersdorf and Moser who had pretty much checked out from the rest of the pack. By the last lap Kevin was on Mosers rear bumper but there was just no way to get around him to capture second place. Although Kevin took third, he consistantly turned in times over 1 second faster than he had ever done before with his best being a 1:45.245, and both cars finishing in front of him broke the track record for ITA at Mid Ohio raising the bar to 1:44.483.

Dick went out Saturday with his new AN-R header and high hopes of finally beating Karl Holbrook. He turned in a respectable and personal best of 1:52.183 but it was still .438 slower than Carl in his Renault. Dick was 19th and Karl was 16th for the start of the race, Bill Shearer in his CRX was behind Dick by 4 positions and was probably not going to be a factor.

Since we were paired up with the Spec Miatas and the SSC cars, it would be a difficult race for our ITC cars. We are faster in the corners and can out brake them but they eat us up in the straights. You can get behind an overall slower car and struggle to get passed him, just to see him motor pass you on the straight again and hold you up in the turns. And there was a bunch of them - 48 cars in the run group with just 4 of them ITC cars.

Dick had his usual poor start but within a few laps managed to pass enough Miatas to put Carl right in front of him. In the 4th lap as they were going to the back straight Dick received information from his spotters that their was a car sideways at the top of the ess's. When they reached the disabled car Carl was caught by surprise and couldn't get around him and actually bumped him. Dick was prepared for the incident and swung wide around them to take the lead - he thought. With Carl way behind, Dick eased off for the next few laps and actually let a few Miatas and Neons pass him. Finally when he asked how far back second place was he was informed that he was in second place. Apparantly when Dick swung wide around the incident in the ess's, Bill Shearer swung inside the disabled cars to take the lead. At that time, there were 5 cars between Dick and Bill with about 5 laps left. Dick went after him and got right behind him on the last lap but could not get around him to take the lead. It was a very frustrating end to a very fun race. Dick turned the fastest ITC lap of 1:51.903 which was .800 faster than either Carl or Bill.

On Sunday Kevin made another small adjustment to the suspension and went out for qualifying. He must have made the right change because he turned in a 1:45.281 for the overall Pole position in the entire race group. Beyersdorf was second, Moser third, and Brooks fourth, and Marhefka fifth.

Beyersdorf motored past Kevin at the start and proceeded to check out from the rest of the field as usual. Kevin held off Moser for a few laps and he passed Kevin for second. Near the end of the race Marhelfa passed Kevin for third and that's the way it finished. We still have to do a few things to the car to make it able to stay with the fastest CRX's in ITA for the whole race. We think the problem is keeping the engine in the power band in the critical corners before the straights which means a change to the final drive ratio or different size tires.

After helping Kevin with his qualifying session, Dick got to the false grid for his qualifying a bit later than he wanted to. He just couldn't get a clear lap because of the huge number of Miatas, most of which held him up in the corners. After qualifying 19th overall on Saturday, Dick qualified 31st overall, and 3rd in class on Sunday with a 1:54.000.

Dick finally got a pretty good start and kept reeling in the leaders in ITC until he got right behind Karl who was in Second place. Just then a full course yellow popped up which bunched up the entire field for a restart. Kevin and Dick put together an awesome restart with the help of the radios which allowed Dick to know the course had gone green long before anyone around him could see the green flag. He blasted past Karl and 4 other cars to get right behind Bill who was in 1st place. Dick got a good run out of the final turn onto the front straight right behind Bill. Dick got along side the yellow CRX and they both motored through turn one side by side. By they time they got to turn three, Dick had the inside line and took the lead, moving all the way up to 21st overall. Then a rip in the space and time continuam took place. With only a lap left to go and no way either Bill or Karl could have passed Dick for the lead, he spun the car in the carousel and let 11 cars pass him before he could get the car rolling again.

It just goes to show you, it's quite easy to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory if you try hard enough.

In any case, great weather, great friends, and great fans made for a very fun (and educational) weekend - and we drove away with no significant work to do on the cars.

Good, but could have been better. Monday, August 16, 2004
The trip to Elkhart Lake to race at Road America was a mixed bag this last weekend. First, driving through Chicago and Milwaukee with all the summer construction was pretty bad, and we got a flat tire on one of the trailer tires, but the weather was perfect all weekend. Second, both cars dominated their classes but there were some mechanical problems.

Both Kevin and Dick went out for their first qualifying session on Saturday morning and everything went very well. Kevin qualified first in class out of 10 cars with a 2:47.294 and Dick qualified first in class with a 3:01.798, but he was the only car in the ITC class. That has never happened to us before. There were still plenty of cars to race with in the group but it was a hollow victory without someone else their in our class. In the race on Sunday Dick broke the 3 minute mark with an official 2:59.159 and an unofficial (not timing from the start finish) time of 1:58.543 which is very close to the track record and 1 1/2 seconds faster than any of our ITC cars have ever run at Road America in the past.

Kevin's car dominated every other ITA car but gave us some problems. Near the end of his race on Saturday Kevin felt some vibration coming from the left half shaft. At that time he was about 45 seconds in front of the second place ITA car so he slowed down to try to finish the race. Unfortunatly he slowed a bit too much as the second place car passed him in turn 12 of the final lap to put him in second place. The shaft was toast so with a lot of help from our spectators we drove into Sheboygan and found a replacement. After putting the rebuilt shaft on the car, Kevin drove it around the paddock for a couple minutes to make sure everything was OK when he heard some more clunking. The new shaft had broke! Of course the store where we got it from only had one shaft so we had to return that one and look for another. We found one in Oshkosh which was picked up that Saturday night by Uncle Don and brought back to the track and installed early Sunday morning just before qualifying. After about 5 laps of qualifying that shaft also overheated and gave up the ghost but not before Kevin qualified 5th overall, and 1st in class by a margin of almost 10 seconds. After another frantic search and some more driving, we found a third shaft in Fon Du Lac. We installed the shaft about an hour before the race so we took the time to run the shaft in slowly before subjecting it to speeds well about 100 mph on the track. Another great idea that didn't work. The shaft broke in turn one on the first lap of the race. We have used rebuilt shafts many times before but never on this car, at this point we have no idea what the problem is. Just when you think you know it all, you realize you are still learning.

So.... great weather, a great track, and great spectators/guests, but we didn't get a chance to enjoy them because we were consumed by trying to get the Integra fixed all weekend. Oh well, that's racing.

Another good showing at Mid Ohio Monday, August 2, 2004
After having the RV awning almost blown away in a huge storm Friday night, the team had a pretty good weekend with only minimal damage to be repaired before Road America.

Dick was on the track first in run group 1 at 8 am Saturday morning after a full night of storms that shook the RV. The track was wet but it had stopped raining so we went out on regular race tires but with some modification to the suspension setup. After a few laps of warm up, Dick put down a pretty fast lap considering some cars were still sliding around on the track. After picking up the qualifying sheet he found that he took the pole position for ITC with a 1:55.976, nearly two seconds faster than Carl Holbrook in 2nd place and Edwin Ho in third and the rest of the eight cars in ITC. Actually Dick qualified in 6th place overall in the run group of 40 cars mostly made up of ITB cars. That meant he was in front of a lot of cars that were supposed to be faster than him.

Well at race time about 12:45 pm the weather had cleared up and the track was dry so at the start of the race there were a lot of higher powered cars surrounding Dick on the grid. Dick had a good start and was surprised to stay with the faster cars right into turn one. Unfortunately, at the entrance to turn one, several of the B cars tangled up in front of him leaving a Volkswagon Rabbit flying through the air sideways right in front of Dick's car. He mashed the brakes and swerved and managed not to hit anyone. As he proceeded to go outside the sideways car, it drove right in front of him again which forced Dick way out into the grass. Although untouched, Dick had lost 14 positions and was now 4th in ITC. After more harrowing racing with the ITB cars which left him with a slightly dented fender, Dick managed to claw his way back to 3rd place in ITC and pick up 7 of the lost positions in the race overall. Although finishing in 3rd place Dick ran the fastest lap of all the ITC cars in that race and his personal best of 1:52.518.

The ITA entrants list read like a who's who in ITA. Names like Joe & Robert Moser, Jamie Quaderer, Chris Efremidis, Colin Botha, David Beyersdorf, and Jon Marhefka along with a total of 19 ITA cars were entered. The only big name ITA driver not there was Robert Brooks who was busy getting married. Kevin hoped to run with the best eight cars in this group.

On Saturday Kevin qualified 6th in run group 3 on a mostly dry track. After being hit hard in the drivers door by a car in the front straight at the start, Kevin chased Beyersdorf who won the race and Joe Moser who fought off Kevin's attempts to pass on the last lap to take second. A third place finish with this group was more than Kevin had hoped for in this his 2nd weekend at Mid Ohio in this new car.

On Sunday, it was a beautiful day that actually got up to 88 degrees so speeds were higher and lap times were lower. Dick qualified 3rd right behind Holbrook and Ho and finished the race in the same position. Two podium finishs and taking nearly a second off his best lap at Mid Ohio left Dick feeling pretty good about the weekend. He was wondering how much his damaged exhaust header was robbing him of horsepower. He'll have to wait until the OVR Autumn Classic in September to see if the new AN-R header makes a difference at Mid Ohio.

On Sunday Kevin went out for qualifying realizing that his tires were starting to get old. He only ran a few laps in qualifying to save his tires for the race and qualified 7th in class and 8th overall behind one Spec Miata. Since the tires were about gone and they would need new tires for Road America in two weeks anyway, the team decided to buy two new Hoosier S04 tires for the front wheels to get them tempered before the race at Road America. At the start of the race, Kevin blew past the Miata and picked up several spots in Class. The rest of the race was clean and fairly uneventful so Kevin finished 5th in the race. Finishing 3rd and 5th in this prestegious group was exactly what Kevin had hoped for. After a few more tweeks and modifications to the car, Kevin might just be the one to beat in ITA.

Mixed Success at Mid Ohio Monday, July 5, 2004
The weekend was definitly a success but could have been better. After arriving at the race track about 1am Saturday morning because of attending Red, White & Boom Friday night, the team had to sleep fast because Kevin had to be on the track at 8:00 am. This was the first time on Mid Ohio with the new Integra for Kevin but he certainly has had more than his share of laps around MO in other cars. He turned in a qualifying time of 1:47.974 for 6th place in the ITA class of 19 cars and 11th place in the run group. Unfortunately Kevin only ran two laps of the race before pulling off in the esses because of mechanical difficulties. The newly ceramic coated AN-R header, because of it's sliperyness, separated from the exhaust pipe which eventually left the car - taking the O2 sensor with it.

The team was a little dissapointed in the turnout for ITC with only 5 cars. However, of the 5 cars entered, 4 were fast cars and past winners. Dick turned in a 1:53.327 and qualified 3rd behind 20 year veteran Carl Holbrook (1:53.274), and Mark Connelly(1.52.404) who broke Tacy Nine's ITC record lap times at Mid Ohio last year. Behind Dick was Bill Shearer(1:54.993) who has won many races in his yellow CRX. The race was uneventful as Dick stayed with the leaders for the whole race and actually came within a car length of the 2nd place car in the last lap but finished 3rd.

After working on the Integra overnight the Ruck Racing drivers and crew were condfident that the Integra was ready to show what it could do on MO with Kevin behind the wheel. Kevin went out and promptly took the pole position in the ITA class and 3rd place overall with a 1:46.538, behind an ITS car and a GT4 car at the front. After being hit from behind at the start in turn one, Kevin kept the car on the track and continued on in 3rd place in class. After an exciting race he ended up 2nd in class and 3rd overall, beating all 17 ITS cars in the run group of 39 cars. He was along side the leader at least 4 times in the last lap but was held out of the lead by a lapped car in turn 13.

Dick's qualifying session and race on Sunday were almost a carbon copy of Saturday where he qualified 3rd and finished 3rd in the race. The best thing was avoiding the rain which hit just after Kevin finished his race but was done and sunny before Dick's race.

The weekend was probably a record in the number of our fans that attended. We want to thank the dozen or so fans that came out to watch us race. We also want to thank Andy & Sarah, Diane & Sheryl, and Kerry & Eliot who helped with timing & scoring and spotting. We especially want to thank Ian Green and Caleb for crewing and helping with the cars (and the flat tire on the trailer!!).

Getting Ready for Mid Ohio Sunday, June 13, 2004
Dick & Kevin are both excited about racing at Mid Ohio on July 3rd & 4th since they are finally back at their home track. In addition, they have a few improvements in store for both cars.

The Integra ran pretty well at both IRP and Grattan so there's not too many changes needed but there is always something you can do. First the AN-R header was sent out for ceramic coating. This special coating both protects the header and insulates it against dumping too much heat into the engine compartment. A cooler engine compartment means denser air which means more horsepower. Second, the ECU or Engine Control Unit has been "chipped" and will be dynomometer tuned next week. The "chipping" means that the stock computer has had several integrated circuits, capacitors, and resisters added so that a new program that makes more power can be run on the stock ECU. The program needs to be tested and final tuned on a dyno to make sure it has the optimum progam for power.

The Civic CX is running pretty well but was in great need of new "shoes". A new set of Hoosier 225/50R13 R3S04 tires has been purchased and will be mounted on the Panasport wheels next week. This is the first set of S04's we have ever run on this car. They have been known to give most other cars a second or more faster times than the previous S03 compound tires. We will most likely use a modified ECU with a racing program in the CX as well but we will probably not have time to tune it like the Integra until later in the year.

The last thing is both cars will be sporting newly powder coated valve covers in the team color - bright orange. These ought be good for a couple of horsepower at least...........

Soggy might not be strong enough word Monday, May 31, 2004
The second race weekend of the year for Ruck Racing is officially in the books. The team expected to go to Grattan and compete for the wins in both the ITC and ITA classes and that's exactly what happened.

On Saturday Dick went out to qualify in run group 5 in the Civic CX against 3 other ITC cars. His goal was to do better than he (1:43.381) and Kevin (1:42.404) did last year. Actually, since he was in a better tuned car and he had now more driving experience, he wanted to try to break into the 1:39's which would have been a great accomplishment. He was very happy when he found out he qualified with a 1:39.444 - a time that would have taken the poll at this race at Grattan by far in any of the last four years. Unfortunately, a driver in a Civic named Edwin Ho decided to break his own track record at Grattan and turned in a for the pole position.

Even though a few sprinkles wet the track the race later that day was uneventful as Dick finished 2nd to Ho in the ITC class even though he picked up 5 spots overall in run group - mostly due to a great start.

Kevin didn't know what to expect from the Integra since it was only his second weekend with the new car, and he had installed the new AN-R header to replace the stock exhaust system. Kevin turned in a 1:33.000 which was good enough for 3rd place in the run group which was only about 2.5 seconds off the track record. The pole was held by a Saturn (ITA), 2nd by a CRX (ITA) and 4th was another Integra (ITA) just like his. The other 4 cars in ITA were sprinkled though the rest of the run group but the top 4 positions in the run group were held by ITA cars.

The race was also uneventful even though a few rain drops fell. Even though Kevin had a poor start, he managed to stay right with the CRX and Saturn and held off the other Integra for the whole race. His best lap in the race was a 1:32.7xx. The Saturn and CRX drivers were very experienced drivers at this track and never made any mistakes that Kevin could capitalize on.

On Sunday morning Dick went out first to qualify but qualified slightly slower than Saturday with a 1:40.6xx. Dick realized that this would be the 12th day of racing on his Hoosier tires, and the Saturday session at this highly twisty, turny track had taken more than its toll on the tires. He qualified 3rd just behind Shawn Hobbs in his Fiat X1/9 and well behind Edwin Ho in the Civic.

Before the start of the race, it was not raining so none of the cars had put on rain tires. As he was sitting on the false grid waiting for the start of the race, it started to sprinkle. The rain wasn't too bad at first and Dick got a great start blowing past Hobbs and several other cars at turn one. The rain continued and got heavier and heavier. In lap 4 Dick spun out and Hobbs passed him. In the very next lap Hobbs spun which allowed Dick to regain 2nd place. Dick pulled away from Hobbs and the rest of the field until it really started to rain - buckets. Dick was hoping to finish the race on his old tires on a dry track. On a wet, puddled track flowing with water the old tires were pretty much gone. On the last lap as Dick was trying to keep from kissing a wall, he was passed by the 4 place qualifier who was running on brand new sticky Hoosiers for the first weekend ever. Third place wasn't great but at least he finished and he had a great time doing it.

Kevin went out to qualify on Sunday with the goal of improving his Saturday performance and he did just that. He qualified 2nd overall with a 1:32.4xx. He had made a few adjustments to the car and had hoped to take the Saturn at the start and race him to the finish for a win. However, by the end of Dick's race, the track was flooded and it was still raining. Since Kevin did not yet have rain tires for the new car, he knew that he would be racing against most of the other cars who would be using rain tires. The team decided that it would be better if they did not run under those conditions to save body and sheetmetal. They were also trying to keep the RV from getting stuck in the grass. They got it out on the road and loaded eveything in the rain and started home.

Ready for Grattan, Michigan Monday, May 24, 2004
Both cars are ready for next weekends races at Grattan, MI.

The list of things to fix or modify on the Civic was kind of short:
1) Clean car.
2) Complete inspection of car.
3) Remove unused window washer bottle & pumps.

The list for the new Integra was a little bit longer:
1) Clean car (oil on windshield from running behind 2 British cars).
2) Complete inspection of car.
3) Repair leaking CV joint on left side.
4) Repair alternator pulley mount and install new belt.
5) Replace break-in oil with Red Line 30W race oil & new filter
6) Install new AN-R header and exhaust system.
7) Move and re-install remote oil filter to make room for header.

All work is completed except a final wash before loading the machines onto the race trailer.

Installing the header was a bit of a challenge. The lower piece from AN-R was fabricated incorrectly and subsequently wouldn't fit. A little help from our neighborhood Tuffy shop put the proper bend in the pipe. They even donated a section of 2 1/2 inch pipe. A Thrush Glasspack muffler and a turndown was TIG welded into the system to reduce noise to within legal limits. We expect this header will add between 6 and 10 horsepower to the car. It better !! This header wasn't cheap. Take a look at the picture of the header in the pictures page.

Ruck Racing starts year with a bang !! Monday, May 10, 2004
A double regional race at Indianapolis Raceway Park this weekend marked the first outing of the year for the team. Dick drove the Civic CX in Improved Touring C for the first time and Kevin drove the brand new Integra RS in Improved Touring A.

Everyone was a bit surprised when Dick went out for qualifying on Saturday morning and turned in a 1:58.989 lap time - .955 seconds faster than the existing lap record set in 1990. There were nearly 10 cars in the run group (8 Spec Miatas, 1 ITB and Dick's ITC) that broke track records during the session - probably due to the cool air temperatures but hot and dry track temperatures. He proceeded to win the ITC race that afternoon and actually placed second among the ITB cars.

Kevin went out for qualifying on Saturday and was extra careful with the car since it was brand new to the track and new to him. Actually the car was not completely finished in that it was running a stock exhaust system including the catalytic converter (you couldn't even hear him come by on the track). The team had also not touched the ECU or tuned the suspension and the engine was running break-in oil. In any case Kevin qualified 3rd in class and 10th overall with a 1:57.307 fastest lap. In the race Kevin became more comfortable with the car and the new Hoosier R3S04 tires and kept running faster and faster laps with his fastest being a 1:54.802 to finish the race in 1st place in class and 4th overall.

On Sunday morning Dick went out for qualifying and turned a 1:58.940 which broke his track record from the day before which everyone though would be the pole in class. Then the car that ran in last place on Saturday turned in a 1:56.921 in qualifying for the pole position. Turns out it had a different driver and a brand new set of R3S04 Hoosiers. Although Dick beat his own track record again during the race with a 1:58.816 he could not catch the other car so he ended up taking second place in his class.

Kevin went out for qualifying with the goal of turning a 1:53.5 which would have been another second off his fastest lap on Saturday. After a few warm up laps he started turning laps in the 1:52's which gave him a 1st in class and a second overall in the run group - in front of the V8 powered Triumph ITS cars. Since the start of the race was on the long straight he couldn't hold off the high powered cars and was passed by several in turn one of the first lap. After catching and passing most of the cars that passed him, he finally got past one of the V8 Triumph's and started reeling in the other Triumph by about 2 seconds a lap. Unfortunately he ran out of laps and had to settle for 3rd overall and of course 1st in class. His fastest lap during the race was a 1:52.547.

Overall three 1sts, one 2nd, and breaking the track record several times was a great starting weekend. The team had the great fortune of having beautiful weather and an excellant crew including Andy & Sarah Ruck, Wendy Stein, and Mommo Ruck.

New ITA Integra Progresses Sunday, April 4, 2004
The new ITA Integra is coming along well. The brakes have been completely rebuilt including all caliper seals, new SS braided lines, new master cylinder and Castrol LMA fluid. New racing pads have been installed on the fronts and all four rotors have been burnished.

The suspension is complete with 26 new Urethane bushings, new Koni shocks with coilovers and Eibach springs on all four corners. IT legal offset bushing type camber adjusters have been fitted on the front wheels. A new stabilizer bar has also been installed on the rear.

The engine is complete and has been re-installed in the car. It has been bored out, shaved, port matched and balanced, has new timing belt, pistons, rings, seals, gaskets, bearings, Irridium race spark plugs, Magnecore 8.5mm spark plug wires, AEM fuel pressure regulator, OEM fuel filter, remote oil filter and cooler and has been imparted with the Ruck Racing Magic (completely IT legal) to make it produce more power.

The transmission is also complete with new main bearings and an OPM limited slip differential.

The roll cage is coming along well with 12 of the 17 bars complete including the hidden bar inside the dashboard.

The body work has begun with the addition of the new left front fender. Ding repair is next before the car will receive it's complete paint job in the team color Orange and clearcoat.

User side of website is up !! Saturday, April 3, 2004
WOW, finally after more than a year, the Ruck Racing website is up and available to all comers. Not all pages have been completed but it won't be long now. Congrats and a big Thank You to Andy the webmaster.

R Ruck goes on line to the admin Thursday, March 18, 2004
On this day, R Ruck finally got to go to the admin portion of the Ruck Racing web site to start adding stuff, He was heard to say "It's about time!!"

Ruck Racing launches new website Friday, February 20, 2004
And here it is!! It is really cool