So, as this olelongrooffan mentioned in my Weekend Edition post, on Friday morning my massive communications system lights up indicating the rare moment when some one actually wants to have a voice to voice chat with me. Turns out it was a dude I sold a racecar trailer to last year while I was still schleping trailers for bestpricetrailers.com. “Whatcha doing longroof?” Yeah, he calls me that also. “Just hanging, Casey. What are you up to?” “Hot Rod and I are heading down to Homestead-Miami for track days. Want to come on down?” Well, I would suspect that my fellow Hoons know the answer to that rhetorical question.
As always seems to happen to this olelongrooffan, when I pulled up to the security gate, I merely waved at the cute blonde in that uniform and she waved me on through. Some things never change. This was the first time this olelongrooffan had been to this particular speedway since the first CART race here in 1996 and then I was a guest of DuPont. If you bought enough square feet of Corian countertops back in the day, you too could have been on that adventure. I do remember that open wheel event and the booze was free. Yeah, definitely remember that, well vaguely. It was a long time ago, after all. At that event we were confined to the hospitality area outside the turn one grandstands and our seats in those grandstands. I sure didn’t have the full blown access my attendance on this Saturday allowed. (I know I have some old school photos of that event. Note to self, “Scan and share.”)
Hey, sorry about that digression. Anyway, once in the garage area, after spotting that old Mazda ALMS racecar entering the garages, I knew the immediate thing this olelongrooffan had to do was hit the pits area and see what could be seen. And my fellow Hoons will know that I did just that. Upon arrival, I was able to catch a few racecars down at the end of pit road getting ready to head out for their time on that circuit.
I also spotted a few street machines cruising out of the NASCAR turn four area and then next up were a couple of these Hayabusa racecars just like the ones Casey and Hot Rod Hoon around on those track days.
After their laps were completed I decided to mosey on over to the garages and catch up with Hot Rod and Casey. I spotted Hot Rod’s stacker trailer and started looking around for his Hayabusa without success.
The reason this olelongrooffan was unsuccessful in locating Hot Rod’s Hayabusa was because he had drug his newest toy down from Jacksonville in that stacker of his. That is Hot Rod in the white t-shirt and losing his hair in leaps and bounds.
Yeah, he had dropped around 80 large to buy one of Dale, Jr.’s old Watkins Glen racecars. His wrench, the dude in the shorts on the driver’s side of that racecar, was a total nervous wreck when Hot Rod was later out Hooning it around those closed off NASCAR banked turns though. “He’s gonna lose it, longroof, I just know he is.”
Well Hoons, Hot Rod was able to keep his new ride out of the walls and drug that electronics filled stock car back to his garage area without incident. He got out of that thing with a grin from ear to ear and hollering with enjoyment at the top of his lungs. Yeah, like a dang-gum kid in a candy store he was. He did reveal to those of us enjoying the moment with him that it was a bit squirrelly on those high banked corners.
And with the rain that showed up a little later in the day, it was probably a good thing the only tires he had brung along were these Goodyear Eagle slicks as they kept him off that racetrack altogether.
I had to step away to another garage to put his ride into perspective. Yeah, unlike the SCCA NASCAR racecars this olelongrooffan had seen last fall out at the Daytona International Speedway, Hot Rod’s NASCAR was the only one in attendance here this weekend.
After grabbing those images, I headed back over to Hot Rod’s stacker and grabbed a few more images of it to forward onto bestpricetrailers.com so my former co-workers could see a couple of these racecar trailers in action. See those 2×12’s on top of that lift’s runners? Those were necessary to be utilized as ramps to load Jr’s old racecar on this lift. Hot Rod asked me if I knew of a source for the longer aluminum ramps he now needed for his new ride. I mentioned I had had great success with discountramps.com and I was confident he would also. Hot Rod mentioned that he would never remember that website and would I write it down for him. I told him, “Even better, just remember that website reads ‘discoun tramps’.” He laughed and said he’ll never forget it.
So it was time for this olelongrooffan to get on down and pay my buddy Casey a visit and chat it up with the Hayabusa racing crowd for a bit.
At the PBOC weekend I attended up in Daytona Beach last fall, there were only two of this style race car out and about. (Hot Rod’s was broken and in his old trailer.) Down at this event there were at least 12 or 14 of them in various colors and sponsors. Jimmy’s Mecum clad racecar was at its first outing since it received this new paint job. Turns out he knows some of the Mecum boys and when they found out just how many track events he hit each year, and how little it costs to actually run one of these, they ponied up a few bucks and Jimmy painted his car their colors in acknowledgement of their deed.
Meanwhile I got to chatting it up with a guy who recognized me from the time we hauled the green one of these things seen on the track a couple images back that thousand yards or so behind my beaterolepickemup truck last year at the Daytona Beach Speedway. As Casey was not at the Daytona event, I was unsure which car was Casey’s. Rick pointed it out to me as this number 555 while he acknowledged the 55 Hayabusa in near matching colors belonged to him. We chatted it up about careers, life, racing and the weather until he got a text from his wife back in the motorcoach letting him know his sammich was ready.
I stepped over to capture this image of the bonnet of Casey’s race car that was laying on the floor of that garage just in front of that currently wheel less motorcycle powered racecar.
Yeah, it is my limited understanding this is a Hayabusa motorcycle engine which provides the means of propulsion to these GT Thunder roadster tube framed racecars. Although I am told, “the engines have been detuned from around 200 horsepower down to only around 150.” This bit of trivia constitutes this olelongrooffan’s contribution to today’s Two Wheel Tuesday.
I tried to google Hayabusa Racing and came across a whole dang bunch of different styles of racecars including some closed coupe body styles. This particular bodystyle is modified by www.toysbytink.net. to accept these motors and are remarkably inexpensive for a racecar.
As Casey was nowhere to be seen, I headed over to capture an image or two of the new trailer he got via this olelongrooffan.
He had added a few goodies and stickers to personalize his trailer and make it his own. He also, as this olelongrooffan does with every vehicle I own, removed all dealership stickers from his new aluminum trailer. I later asked him about it and he mentioned that if bestpricetrailers.com wanted to help pay for his racecar, he would be happy to put their stickers on his trailer. I got a chuckle over that.
As my stomach was grumbling just a bit, I headed over to the grassy knoll just inside the backstretch of that speedway and checked out the road course straightaway between me and the grandstand and garage areas.
After I finished up my Tommy Lee sammiches and had a coke and a smoke, this olelongrooffan was off to do a bit of exploring. Near where I presume safety equipment parks during a race, the fence keeping we lowly civilians out of that area was left open and I just had to slip on down to the track to see what was up. I gathered the above image of the outside retaining wall and then
grabbed this image of the safety barrier wall along the inside of the backstretch looking down towards NASCAR turn two. Yeah, my fellow Hoons, this is not a real high tech application here.
Those are merely pieces of dense hard foam board fastened together and held in place between the tube wall on the racetrack side and the concrete wall on the infield side. And that south Florida sun hasn’t treated that foam board all that well, regardless of the deco colored paint applied to them.
Well, it was still lunch time and all of the driver’s were relaxing around the garages so this olelongrooffan figured I would see what could be seen just outside the infield in the grandstand area. The tunnel through which I initially accessed the infield was large enough to accommodate NASCAR size transporters as well as Hot Rod’s huge stacker. I knew this tunnel was not going to allow access for those big rigs but I figured my kinda low rider newish longerroof would make it through just fine. I sincerely doubt security would let me pass through this tunnel during any NASCAR related events going on down there at the edge of the Everglades.
Sure enough, there was a trio of Homestead-Miami liveryed race cars out there under those grandstands just gathering up a whole bunch of rust and more than a few spider webs.
They even had a cutaway Fusion stock car like Jeff Hamilton uses to demonstrate different aspects of the race car. This one dated from 2008 so I’m not real sure what its future will entail.
However before going anywhere, it is gonna need the attention of a pit crew with a jack and a set of new shoes to get it rolling again. In the background of the above image, through that gate and the opening in the trees was the main drag in front of the speedway with a parking lot on the other side. They were running the SOLO event over there. Didn’t get a chance to get over to see if fellow Hoon Ralstig made it down in his old Miata, unfortunately.
And did I mention rain? Yeah, it was around 12:30 pm on that Saturday the skies just plumb opened up and a hard downpour started commencing. As I had left my picture taker in my longerroof and it was parked outside the garage area in the rain, no images of that cow pattie like rainstorm was captured by this olelongrooffan as I was safely stationed in the dry garage listening to one tale after another from those hilarious racing dudes.
Once the rain lightened up, I headed out and captured an image of the tail end of that thunderstorm and then, while waiting for the track to dry, headed out through that big tunnel to capture an image of the only feature, other than the track, the average race fan sees while down here in the Everglades.
I later retreated back to the garage area and captured an image (actually several) of that ole ALMS Mazda and chatted it up a bit with the driver of that Mustang in the background.
Meanwhile, Casey (center above), after having installed his race tires, rolled his Hayabusa out under the overhang to fuel it up with the same pump gas you and I use in our daily drivers.
I looked back and noticed the Mustang dude had pushed his car out of the garage and this olelongrooffan couldn’t help but notice the stain it had left on the floor of that bay. When I pointed it out to that driver, he walked over, checked it out, looked at this olelongrooffan and said, with a smile, “No more than usual.” We both started laughing and each of us headed in our own direction. His to the track and mine back to the grassy infield.
It was there I captured my buddy Casey doing a few qausi hot laps on that soaked race track. Earlier, this olelongrooffan had lamented to him it was a bummer the track was soaked and they couldn’t go as fast as they would like. His comment? “Longroof, sometimes it’s just as fun to drive a fast car slow in the wet as it is to drive a fast car fast on a dry track.”
Yeah, regardless of their fun time budgets, these guys are Hoons. Can’t wait until Sebring this summer.
Image Copyright Hooniverse 2013/longrooffan