posted Jun 5, 2018, 6:46 AM by Scoob Edoo   [ updated Jun 5, 2018, 6:56 AM ]
Well, it's been another year between updates which is especially shameful considering the LeMons race I did at Road Atlanta last December which definitely needs documenting.  So let's start there.

Yes, LeMons came to Road Atlanta last year, albeit in early December.  Usually, that wouldn't be a big deal - Atlanta in December is a pretty nice climate.  Sadly, that didn't hold in 2017.  Instead, we were treated to ~6 inches of snow that started when I was driving in North Carolina and didn't stop until I'd been at the track for about 1 day.  I hadn't checked the forecast and drove my FR-S and had some very interesting moments on the drive down.  I also hadn't really packed for that kind of weather, so my shoes and clothing were not exactly appropriate for the weather.  in other words, I was cold and wet for three days.  Fortunately, I and everyone else survived.

Friday the boys were running the practice day that I never got to run due to one of the teammates stuffing the Constang into the wall in the snow.  It wasn't a big hit, but we spent a few hours fixing it and swapping the radiator.  It was ready for race day with one really big upgrade (and one big downgrade) - the addition of a limited slip diff made the course, in the snow and wet conditions a hilarious amount of fun.  We were significantly faster through turns 3 and 4 that I don't know of many laps when we weren't passing at least a few cars there.  Unfortunately, the downgrade was the removal of the power steering pump.  In the temps we had for the weekend, our race gloves remained hard and slippery on the steering wheel and exacerbated by the manual steering.  My hands and shoulders were pretty tired after each stint.

Road Atlanta is one of my bucket-list tracks and it lived up to the hype.  I have a lot of experience on this track from Forza and iRacing, so it was really nice to get on the actual track to see how it flowed and felt in person.  It doesn't disappoint.  It's right up there with VIR in my book.

What else can I update?  The Bristol double National weekend was excellent last summer.  The courses were fast and challenging for both and I had some good competition.  We got an incredible amount of rain just before the start of our Match Tour heat and I made the mistake of driving, not understanding the amount of rain and the drainage of that Bristol lot.  I ended up driving through a HUGE river/puddle that made for a great picture from Perry Bennett at AutoxPix (as seen on the home page).  I recovered from literally flooding the motor to win the class and made the challenge, but lost.  I also won the Champ Tour event, so it was a good weekend overall.  

Unfortunately, during the event, I aggravated a nerve in my lower back that led to me not being able to walk more than ~120 steps at a time for the 5 weeks after the event.  Sadly that time included our vacation with my folks celebrating their 50th Anniversary in the Outer Banks.  I also missed my Black Belt testing for 2nd dan in August.  I got better for about 6 weeks before aggravating it again, causing another 5 weeks' downtime.  The good news is that I did successfully test in February, so I'm a 2nd-degree black belt now.  Watch out!

We had a great vacation in California with Kerry's dad and a couple of her brothers.  A lot of activities, a lot of hiking.  The Outer Banks vacation was also excellent, despite my not being able to play much.  We got to see some family we don't see often and see a part of the country we hadn't seen before.

In 2018 Kieran and I went to the Charlotte Match Tour, for the first time we were both in the shifter for a National event.  Before the event, we met with Lefty and Emma and Dan Wendell at GoPro so the kids could get practice in the shifters.  Emma hadn't driven Lefty's yet and Kieran had only driven mine in the fall at the same track.  Kieran focused on starts and shifting and those few hours there really helped him at the Match Tour.  This was our first experience at Z-Max and man is that a strange surface.  Even when hot it's not as grippy as most other asphalt lots.  It was an interesting course, though not one of my favorites as the flow was herky-jerky.  There was one big unsettling bump that threw the karts sideways under braking, so you had to watch for that, but overall a good event.  Dan ended up DSQ's for the first day's event since he was underweight by 5-7 lbs due to a mix-up between his karts.  The second day he brought one of his TAG karts which was nearly as fast as the shifters.  He beat me in the first round of the challenge.  Kieran made the underdog challenge and made it into the 4th round(!) before the master link of our chain broke mid-way through the run.  He was pretty happy with that performance, even if the pace of the shifter is a bit too much for him overall.  He's getting better with every event, so I think he'll be beating me by this time next year.

We also made the annual trek to Spring Nats, although this year we could only run the Champ Tour due to Kieran's finals a day later than we'd planned.  Kieran succumbed to the pressures of the first day's course and the grip of the concrete, going off-course all three runs for various reasons.  He was not happy.  However, he vindicated himself on day-two, with three good and improving runs.  He finished less than 1 second off my fastest time and would have been in 4th place (out of 8) for the event had he gotten a good run on day one.

Next up: a McCabe family reunion in Dekalb, IL and the Bristol double-national again over July 4th week.