24 Hours of LeMons: 'LeMons South Fall' preview at CMP

Lede_1 Here’s a bit of 24 Hours of LeMons trivia (because everyone loves that): Carolina Motorsports Park has hosted 13 LeMons races, more than any other track. This weekend marks the second CMP race this year and it will be the 14th visit in LeMons checkered history. The LeMons Fall races are notable and distinct from the spring race in one important way: BS Inspection takes place amidst a parade of LeMons cars through nearby Camden, South Carolina, which then turns into a freak/car show in Camden’s downtown. This has become a staple of LeMons’ calendar and a race that many look forward to all year. Early-week weather forecasts suggest that pleasant temperatures and dry-but-humid weather conditions should prevail this weekend, but rain has occurred often enough at CMP that veteran teams will be prepared for it. The full course should be enough space for the 113 registered entries, a somewhat paltry number after the overwhelming 228 that turned laps at Thunderhill last weekend. You can see the unofficial entry list here and be sure to read on for a slightly more involved and, of course, high-brow preview of the race.

Cadillac_Catera

Class C

We start with the class that matters most, the most LeMon-y class of LeMons. These are the cars with sordid automotive pasts that rusted on showroom floors or spent half of their lives in repair bays if they were lucky. The cars may be slow or just, well, bad. I received a lot of good feedback on my preview from Thunderhill last week, so I’ll keep these class previews of a similarly brief nature. That’s what you get for encouraging me. #25 Cadillac Racing (Cadillac Catera, above) – The crapcan that sags. Almost always leads Class C by wide margin only to remember it’s a Catera. #42 3 Pedal Mafia (The Boat/Chevy S10) – Always close to winning C. Also, it’s literally a boat. #3 NSF Racing (Ford Frontenac) – Canada-only FoMoCo with a 144 straight-six. Nothing bad can happen here to the team that has won the Index of Effluency at CMP three times. Frontenac translates from Canadian to “Fuzzy Blumpkins.” #19 Fuzzy Blumpkins (Ford Pinto) – Yep, it’s a Pinto. Fuzzy Blumpkins translates to “NSF” in Sprench. #47 Silent But Deadly Racing (Ford Pinto) – Yep, it’s another Pinto. Pinto translates to “Mustang” in Malaise. #21 Interceptor Motorsports (Renault Fuego Turbo) – One of the most long-sought LeMons types of all time finally arrives. This team used to run a Thunderbird so they’re making good LeMons choices. Collateral_Damage_Cavalier #86 Collateral Damage Racing (Chevy Cavalier, above) – In a series full of bad cars, this must surely be the worst GM J-Body to ever race. #49 Gulf and Go (Buick/Opel/Isuzu) – I’ve never heard two people call this car the same thing, so the team have decided to use all its names. Judging by the team name, it could be the 130th car in crappy Gulf livery. #64 Team Fairlylame (Ford Fairlane) – Won Index of Effluency at Sebring. Not actually all that slow, but definitely old and tired. Looks great. #80 Team Sputnik (Porsche 924) and #999 Team Sputnik (Nissan Quest) – A 924 powered by a proletarian-grade Nissan four-pot and a rotted-out tribute to giving up in life. This is the Sputnik that LeMoneers know and love/fear. RetroRacing_VW #57 RetroRacing (Volkswagen Super Beetle, above) – A team that proves that seven half-laps does not equal a full lap in racing. #83 Speedycop & The Gang of Outlaws (Ford Somethingorother) – Speedycop likes to be coy about car registration. This could really be anything, but I’d enjoy it if he somehow had found another Frontenac. #225 E30/6 (BMW E30/Slant Six) – Leaning Tower of Power usually goes sour in first hour.  This is how you build a Class C E30. #116 Idle Clatter (Mercedes 300SD) and #473 Idle Clatter (Toyota SJ5) – The diesel Merc is a class and IOE winner. Hopefully, the SJ5 is a technical-caliber factory diesel. Plod to win! John_Galt_S10 #911 John Galt B (Chevy S10, above) – Firetruck-replica S10 is fantastic, way better than the team’s other car, which is a boring old Mustang. #2 Austin Powerless (Austin Marina) – A tribute to autoworkers unrest and sticktoitiveness. Somehow has won C and IOE despite being painfully, painfully slow.  

CLASS B

Bump_Drafting_Neon This class is the playing grounds of cars that maybe aren’t quite up to being “sporty” or “powerful” or “capable of running for more than 20 minutes at a time.” To win Class B, crapcan poet Bill Carl Bills said it best:

“So much depends upon properly torqued bolts and hella not breaking Or stomping own wieners.”

In other words, “Keep your car running and don’t make mistakes.” Those things go far in racing, doubly so in Class B at LeMons. Anyway, here are some teams of note that may end up in Class B after Friday’s trackside BS Inspections and classing.   #332 Bump Drafting Misfits (Dodge Neon, above) – Team name makes me envision Jerry Only and Glenn Danzig pushing each other around on an oval and flipping each other off. #41 3 Pedal Mafia A (Honda Civic) & #43 3 Pedal Mafia (Triumph TR7) – The team’s two “normal” cars, one of which is a Buick 3800-powered British pile. #110 Chariots on Fire (Dodge Shadow) – Have formerly raced an MX-3 and have traded down. Way down. Like, Marianas Trench down. Escort_Service #111 Escort Service (Ford Escort, above) – One of five teams to make an “Escort Service” joke with their team name, though one was a Neon. Weird. #61 GRR Sports (Ford Escort) – Finished P7 overall in 2011, disappeared for two years, and hath returned. #58 Halfast Racing (Chevy Impala) – A B-body Impala/Caprice thingie. Really fast, but still truly GM at its heart. #91 Knoxvegas Lowballers (Geo Metro) & #97 Knoxvegas Lowballers (Ford Contour) – A mid-engined, Ford V6-powered Metro and a Contour SVT that have both been shockingly reliable. #423 MidlifeCrisis (Chevy Monza) – Owning a Monza probably includes more crises than simply reaching middle-age. #40 Mock Grass Racing (Kia Sephia) – An appliance-grade, slow-as-molasses Class C winner. 211_Camaro #211 Mullet Racing (Chevy Camero, above) – Do a burnout! Woooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! #8 Nantucket Goat Husbandry (Honda Civic) – Included because the team name frightens me. #998 Orbits Near Uranus Racing (Saturn SC2) – Saturn is a planet. Uranus is a planet. Why is nobody building a “Pluto is a Planet, Dammit” Saturn? #420 PBR (Subaru Outback) – Team number 420, get it? Because it’s a Subaru? Pass the granola, man. #48 Psychobilly Crapcan! (BMW E36 thing) – Formerly Speedycop’s chopped-up BMWhatever. Purple_Hays_Mustang #66 Purple Hays (Ford Mustang, above) – A stock, four-cylinder Mustang has all the reliability. Well, maybe a little, at least. #601 The Generar Ree (Datsun 260Z) – Name translates to “Okinawa will rise again.” #77 Shark Bait Racing (Datsun 280Z) – Hey look, it’s not a Kamikaze theme on a Datsun. That’s rare. #15 Speed is Bliss (BMW 635 Csi) – Theoretically, the E24 is a pretty capable platform. Theory is bad for you in LeMons, though. Van_Buren_Cutlass #46 Van Buren Boys (Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, above) – Famously documented their build in crayon. #101 Team Fubar (Pontiac Grand Prix) – The Grand Prix GTP is the Juggalo Lamborghini. Bam, last-minute theme idea. #32 Speedycop A (Honda Accordion) – Speedycop’s enduring quest to win every LeMons trophy leaves only a Class B win, which will earn him a factory Zonda GR seat if he gets it. #89 Not So Fresh Off the Boat Racing (Oldsmobile Delta 88) – A GM H-Body, like the W-Body, but not like the A-Body, B-Body, G-Body, C-Body, π-body, or ¥-body.  

CLASS A/OVERALL

Duff_Civic As thought it matters, these cars should be in the top Class A, the grounds of actual fast or competitive cars. One of these will most likely take home the win, which is, I suppose, important. Or something. #128 CarolinaHondas.com/Duff Beer Civic (Honda Civic, above) – Won Class B at Sebring, but more importantly, the team brings homebrew to enjoy after the track goes cold for the day. Priorities. #929 Come Monday Motorsports (Porsche 928) – Nearly won overall at Sebring before engine puked all over the track in final hour. #745 Fast Al’s Race Team (Volvo 740) – Won Class B at NJMP this year. Pretty quick brick. #13 Grim Reaper Racing (Ford Mustang) – Runners up several times with V6 Mustang. Should win eventually, even though all Mustangs tend to induce “FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS MY @$$!!!1!” proclamations. #63 Hong Norrth C (Toyota Supra) – Five wins in an MX-3, including three at CMP. Will be interesting to see how they handle more power, less efficiency, and worse reliability. Turkstra_Supra #98 Howard J. Turkstra Motorsports (Toyota Supra, above) and #75 Howard J. Turkstra Motorsports (Toyota Celica) – The Celica has won Class B several times and both cars are capable of running well into the Top 10. #172 Hung South (Volkswagen Golf) – Peripheral team to Hong Norrth, based in South America. Or Florida. Not sure which. #411 Irritable Dad Syndrome Racing (Mazda Miata) – Pretty good name and a Top 10 team. #802 Junkyard Racing (BMW E30) – CHEATURZ!!!11! Moldecarlo #133 Moldecarlo (Chevy Monte Carlo, above) – The first GM car to win a LeMons race. Get a tetanus booster before even looking at it. #140 Questie’s Racing Team (Ford Escort) – Former Class B winners who could be the first to win overall with a Ford Escort. #72 Racing Nemo (BMW E30) – Won at CMP last fall and have the ability to repeat. #45 Nemesis Ridiculii (Nissan 240SX) – Several Top 10 finishes from what is likely the best 240SX in LeMons history. I’m not sure how important that claim is. #238 Radioactive Racing Team (Ford Mustang) – Sister team to Grim Reaper. Have two more cylinders and eight times as many reliability issues. Moms_Friendly_Civic #416 Mom’s Friendly Racing Company (Honda Civic) – Steadily improving. I’m not going to pick a longshot for this race, but they are it. #201 RC Spiders (Mercedes 190E) – Four-time winners. Almost won at Sebring despite several handicap laps. Another car that prompts claims of “HOW $500?!” #335 Road Warrior Racing (BMW E30) – Another regular Top 10 car that’s been around forever with the absolute best Road Warrior theme. #113 Smokey Unit (Fiat Spider) – Volkswagen TDI and a fuel cell. Could run all day on one tank of fuel and it’s also blisteringly fast. The easy winner on paper if it ever runs all weekend. #90 Speedycop B (Mazda Miata) – Almost certainly not a boring old stock Miata if Speedycop’s name is on it. Here’s hoping it’s powered by a Lycoming or something even more ridiculous. Squirting_Coronas #124 Squirtin’ Coronas (Mercedes 300E, above) – Former Class B winners. Benzes might be the most reliable LeMons cars aside from Volvos. #23 Team Scrap Iron (Ford Escort) – Class B winners and related team to Questie’s Racing Team. Both equally capable of winning with the right luck. #811 Team SOB – Sick of Breaking (Volkswagen GTI) – A regular Top 5 car. Volkswagen hasn’t won LeMons since 2010; this could be the car to break that streak. Ran with only fourth gear at CMP this spring and still finished third. #157 Terminally Confused A (Honda Civic) & #751 Terminally Confused B (Honda CRX) – A pair of little Hondas. Probably won’t win, but could very well park both cars in the top quarter of the field. #413 Wattree Renegades (Mazda Miata) – Been around the block a few times. #6 Zero Energy Racing (Honda Del Sol) – Just another cheaty Honda. Zeus_Suit #59 Zeus Suit Racing (Mazda RX-7) – [I ran out of words.]   If you feel compelled, head on over to the unofficial entry list and write your own short description in the comments of a team I didn’t mention. Or don’t and have a big slug of sizzurp. Yeah, do that instead. Look at this big chart I made that bristles with moot points:

Some mildly important information
Event page LeMons South Fall
About the track CMP Trackpedia page
Saturday Session (EST) 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Sunday Session (EST) 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a quiet hour from 11 a.m. to noon
LeMons Lap Record (Full) 1:55.4 (The Silver Bullets – Nissan 300ZX)
LeMons Lap Record (Short) 0:59.7 (Superkak Racing – Ford Mustang)
Overall Winners 2008 – She Got It All (Mazda RX-7)
  2009 – Dorifto Dogs (BMW E30)
  2009 – White Lightning (Mazda RX-7)
  2010 – Rbankracing (Saab 900)
  2010 – Super Troopers Racing (BMW E30)
  2010 – Iron LeMons Racing (BMW E30)
  2011 – Hong Norrth (Mazda MX-3)
  2011 – Hong Norrth (Mazda MX-3)
  2012 – Rbankracing (Saab 9-3)
  2012 – Hong Norrth (Mazda MX-3)
  2013 – Moldecarlo (Chevy Monte Carlo)
  2013 – Racing Nemo (BMW E30)
  2014 – RC Spiders (Mercedes 190E)
Class B Winners 2008 – CC Canada (Nissan 300ZX)
  2009 – Lightning McQueen (Volkswagen Jetta)
  2009 – Moldecarlo (Chevy Monte Carlo)
  2010 – Team SOB (Volkswagen GTI)
  2010 – Uchill (Audi 100)
  2010 – Howard J. Turkstra Motorsports (Toyota Celica)
  2011 – Team Tortoise (Ford Crown Victoria)
  2011 – Moldecarlo (Chevy Monte Carlo)
  2012 – Grim Reaper Racing (Ford Mustang)
  2012 – Student Drivers (Ford Crown Victoria)
  2013 – Questie’s Racing Team (Ford Escort)
  2013 – Morrow’s Racing (Mitsubishi Mirage)
  2014 – Team Scrap Iron (Ford Escort)
Class C Winners 2008 – Team Saab Story (Saab 9000)
  2009 – Ponticrap (Pontiac Fiero)
  2009 – Sweede Little Pigs (Saab 900)
  2010 – Theoretical Racing (Nissan 280ZX)
  2010 – Rush Hour Racing (Ford Crown Victoria)
  2010 – Tunachuckers (Volvo Amazon)
  2011 – Sputnik (Nissan Stanza Wagon)
  2011 – Sputnik (Nissan Stanza Wagon)
  2012 – Morrow’s Racing (Buick Reatta)
  2012 – The Failure Modes (Volvo 240)
  2013 – PBR (Subaru Outback)
  2013 – Austin Powerless (Austin Marina)
  2014 – Mock Grass Racing (Kia Sephia)
Index of Effluency Winners 2008 – Tunachuckers (Volvo 122)
  2009 – Heavy Metal (Ford LTD)
  2009 – Rusty Bolt Racing (BMW E12)
  2010 – Track Pillagerz! (Buick LeSabre)
  2010 – Schumacher Taxi Service (Chevy Citation X-11)
  2010 – Dog Ciao Racing (Alfa Romeo Spider)
  2011 – NSF Racing (Plymouth Fury)
  2011 – Greene County Moving Co. (Chevy S10)
  2012 – Morrow’s Racing (Buick Reatta)
  2012 – NSF Racing (Mercedes 170)
  2013 – Speedycop & The Gang of Outlaws (Cessna 310/Toyota SpaceVan)
2013 – Idle Clatter (Mercedes-Benz 300SD)
2014 – NSF Racing (1956 Ford LTD)

[Photos: Murilee Martin]

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