Chump Car Chumpianship And A Little R&R

While at times it seemed so far away, the middle of October came before we knew it, and we were headed up to Road America for the Chump Car Central Region “Chumpianship.” We had qualified at Brainerd for this race by 6 seconds……that’s right time does matter in these long endurance races. Of course then we qualified again at High Plains Raceway later in the year, and of course we were stoked to go! RA is one of our favorite tracks 🙂 I spent a lot of time getting the car prepped for the race. New control arms, bushings, shocks, valve cover gasket, spark plugs, wheel bearings, brakes, and the list kept going on. Since it was the big finale, I wanted to make sure that the car ran flawlessly. We arrived Friday morning, got through tech and registration, unloaded then hit Stephano’s in Sheboygan for dinner. Always a must stop!

Saturday morning we got a favorable start and took the green flag in 1st place out of about 85 cars that started the race. Of course we settled into the running somewhat lower, but consistency and easy on the car are the name of the game. We raced almost all 16 hours in the top 15 or so, with each of our drivers putting down some great, consistent laps. No superstars…..just good drivers. The car ran flawlessly with the exception of a cut tire from debris on the track. Can’t prevent everything. The race was a single 16 hour race split into two days, so after the race ended on Saturday, I think we were sitting 4th or 5th.

The crew chief kept the group in check. Here she is confiscating some jerky that has not been properly declared in customs.

Sunday started off with some dense fog, but it did not slow down the start of the race at all. They gridded up the top 10 cars and everyone else behind them. The race was on again!

The crew chief is getting bored at this point. Luckily, the race ended around 4pm that afternoon. While we had finished 4th overall, impound found a non stock chip in the car’s ecu, so we took some penalty laps, putting us in a respectable 7th place finish out of 85 cars. Not too shabby! Congrats to fellow KC racers F1 1abs for their 1st place finish! Flying Sausages also were there and are always fun to run with….unfortunately some mechanicals sidelined them for a few hours, which hurt their overall position. With the drop of the checker flag, this race season was over….finally. By October, things are starting to drag, so while I had a lot of fun, it will be nice to take a little break before the season starts next year.

Our trophy fits us well. Minions….that pretty much describes our team.

And with that, we loaded the car and gear up, sent the boys south back to KC, while Val and I headed to North Dakota for a funeral. No one in my family is really a car guy, but my grandpa owned a Buick dealership in North Dakota. I can still remember getting to visit the dealership when I was quite young and hanging out in the shop with the guys. While not necessarily a car guy, my grandpa had his share of cars. He said his favorite car was the next model, and I think he always drove the newest thing on the lot. He loved selling cars. Luckily we had gotten to say our goodbyes before we headed to RA, something that many people aren’t able to do. 93 years old, and married to the same woman for 70 of those years. He was highly respected by everyone. He will be sadly missed. I no doubt got my love for cars, hunting, and fishing from him.

While back home, we headed out to the farm to visit family. The crew chief, who at this point doesn’t want to see the inside of a car for awhile, got plenty of time to explore buildings, chase cats, and run around without a care in the world. There is no doubt she would have stayed had we let her.

This is what a man sized snow blower looks like. None of that piddly little push crap to be found in North Dakota. For comparison, that is a 90lb dog, lol.

Thankfully the farm cats didn’t stand their ground with the crew chief, as that probably would not have ended well for the pup.

I tried to teach Valerie how to catch farm kittens, but she was too slow 😉 There isn’t a kitty hiding spot or exit strategy in the barn that I don’t know about.

From there we continued our whirlwind tour and headed to home #2 in South Dakota to hunt some pheasants. At this point the crew chief was borderline “disgusted” with us, and spent a few days relaxing by herself.

So while the pup rested up, we headed out for birds. Unfortunately the population is way down, but we had a lot of fun anyway. Guess the freezer will be a little bare this winter. Valerie once again won the “Best Dressed Hunter” award.

Eventually we coaxed the pup back to life and she went hunting with us.

A few birds on Saturday.

And always a great family outing.

With the area having had so much precipitation, we had to take the four wheel in as the roads were unusable. Then we broke the 4 wheeler.

Rear shock mount broke right off the shock, so I pulled it, got it welded back together, and got it reinstalled. Back in business.

Tia trying to look like she is doing something.

But at 11 years old, she is pretty aloof when it comes to hunting…ok it’s not just hunting, it is pretty much everything.

And some more birds.

Since the birds alluded us, we plinked away at some cans. We couldn’t out shoot our 11 year old nephew for pheasants, so we tried out shooting him with rifles. That really didn’t work either. Valerie trained on the Mini14. And that was that, Sunday we came back to reality and headed home. Back to knock out some shop work….after all, it’s only 1 month until deer season 🙂

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October 29, 2013 at 7:20 AM

We are so sorry about your Grandpa.
Wonderful pictures.

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