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Cat Major @ Road America

- - - - - First win for young man

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#1
Bench Racer

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Congratulations Tyler Brown on your win at the Cat Major which I believe is your first win. I'm sure Tyler will do a great writeup on the race.


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#2
Danica Davison

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Congrats Tyler! You are lucky Spencer Rutherford and I didn't show up, but a win is a win :)


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#3
Jim Drago

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Congratulations Tyler!


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#4
Caveman-kwebb99

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What made this all the more impressive, is the fact that he went out and beat two previous sprints winners after working non stop with me to rebuild the front end of Senter Smith's race car after his t6 crash in morning qualifying.  We finished that car with 15 minutes till race time, both grabbed a water and jumped in our race suits to head to grid! Congrats Tyler well deserved win, brought back so many memories for me wrenching like crazy right up till race time, as well as harkening back to my first big win what seems like Eons ago now.  


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#5
Tom Sager

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Bravo Tyler, look forward to hearing more about the weekend. 


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#6
Danny Steyn

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Congrats Tyler - you and your dad are two of the best damn guys in SM and look forward to reading your race report once the grin has worn off your face!!


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#7
FTodaro

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Like i posted in FB, congrats on a well deserved win. Hard work has paid off.


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#8
davew

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Tyler worked very hard for this win. based on the number of parts that kept going from my trailer to his paddock ;-) . He endured watching his dad spin behind him. And Tyler had nothing to do with it!

 

We have watched Tyler grow from a youngster into a young man. Smart, honest and hard working. And he can take the kidding as well as give it out.

 

Congrats to Tyler, but mostly to Tom and Jenny.

 

Dave

 


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#9
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Dave Wheeler, it'd be fantastic if someone posted pictures of the podium celebration.


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#10
Richard Astacio

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Congrats Tyler! 


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#11
Richard Astacio

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.


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#12
sentercut

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Tyler winning was the icing on the cake for the incredible weekend we had with the Browns, and The Caveman and his Cavechick, and some others.

 

Andy Devoto and I have been making an annual pilgrimage to RA for the past few years from Montana and South Carolina and the Browns have been our hosts the past few years by way of us hording into their space and nosing into their camp. I do not have enough letters or words to express my gratitude to their whole family for how gracious and kind they have always been to us going back to when we first met them at Blackhawk when I got my racing license with Tyler a few years ago. And as Dave and Danny and so many other have said and know, they are exceptional, and that was evident in Tylers victory celebration. Congratulations Tyler, well earned.

 

I was done for the weekend, and had began cleanup and trunk slamming disgusted with myself after hooking it into the wall in T6 morning qualifying. But the cave dweller would have nothing to do with my disgust and was underneath my car along with Tyler ripping it part with 2 hours to spare to get it driveable for the race. I have experienced this with others at races as I know many of you all have as well. Fellow SM folks coming to the rescue and busting their butts to get you (their competition) back into the race. It is a humbling and redemptive thing that I have seen and experienced in this class many times in my short accident filled racing career, and is one of the things that doesn't get enough exposure. So thank you Kyle, Tyler, Tom, Evan, and Dave for all of those parts for my car. I am grateful for the time, energy and commitment to get me back on the track Sunday and all of the coaching and fellowship throughout the weekend.

 

As always it was good to see the Advanced folks, and meet some new SM peeps as well. I enjoyed mixing it up a for a little while with Richard, Kyle and Andy, but most of it was short lived, except for beating THE CAVEMAN out on the final lap of the Saturday sprint race. That was fun for me, and I appreciate the ESR VVT that propelled me past THE CAVEMAN coming out of Canada. Good times. 

 

I had nothing for him on Sunday though, and I also got a lesson in tennis from him and Cavechick. I am quite sore, and have chewed through many advil and fought off many a hammy cramp trolling down the interstate. 

 

#weekendwarrior


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Senter Smith


#13
Richard Astacio

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I have been meaning to take a trip to road america for the past few years just could never get it on the calendar. Once they announced the 2020 runoffs @ Road America it sealed the deal. 

 

I made a last minute trip and rented a N.A 1.6 from Dave Wheeler from Advance, confirmed the rental on Monday, booked flights Monday night and also booked the hotel Wednesday night. 

I can't say enough how friendly and professional the Advance group was, the hospitality was second to none....Dave's daughter was doing the cooking and the crew wrenching the cars. 

It was a bit sad not seeing Ann in the paddock but it seemed she was there in Mazda Spirit way.....

 

Test day consisted of (2) 35 minute sessions so I can get used to the car and also the track...At the end of the day the best time was 2.51 and change..after the session I emailed Justin Hille my data and also Voytek.

Justin and I talked during dinner and he basically told me you have to send it in turn 8 and then 12-14...Well to be honest I was like holly crap how am I going to make up 8-9 seconds????

Unfortunately that was a long evening as all I was thinking was about the track all night tossing and turning...

 

The next morning I read some of Jim notes again and watched more video...I ended up getting down to 2.47 or so with several heat cycle tires that really got my confidence back up. 

 

After eating homemade lunch, I was a bit sleepy so I decided to take a nap set the alarm to 12:50 and figured I would have 25 minutes to get ready. Well low and behold they only had a 45 minute lunch not an hour..I got up and ran to the trailer and arrive to the grid under 5 and they had me start from the back which was fine. 

 

Overall a great weekend, awesome weather and great time with fellow racers. I will certainly be back with my car next year for the June sprints and see how I stack up. 

 

Again many thanks to Advance...if anyone wants to rent or get support in that area Advance is the place. 

 

The car has most of the goodies in it, helmet blower, cool suit. aim solo etc....


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#14
tylerbrown

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Thank you to all for the congrats and kind words. Dad and I have been working hard towards a win for a long time since we started doing our own thing three years ago, and it is great to really start seeing the hard work pay off!

 

This weekend was perfect as far as the weather goes, we had 70s with a light breeze and some intermittent clouds. We had five cars under our Sneaky Moose Motorsports "tent" with Andy Devoto and his 1.6NA, Senter Smith with his VVT, Kyle Webb with his 99, and Dad and I with our VVT and 99 respectively. Things have been really busy for us since the Sprints, with four race weekends in a row, finishing a new build, and traveling for non-racing events. I was excited to have many cars under the tent and hoped things would go well,but we definitely had some big issues happen. 

 

At the sprints, my engine had an intake valve recede and the lash closed up, with the motor only being 2-3 hours old after a rebuild. Jim Drago graciously rebuilt my head for no labor cost and had my head back after I sent it within a week. Jim has built us four motors now and his customer service has been exceptional, so thank you Jim. 

 

Because I was so busy with finishing a new car build, racing with Dan Goff at Autobahn the weekend before, Blackhawk the weekend before that, and crewing at Gingerman the weekend before that, I didnt get to getting my head back onto my car until this past Monday, a couple days before the race weekend. While I know for many big prep shops thats most likely a normal thing, it was my first time putting a cylinder head back on a motor so I was very happy when I got the thing back on, and it fired up the first time, and then the next day on Tuesday show good numbers and nothing wrong with it on the dyno down at Advanced Autosports.

 

We got to the track Thursday night just as they started letting people in, got all set up and got some things buttoned up on Senter and Kyle's cars as that was the first time we saw them. After that we went into town, had a quick dinner at the Back Porch Bistro, and a yummy ice cream dessert at Gesserts. I was in bed by 10:30 which is unheard of for race weekends, so I guess that was a good thing. 

 

Friday we had two test sessions, Voytek, Dad and I were planning on working together for the day so we all went out in the first session together. Out of the box the cars all felt loose, but we figured it was due to the track being odd from whoever was there previously like how the indycar testing before the sprints made the track feel terrible, so we didn't make any adjustments. The second session out was more of the same, and we were running low 44s and the track and cars felt much better, up until about 10 minutes left in the session, when coming out of the carousel I heard a clunk clunk clunk down the back of the car and about 2 seconds later, smoke started pouring out of everywhere filling the cabin of the car. I immediately thought I messed something up with installing the head on the car, and felt devastated and that the weekend was over. Right as we entered the kink a couple seconds later I checked the oil pressure and it was still reading 35ish so I thought okay it still has oil pressure but something is obviously still wrong and shut off the car and coasted to a stop billowing smoke at the next manned corner worker station in turn 12. I jumped out of the car as fast as I could and grabbed the fire extinguisher hoping I wouldn't have to put out a fire, and also that the corner worker would jump into action with a fire extinguisher ready as well. The corner worker gave me a "You all good" but only radioed in that I had stopped and gotten out of the car very fast. I let him know I'm totally fine just that the car was smoking real bad... but I'm pretty sure he saw that... As usual the Road America safety team was quick to be there and came out jumping to me and also the car with the fire extinguishers ready as they went to pop the hood, but at this point the car was no longer smoking, and under the hood everything looked okay and no oil on anything. At this point I was still quite upset but didnt know what was wrong until they brought the wrecker and put in on the flatbed, as they were pulling it up the oil that was on the bottom side of the car started dripping down. I got some on my fingers and it looked red and when I smelled it I immediately knew it was MTL Trans fluid so I got very happy thinking a trans is an easy fix!

 

Later when investigating the trans, the oil fill plug had fallen off of the trans, which was frustrating because that is one of the things I check when prepping the cars and honestly remember putting a wrench on. I put new fluid in and all was good so that was fine. Went through the rest of the cars for the evening prep and did the normal things that I do, check wheel bearings, brakes, put a wrench on all the suspension components, check the rear brake caliper slides for coming loose, and also remove the rear rotors to examine the hubs for cracking, pump fuel, check toe... We then as our group of drivers and crew went out for a boat ride on Elkhart Lake and dinner at Lake Street Cafe, which is a tradition of ours, and always a great time. It was great to spend time with all of the family that Andy, Senter, and Kyle brought, as well as our friends and family that came as well. 

 

Saturday morning we were the first group out and the cars on stickers felt GLUED to the track. Dad and I went out together and on the first flyer had a 2:43:1xx going down into turn 12 until we caught some guys that were way off pace.. that lap ended up being a 2:44:0xx. The next lap down into three my pedal went to the floor and I hit Dad's bumper pretty hard, so coming out of the corner I apologized and thought maybe I just didnt tap my brake, although I couldnt remember because its such an automatic thing, and when I tapped my brakes coming out of three to see if the pedal was there or not it felt like it was there so I thought I must have just not tapped em. Going into five the pedal went to the floor again, but this time the closing speed to Dad was very dangerous and I just barely had time to swerve left just as Dad was about to turn in left. It was super close to really smashing up both our cars and not something I want to do again... It spooked Dad pretty good because he didnt see me swerve left and started to turn in, and me as well as no brakes is SCARRYYY. At this point I parked it off track. Dad went into the pits and waited for Voytek to come around, and then those two went back out and got P1 and P2 with a 2:43:7xx. 

 

I have never hung out with corner workers during a session before, and now this weekend I got to do it twice, and man, they are some cool and super friendly people! 

 

When investigating what went wrong with my car I found that my left rear brake caliper pin sheared, which was yet again frustrating because I checked it the previous night and it was not loose of wiggling. It was also frustrating that we caught the slow cars so quick because Dad and I would've had pole with the lap that we had. At this point I did not think I could reuse the caliper as it pushed out the piston, and just didn't know the piston could be put back in as long as the seal was okay. I went down and got some new rear calipers for both sides because the new ones I was getting did have the adjuster mechanisms in them and the one I still had on the car did not and I didn't want the pedal to be weird with one having it and one not. (I don't know if that is good or bad to have one or the other).

 

For Race one, I was P5 and Dad was P2. The car was good until about turn 5 when it felt like the motor was in a limp mode or something, and I got quickly dropped by the front guys and passed up by Michael Borden and Kyle Greenhill. The car continued to be bleh for the rest of the race and it was super frustrating as I drove alone the whole race and couldn't even see the front guys after like three laps so I couldn't tell what was happening. After the race I felt ready to quit, not knowing what had happened to the car and just frustrated it wasn't right for the race after it felt so good in the morning and day before. We also had the exhaust on Andy's car come off, and in the morning before qualifying we had found Dad's motor had also had an intake valve receded and the lash closed up. It was fine running for the weekend as it sealed up when it got hot but was still another thing that made the day feel defeating, with the highlight that Dad was able to get a third place finish. When going through the car later I found the right rear caliper was dragging super bad, as I could barely turn the wheel... I switched the calipers back after talking to Jim, where I learned I could just put the piston back in the caliper.

 

We took our time prepping the cars the rest of the night and ate at the track with the track food, and then ended the night hanging out with the Advanced guys having some good laughs and conversation.

 

Sunday morning I went out for qualifying and the car was immediately back to its awesomeness state, and Voytek, Knuteson, and Greenhill and I were all in a line, but didn't get a better time except for Greenhill, who bettered his position to P3. The bad part about the session was that Senter lost the car in Turn 6 and ended up in the wall. When we got back to the paddock Senter thought that he was done and told me to not worry about it, but I thought we shouldn't have a problem as long as the sub-frames weren't bent. I checked them and they were straight so Kyle Webb and I started tearing into it. A couple suspension pieces were bent up and the fenders crinkled, but we got it straight for the most part and got it ready with about 15 minutes before we had to go to grid for our session. 

 

For the Sunday race I was starting P6 which was fine, and off the bat Bender and I were able to draft passed Knuteson down into turn 5 on the first lap, we stayed in line for two laps or so, until Greenhill being pushed by Bender pulled out to pass Dad pushing Voytek. I also went for the outside pass on Dad in 1 so that Knuteson couldn't get me out of 1 from me lifting. Then out of three Greenhill was left out to dry and the line was Voytek, Bender, Me, and then Dad. Down into five I made the pass attempt on Bender and Dad followed, we made it out of five with the order being Voytek, Me, Dad. We stayed in line until the front straight where I pulled out to pass Voytek as it seemed he was overslowing corners, and Dad followed. Coming out of three it was Me, Voytek, Dad, which was also the first time I've ever led a Majors race, and at about this point I had the confidence in the car that it was going to have a great shot at winning. Going down into five Dad left the inside open while doing a side draft to keep his car cool and Voytek pounced on it right away taking him down on the inside. Going up into six then it was Me, Voytek, Dad, until Voytek turned in quite early and Dad even earlier falling victim to the turn in early because the guy in front turned in early, and it resulted in him running wide at the exit and the car immediately snapping and spinning around. When I looked in the mirror I saw Dad sideways and Greenhill about to T-Bone him. I jumped on the radio right away and asked Dad if he was okay as I couldn't see what happened and when I got out of eight he said he was all good. At this point Voytek and I had a decent gap now to the next car, but knowing how Voytek likes to lead, I let him by into 12 thinking we could keep the guys behind us as far as they were behind for the rest of the race with Voytek in front, but they caught us in like two laps as I felt Voytek was overslowing corners again. At this point I could tell Greenhill, being pushed by Bender, were getting ready to pounce on us, and after the kink they had a run so I protected inside also making it so that they would have to bump me and help me around Voytek. Voytek then ran the wide line and put myself and Kyle two wheels in the grass at a 110mph which was definitely not comfortable and really dangerous.. I held the inside into 12 then to make a pass on Voytek, at turn in the car got a little loose and Voytek and I had slight side to side contact but nothing to upset the cars. Coming up out of 12 then it was Voytek ahead and Bender and I side by side going to 13, but I held Bender tight inside so he would have to scrub speed and then he let me have it into 14. Going up the hill then I had Bender behind me and Voytek ahead, and since Voytek was overslowing corners I thought with Bender behind me we could pass Voytek and go faster so I pulled out to pass Voytek, but Bender did not pop with me, to which I thought okayyyy you're teammates I get it, and I slotted into 3rd behind Bender. I was able to stay right on the both of them for the next two laps until we caught a very slow lapper down into 12 again. Coming through the kink we were all close and bumping and the cars were moving left and right subtlety, and the lapper was hanging right very slowly. Bender pulled left to presumably give room for the lapper, but then I believe he was worried Voytek would not be able to slot left to avoid the lapper too so he broke a tad just as I was about to bump him so I swerved right and then left to avoid the lapper and then I was on Benders inside into the brake zone for 12. It was pretty close and sketchy passing the lapper, but then Bender let me slot in to 2nd. Knowing that Bender would not pull out with me if I popped again I stayed right on Voytek's bumper till the end of the race. It was nice because from that point it was not very difficult to stay on Voytek's bumper and we were also able to keep Bender and Knuteson at bay behind us staying in line. At this point I was planning that the way I wanted to get Voytek was up the hill and across the line on the last lap. Coming to the white flag Bender got passed by Knuteson which put them even further back which made me think it was just me and Voytek from there on out, but Voytek overslowed five so bad that Knuteson caught us like nothing right away. Going into 12 Knuteson might have had a chance to get me inside but I and Voytek both protected inside. I had a good run out of twelve and knew that Voytek likes to overslow 14 in to try to trip up the person behind them, so I expected it and tried to stay right with em through 14. My car had a slight wiggle and right away I thought it was going to be really close then, until Voytek quickly darted right to dry to keep me out of his draft most likely, and I was about to follow until I saw Knuteson signaling for me to stay in line up the hill. Knuteson then gave me a good bump and I knew I had it. It was enough even that Knuteson was able to get Voytek and the line too. I was beyond excited and screaming in the car with excitement. It would have been very close without Knuteson's push so I was very happy he did push, and after when talking to him he was trying to get 2nd and thought the only was he could was by pushing me, so it worked in my favor but also his as he WAS able to 2nd as well! Dad and Evan Pecore (Our crew chief) were screaming over the radio as well as I with excitement.

 

Coming to the pits I had my good friend Evan Pecore, as well as racing friends Adam Roberts and Quinten Nelson all waiting for me super excited as well. They told me my girlfriend Hannah was waiting for me down by the Advanced guys so I started driving down there when Dad pulled up and was screaming with excitement still. Even the Advanced guys were all cheering as well when I got to them. The Victory lap was awesome being able to take Hannah around and all the corner workers were giving huge thumbs ups, and the ones I was hanging out with after the previous session failures were waving and jumping around. 

 

When we came back to the pits and went over the scales Dad was already out of the car ready to congratulate me as well as a bunch more friends waiting at the scales. Everyone was super excited when I got out of the car too from all the friends and family to fellow racers. As SCCA was not putting on a podium, collectively everyone else wanted to go down and do one ourselves so we had a good 40-50 something people all come down and share in the fun. All of the people that were at the podium are all people that I can not thank enough because they have all supported me in some way shape or form and the excitement shown by all was clearly evident. After we had the pictures of the drivers I wanted to get everyone who came down to the podium in a picture just because everyone there has supported me and they're the reason I was able to win and get to where I am today. I can not express how thankful I am to everyone who helps us and has lended a hand or advice in any way throughout the years. 

 

Overall the weekend had so many ups and downs that it was a roller coaster. Dad and I will one day have a race that we 1/2, but that day is still coming and will be even more special. It is so rewarding to have the cars performing as well as they are as all of the hard work we have put in over the past couple of years is paying off, which is evident as Dad has now podiumed 3 races this year, and myself 1. Again, I have so many people to thank for their support in getting us here, and the big ones are as follows, My Parents, Advanced Autosports, East Street Racing, Winding Road Racing, and Custom Wireless Inc. It was also fantastic to have Senter Smith, Andy Devoto, and Kyle Webb with us for the weekend. Senter may say he invaded our camp but we were more than happy to have them there. Their families and themselves are such nice people I would have them under our tent every weekend if they wanted to!

 

SNEAKY MOOSE MOTORSPORTS!!!!!

 

Sadly my video did not work, but I was able to get everyone elses and piece it together to make a pretty cool video IMO. I have uploaded it to YouTube, and hopefully this link embeds it into the page here: 

 

https://youtu.be/3yHWB63OOhg


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Tyler Brown

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2018 CAT Majors @Road America 1st Place

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#15
Tom Sager

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Congrats again, great write up and to say the least you had a hectic, rewarding and overall amazing event and weekend. 


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#16
Steve Scheifler

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Great race Tyler, congrats! And really nice job on the video, thanks to all who contributed their footage.
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#17
Danica Davison

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Congrats again, Tyler!  Quite the ups and downs that weekend it sounds like! Is this your first SM win ever, or first majors win? Either way, impressive!


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#18
tylerbrown

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Congrats again, Tyler! Quite the ups and downs that weekend it sounds like! Is this your first SM win ever, or first majors win? Either way, impressive!


Thank you! I have won a Midwestern Council SM race but Dad was the only other competition so I dont really count that. First SCCA SM win though.
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Tyler Brown

Owner - Sneaky Moose Motorsports

2018 CAT Majors @Road America 1st Place

Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) - Mechanical Engineering - Junior

MSOE SAE Baja Club Member

Blue Beast (1999 Spec Miata) Driver

Silver Savage (2002 Spec Miata) Builder

https://www.facebook...oseMotorsports/

 

 


#19
Danny Steyn

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Thank you! I have won a Midwestern Council SM race but Dad was the only other competition so I dont really count that. First SCCA SM win though.

 

Like I said on FB, you will always remember this one buddy. Proud of you!


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#20
Bench Racer

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Tyler, curious question, was the any tech at the Cat and if yes, what. Hope your still enjoying the thrill of your WIN.


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