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Author Topic: Drivers beware: Chump Car fixes race...
Casey Z Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I will post the link to the Chump car forum and my post there below. The background on this is I took part in the 24 @ Hallett this weekend and Chump Car officials fixed the race and attempted to take one of our cars.

Here is the link to the Chump Car forum: (you may have to sign up to see it)

http://forum.chumpcar.com/index.php?/topic/1317-rac..._gopid__14368&#entry14368

Here is the text of the post in response to someone in the forum asking the race director why our car was DQ'd and why they attempted (but failed) to claim it...

"Hey John, Can you please explain (with details) why the #1 care was claimed?"


Yes John please do explain. Since you probably won't get a straight answer I will fill in the details as I was crew for the #1 car and a driver in the #69, same team same cars. The cars in question were in no way spec miatas. I race them with SCCA at nationals and build them so I know them very well. Both the 1 and the 69 are without a doubt the biggest chunks of mazda junk that ever had the fortune of seeing a race track. Both cars had stock (and leaky) 150K plus motors in them, tranny's, etc. They were missing hoods, bumper covers, trunk deck lids, etc. The 69 also had a very blown shock that we didn't know about till we got out in the race. The 1 car had a mazdaspeed sway bar and some terrible POS aftermarket shocks the previous owner had installed. Those items were deemed out of bounds and the 1 car was assessed a 12 lap penalty before the race began.

The drivers for the 1 car were all SCCA national level drivers in SM and other SCCA classes. One of the drivers is a prior track record holder in SM at Hallett. The 69 car had three relatively inexperienced drivers and me. I was asked to stand in for a driver who fell ill the day of the race. The long and short of this story is that the 1 car had two things going for it. The first thing was an outstanding group of drivers. Two of the drivers have several thousand laps at Hallett as it is their (and my) home track and we have been racing there 10-12 times a year for several years. The second thing the 1 car had going for it was luck. They didn't crash, and nothing on the car broke. We were concerned about a CV Boot that decided to break, but we had no spares so we just carried on. The 69 car on the other hand had several problems. During the evening at a scheduled stop the same individual that DQ'd and attempted to claim the 1 car decided that "our lights were too bright". He refused to let us run the two forward facing halogen lights mounted on the bumper. Therefore we had to use two fog lights and two halogens aimed out to catch the apex. We told him it was dangerous to not run forward facing lights but he would have none of it. He said we could only have 4 lights and the two that actually worked were too bright. Never mind the fact that half the field had more than 4 lights (just as bright) and nothing was done about it. The lack of lighting contributed to me putting the 69 into the tire wall hard in T1 about 1AM. It took us 18 laps to get it back together. The 69 car also had a clutch slave cylinder failure at about 6:30 AM and it took us about 45 minutes to try to fix it and we ended up running the rest of the race in 3rd gear because we had no clutch.

Now to my point above. The 1 car got lucky and had no mechanicals. Further, I turned similar lap times to the 1 car in the 69 but there was no action taken against the 69 car, just the 1. The reason given for DQ'ing the 1 car was that it was "too fast". Never mind a similar driver in the 69 posted the same times. It just so happened that the one car had a better overall driver line up and no mechanicals. Also, the decision to DQ the 1 car was against the advice given by the chump car head of tech at the track. He said he had been trying to tell them they were wrong since 8am. The race director wanted none of that. We also offered to tear down the motors ourselves and produce any parts they wanted for inspection. Again, the race director wanted none of it. If he says it is "too fast" then that is it. All evidence to the contrary even when we offered to do the work for him.

Finally, as evidence of the fact that the 1 car was "too fast" the race director offered up that the SM lap record at Hallett was a 1:33.2 and therefore if our times were close to that we must be cheating. Never mind the fact that SM's broke that record at Hallett about 6 years ago. The current SCCA track record for SM is actually in the 1:28's, way faster than the track record he stated but provided no evidence of. I even offered to pull up mylaps.com on my phone to show them the official SCCA results and records. Again, he wanted nothing to do with it. The fact of the matter is an uninformed and arbitrary decision was made because it just looked bad to have a car win by 60 laps.

Now, regarding the "claim". Our team was informed that not only had the 1 car been DQ'd but that it was being claimed as well. Note there was no reason for the claim other than it was "too fast." Note that they did not attempt to claim the 69 car even though it ran similar times with me driving the car. Of course we in the 69 were also 60 laps down due to our mechanical issues.

Something else to note is the "just a big jerk rule" isn't in play here. Our team owner has promoted Chump car to many drivers. He has even gone to the extent of going to lemons races to try to recruit people. Also, we never had the opportunity to be a "Big jerk" as the 1 car was black flagged at hour 23:45 and before our owner/driver had a chance to say anything he was informed that the car was DQ'd and it was being claimed.

Lastly, to make sure what happened next is clear, I want to lay it out. We were faced with our car being essentially stollen from the team with no recourse or buying it back for $1500. I wouldn't have paid anyone $250 for that total POS. Nothing on the car is anything anyone would ever build a real race car out of. It was junk. Therefore the team elected to take the car from impound and put it back on the trailer and take it home. Please note at no time did any official ask us to stop or attempt to prevent us from taking it. You should ask Chump Car why that is...

The awards ceremony was after all this mess and even though the 69 car podium'ed none of the drivers elected to be awarded the trophies as we all considered the race as being fixed. We were promoted to 2nd after the 1 car was DQ'd and we knew it was a sham and knew that we only deserved 3rd place. None of us wanted to be associated with a race that was fixed.

I know many of you are probably thinking we are just a bunch of cheating SM drivers and we got what we deserved. I have no way to disprove that as there was zero due process and we were not allowed to present any evidence to prove otherwise. For those that may think that I just caution you to not do a really good job (or get lucky) in a Chump car race. You will be DQ'd and they will attempt to take your car. I hope no one else has to go through this as it ruined what was a fun weekend for a lot of people.

In case this post is deleted I will shortly be posting a follow up (with the same text) at specmiata.com.

Feel free to ask any questions here and I will answer to the best of my ability.

Thanks,

Casey

[ 08-29-2010, 10:45 PM: Message edited by: Casey Z ]

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Z Brothers Racing / East Street Auto

Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
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Being a member of #1 car team. I can't remember having as much fun ever but the end result was a bad taste left in my mouth. First of all my name is Roger Bryan and I have been road racing for 15 years (15 years at this track also) and I probably have a couple of thousand miles of running this track. I have raced legend cars, GT-2 Porsche Super Cup, Neons, and SM and have set lap records in SM and GT-2 and been track Champion numerous times. I have to say that the car we were driving a 1.8L Miata was a real piece that wouldn't even pull 4th gear in two sections that it must to turn a good lap but then it was lighter than a SM not have a front or rear bumper cover, no hood, no trunk lid, no top but it did have a soft top riveted on and know rear facia or even metal between the rear tail lights. But we did have a good line up of quality drivers, had no problems, ran 1 hour to 2 hour stints and just drove the shit out of the car even when we were up by 30 laps and all the way to the end when we were around 77 laps up when they called us to the penalty box with 15 MINUTES yes 15 MINUTES to go. The reason we were up so many laps also could be found the other people driving the other cars. Probably 60 % had never been to Hallett and they also let people race that have NO NO racing experience and yes they let them do it at NIGHT. Even thou we won by over 77 laps probably some cars drove farther than that due to the race lines they drove. Being that some drivers had NO experience most of the time it was like a moving chicane or that you could make a pass from 15 cars back. And in the dark they would almost come to a stop (on the straights) when you would be approaching them that leads to some akward moments. They even say on there own website that this kind of racing lends it self to a well set up small bore car. Well guess what we had (MIATA)

Terry Hanushek
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Casey

There have been questionable goings on in Chumpcar before event

http://sccaforums.com/forums/thread/411131.aspx

Terry

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The DQ is kinda shitty.

But if the car was the crapheap that you claim, I would have made them give me $1500 CASH for the car and let 'em auction it. The goal would then be to come back next year with a bigger pile o'crap & school the new owners of your old car. That's what that kind of racing is supposed to be all about....

Putting an ass-whooping on a bunch of novice/rookie drivers in crapheaps is fine, but keep in mind that the $500 series are intended to let everyone try their hand at racing while having FUN. In the early days of LeMons, I'm pretty sure your Miata would have been crushed.(Just ask Willy the Tard) I like the idea of entering a race with a car that I have to consider disposable, I've used $400 MX-3s. I disagree with the DQ, but I have no sympathy for anyone that enters a LeMons/Chumpcar race and loses their car. [twocents]

Eric

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Thanks Terry, if I had known how it was going to be I would have just gone to the lake a week earlier. But as you see we had a similar deal. I don't know why the owner of the car didn't take the $1500 but I would assume he had already been screwed out of victory, the winnings what ever they were and then you get to take a few safty items out that they (Lloyd) couldn't even list off his head. I would have sold it to them and then lit it on fire, butt then I always go a little further than things need to go. But I imagine the owner just couldn't believe the screwing he and his customers were taking. I didn't read all 44 pages of the forum but the first page reads almost exactly like ours from the driver stand point. Roger

Casey Z Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Yikes, thanks Terry. Now that I see the history here it all makes sense. The goal is to make everyone feel like they are racing and competing but to make sure no one is really racing or competing. Whatever. I guess this John guy is a cult of personality figure with a God complex.

Think we are done with them and will leave them to their own twisted little world. Hope this thread serves as a warning to everyone here. You are NOT welcome at Chump car...

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Z Brothers Racing / East Street Auto

Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
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I think we're all welcome in LeMons & Chumpcar... but you have to enter these races under the premise that you can be pulled out of the car at any time, put in a dress with heels & sent off on a foot race for the lamest of reasons.

http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=-c0GR9LsjdA

If you can't handle that going in, you're at the wrong race.

Eric

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I thought the whole point of these "silly series" was the races were (or could be) fixed, and that the organizers could take and/or crush your car at any time.

There's lots of real endurance racing out there fellas. First weekend in December comes to mind...

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Crew Chief, 3D Racing #64, aka Team Scrappy 2.0
3rd place E2, 2009 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Crew Chief, EGR/Miller Motorsports #64, aka Team Scrappy
E2 Champions, 2008 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Casey Z Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by EBudman:
I think we're all welcome in LeMons & Chumpcar... but you have to enter these races under the premise that you can be pulled out of the car at any time, put in a dress with heels & sent off on a foot race for the lamest of reasons.

http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=-c0GR9LsjdA

If you can't handle that going in, you're at the wrong race.

Eric

Eric,

The Chump car rule set (the joke that it is) isn't the same as Lemons at all. There is no car crushing or dress wearing. Just race fixing from what I can tell. Their claiming rule is if you are a cheater or a jerk. We were neither.

Pat I hear you but when you have a 24 hour race that looks to be legit 40 minutes from home it is hard to pass up. Lesson learned...

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Z Brothers Racing / East Street Auto

Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
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Sean Allen Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Is the west coast Cumpcar run the same way? It's run by a completely different person. I was going to build a chump car miata, but if there are going to be problems like this I could do something else with it..

Drago Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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Roger who drove with you in the number #1 car?

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Charlie James Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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Wow, glad I stayed home. 1:33 TR, I think Roger beat that on his cool down lap.
Who was the car owner/entrant, and what did Scott Stephens have to say about the whole deal?

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Casey Z Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Charlie James:
Wow, glad I stayed home. 1:33 TR, I think Roger beat that on his cool down lap.
Who was the car owner/entrant, and what did Scott Stephens have to say about the whole deal?

Bob Stretch was the owner/entrant. The one car was driven by Bob and Roger and Denny, both COMMA guys. There was also a good GTA driver in there as well. The team really did a great job and it was a great drive.

We talked with Scott after the mess started and he thought it was BS. I think he got caught between a rock and a crappy customer. They wanted a Miata lynching and they got one.

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Z Brothers Racing / East Street Auto

Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
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cam Verified Driver
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Sounds like a real bad deal, glad I did not go. Basically, the same thing happened at the first Lemons event in Houston. A group of local SM racers cobbled together a Miata and drove it well. They were rewarded with a crushed car. My take away from these cheep car races is that they are geared towards the NASCAR and Pinks watching crowd. Their primary racing training consists of bad movies and Game Boy. If you know how to drive and make everyone else look bad, then your skill is not appreciated. But, if you treat it like an Art Car parade, then it can be fun.

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"The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."
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To Charlie and Drago: Myself, Denny Beitler, Bob Stretch, Rob and Greg (didn't catch names) but all had previous Hallett experience and both have had lap records in other types of cars. All total 5 experienced drivers and a well orchestrated pit crew that was even crewed by the drivers in part. As far as Scott Stephens goes he told me he had no part of it but I do believe that he could have stepped up more expecially when they called into question the lap times. It isn't all lap times, its all the other little pieces of the pie as well that add up to win including LUCK. I guess they were waiting for us to break during the night and then they wouldn't be the bad guy. But we drove as hard the last 12 hours as we did the first 12 hours. My first stint befoe going out we had to tighten the steering wheel screws that were already loose and later on the next morning we had to take them out and locktite them because the tires were so shaky they had back out quiet a ways. In fact that, adding about 4 quarts of oil and tightening a left rear hub bolt (long one) is all we had to do but drive it like we stole it. Good fun but bad taste!!!!

Motor City Hamilton
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Sounds like the lesson learned should be that at Lemons and Chump Car you need to sand bag for the first 20 hours - stay on the lead lap - run 3rd - then give them hell in the last 4 hours.

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Wow Casey, talk about a bum deal. And looks like the lynching is continuing on that thread, they obviously hate anyone that actually tries to do well. I think cam nailed it on the head, they are the Putzes crowd who don't want to actually race... just there to be on the track. And 19 cars, high level of competition there... woo wee, they certainly don't need entries, nope, got plenty of em.

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All this has happened before, and will happen again

Eric Barbaric Verified Driver
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More evidence that the 99s are too good for SM. They just don't break!

Just kidding.

Casey and Roger, it sounds like you guys had a blast! Too bad the dude with the God complex messed up what should've been a fun victory celebration.

You guys have shamed me. You can turn 1:33s in a POS, while I only get occasional 1:33s in my SM? Wow! I better learn how to analyze my Traqmate data and figure out what I'm doing wrong there.

Hope to see you both at an upcoming COMMA event. My dad just had back surgery, so it may not be til October.

springfielddyno Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Charlie James:
Wow, glad I stayed home. 1:33 TR, I think Roger beat that on his cool down lap.
Who was the car owner/entrant, and what did Scott Stephens have to say about the whole deal?

Charlie's too modest, but he holds that 1.28 Hallett track record. What a lap. I was proud to be a part of that record in a small way. I was the carrot that Charlie was tring to catch after he ran off course (letting me pass) near the end of a national race 2 years ago... It was quite confusing to look at my predictive timer in the car and see that I was turning very solid laps and look in my mirror and find a SafeRacer catching me quickly... Nice lap(s) Charlie!!!

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Regards,
Sam H.
www.springfielddyno.com

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If I were the stephenses, that organization (and organizers) wouldn't be back to my facility, ever again.

Eric - less brake, more curb [Wink] Then, after a while, less grass, more gas

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Rich Wiese

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Well they keep saying 99 but it was 95-97 model but what the heck makes it sound more like a sniper rifle than a 45. Anyway I thought Charlie ran a 1.29.008 for the record and I have only managed a 1.29.3 with a 1.6 !! But after reading more and having emails sent to me it just seems like they just don't like Miatas and certainly not Miata drivers. But atleast they are consistent as this has happened more than once. Since I was unaware of how they felt about Miatas I guess it was my fault for putting myself in that position for not reading up on how they did business. I guess it would have been alright if we had just drove around and won by 2 laps. But I can't image why 5 guys would just want to get in a car in Okc and drive to Houston and then drive back to Okc and say boy that was fun lets do it again next year.

Charlie James Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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Sammy is giving me too much credit, my lap was only a 29.0, you guys running those times in chumpcar miatas, now that would be something to watch!

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modernbeat
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Yep, ask Kent and Willy about LeMons. They had two cars crushed, and a third was selected to crush when they were invited to leave, and then vilified by the organizers.

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Chris Taylor
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Yeah it was a bum deal, sorry you guys got hosed... but even if you CAN build a Miata for $500, it's not really in the spirit of the rules. If ya'll had bought a pair of X1/9's and had a 77 lap lead, that'd be a whole lot different. Or for a more realistic comparison, a Probe or a Neon... because those are KNOWN pieces of shit!

And believe me, it's not just Miata guys that the crapcan series dislike, it's anybody with an SCCA/NASA patch on a suit, or the ability to drive a proper line... last Houston LeMons (among other bunk calls) they black flagged our team for 4 wheels off. I was in the car. I hadn't even put 2 wheels off, or 1... and I'd been having a blast all day, even through the 3 previous fictitious black flags (although the PUY might've been true, with LeMons' horrendously stupid "line of sight" yellow flag rules).

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I was on the 3rd team from Houston with Keeling, Phillips, Carter, Kelleher. We took a beater miata to No-Problem Raceway for the Lemons Race last year. After being given a huge penalty, the organizer told us don't set a wheel off the paved surface, no black flags, and don't win and we won't crush your car. We did all we were told to do. Around noon on Sunday they came to me and said to call the car in, it was going to be crushed. We loaded the car up and came home. The person who made the deal was Jay, the organizer.

It is not a race, its a art car show on steroids.

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Taylor Ferranti

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Sounds like a sicko, power hungry, group running this program.

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"It is not a race, its a art car show on steroids."

There you have it. Drivers expecting a serious race are at the wrong event. Having said that I spectated at last year's LeMons at Nelson Ledges and laughed the whole time I was there.

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Recipe for being left the frack alone:

1) Don't over achieve, can't do well, can't drive well and can't dominate even though much of the dominance is due to no mechanical issues and there are only a handful of cars entered.

2) Determine what the hated cars are that weekend, don't bring one of em. Placing a survey on their forums may help you in this regard.

3) Don't use bright lights, because its far better to hit walls and stop on track then seeing where you are going.

4) Latest one... don't look for results and discuss them.

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All this has happened before, and will happen again

   

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