Despite its clever name, the 24 Hours of LeMons seldom holds actual 24-hour races, but this coming weekend brings out this rarest LeMons race configurations at Autobahn Country Club near Chicago. Indeed, “Doing Time in Joliet” will span 24 hours of racing, beginning Saturday at 10 a.m. on Autobahn’s South Course and ending Sunday at the same time. This is the first 24-hour race since “Gator-O-Rama” at MSR Houston in September 2013 (which was won by humidity). As with most LeMons races at Autobahn since they started visiting Joliet in 2010, there’s a solid chance of rain, which would throw the race into utter chaos especially in the overnight hours.
That will surely create a war of attrition for the 98-car field and if you, the reader, are curious to know how it goes, fret not. I, your not-at-all-humble LeMons correspondent will be working a good chunk of the race as an honorary guest judge on the LeMons Supreme Court and will have a liveblog running right here on Hooniverse (Check the features at the top of the main page Saturday morning and then check back for updates). I may even try this fancy thing I keep hearing about called Periscope so you can watch snippets of the race live from my phone, but that depends heavily on my inability to use technology. Follow the jump for more preview!
Before we get too nuts with my usual Bizarro World Race Previews Of Little Or Misleading Information, I’m told that the Penalty Box charity—the LeMons Supreme Court at some races extorts money for a designated charity from miscreants who don’t wish to do silly things—is a pretty cool local organization called Lemons Of Love. They sponsor a professional racecar, they have “Lemons” in the name (which is also called LOL), the founder also makes cool racecar things, they love bacon, and—most importantly—Lemons of Love use donations to send care packages to people undergoing chemotherapy treatments. With 24 hours of racing, there should be ample opportunity for LeMons racers to give back a bit.
Less Serious Business
As usual, expect some incredible stuff, including dueling GM Dustbuster vans, LeMons’ first Hyundai Scoupe, the return of Le Mopar Simca, the supple Cordoba, what I am assured is an incredible French replicar, a surprisingly fast LeMons Lotus, and six former race winners (if you care about such things). But really, Class C will be a bumper crop of unspeakably bad cars vying for the Index of Effluency and whichever car runs about 60 percent of the time in that class should win. Twenty-four hours will test the patience and preparation (or lack thereof) and should make this an unpredictable weekend.
So naturally, this is the part where predictions go. Because I love LeMons’ expectations to be rife with poetic interpretation these days rather than based on things like facts, I found a Verified Expert On Things to write the car previews as a Guest LeMons Editor. Who is this VEOT? Allow me to introduce Blake Field, a California LeMons racer who will be driving the #181 Team Sheen Acura this weekend. For reasons that will soon be obvious, I think he’s a natural for this kind of work: Instead of saying how he thinks each car will do, he knows how awful each car already is and outlines the spirit insect/bug/spider for each team/car/failure.
You won’t believe what happens next!
#666 Bad Decisions Racing (Pontiac Trans Sport, above) – Spirit insect: Flower Longhorn Beetle. This beetle went to the University of Texas and is a huge football fan. It really won’t shut up about it. Not unlike this crew and racing: Jeez, talk my ear off why dontcha?
#6 Morrow’s Racing (Chevy Lumpina APV) – Spirit insect: Carpenter Bee. This team is like the carpenter bee because they keep running into walls. As someone pestered by their presence, at first you think: What the hell is all that noise? Wheeling around to find the source of the disturbance, you stare in gape-jawed wonder at both the repeated impacts and inability to learn. After about 30 seconds, you snap yourself out of it with a barely mumbled “F—-n’ bugs, man. F—-n’ bugs.”
#403 Anonymous (Subaru XT) – Spirit insect: Bold Jumping Spider. This spider is known for being able to jump up to four times its body length. Meanwhile, this team is known for being able to drive up to four times its car length.
#0 Le Mopar, That’s French for The Mopar (Simca 1204) – Spirit insect: Dragonfly. This team is double screwed, like those dragonflies that buzz around all joined up in a cluster and you look at them and think: What the hell kind of freak party is going on, nature? I never get invited to these.
#420 The Wonderment Consortium A (Hyundai Scoupe) – Spirit insect: Buffalo Tree Hopper. The Buffalo tree hopper has a huge noggin and a body that resembles a leaf. It’s plain to see why it is this team’s spirit insect: “Just look at the swole-out front of their car,” said one local. “Yep, it’s all swole up,” replied another. “It is swoled, ain’t it?” chimed in a third. “I’ll be damned if’n that thing ain’t all swole TO. BE. DAMNED!” added the first. You too will be charmed by this car’s on-track shenanigans as it teeters its macrocephalic way through traffic.
#75 Zero Budget Racing C (Chrysler Cordoba) – Spirit insect: American Oil Beetle. It moves slowly and, when provoked, will release chemicals which blister and irritate human skin. Are we talking about the American Oil Beetle or this entrant? YES!
#100 Double Jeopardy (Jaguar XJS) – Spirit insect: Spiny Backed Orb Weaver. The spines protruding from the back of a female Spiny Backed Orb Weaver make it look like a mine. It is thus correctly chosen as this team’s spirit insect. This team is also like a mine in that it moves slowly into position on track and then waits (totally breaks down) in a high-traffic area for impact and destruction.
#668 2 Wycked (F.A.C.E. Racing) (Porsche 924, Chevy 4.3L V6 swap) – Spirit insect: Forage Looper Moth. This moth has to go back in time to kill itself, and there’s like this one moth that’s like an all-powerful mutant or whatever. I fell asleep watching the movie. Like what you’ll do watching this team “race.”
#102 Team Sputnik (Lotus Elite) – Spirit insect: Pseudoscorpion. This gnarly insect that I just found out about literally looks like a tiny, tailless scorpion. It’s freaking me out, man. Whenever I see the word pseudo, I think of that horrible Phil Collins song. You know the one. In any event, this entrant is like the Pseudoscorpion because it’s tiny, doesn’t have a tail, I just found out about them, and they listen to Phil Collins incessantly. Now it’s in your head, too: SU SU SU SUDIO. What the hell does that even mean? Awful.
#919 Afunzalo Racing (Fiat X1/9) – Spirit insect: Green Darner. The car is green, and the team members are so cute and wholesome that whenever something goes wrong, they will say “darn it!” Maybe a “gull darn it!” if it’s really bad, or a “darn it to heck!” when shit really hits the fan. This team is infinitely fun to listen to on the radio, because while they will not outright swear, they will aggressively darn just about every car and driver out there. They are a force to be reckoned with, because they drive like they’re late for church (and doubtlessly they are).
#888 Zero Budget Racing B (Chevy Chevette Diesel) – Spirit insect: Black Saddlebags Skimmer. It’s likely to rain at Joliet at some point. When it does so, the comparison to this insect will become immediately obvious: this car hydroplanes like the dickens. Look for it skating off-track uncontrollably wherever there might be but a single drop of moisture.
#4 Racing 4 Nickels (Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera) – Spirit insect: Common Ant. This team has a very significant likelihood of burning up. Like those ants you used to kill with the magnifying glass. You and your little God complex.
#92 Unified Partnersthip of Pentastar Racers (Plymouth Sundance Duster) -Spirit insect: Triangulate Cob Web Spider. Like the spider, this team has stumbled upon a very basic notion of engineering: It uses triangular shapes to strengthen and rigidify their structures. Also like the spider, they must rebuild the structures within their crapcan on at least a daily basis, because the application of any type of pressure or force beyond the weight of an insect totally destroys it. You could poke this car with a pillow and probably kill it.
#222 Windy Shitty Racing (BMW 2002) – Spirit insect: Broad-Necked Root Borer. This team’s members’ necks are not merely just broad, they’re like goddamned hickory stumps, even. Think Juggernaut from Marvel Comics and you might be getting close. You would have to use the front of a forklift to even begin to fashion a HANS device that could work for any one of them. But a friendly and caring retired physician carefully crafted neck rolls for them out of what used to be spa covers. Their car can be distinguished by the numerous interior mirrors to make up for the immobility of their stumps, and frequent cries of “I’m stuck!” coming from their pit.
#74 The Resistance (Honda Civic) – Spirit insect: Potato Bug: Thanks to its double-pumper four barrel carburetor, this entrant is like the potato bug. Because it likes to carb up! Get it? I’m so lonely.
#46 The Mulsanne Straightjacket (MYSTERY FRENCH CAR) – Spirit insect: Assasin Bug. The assassin bug has a protruding appendage which it uses to relentlessly stab its prey to death. This team has an often-protruding appendage known as a connecting rod, and it uses this to relentlessly stab its engine block to death.
#54 Grocery Getter (Jeep Cherokee) – Spirit insect: Cat-Faced Spider. Sometimes, nature gets lazy and just combines two already terrible things to make a third horrible thing. It just goes back to the parts bin and gins up a new model. Such is the case with the Cat-Faced spider. Though, on balance, I suppose that a cat-faced spider is better than a spider-faced cat. Think about that thing on Mr. Rogers: meow meow murder meow. And I think you get the picture by now: This entrant is like the Cat-Faced Spider because it’s just like this thing, man.
#58 Statically Indeterminate (GMC Sonoma) – Spirit insect: Differential Grasshopper. This team is always jumping from differential to differential. One race it will be be the
Dana Zuul 44, next race it will be something else. Their differential woes can first be traced to setting their pinion preload to near infinity. Then they shim it until the contact pattern looks like the ring gear got called on stage with the Blue Men Group.
#151 Illegitimate Racing (Ford Ranger) – Spirit insect: Darkling Beetle. This beetle walks with its head down and will blast you with a noxious fluid just for fun. This is how it got its more common name: the Skunk Beetle. Similarly, this team avoids eye contact and will “crop dust” you if you’re nearby. Keep your distance.
#700 James Bondo (Triumph TR7, Ford Duratec swap) – Spirit insect: Sap Beetle. This beetle is known for being a softie, for crying during movies and needing a hug. Similarly, this car begins weeping almost immediately before bursting into uncontrollable tears of chocolate-milkshake head gasket failure.
#20 Golden Lake Racing (Ford Mustang) – Spirit insect: Silverfish. Like the silverfish, this car hurtles itself forward mightily upon the slightest provocation. Then it stops for seemingly no reason in an obviously unsafe area. Then it gets mashed. Even though you know it is going to be gross, you still turn over your shoe to do a post-mortem inspection, if for no other reason than to gross out everyone around you. No one could possibly predicted that you would act like you’re going to smear it on them or throw the shoe at them. You’re such a rapscallion.
#205 Rally Rolla (Toyota Corolla All-Trac) – Spirit insect: Common Katydid. Did you hear the rumors going around school? Katydid! OMG! I can’t believe it. Did you hear the rumors going around the track? Katydidn’t. Again. Womp womp.
#713 Wreckto Gizmo (Merkur XR4Ti, 5.0L V8 swap) – Spirit insect: Hazlenut Lace Bug. True to its name, this lace bug feeds only on the hazelnut tree. Like its spirit insect, this team also feeds only on the hazelnut tree, to the extent consuming massive quantities of Nutella is tantamount to feeding on the hazelnut tree. You see these team members milling around the pits and it looks like they all just barehanded wiped. In truth, they have that giant jar of Nutella that you can only get at the club stores. And they’re just going into that jar of Nutella like it’s Annabel Chong. As a result, this team is most likely to be involved in a multicar on-track incident, sometimes known simply as a “gangbang.”
#814 Nothin’s Hotter Than a Cougar (Mercury Cougar XR7, above) – Spirit insect: Mourning Cloak Butterfly. No one knows exactly for what this butterfly mourns. But for this team, it could be any number of things: brakes, clutch, motor, diff, tranny, Mike’s behymen, whatever.
#190 The Northern Shiner (Oldsmobile Cutlass) – Spirit insect: Checkered beetle. The checkered beetle has a black and white checker pattern on its final segment. Because of its exoskeleton, however, it cannot see this part of its body. Much like this insect, this team is likely to never see a black and white checkered pattern anytime in the near future.
#847 Team Orca (Chevy Caprice) – Spirit insect: North American Jumping Spider. At any given moment, this team’s differential may violently explode, thus its spider will “jump” out. Located in the pits next to the Differential Grasshopper team, they form a symbiotic relationship that just goes through differentials like nobody’s business.
#421 Fireball Racing (Ford Escort) – Spirit insect: Burying Beetle. The Burying Beetle takes a dead bird or small mammal, tears the hair/feathers off of it, rolls it into a ball, and buries it into a hole. This team takes a dead car, tears the interior out of it, wrecks it into a ball, and buries the race budget.
#199 The Escorts (Ford Escort) – Spirit insect: Ichneumon Wasp. This wasp is named after that battle your Pappy was in. It uses a large ovipositor to shoot out eggs into stuff. This entrant displays similar behavior, only the large “ovipositor” is its engine and the eggs are pistons/rods/valves/what-have-you.
#52 One Ups (Chevy Cavalier) – Spirit insect: Black and Yellow Mud Dauber.
DEAR PAM I AM A BIG FAN BUT ONE QUESTION ARE YOU RELATED TO MUD DAUBER IT’S FOR A STORY I HAVE A DEADLINE PLEASE GET BACK TO ME OK
#48 Team Priority Fail (Volkswagen GTI, mid-engine conversion) – Spirit insect: Banded Wollybear Caterpillar Moth. This Caterpillar is known for its brown stripe. The drivers of this team are likewise known for their brown stripes, right in the pants. And I think you know what I’m talking about. As between their throttle sticking, inoperable brakes, wheels hurtling off, this vehicle gives those who operate it many reasons to beshit themselves.
#37 All Most Racing (Volkswagen Jetta) – Spirit insect: Maggot. Like the little maggot, this entrant has it made. It has its own jet airplane. It is a millionaire. It loves the racing life, and for good reason: maybe get a blister on your little finger, maybe get a blister on your thumb.
#70 UTI Racing (Volkswagen GTI) – Spirit insect: Imperial moth. Massive. Unpredictable. Headed toward a flaming doom.
#89 Sweet Tooth (Volkswagen GTI, above) – Spirit insect: The Familiar Bluet. The often-blown headgaskets on this entrant’s engine make its horrible spirit insect the Familiar Bluet.
#90 B&D Racing (Porsche 924) – Spirit insect: The Wheel Bug. The Wheel Bug is known for the wheel-shaped structure on its back, and also stabbing its prey to death with a fang sticking off of its head. Such being the case, it is apropos that it is this team’s awful spirit insect. Similar to the Wheel Bug, this car often has wheel shaped structures attached to it, and is comprised of solely of drivers afflicted with cornu cutaneum, with which they will try to stab you.
#26 Hofmeister Kinks (Toyota MR2) – Spirit insect: Firefly. This team’s spirit insect is the firefly. This is owing in large part to the fact that the vehicle’s electrics work about as often and with as much predictable regularity as the firefly’s bioluminescent glow. But you’re too busy probably thinking about that movie that shares the same name. Try to stay focused, here.
#924 Double B Racing (Chevy Camaro) – Spirit insect: Eastern-Eyed Click Beetle. Named for the sound their starter makes.
#17 Team Wounded Chicken (Pontiac Firebird) – Spirit insect: Crab Lice. They keep showing up, nobody knows where they came from, everyone claims to have never known them, but there is a palpable familiarity there that no one seems to embrace. You’re not afraid though, thanks to your recent Brozillian waxing. They are itching to win and you respect that.
#626 Dumas ES Racing (Pontiac Firebird Trans Am) – Spirit insect: Fishfly. This is an actual insect, not a mockery of someone who cannot pronounce the “r” sound trying to say “fish fry.” It is known for its large size and uncoordinated flight pattern. With the similarities between this insect and entrant now plain to see, we shall move on. (“Can you fly fish with a Fishfly?” asked someone’s awful stepdad.)
#85 Apocalyptic Racing (Toyota Celica, GM Ecotec swap) – Spirit insect: Clouded Sulphur Butterfly. A pre-race diet of canned clams, deviled eggs, brussels sprouts and Fiber One bars make this team’s spirit insect the Clouded Sulphur Butterfly. Avoid at all costs.
#116 Burnt Rubber Soul Racing (Ford Probe) – Spirit insect: Hover Fly. The hover fly is camouflaged as a bee, but it cannot sting. Instead, it just stays in one place and makes a lot of noise, all while swilling calorie-dense nectar. Just like this team.
#117 Legitimate Racing (Honda Accord) – Spirit insect: Fiery Skipper. This butterfly got its name from its flame colored wings. This entrant is known for its flame colored flames frequently erupting from what would otherwise be the engine compartment. They are interspecies brothers, if you’ll allow the comparison. And I know you will.
#124 Product Design (Saturn SL2, above) – Spirit insect: Dingy Cutworm Moth. Sure, she might be a bit airheaded, this moth has a name: it’s Vera. And I don’t appreciate Mel calling her “dingy” all the time. Wait, you’re supposed to say it with a hard “G” sound? Ok, I get it. In that case, it takes just one quick look to know why it is this team’s spirit animal: The car is filthy, and the team members are all dirty and whatnot from yet another all-nighter to replace their ‘sploded motor. RIP Vic Tayback.
#62 Team Slightly Less Than Credibles (Honda CRX) – Car #62 Team Slightly-Less-Than-Credibles 1991 Honda CRX. Spirit insect: Field Cricket. Like the field cricket, this team is not known for making a lot of noise during the day, likely due to a number of major mechanical failures that happen within five laps of being on track. Also like the field cricket, they make much more noise at night, as they pound away trying to revive their crapcan.
#91 OK-Speed (Honda Civic) – Spirit insect: Wee Harlequin Bug. It’s small. It’s festooned in color and pattern. It emits a foul odor when disturbed.
#93 Ho Ho Ho Racing (Honda Civic) – Spirit insect: Stag Beetle. It’s easy to see why the stag beetle is this team’s awful summer spirit insect. From the side, this car just looks so bucktoothed. Its overbite makes Freddie Mercury look like Dolph Lundgren in comparison. Were it a person, it would not be able to bite into something as big as even a corn dog, but it would hold it there in its mouth and use its muscular tongue to just kind of smash it up to affect a “bite.” It would also have a slobber-spewing whistle lisp.
#404 Anonymous B (Honda Civic) – Spirit insect: Leucospid Wasp: Unlike many others, this wasp has a rounded rear-end rather than a pointed one. It is sometimes also known as the Swass Wasp, and is on record as Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s most preferred wasp. This wasp is often seen chilling with his homies on Broadway while feeding on buttermilk biscuits. Similar to this wasp, this entrant has a rounded rear-end. It’s also important to note that, like Fonda, there is no motor in the back of this Honda.
#422 Wonderment Consortium B (Honda Civic) – Spirit insect: Eastern Velvet Ant, aka Cow Killer. This evil thing looks like an ant, but it’s actually a wasp. They call it the Cow Killer, not surprisingly, because its sting can kill cows. (Side note: The only other Sting that can kill cows was in The Police—what do you think he was doing in those fields of gold? That’s right. Cow murder.) Like the Cow Killer, this car appears innocuous to others on the track. But when they run up on it, it will sting them with its unpredictable maneuvering and erratic braking. Fatal to any car painted with cow spots.
#881 Canadian Border Patrol (Toyota Cressida, 1UZ-FE swap) – Spirit insect: Pipevine Swallowtail. This caterpillar moth is named after a difficult-to-master Kama Sutra position. In similar fashion, this team has a difficult time achieving any position, and is otherwise generally screwed.
#3 The Kidney Stoners (Chevy Camaro) – Spirit insect: Least Skipper. Least Skippers are known for being unable to fly in a straight line for any length of time. Moving on—
#9 Rough Knuckle Racing (Mazda Miata) – Spirit insect: Stick Bug. The stick bug of this field, as it looks like something that it definitely isn’t. You respect it as both flattery and an amazing natural adaptation. Your hardass Mickeys-swilling friends meanwhile drop the hate all over it, repeatedly parroting that “It’s just tryna be somethin’ it AIN’T!” Now directing their attention directly to the bug: “tryna! Be! Somethin’! You! AIN’T!” While you don’t join with them, you neither actively defend on the insect’s behalf. This will later haunt you.
#18 Point-O-Eight (Ford Escort) – Car #18 Point-O-Eight 1991 Ford Escort. Spirit insect: Daddy Long-Legs. Seemingly benign, but someone once told you that they are extremely venomous and would kill you in an instant, were it not for their short mandibles. Unfortunately, you’re out of cell range and can’t look it up right now on Wikipedia. Better to keep your distance, you think, until this venomous issue is resolved.
#101 Byte Marks Racing (Ford Escort, above) – Spirit insect: Rose Chafer. The Rose Chafer finds one of nature’s most beautiful flowers, chews it up and destroys it. Just like this team with its cars. Whereas everyone on the planet but for the members of this team would choose to restore such a classic, this team instead decides to cage it and rage it. While you tell your friends “it’s not what I would do with that car,” your eyes reveal your secret admiration of the paradigm eschewed. Also, a Scarface amount of Gold Bond powder is present in this team’s paddock area, as they all also have “the chafe” sometimes aka “the chap” aka “chub rub.”
#111 Escort Service (Ford Escort) – Spirt insect: Plume Moth. Basically, this thing looks like a flying IUD. As this team is made up of amateur gynecologists, it is only fitting that the Plume Moth is its awful summer insect analog.
#15 PEAK Marketing Tools (Ford Mustang) – Spirit insect: Tse Tse Fly. Whether as a result of the noxious fumes being pumped out of its often-times internal combustion engine, or whether as a result of watching its perilously slow amble around the track: this car will put you to sleep. You can’t let that happen, because God knows what they’ll do with you once you go out. Bathtub full of ice and your kidneys are missing? Permanent Juggalo face tattoos? Photos posted to social media of everyone teabagging your new Juggalo face? Don’t risk it.
#8 Junk Dynasty Racing (Ford Mustang) – Spirit insect: Stink Bug. The insect animal spirit of this team is indubitably the stink bug: oddly shaped, and not known for its motility. But at the same time exclusively known for dropping out a voluminous amount of unctuous, greasy fluids that reek all-to-be-damned. And it does so not merely without provocation, but for seemingly no reason whatsoever.
#5 No Running With Scissors (Ford Mustang) – Spirit insect: Ernie’s Centipede. Like when you move something in the garage and this giant centipede has been hanging out behind it, and when you first see it you think that your brother Ernie put it there is some sort of joke because there’s no way that thing is real. And then it moves. And then you’re really like WTF?! And then instinct takes over and you dance on it like you’re Danny Cooksey and someone just started playing the fiddle.
#155 Bromance Racing (Ford Mustang) – Spirit insect: Cuckoo Bee. This insect places its eggs in the hive of another bee species, leaving them to raise the larvae while the adult Cuckoo Bee is left unburdened by the kids. In similar fashion, this team consists of unwed fathers with serial Maury appearances who have sired umpteen children with as many partners, who “do what they WANT” (ie, racing) while leaving the children to be raised by the baby mama and her new man. The one time you try to confront them about what is, to you, this morally reprehensible behavior, they pointed out that they were getting more p—y than you. End of argument. Burn.
#43 That’ll Do Racing (Ford Mustang) – Spirit insect: Inch Worm. Like that inchworm romanticized by Hans Christian Anderson, this team will likely measure its progress in terms of marigolds. Unlike the inchworm romanticized by Hans Christian Anderson, this team sucks at math. For example, “drive fast good” was the response had to the most basic of mathematical queries: what is 2+2? In fact, “drive fast good” was the only response had to any query posed to this team. They were duly informed that at this rate they would get neither gold stars nor pizza party, and a note was made to inform the counselor.
#33 Tiki Time Racing (Ford Mustang) – Spirit insect: Ladybugs. Insert clichéd gender-referenced all-female team here.
#777 Seriouz (Toyota MR2) – Spirit insect: Luna Moth. The Luna moth has been co-opted as the “mascot” for a prescription sleep aid. Like watching this car, it’ll put you to sleep. Hell, to watch it, you might think the drivers are “sleep driving” or something of the like. Have fun avoiding this erratic rolling chicane.
#31 Rod Throwin’ Fools (Toyota MR2, V6 swap) – Spirit insect: Bumblebee . It just wouldn’t be a horrible insect summer without the bumblebee, the likeness of which is most well represented by this entrant. Bumblebee? More like bumbling, am I right? But seriously: This thing makes a lot of racket for not going very far or very fast. It sounds like a regular bee that has a hole in the exhaust . And it’s just kind of portly compared to the others. ‘Nuff said.
#22 Jebiga Motorsports (Mazda RX-7) – Spirit insect: Cicada. Like a cicada, this car makes one lap every 17 years. Just enjoy the noise that it makes and the majesty of its strange existence. Steel yourself against seemingly everyone telling you about cicadas and their 17 year lifecycle, as if by this point you had no idea. Kids, adults, relatives, strangers, it does not matter. First, they’re going to say “Hot enough for you?” But before you can muster a grunt, they’ll pipe up with “You know, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” After they have stunned you with this banality, they’re going to start in telling you about the cicadas. Every. Freakin’. Time, man.
#59 Low-T Sewing Circle Book Club (BMW E28) – Spirit insect: Bagworm Moth. This team is like the bagworm moth because (insert scrotum joke here). Next!
#77 The Screwederia (Acura Integra) – Spirit insect: Carpenter ant. The carpenter ant is most often known for its size, but it has another incredible adaptation: it herds aphids and feeds off of the “honeydew” that the aphids secrete out of their patoots. Thus, expect this car be right up the ass of the aphid car previously discussed. All race.
#900 Born From Jest (Saab 900 Turbo, above) – Spirit insect: Bowl and Doily Weaver Spider. This spider is so damn fancy. So is this team! They say “AUHnt” real breathy-like, while the rest of us public-school knuckle-draggers just say “ant.” Often seen crying uncontrollably in the penalty box upon realizing the smallest of scrapes to their paint and swearing that their father is going to do something bad to them.
#928 Scuderia Craptastica (Ford Taurus SHO) – Spirit insect: Halloween Pennant. This dragonfly is named for its orange and black “pennant” wings. This team is also known for its modified pennants in the shape of rectangles. I’m talking about flags here, people. They get flagged a lot. OK? Move on.
#118 Wisconsin Crap Racing (BMW E36) – Spirit insect: Eastern Harvestman. The Eastern Harvestman looks like a spider, but isn’t. As a form of self-defense, it tears off one of its own legs and throws it at its enemy. If I were an enemy to the Harvestman and it did that, I would totally freak out and get the hell out of there. That’s not natural. In any event, given that this team will drop off important parts necessary for locomotion whenever threatened by other cars on the track, the Harvestman is its bug, yo.
#276 On Point Motorsports (BMW E30) – Spirit insect: Head Lice. They make you scratch your head. They suck, but they’re hard to kill. You probably got them from your brother Ernie, aka “Dirty Ernie.”
#747 Autoworxmotorsports.com (BMW E34) – Spirit insect: House Centipede. The House Centipede was played by Samuel L. Jackson in Django Unchained. As a result, you are now reading this in his screaming voice. Because of his involvement, this team’s car likely needs to be taken to storage immediately.
#16 Arrested Adolescents Racing Program (Opel GT, Ford 2.3L swap) – Opel GT. Spirit insect: Dung Beetle.You see it coming at you and it is driving a huge shitball. Quite literally, it is a life force driving a rolling turd. When you see it, you can’t help but declare aloud: “HO! LY! SHIT!!” And then you are amused because you made a pun and didn’t even mean to.
#67 TARP Shenanigans (BMW E36) – Spirit insect: Harlequin bug. Like the Harlequin bug, this entrant is bursting with color and pattern. Also like the Harlequin bug, it is designed for the very purpose of sucking. Will it suck least of all of the other suckers, sucker? That’s some Shakespeare shit right there.
#29 2-Broke 2-Care (BMW E30) – Spirit insect: Mosquitoes. Cunning fellow racers know that this entrant is repelled by any common DEET containing insect repellent. There is no rule against dousing the start/finish line with said insect repellent. Those nefarious participants—who are less interested in competing on the merits and more interested in using a loophole to win—simply march out there before the start of the race and hose that start/ finish line down with repellent. Expectedly, the car goes out for one parade lap and then is forced to pit in by the chemical barrier. This is just dirty tricks, people, and we need to look at having a rule that stops these sort of shenanigans.
#30 Turtle Head Racing (BMW E30) – Spirit insect: Honeybee. Like the Honeybee, they are known for consuming substantial quantities of Zagnut candy and Southern Comfort, then vomiting the deliciously sweet, enzyme-enhanced gut treacle on used air filter “combs” stacked in the paddock. Lucky for you, when the track is hot, their vehicle is making enough smoke to confuse and sedate them, so you can roll up completely unnoticed to boost that juice. Try some in your iced tea, or just drop the niceties and wring out that air filter into your yapper.
#368 PBR Light (BMW E30) – Spirit insect: Cloudless Sulphur Butterly. Similar to the Clouded Sulphur, but this one drops it out in solid form only. This team is known for the bunched-up looking seat-area of their racing suits, foul odor, and frequent exclamations of “Aw man! Ah shiyit muh payants again, man!” As no bathroom breaks are required, this team is a contender with its long driver stints.
#325 Knights of the Roundel (BMW E30) – Spirit insect: Tobacco Hornworm Caterpillar. The members of this team always have a big ol’ wad of chaw jammed back in their yaps. Every few minutes, they spit out what must be a pint of tobacco juice all over the ground. Their crapcan didn’t want to be the only non-participatory team member, so it frequently pukes out its own “tobacco juice” consisting of engine oil mixed with coolant as a result of yet another head gasket failure.
#911 Supra Troopers (Toyota Supra) – Spirit insect: Coffinfly. Bring a coffin for the motor, ‘cause it’s gonna be DOA.
#448 Blueberry Fields Forever (Subaru Impreza, Legacy 3.6L swap) – Spirit insect: Dobson Fly. The female Dobson fly has huge mandibles and will painfully bite the bejeesus out of you. There’s probably someone named Dobson on this team with a huge jaw, too. So just play it safe, ok?
#555 Sideways to Victory V (Ford Focus, turbocharged) – Spirit insect: Eastern Amberwing. The Eastern Amberwing has the distinction of repeated mention during that Black Betty song by Ram Jam. And that’s exactly what this car is going to do: ram and jam. Alllllright.
#99 Strange Crew B (Nissan 240SX) – Spirit insect: Spur-Throated Grasshopper. This team is constantly hurtling itself into the air and onto the grass. However, it does have a chance to win in the event that the penalty assigned for its off-track excursion consists of “eat the hell out of these plants like so fast.”
#72 Strange Crew A (Mazda RX-7) – Spirit insect: Millipede. This car is like the millipede, because it is based off of a prior successful related endeavor but which turned out to be not as popular or fun. We’re talking about video games here, people. Centipede was awesome, Millipede sucked. Get over it.
#186 Little Lebowski Urban Achievers (Volvo 245, above) – Spirit insect: Chinese mantis. The Chinese Mantis has to eat constantly in order to stay alive. Considering the incredibly poor fuel economy of this team’s crapcan, the Chinese Mantis is its spirit insect. Also, like the Chinese Mantis, these team members are constantly feeding themselves. Burgers, chips, hotdogs, whatever. If you’re hungry and in the paddock, you can likely find a whole burger that they dropped on the ground during their feeding frenzy. Just pick it up and eat it. It hasn’t been there too long. It’s free! Yuck! I can’t believe you ate it. You are now known as “Paddock Remora.”
#481 Free Candy Racing (Honda Civic) – Spirit insect: Dogbane Leaf Beetle. This team is operated by an anthropomorphic cat-man from the future known as Dogbane. The judges better have the squirt bottle penalty ready for this quantum-leaping meowman!
#87 Dai Mondai I (Toyota Corolla FX16) – Spirit insect: Conehead Katydid. This Katydid is know nfor its misshapen head. Yet it can still jump, fly and sing just like all the other katydids. Keep telling yourself that.
#285 Dai Mondai II (Toyota MR2) – Spirit insect: Antlion. These ants are known for never telling the truth. Very much like this team during the BS inspection. Expect wacky hijinks and penalty laps galore when the truth is revealed! Starting at 8:05 Eastern and ONLY on Superstation TBS.
#606 Shit Box Racing (BMW E30) – Spirit insect: Firebrat. Let’s just pretend that this entrant is a Subaru BRAT and it’s on fire and everything makes sense.
#181 Team Sheen (Acura Integra) – Spirit insect: Tick. Very similar to the tick the size of a bowling ball on your dog that you never noticed because you are an awful dog parent: They suck, but do so relentlessly.
#750 Flying Pigs Racing (Ford Mustang) – Spirit insect: Labyrinthine Orb Weaver Spider. Scientists now know that this spider’s favorite movie is The Labyrinth, and that it adopted its namesake web style after becoming infatuated with the movie. You know how Howard Hughes had Ice Station Zebra? Yeah, same thing for this spider but with Labyrinth. Speaking of the movie, this car is large, ponderous, and summons rocks (via off-track excursions) like Ludo.
#112 The Blue Shells (Dodge Neon) – Spirit insect: Paper Wasp. The paper wasp builds structures made of wood fiber and saliva. In similar fashion, this team fabricates body structures out of an epoxy vomitus consisting of Nyquil and Werther’s candies layered upon a substrate of court summonses. This makes the car’s body structure sleek and aerodynamic. Whatever speed increase this gives the team, however, is given up in lost time to process servers, who surround the vehicle while attempting to serve contempt orders.
#56 Skid Marks Racing (Dodge Neon, above) – Spirit insect: Cottonwood Borer. This entrant is like the Cottonwood Borer because it’s just so boring. Out there, turning laps, not getting into any trouble, reliably running and finishing. Like after the race is over, it’s going to start telling you about its trip to French Lick. Again.
#45 United Ducktape Racing (Porsche 944) – Spirit insect: Brown Recluse Spider. Notable by everyone on the track staying the hell away from it as much as possible. The Brown recluse spider has a fiddle shape on its back. Danny Cooksey played the fiddle. I’m sure one of these drivers has some likeness to Danny Cooksey. Are you really going to risk it? Stay away.
#53 LemonAid Racing (Geo Metro, BMW M52 swap) – Spirit insect: Burrowing Mayfly. Like the burrowing mayfly, this entrant has the life span of one day. Tops.
#44 Landshark (Honda Civic) – Spirit insect: Bedbugs. Like bedbugs and that one dude from that one World Cup team that straight up bit that other dude live on television during the match, this is a team of biters. They bite, and then they suck. But they don’t even have the common decency to hang out and do it, like the tick. No, they dine and dash. Never go to Denny’s with this team.
#36 Save the Ta-Tas Racing (Chevy Camaro, Chevy LSx swap) – Spirit insect: Horsefly. A horsefly bite is actually it just vomiting acid onto your skin and then stabbing into it to slurp up the goo. Similarly, this vehicle barfs out caustic fluid that dissolves the will to win, then slurps it up with the remainder of the race budget.
#63 Hong Norrth C (Toyota Supra) – Spirit insect: Hag Moth Caterpillar. This car is like the hag moth caterpillar because it is just so gnarly looking, man. It’s got all of these things coming out of it for seemingly no reason – and they break off upon the slightest touch. It looks like this weird, gross, land-going octopus. It’s basically the stuff of nightmares. Pure terror.
I think we’ve all learned something here today, though I’m hard-pressed to articulate what that might be. Nevertheless, check back to Hooniverse Saturday morning for our liveblog of the race from the Penalty Box and you can follow live timing on Specialty Timing’s website. If you’d like more preview, I’ve written just a tad bit of bonus coverage over on The Rusty Hub for the diehards.
Some Possibly Interesting Information
|Friday Tech Time (Local time)||Noon to 5 p.m.|
|Saturday Race Start||10 a.m.|
|Sunday Race Finish||10 a.m.|
|Eric Rood Sleep Time||Yeah, maybe a bit.|
|LeMons Lap Record (South Course)||1:43.9 Holy Rollers (Acura Integra)|
|Overall Winners||2010 – Skid Marks Racing (Dodge Neon)|
|2011 – Clueless Racing (Honda CRX)|
|2012 – Subliminal Racing (BMW E30)|
|2012 – Skid Marks Racing (Dodge Neon)|
|2013 – Save the Ta-Tas Racing (Chevy Camaro)|
|2014 – Back to the Past (Nissan 300ZX)|
|Class B||2010 – Chicken and Waffles (Volkswagen Quantum)|
|2011 – Euro Trash (Volkswagen Jetta)|
|2012 – Byte Marks Racing (Ford Escort)|
|2012 – Dos Limons (Ford Fiesta)|
|2013 – Bad Mojo Racing (Opel GT)|
|2014 – Point-O-Eight (Ford Escort)|
|Class C||2010 – LemonAid Racing (Geo Metro)|
|2011 – LemonAid Racing (Geo Metro)|
|2012 – LemonAid Racing (Geo Metro)|
|2012 – Candy Asses (Chevy Cavalier)|
|2013 – Zero Budget Racing (Chevy Chevette Diesel)|
|2014 – Der SchnitzelWagen (Volkswagen Squareback)|
|Index of Effluency||2010 – Speedycop (Lancia Scorpio/Toyota MR2)|
|2011 – Racing 4 Nickels (Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera)|
|2012 – Schnitzelwagen (Volkswagen Squareback)|
|2012 – Dos Limons (Ford Fiesta)|
|2013 – Futility Motorsports (Mercury Bobcat)|
|2014 – Afunzalo Racing (Fiat X1/9)|
[All photos copyright 2015 Hooniverse/Eric Rood]