Akron Sports Car Club 2019 Autocross Schedule

The Akron Sports Car Club has posted their 2019 autocross schedule and it is jam packed with events all over northern Ohio and a few dates in western PA.

According to their website, “Since 1953, the Akron Sports Car Club has been a major part of the automotive scene in the North East Ohio, hosting lots of events in the Cleveland, Akron, and Canton area.” I would suspect that these guys are one of oldest car clubs in the Neohio area.

In addition to competitive events they also posted a social schedule. What’s a close second to competing in automotive events? Getting together and talking about automotive events!

Their season starts off on April 7th at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk Ohio. Over the summer there are nine points events, a few events with other organizations, a muscle car date, and some challenge events.

See the full schedule here:

While I don’t have any plans to autocross this season, if I did I would certainly be checking out the Akron Sports Car Club!

Thompson Kart Raceway

Karting Seminar – Painesville Ohio – Let’s Go Racing

If you are interested in racing go karts, this karting seminar is a great place to start. Even if you’ve been racing for a few years attending events like this one is a great way to learn, meet other drivers, and get you ready to go racing.

This March 24th event is being put together by The Championship Kart Racing Association that races at the Thompson Kart Raceway in Thompson Ohio. Cometic Gasket is hosting the event at their facility in Painesville. It starts at 1:00 PM. Hear from local drivers and tuners about how to get into the sport and what is required. Karts will be on display to check out.

To learn more about the CKRA visit their website at : https://www.thompsonkartraceway.com/

2019 Autocross schedule MINI Cooper S Solo

2019 Neohio SCCA Autocross Schedule Released! Let’s Run!

There are a few local organizations that host autocross events and two of them have already released their 2019 autocross schedule. In this post I’ll highlight the schedule of the Neohio region of the SCCA. I’ll also post about the Akron Sports Car Club schedule very soon as they have released their 2019 autocross schedule.

Autocross events are perhaps one of the easiest ways to get into motorsports and learn about car handling and performance. What’s event better is that you can compete against others in your class as well against your own time.  These events are professionally run and there’s tons of support for those that are new to the sport.


The Neohio region of the SCCA has announced a schedule that has nine events including a test and tune type event. Test and tunes allow participants to try different set ups on their vehicle while not having to worry about their run times. It’s also a great way to knock of the rust off from winter.

Keep in mind that this schedule is tentative and could change. I recommend checking the Neohio SCCA Autocross Schedule  on a regular basis for updates and to confirm dates as the season moves along.

Neohio SCCA Autocross Schedule

April 27 (Saturday)Spring TrainingTentativeEastlake
April 28 (Sunday)Points Event #1TentativeEastlake
May 25 (Saturday)Points Event #2TentativeEastlake
June 30 (Sunday)Points Event #3TentativeEastlake
July 13 (Saturday)Points Event #4TentativeEastlake
August 4 (Sunday)Points Event #5TentativeEastlake
September 7 (Saturday)Points Event #6TentativeEastlake
September 29 (Sunday)Points Event #7TentativeEastlake
October 19 (Saturday)Points Event #8
(Season Finale!)
TentativeEastlake

Autocross Advice

Over the past couple of years I have written some posts about autocross and how to make your life a little easier…

What To Bring:  This post highlights what you should pack for an autocross event.

6 Tips For Maintaining Your Autocross Car: Keeping your autocross car in top shape is important.  This post cover six quick things to do between events.

To Mod or Not To Mod: While modifying your car can yield quick performance gains, sometimes you end up in a class where it’s tough to  compete.

If you’ve never participated in an autocross event consider getting out to one of the early season events just to check it out.  If you are new to these types of events there will be plenty of help.  From ride alongs, to course walks and instruction from seasoned autocrossers.  There’s also a great social aspect as after the event many will gather to talk about the day and how to improve for next time.

Turkey Leg 150 We Are Racing!

Painesville Speedway Turkey Leg 150
Painesville Speedway Turkey Leg 150

 

Want to watch some great racing this fall?  Check out the Turkey Leg 150 at the Painesville Speedway on Saturday, November 17th at 2PM.

I’ll be there racing a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am.

Racing at Painesville Speedway

More to follow on the builds and prep.  This is always a fun event!!

Three Upcoming Fall Cleveland Car Shows

Cleveland Car Show October 2018

 

Man, I dropped the ball with one!  Had it saved as a draft and never published it.  I removed the older dates, but there are still three more shows to check out (two of them today).

With the cooler temps comes less car shows and events in the Cleveland area.  Below are Four Upcoming Fall Cleveland Car Shows that are worth checking out

October 13, 2018 -Join Eastwood and Alive Inside for their last show of the season “Rock & Ride” in their efforts to fight dementia. There will be live music, hot food, raffle prizes, trophies and so much more! To show your ride, (Bikes, Cars, Trucks, and everything in between) we are asking for a $10 entry fee, where all proceeds will go to help against dementia.

Oct 13, 2018 – Bedford/ Maple Hts Historical Society Mystery History Run – 30 South Park St, Bedford Square, Bedford, OH, 44146, Fun scavenger hunt 8 stop $20 for 2, add. $5. DP, Lunch included, 9 am reg. More info 216.215.5982

October 27th Come visit Street Machinery and see what we have to offer. Over 100 old cars and trucks for sale at one location for one day.
25020 Lakeland Blvd Euclid OH 44132 https://www.facebook.com/events/329343807611300/

 

 

ChampCar Pittsburgh Grand Prix Recap

Lake Effect Racing Pitt Race ChampCar
Post race weekend picture

 

Here’s my ChampCar Pittsburgh Grand Prix Recap…

This year was filled with many late nights and long weekends at the shop working on a car that would be entered into ChampCar (www.ChampCar.org) racing.  It was a bigger endeavor that I had planned for  and one that, at times, seemed so close yet at other times seemed as if the project would never end.

I am working on a post that highlights the build.  Stay tuned.

Getting To The Track

I was actually finishing up some items on the Friday morning prior to loading up for the Pittsburgh Grand Prix.  Oil change, alignment, transmission fluid change still had yet to be done.  Plus packing.  I was at the shop late every night for two weeks as we worked to get the car ready.  I am very luck to have friends that will trade work for pizza.

I returned to the shop twice after leaving as we discussed a possible brake swap at the track and had to retrieve many parts that were back at the shop.  Tech closed at 6PM and my arrival time was inching towards 5:30.

I arrived to the track at 5:30 and the team helped unload the car, fix a fuel leak I found on the turnpike as I filled the car with fuel and we drove it up to tech.

They only had a few items for us to address and we headed pack to our paddock, grabbed dinner and then worked for a few hours installing the wiper assembly, roll bar padding, changing the fire extinguisher nozzle locations, installing rear window strips, and figuring out an electrical item that would allow ,the car to be shut off with a master kill switch.  I figured it out and then we were good to go.

Let me tell you about the dinner!  One of our teammates, Brian, organized this pot luck dinner and it was awesome.  Tons of delicious food!  Everyone loved it!

One thing I enjoy about racing like this is meeting new people and hanging out.  A group a few trailers down invited us over for beers and we sat around, talked racing, emptied the keg and laughed quite a bit.  It was good a way to end a long day.

Saturday – Race Day

We woke the paddock up at 6:25AM to take the car back to tech to get final approval on all items and we passed.   We set up our pit stall and got the car down to pit lane only for me to realize that we never adjusted the safety belts.  I struggled, contorted into small spaces and managed to get the belts closer to where they needed to be.

I strapped in and set out on the pace lap.  I couldn’t shift the gears easily!  The way the shifter and the seat were made it very difficult for me to shift and to reach the wiper switch which was now actually behind me.  Also, the car was cutting out!  It was sputtering.  I headed into the pits and told the team what was going on.  We sent Paul out, he’s taller, and it was still sputtering.  So we brought it into the paddock for an investigation. I found a loose connection opt the mass air flow sensor and it was good to go.  As I write this I now realized that the connection was moved during the electrical work for the kill switch work.  I bet it became loose then.

We sent the car back out and it ran great until the wheel feel off!  Yup, we had a wheel spacer nut fail on us.  We made the repair, after a trip to the parts store for more, better quality lug nuts.  Got the car back on track and it ran great.  I jumped in for a stint and with a seat adjustment and my booster seat (LOL) I could comfortably drive and shift.

We finished on Saturday!  To me that’s a win!

Back in the paddock we cleaned up the car, checked for any damage, rotated the tires and performed an alignment.  Now dinner time!

I missed my daughter’s homecoming on Saturday night.  🙁

Sunday – Race Day

Sunday was mostly uneventful.  Paul and I ran the car fairly well.  No issues until it was time for me to go in for the last drive. The left front wheel bearing was shot.  These cars are known to go through bearings and ours did.  Although we had a spare bearing we did not have a press.  Day over.

We packed up, celebrated what we did accomplish and began laying hints for next season.

We headed to the awards ceremony and guess what – our team won an award!  It was due to Brian’s organization of the pot luck and our ability to rebound from the wheel falling off.  Well done team!

 

Pictures from the ChampCar Pittsburgh Grand Prix

A Big Thank You

This season would have been possible without the help of many people.  From those that help early on in the winter to those that helped at the track – thank you.  I’d name you by name, but I’d probably miss someone (by accident).  Thanks to my loving wife who basically said get it done and we’ll see you after the last race.

What’s next?

I’ve always joked, “What off season?”!  As I head into the “off-season” I’ll be finalizing my plans for 2019 and will share them very soon.  Stay tuned!

Street Survival – Teen Driving Program

Street Survival - Teen Driving Program

If you have a teenage driver, you have to get them to a Street Survival teen driving event.  Did you know that Nearly 50% of teen driver fatality accidents involve a single vehicle?

According to the Street Survival website, “When your teen driver attends a Street Survival school, we teach them to control your car in unpredictable situations based on its handling limits. They master the application of driving physics using their car. They learn how to make good driving decisions and react more quickly. They become more aware and learn how to begin anticipating the actions of other drivers.”

Tire Rack Street Survival (TRSS) is a partnership between the Sports Car Club of America, Michelin, TireRack.com, The BMW Car Club of America  and  Enterprise.  It’s in its 16th year and has conducted over 1,000 schools and over 25,000 drivers.

I attended my first TRSS in 2014 as a volunteer and I didn’t know what to expect.  I helped set up and then was responsible for  checking and setting tire pressures for the cars that were to be used during the day.  I couldn’t stay for the entire event, but at our follow up meeting we read the thank you letters and emails that we received from the parents and students.  The parents were thrilled that their child learned more about car control and safe driving and some of the students wrote in as well about how they enjoyed the day.

My oldest daughter attended a TRSS event in Pittsburgh and it was awesome.  I hung out there the entire day as a parent (not a volunteer) and learned so many things about safe driving.  The day moved smoothly and the balance between classroom and in car was perfect.  The students stayed interested the entire day.

In northern Ohio we have a TRSS coming up.  On October 20, 2018 there will be a school in Eastlake at the Captain’s Ball Park parking lot.   My youngest daughter will be there.  This is a great opportunity for parents to get their son or daughter additional driving instruction which will allow them to become better and safer drivers.

Seven Upcoming Cleveland Area Car Shows!

car show

Just because school is back in session does not mean that the car show scene is slowing down.  I thought I’d highlight a few, upcoming Cleveland area car shows.

Before I do that though I thought I’d share something cool I saw this past Saturday night.  On my way home from the Painesville Speedway I stopped to refuel the truck and found a group of kids all standing around their cars talking.  Had to be about 15 cars, imports mainly.  It was 11:00 at night and I thought this was very cool!  Great to see an interest in hanging out, talking about cars.

September 7-8: The 27th Annual Cruisin’ by the Bay

Hosted in historic, downtown Sandusky, thisRemember Crusin’ Car Club show is expected to draw 500 cars and have great food and beverage vendors with DJ Frank LanManna spinning the tunes.  Learn more at http://www.cruisinbythebay.com/ .

September 7-9: NEOCC’s 25th Anniversary Camaro Fall Classic

If you like Camaros, you’ll love this show at Summit Racing Equipment in Tallmadge Ohio.  Free admission to spectators with tons to see and do.  Concession, 50/50 raffle, Grumpy Jenkin’s Camaro will be on display & more.  Learn more at https://www.neocc.org/annual-neocc-fall-classic/.

September 9: 4th Annual Car & Bike Cruise In – Erieside Church

This 4th annual Willowick show includes a picnic and fellowship.  Learn more at http://www.erieside.org/events-wedge-details/595493/1536516000 .

September 16: Ken Rakes Memorial Classic Car Show

Located at Vista Springs Quail Highlands in Concord Township, this second annual classic car show provides 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place prizes for Best in Show, a D.J. and free hots dogs, chips and beverages.  Call (440) 867-9100 for more information.

September 22: Dunn Hardware 6th Annual Cruise In

They say, “If it has wheels, let’s see it!”  Cars, trucks, and motorcycles will be on display in Richmond Heights along with music, food, the Donut Lab truck, and fun for all.  Proceeds from the cruise benefit Rainbow Babies’ and Children’s Hospital.  Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/events/219376725318224/.

September 23: Willoughby Brewing Company 5th Annual Car & Bike Show

Located in the very fun downtown Willoughby, this show is a popular one.  Come enjoy a delicious meal and great beer while viewing some great cars.  Learn more at http://www.willoughbybrewing.com/.

September 30: Euclid Beach Park Car Show

Looking for a pre-1970 car show, look no further.  This free, no judging event will be held in conjunction with Sights & Sounds of Euclid Beach Park – food, entertainment, and live radio broadcast.  Located at East 170th & Lakeshore Blvd in Euclid.  Learn more by calling  (440) 237-9817 or (440) 710-4107 (Dave).

 

Nelson Ledges ChampCar Race Recap

Okay, okay…I know it’s been a while.  Too long actually.

When I say it’s been crazy busy, it’s been crazy busy.  Many late nights and early mornings at the shop.  I feel very blessed that we are this busy and for the team I have.

We just got internet back at home after not having it for 9 days so I am home on a beautiful Friday night, alone, typing this, catching up on email and recapping the week.  Oh, and listening the NASCAR Xfinity race from Kentucky which we attended two years ago and had an awesome time at.

So in this post I’ll recap our ChampCar race at Nelson Ledges Road Course in northern Ohio.  This was the first 24 hour race at the recently repaved track in quite a while.

As the final weeks drew near on the Focus prep it became apparent that the car would not be ready.  We found out that we needed a somewhat hard to find for the axle carrier and the amount wiring proved to be too much.  I put in a weekend and about 25 more hours into this car in the days prior to the race and we still had items to wrap up.

We had to find another car to race and the team owner made many calls and tried to put together a few deals to keep us on track.  I connected him with one of our driver’s who had a car that we could race.

Thursday night was spent packaging the truck and two of our crew members, Sam and Betsy, went to help load up the car.

Friday I arrived to the track around 7AM and we set up our paddock.  We went through tech and ran a few practice laps.  It was decided that we would replace the axles due to a vibration and the suspension needed to changed to move us out of the EC (fast) class.  In hindsight we should have stayed in EC and took the class win (no other entries).

I left the track to drive all over collecting items we needed and then back up to the shop Friday as we needed more supplies and needed a different seat.  I did not get any practice laps in on Friday.  We worked well into the night and the the early morning to get the car ready.  Slept in the tent and woke to pancakes and coffee and it’s race morning!  I love camping at the track!!

Saturday morning we got through tech and with a little politicking – passed.  For some of Saturday’s race we were in the paddock with a vibration (loose ball joint bolts) and oil pressure and temperature issues.  I changed the oil and the car owner adjusted the brake ducting to the oil cooler and the issues seemed to go away.

Two of my stints were in the dark.  This was my first time racing at night.  My second stint was scheduled to start around 2AM.  One of our crew members checked on me at around 1:20 – I was sorta of awake,  As I geared up and started walking towards the pits I was greeted with a “The car was just towed in”.  I grabbed my truck, pulled the car to the paddock and began looking into the issue. No fuel pump.  I found that the relay had come loose.  Got it running, got dressed and went back on track.

Once I was done with my stint I headed to paddock to prepare breakfast and begin cleaning up.  I joked that if I had a $1 for every empty water bottle I’d have a lot of money!

While the weekend was a hot, long one we worked hard for a 3rd place in class finish and I am proud of that.

It’s 11AM, were packing up, I have two hours of sleep and reflecting on the weekend, I realized that I do enjoy  this.  That’s the truth (see what I did there?)

A lot of work, but I had a good time and that’s the Truth.

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