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Auto Club Speedway May 16-17

Teen Mazda Challenge NASA Socal

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#101
Jamz14

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Hey All,

 

So this ACS weekend was a challenging one for me. Bench, you will be happy to know that this mid pack mechanic destroyed a brand new rebuild. It didn't make but 3 laps on Sat practice before it was gone. It was 100% my fault. Very tired and rushing the build, I missed something that caused me to loose the harmonic balancer and the alternator belt. Without the timing gear being held in place after sheering the woodruff key, the exhaust valves crashed into the pistons.

 

The weekend was challenging for others too as you all know by now. This was one of the largest fields SOCAL has seen for a regional race with the addition of 15 or so TMC drivers joining us for the race. The sheer volume of cars brought challenges to the drivers.

 

The weekend also brought a surprise to me. I was offered and I accepted a role with the Teen Mazda Challenge. I will act as the West Coast TMC liaison to NASA. The primary purpose of the role is to interface with NASA as much as possible to provide a positive experience for the TMC drivers, the local regional drivers, and the two West Coast NASA regions. Secondarily I see it as part of my role to ensure that the TMC drivers are able to concentrate on driving and competing by being organized, prepared, and aware of the aspects of the regions and tracks we will be racing at. It is an honor to be involved with the Teen Mazda Challenge and I hope through my actions I earn the respect of NASA, Mazda, the TMC organization, and most importantly to me, the young men and women TMC drivers. I will do my very best not to let you all down.


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#102
Rob Burgoon

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Video from Robs car would have been very helpful.  

 

No kidding.  :( I figured the charge would be good for the weekend, running only 1 class, so didn't charge overnight.  I had it on the charger before the heat and before the main but didn't get enough juice into it for it to take any video.  Frustrating when you want to know how badly you screwed up.


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#103
pmillion

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My son in the white P4 car went to the right to miss hitting the red P2 car, who missed a shift

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=QeAhF9Hxao4



#104
Bench Racer

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 Bench, you will be happy to know that this mid pack mechanic destroyed a brand new rebuild.

James, I busted your balls IIRC about 1 issue versus your minimal experience. Nuff said. I'm never happy when issues come forth and people or equipment are impacted. Any of us that do our own build, prep and whatever else are bound to have something go south sooner or later.

 

The TMC deal sounds like it'll allow you to be totally involved with young racer minds. Enjoy and Have Fun.


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#105
Johnny D

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My son in the white P4 car went to the right to miss hitting the red P2 car, who missed a shift
 
https://www.youtube....h?v=QeAhF9Hxao4


Did your attorney suggest you only provide 17 secs ?
J~


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#106
pmillion

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Too funny, the rest was all under a double yellow to the checker was not worth showing :)


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#107
Johnny D

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Your right.
https://www.youtube....h?v=rSjK2Oqrgic

J~


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#108
Jamz14

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James, I busted your balls IIRC about 1 issue versus your minimal experience. Nuff said. I'm never happy when issues come forth and people or equipment are impacted. Any of us that do our own build, prep and whatever else are bound to have something go south sooner or later.

 

The TMC deal sounds like it'll allow you to be totally involved with young racer minds. Enjoy and Have Fun.

Thank you Bench. Then you don't mind me busting yours a bit right? :P . I shouldn't have even made that comment about you being happy. It was petty and immature.

 

I have had more than my fair share of gear going south. I am learning how to be a decent mechanic. I am learning the way an older guy might appreciate. By doing it myself. I can buy an engine, I can buy a gearbox. I can't buy experience. In this I hope we are kindred spirits.

 

As to being involved with young minds, I am just too tired to decode innuendo right now. Maybe another day when I have some Zoom Zoom back in me. On second thought...........................peace.


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#109
Bench Racer

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:peace1:


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#110
Walter Vetter

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I haven't seen this many digital malfunctions since Hillary's email crashed.
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#111
topgear3793

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Here is my video from the Sunday qualifying race. Saturday race will be uploaded next but I was struggling with my AIM all weekend so no data for that one, and I had to take the speedo off this race because it was spazzing out and showing 140mph at some points LOL. When it wasn't freaking out it looks like I got up to 115mph without the draft, 120mph with the draft.

 

Ran into terrible luck with drafting all weekend, always managed to get stuck right in the middle of two packs, and my brain wouldn't allow me to back off 70 yards to let the pack behind me catch up (see 4:45 for reference, and how immense the draft is at this track, watch the rear view). Also unusual situations like being on Burgoon's bumper and he flys off on the last corner so I'm left without a drafting buddy (I think that one is in the Saturday race lol).

 

But here's the qual race, 4th to 10th to 5th!

 


-Matt Cresci

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#112
Rob Burgoon

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So even though NASA gave me a pass on this one, with the benefit of hindsight and time to think about it, I think that smashing the bumper of the car starting 2nd would have been the better option for me.  Getting out of the way didn't go cleanly and even though Matt didn't spin from the dimple I added to his bumper, that move didn't help de-escalate things.

 

Delivering a hard shot to the car that missed a shift didn't seem like a great option either since the closure rate seemed to be well over the "safe bumpdraft speed", could bust a transmission, radiator or diff, or cause a car to squirt out of the accordion.  Even with all that, better that than catching a car by the corner in front of that many cars.

 

So anyway, while I'm relieved that it doesn't look like I caused it all, I apologize for not picking what I think now was the less crappy option.

 

Thanks to those that shared video with me to help me improve.


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#113
Bad Rusty

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That's a veteran comment


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#114
topgear3793

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How about instead of Rob being in a situation like that, where he either runs into the car in front, to his side, or gets hit from behind, we SPACE the starts. We qualify for a reason. Although pushing bumpers at the start is fun, all it takes is one missed shift or slight incident and noone has room or time to react. Not only that, it gives everyone the mindset that the race can be won in the first corner. I would be happy to sacrifice a little bit of fun for reassurance the race won't end in 30 seconds.

 

I have stated this three or four times in this thread, but haven't gotten anyone elses opinion on it, but would like to hear them!


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#115
Rob Burgoon

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How about instead of Rob being in a situation like that, where he either runs into the car in front, to his side, or gets hit from behind, we SPACE the starts. We qualify for a reason. Although pushing bumpers at the start is fun, all it takes is one missed shift or slight incident and noone has room or time to react. Not only that, it gives everyone the mindset that the race can be won in the first corner. I would be happy to sacrifice a little bit of fun for reassurance the race won't end in 30 seconds.

 

I have stated this three or four times in this thread, but haven't gotten anyone elses opinion on it, but would like to hear them!

 

If we start with car length gaps, it's likely for most of those gaps to collapse by the end of the straight.  I'm not sure it buys us a whole lot.  I think a 3rd gear start is a better bet.


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#116
Johnny D

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Matt,

1st, the SCCA guys back east are doing it correctly but not to rules, told by the stewards not too and ignoring them, and nothing has changed. Search for Blackhawk thread.

 

2 You have a brain, are driving the car, can speak with other drivers ahead of you, hint, hint. This is really only at AAA on the west coast.

 

3 John knows what's going on, this shouldn't happen again, IMO, if anybody's awake.

 

So I haven't said anything.

 

Next race carry on as usual.

J~


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#117
Johnny D

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It Rob a Veteran ? 

Well said, don't fall on your sword, everyone makes mistakes.

J~


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#118
Johnny D

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I'm sure out of all people, James could put a few words together for the teens to be safe, etc, etc. :prayer:  :crying2: :frustrated:  :soapbox: 

J~


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#119
Ron Alan

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You do realize Matt that you have started every race of your short career bumper to bumper? Until now you have never said anything correct? My guess is Cal Speedway(and a few others in the country) are unique and call for a little mod from what is traditional.

Bottom line is there are missed shifts in most every race. At some point all will either be that guy, be screwed by that guy, or take advantage of that guy! Every race people complain about the guys who leave to big a gap to try and game the start or are just clueless. You are not going to be happy if that guy in front of you forces you to start in the 4th row when you were supposed to be in the 3rd!

SCCA has changed/clarified the start rules(at least in SFR) with specifics. They had a meeting with all drivers at our last regional to make sure all understood. I think the jest of it was do not leave big gaps or be out of line!

No system is perfect but what has always worked will continue to work. And at those tracks were drafting can cause a lot of cars in one spot at a start the racers have figured out what works best...and continue to do it despite the rules.

Ron

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#120
john mueller

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How about instead of Rob being in a situation like that, where he either runs into the car in front, to his side, or gets hit from behind, we SPACE the starts. We qualify for a reason. Although pushing bumpers at the start is fun, all it takes is one missed shift or slight incident and noone has room or time to react. Not only that, it gives everyone the mindset that the race can be won in the first corner. I would be happy to sacrifice a little bit of fun for reassurance the race won't end in 30 seconds.

 

I have stated this three or four times in this thread, but haven't gotten anyone elses opinion on it, but would like to hear them!

 

If we start with car length gaps, it's likely for most of those gaps to collapse by the end of the straight.  I'm not sure it buys us a whole lot.  I think a 3rd gear start is a better bet.

 

 

SoCal NASA is in process of interally discussing possible changes to go in effect for Buttonwillow.  Entry speed to the T1 my be an issue if starting in 3rd.  Be confident that all options are being looked at.

 

 


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