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|Accolades From Friends & Family||Monday, November 24, 2008|
|Congrats to Kevin Ruck! Double congrats for doing that after dinging the car up wednesday. *applause* - WRXracer111
BTW, I wanted to say thanks to the Ruck's for always being willing to help out others in the paddock. Everytime I've needed something and don't have it, they have it and have graciously let me borrow whatever I needed.
We were just talking about racers & attitudes at the track are so different from daily life. The track is truely a special place to be. Can't wait till next year! – J Lucas
"ITA was just won by an orange wadded up foil ball that was 'totalled' on Thursday."
Sometimes when you wreck 'em they actually handle better. – Catch 22
WooHoo! Another Sandbox ARRC winnar!
Question is--will Ruck get the big Hoosier ad in Grassroots, like Bowie did last year? – Steam Corners
Depending no how bad the car is, it might get place in a Lemons ad.
Congrats, Ruck. – Sean OGorman
Congratulations Kevin! A well deserved victory for you sir! I sorta kinda wish I was there to see it. – ShiftLink
Somebody tweak Ruck's nipple tonight while his shit-faced.... - RacerLinn
congrats to ruck....maybe he was saying, "if perera can got his car back out there after rolling it, then surely i can...." - lightningD
Also a HUGE congrats to Ruck from taking what looked to be a very very shitty weekend and turning it into the best one he's had for 5 years! (you said this was your 5th try at it right??) -Tom Hoppe
big congrats to everyone. I know Ruck's been trying to win that race for a while, I guess the hard work finally paid off. – lymannator
Balled it up in practice, take a FUKITOL/Balls out shot at the win.
Can't wait for all his in car videos
Congrats Kevin, time for a PARTY! - bonspec
And finally, congrats to Kevin Ruck. He drove his ass off all weekend, put up w/ a ton of adversity (and bent metal), and handled it all like the champion he now is. - Gregg Ginsberg
ITA was just won by an orange wadded up foil ball that was 'totalled' on Thursday." - Catch22
Way to go, Kevin! We are all proud of you. Can't wait to see the in-car crash video. - Gregg Baker
If it weren't for Precious Parts, Ruck may have never been able to finish the car and win the race! Precious Parts FTW!!!!!!1!1!! - Melissa
Congrats kevin! - Jimmyc
It looks like that guy could pass for the Stig's American cousin. - weargle
"That guy" will only be referred to as "The Kevin Ruck' or "tKR" from now on. - Xian
tKR does drive like Stig's American Cousin....right over the dirt, throws it into the wall and still goes and takes it for THE WIN - bowlcut
tKR? That will go to his head.
Good job Kev! Too bad I can't say I was there to see it. – Ian Green
I got to see the ARRC ITA champ in person this morning, but I forgot to take something for him to autograph. I need something to put next to the Captain Panties Hoosier Ad on my collectables shelf.
And the back of that car really is pretty messed up. Its hard to look at that thing and grasp how well Kevin did in it. – Catch22
Yessir, congratulations to Kevin for what sounds like a great drive. ITA is a competitive class at ye olde ARRC. – Jeff Young
F*ck! I got to sit down and drink a couple beers in tKR's motorhome the evening after his victory and didn't even think to have him autograph anything. Coulda' had him sign my BMX bike... dammit!
Yeah, that car was not pretty. I got a chance to look it over in impound and it's amazing that he managed to wheel it like he did... – Xlan
Well, the right side of the car was shorter, which means it turned right better. A circle track trick, no?
Ruck did some great driving. I know I would have been hesitant to throw it into the turns like he did knowing what I was driving. Sure didn't seem that way when he was pushing me during 2nd qualifying.
That car was a write-off before qualifying...I think it would have been much easier for me to say "hell with it" and drop the hammer.
The "speed dimples" on the right side probably did not hurt either... – Rexracer19
Oh man, I need Ruck to sign my A6s before I pick them up!! – Sean OGorman
Congratulations Kevin and Dick! Maybe someday I'll even get a chance to watch you race. You should get in a race out here in Denver. – Chris Reyman
WOW! You guys are doing awesome! But I don't like cement walls, so no more of those ok! Love you. – Amy, Mike & Kadin
Looks like you guys have had a few first place finishes! Congrats!! – Jill Mathewson
Congratulations on the win. Maybe we will get to come and watch a race someday. Keep up the good work. – Randy Reyman
Way to go, you guys! Really good engineering, and driving, AND TEAMWORK! – Lyle & Connie Conrad
Hi guys! Good looking site; I like the pictures and videos. Congratulations on the win! – Hadley
Tell Kevin I owe him a beer. – Dave Nusbaum
STAY SAFE ON THE TRACK AND CONTINUED GOOD LUCK WITH FUTURE RACES. – KEN SMALL
That is very cool! Congratulations to all !! – Kalen Ruck
This is great. Are an of these races on ESPN or any other sports network. It would be cool if I can get sit video of you or Kevin racing. – Ross Basile
Wow! Congratulations. What a great result. I hope Honda are paying attention & offering Kevin a try out for F1! – Alan Newton
CONGRATULATIONS!!! MWAH! MWAH! MWAH! So rarely do I get to hear positive things about one of the cars I have tuned! I'm so happy for you guys!
Take care, - Dave Blundell
Great job guys
It is always good to hear when a local does good. – Terry King
Congratulations!!!! That's great. Gail Steinhilber
Wow so cool ! congrats – Calvin Schmidt
WOW!!! Thank you so much for sharing the fabulous news with us. I can imagine that you are all gliding around in the clouds with happiness these days!
It definitely sounds like it was a wild week….from crashing to Congratulations, all in just a matter of a few days. Way to go!!!!!
Love~ Paige,James,Garrett & Olivia Dawkins
Congratulations to you, Kevin, and the whole Ruck Racing crew!
All the best,
WAY TO GO KEVIN!!!!!!!!! You gotta be proud. I bet that gets you more than a set of tires! – Bob & Linda Miessen
That is so cool.
Wow good for you guys, what an accomplishment. Keep up the good work – Tom Manley
Congrats to you and Kevin on this huge accomplishment! - Sheryl Kirchhofer
CONGRATULATIONS on your victory. You have to be very proud of Kevin and of all the work you and your team has done on the car to accomplish your goal of being the best. - George Rosko
|KEVIN WINS ARRC||Tuesday, November 11, 2008|
|2008 ARRC Sprint Race News Article
I thought about starting this article with “It was the best of times, It was the worst of times” but that seems a bit melodramatic. Seriously though, it was one helluva week. I apologize if this is a bit long.
It all started last Wednesday on a beautiful sunny day. We finished loading up both race cars and everything we needed for the weekend in the RV and race trailer and left at 11am for what should have been a 10 hour drive to Atlanta. Unfortunately, in the middle of nowhere between Cincinnati and Lexington, traffic on I-75 came to a full stop for about 3 hours. It turns out a large dump truck full of hot asphalt blew a front tire, spun and flipped over sending several cars spinning as well. One of the cars resulted in fatalities so the authorities kept the road closed until they had completed their investigation.
About an hour after we finally got moving again the Auto Park System on the RV decided to engage at 70 mph. When we finally got pulled off the road and stopped, the emergency brake system drum under the RV was so hot it started on fire. The fire extinguisher was called upon to put out the fire but the brakes were still locked. After a few calls to local service stations and some time wading through the service manual for the chassis we figured out how to disconnect the system and go on without it. All that meant was we had to block the RV whenever we stopped so it wouldn’t roll away. It also meant it was 2:00 am before we arrived at Road Atlanta and about 2:30 am when we finally got to bed.
At 6:30 am the sounds of rigs pulling in around us woke us up. We wanted to get in early so we could get a good spot in the overcrowded paddock. Running on 3 or 4 hours sleep wasn’t so bad since all we had to do that day was run the Integra in 3 test sessions and run the Civic in one …….. we thought.
In the first two sessions the car ran better and better as we got the setup right. After five years of development, Kevin knew he finally had a car that had a real good shot at winning this race. The last session of the day was when Dick took out the Civic to make sure it was all OK before the enduro race, and Kevin took the Integra out for one last check of the setup before having to qualify at 8:30 the next morning. While Kevin was running hard to see how well the car could run, he made a slight mistake and turned into turn five just a bit too fast. This resulted in the right rear tire being dropped off into the gravel at the exit of the turn. That’s not normally a problem as Kevin’s faced that situation before, but we were using some old tires on the back to save our best tires for the race. This made the car spin a little faster and harder than Kevin was expecting and ultimately, able to catch. It resulted in a long, lazy 180 degree slide back across the track and into the wall on the left side of the track. The front half of the car was lucky to catch the tire wall, but the rear half was not so lucky as it caught bare concrete. The entire right side of the car was damaged, especially the rear, and the chassis and some of the suspension pieces were bent and broken. The wheels on the right side were no longer facing in the direction they were supposed to be. At that point we were facing hours of scrambling to try to get the car in some shape to qualify the next day and we were already exhausted from lack of sleep. Honestly, we were about 50/50 on putting the car onto the trailer and taking it home, licking our wounds. But with some encouragement from our fellow racers, who all came over to check on Kevin to see if he was ok and offer advice on fixing the car, and with the commitment from Tom Fowler at OPM Motorsports to get us any spare parts we may need, we decided to dive into the repairs. At this point, it was about 6pm and really, what did we have to loose? After many hours of replacing, banging, hammering, pushing, and pulling, we were actually able to get the back right wheel pointed somewhat in the right direction. At 11pm we called it a night and finally made it to bed, hoping the car would hold together and drive straight. Of course we were also hoping that with a little luck, it might still be a little fast too, but that would just be a little greedy to wish for that too, wouldn’t it?
Early Friday morning Kevin took the car out for the first qualifying session at the back of the pack. He drove the car gingerly at first to, as he said, “Make sure I don’t feel like I’m about to die driving this thing.” After a few laps he radioed in to say it pulled a bit to the left and had a slight vibration in the rear at high speeds, but overall felt pretty good. On the last lap of the session he turned in a 1:43.1, which was just a tenth slower than his best lap last year, and about what he ran the previous day before the wreck. That put him in 6th right behind 5 great cars and drivers – T Lyman in his Integra, J Moser in his CRX, R Moser in his CRX, AJ Nealy in his CRX, and T Hoppe in his Integra. Obviously, we were thrilled to see this pace out of the car.
Before the second and last qualifying session, we decided to check the car over one more time and really go for it in the second session. We got out the scales and alignment tools and set off to fine tune the alignment, corner weights, shock settings, and sway bar settings. To our amazement we had eliminated the pull and the vibration, and the car was even faster. In the second session Kevin turned in 3 laps in the mid 1:42’s and posted the 2nd fastest lap in the session. He knew it could not only duplicate those times but the car had even faster laps left in it. After combining the times from the two qualifying sessions, that left Kevin in 3rd place right behind J Moser on the inside of row 2 – right where we wanted to be if we couldn’t be first.
At race time on Saturday it was another cool but beautiful sunny day, but it had rained hard Friday night. We thought that the hard rain might wash some of the “sticky” off the track and slow the laps times compared to the day before – which it did. The race itself was uneventful. After a wreck occurred behind Kevin and Joey in turn 3 on lap 1, they checked out on the pack. Kevin tried his hardest to stay with Joey for a few laps but knew he could never catch his extremely fast CRX. By lap 11 he had pulled out to nearly a 12 second lead over Lyman in third place and was 10 seconds behind Joey. At that time, he conceded that there was no chance for him to catch Joey, so he backed off the pace for the rest of the 20 lap race, still finished nearly 6 seconds in front of Lyman by the checkered flag. Finishing in second place in this field of cars and drivers after the crash on Thursday was nothing short of phenomenal for both the car, driver, and crew.
Impound at the ARRC is always fun. After weighing the top six cars in each class, in addition to other various checks, they make the winner pull the head off the engine, and the 2nd and 3rd place finishers pull the intake and exhaust manifolds. If anyone is found illegal (and that happens quite often), everyone moves up one spot until 3 cars pass inspection. It was in impound we found out that a couple other CRX drivers had filed a formal protest against both Moser CRX’s for using illegal cold air intakes. We had nothing to do with the protest but we agreed with the argument. That’s why we removed our cold air intake several years before. Apparently, the Mosers were told the morning of the race that the protest was coming if they didn’t remove the intakes. They did not feel that they were illegal, so they didn’t remove them. After nearly six hours in impound, the chief of tech came and told us that the protest was upheld and both Moser cars were disqualified. That moved Kevin into first place and left him with the fastest race lap.
Back in August at the IT Festival at Mid Ohio, the Moser cars were found to have illegal distributors, which they removed before the ARRC, and now the cold air intakes. Everyone pushes “the grey areas” a bit as they are developing their cars, but we found out years ago that when you start to dominate in your class, your competitors start to look at you under a microscope. If they find something to point at on your car that might explain why they can’t beat you, no matter how insignificant, you have to expect it may become an issue, especially when those people are being very careful to not knowingly take chances in those “grey areas” with their own cars. In the case of the Mosers, they more than dominate all other cars anywhere they go, so you know they will be scrutinized. We are confused as to why they would even take the chance with something like this since we think they don’t need illegal parts to win, especially since this cold air intake issue has been such a hot-button topic for quite some time now. Do we believe that Joey beat Kevin solely because he had a cold air intake and Kevin didn’t? Of course not - they are both amazing drivers in very meticulously prepared cars. There is no one else we would rather race with than Bob & Joey, and we honestly mean that. But that being said, if you win races in a car that can’t have the rulebook thrown at it and come out the other side squeaky clean, that win should go to the next car that can. It is just unfortunate that the decision on this issue had to come at such a high level event, and ultimately cost Joey his third, and second consecutive, ARRC Championship.
In any case after finishing 7th, 5th, 3rd, and 2nd, we finally have our ARRC win. Kevin also won the National IT Triple Crown Championship which is a combination of your local championship (Kevin placed 1st with 6 wins), the IT-Fest (Kevin placed 4th), and the ARRC (Kevin won).
We want to thank the following people without which we could never have been able to race and win this weekend:
* Dennis Delaney who crewed for us at the ARRC without which we could not have won.
* Corey Parrish at SlowMotion Motorsports for his dyno help and ECU tuning.
* Tom Fowler at OPM Motorsports for his trackside assistance and parts.
* Trever Degioanni at R&D Motorsports for his trackside assistance and parts.
* John Marshall of Frazer-Nash, who custom-machined some parts for us, super fast.
* Mike Rush of M&M Head Service, who is always willing to drop everything in order to help us.
* Joe and Tailor and the rest of the guys at Discount Tire for mounting our tires.
* Gregg Baker at Isaac Head & Neck Restraint Systems for protecting Kevin’s head and neck during his wreck. There is not a better product on the market today!
* Jarod Cromas who helped us in impound and provided pictures of the event.
* Sam Meyers for providing Setrab coolers.
* Andy, Sarah & Drew Ruck; Kerry & Eliot Hosenfeld; Diane Ruck; Sheryl Kirchhofer for being our biggest fans and helping throughout the year.
Richard and Kevin Ruck
|Richard & Kevin Finish 2nd at ARRC Enduro||Tuesday, November 11, 2008|
|Dick qualified the car Sunday morning in third place in ITC and 48th out of 51 cars overall with a 1:54.9 lap time.
Kevin took the car out for the first leg of the race after not having been in the car since this race last year. He blasted up past several cars and passed the leader in ITC in the first lap. The 1st place ITC qualifier, Mat Douglas in a fuel injected Honda Civic, had much more horsepower than us and promptly repassed Kevin on the back straight. Each lap Kevin would pass him in the corners and get repassed on the straight. In just his fifth lap in the car Kevin was turning in laps in the 1:51s. Kevin worked his way up to 41st place before one of the hood pins vibrated loose. When the corner of the hood started to pop up he felt he needed to bring it in for a pit stop. The stop after 8 laps was much quicker than we had planned but we had no choice. We added as much gas as we could, taped the hood pin, and put Dick in the car.
Dick went out and ran the car for the next 42 laps. It took him at least half that time before he found his groove and started turning laps in the 1:52s. After over 80 minutes in the car Dick had worked his way up to 33rd place overall. The gas was running low so we brought it back in for the final pit stop. We put in 7.5 gallons of gas and put Kevin back into the car.
At this time we didn't know if we were winning or losing in our class. Kevin ran 15 laps before the other Civic came in for it's final pit stop. Dennis actually went to the timing & scoring room at the tower to find out where we stood. He found that we were on the same lap but behind the other Civic about 85 seconds. Kev tussled with several slow-ass Miatas that held him up in all corners. His lap times settled in the 152's and 153's as he chased down the leader. By the end of the 3 hour race he had cut the lead to just 41 seconds and was in 28th place overall but still second in class.
It was great fun for Dick to get to run some laps on this great track after the tension of the week from the Integra race. Kevin also commented that it was very good for him to run this car once a year to remind him how to run with momentum and no horsepower.
Once again we have to thank Dennis Delaney who crewed for us all weekend. There is no way we could have done this race without him. We were also very happy that Road Atlanta allowed dogs at the track. That allowed us to bring Laddie the race puppy. He made a lot of new friends while he held down the fort by the RV.
|Final Shakedown before the ARRC||Monday, October 13, 2008|
|Since Dick wanted to concentrate on the several changes made to the Integra, and because they put ITC and ITA in back to back run groups, he opted not to race this weekend. However, the 85 Civic was still in need of tuning of the Weber carb, so Kevin and Dick took the Civic out on Friday for the test & tune day at Mid Ohio. They got to run the Civic in 3 thirty minute sessions which allowed them to make nearly a dozen jet changes. With the aid of the wide band air to fuel ratio meter, the car is now pretty well tuned and ready to defend its back to back wins at the 3 hour ARRC Enduro next month. Dick turned in a 1:50.9 lap on the pro course in the last session.
Kevin took the overall pole position on Saturday with Matt Downing close behind in 2nd. Kevin never relinguished the lead and won fairly easily even though Matt's best lap was only about a tenth slower than Kevin's best lap. After the race Kevin announced that the new brakes were great, the new engine management program was great, but the car would not turn well through any corner - and he was still hearing a clunk when jamming the brakes that has been there ever since the IT Festival. Dick & Kev decided they were going to tear into the car and not stop until they had found the problem. A couple hours later they were still looking and decided they needed a new set of eyes. They thought the best set of diagnostic eyes currently at the track were those of Shawn Hobbs. Shawn has plenty of experience dianosing his X1/9 and other cars. Sure enough it took him about 2 mintes to find a loose spherical bearing in the right front lower control arm. A snap ring had popped out of position and was allowing the right wheel to toe out maybe a half inch under braking. Fifteen minute later the snapring was replaced and the car was ready.
Sunday morning they had changed the track configuration to the Pro course which eliminates the chicane before the keyhole turn. Not having to negotiate that turn should take about 1.0 to 1.5 seconds off the lap time. In qualifying Kevin turned in a 1:52.496 - 2.5 seconds faster than Saturday. The car was turning much better and with old tires that had been torn up by the loose suspension of the day before. In the race he led start to finish and used up the old tires.
It was a very successful weekend with the numerous changes made to the cars. And believe it or not they have a few more changes to install before heading down to Atlanta in 4 weeks for the American Road Race of Champions.
|Very soggy weather but another win||Sunday, September 14, 2008|
|Saturday started out raining and it never let up. Dennis & Richard put on the rain tires and set the car up for wet conditions before Dick went out for the first qualifying session of the day. The car was cornering pretty well but Dick was trying to be careful with Kevin's car. Dick managed to qualify 3rd on ITA and 11th overall. At race time just after lunch it was still pouring. It was raining so hard and there was so much water on the track you couldn't even see the flag man or the car in front of you while driving down the front straight. Dick was passed by three cars before turn one but passed those cars and 3 more in the first lap. Dick continued to pick up the pace and finished 4th overall and 2nd in class. However, Bill Schley in his CRX was 12 pounds underweight in impound and was disqualified moving Dick to first place. Second place was Martin Wiedenhoeft in his Miata, and third was Jarod Cromas in another Integra.
Sunday was supposed to be a beautiful day, but when Dennis & Dick arrived at the track it was mostly dry but very cloudy. They put on the dry tires and setup and went to the grid. As the cars started to roll it started to rain and continued to rain for the rest of the day. Sudsequently Dick qualified 5th in class and 20th overall.
At race time it was pouring once again so the rain tires and wet setup were put back on the car. Dick decided to try running with full rear brake byass and it worked well. He continued to pick up the pace and the car worked better and better. He actually turned in several laps within a second of the races fastest lap. He improved his position from 5th to 2nd in class and 20th to 9th overall but couldn't quite get past the CRX for the lead without pushing Kevin's Integra closer to the edge than he wanted to. Third place was Jarod Cromas in the other Integra again.
All in all it was an educational weekend. Dick learned a great deal about wet setup of the car, how to drive in the wet, and even how to keep the windshield clear of fog with shaving cream. His only regret was not having even one dry session to achieve his goal of a 2:46 lap time - still 2.5 seconds slower than Kevin's lap record but 2 or 3 seconds faster than the front running ITA cars normally turn in at Road America. Maybe next year.............
Thanks to Adam Ruck and Dennis Delaney for all there crewing help in the miserable weather. And thanks to our fans who braved the weather to come out and see the races - Diane Ruck, Sheryl Kirchhofer, Dave & Julie Nusbaum, Don Ruck & Linda.
|Rucks on the overall pole of two run groups||Monday, September 8, 2008|
|Kevin ran the Integra in group 2 and Dick ran the 85 Civic in group 3. Both were trying to get their cars ready for the ARRC. Kevin was still trying to make the car handle better and Dick was trying to tune the Weber DMTR carb for the first time with the wide band O2 sensor.
Kevin took the pole both days and won both days - no surprise.
Dick ran pretty slow on Saturday and better on Sunday as the carb tune got better after each session.
The unique aspect to this weekend came due to a wet qualifying session for Dick. He went out and turned in the fastest lap of anyone in the session to capture his first overall pole. That meant that in both run groups two and three there would be a Ruck on the inside of row one. That may never happen again so we had the pictures and the qualitying sheets framed and hung them on the wall for all to see.
|We finish 14 of 16 Sessions||Tuesday, August 12, 2008|
|We ran four cars this weekend and we had different goals for each car.
Brian drove his 1986 Mustang in American Sedan. This is a totally new car for us and we didn't know much about it. Our goal was to learn about how the engine would run, how the car would handle, tune the Holly carb, and to finish all four on track sessions.
Ian drove his 1991 Honda CRX in Improved Touring A. This car is really still in development since Ian built it last year. It has had numerous difficulties finishing a race. We finished installing a repaired transmission in the car just twelve hours before we left for the track. Our goal was to complete all four sessions and hopefully place in the top ten in the very competitive ITA group.
Dick drove the 1994 Prelude Si in Improved Touring S. This car captured the Mid Ohio track record on this weekend last year with Brian driving but it has always been difficult to shift at the end of a race. Our goal was to test a solution to the shift problem and finish in the top 5.
Kevin drove the 1992 Acura Integra in Improved Touring A. This car has been running and handling as well as it ever has after numerous fixes and modifications over the last 12 months. Our goal was to stay close to the three top CRX's at this track that favors the CRX handling - something we could not do last year.
|A Succesful Weekend at Mid Ohio||Monday, June 2, 2008|
|This weekend was the SCCA Ohio Valley Region’s National race where they included a restricted regional run group to help pay the bills. As most National classes are dwindling, the Regional class of Improved Touring is more popular than ever.
Kevin drove the Integra in ITA, and for the first time in nearly 4 years Dick drove the Prelude in ITS. The Integra was working very well after the two previous shakedown races in May but we were testing and tuning a brand new air damn and splitter. The Prelude needed a shakedown to check out all the fixes and modifications we added after the ARRC race last November.
Kevin and Dick went out for qualifying together and it was apparent that the Prelude was probably the most powerful car in the 51 car run group in the straights, but it couldn’t stay with Kevin and the Moser’s CRXs in the corners. They finished the session with the boys, Joey & Kevin in the front row, and the fathers, Bob & Dick in the second row (both fathers were heard to say they let their sons qualify in front of them). Actually there were two other sets of father/son pairs in the run group as well.
For the start of the qualifying race Dick was behind Kevin, and Bob was behind Joey when the green flag flew. Rather than try to pass Kevin, Dick just gave him a helping bump down the front straight. By the exit of turn one Joey slid over in front of Kevin. Dick was in third behind Kevin with Bob close behind. Then Bob and an ITS Mazda passed Dick on the inside of turn two. When they all got to the back straight Dick used his Prelude torque to drive past the Mazda and CRX and suck up behind Kevin’s Integra. By the time they all got to the esses, Joey, Kevin, and Bob started to walk away from the rest of the group. That left Dick to wrestle with the RX7 for the lead in ITS. The Prelude was faster in the straights and as fast or faster in the corners but the transmission was acting up and wouldn’t shift when Dick wanted it to. That left opening after opening for the Mazda to pass in the corners and then the Prelude had to re-pass when they got to the straights. The transmission got worse and worse as the race went on which frustrated Dick enough to make him over cook turn one and spin out. He restarted the car, got back on the track, and worked his way back to 10th overall and 4th in ITS by the end of the race. Kevin stayed with the CRX’s better than he had in recent years on a track that favored their handling but could not overtake them. This qualifying race set the starting grid for Sunday’s 19 lap race – Joey, Bob, Kevin, the ITS RX7, and Dick way back in 10th.
At the start of the race Dick had 9 cars in front of him that were less powerful than his Prelude. When the green flag flew Dick charged up between them and was right behind Kevin by turn one. Once again the CRX’s and Kevin walked away from the rest of the field which left Dick to battle with the RX7 and his transmission. He actually was starting to learn how to ease the shifts while rpm matching as best as he could to keep the transmission happy when he noticed a vibration that kept getting worse. By the middle of the race he had to bring the Prelude in with a bad inner joint in the left half shaft.
Kevin was staying closer to the Mosers than he had in several years when Bob experienced an electrical problem which forced him to bring it in. Joey and Kevin slicing there way through lapper cars was a thing of beauty to watch. From over a 5 second deficit Kevin worked his way to within 1.5 seconds of Joey when he caught a wheel on a berm in turn two and spun the car. After he restarted and rejoined the race he was so far in front of the third place ITA car that he was still in 2nd place.
Kevin and Dick had a great time competing with Joey & Bob Moser whom they consider to be the best two ITA cars and drivers in the country. They also learned a lot about their cars and their drivng abilities.
|This is the way a race should be !!||Tuesday, May 13, 2008|
|Our first time at VIR was as good as it gets – period. Every race track and race organization should strive to be as good as the Al Fairer double regional race was at Virginia International Raceway this weekend.
When we pulled up to the paddock we were met by a very nice lady who turned out to be Al Fairer’s widow. We told her it was our first time at VIR. She immediately suggested that we park the rig and take her golf cart to ride around the paddock to find a good space for our rig. We did just that and discovered that the worst space they had left was better than most of the best spaces at other tracks. Literally every team in the paddock had power from a 20 amp or 40 amp circuit with local GFI's and circuit breakers. Imagine the whole weekend without hearing or smelling one generator.
After pulling into one of the spaces that were left we discovered we were about 200 feet from the building that had the restaurant, bathrooms, showers, gift shop & race supply store, and a huge balcony for viewing turns 1 through 6 of the race track. We were also about 200 feet from the tech building and impound, and about 200 feet from the timing & scoring/registration building. And we were maybe 250 feet from the hot pits and start/finish. The only thing we had to drive to was the false grid. By the way, the false grid was covered to protect the cars from the sun or rain!!
We went to registration which took maybe two minutes, then to tech which took maybe one minute. We didn’t even have to fill anything out other than the log book. We just handed them the slip we got from registration and showed them the annual sticker on the helmet. Not only did it take almost no time at all, but the people we talked to at paddock, registration, and tech were unbelievably nice.
After setting up our paddock we settled in and started cooking a pizza for dinner in the RV. While doing that we discovered that they provided a high speed wireless internet connection. That came in very handy to check emails, watch the weather, and even update this website.
Before the sun went down we took out the scooter to check out the track and facility. We found a security man in a VIR security truck and asked him where we could go to look around. He said we could go anywhere. He gave us directions to the South paddock which is similar to the North Paddock that we were in; to the Lodge at VIR which is hotel rooms with balconies that overlook the North end of the track; to the Plantation Clubhouse which is the upscale restaurant and tavern; to the Plantation Valley Kart Track; to the Villas at South Bend which are condos/apartments that overlook the South end of the track; and to various points around the track for spectator viewing. The track can actually be split into three separate tracks or combinations of all three. We ran the full course which was 3.27 miles long. There is also a configuration called the Grand Circuit which is over 4 miles long.
Kevin was surprised to take the overall pole position on Saturday at this track he had never driven before, but he was even more surprised when the pace car driver came to both him and the outside pole driver to explain exactly what he was going to do on the pace lap. He said he was going to go fast for the first half of the lap so everyone could warm up their tires, then he was going to slow down at Oak tree corner to allow everyone to catch up. By the roller coaster turns he wanted everyone in position for the start.
Kevin won the races on both Saturday and Sunday in ITA. We have been to impound many times at various tracks but never one like this. They rolled the cars through the tech building and over the scales in record time. They didn't even stop the engines for weighing. As Kevin was climbing out of his car a boy handed him a copy of the provisional race results. A few minutes later, a lady came by with trophy checker flags and both South East Division and North Carolina Region winner stickers for the winners of each class. They herded the top 3 finishers of each class to the podium for pictures, and then handed out the trophy plaques with the track, date, place, event, class, and drivers name incorporated into a picture of the car on the track during the race. The first place plaque was at least 10" X 14" in size. By the time the next group was coming off the track, impound was empty and ready to do it all again.
All weekend long they provided an excellent Public Address system and announcer. He announced position and lap times during qualifying sessions, and he introduced every driver in each run group and gave play by play announcements during the races. On Sunday he even gave weather updates as storms were approaching.
The dinner that was provided was excellent. Sure it was only hamburgers and hot dogs, but it was done very well. They had baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, pasta salad, and even meat sauce to make Coney dogs. For dessert they had an ice cream sundae bar with chocolate and caramel sauces, cherry & strawberry topping, M&Ms, sprinkles, marshmallows, candied pecans, chopped peanuts, whipped cream, and more. To top it all off they had Yuengling beer on tap. If you're not familiar with that beer, it's from the oldest brewery in the U.S. just outside of Pittsburg. We can't even buy it in Ohio.
Both Saturday and Sunday they opened the track for lunch time touring laps in street cars. They asked for a $5 donation per car which was all going to a brain cancer research charity. There were tons of cars taking advantage of this offer.
The VIR track and facilities are second to none, but the truly amazing part of this weekend was the people. Every person we talked to was professional and friendly. It was like there only mission was to make our race weekend safe and enjoyable. Maybe people were in such good moods because they allowed dogs at the track. We noticed lots of dogs with their owners and all of them were having a good time.
In any case, with near $4.00 per gallon gasoline, we may be racing less often so we need to make sure we are going to enjoy ourselves when we do. I realize that VIR is not easy to get to, but an experience like the one we had makes it well worth the drive.
|Kevin wins both days at VIR||Tuesday, May 13, 2008|
|Kevin captured the pole Saturday morning with a 2:20.883 after just 5 laps on a track he had never driven before. Close behind him was another Integra driven by Chris Perera followed by Grayson Upchurch in a Neon. Saturday was a beautiful sunny day right around 80 degrees.
At the green flag it was a three way race to turn one. Kevin emerged in first followed closely by the other Integra and the Neon. The Neon fell back fairly quickly after reaching the corners. Perera stayed very close to Kevin for the first several laps as Kevin was trying to find the correct line through several complex corners. Just as Kevin finally turned in his first lap below 2:20 the Perera Integra started to fall back. Two laps later it pulled off the track due to a mechanical problem. That left Upchurch in his Neon in Second place about 40 seconds back and Rushbrook in his Miata in third place about a minute back. Kevin drove the rest of the race flawlessly turing in consistant laps a round 2:22 to take the win.
On Sunday morning it was much cooler and had sprinkled several times before group three qualifying, but it was more or less dry when Kevin reached the track. In the cold damp conditions Kevin turned in a 2:23.300 for the pole but decided to run one more lap. He turned in a 2:20.756 which took the pole by over 2 seconds in front of Upchurch in the Neon who had himself turned in a lap 2 seconds faster than he had the day before. Third was Webster in the Miata and 4th was a Pontiac Fiero.
At race time rain was threatening again but we decided on not using the rain tires. Kevin went out and ran away from the whole field winning by nearly a minute. The Neon had spun off leaving Webster in 2nd place and the Fiero in 3rd. Even though no one was challenging Kevin and the conditions were questionable he still managed to turn in his weekend best lap of 2:19.786 which was about two seconds behind the track ITA record.
We had a fantastic time at this incredible track run by a very friendly bunch of people. Laddie the race puppy also had a great weekend. He especially had fun playing with Bentley Herr, Chip Herr's pet dog.
|Two more wins for Kevin at Indy||Monday, May 5, 2008|
|This was a test weekend to check the changes we made to the Integra over the Winter. We set the new rear brake byass with new Hawk rear brake pads, tested the crank scraper, the insulating intake manifold gasket, and bushing replacements.
Saturday morning Kevin took the car out and it ran inconsistantly with the tachometer jumping around. As the session went on the car got a bit better but was still missing at higher rpms. Kevin managed to take the pole with a reasonable time about as fast as last year. We replaced the distributor with the spare and found two loose wires. For the 15 lap race the car ran great and Kevin won easily. Second was Jason Albright in his RX7, 3rd was Steve Linn in his Sentra, and 4th was Matt Downing in his Civic.
On Saturday afternoon Kevin ran his first handicap race. That's where they start the cars based on your performance earlier in the day. Of the 21 cars Kevin went out 8th with slower ITC,B and A cars in front of him and faster ITS and SRF cars behind him. He charged up through the field and was closing on the car in first place. On the 7th lap of 10 he was 14 seconds behind first and picking up 7 or 8 seconds per lap. Just as he approached the final turn onto the straight his brake pedal went to the floor. He quickly found an escape route around the barriers where the rear brakes brought the car to a stop. It turns out the left front wheel bearing went bad, overheated and boiled the brake fluid in the front brakes.
The next morning after installing the spare knuckle and replacing the brake fluid Kevin took the Integra out for the qualifying session. The car ran great and Kevin took the ITA pole again with a time he hasn't been able to run in several years since he set the track record at IRP. At race time we decided to use up the four worst tires we had and we put all the gas we had left into the car. Kevin had another great start and jumped out into an early lead. Steve Linn, who qualified right behind Kevin, left the race in the first lap by downshifting by mistake and overrevving his engine. That left Matt Downing in 2nd place not far behind. Matt followed close for several laps before Kevin pulled away. Kevin ran the rest of the race conserving tires and gas so he could finish the race in first place.