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jimwheeler
04-24-2006, 09:46 AM
Jim Stevens and Ted Johnson (in my Firebird) had a great battle in the national at MAM. Nose to tail, pretty much the whole race. Ted took the win and Jim set fast lap. Ted had the pole with a super quick 1.40.403 (Kyle Watkins' lap record is 1.41.607). Jim had a problem getting tires in time and was forced to qualify on a different brand than the set-up on his Firebird called for. This put him second on the grid in AS, but with 6 other cars between them, mostly EP cars.
He made short work of some of them and some of them moved around Ted, so it was a 1.5 second gap for a number of laps. Jim dropped a couple of wheels in the grass coming onto the long straight and the lead increased to about 5 seconds and that's where it ended.
Jeff Kopp, (who had a great race on Saturday, spinning while passing for the lead and then fighting back several spots by the checker), had a race-long chase of Carey Grant for third, with Carey taking it.

Full results http://www.mylaps.com/results/showevent.jsp?id=126757

Great fun for me to watch, but I had just blown up the engine in the Spec Miata in morning qualifying, so it was a roller coaster day for me in spirit.
Poor baby went up in a big fireball followed by a spin into dust, smoke and fire. I was very glad all the SM cars behind me managed to stay on the track despite my oil slick, as they would surely have really ruined my day since I had to get out of the car in a hurry to put out the fire.
wheel

t4wallace
04-24-2006, 02:10 PM
Great update Jim.

Congrats Ted.

Condolences on the engine. Just gave me a flashback. :eek:

Let us know how many Miata engines it takes before you cross the AS $$$ threshhold.

TW

jkopp
04-24-2006, 04:28 PM
What a great weekend for racing! Great weather and great racers!

Everytime I knock a few tenths off my lap times everyone else does too http://www.asedan.net/forums/images/smilies/wink.gif. I decided to run the Regional Saturday since Kumho pays up to $300 in Kumho bucks for a Regional win and even $200 and $100 for 2nd and 3rd respectively. I withdrew from the Mid-Am Regional Championship before the weekend so I wouldn't mess up the points chase for the guys racing for that points race. I was having fun after starting 4th and passing for the lead on the 3rd lap. Unfortunately, I was so excited about my pass in the braking zone that I forgot about the turn right afterwards http://www.asedan.net/forums/images/smilies/biggrin.gif. Nice big spin off into the grass followed by a beautiful finishing move - 1st to 5th in a blink of the eye. I had a lot of fun moving back up to 3rd even though the position I got from Carey was a gimme since he pulled off early.

The National was a blast as well. The start was crazy with AS and EP cars everywhere. I kept my distance and got through the first couple corners fine. Beacom gave me a bump from behind at the exit of 3 but I recovered and he apologized after the race - no harm done. Lap after lap I tried to reel Carey in but it seemed like we were running almost identical lap times. I made up a bunch of ground the last two laps but I suspect Carey was easing up a bit since things were winding down. The GT1 cars did a good job getting by me the couple times they came around this weekend - thank you. It's amazing how much quicker the laps click by when you're working to get by someone or hold a lead as compared to when you're just running by yourself. Congradulations to Ted Johnson on the win!

I have to say that I was quite happy with the performance of the V710's. I've read mixed reviews on them for AS type cars. I was running fairly low cold pressures since that's what seems to work best for us on the T1 car. They would take a few laps to come in but seemed consistent throughout the remainder of the sessions. Two of my three fastest lap times in the National race were my last two laps.

Well, my next race is the National at HPT in June. If everything goes as planned, the #36 Camaro will have a new look. I hope we see a BUNCH of cars there. It sure is a lot more fun that way.

Later!
-Kopp

SedanMan
04-24-2006, 05:29 PM
I hope we see a BUNCH of cars there. It sure is a lot more fun that way.
Later!
-KoppHey Jeff, any AS rental cars available for either the National or Regionals in June at HPT? The folks at Hertz aren't returning my phone calls.... ;)

socalta
04-24-2006, 05:42 PM
Hertz, Avis .. the word is out on you Bill. ;)

Ted Johnson
04-24-2006, 07:37 PM
Great update Jim.

Congrats Ted.

Condolences on the engine. Just gave me a flashback. :eek:

Let us know how many Miata engines it takes before you cross the AS $$$ threshhold.

TW

Thanks Tom,Jorge, and Jeff, I had a great weekend. Jim Stevens made me work hard for it but the EP cars played a factor in our race and thats not right. It worked in my favor but thats not what racing is about to me. Thanks to Wheeler for giving me a car that was as perfect (in my opinion) as an AS car can be. And I didn't have to worry about the brake pedal going to the floor or fading built my confidence immeasureably.

Ted

92AS
04-24-2006, 08:26 PM
Congratulations to Ted on a great drive to his first National win. I had a birds-eye view for a few laps and he never set a wheel wrong. Very smooth and fast. Making it even more impressive was the fact that it was an extremely greasy track.

Nice job, Ted!

Jim Stevens
1st Loser-MAM

Ted Johnson
04-24-2006, 09:26 PM
Congratulations to Ted on a great drive to his first National win. I had a birds-eye view for a few laps and he never set a wheel wrong. Very smooth and fast. Making it even more impressive was the fact that it was an extremely greasy track.

Nice job, Ted!

Jim Stevens
1st Loser-MAM

Thanks Jim. A great effort for you not running your tire of choice. Your car was not at its full potential.

Ted

SedanMan
04-25-2006, 12:57 AM
Congratulations Ted! So how do you and Jim decide who drives the AS car? If it's his car and you put in a performance like that, maybe it will become less available all of a sudden......lol.

Nah, I'm sure you and he have your way of working all that out, but I think it's great that you got your first National victory, especially against what sounds like some good competition. Congrats too on showcasing what the Precision brakes can do.

socalta
04-25-2006, 08:45 AM
Great job Ted ....must be a good feeling ....well deserved I am sure

socalta
04-25-2006, 08:46 AM
Jeff ...

Looks like you do a pretty darn good job driving ...excellent recovery .. would love to see that on film

t4wallace
04-25-2006, 10:10 AM
Thanks Tom,Jorge, and Jeff, I had a great weekend. Jim Stevens made me work hard for it but the EP cars played a factor in our race and thats not right. It worked in my favor but thats not what racing is about to me. Thanks to Wheeler for giving me a car that was as perfect (in my opinion) as an AS car can be. And I didn't have to worry about the brake pedal going to the floor or fading built my confidence immeasureably.

Ted
EP cars, or in my opinion, any cars on slicks make it difficult to coexist. I've had issues with slow GT2 and GT3 cars too many times to count.

And I know your pain Jim, I've been first loser to Ted. I expect that list to grow.

Maybe we can start a groupie cult :D

TW

jimwheeler
04-25-2006, 10:32 AM
I requested a split start from the Chief Steward at MAM. We all have had problems with mixing cars with identical lap times, some on slicks and some on DOT's. Sunday was no exception. I don't know if it figured in the finishing order, but that is not the point. With a split start, all the GT and P cars are a third of a lap out when the green flag drops for the AS guys. Jim is right next to Ted, behind a couple of T1 Vettes, and it's game-on without a lot of fiberglass in between. By the time the faster AS cars catch the slower EP cars, everybody has some wiggle room. And, there is little chance of the ASedans catching the fastest EP cars who can have their own race for their class win. Sure, three ASedans in a row may make it interesting passing a slower EP car on lap 3, but it is far better than what happened Sunday and what happened to me at Hallett. (and Jim)

Why they chose to not split it, is beyond me.

Until this season, Ted assignment was to save the car for me to race on Sunday, and still try to win the race. Winning the race was not number one, however. This year his assignment is to win the race. We have two weeks, or more, until the next one to deal with any problems. So far, so good.
wheel

Tim White
04-25-2006, 02:50 PM
As I told Ted after the race, I thought it looked like Jim was driving the car. At least it did when he passed me. For me personally, just happy to have my first National finish since 2001.

Even back where I was the EP cars where a big pain in the ass, I will definitely support an effort for a split start.

t4wallace
04-25-2006, 04:38 PM
We've had mixed results in getting split starts in CenDiv. Sometimes it's done at the request of the GT folks, or even by the SSB folks when we're in their group.

The bigger issue, I think, is where should AS live? I think it needs to live with DOT-tired cars/classes. The addition of T3 might help to split the DOT classes enough to group T1, T2 and AS together and then T3 with the SS classes. Then there are those crazy SMers... Where do you put them?!?! Makes me respect those that make these decisions.

From a CenDiv perspective, participation would put AS/T1/T2 at 20-30 cars combined, depending on the track and the event. Seems like they could coexist as a group. They could, couldn't they...

From my perpective, AS is not liked by GT1 or Touring/SS in CenDiv, so what do I know :confused:

In the end it's still how we racers respect each other on the track that's really the issue. The Runoffs has never been won at a mid-season National. It has been lost though. :eek:

TW

jimwheeler
04-25-2006, 05:11 PM
Sunday they did the split start for the SM T2 T3 SS group and it worked fine. As it was, there were only a hand-full of the other guys and 30+ SM cars. If you just did the T1, T2 and AS cars in Midiv, you would have about 15 cars in the race. That wouldn't work. It really seems to be the best way in this division to group them (GT1, 2, 3, EP and AS). Most of the problems would be solved by splitting them up at the start. The GT1 guys don't seem to care because they are all up front anyway and they check out of Dodge as soon as the flag falls.
GT2 and GT3 and EP are all so close to AS in lap times that we are all mixed up on the grid. That's where the bad things happen.
wheel

jkopp
04-25-2006, 05:22 PM
Out of curiousity, what would be the reason/s to not split start a group like the one being talked about? Certainly they are not saying it won't happen "just because" right? I guess what I am asking is what are the negatives to a split start?

-Kopp

jimwheeler
04-25-2006, 05:46 PM
The negative is that because the first group got the green sometimes the second group will banzai the start, knowing the green has to come out. Then it becomes a paper work deal for the stewards because they have to file against anyone who jumped. Also, very difficult to get the goods on the jumpers if there are about 10 of them. Then they have to decide if they knock them back one spot or one lap. Pretty messy deal.
Of course, they could always throw a full course yellow and slow down the front group. Much simpler for the stewards if they don't have to worry about anything except one green.
Not better for the drivers, just better for the stewards.
wheel

Ted Johnson
04-25-2006, 06:58 PM
http://www.asedan.net/forums/images/smilies/redface.gif Congratulations Ted! So how do you and Jim decide who drives the AS car? If it's his car and you put in a performance like that, maybe it will become less available all of a sudden......lol.


Nah, I'm sure you and he have your way of working all that out, but I think it's great that you got your first National victory, especially against what sounds like some good competition. Congrats too on showcasing what the Precision brakes can do.

My track privileges would be revoked at MAM if I didn't put in a good performance. I do have a home track advantage at MAM. Don't give Wheeler any of those ideas, I'd have to resort to rental car track days like you Bill.

Ted

jkopp
04-25-2006, 07:00 PM
That makes sense. I did think it was a good idea when they put the pace car in front of the SM cars instead of the 4 T2/T3/SS cars in the front group.

Ted Johnson
04-25-2006, 07:05 PM
EP cars, or in my opinion, any cars on slicks make it difficult to coexist. I've had issues with slow GT2 and GT3 cars too many times to count.

And I know your pain Jim, I've been first loser to Ted. I expect that list to grow.

Maybe we can start a groupie cult :D

TW

OK Tom, whatever... I know what the cendiv competition consists of even though I haven't jumped in that mix but once 5 years ago at RA. Pretty intense crowd and I got my butt handed to me.

Ted

t4wallace
04-25-2006, 07:11 PM
I know in the couple of races that I've run with a split start it was "game on" much sooner than normal (negative). But each start really has its own personality.

And I betcha those that jump starts in a split-grid scenario are jumping starts in all cases (full time negative).

The value of a split-start we'd get to race against our class (positive).
But proving to the Stewards in your Region/Division that AS as a group can keep the priviledge might be the challenge if sand gets thrown in the box. I believe all classes are happier if AS is split. But that's from a Cen-Div perspective where 8 AS cars is a small field.

To me, the thing to remember is that it's done correctly at the Runoffs and if we use our heads during the season, it'll all be OK.

I might be wrong. The residual is in the mail Wheel.

TW

t4wallace
04-25-2006, 07:13 PM
OK Tom, whatever... I know what the cendiv competition consists of even though I haven't jumped in that mix but once 5 years ago at RA. Pretty intense crowd and I got my butt handed to me.

Ted
So, you're denying my request for an autograph? :mad:

SedanMan
04-25-2006, 07:15 PM
I guess what I am asking is what are the negatives to a split start?
-KoppThis past weekend there was an interesting event during a split start at Buttonwillow. Some folks in the first group got a bit excited in Turn 1 (slow 90-degree corner about 100 yards past the start/finish flag stand) and brought out a yellow. So when the second group came around they got 2 flags simultaneously......a green and a yellow! How's that for confusing the drivers?

Not sure about other divisions but in SoPac right now there's NO joy from the stewards for passing under a yellow flag. But imagine how amped up people are at the green and how some faster cars have been planning their 'jump start' all during the warmup lap. You think they didn't pass under yellow at the start? Imagine trying to put everyone back in their original order in 100 yards after an aborted start but before the yellow-causing incident at Turn 1.

But in general I like split starts for the other reasons mentioned.

Ted Johnson
04-25-2006, 09:18 PM
As I told Ted after the race, I thought it looked like Jim was driving the car. At least it did when he passed me. For me personally, just happy to have my first National finish since 2001.

Even back where I was the EP cars where a big pain in the ass, I will definitely support an effort for a split start.

Since Frank Safranek, Tim White, and Mark Beacom are the founding members of the Nebraska "Whoomah" gang I got my introduction to AS many years ago with their help. However, not as a driver but as a crew guy who was more than willing to stand on the wall, change tires, and do whatever and cheer my boys on. We would cram into hotel rooms and I'd sleep on the floor and crew for my "HERO DRIVERS". I remember when Wheeler was a "newbie" in AS and started kicking butt right off the bat along with Chris Bernard and Eric Butze. I had hoped to one day get to race with my friends but never thought it would happen. Since Wheeler offered me a co driving opportunity in 2000, the original cast of nebraska AS racers had never taken a green flag and a checkered flag at the same time. This was my other personal assignment this weekend for all of us to be on track together, after 5 years of trying. We came close but Frank Safranek broke a hub on saturday and was unable to make the race for sunday. I think we'll get this extra mission accomplished before the end of this season. I have so many good friends in this class. Without them I wouldn't be racing at all. A national win? Who woulda thunk it.

Thanks guys.

Ted

Ted Johnson
04-25-2006, 09:27 PM
So, you're denying my request for an autograph? :mad:

Geeze, you guys hang out with the GM Corvette team at Sebring, your dad is Mr. Corvette himself, and your asking me for an autograph? Will it get me a ride with the GM team? Hero card is in the mail. You won't be selling it on ebay will you?;)

Ted

Mark Allen
04-26-2006, 05:22 AM
We've had a lot of luck at Grattan when asking for a split start (GT1, GT2, GT3, AS, T1, T2). For those that haven't run there, Grattan has a very very long front straight but turn 1 is about a 110 deg RH corner. The issue was always that the GT cars would blast off at the green and then due to tire temps they'd be really slow in the first corner. AS, T1, T2 would be quicker getting into and through 1 and pass a bunch of GT cars. The front straight is extremely wide and it was not unusual to see cars 4-5 wide and a lot of dirt flying into 1 without a split grid. The backside of the track is pretty tight and that led to some pretty tight quarters until the field sorted out. Plus it got worse when some of the GT cars wouldn't give ground since they knew they'd be faster about 5 corners later.

The Grattan officials have been pretty receptive. What we found works well is going to the steward with more than 1 person, get reps from all / most of the classes, and do it early on saturday (between session 1 and session 2 or at lunch) this gives them time to digest it and to come up with a second pace car if they haven't planned for it. When we've done it this way we've had good luck. The GT guys are easy, they're at the front and they never object to not having us around them when they're racing for position. Another good argument if you're an early run group is tire temp. The earlier in the day it is, the harder it is for the GT guys to heat up their slicks.

The downside is that at your average 2-2.5 mile track the AS drivers will most likely drop 1 additional lap to the GT1 cars. Sometimes this makes no difference but for example in '04 Tom Wallace and I were running nose to tail in 5th and 6th. The 3rd and 4th place cars started having problems and we finished the race with 3rd through 6th within 50 or so feet of each other. Tom and I were big proponents of the split start which ultimately cost us 1 additional lap to GT1 and ultimately cost us 2 positions each in the race.

Ultimately though, I'd trade the two positions for the potential carnage at the start pretty much any day.

Mark

Dawson Motorsports
04-26-2006, 09:52 AM
I'll take a steel car any day over fiberglass. Some of the drivers of GT cars in the SE forget that AS weghs in at 3280lbs., they will banzai a turn in front of you and then stand on the brakes to make the turn, that they were too hot going into trying to catch and pass you. Well, it's somebodies law of weight vs mass thing, oops. There goes the GT car.
Most of the guys we run with down here have been running awhile together, so no big problem, everyone gets along fine.
But, the newer drivers and cars they are allowing in, with there Porsche license or whatever other license, don't have a clue.
Last years Daytona National case in point. Bob Eubanks and myself running thru the tri-oval, door handle to door handle, some newer posche GT-2 on the outside trying to crowd us as we pass him.
Well I breathed the throttle and let Bob go buy me, this old body doesn't heal as good as it used to and I 'm getting tired of the paint work.
But I think the problem is allover the country, which groups run with each other well.
Chuck Dawson

jimwheeler
04-26-2006, 10:06 AM
Personally, I like to run with cars on DOT tires. T1, T2, T3, AS, SSB, SSC.
There is enough difference in the lap times to separate them out and they make their times about the same way. None of them can really out brake the others like a GT car can an ASedan.

I think the SM class has enough cars to run alone or with the SSB and SSC cars. But then, what to do with GT and Production?

wheel

t4wallace
04-26-2006, 11:15 AM
Personally, I like to run with cars on DOT tires. T1, T2, T3, AS, SSB, SSC.
There is enough difference in the lap times to separate them out and they make their times about the same way. None of them can really out brake the others like a GT car can an ASedan.

I think the SM class has enough cars to run alone or with the SSB and SSC cars. But then, what to do with GT and Production?

wheel
So why can't GT and Prod run together more than they do? They're both on slicks and EP & FP are in the AS lap time zone? If I'm a Prod guy, I think that I'd be a little more comfortable about the level of contact that might come from a GT car vs. an AS car.

And to Chuck's point, there is always one GT1 wannabe hot shoe that comes into CenDiv and thinks that his car gives him right of way, even though he's running 6-7 secs. off the pace. They eventually learn to repsect the AS cars, but sometines it takes repairing the carbon kevlar more than once. And we're simply buffing the dull off the bumper cover...

TW

jimwheeler
04-26-2006, 01:28 PM
At Hallet a few years ago I took the entire side off of a GT3 car who got in the middle of a three way train of very close AS cars. I was chasing the leader and the GT3 car pulled to the side and it looked like he was letting us through. The first car went through with me right on his bumper and another car inches behind me. The GT car then got on the gas and went inside me on the little right kink after the left at the tree turn. I never saw him. It didn't seem like much of a hit to me and I only had a few scuff marks and a tire swirl, but everything on the driver's side on his car was just gone. Fortunately, the workers that saw the deal thought he was letting us through, too, so there was no steward's action. He HATES to run with AS cars, but he doesn't get in the middle any more.

wheel

SedanMan
04-26-2006, 01:46 PM
It didn't seem like much of a hit to me and I only had a few scuff marks and a tire swirl.....
wheelYou guys are killin me. Good thing my car ("Betty") can't read all this banter about bumps, scuffs, swirl marks, and dented panels. She's pretty right now but if she knew what kind of neighborhood she'll be visiting this October then she might revolt and do something so she won't have to go.

I guess what Betty doesn't know won't hurt her......but would could hurt her is the other AS kids on the block.

jimwheeler
04-26-2006, 02:19 PM
They used to call the old Firebird the ASedan crack whore. They gave her that name as I came, smoking, to the pre-grid for a national at Topeka. All sorts of little rub marks, etc. Of course, we won that race. The new one is pristine by comparison, but It did get hit at Memphis by an EP car, whose driver apologized after, and it has a little smudge mark from Jim Stevens at Hallet, and the left door is not the one that came on the car, and............
Bring your pretty car on out. We won't lay a fender on her.
wheel

SedanMan
04-26-2006, 02:26 PM
Bring your pretty car on out. We won't lay a fender on her.
wheelFunny!

Sounds like something a Pro would say on that TV show "Pro's versus Joe's" when a Pro wants to bait a Joe into playing.....right before he lays em out cold!

t4wallace
04-26-2006, 03:37 PM
I'm still not sure if Stevens painted his car for the Runoffs last year b/c he wanted to, or b/c I drilled him in the door with "Lucy". Now mind you, Lucy isn't even my woman. She belongs to Ackerman, and he was a "friend" and whored her out to me :eek: so that I could even make the Runoffs in the first place.

I should ask Jim if her woman likes it when she gets rubbed on by another. Ohhhh man, I'm gunna get in trouble for that one. Since I already crossed the line, Danika likes getting bumped from behind.

So, yeah, we promise to be real gentle with Betty. Just remember to never lift and Armorall your tires. She'll learn to like it. :D

TW

jimwheeler
04-26-2006, 04:07 PM
Actually, I think he painted it because I called it ugly at Hallett. But, I didn't mean that in a bad way.
wheel

t4wallace
04-26-2006, 04:33 PM
I get it. Coyote ugly.

Ackjazz
04-26-2006, 05:18 PM
Yeah...and now Lucy is sitting in my garage pissed as hell because TW has yet to make ammens with her. He said he was sorry, but he never called her again. Man...you just don't treat a lady like that. Now she sits there all bruised up and is again reliant on me to get her back to whole.

As for Danika - as the crew chief for the 9, I've spent some time in her back hatch and I must say it's a bit of a tight space. No sign of excessive bumping though. I think you have to be in front of someone for that.

Oh, and I wish Wallace had a "Safe-Cell" in his rear end...I fear the explosive nature of his beer farts at the Runoffs. :D