The 24 Hours of LeMons makes no secret about its business model when it comes to picking dates: They rent tracks when the demand is generally low because that’s when they get deals and, consequently, when the races become affordable. As one might well imagine, seasonal weather plays a significant role in this demand. That’s why it frequently snows at Gingerman Raceway’s spring races, but this weekend, the LeMons faithful foray into California’s desert for the series’ annual scorching-hot race. While it once was rightly called “Arse-Sweat-A-Palooza,” this year’s (and last year’s) June race at Buttonwillow Raceway Park has been rechristened “Button Terrible” as a nod to LeMonspeak for “That’s really awful” (i.e. “Butt Turrible”).
Last year’s Buttonwillow race saw high temperatures exceeding 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 C to the Yurpeans who frequent this site), meaning LeMons organizers halted the race at least once to give drivers a chance to hydrate and cool off. This weekend, early-week weather forecasts suggest high temperatures below 100 degrees, which will be downright pleasant by comparison, though still hot enough to plague both driver and machine. Slogging through 14-1/2 hours of the race necessitates an iron will and good preparation, but don’t be surprised if onlt half of the 119 cars on the unofficial entry list are still running at Sunday’s checkered flag.
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