Jump to content
Tobey

Circle track racing - 2020

Recommended Posts

The 2020 schedule is out. I'm down for another season in the Eco Stock class. Rain outs, transmission problems, and real life conspired to only allow me to make it into two feature races last year. But I finished 3rd and 2nd in my mighty 2001 Saturn SL2.

It would have been 3 features, but in the final race of the season, I let the season points leader race my car in the feature. We got tangled up in the heat race, and he went into the wall. His car was not racing again without major repairs; front and rear right side tires were pointing different directions. I felt bad about it,  since he was only 1 point ahead of 2nd place in the points. So I let him use my car in the feature, and he won the damn race. So on the season, my car made it to three features, and finished 3rd, 2nd, and 1st. I have no excuses this year...

If anyone wants to try it out, there might be a car or two available. Or you might be able to talk me into letting you run some laps in practice before a race. No license or experience needed. Its like going to the dragstrip. Buy a pit pass, get in the car, and race. You do need safety gear, of course. HANS not mandatory; a neck roll is still allowed. And I've seen at least one driver using a dirt bike helmet. Let's just say you need to take responsibility for your own safety.

I made it to the practice day last weekend. Car ran great. First race is in April; I'll post updates as the season progresses.

5e4c127b84df1_HMPOvalTrack2020ScheduleofClasses.thumb.jpg.c81ef918195b1d5648ea613b43a78c39.jpg

Link to post
4 hours ago, Matt93SE said:

Lookin good!  Let's see how long you can keep the paint on it! ?

I put it at two weekends before it's at a point I feel the need to touch it up.

Link to post
1 hour ago, Captain Buddha said:

Don't forget the zip ties, rivets, etc... LOL!!

The Saturn has plastic fenders. Last year, I stitched a crack closed with safety wire and fiberglassed over it. Fenders aren't super easy to find at the wrecking yard, but I scored two pairs back in December.

Link to post
On 6/18/2020 at 10:49 AM, Captain Buddha said:

Good luck Tobey!! Post some in-car video!!

How about an outside pass for 2nd on the last corner of the last lap? 

That was a fun race last night.  It was a 20-lap battle with the car that started in front of me.  Initially we were battling for 3rd, then toward the end, the 2nd place car started overheating and lost power.  So the last 5-6 laps, we were battling for 2nd.

I went to a practice day a few weeks ago, and tested different toe settings, and spent time running traffic lines.  I did a lot of laps keeping a car width or two off the bottom.  Or not tracking out on the straights, so that when I ended up in traffic, I'd have some experience with how the car behaved in different situations.  And it paid off big time. 

I knew I could beat him to the finish line on the outside as we came close to the end.  I just needed to be on his outside entering 3-4 to pinch his entry a little.  Then, 2 laps from the end, we ran up on some lap cars, and I had to fall back in line behind him.  Luckily, we cleared them taking the white flag, and I was able to get back to his outside on the back straight.  Then powered around for the pass as we took the checkered flag.  I got him by about a hood length at the line.

(I use the term "power" loosely.  My Saturn is rated at 124 hp, 122 ft-lbs.  And mine has over 100,000 miles on it.  But it's light, and carries a lot of speed in the corners compared to the bigger engined GM's.)

 

 

Link to post

Very nice, Tobey! Your practice definitely paid off!! That sun though - right in your eyes! And so cool having fans watching!!

Can you run asphalt slicks in your class? I'm guessing not...but that would be fun to try!

Link to post

haha..  slicks on those cars and most likely wouldn't last the race!  wheel bearings would fall apart, suspension would fail, or engines would starve of oil.   

I know they run a treaded street tire, but forget the rules.   I just remember the stink of melting econobox tires when I watched a few years ago. ?

Link to post

Tire rule: DOT, minimum of 55 series sidewall, and all 4 tires must be the same size.

Last year, a new guy showed up with the all seasons that were on the car when he bought it. Toward the end of the race, the belts were excposed and throwing sparks in the corners. He got the nickname Sparky. He built a new car for this year, and won the race saturday night.

 

Link to post
9 minutes ago, Captain Buddha said:

Tobey - LOL @ Sparky!! Love it!! What kind of tire pressure do you run - curious about that?

Forgot that part of the rule: you must start with a minimum of 30 psi.

I start with 31 in the RF (Giving 1 psi margin for the rule). 33 in LF and RR. 35 in LR. They will all end up about 37 psi hot. The RF obviously gets abused like crazy.

You can't get rid of the built-in understeer (only suspension mod allowed is slotting the right front for camber), but a little trail braking will make it rotate. With equal hot pressures, it's pretty easily controllable and predictable.

Link to post
31 minutes ago, Tobey said:

Forgot that part of the rule: you must start with a minimum of 30 psi.

I start with 31 in the RF (Giving 1 psi margin for the rule). 33 in LF and RR. 35 in LR. They will all end up about 37 psi hot. The RF obviously gets abused like crazy.

You can't get rid of the built-in understeer (only suspension mod allowed is slotting the right front for camber), but a little trail braking will make it rotate. With equal hot pressures, it's pretty easily controllable and predictable.

Nice, yeah, that RF is probably giving you the finger the whole time LOL!!

Link to post

Forgot to give a heads up, but we raced last night.  The weather was miserable, unless you just love that warm feeling from the humidity.  But otherwise, it was a good night.  Mostly because I won!

Since the last race, I made a few setup changes.  I bounced some ideas off a friend that is good with racing setups, and he gave me a few tips.  And it all worked.

I qualified first, but they had the top 6 draw chips for starting position.  I drew #6, of course.  But by the end of the first lap I was in 4th.  Stayed there for a while, got up to 3rd, then with 7 to go, I started outside front row after a caution.  I'm about the only one out there that can run the outside line with any speed.  It's because I have no horsepower, so I had to learn a new trick.  And the setup changes helped a ton.  

Anyway, I stayed neck and neck with the 1st place car for a lap and a half.  I'm pretty sure I would have passed him after a few more laps, but before it came to that, he got bumped from behind and lost his momentum.  With 5 to go, I found myself in the lead.  I jumped out to about a 7-8 car length lead, and was never challenged.  Once I was in open track with no traffic, where I could run the fast line for my car, it was wicked fast (that being relative to the pack; it's still a 124hp Saturn).  There is one other car about equal to mine, but he was stuck back in 3rd.  He eventually got to 2nd, but was too far behind me to challenge me.

Racing nose to tail in a 4 car pack like we did for the first 12 or so laps was a lot of fun.  But running out front with a decent gap to 2nd place is a lot of fun also. ?

1st place normally pays $150.  But some businesses chipped in to up the purse for last night, so I won $320.  And I'll get another $70 bonus for fast lap.  18.325 sec.; next fastest was 18.368.  $390, not a bad payday for having fun.

A couple of pictures.  First is on the front straight for pre-race festivities.  In this crowd, nobody kneels for the anthem...  And we had a flyover with a couple of planes from the Commemorative Air Force.  Pretty cool.  The other is obviously after the race.

Pre_Race.jpg

Aug1 Victory.jpg

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...