Lof8
Lof8 Dork
5/15/17 6:54 p.m.

Bringin her home!  

 

Lof8
Lof8 Dork
5/22/17 8:18 p.m.

I've mostly been working on the neon. The seller was about 5'5", so the driver's seat needed the position adjusted a bit. He also had some overbuilt contraption just to the right of the drivers head and within your peripheral vision for mounting a GoPro. I cut out about 5 pounds of metal for that and the cars interior feels much more open and safe now. I'm also replacing a few missing and banged up panels and removing some illegal bumper bars.   

And last weekend my Dad and I took the miata to a PDX at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Neither of us had driven that track before. The course was fun, the car performed flawlessly, and we met a few great people! One of the most fun track days I've ever had! 

Lof8
Lof8 Dork
5/26/17 7:40 p.m.

Makin some progress! Illegal bumper bars have been removed and fresh fenders and bumper covers bolted on and factory flooor board holes are patched. Gotta get my wife back crackin on old sticker removal, then we're going to roll on some fresh blue paint. PO has PT cruiser springs on the passenger side for stiffer rates and higher ride height (not legal in my class) I need to cut a coil out of those to get the ride height even. Then a lexan windshield and fresh fluids and I think she's ready to race!

 photo 762FEAA6-7691-4F57-BCD2-7DBD5C823F7C_zpsf4ain9i0.jpg

Lof8
Lof8 Dork
5/27/17 1:45 p.m.

Paint prep = scrape the old decals, power sand with 80 grit, then spray with a garden hose. Plan is to roll on some light blue house paint on Monday!  

Chadeux
Chadeux Dork
5/28/17 11:28 a.m.

That's right, Just needs to look good in the badly lit winners circle photo.

Lof8
Lof8 Dork
5/30/17 8:08 a.m.

Got the neon painted up! It wasn't my initial plan, but I'm going to do the wheels in navy blue and go for a Richard Petty tribute livery.    

 

Sunday was a boat day. The hot spot sandbar area near Bradenton Is called Jewfish Key and it did not disappoint. There were several hundred boats out celebrating Memorial Day!   

Lof8
Lof8 Dork
6/3/17 10:21 a.m.

Crossing things off the list! The polycarbonate windshield was incredibly straight forward. Cutting the right side PT cruiser springs was a failed mission. Both the upper and lower coils were flattened to seat correctly in the strut, so cutting either end resulted in springs that wouldn't sit right. I found a reseller on line offering (4) fully assembled spring/shock combos for $220! I'm sure it's Chinese junk, but the car will sit level and actually be legal. That's a plus I guess. :) in my hunt, I also found a guy selling some leftover neon acr konis. Depending on how this thing handles, I may go after those konis.    

Lof8
Lof8 Dork
6/13/17 2:27 p.m.

The neon is pretty much in a finished state. I was all set for its debut last Saturday with a 50 lap enduro, 15 lap "roadcourse" race where they incorporate some of the infield course, and 15 lap "flagpole" race, where they put a tire on one of the straights and you have to do a loop around it. However, the night got rained out. If my damn ranger isn't running before Saturday, this neon may be doing rallycross duty at the FIRM event.   

 If you're not familiar with Larry the Enticer, I suggest you check him out on Instagram or youtube. The guy is hilarious and combines beer, old snowmobiles, mullet haircut, denim, and big jumps. He's where my dashboard inspirational quote comes from.  

B13Birk
B13Birk New Reader
6/13/17 3:16 p.m.

In reply to Lof8:

Right on man! The neon is looking great! I have wanted to build a cheap setup like this for the Bronson speedway just a few min from Gainesville. I hope to see you at The Firm on Saturday ill be out there with the Subi.

Lof8
Lof8 Dork
6/13/17 3:31 p.m.
B13Birk wrote: In reply to Lof8: Right on man! The neon is looking great! I have wanted to build a cheap setup like this for the Bronson speedway just a few min from Gainesville. I hope to see you at The Firm on Saturday ill be out there with the Subi.

I sure hope to be there too! I'm giving it a 60% chance the Ranger will be ready. I'd much prefer slamming ruts and jumps in that beefy thing than the neon. We'll see.

Lof8
Lof8 Dork
6/24/17 10:43 a.m.

It's race day! Time to give this circle track E36 M3 a try!  

GTXVette
GTXVette Dork
6/25/17 10:48 a.m.

WELL............. How was it? ya know Mario Andretti won His First Race.

Lof8
Lof8 Dork
6/25/17 3:19 p.m.

Well that was berkeleying awesome! Quite possibly my favorite Motorsport experience to date! The neon runs strong and I took home the win and the $100 prize purse. That's the first time I ever got paid for racing! In my heat race, I volunteered to line up last of 8. Not having any experience on the track or in the car, I wanted to feel things out, ya know. Well, when the green flag drops, my instinct is to hammer it. I immediately split the row of 2 cars ahead of me and have passed 3 cars by the end of the first lap. My experience in other cars and forms of driving let's me quickly feel out the fastest line and carry lots of momentum. My neon grips well and has lots of torque to pull out of the corners. In the 8 lap heat race, I dive to the inside of turn 4 exit and steal 3rd place on the last lap! I'll admit that some of these drivers don't have a great grasp of the racing line, and that makes it pretty easy to set them up for a pass, get around, and set sights on the next target. But most of them are at least decent. It's so awesome to be screaming around in a pack, adrenaline pumping, and be in a strong car to make passes.

So I was riding really high after 5 passes in an 8 lap heat race to finish 3rd. I had a group of about 10 friends who came out to watch and support, including my dad. We sat in the pits and talked about the race. The 2 hour wait until my feature race may have been the longest 2 hours ever. I just wanted to get back out there again! Finally I heard the call for the Strictly Stock 20 lap feature and strapped back in. I had been given the starting position of outside of row 5 of an 18 car field. Green flag flies, and again, I split the two cars in the row ahead of me. Lap after lap, I'm making passes and moving up! Finally I spy the leader and set him up with a very late apex into turn 1. I carry huge momentum and pass him on the inside of turn 2 exit. I'm in the berkeleying lead!! With a few laps left, I'm passing a lapper. I thought I was well clear of him but I felt a strong bump on my left side. It puts me into a slow slide and I end up stopped and looking straight at an oncoming herd of 17 buzzing 4 bangers! I stayed put and one by one, they made it around me safely. That was a bit scary!! The offending lapper was sent off the track and the officials put me back up front. I couldn't tell from the drivers' seat, but my friends all said it was a blatant move by the other driver to take me out. With a couple laps left, the green flies again and I'm able to drive it home to the checker, albeit with what feels like some flat spotted tires.

It was such an amazing feeling to take that checker and win my first race! My wife, dad, and friends came running across the track to join me in the winners circle. I was so anxious to get out, I left it in neutral and it started rolling. I had to jump back in to put it in gear. It was so awesome! I'm still riding high Sunday afternoon. I can't wait for the next one!!     

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/25/17 5:32 p.m.

Awesome. Congratulations!

GTXVette
GTXVette Dork
6/25/17 7:56 p.m.

Dude,(I mean Mario) that is truly AWESOME, took me a year and a half to win one. they won't be as nice next time. An Old Round track Saying "You Bring your Friends with you". Congratulations!!!!!

Lof8
Lof8 Dork
6/25/17 8:13 p.m.
GTXVette wrote: Dude,(I mean Mario) that is truly AWESOME, took me a year and a half to win one. they won't be as nice next time. An Old Round track Saying "You Bring your Friends with you". Congratulations!!!!!

A lot of the guys in the class were very welcoming and friendly. But, you're right, I could feel some heat from some other locals who weren't so eager to be pals. My wife joked about painting a target on the rear of the car. I don't think I'll do that :) Thanks for the congrats!

Ovid_and_Flem
Ovid_and_Flem HalfDork
6/25/17 8:22 p.m.

Congrats!!! BTW....Where is GRM sticker???

Lof8
Lof8 Dork
6/25/17 8:31 p.m.
Ovid_and_Flem wrote: Congrats!!! BTW....Where is GRM sticker???

Front right fender. You can see it in the last pic but a lil blurry.

NOT A TA
NOT A TA Dork
6/25/17 10:20 p.m.

Congrats! Great way to start racing.

GTXVette
GTXVette Dork
6/26/17 6:51 a.m.

No Targets No numbers that read the same Upside Down. Lol

hobiercr
hobiercr Dork
6/26/17 9:08 a.m.

I just looked up the racing team name. Epic.

dropstep
dropstep SuperDork
6/26/17 9:57 a.m.

Intentional hits seem common in circle track, a good friend of mine started racing stock cars at 14. After winning rookie of the year his first season out it became the goal of alot of the older racers to take him out every race. So even without the target on the car, a new guy who wins will often become the most hated guy on the track.

Lof8
Lof8 Dork
6/26/17 10:32 a.m.

I can definitely see how that could happen. I seem to have made some good impressions with some of the other racers via the Facebook group and introducing myself at the track but who knows if they're just acting nice. Luckily I have a good group of friends and supporters come out with me. I'm not a big dude but These twin brothers grew up next door to me and couldn't be more eager to support my racing effort. They both played college football and wouldn't hesitate to bust some skulls if needed. I truly hope the other racers are sportsmen and don't make a problem. 

 

Lof8
Lof8 Dork
6/26/17 11:37 a.m.

A lil bubbly to celebrate! 

Lof8
Lof8 Dork
6/26/17 8:11 p.m.

Not sure what happened, but I didn't record the feature race :( Here's the video of heat 1.

Heat 1 in-car video

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