Friday we raced at MCM Road Course in Bowling Green Kentucky. We scored 1.5 hours of sleep, a shower, and it was time to hit the track. Bowling Green is known as Corvette Territory as they are manufactured right down the road from this course. The social media department from the Corvette Museum stopped by to interview us. Even though this is Corvette headquarters the Mustang was a big hit with them. This course was one of the faster courses. It had some long straights that would allow us to really get some insane speed out of the Mustang. This would in the end almost take us out of the race. Big Chris and I road our Razor scooters on the 3.2 mile course first thing in morning. We decided Big Chris should man the wheel on this course and my exact words were “Chris, Balls to the wall, all or nothing, we need the points”. On the first lap of the race Big Chris took my words pretty literally. Coming off a big straight and at an undisclosed ridiculous MPH Chris came out of a turn and the Mustang started to spin around on him. Chris corrected but with the weight of the car and the speed combined there was not really a way the car was going to recover. From the side of the track I saw the car fish tailing and he was looking for a recovery but we could tell he was heading towards the concrete wall. Now positioned 180 degrees (moving in reverse) from where he started the back of the car was a fraction of a second from the wall at a pretty high speed. With luck on our side the car missed the wall by about 12 inches as the wall stopped and he had went by it at the end. Here is the crazy part. Tires screeching the car is now in forward motion and Chris is banging the gears back onto the track as hard as he was before. It was not exactly a recovery, but he was not going to let that spin out take us 100% out of the race. We still got 3rd place on that race and missed 2nd place by less than 1 second. That’s pretty insane to still place where we did when we had the worse spin off the track in One Lap Of America history. We took 2nd place in the afternoon session. 1 Day of racing left, and only a 6 hour drive tonight. If it works out, we may get to actually sit down for a beer and dinner before bed for once. It has been one crazy week. Next stop, SOUTH BEND INDIANA!
This is day 6 of the race and today Big Chris and I ended up in Mountain Grove Missouri seeking out some help with another racers GTR. Although on the track racing is everybody for themselves, off the track everybody in this event really wants to help each other. Bob’s GTR developed an oil leak and the awesome folks at Booger Motors were fans of the cars and offered their shops lift so Bob could resolve the oil issue on the GTR. These guys gave us an open invitation to equipment and tools so that was very cool. Todd and Tyson from Speed Concepts & Bob and Derek thrashed on the GTR. It was very difficult to see where the oil was coming from and after a few hours of removing just enough parts the bad news came. The turbo had a crack in the exhaust housing near the oil feed line. There was just too much oil leaking to keep competing safely, and with only 9 hours till the next race starts and we still had about 6 hours left on the road there was no way to get it repaired in time. That is a tough break for Bob and Derek after competing for so many days then it ends with a mechanical failure in a HUGE time crunch. Thanks to everybody that helped try to get Bob and Derek back up and running. We met some nice people at the shop and even a local named Phillip (pictured with Brent above) was wearing his GMG T-Shirt. He had no idea he would get a call today that the Team Gas Monkey Brenspeed Mustang was in his town. He was VERY excited.
We had another great day of racing today. This morning we were in Oklahoma on a pretty intense road course. After surviving the multiple tornado’s last night we were pretty excited to hit the track. We are pretty much exhausted at this point yet still have two days left of racing. The Mustang is a power house under the hood but is still competing on mostly factory issued suspension. We for sure are outperformed by a few of the other cars on tight turns. This means one thing. You know the term balls to the wall? Well that has been our motto for the last few days. We have been wide open and brake hard to keep up with some of the other cars. Big Chris today sounded like a drift car around most of the corners with all 4 tires struggling to stay on earth but that style driving worked. Two first place finishes and we are on to Kentucky. Friday we race in Bowling Green. Actually today is Friday as I type this. We will arrive to Bowling Green at about 4:30 am which will be enough time to grab a shower at a hotel but probably not sleep. This will be our last leg far away from home before we finish in Indiana on Saturday. We have been lucky with zero issues out of the Brenspeed built Mustang. I am really believing all of our preparation is paying off especially with all of the breakage I have seen this week on other cars.
To start the day off a rock decided to crack our windshield. As luck would have it our crack was right where you have to look out this long drive. No biggy we were thinking much worse things could happen. So after a great day of racing today in Texas we hit the road to Oklahoma. I will say so far out of all the driving we do every night between races it has been pretty uneventful. In no time we were in a huge traffic jam. This race is about time which we don’t have so we are pretty much used to moving cannon ball run style. Minimal stops and doing our best to get to the next location so we can catch some sleep. I think the current average is about 5 hours or less a night. We instantly get online and find the next best route because this traffic was going nowhere for at least an hour. We ended up in the country way off the highway and an instant storm came in. This was likely the hardest rain I have ever been in while in a car. Over a 20 minute period the roads went to flooded in a big way. Our phones started giving tornado alerts, cars were stranded empty either on the side or middle of the road, and we had nowhere to go. We kept moving avoiding the abandoned cars so I check the weather on my phone trying to get a radar image. The screen shows a sweet 66 degrees, and says “funnel clouds”. OK I am from Indiana and I have never seen that. Maybe that is normal out here but typically I see cloudy, rainy, maybe snowy, but funnel clouds? Now we start to feel this is getting serious and we really have nowhere to go. We finally get on a highway and it starts hailing. BAD. Cars were all over the roads hiding under every over pass, on the side of the road, and many of them were empty. At this point we just needed a place to go and luckily found an exit with a less than desirable hotel but who really cares we need shelter. Its late, we check in, I am starving, and the vending machine is missing (see below pics). I am giving up on the few minutes left today. Good night. Tomorrow is a new day.
Today might be one of the busiest days of racing we have had yet. Maybe I am thinking that now because of the wicked tornado we just drove through in Oklahoma but I will blog that next. We raced today at two different race tracks. The day started off at Texas Motorsport Ranch for three different events. We drove a 1.3 mile course, 1.7 mile course, and then a 3.1 mile course. Keep in mind when I say miles that is the distance around the course. You have to do 3 full wide open laps during competition. The 3.1 was the most difficult because that is a total of over 9 miles on the gas and brakes the entire time. The car handled it very well and this will be the longest course of the event so that is now behind us. We finished up with two 2nd places and a 3rd place in our class for that track today. We are very happy with those results. After that we loaded up and headed about 100 miles roughly to North Star Dragway for a bracket race. This went really good in the end but started as a struggle. Our car makes a lot of power and keep in mind we have to run it on the same tires we are driving on for this entire event. Same tires that we started with have to be the same tires we finish with 3500 miles later so a drag only tire is not used. First pass down the track the tires were pretty much up in smoke the entire way. After that we drove the car really mild. The results were good and we took first place in our class during the bracket race tonight. Tomorrow we race in Oklahoma!
Today started out crazy in Pueblo Colorado. It rained all night so we knew it might be rough. The first downer was we had a low ET drag race this morning that was cancelled. This was a downer as we knew this was an area we would do well. Next the rain really came in and it was questionable if we would run the two road course runs. The racers took a vote and we decided to run the road course in the rain. We had a large concern that the power of the engine would make traction very difficult. The FRPP/Roush supercharger makes tons of torque at a very low RPM. We set the pressure in our Continental Extreme Contact DW tires for the conditions and the car was amazing. Today was just nuts tons of cars went off the track because of the rain. We left the track with two first place finishes today so it does not get much better than that. Tomorrow we race at Texas Motorsport Ranch (Crescent). Calling for rain again so we will see how it goes.
We had a good day racing today. After spending a couple days sorting out some details on the car we have it dialed in pretty good. The team Gas Monkey Brenspeed Mustang finished 1st place this morning, and second place this afternoon. There are some great competitive cars in this race for sure. We are currently in Colorado. We get to stay in Colorado for another day of racing then we will be heading to Texas.
After the aggressive track sessions today we decided it was time for some maintenance. We found a couple great locals at a Goodyear shop in Denver. Greg and Jeremy stayed late tonight after their normal busy work day to allow some fluid changes in the Mustang. We want to keep fresh Lucas oil in the engine and brake lines because we had no mercy racing today. A lot of this race is about maintenance. Even though all you want to do after a long day racing is drive to the next location you have to take care of the car. Thanks Greg and Jeremy! We also swung by the new Tire Rack warehouse in Denver for a break. They were serving some great BBQ for the one lap racers and showing off the new warehouse. That place was huge with about every tire in stock ready to ship. If the rain will stay away we have a drag race and a road race tomorrow. We are VERY much looking forward to tomorrow which I believe is Tuesday, it is all a blur at this point. Race, Drive, Sleep, and maybe eat. It is NON STOP.
So you may be asking why are we riding Razor scooters when we are supposed to be racing? Well a HUGE part of racing is the preparation before you start. This is not only vehicle maintenance but walking the track before each race. The tracks are typically 2 miles or longer and it is an absolute must to walk them before you drive on them. Above you see us (from Left Brent White, Big Chris Smith, and Mike Musto) cruising (and having fun) on Razor A5 Lux scooters. This race is about doing as much in a small amount of time as possible and the Razor scooters are a fantastic way to cruise the road course before you drive it. They are also a great way to cruise through the pits through the day. Another big part of racing these tracks you have never been on is learning them. Cruising them is fantastic before you drive them, but we have been trying to memorize them as well. Before the event you get a really good diagram of each track so you know you what you are facing. This is a valuable tool, and we use them every day.
Today we wrapped up racing at the Raceway Park of Midlands in Iowa. This is Big Chris and he is half of our two man team. Well at 6 foot 9 he is maybe more than half. Chris from the UK had his hands today on our Team Brenspeed Gas Monkey Garage 2015 Mustang. He did very well but felt the power we put under the hood might be a bit much as out of most turns the car was over powering the tires. Good news is that means we haul big time on the straights. This is only day 2 so as we get more wheel time we will likely get a bit more control of it. Its Sunday night and we are already into Colorado. Monday morning we race at High Plains Raceway which is in Deer Trail. We made great time driving tonight so we actually sat down for a meal. The One Lap Of America race is intense between racing, driving, and little sleep so food can be a good thing.
Started off great today by passing tech inspection. Now we are waiting for the first event which is a wet skid pad. The car feels good and it is ready to rock this week. Spirits are high because well… this is only day one. After the wet skid pad today we head directly to Iowa to race at 8am Sunday morning. Current Location, South Bend Indiana. #teamGMGBrenspeed #oloa2015