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|Car trouble in the Enduro but we took the checker!||Tuesday, November 15, 2005|
|The last time we attempted an enduro back in 2001 we ran a total of 3 laps before the car quit and we left the race. Being gluttens for punishment, and literally just for fun, we decided to try it again.......in the same car. The 1985 Civic is a pretty good car but it doesn't get used much and it has been given exactly zero development time in the last 3 years. Fortunately we now have better wheels and tires and we know how to balance the car from our knowledge gained from the Civic CX and Integra, but we still had to deal with the old engine and especially the Weber DGV carbeurator.
Kevin took the car out for qualifying for the first time after driving his Integra at Road Atlanta all week. He turned in a respectable 1:53.102 for 3rd place behind John Fine in his ?? with a 1:52.100 and Renee Hines in the Giles Civic with a 1:52.343. Behind us was Edwin Ho in his Civic with a 1:53.593.
The race was to be a 3 hour race with two mandatory pit stops of 5 minutes. After hauling all the spare parts down to the pit that we had for the car, we prepared for the race. Bob Lawrence was our crewman in the pits and Tom Erlichman was our spotter and lead mapper on turn five. Kevin started the race and ran 13 laps. He was firmly in 2nd place within striking distance of the first place car when he felt a loss of power. He limped into the pits and we popped open the hood. There was coolant all over the engine bay but with no apparant broken hose or fitting. Upon closer examination we discovered that we had a blown head gasket and the engine was blowing coolant out of the overflow bottle and into the exhaust. We quickly started to pull the engine apart and decided to put on the spare head. In less than an hour we had the car ready to go. It started up and ran but quit after just a few feet. We pulled it back into the pits and started to hunt for the problem. We found we had no spark so we replaced the distributor but is still wouldn't run. Then as a last resort we decided to replace the almost new coil with an old rusty one and the damn thing started up and ran. Dick jumped into the car and zoomed (yes zoomed!) out of the pit and out on to the track. The car seemed to be running better than it had for a long time. Dick ran 11 laps to take the checker flag with his best lap being a 1:55.86, no where near the limit of the cars abilities.
Even though we didn't officially finish the race since we didn't run at least half of the three hours, it was certainly a moral victory to be running at the end. Dick was extremely happy to have at least a half hour to run on this awesome track. We had a lot of fun and we'll probably do it again. But next time we will be running a car more prepared for the enduro and we will finish!!
|Kevin finishes third at ARRC !!||Tuesday, November 15, 2005|
|After qualifying 7th and finishing 7th in the Integra last year, Kevin wanted to improve his standing in the fiercely competitive ITA race. Although his car was improved from last year so was everyone elses and the field read as a who's who in ITA racing.
In the first qualifying session Kevin ran 8 laps with his best being a 1:43.576 for 4th place. In the second session he ran 7 laps and was unable to improve his time with his best being a 1:44.100. He was dissappointed to find he had fell to 6th place of the 27 ITA cars entered. After the session Kevin reported that the car "wasn't right". He felt some movement and heard some sounds that shouldn't have been there. After a thorough inspection of the car we found the left rear wheel bearing broken, producing a small wobble in the wheel. With a little help from our friend Trevor at RD Motorsports, we had the bearing and hub replaced and the car ready to go again.
The next morning we took advantage of the 10 minute hardship practice to make sure the new bearing was fixed and it was indeed the problem Kevin felt. It was and the car ran better than ever, turning a 1:43.1.
At the start of the race Kevin was on the outside of row 3 in 6th place. As soon as the pace car pulled off the track, the starter threw a very early green flag. Kevin got jumped by Anthony Serra and Evan Darling (both in Integras) on the start but managed to gain back two positions later in lap 1 by repassing Darling and getting past Micheal Green's CRX. On the second lap, Kevin was able to get past Anthony Serra to move into 5th place and began to break away from the pack with the rest of the top 5 cars. With Alex Muresan (Integra) driving off to a sizeable lead, Greg Amy (NX2000), Colin Botha (CRX), Joey Moser (CRX), and Kevin were battleing hard and swapping positions back and forth. Finally on the fifth lap, Kevin and Greg were able to draft up the inside of the two CRX's of Joey and Colin on the back straightaway. After going down the straight 2x2, Kevin made a great, late braking move down the inside of Greg (with Joey and Colin on the outside) to move from 5th to 2nd. Shortly afterwards, Moser was able to get around Amy for 3rd and went out on a tear to catch Kevin. Once Moser's CRX's was able to grab the great draft off of Kevin's big Integra, he was able to make the pass on Kevin, moving him to 3rd. Only a lap or two later, a full course yellow came out for an accident in turn 1. The yellow was very fortunate for the rest of the racers, as Alex Muresan was way out in front by about 8 seconds. So with the field all bunched up once again, the green flag flew for a second time. Kevin, Joey, and Alex promptly took off from the rest of the field; occasionally swapping spots. During the three laps following the restart, Kevin was able to make a couple of moves back into 2nd and even got along side the leader at one point, but was unable to make them stick. Two laps later, Joey passed Alex for the lead with Kevin close behind. Joey was able to pull out about 1-2 seconds on Alex who had about the same margin on Kevin. However, with only two laps to go in the race, the handleing on Joey's car was beginning to "go away" until he got real sideways going through turn 7 and onto the back straight. Alex was able to capitalize on Joey's bobble and squeezed through into first place once again. For the rest of the race, the three guys stayed pretty much inline and finished nose to tail. So despite starting in 6th place, Kevin was able to come home with a 3rd place finish and nearly 15 seconds in front of 4th place Greg Amy and 5th place Bob Moser in his new CRX.
Having a podium finish at the ARRC in only thier second year in ITA, in a 100% legal car, completely built, developed, and driven by Ruck Racing, is nothing short of amazing.
|3 Wins in 4 races !!||Saturday, October 15, 2005|
|It was Kevin's birthday on Friday the 7th of October and Dad was away in Oshkosh so he decided to load up the Integra and go racing. He took the car all by himself over to Putnum Park outside of Indianapolis for a quad Honda Challenge race weekend. He wanted to use the Kumho tires we had bought earlier in the year to try to get some of the Kumho contingency money that was available in these races. He also really wanted to test out the new engine and test some new spring rates that we had just received.
He went out for qualifying on Saturday morning and was quite surprised that the new spring rates finally made the rear of the car want to come around rather than the car pushing all the time. In fact with the setting of the Koni shocks being too stiff in the rear the car was just a bit ass happy. He was getting the feel of the car with the new setup and he turned in a 1:21.xxx lap time for second place in H4 behind Brian Shanfeld in Honda R&D's Integra by 0.2 seconds.
In the first race on Saturday, he started 2nd in Honda Challenge behind Shanfeld and 8th overall in a run group that included all 5 Honda Challenge classes and all of the GTS series classes. After about 6 or 7 laps of running nose to tail, Kevin finally made the pass for the lead. Shanfeld bobbled coming onto the front straight which allowed Kevin to get underneath him and execute the pass into turn 1. The two ran very closely for the remainder of the race but Kevin was able to hang onto the win while setting a new H4 track record of 1:21.004.
In the second race of Saturday, the cars were started in the order they finished in the first race putting Kevin on the pole in H4. After a botched start, Kevin got passed by Shanfeld and his teammate, Chad Gilsinger, in the Honda R&D H1 Honda S2000. A GTS Porsche 944 was also able to drive past Kevin down the front straight (fast in the straights, slow in the corners) at the start of lap 2. Then when going into turn 1, Kevin had to check up so bad mid-corner to keep from hitting the 944, he spun the car. After a brief trip off the track, Kevin lost 15 places overall and 4 spots in his class. He kept his head down and proceeded to click off many fast and consistent laps to try and try to make up all of the lost positions. Unfortunately, he could not catch Shanfeld but was still able to make up 13 positions and get back to 2nd in H4.
On Sunday, Kevin went out for qualifying and took the pole. The Integra that was piloted by Shanfeld the previous day was now being driven by a different and less experienced Honda R&D driver. The other driver was not able to get the speed out of the car that Shanfeld could, so Kevin really only needed to stay out of trouble to win the two races of the day. Kevin continued to rotate his Kumho tires after every session as Putnam Park is notoriously hard on left front tires. In the process of doing this about an hour before the first race of Sunday, he found a cross threaded lug nut on the front right wheel. Unfortunately, he was forced to break the wheel stud in order to get the wheel off. Here's where luck comes in - and a little help from his friends. The Honda R&D guys just so happened to have an entire spare knuckle for their '99 Civic Si in their trailer that they offered to Kevin if it fit. Upon further inspection, the spare '99 Civic Si knuckle did indeed appear to be almost identical to Kevin's '92 Integra knuckle - you gotta love these Honda's! Sure enough, it fit and Kevin made it down to grid just in time for the 3 minute warning. After a great start and some quick lap times, Kevin was able to run away with H4 in the first half of the race. With about 5 laps to go though, he started to feel a vibration in left hand corners and then eventually all corners. Although initially worried that it might be a half shaft problem coming back, Kevin eventually felt out the vibration and linked it to the front left tire going bad. He slowed down 3-4 seconds per lap; just enough to keep the 2nd place H4 car behind him and win the race. Upon inspection of the front left Kumho after the race, a 4"x6" patch of the tire had literally torn itself from the cords of the tire. Yes, it ripped itself apart, but it at least didn't go flat.
In the second race, Kevin went out with 3 very suspect Kumho's, one spare Hoosier, and a little short on fuel (it was all he had). Kevin started the race with a plan of "only run a modest pace; just fast enough to win while preserving tires and fuel." This of course got thrown out the window when he spun the car off the track in turn 9 of the 2nd lap. He luckily only lost 9 positions and 3 in his class as it was a "small off". So once again, he had to run hard and pick off all of the cars who passed him. After about 3/4 of the race, he was able to finally re-take the H4 lead from the Colletti Motorsports CRX. After getting a couple of seconds on 2nd place, he went back to his original plan as the tires were getting "iffy" and the gas gauge was way too close to "E" for comfort. On his second to last lap, Kevin saw the overall leader (a very, very fast BMW M3) a few turns behind him. He then had the brilliant idea that if he slows up enough to allow himself to get lapped by the leader before he reaches the start/finish line again, Kevin's race will end 1 lap earlier (a very good thing when there's little no gas left in the car). So Kevin did exactly this by slowing up through turns 8, 9, and 10, forcing the leader to pass him just before the start/finish line and the checkered flag coming out. The race was over - no tires, no fuel, but it was another win. He finished with less gas than he had ever done before or would ever like to again.
Three wins and a second paid $1400 from Kumho, and he received three $100 Hawk brake coupons for the wins. Plus one more track record for the Integra that was now handling the best it had in over a year! Not bad for being all by yourself.......
|Four cars - What a weekend!!||Monday, September 12, 2005|
|Since Kevin and Dick were named Co-Drivers of the year by the Ohio Valley Region of SCCA, all of the trophies awarded for this race had likenesses of their cars on them. Because of this and to see how much fun it would be, we decided to drive all four of our cars this weekend.
1985 HONDA CIVIC S
Caleb drove the old 1985 Civic S for his first ever races after getting his novice permit last October. He drove carefully and deliberately on Saturday as he got the feel of the car and track. He also got to feel what 58 cars are like on the track at the same time - nearly every one of them faster than his. His best lap time on Saturday was 2:08.xxx and he finished DFL of running cars.
On Sunday he mounted the Mugen wheels with the Hoosier tires on the car and went out to race. He was shaving big chunks of time off his lap times on almost every lap until he blew the engine on the back straight near the S turns. His best lap of the weekend was 2:00.134 and he was not last when the engine went. He had a great time, got some valuable track experience, and completed his requirements for his SCCA Regional License. He wants to build his own ITA CRX by Spring next year.
1994 HONDA PRELUDE Si
Dick drove the Prelude in ITS for the first time since he drove it once last October. He's been very successful in driving the Civic CX near the limits this year but had a difficult time transferring that experience to the much more powerful Prelude. In the 3rd lap of qualifying on Saturday morning, he drove the Prelude off the track in turn 11 and knocked the right front wheel out of balance so he had to come in. His qualifying time was only 1:48.xxx which put him in 13 place in class and 30th overall. After fixing the wheel, he went out to race and started to get a better feel for car. He finished 12th after getting tanked in the right side by another ITS car.
On Sunday Dick decided he needed to slow down to go faster and Kevin reminded him about driving smoothly and relaxing. This seemed to work as he turned in several consistant laps and his best was 1:56.xxx for 6th place and xx overall. As they all were, this was a large run group with many very fast cars (E Production, GT cars and American Sedans along with a bunch of ITS cars). At the start of the race Dick took off at the green only to see a Camaro spin right in front of him. He mashed the brakes to keep from T-Boning the Camaro and by the time he could get back on the gas and get around him, he was passed by at least a dozen cars. Through the race he was able to get back past most of those cars but still only finished 7th in class and 14th overall.
1992 HONDA CIVIC CX
Kevin drove the Civic CX for the first time in two years. He was amazed at how well the CX handled in the corners. He took the pole on Saturday and pretty much cruised to a victory by keeping several of the thousand or so Miatas between him and Edwin Ho who was in second place. Hsi best lap of the day was a 1:5x.xxx.
On Sunday Kevin got down to grid a bit later than he wanted to so when he went out for qualifying, he had to deal with bunches of Miatas all holding him up in corners but driving past him in the straights. To make things worse, one of the genius Miata drivers tanked the wall in turn one which forced a black flag to shorten the session. Kevin had no choice but to come in to get ready for the Integra qualifying which was next. That left him with a qualifying time of 1:52.xxx and 3rd place behind Ho in first and Shawn Hobbs in 2nd.
At the start of the race Kevin was right behind Shawn in his Fiat X1/9 and 7 cars behing Edwin in his Civic. Although he thought it would be impossible to get past the swarming Miatas to catch up to Edwin, he did just that. On lap xx, Kevin passed Edwin for the lead and started putting distance between them. On the last lap, a clown in a rental Miata tryed to out brake and out corner Kevin in the Civic in trun one. Of course, he could do neither so he ended up hitting Kevin, spinning and hitting Kevin again and pushing him into Edwin's car and spinning him. After they all got running again Edwin took the win and Kevin took second with a car banged up on three of the four corners. Kevin quickly remembered why he left ITC for his Integra ITA car. He still has to run with Miatas occasionally, but in the Integra, he's running in front of them or up with the good drivers rather than back with the rookies in rental cars. Kevin did manage to take the fastest lap in the CX at Mid Ohio back from his father with a 1:50.062
1992 ACURA INTEGRA RS
Kevin also drove the Integra in ITA. On Saturday he went out and turned in a 1:45.xxx for 3rd place behind Bob Moser and Colin Botha. In the race, he got close to Colin but could not get poast him so he finished in 3rd place in a well driven race.
On Sunday, Kevin qualified third again but behid Colin in first and ?? in second both in CRXs. It took Kevin xx laps before he finally passed ?? for 2nd place. He never could catch Colin who drove an excellant race by keeping several cars between him and Kevin and driving just fast enoughb to stay out of reach but stay on the track.
The other part of the weekend that made it a little more difficult were two football games. On Friday night we had to go to town to watch Ohio University's big win over Pitt in overtime, and Saturday night we had to go to town to watch Ohio State University lose to Texas. Both games got us into bed a bit later than we wanted to.
The part of the weekend that made it great was that we had two side by side garages to put our four cars in and we had Ian Green and Sam paddocking with us. We had a bunch of friends and family come to watch us race and we had our "Super Crew Chief" Jay to keep us going along all weekend. We are also very grateful to Dave Brown for letting us use his trailer and truck to haul the fourth race car to the track.
|Road America Proves tough on Ruck Racing||Saturday, August 20, 2005|
|This was the third of three straight weekends of racing for Ruck Racing with only Dick running at this event. It was also Dick's first time driving the Integra normally driven by Kevin. It was a beautiful weekend with temperatures just above 70 degrees. The crew of Diane Ruck, Don Ruck and Lyle Contad were poised to help Dick make this a weekend to remember.
Dick went out for qualifying remembering what Kevin told him about not breaking his car!! Kevin had taken the pole here last year with a 2:47.5 so Dick hoped to get under a 2:50. He laid back at the start of the session to get a clear track to turn in a fast qualifying time. His first lap was a warm up where he turned in a 2:57.xx. His second lap was quicker with a 2:53.xx. The third lap had the tires warmed up and Dick starting to feel good in the car. As Dick was drivng up the hill to the start/finish on the third lap he expected to see about a 2:50 or maybe a 2:49. Just then the engine gave up the ghost. The engine made a bang and the cabin filled with smoke. He continued up the hill and drove in the pitout to get off the track surface and out of the way. Surprisingly, the engine was still running so Dick turned it off. Dick climbed out of the car and opened the hood to find smoke and oil everywhere and the plastic timing belt cover actually on fire. A nearby safety worker sprayed it with a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. It turns out a 2:51 would have been enough to take the pole position in ITA as Dicks 2:53 was enough to put Dick in 3rd of 8 ITA cars entered.
It seems both the Civic and Integra gave all they had to win the four races the weekend before and it was time for a little rebuilding. We figure that we had run roughly 25 races on this engine with great results, but now we had an opportunity to build a new engine that will be even better than the last one.
Oh well, that's racing. If it was easy it wouldn't be any fun.
|2 poles and 4 wins at WOR games||Sunday, August 7, 2005|
|On Saturday morning Dick went out for qualifying and turned in a 1:51.895 for the pole position in ITC and the outside pole for the whole run group behind a RX-7 in IT7 class. That meant Dick also out qualified all the Spec Neon, ITB, and SSC cars. An ITC car doesn't end up on the front row very often. He was three cars in front of Edwin Ho(1:53.259) and Bill Shearer(1:53.371) who was right behind Edwin. There were 5 other ITC cars who turned in qualifying laps. During qualifying Dick did a little John Deere driving as he skidded through a pool of oil left in turn 13 by a Ford Pinto. Fortunately, Kevin had warned him of the possibility of oil on the track at that turn so he was going slower than he normally would have.
In the race, Dick held off the faster ITB and SN cars behind him for a couple laps until he was passed by a Spec Neon and then a Nissan 200SX. The cars between him and the other ITC cars proved to be to much for the them to get by to challenge Dick for the lead. By the time it was over, Dick re-passed the Nissan for 3rd place overall. Bill Shearer finished 2nd in ITC right behind the Nissan, Robert Everett was 3rd right behind Bill, Devin Box was 4th, Shawn Hobbs 5th, and Edwin Ho finished 6th after spinning several times.
Kevin went out for qualifying with several promising changes made to his car hoping to capture the pole in front of Colin Botha. He was dissapointed to find himself in second with a 1:45.141 behind Colin with a 1:44.873. Craig Hopkins was right behind Kevin with a 1:46.014 and there were 11 other ITA cars behind him.
The start of the race was amazing. Kevin and Colin raced side by side for nearly the entire first lap before Kevin pulled out in front on turn 12. Colin said later he wasn't concerned because he believed Kevin's tires would go away later in the race and he could re-pass him then. Little did he know that the changes we made to the car would manifest themselves in tire longevity rather than faster lap times. Kevin drove a perfect race for all 14 laps to keep Colin behind him and take the overall checker flag. Kevin's fastest lap was a 1:44.664 which was only the second time he broke into the 1:44s. Colin edged him out for the fastest race lap with a 1:44.635. Third place was taken by Hopkins but he was way behind Kevin and Colin.
On Sunday Dick went out for qualifying knowing that he needed to start the race in front of Bill and Edwin and put as many cars between him and them as he could. Although Dick improved his qualifying time to a 1:51.505 and took the pole in ITC and 3rd overall, Bill and Edwin improved thier times too and left only one car between them and Dick.
At the start of the race Dick tucked in behind the faster cars as long as he could to stay as far in front of the other ITC cars as possible. On the 4th lap he found Edwin Ho right behind him and challenging him for the lead. For the next 8 laps Dick and Edwin were side by side several times and actually touched tires in the esses while passing a Neon lapper car on lap 12. On the 13th lap Dick swung a little wide in the keyhole and opened the door for Edwin to pass him at the end of the back straight. With one lap left, Dick had the advantage of Kevin talking to him via radios to keep him calm and tell him exactly what to do. Dick kept Edwin close until they got to the Keyhole. Dick made a great exit from the keyhole, drafted Ho down the straight and pulled out to pass in turn 6. He drove the rest of the last lap perfectly to keep Edwin behind him and take the checkered flag. Many times when cars are in a heated race they turn in lap times that neither of them thought they could do. Dick improved his best lap time at Mid Ohio in the Civic by .8 seconds turning in a 1:50.318. Edwin turned a 1:50.447 for second place, Devin Box was 3rd and Bill Shearer 4th. Not only is that lap time the fastest for Ruck Racing in ITC at Mid Ohio, but one week earlier it would have been a Mid Ohio ITC Track record. Scott Fruth broke the ITC track record 7 days before with a 1:49.xxx.
Interestingly, while Dick as taking his victory lap with the checker flag, the car stopped abruptly in turn 12. It turns out that when Dick & Edwin touched in lap 12 it broke the hub in Dick's left front wheel. The half shaft held the wheel together for the finish of the race before it let go in the victory lap.
On Sunday Kevin went out for qualifying to try to take the pole from Colin. Although he turned in a great 1:44.996, Colin was clicking off 1:44s like it was his job with his best a 1:44.083. The start of the race was lined up the same as Saturday but the difference was that Colin was not going to let Kevin get in front of him at the start. Sure enough he didn't. At the green flag, Colin blasted down the straight while Kevin missed his shift from 2nd to 3rd again. At least this time he knew immediately what had happened and recovered without losing too much ground. Kevin followed Colin and stayed closer than we expected since Colin had qualified nearly a second faster than Kevin. Running in first and keeping someone behind you is more difficult than it looks. In the 5th lap, Colin ran wide in the keyhole and Kevin got past him for the lead. After that Colin was doing anything he could to regain the lead. On lap 10 Kevin passed a lapped car on the outside of turn one and Colin tried to follow. The Integra is well suited for that maneuver but the CRX is not. Kevin went up on the berm at the exit of the turn but Colin went up and over the berm and out into the grass. He did an excellant job keeping the car under control and bringing it back onto the track but it seems he broke something which caused his car to run hot for the rest of the race. Kevin cruised to another overall checker flag and turned in a 1:45.525 fastest lap compared to Colin's 1:44.958.
This was an awesome weekend for Ruck Racing with great weather, great cars, great competition, and a great crew.
|3 Poles and 2 wins at Freedom Regional||Monday, July 4, 2005|
|Kevin and Dick went to Mid Ohio for the Freedom Regional with high hopes of stepping it up a notch. Kevin, with his new final drive was hoping to stay with the likes of Moser and Beyersdorf and not let them run away after the race starts. Dick with new smaller tires, slightly different tuning on the engine, and lots of coaching from Kevin hoped to finally win one instead of ending up 2nd or 3rd as usual.
On Saturday Kevin went out in run group one with hopes of setting the bar high. Unfortunately, because he was running along with the fast ITS cars in a large group, he couldn't get the open track he needed to set a great qualifying time. He did turn in a 1:46.523 which gave him 4th in class and 6th overall. The race was uneventful, but unusual in that the A and S cars mixed it up quite a bit. The S cars are very fast down the straights but the best A cars are better in braking and cornering. Kevin stayed right with Moser and Beyersdorf in their CRX's and actually passed Beyersdorf and held 2nd place in ITA for a while. He finished the race 3rd in ITA and 6th overall but accomplished his goal of not letting the leaders get away.
Dick went out in run group 6 on his brand new tires in a smaller size than he had ever run on this car before. The smaller size was to try to increase the RPMs of the engine in critical turns on the course. It worked well since he turned in a 1:52.018 to take the pole position in ITC and he actually qualified in front of 9 of the 13 ITB cars. That was only .2 seconds slower than his fastest lap ever of 1:51.9xx. During the race Dick had to drive 13 laps without any mistakes as Bill Shearer in his CRX and Shawn Hobbs in his Fiat X1/9 were hot on his tail waiting to pass. All three of the top ITC cars set times in the 1:51's with the best by Dick at 1:51.309 which was .6 seconds faster than his best. Neither Bill nor Shawn had ever ran laps better than 1:53's before. Dick held on and won the race with Bill in second, Shawn in third, RB Wright in 4th, and Ben Schaut in fifth.
After spending hours walking and studying the track on Saturday night with Dick, Ian and Jeff, Kevin went out Sunday morning and grabbed the pole position in ITA with a time of 1:45.375. That time was actually good enough for 2nd overall, in front of all 17 ITA cars and 23 of the 24 ITS cars. He knew that holding on to first place with the likes of Moser & Beyersdorf would be difficult and he was right. He swapped the lead a couple times with Moser before giving it up for good and was passed by Beyersdorf for 2nd about mid race. He stayed at the front with them but could not get back around to do better than 3rd place. All three ITA leaders finished ahead of all but one ITS car.
Dick went out on Sunday knowing that if he qualified behind Shawn or Bill he would have just as much trouble getting around them as they did he on Saturday. He edged out Shawn for the pole with a 2:52.198. Again he had to drive 13 flawless laps to keep them behind him. This day it was Shawn dogging Dick for most of the race until he had a gear box problem which let Bill try to catch Dick for the lead. The finishing order ended the same as it was on Saturday with Dick winning his second ever race at Mid Ohio.
|A great weekend at Grattan||Wednesday, June 8, 2005|
|This was Kevin's 5th straight year racing at Grattan and Dicks 3rd. On Saturday Dick was in run group 3 with only 14 cars. Fortunately there were 2 other ITC cars to race with, Shawn Hobbs in his Fiat X19 and RB Wright in his VW Rabbit. Dick took the pole with a 1:38.469 which was a full second faster than he had ever run the track in the Civic before. He had a great start and was actually all the way up to 5th overall after turn one. He managed to keep some faster cars behind him for a few laps but Shawn was hot on his tail. On the fifth lap Shawn passed Dick for the lead but he couldn't hold it. On lap 7th lap Dick took the lead back and held it for the rest of the race even though his tires were starting to show thier age.
Kevin went out on Saturday in run group 4 along with 44 other cars. Fortunately he got a good lap or two before getting into slower trafic in qualifying to post a 1:31.585 which was .7 seconds better than he did last year in the Integra. Surprisingly Kevin tied for the pole with Colin Botha with the exact same time. Unfortunately, Colin had a hood pin problem which left his hood and windshield smashed and unable to race on Saturday. Kevin dominated the race and led the second place car by nearly 20 seconds at the finish. He passed 27 lapped cars.
On Sunday they moved all IT cars into run group 3 with Dick which made a nice run group of 33 cars. Dick managed to take the ITC pole again and was running away with the race when his front left tire lost air and put him out of the race on lap 13 of a 15 lap race.
Kevin qualified 2nd to Colin by just a tenth of a second which was 5th overall behind several ITS cars. Kevin took the lead in the second lap but got held up by one of the lead ITS cars which enabled Colin to regain the lead. The cars were so closely matched and Kevins tires were old enough to not let Kevin get back around Colin for the win.
The weather was great and the food at the Saturday night party was awesome as always.
|New Track Record at IRP||Monday, May 9, 2005|
|It was a rare beautiful weekend in early May in Indianapolis and we were ready to run. Both Kevin in the Integra and Dick in the Civic ran in run group five which was the last group of the day.
Dick qualified 18th on Saturday well behind the only other ITC car driven by the great driver Scott Fruth. Dick was surprised to see he ran nearly 2 seconds slower than the year before when he broke the ITC track record at IRP.
Kevin decided to run his new Kumho tires on Saturday and compare them to his Hoosier tires on Sunday to really find out first hand if the Kumhos were as good as the Hoosiers. He went out for qualifying and took the overall pole by nearly 2 seconds with a 1:52.416, 1.5 seconds slower than the track record.
The race on Saturday got delayed due to some track difficulties and before we could get started the rain & lightning moved in which suspended the days activities. Our race was run first thing on Sunday morning at 8 am. Dick had a great start and had fun racing with a Spec Miata about mid pack but he never even saw Scott Fruth who broke the track record by over 2 seconds. Dick finished 14th after starting in 18th with a fastest lap of only 2:00.517.
Kevin went out on the pole and expected to breeze through the race since he had won the pole by over 2 seconds. To his surprise a Saturn was on his tail from the start. After about 6 laps the Saturn managed to get around Kevin and ran a perfect race to take first place. Although Kevin took second place in the race it probably helped him to break the track record while he was trying to pass the Saturn. He ran a 1:50.526 which was .4 seconds better than the track record.
For Sundays race Dick qualified in 19th place even slower than the day before. Kevin promptly went out and broke his own track record again while he took the overall pole position with a 1:50.396, another .2 seconds below the old track record.
Before the race, Dick decided to do some tuning on his car and found a misadjustment which he corrected. The car ran much stronger after the adjustment. Starting in 19th place he finished in 13th and actually followed Scott Fruth closely for most of the race. Scott broke the ITC track record again while Dick was chasing him. Dicks best lap was a 1:59.765 vs Scotts best lap of 1:56.522.
Kevin went out for the race on his Hoosiers like a man on a mission - the mission was to win the race with consistant fast times. He ran the most consistant times imaginable in a nearly perfect race to take first place well ahead of the Saturn. Twelve of the fifteen laps were with 3/4 of a second from each another. Anyone want to buy some slightly used Kumho tires?? So far this year Kevin has 3 overall pole positions, 1 second place, 2 overall wins, and a track record. Maybe the changes we made to the car over winter were good.
|The 2005 Season starts with an Overall WIN||Monday, April 4, 2005|
|It was probably the weirdest race weekend we have ever experienced. It rained hard all night on Friday night but that's not unusual. On Saturday morning it started snowing and continued to snowand blow all day. Mid Ohio had in the neighborhood of 6 inches of snow accumulation before it stopped. Needless to say, Saturdays events were cancelled so we went home only to find the power out at Kevin's house for over 8 hours.
Early Sunday morning we drove back to Mid Ohio to find the RV and race trailer covered with a layer of ice & snow. The Integra was inside the trailer but the Civic was outside with a cover. We had to wait several hours before things melted a bit before we could even take the cover off the Civic and dig out enough to get the Integra out of the trailer. About 11 am we took boths cars out for a few practice laps along with one of the HPDE groups. The track was mostly dry with a few wet spots. At 1pm we went out for qualifying with the rest of the Honda Challenge cars and the Spec Miatas. Kevin was thrilled to find out all the modifications we made to his car, most importantly the higher final drive ratio, were well worth it. He was heard to say "This car used to be real fun to drive, now it's a blast to drive. It's not only still very stable through the fast turns but turns quicker through the tight turns, and accellerates out of those turns like a ROCKET" Needless to say he took the pole in H4 by over 14 seconds and the overall pole by 3 1/2 seconds in front of a 5th generation VTEC Prelude run by Honda R&D in H2 and a hybrid car in H1. Dick definitly thought the modifications to the CX to make it into a DX Civic made the car faster but he had great difficulty keeping the rear end of the car behind him. He qualifyed 2nd in H4 and 5th overall almost 11 seconds slower than Kevin.
At race time about 3:30pm it was getting quite warm, nearly 50 degrees. That meant lots of snow melting FAST. Kevin knew that he was at the front of the pack with a couple of much more powerful cars beside him but he thought if he could keep them behind him until he got to the esses he could stay in front of them for the rest of the race. Since he was on the pole he dictated the pace to the green flag. He set up the Prelude for the start by listening to his engine speed and hitting the gas when he heard the Prelude back off. It worked for a great start and kept the Prelude behind him through turn one and through the keyhole where he rocketed down the straight side by side with the Prelude. As he predicted once he got to the turns it was all over. He not only won the race but actually lapped every other Honda Challenge car except one. How he kept the car on the track in those conditions at that speed is amazing.
Dick nearly got punted between turns 1 and 2 right where a river of water was flowing over the track. When the cars hit that river they had no wheels on the ground and were actually skiing on water. Forced to the inside, Dick couldn't handle the keyhole turn and spun out. Now starting at the back of the pack Dick worked his way back to mid pack before he spun his car again to fall to the back. He ended up finishing 4th in H4 just after Kevin lapped him.
Mid Ohio officials agreed it was the most difficult conditions they had ever seen, dry track, wet track, rivers of water, snow occasionally splashed onto the track, etc. And the conditions changed by the minute as wet spots moved, stopped, and restarted somewhere else. But as with any race, it was great fun, if you survived.......