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|Winter Work is Progressing||Sunday, December 27, 2009|
|This will be the last news article of the year. We have accomplished a great deal of our Winter work list already. The 96 Integra is complete with new oil & filter, new brake fluid, new valves stems, and a complete new SS muffler system. The 91 Integra is complete with new oil & filter, and a complete new SS exhaust system as well. The 54 Bentley received rebuilt master and slave cylinders on the front brake system. It just needs to be bled and set up correctly - probably in Spring. The back-to-back ARRC Champion 92 ITA Integra was reassembled (correctly this time) after being tore down in the tech shed at the ARRC. We also had the Koni Yellow shocks rebuilt after 6 years of excellant service and downloaded the newest software versions in the Traqmate. The FP Integra is nearly finished repaired after Dick dented the Left Rear at Mid Ohio. The trailing arm has been replaced with the large sherical bearing and the sheet metal has been pushed back into position. All that's left is a little body putty and paint to get her back to her pretty shape.
Currently the 64 XKE Jag is in the shop gettting ready for her final rebuild. She will get all new chrome, the body repaired with new paint, new brakes, new cooling fans, and finally all new interior with leather seats.
After that the 92 Civic CX will be transformed into a Civic DX to be run in ITB. We are hoping this will be a very competitive car that will be extremely easy to work on and drive.
|Another ARRC Championship||Wednesday, November 11, 2009|
|HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO DIANE
After being lucky enough to have great weather in Atlanta for the American Road Race of Champions for the last seven years we expected our luck would run out this year but it didn't. It was another gorgeous week of 70 degree sunny days and cool nights. We drove down early Wednesday morning to get to the track before the afternoon Atlanta traffic hit. It was our first trip to Road Atlanta with our new diesel Fleetwood Discovery RV and it was a everything we thought it would be. We put it on cruise and it sailed up and over the mountains effortlessly pulling the loaded trailer. Of course at the track we lived in the lap of luxery.
We decided to sign up for three of the four practice sessions on the Thursday test day for $177. With three sessions we thought we could scrub in our new set of Hoosier tires and see how the car ran in the first session, and use the last two sessions to tune the suspension or make any other adjustments. If all was going well we could not run, or at least shorten, the last session to minimize the chance of damaging the car like last yesr.
The first session was very encouraging. In the last two hot laps of the tempering session Kevin ran a 1:43.xx, and a 1:43.xx and radioed that he wasn't even pushing the car yet. In the second session we took off the tires that we would now use for the race, adjusted the shock settings, and changed the roll bar setting. Kevin went back out to test the setup and found himself having to pump up the brakes more and more in each corner to have good braking. In the last lap he went into turn one very fast and the pedal went to the floor. He thought he was going into the gravel trap but managed to drift her through the turn and slowed down enough to stay on the track. A combination of severe “knock back” from the rumble strips in turn 10 A and B and a worn master cylinder was the problem. We immediately used the Garmin to find several car parts stores and called until we found one that had a master cylinder in stock. By the time Kevin borrowed a truck from a friend, Dick had the old one removed. Kevin picked up the part, Dick installed it, and they both bled the system just in time for Kevin to get two laps in before the last session was over. That was enough to test the brakes and get ready for the qualifying on Friday.
Friday morning it was cool and sunny just the way the car likes it. In the first qualifying session Kevin took the pole position with a 1:42.296 just 3 tenths off the track record and only a few hundredths off Joey Moser’s pole last year. On his last lap, which we suspect would have been under the track record, when he went into the braking zone of turn five (yes, that turn five), the car pitched right. He stayed on the throttle and got the car back straight when it pitched the other way. He got it back straight again before it swung around and off the track on the right. He hit the tire wall with the front of the car and saw the hood buckle slightly - never a good sign. He quickly moved the car from its precarious position on the track and brought her in. He was upset with himself for going off track and damaging the car but eventually found out from others that the reason he spun was because there was a nasty patch of oil in the corner and he was the first to hit it before the debris flag was shown. We quickly determined that other than the front splitter/air damn which was destroyed, the car was only cosmetically damaged. We removed the splitter and the rear wing and pushed it back in shape. We didn’t want to run the rear wing without the splitter for fear of the car pushing in fast corners and being unstable.
The second qualifying session was in the afternoon when the air temperature was quite a bit warmer. Kevin went out with ideas of running with Hoppe to see if the two Integras could help each other down the straights. Unfortunately Tom kept getting tied up with other cars and the two could not get together. One of the few people who improved his time from the morning session was Marc Cefalo in his Miata who turned in a 1:43.914. He had the fastest lap of the session until Kevin decided not to wait for Tom anymore and run a hot lap by himself. In his last lap Kevin turned in a 1:43.577 to take the fastest lap of the session. The combined qualifying list looked like this:
Kevin Ruck – Integra – 1:42.296
Tom Hoppe – Integra – 1:42.360
Chuck Bader – BMW – 1:43.553
Matthew Pombo – Miata – 1:43.561
Marc Cefalo – Miata – 1:43.914
Kevin has started races from the overall pole position on numerous occasions. He knows exactly at what RPM his car likes to launch. He also watched the start of several other races that day to determine most likely when the starter was going to throw the green flag. With all that information Kevin hit the throttle at the exact right RPM just about 1 second before the green flag flew. By the time he got to the infamous turn one, Hoppe had pulled in behind him and he was out in front of the pack by himself. By the end of lap one, Hoppe and Cefalo were close behind Kevin, Bader had gone off in Turn 6, and Pombo was not there since he did not start. No one else was a factor. For about three laps Cefalo and Hoppe changes positions several times, all the while falling back from Kevin. Eventually Hoppe pulled away from Cefalo as Kevin pulled away from them both. Kevin ran a flawless race with very consistent laps in the low 1:43s while lapping 11 cars of the 25 car field. Tom Hoppe actually turned in the fastest lap just under 1:43 while chasing Kevin. Kevin pulled out to nearly a 10 second lead before backing off in the last few laps to take the win with a 6 second lead.
The top finishers of the ITA race looked like this:
1st Kevin Ruck – Integra – 1:43.029
2nd Tom Hoppe – Integra – 1:42.988 from 2nd place start
Chuck Bader went off in first lap
Matthew Pombo did not start
3rd Marc Cefalo – Miata – 1:43.217 from 5th place start
4th Joseph DiMinno – Sentra – 1:44.374 from 6th place start
5th Ray Yergler - Miata – 1:44,581 from 9th place start
6th Wille Phee – Integra - 1:44.858 from 11th place start
7th Dereck Luney – Miata - 1:45.643 from 12th place start
8th Jeremy Lucas – Integra – 1:45.582 from 8th place start
9th Mark Zwolle - Miata – 1:46.194 from 13th place start
10th Chris Childs – Neon – 1:47.275 from 14th place start
Kevin has finished 7th, 3rd, 2nd, 5th, and 1st in previous years but this win was the most gratifying. It was also the most nerve racking since we were supposed to win. If you are supposed to win and don’t, it’s a big blow to your confidence. We want to thank our many sponsors and suppliers of great products – Raxles half shafts, Isihara – Johnson crank scrapers, SloMotion ECU tuning, and especially Hoosier Tires. We also want to thank Sam Meyers for crewing for us this weekend. We also want to congratulate Rob Huffmaster on a great win and new track record in ITS at the ARRC this year.
We are truly blessed to have been able to participate in the June Sprints, the IT Festival, the Runoffs, and the ARRC this year.
|Three Overall Wins and a Track Record||Monday, October 12, 2009|
|This was the last tune up for Kevin in the ITA Integra before the American Road Race of Champions race in November where he will try to defend his last years championship. This was also Dicks opertunity to finally drive the FProd car in a Regional race since the National Production Class season ended 2 weeks ago at the Runoffs.
As usual it rained all Friday evening until at least midnight. We decided not to try to take the cars off the trailer in the pouring rain which meant it was going to be a mad dash in the morning since Dick was in group one and Kevin was in group 2, and because we had no crew to help us. It didn't even get light out until after 7 am and first call was at 7:45. We had to unload everything, set up the tools, install three bumpers, radios, Traqmate, adjust belts, etc. We didn't even have time to install the splitters on either car. It didn't really matter since the track was so wet form the rain all night.
Dick went out in his first time driving the FP car and had a ball. The car was so fast it was scary - especially on a slippery track. Fortunately he had a front wheel drive car, the ability to adjust the rear brake bias, and he was pretty good at driving on a wet track. He took the overall pole by 5 seconds.
Kevin went out on a new set of Hoosiers that needed to be tempered. The track was a little better but it was still damp in the low corners - mostly turns 6 and 8. Since he got to grid late he had to deal with a bunch of traffic, and when he finally got through the traffic and got a clean lap, the car sputtered twice because it was low on fuel so he had to come in. He ended up 3rd in ITA and 4th overall, being out qualified by a Miata, another Integra, and a Dodge Neon.
For Dicks race right before lunch Diane, Dorothy, Bob Lawrence and his brother showed up to watch. The sun had come out and it was a pretty nice day. Dick controlled the pace from the pole so he started slow in 2nd gear. The rocket Integra blasted out of the hole and by turn one had a three car length lead. He continued to pull away and took his first overall checker. He won the FP race by 17 seconds even though John Walker in his dad's Super7 was coming on strong at the end of the race.
For the race Kevin put some old Hoosiers on the car that were not bad but less than optimal. He had a good start and followed Frank xx in his Integra for the first lap. He pulled out and passed him easily in turn one and pulled away from the pack. Bob Moser who started 6th had more difficulty getting free from the pack but when he did he started to reel Kevin in. By the 10th lap Bob was on Kevins bumper. He tried to pass Kevin in turns 6-10 several times but could not make it stick. The Integra was too fast today. Kevin won the race by a margin of just .33 seconds over Bob, Frank xx took third.
On Sunday they switched the track to the PRO course which removes turns #2 & #3. Taking out those turns gave an advantage to the powerful Integra over the better handling smaller cars. Dick qualified 3rd behind a T2 Shelby Mustang, and John Walker in the Super 7. At the start Dick and the 4th place Lotus Exige powered past the Super7. Dick followed the Mustang for several laps and could not get around him before John made a great move to pass both cars to take the lead. As John proceeded to drive away Dick was still caught behind the Mustang. In the 9th lap Dick broke too deep in the keyhole and slid into the Mustang. Dicks left rear tire hit the Mustangs front right tire which threw the Integra into the air. It landed in the gravel trap and came to a stop. The impact bruised a couple of Dicks ribs so he agreed to go to the hospital to have himself x-rayed. Dick told Kevin he was alright and he should go ahead and race in the next group while he was gone.
Kevin had put on the newly tempered Hoosiers and taken the pole position in his group by nearly 2 seconds and had come very close to the Pro course track record in qualifying. At the start of the race Bob Moser streaked past Kevin to grab the lead but Kevin, with a good run out of the keyhole, passed him on the back straight to retake the lead. Kevin drove away from everyone and won the race by over 6 seconds. He also managed to run 3 laps under the track record which had been set by Joey Moser last year. Kevn had been chasing a track record at Mid Ohio for some time and finally got it. It seems the car and driver are ready for the ARRC race next month.
|Fifth Place at the Runoffs||Wednesday, September 30, 2009|
|Our first trip to the runoffs as entrants was very educating and great fun. We drove the race rig up to Wisconsin on the Thursday before the Runoffs week. On Friday Diane & I took the rig over to Road America and parked it in the reserved spot by turn five. To our surprise the paddock was already probably more than half full. We were lucky enough to get the rig in before access to our spot was plugged up, and we were the first to plug in on the power pole so we had power all week.
Kevin drove the CR-V up to the track on Sunday since he had a wedding to attend on Saturday afternoon. We originally had intended to drive the race car on Monday on the test day but the weather man said it was going to rain all day Monday. Of course it was beautiful on Monday. That evening Elkhart Lake and the Osthoff Inn put on a superb welcoming party with awesome food, drinks, and entertainment - Wisconsin style.
On Tuesday our first qualifying session was scheduled for 2:40 pm. when we were planning on scrubbing in one of our sets of new Hoosier C3000 tires. Of course it was pouring then so we decided there was nothing to be gained and everything to lose by going out in the rain so we bagged the session. My cousins Linda and Sandra came to the track to visit and we had a great time reminissing. Dennis Delaney arrived to help crew just before registration closed and that night we went to the Production Party with beer, brats, and burgers at the Jesse Prather paddock.
On Wednesday our second qualifying session was scheduled for 10:55 AM and the weather was pretty good. We went out for 4 laps on the first set of new Hoosiers, changed to the second set in the pits in under 3 minutes, and went out for 3 more laps on the second set of Hoosiers. Since we were tempering tires and there were so many people off the track in various corners Kevin only turned in a 2:39 which left him in 9th place. That was OK since he only wanted to be in the top ten for the final qualifying session on Thursday. We were very glad to have Jared Kronas to help out in the pits for the tire change.
Thursday morning at 8:35 AM we wet out 9th for our last qualifying session. By the end of the out lap Kevin was in first place as it started raining and several cars had spun out and several others came in. That left about 20 seconds of open track in front of him and it stopped raining. On his first hot lap he beat his 9th place time from the day before. On his second hot lap he went fast enough for 5th place, and on his third hot lap he went fast enough for the outside pole by the previous days times. Since he only wanted to be in the first two rows he came in. His best time of 2:34.048 left him in 4th behind Sargis(Triumph), Bryson(Miata), and Harris(Miata). Behind him was Prill(Lotus), and Carpenter(Integra). The car was running and handling great and ready for the race.
Friday the races started so we watched races and axiously awaited our race at 3:30. Fans started to show up, Kevin's mom Diane, his Aunt Connie & Uncle Lyle, and Uncle Kevin were all there for the race. Kevin started on the outside of row two right behind Bryson with Mark Carpenter right behind him. The inside row was Sargis, Harris, and Prill. They blasted down through turn one at a mad pace. Kevin got pushed two wheels off in turn two but stayed in the race. In turn five Bryson and Sargis were battling for position hard so Kevin drove right up the outside past both of them to put his nose in first place entering turn six. Just then Sargis on the left did not know Kevin was over on the right so he squeezed Bryson right and into Kevin's left rear. Kevin spun left across the track and into Sargis and off the track on the left. Sargis went off on the right and suffered a flat tire due to a valve stem broken off. While Bryson drove straight through Kevin fell back to 9th place before he got back onto the track. For the next ten laps Kevin drove all the way back into 3rd place heading for first even though the car was not handling well. The impact with Sargis/Bryson in the first lap had knocked the front wheel alignment out by 1/2 inch which meant the front tires were being eaten up. Eventually the car did not want to turn right at all so Kevin had to struggle to keep the car in 5th place to finish the race.
All in all a 5th place in our first Runoffs with a new car was not bad. Our original goal was to finish in the top ten and be the top finishing car on Hoosiers. Actually we felt we had at least the second best car on the track and without the touch in lap one we would have finished 1st or 2nd. We finally got the car figured out and are looking forward to next year.
|2 overall Poles and Wins for Kevin||Sunday, September 6, 2009|
|We pretty much had to attend this race since all the trophies had Kevins ARRC winning car on them. We decided Kevin would run the ITA Integra to test some of the things we did to it, and Dick would run the Civic CX so he could get his two races and maintain his competition license.
Kevin took the pole on Saturday running the Club course and won the race without ever relinquishing the lead even though Kevin said the car wasn't running as fast as it should. Matt Downing was in second place for a few laps but got tanked in the rear which sent him off and back about a dozen spots. He worked his way back to fourth in class behind Brad Barnhouse in his CRX in 2nd, and Frank Levinson in his Integra who finished 3rd. Mark Frost was penalized 3 positions.
Dick hadn't been in this car for about 3 years and in any car since last November. He went out for Saturday mornings qualifying to get used to the car. He qualified 4th of the 5 ITC cars there. At race time he got a good start and passed several cars. He worked his way up to get into 2nd behind Bill Shearer in his CRX. Just then an idiot in a ITB VW came up from behind and dive bomded him going into turn 2. Dick just let him go thinking he would be gone on the straightaway. Surprisingly half way down the straight Dick caught him, pulled out and passed him before turn 6. Dick was on the outside so he drove around turn six and headed for the esses. Just them the VW tanked him in the right rear bumper with his front left wheel and his front bumper knocked off the valve stem from Dick's right rear wheel. That sent Dick into a tire wall and left him with a flat tire. Dick re-started the car and pulled it back onto the track. He knew he needed 7 laps for a finish so he limped the car around for one more lap before pulling into the pits. He officially finished in 4th place. That was because the 5th ITC car which was a Ford Fiesta got to the end of the straight and found absolutely no brakes. He launched the car over the grass and into the gravel trap. He sustained some damage but was OK.
On Sunday they reconfigured the track for the Pro course without turns 2 & 3. We disconnected the MSD ignition on Kevins car to see if it was a problem or what it added to the cars abilities. Kevin grabbed the pole again and lead the entire race from start to finish. Most people don't know how hard it is to run out and front for the whole race without losing your concentration. Kevin did a great job of driving the car all weekend even though it was still running slow.
UPDATE: We found the car was down by 23 horsepower due to a timing problem and got it fixed before the ARRC. We just didn't spend any time on this car this year.
Dick qualified 3rd of the 4 ITC cars left in the race. All four cars were together on grid and at the start. Dick had a good start and was right in the middle of the ITC group but very soon found he could not stay with them. For some reason the car just did not have the power to stay with the other three cars like it did the day before. Dick ran a good race but finished 4th.
|Another Pole and Another 2nd Place at Grattan||Monday, August 10, 2009|
|We took the FP Integra to Grattan raceway as a final tuneup before the Runoffs, and to cement Kevin's claim to the Great Lakes Division FP Championship. We did not expect to do well here relative to the smaller more nimble cars since this is definetly a turning track, not a horsepower track. Saturday morning it was raining so we finally got to take the car out in a wet setup on the rain tires. The car ran well, but fog on the inside of the windshield was a real problem.
The afternoon qualifying session was dry so Kevin went out on the dry setup. We were both surprised to see he had set the fastest time in the run group - faster than both Lotus Super Sevens and faster than all the EProd cars. That meant he started on the overall pole, but he knew it would be difficult to keep the S7s behind him for 23 laps - much less the fast EP cars. He had a great start and pulled a small gap between him and Peter Morton who was in 2nd in his S7. Joe Walker had a carb issue with his S7 and had to pull in to fix it. Kevin stayed in the lead for 3 laps before he was passed by Peter. As he was following him over the "jump" he must have not hit it square so when the car came down it bucked sideways and off the track. Due to the massive amount of rain the night before, the area he went into was very wet. Apparantly the shift linkage was in the mud so he could not get the car in 1st. He finally managed reverse gear and backed out of the mess after being there for over 90 seconds. He got back on the track and charged up through the field. He actually managed to get all the way back to 2nd place before the end of the race. Not bad losing to the track record holder on Hoosiers on their 2nd race.
By placing second in this race Kevin has won the Great Lakes Division FP championship in his very first year in the class. This also has moved him into 4th place in the FP National points in the country. Both links can be found in the links button above.
|We suck at IT Festival||Monday, August 3, 2009|
|Well maybe we didn't suck but we could have won the damn thing and we didn't even come close. First of all we didn't bother to put the HyTech header back on the car so it could only manage a 4th place in Saturdays race after qualifying 3rd. Then Sunday morning after we did put the good header back on the car it was raining. In this car with Kevin driving that means we win - but we didn't even finish. Kevin jumped out to a huge lead and was running away with it when the window fogged. Even though we knew this would happen and how to prevent it we didn't bother to take care of it. He ran off the track once and was working his way back to the lead when he ran it off on the beach at the end of the back straight. He had the fastest lap time in the race by nearly two seconds but finished 24th.....and that means he started 24th in the longer race that afternoon. The car ran great in spite of being pushed off the track by a rookie in a Miata (gee there's a surprise) at the start of the race. Kevin surged up through the field like it was his job. He got right up to sixth behind Bob & Joey Moser, Joe Dimino, Marc Cefalo, and Tom Hoppe. He was much faster than the last three in the corners but could not stay with them in the straights. That was very odd since our Integra should be the fastest car in the class in the straights. The car kept running worse and worse in the straights and started to sputter on the last half of the last lap, and finally died on the cool down lap. We think it was a bad distributor but we haven't diagnosed it yet to find out.
Oh well, it was only our first time out with this car since it won the ARRC last November, and we did extensive repairs to the car over Winter, and we said we were only doing this race for fun since we have dedicated this year to the new FP car. It was great to be back with the IT group and just have fun. The Cinci group put on a great race with more cars entered in A and C then normally even come to the ARRC. The event could continue to grow every year into THE premier IT race of the year.
UPDATE: We found the ITA Integra was down 23 horsepower due to a timing problem, and found the distributor had indeed crapped out at the end of the race. We got this fixed for the ARRC race.
On a brighter note, our 1992 Civic was driven in the ITC race by Cory Parrish. He qualified 11th of 14 ITC cars with a 1:58.2 Saturday morning. Then he finished Saturdays race 8th with a time of 1:51.9. On Sunday morning he finished 4th in class with a 1:51.5. Sunday afternoon he finished the race in 2nd place behind Vesa Silegren with a best time of 1:49.5. WOW, that's improvement in a very short time.
|Another 2nd place at the Cat National||Sunday, July 26, 2009|
|The two weeks leading up to this race was hectic to say the least. We replaced to right rear wheel bearing that was getting a bit loose, we added parts to better allow us to adjust the camber in the front wheels, we decided to change the spring rate on the rear of the car, we found a blown shock on the left rear, we found some rear subframe welds had separated, and we also realized we didn't have any of the special oil filters that this car uses. Then on Monday we decided to switch to Hoosier tires and after rushing to get them in time and trying to get them mounted, we found out that nobody can mount them except Hoosier - they are that STIFF.
When we got to the track we made a mess changing the oil & filter, and then damaged the splitter and air damn by driving it on the trailer, even though we had done this many times before. Then we broke welds on the mounting brackets for the splitter after we took it off to repair it. We are pretty good at scrambling when we need to so we got it all repaired and took the car out for the practice session friday morning to temper the new Hoosier C3000 slicks and the car ran pretty well.
We were going to try out the radial Hoosier DOT tires on the car in the afternoon qualifying session but rain threatened so we did not attempt to make the complicated change to the car without knowing for sure we could run them. We ended up running he old Goodyear slicks with the new setup and it ran well for three laps. Then Kevin radioed in to say there was something wrong with the front of the car and he brought it in. We quickly found that the front left wheel bearing had turned to dust. We had spares for the ITA Integra which are close but not exactly the same. With help from the Garmin we called all over and finally found Advance Auto in Sheboygan who said they could have the bearing by the next morning. Then we hunted to find someone that had the hydraulic press and tools to install the bearing, and was open on Saturday - which we did.
By 10 am we had it all back together and ready to run. We left the old Goodyears on and went out for the second qualifying session. The car ran well again but Kevin just couldn't find open track long enough to improve his time from the 1st session. That left him in 3rd place behind Sargis in his Triumph and Wessel in his Datsun.
At race time we strapped on the new tempered Hoosiers and went out to see if the car would handle better than it had in the past and to see if it would keep performing and not go away after 30 minutes of racing. Overall Kevin started 7th, Wessel was 6th and Sargis was 3rd. The rest of the grid was made up of EProd cars. The 4th place FProd car started 17th. Wessel got the best start and shot up the outside of the group and past Sargis who pulled in behind him. Kevin decided to follow several EProd cars up the inside of turn one and passed Sargis between turns 3 and 5. Kevin followed Wessel and the pack down the back straight in a train which made for very fast speeds. Kevin moved his brake point to compensate for the higher speeds but Wessel and the EProd RX7 he was following did not. They both had to lock them up in Canada corner and Wessel contacted him in the back. The RX7 gathered it up and continued but Wessel spun as Kevin passed him for the lead. The rear wheel drive Triumphs are known for handling rather than raw power so Kevin was surprised to see Sargis walk past him up the hill and down the main straight. After that Sargis got into some open track and poured it on. He broke his own track record by over a tenth second in his new car. Kevin was happy to find the Integra with the new Hoosiers was quite consistent right up to the last few laps. Other drivers had said the track got a bit greasy probably due to the oil dropped by the British cars. Kevin finished nearly 14 seconds behind Sargis and nearly 40 seconds in front of Wessel to take another second place finish.
Before this race Kevin was in the points lead of the Great Lakes Division FP Championship. His lead should be even greater now.
|Another Overall Pole but 2nd Place Finish||Sunday, July 12, 2009|
|We decided to race the FP Integra at Gingerman since it was on the way home from Oshkosh where we had just completed the June Sprints and spend a few weeks vacationing at the Lake House. It had been years since we have done a race without even removing the car from the trailer from the last race. It is always a bit nerve racking if we can't put the car up on the lift and give it a thorough check out.
Anyway, we headed over to Gingerman for the first time in two years and for the first time in the new FP Integra. On Friday night it rained for about 4 hours just before daylight. By the time it was our turn to go out for our first qualifying session it was still a bit damp. That suited Kevin just fine as he qualified 2.6 seconds faster than anyone else in the run group. By the afternoon qualifying session it was sunny and beautiful. That suited Kevin too as he captured the overall pole position over Joe Walker in his Super7 and Sam Halkias in his EP TR6. The next FP car was Larry Funk in his CRX in 5th.
The race was started Sunday morning at 9:15 with cool air of 65 degrees. The Integra likes cool air so Kevin blasted to turn one with a commanding lead. He held the lead and pulled away for 12 laps. That was when the Goodyear tires again decided to melt away. First Joe Walker passed Kevin for the lead in FP and then Sam Halkias passed Kevin in his EP car. The CRX of Larry Funk was in the hunt for several laps until he spun off and broke something. Third place in FP was captured by John Walker in his MG.
Sooner or later we are going to have to sort out this tire problem. This weekend we tryed a harder compound on the rears to try to keep the car turning later in the race. First it made the car scary loose in the first few laps, then it was OK, then they just went away and the car pushed like crazy. We are considering going back to Hoosiers.
|Pole Position and Fastest FP lap at June Sprints||Sunday, June 21, 2009|
|This was our first June Sprints and our first trip to Road America with the new FP Integra. Kevin owns the track record there in his ITA Integra but driving the FP car was very different. It had also been three years since Kevin had been to Road America. Taking all this into account we were expecting to finish top ten, hoping to finish top five, and would have been very happy with a podium finish in our first June Sprints.
Friday morning we took the car out for the first time in our practice session along with 60 or so other cars. Kevin gradually increased his speed and ran two laps in the 2:38's. His last lap he turned in a 2:36.70 which put him 9th overall and 3rd in FP behind Carpenter (2:35.548) and Sargis (2:35.267).
Later that day we took the car out for its first official qualifying session. Kevin got to grid very early so he went out first. Unfortunately with over 60 cars, by the time he got the car moving well he had caught up to a plethora of slower cars all over the track. He never got a clean lap and only turned in a 2:36.846 which placed him 10th overall and 3rd in class again behind Carpenter (2:35.577 Integra) and Sargis (2:35.988 Triumph Spitfire). Close behind him was Bill Wessel(2:36.898 Datsun SP1311).
After raining Friday evening we woke up to a beautiful cool Saturday morning - just what the Integra likes. Kevin really wanted to complete a lap in the 2:35s. In his first lap at speed he ran a 2:37.63. On his 2nd lap he turned in a 2:34.819 for the pole position in FP and the fastest FP lap of the weekend. In 2nd behind Kevin was Carpenter (2:35.442), Wessel (2:35.816), Sargis (2:36.191), and Prill (2:36.489).
By race time it was going to be quite warm - near 90. We knew the Integra would tighten up at those temperatures so we decided to try a setup on the car had we had never done before. After all, this was still just a warm-up race for the runoffs and we needed to know what would happen. Kevin and Mark decided they would run together to put some distance between them and the 3 other fast FP cars. That worked pretty well as they did open a gap in the first two laps. Unfortunately Kevin did not have the condfidence in the car setup to enable him to run it hard without at least testing its capabilities. Carpenter on the other hand was quite condifident with his cars abilites so he quickly passed Kevin and proceeded to run away from Kevin with lap times 1 to 2 seconds faster. Both Sargis and Wessel came quite close to Kevin before Wessel's Datsun started spewing oil on the track. The oil eventually took out Wessel and Sargis' Triumph in turn five. Kevin drove the car consistantly to stay well in front of the Lotus driven by Prill.
We were very happy to finish 2nd behind a great car and great driver at our first ever June Sprints and only our 3rd National race with our new car. Had the car ran this well we believe we would have won both of our first two races.
The June Sprints was a fun race but it is still quite different from IT racing. We found out again what people told us was true. Production racing is a lot about dodging very slow back marker cars, watching for parts falling off cars, and above all trying not to drive through pools of oil left by broken cars strewn on the side of the track at almost every corner.
Also one more complaint................ This was our 11th year of racing with well over 200 races under our belt and it was the very first time we had been to a race where no driver/crew dinner was provided. The dinner is the place where you meet people and talk about all things racing. It is just not right to not have it.
Maybe the Chicago region couldn't afford to have the dinner? After all with nearly 600 cars @ $330 each, and $75 for a paddock spot they only took in roughly $240,000 and the track probably cost them $75,000................yeah they couldn't afford it.
|3rd Place at Mid Ohio National||Monday, June 1, 2009|
|For the second time Kevin was in the lead of a National Race and came away without the win.
This was our first race at Mid Ohio with the new F Production Integra. We had made numerous changes to it since its last race four weeks ago. All of the changes and upgrades worked well but the car still did not have the cornering ability that it needs to beat the nimble Lotus Super Sevens and Mazda Miatas at this track.
Kevin qualified 2nd to a Lancia in the morning session with a 1:40.984 while tempering a new set of Goodyear tires. In the afternoon qualifying session Kevin was scrubbing in another new set of Goodyears and could not find a clear section of track without traffic to get a good run. Meanwhile a Lotus Super Seven jumped in front of his time to push him to third place in FP just in front of Division Champ Mason Workman in his Miata.
Kevin started the race in 3rd place in FP and 6th overall. By the end of the first lap he emerged first in FP and 3rd overall. After John Schmidt's EP Prelude engine blew up and the resulting oil slick took out Sam Halkias, Kevin found himself in first in FP and second overall with a commanding lead of at least 12 seconds over the next FP car. Then, as is apparantly fairly normal in Production racing, they threw a full course yellow and then black flagged the race while the corner crews cleaned up messes in several places on the track. That allowed Workman, Walker and Strittmater to bunch up right behind Kevin for the restart of the race. Kevin had a good restart and held off the more nimble cars with his more powerful Integra for 5 more laps before being passed by Walker & Workman. The combination of the suspension setup with the Goodyear tires just wasn't quite right yet to allow the Integra to get around the corners the way it needs to. Kevin finished the race in 3rd place behind Workman in 2nd with a fastest lap of only 1:41.156. Walker won the race in his Lotus and managed to break the track record with a 1:39.449 while chasing Kevin down for the lead. The spectators were treated to a great race put on by great drivers.
We were disappointed again for not winning but we don't feel too bad since it was our first race at Mid Ohio with the new car. Rest assured we will go back to the drawing board and engineer some improvements to the car that will get us up to the front.
Update: we found the new trailing arms we installed in the car were allowing a great deal of rear tire rub in the corners which contributed to the car not wanting to turn.
|FP Integra Receives Numerous Upgrades||Monday, May 18, 2009|
|Since it's first outing at Indy, the FP Integra has been on the lift either getting modifications or being poured over to try to understand how it was put together. So far here is what we will have done on the car before the next race.
- New six point seat belts installed with Isaac Head & Neck restraints
- New Ultrashield seat installed
- Double brake lights installed
- Six new hood/rear hatch captured hood pins installed
- Steering wheel quick disconnect installed
- Installed ball joint safety washers
- Remove all old numbers, stickers, etc.
- Complete new paint job with new color scheme
- New graphics, numbers, etc.
- Baseline dyno taken
- ECU program downloaded and backed up
- ECU re-programmed for more power/torque and smoother response
- Denso spark plugs installed
- All new liquids & filters
- New electric radiator fan installed auto or manual with indicator
- New Cold air/Wet air convertable inlet installed
- Engine compression ratio checked with Whistler - not completed
- Injectors blueprinted - not completed
- New Raxle racing half shafts installed
- Rear trailing arm center urethane bushings replaced with offset spherical
- Front ball joint spherical bearings replaced with higher grade teflon for higher strength and easier operation
- Stock front roll bar installed
- Front lower stabilizer bar replaced
- Rear lower stabilizer bar installed
- All motor mounts replaced
- Remove old air damn and bumper
- Install new air damn/splitter/bumper/rear wing
- Set corner weights, toe in, camber, ride height
- Install aluminum wheel spacers
- New Goodyear tires
- New transponder installed
- Traq Mate system installed
- Brake circuits reconfigured and rear brake bias valve installed
- New front rotors and new Cobalt pads
- New Rear rotors and new Hawk pads
- All new Castrol Synthetic LMA fluid
- All new speed bleeder fittings
- The defroster system was removed
- The driver cooler system was removed
- Rear side window holes plugged
|Our First National Race in the FP Integra||Monday, May 4, 2009|
|We had lots of expectations for this weekend. First we expected it to be a very wet weekend with rain every day. Second we expected to find the Track at Indy to be rough as always. Third, even though we poured over the new Integra in the previous weeks and made numerous modifications to the car, we expected it to present us with some problems - the first time out in any car is always tricky. Fourth, since we had so much to learn about setting up the car with the double adjustable shocks, the Goodyear slicks, etc. we expected the car to not really threaten the competition in its first outing.
We showed up at the track Friday evening in a downpour. ALL of the grass areas were flooded swamps. Having gotten our previous RV stuck at this very track some years ago, we absolutely refused to drive onto any grass. So as a last resort, we and three other RV's parked on the pavement right along the fence next to the pit area. To our surprise nobody seemed to mind all weekend. To our great surprise we woke up to mostly sunny skys and roughly 70 degrees for the next two days - perfect weather.
The track did not dissapoint. It was not great to begin with, but the saturation from the rain also took its toll. The bumps in turn one & two were epic and there was a new bump at the exit of the horseshoe. The pavement in turn seven was so bad that it started to break up in chunks and forced them to put out cones so you would drive around the worse spots. The only reason we didn't break another windshield is because this car has a plexiglass windshield and we didn't drive many laps following cars closely.
As far as the car went, it was pretty damn good. Our very first session with the car on Saturday morning was a practice for the National race and qualifying for those cars entered in the Regional race. After a warm up lap Kevin got on the gas and on his very first hot lap in this car promptly drove it off before turn 15. Apparently these brake pads need a bunch of heat in them to work well. Rather than take a chance of smacking the concrete wall, Kevin wisely decided to take the escape route when the brakes didn't grab like he expected them to. After getting back on the track and running a total of 10 laps, Kevin turned in a 1:49.470. That was 1.3 seconds slower than Mason Workman in his FP Miata. Mason is the Great Lakes Division Champion in F Production so he was a great gauge for us. That time was also one tenth of a second SLOWER than the ITA track record that Kevin set at this track in his ITA Integra three years ago.
For the Regional race Kevin was the only FP car and was on the overall poll. There were four ITA cars, a couple Spec Racer Fords, a couple H Production cars, and several slower cars like IT7 and ITC. Kevin led start to finish and lapped over half the field before he backed off and cruised to the win. Before he backed off he managed to turn in a 1:47.997 which was 1.5 seconds faster than he had qualified earlier.
The last session of Saturday was qualifying for Sunday's National race. After changing our tire strategy, repairing a couple leaks, and trying another different setting on the shocks, Kevin went out to try to go faster. After 11 total laps he turned in a 1:47.765 which was a couple of tenths faster than before. That put him 2nd in FP and 4th overall behind Sam Halias in his EP Triumph(1.45.218), John Schmidt in his EP Prelude Si(1.46.456), and Mason Workman's FP Miata(1.46.716).
On Sunday after making several more repairs/modifications, changing our tire strategy again, and adjusting the shocks again we went out for our first National race. This race would finally tell us where our car stood relative to 3 very well prepared cars. We started the race along side Mason and right behind John Schmidt. To Kevin's delight he pulled the Miata all the way down to turn one and stayed pretty close to the very powerful Prelude. That told us that the engine was pretty good even though we had yet to add several improvements. The first several laps were fun to watch. Mason was super fast in turns one & two, while Kevin and John were faster in the straights, and Kevin was faster than both of them in the back turns of the track. On the 3rd lap Mason drove his car off in turn six where the runoff is extremely rough. We found out later that Mason broke a control arm on his Miata with that excursion. That left Kevin in 3rd overall and 1st in FP. The other FP car was way back turning in laps well over 2 minutes. Kevin chased John closely for the next 5 laps before he felt a vibration - one he had felt before in his ITA car - a bad half shaft. Since he had to complete 9 of the 18 laps for an offical finish he limped the car around and over the start/finish one more time and pulled it off in turn one. That handed the win to Lee Feineigle in his Datsun 1600 with a fastest race lap of 2:05.288, and Kevin in Second with a fastest lap of 1:46.788. Mason got a DNF with a fastest lap of 1:47.862. Actually our in-car data logger had our fastest lap at 1:46.111 which was the fastest FP lap of the weekend.
Needless to say, it was a great first weekend for our new car. Over the next four weeks before our race at Mid Ohio, we'll pull the engine out of the car and disassemble it to make sure it is completely legal. We'll also add our own modifications to the engine and to many other systems on the car.
|Schools and race completed||Monday, April 27, 2009|
|Bob Lawrence and Corey Parrish completed the requirements of 2 schools and their first race towards an SCCA racing license. Each were on track for 10 sessions in the two school days and 2 sessions on Sundays race. Although there were numerous spins, neither driver hit anything in the total of 24 sessions on track.
On Friday both drivers spun their cars in the very first session on track. Fortunately neither were going fast enough yet to hurt anything. Bob started out with the fastest lap, then Corey set the fastest lap, then Bob set a x:xx.xx fastest lap.
On Saturday the trend continued with both drivers surpassing there own fastest laps and leapfrogging the other. The fastest lap of the weekend was set by Corey with a 1:30.100 which is a very respectable ITC lap time. Bob's fastest lap was a x:xx.xx. These are great times considering how few dry session they got to run.
Although it rained off and on Saturday, on Sunday we woke up to a flooded paddock from continuous downpours all night long. Fortunately we have experienced hard rain before and were smart enough to park the RV just off the gravel road on a high spot in the grass. The first thing we did was move the cars to the road and install the rain tires, then we moved the RV up onto the gravel road. Neither driver had experienced the rain tires in the previous two days because we wanted them to experience a wet track with dry tires. Both drivers went out for qualifying. Corey finished the session with a first place time in ITC. Bob spun off into a huge mud hole on the second lap and could not escape the mud without help from a tow truck. That left Bob in 3rd place in ITC behind Corey and a Ford Fiesta.
As the rain continued both drivers knew they just had to keep it on the track and finish the race for their license and they did just that. Both got loose a few times anmd Bob came very close to kissing the Armco wall in turn 3d, but they both finished the race. Corey finished in first and Bob in second.
|New Tow Vehicle/Motorhome||Wednesday, March 25, 2009|
|Today Ruck Racing purchased a 2006 Fleetwood Discovery motorhome. It will be used to tow the 10,000 lb 30 foot Dawson race trailer with two race cars. It's best features are a 330hp/860ft-lb Caterpillar C7 diesel engine with a 6 speed Allison transmission. It came from the factory with a 10,000 lb trailer hitch and tons of other goodies like:
- 2 channel rear back up camera
- engine block heater
- retarder transmission brake system for the mountains
- 7,500 watt diesel genrator with auto/timed start system
- air brake and suspension system
- 56 degree turning angle
- 3 slide out sections
- 2 elecric canopies with auto retract wind sensor
- remote control external spotlight
- air horns
- front stone chip guard bra
- external entertainment system
- hydraulic jack system with automatic leveling
- satelite dish with automatic aiming
- 4 house batteries with a 2000 watt inverter
- 2 engine batteries with a 160 amp alternator
- 8-way electric ajustable front leather chairs with recline and heat
- full queen size leather hide-a-bed sofa with air mattress
- full kitchen table converts to bed
- combination convection microwave oven
- Corian counter tops with 3 burner cook top
- gas oven
- 80 gallon fresh water system with 50 gal black & Grey holding tanks
- full size shower
- porcelain toilet with rinse wand
- 10 gallon electric/gas water heater
- 4 door large refridgerator with water dispensor and ice maker
- two powered roof vents with 3 speed fans
- queen size sleep number bed
- large mirrored closet
- front & rear air conditioning and heat systems
- roof mounted solar panel for battery charging
|FOR SALE 1998 FORD CUSTOM VAN||Wednesday, January 28, 2009|
|1998 Ford E150 custom van with 4.6L V8 engine, Automatic trans with overdrive
- Class 3 trailer hitch receiver with built in electronic trailer brake control
- 4 wheel ABS (antilock brake system)
- full length, fibreglass, color coordinated, running boards with steps
- electric windows, mirrors, and locks
- tilt steering wheel with cruise controls
- front and rear Air Cond and heat
- six way electric drivers seat
- overhead light and power console
- seats 7/8, with 4 captains chairs and fold down bench/bed
- fully carpeted and insulated
- built in 12V hand vacuum
- middle seats and rear bench easily removable for hauling
- AM/FM/ Cassette front and rear
- Television overhead with VCR for watching movies and game hookup
- pleated privacy blinds throughout with 3 screened sliding windows
- only 85,000 miles mostly all highway
- alloy wheels with brand new Goodyear Triple Tread tires
- A/C system just checked and recharged works perfectly
- new front ball joints, brake rotors, wheel bearings
- IN GREAT CONDITION AND EVERYTHING WORKS
We love this van but we just don't use it anymore. We bought it new in 1998 with a sticker price of $31,430. It is the best way to travel on highway trips especially with children, or for large groups (up to eight or more) in town. It rides like a dream and can get over 17 mpg on the highway. It has a few small dings but overall it's in great shape. Oil & filter was changed religiously with Mobile One synthetic. I have all maintenance records. The van was always kept inside as can be seen in the pictures.
|FOR SALE ITS Honda Prelude Si||Friday, January 16, 2009|
|Current Mid Ohio ITS Track Record holder (1:42.588)
Ruck Racing Engine
- 2.3L “big bore” engine
- .040” overbore
- ARP hardware
- Full IT race prepared head
- HyTech header featuring merge collector and anti-reversion chambers
- Compression ratio increased to legal maximum of 10.3
- Chipped ECU, tuned with “Chrome” by Dave Blundell, the creator of Chrome
- Fluidyne Aluminum radiator
- Remote oil filter & Mocal oil cooler, SS steel lines and AN fittings throughout
- All Skunk2 aluminum pulleys
- Baffled aluminum oil pan
- OPM limited slip differential
- Dyno sheet available on request – makes good power, and ridiculous torque
- Engine is still fresh and uses little oil - great leakdown and compression numbers
- 1.75” X .095” DOM eight point roll cage, fully gusseted and hidden in-dash bar
- NASCAR bars in both doors
- Entire ABS system removed with custom lines throughout and in-cab bias controller
- Team Tech safety belts and window net
- Aluminum bottle Halon fire suppression system
- Autometer electric gauges – water temp, oil temp, oil pressure
- Momo steering wheel
- Momo FIA seat with Momo mounts and sliders
- Kill switch mounted within reach of the driver
- Koni yellow double adjustable shocks with Ground Control coil-overs
- Shocks recently dyno’d and healthy
- Eibach springs
- Spherical bearings in the radius rods and front lower control arms
- Energy Suspension polyurethane bushings everywhere else
- Stock front sway bar and Neuspeed tower bar
- Neuspeed Race rear sway bar
Wheels – all 15”x7”
- 4 Kosei K1’s and 4 Revolution’s, with Hoosier 225/45R15 R6’s in various condition
- 4 alloy wheels with Hoosier Dirt Stocker rain tires in great condition
- 4 brand new, unmounted Hoosier 225/45R15 R6’s
Spares that go with car
- 1 transmission
- 2 complete heads
- Hawk brake pads & rotors
- Distributors, starters, alternators, intake manifolds, throttle bodies, etc – bring a truck
- Fenders, bumper skins, corner lights, and hood
We have had this car since spring of 2002. The chassis itself has been a racecar its entire life, originally built, maintained, and raced as an SSA car by Sean Passen and his former World Challenge team Passen/Hikari Motorsports. It has never seen anything to cause a spec of rust on it and has never had any major accidents, whatsoever. It’s a very clean and straight chassis.
We never really fully campaigned this car, as it’s really only seen track duty 1-3 times a year since we’ve had it. But in that time we’ve made a lot of improvements to it, it’s won a lot of races, and set a couple of track records. It is in fact the current ITS record holder at Mid Ohio, set during the IT Fest and in a race where it beat two-time ARRC ITS Champion Rob Huffmaster. In 2007 we brought the car to the ARRC where it was running 2nd behind Huffmaster with our teammate Brian Ehmer driving the car. Unfortunately a rear wheel bearing let go on the last lap, stealing that finish from us. In seven seasons with this car, that’s one of the only DNF’s it’s ever had.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this car can be a front runner at any track it goes to, and if someone put just a little more time and development into it, it could contend for an ARRC Championship. I have seriously thought about doing it myself, but my development of my ITA Integra over the past five years has taken all of my time, and my future desires/plans are taking me in another direction right now. Honestly, those “future desires” are the only reason we’re looking to sell this car (i.e. money and shop space). I’d love to see it go to someone who will continue to race it, develop it, and win with it. It’s a great, reliable car that’s fun to drive. I’ve been saying it for a while now, but why anyone continues to build Integra GSR’s for ITS instead of the H23 powered Prelude, I don’t know. It’s 35lbs lighter (2555lbs vs 2590lbs), has better braking, has larger front-end components, makes about the same power, and has crap-tons more torque. It goes like stink in a straight line, and handles pretty damn good too. Anyone under 200lbs will make the legal weight in this car. We are asking $13,500 for this car and all of its spares. That is negotiable.
2008 Great Lakes Division ITA Champion
2008 ARRC ITA Champion
2008 ITA Triple Crown Champion