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Hallett Resurrection

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#1
Mike Asselta

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Rumors of the death of racing in the Midwest have been grossly exaggerated.  This weekend the SCCA Majors visits the "world's greatest track for REAL drivers" (Jim Drago, 2012, paraphrased)

 

So far 19 SM's are scheduled to take on the bull ring, including two 90's, two 95's and fifteen 99 cars.  Top finishers from the Run-Offs and COTA are risking their reputations to see what they can do at a track that rewards smooth driving and skill over outright power (which never hurts, mind you).

 

Hallett is a laid back atmosphere that embodies the essence of the club for me.  My biggest stress comes from knowing that half the field is sporting brand new virgin paint jobs, including Haldeman, Drago and me.  At Hallett, rubbin' is racing....we'll see if we can put that idea to bed this weekend.

 

There is still time to show up and find out if you are a "wheel man" or just a chimp riding a missile.

 

 

P.S. Added Incentive for BSpec racers - I'll personally give you a $100 if you sign up and finish this weekend.

 

 


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#2
Jim Drago

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I don't remember what I posted.. but I agree with your post 100%. 

 

Hallet is one of my favorite race tracks. If you take all the F1 glitz and glamour away from COTA and just compare the pure enjoyment of driving a race track.. I chose Hallet!  The last two weekends for me ( COTA and Road Atlanta)were more a Runoffs atmosphere.. Everyone on edge and stressed. The racing will be no less intense at Hallett, but for whatever reason, the fun factor that is supposed to be SM racing is ALWAYS in abundance at Hallett. 

 

About the best thing I can say about Hallet is the one of my most memorably races ever was at that track in 2010 with Matt Reynolds, and I didnt even win! Matt did! Less winning the Runoffs, I rate that race as #2 of my all time favorites. 

 

If your on the fence about coming, load up and head over to Hallett. Good racing, lots of competition, lots of fun and no drama  :thumbsup: 

 

 

 


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#3
steve johnson

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And lots of cold beer!!!!!



#4
Walter Vetter

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Looks like the Okie version of Nelson Ledges - not that there's anything wrong with that.


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#5
Craig Berry

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I can not wait to get to Hallett....Jim, Matt, Mike, Charlie, Chris, and I am sure others are going to be fun to race, but my favorite thing is the track it self.  The track lends itself to attacking the track, and you do not have to be quite as precise.  Reminds me of motocross tracks as a kid....same kind of rythm... and its kinda cool having the inside tires come off the ground going into "the bitch"!  

Dont know if 2 wins like last year is possible, but I am very excited to give it 100%.

Looking Forward to seeing everyone!


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#6
Jim Drago

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Looks like the Okie version of Nelson Ledges - not that there's anything wrong with that.

I have heard that before.  


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#7
Matt Reynolds

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About the best thing I can say about Hallet is the one of my most memorably races ever was at that track in 2010 with Matt Reynolds, and I didnt even win! Matt did! Less winning the Runoffs, I rate that race as #2 of my all time favorites. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim,

 

I would love to repeat the results of that race again!  Of course, we all know it has swung the other way as well.  Looking forward to racing with the usual suspects, which I suspect will all be quick.

 

 

-Sideshow


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#8
MPR22

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#9
Jim Drago

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Great race.. Best part we get to do it all again tomorrow! I am whipped and going to bed :)


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#10
Mike Asselta

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Congrats Jim (Saturday) and Matt (Sunday)....Hallett always guarantees some fierce battles and epic meltdowns.  Good times!

 

James York - good battle on Sunday...although I had wondered where you went after the first half...scanned my mirrors and you had just disappeared!   I hope you and the car are no worse for the wear.

 

534412_10152743327965220_1930525768_n.jp


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#11
Jim Drago

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Long weekend...  back to reality this am and dragging a$$ here at work. I got in late and lots to do. 

 

My race on Saturday went really well, Chris Haldeman and I were able to get a gap and maintain it. I tried to shake Chris, but couldn't, he was really fast. I don't think I have ever done 25 faster laps at Hallet, I made one small mistake at the bottom of the bitch, but it was minor and Chris was there every lap. He probably could have passed at some points, but chose to stay in line and get away and race the last few laps.  Chris was a little faster in two and the bitch and I was a little faster in 6 and 10.  On the last lap, Chris knew he needed a good run out of six to beat me out of the bitch and dropped two tires and it cost him a shot at the race. Had he nailed the exit, the last few turns would have been really interesting. Chris is going to be a real threat anywhere he races.   

 

Sundays race started and it looked like a carbon copy of Saturday. Chris and I started to check out and I thought "here we go again"  Unfortunately a few laps later I was already struggling with the grip and knew it was going to be a long race.  Chris stayed in line, and then all of a sudden disappeared, he pulled off with a transmission issue.  I was "thinking" this might be an easy one, WRONG! My car got increasingly harder to drive. I saw Matt Reynolds in the distance getting a lot closer every lap.  He made up a 3 second gap or or so in a few laps and I didn't even contest the pass into 10 as I knew he was faster. I hoped to stay in contact and hopefully my car would get better or his would get worse, he was really hooked up at that point and just really good in general, exceptional at Hallett. The lapped traffic( mixed classes) was the worse I have ever seen.  On one lap I think Matt made 2-3 seconds on me, fortunately gave it right back a lap or so later. Absolutely no courtesy at all was being showed and no one honored the blue flags at all.  I was able to get back to Matts bumper, I think his car started to handle more like mine and I knew we were about to have another one of those epic Hallett battles.  We had a good race, I think we passed each other a time or two.  I was leading and we just had a slight touch out of six and I got the worst of it. Just one of those things, hard racing on the edge. Matt as always came up and we talked about it, not a big deal.  I recovered to finish third.  Congrats to Matt for the win! Congrats to Charlie James, Chris Haldeman, Craig Berry on the podiums. My long time friend and new team mate Erik Stearns in only his second race in last 6 years or so was able to finish forth,  first weekend ever at Hallett. He will be winning again soon as well.

 

Lastly on the lapped cars and mixed groups. I heard from many people that they aren't going to next years race if we don't have our own group.  I hate to say it, but I think I am in that group as well.  The mixed cars caused lots of problems, damage and ruined many races for lots of the Sm guys. I know traffic is a part of racing and I actually like traffic, but when the other cars are oblivious and a danger to themselves and others on the track, well that is a different story.

 

I am not going to Gateway if it is the same groupings, some one is going to get killed there. 

 

Jim


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#12
Danny Steyn

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Thanks for the write up Jim. Congrats to all the winners and podium placers!


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#13
James York

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Congrats Jim (Saturday) and Matt (Sunday)....Hallett always guarantees some fierce battles and epic meltdowns.  Good times!

 

James York - good battle on Sunday...although I had wondered where you went after the first half...scanned my mirrors and you had just disappeared!   I hope you and the car are no worse for the wear.

Mike; Enjoyed my first visit to Hallet. We had good races on both days, clean and fair. On Sunday though the car went wicked loose and I thought the wiser that I come in with a few laps to go before I really had a big one.  You can see from the picture that was one of the offs on the exit of 1.   

 

Car is fine, nothing a little rivet won't fix on the chin spoiler.

 

Congrats to Jim and Matt for the wins and the other podiums finishers.  I always have a good time sharing stories and racing with you guys.


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#14
Craig Berry

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Congrats to Jim and Matt!! Those 2 are as good or better than anyone we race with!
Very fun track, but I will not be at another Major where we do not have our own run group.
As always, added a few more laugh lines going to dinner with the crew!
Already looking forward to The Sprints!
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#15
Matt Reynolds

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This one ended up being longer than I anticipated, but here it goes:

 

It was great racing this weekend, and I was glad to see a good turnout in SM for the Midwest Division.  We went into Saturday a bit behind the eight ball after not doing the test day.  We made a slight adjustment after qualifying and had a decent car to race with.  I got into a battle with Charlie and Craig for 3rd that provided lots of entertainment and activities!  We each traded the point a couple times, but Craig and Charlie had a little contact in 4 and knocked Charlies toe out.  I led Craig around for a while until we started hitting traffic.  Then it was just survival mode at that point.  Starting our 2nd lap, a T2 Mustang decided he wanted to show us how well his brake worked and how fast he could take turn one.  I ended up 2 wide on the outside of 1 with this mustang, which then motored down to 2 leaving Craig on the inside.  Perfect!  Craig held me off for the remainder of that lap and the last to grab 3rd.  Craig drove a smart race and deserved that last podium spot.  

 

Onto Sunday:

 

That has to be the tightest qualifying I have seen at Hallett ever.  Top 7 all within 4 tenths of a second.  A few hundredths and you were up or down a spot.  Pretty incredible!  Jim busted out a flyer at a 29 flat and grabbed pole.  Haldeman and Charlie were close behind with 29.2s and the rest of us were in 29.4s.  Anyone that has been to this track before knows that you are in the hunt if you are within 3 or 4 tenths of pole, so it was anyone's to win.  I was up to 3rd after a few laps and noticed Chris looked quite comfortable running and Jim's bumper.  It looked like he wasn't thinking of passing for a while so I knew I was in for some work.  Shortly after Chris blew a transmission and retired.  I was able to catch up to Jim after a few laps and took the lead.  We started going through traffic and then I looked in my mirror and saw the T2 mustang coming up behind Jim and I.  It looked like Jim took an inside line into 2 to prevent the mustang from parking in front of him; I drove a defensive line into there as well.  I saw the mustang pop out going up to 4 and pass Jim, I dove to the inside to prevent him from trying to pass me going into turn 4.  I was able to get through the next few corners without interruption from the mustang and created a huge 3 or 4 second gap to Jim.  That guy really intervened in the race BOTH days and impacted the results of each.  Soon enough we ran into more traffic going into 10 and 11 when two cars crawled through the turns and Jim was right back on my bumper.  Jim got around soon after that as well and then one of those things happened...

 

...Just one of those things... I don't know if there is much more you can say about it.  I do not like to take a pass or a win like that, and I don't think either of us expected to touch or even have a car spin that way from such minor side to side contact.  We went around turns 2-4 inches apart; I let Jim lead into 4 so I could set up an exit out of 5.  I had a slight run and took an inside line into 6, Jim gave me plenty of room and we entered it 2 wide.  On the exit we were again side by side, again inches apart but this time we ran out of room and Jim got the short end of the stick. I am glad he was able to recover and make it on the podium!  That is pretty impressive after a spin, but nonetheless it was unfortunate it happened that way.

 

I also firmly believe that our class MUST be separated from ALL other classes for our run group.  You can not put guys out there turning laps with the most competitive class in SCCA.  Patience was running thin this weekend and that can lead to very dangerous situations.  If you leave out the reason of these other cars influencing the outcome of our race, you are left with safety.  It is extremely dangerous to have cars that are not racing against anyone in their class, but come up to SMs and decide to get racey.  I have heard from many that will not go back if it is not changed.  This is something I hope the Midwest division looks into and takes very seriously.

 

Congrats to Jim, Charlie, Craig, and Chris on podiums.  

 

Thank you Race Engineering and Carbotech Brakes for helping me finally get to the top step in SM this year!  Two great companies that enjoy racing as much as we do!

 

Look forward to seeing everyone next time.

 

-Matt


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#16
KelleyHux

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Gentlemen ...

<snip> - comments were mis-interpreted - I should have just kept my mouth shut. :)

 

Now - having said that - I did enjoy watching the races both days. Hallett is wonderful club track and lends itself to some great racing. Mike and Charlie had a good race in the BSpec Minis. Probably the best races of the weekend were the GT1 battles between Tom Smith and David Fehrstand. 25 laps of nose to tail racing, in big cars, with lots of lapping. Both days!

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(edited for spelling)



#17
chris haldeman

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Kelley, your attitude towards this is a prime example of why car counts are low. I don't know you and you don't know me so take this for what it is worth. We were combined with classes that have no idea how to "race" the drivers sucked bad and most have never raced near another car in there class in there lives. The amount of cars out of sm could have easily fit in the other alphabet soup class with no problem. The alphabet soup classes are used to racing multiple speed and talent levels and those cars grouped with sm would have been no different. Bottom line is sm and srf is the only truely competitive class left in the Scca and need to have there own class!!! I'm sorry if this seems selfish or one sided but there are too many classes and far too many officials thinking I should just deal with it. Bottom line is srf and sm are the only reason the Scca exist and if the Scca doesn't soon realize it they will die. NASA has taken over on car count in my region having at least double the car count soley because they listen to the drivers and accept the input from the members. Scca seems to think they're better than everyone and refuses to adapt to the changing times. Scca's prices are higher the track time is lower and the entire experience is more stressful. If the Scca doesn't soon realize that they're a club and not a dictatorship, lower they're national fees and control the misappropriation of funds they will no longer exist. I am proud to be an Scca member, it's where I started, it's where I plan to finish. Here's hoping somebody wakes up and does the right thing. Thanks, a consummate Scca majors/super tour/runoffs driver since 2010
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#18
HoneyBadger - BrianW

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As a point of reference, SRF had their own run group with 12 cars, SM with 20 did not. Just saying...


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#19
Jim Drago

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I have no issue with SRF having their own group either.  Scheduling is a lot harder than you can ever imagine.  The CRB used to do much more of the Runoffs schedule than we do now. I can't express how much time and energy it takes to put those schedules together. There are so many little conflicts that come up that often take out a very good schedule and change up the run groups.

 

All that being said. I couldn't agree more.  At Majors races we are supposed to be showcasing the best the club has to offer,  their premier events.  In such events, the two premier classes in the club, SRF and SM should ALWAYS have their own races.   I sent Butch an email and I know he wants to do what is best for the majors and the club. So if their is a way, he will get it done.


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#20
Butch Kummer

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After getting Jim's note earlier today I did a bit of research.

In 2011, both SRF and SM ran in mixed groups and both classes had 7 cars each day. In 2012 (Sat was a Rational while Sunday was a National) SRF was given their own group while SM remained mixed, and the counts averaged 17 SMs and 15 SRFs. This year the counts were 21 SMs and 12 SRFs.

I'm not sure what Kelly deleted above, but arranging run groups is probably the most difficult issue Race Committees face on a regular basis. In some cases the GCR limits who can race together and in other cases you make decision based on past history, tire type (slicks vs. DOTs), and "durability" (5 mph bumpers don't mix well with fiberglass bumpers). Everybody agrees we have too many classes then the next words out of their mouth are, "But don't mess with MY class. Spec Yugo is just fine as it is!"

All that said, I agree that SM and SRF both deserve dedicated run groups whenever possible. And when that's not feasible based on historic car counts at least SM should be the fastest class in the group. This past weekend T2 & T3 (0 cars there) could easily have been put into the Big Noise run group with no issues. Doing that would have alleviated much of the concerns expressed above. We'll certainly be aware of your concerns going forward.

And just so you know, at the Gateway Majors event we'll have seven run groups so SM (and SRF) will both be in stand-alone groups.

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