Friday, August 21, 2009

The Entry

One of the unique characteristics of the 24 Hours of LeMons races is the fact that entries have to be “approved”. The entry form on the website required not only a Team Name – but an essay explaining why your entry is so much better than all the others.

A quick glance at all of the past races reveals that there are some incredible team names and themes. Being a very left brained person, this could prove difficult. I’m not even going to think about the essay.

After trying to think of all the words that might spell SE-R, NIS (san), I was stuck. The news currently has choice words like Subprime and Stimulus – but nothing seemed to flow. I know – 50 great ideas are flowing in your head right now – but this was our team trying to come up with something that would give justice to the great team names before us.

Finally – we just went with the Lemon theme – and went with Pucker Factor Racing. If you don’t like it – just don’t tell me.

Next comes the Essay. Here is what we came up with as an 11th hour entry.

We saved a classic SE-R from certain oblivion after it was totaled by a Texas hail storm. We purchased it from the original owner for the insurance buy-back. We had to convince him that potential destruction on a race course was a much more glorious end than whatever plans his greedy insurance company had for the car.

Since he had already added a header, exhaust, and JWT POP, we figured it was the perfect car to race at LeMons. Only LeMons participants can appreciate what is behind the faded paint and hundreds of huge hail dents.

Our team consists of bench racers who never really achieved their dreams before family life took over. No one really understands how much a group of accountants, welders, computer programmers, lawyers and the like could possibly want to work so hard on what appears to be such a beater.

We have also committed to take whatever sponsor money we can weasel out of friends and greedy corporations and divert it to a charity. Since they funds will be for laps completed - we will have an extra incentive to stay out of trouble and on the track.

We certainly hope that you consider our entry into the Ye Haw it’s Lemons 2009. Especially since the car is already stripped and we wouldn't know what to tell our wives if we're all home on October 24 and 25th.

Late on the night of August 15th (yes – the last day to enter) – we clicked the submit button. We waited until August 17th when Jay sent us the great news – We’re In!

I guess we’d better get serious now.

Time to strip the car…..

If you would like to follow the progress of the car, be sure and check out our Blog, be a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Getting Organized

The most important thing behind a starting LeMons effort – besides the car – is becoming very familiar with the rules.

There are 4-6 drivers allowed. Since we are cheap and want to spread around the fun (work), we decided to go with 6 drivers and break up the work into 6 areas.


Each person on the team will be responsible for one area. That doesn’t mean that we won’t all pitch in together, it just means that we can all focus on one area for rules interpretation, planning, etc.

Logistics basically involves items such as the entry, rules interpretation, schedule, communication, PR, tow rig and trailer, and motivation. The person who owns Logistics will basically run the team and keep things moving.

Body basically involves stripping the car down to the minimums. This includes the doors, interior, glass, insulation, braces, a/c and heater, headlights and tail lights, and anything else that can be removed to make the car go faster. Every pound we loose makes the car that much faster, turn easier, brake harder, and is easier on the suspension and bushings. We are shooting for a 500 lb weight loss.

Performance is limited in the LeMons race. But, some of the “safety” items fall under the performance category. This includes wheels and tires, brakes, and the exhaust system. We can all perform freebies like the MAF ground and alignment, a four wheel alignment. Gauges are also allowed and these will fall under the performance category.

Reliability involves going over the car to make sure that everything will survive the race. This includes checking the struts, bushings, bearings, half-shafts, coolant (removal), etc. If any issues are found, then we’ll either need to find something suitable in a junkyard or from a “donor” car. Since we are already at the limit on price, we hope this doesn’t exceed what we can sell items for.

Safety is the area in LeMons where there is no budget. Unfortunately, our team still has a budget. Luckily we have most of the items from prior efforts. An IO Port cage – that needs some additions for the new rules, a Momo seat and steering wheel, and a kill switch. We will need a new harness and window net. But. Finding an SE-R definitely helps the budget.

Money may be the easiest. Basically we have to come up with a budget, keep up with receipts, entry fees, and keep tabs on it all. Also, we may have some scavenger sales. Anyone needs some door windows? The Money person will probably be responsible for the race day at the track.

Breaking up the work should help everyone stay focused, involved, and moving forward without getting overwhelmed.

Time for a Team…..

If you would like to follow the progress of the car, be sure and check out our Blog, be a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

LeMons SE-R

Getting Started

We had been trolling Craigslist for the ideal LeMons car. Sub $500. Preferably running or close to it. No major mechanical issues. Ugly is A-OK. Then, across our computer screen came the message:

Journey's End

Long time contributor and SE-R Mailing List member Jim Wright had his car totaled by the insurance company. A Texas Hail storm dealt the final blow. It was headed to the crusher. Or, was it?

We contacted Jim and inquired about a more fitting end for his SE-R that he purchased brand new in 1991. The 24 hours of LeMons maybe?

For us, an SE-R was a perfect car. Truthfully we had given up on the chances of finding one and were looking at more popular cars like old 325s, Mustangs, maybe even a Probe GT. But, this was the find we had hoped for! We have tons of spares, an IO Port Cage, Momo Seat and steering wheel, wheels, brakes, etc. from the old race car. We also have lots of performance goodies that will probably have to stay home in the spirit of the rules. Bummer….

The price was in line too. $500. This included a car with severe hail damage, a trashed interior, and some stylin 90’s 16” rims. But, it also included a JWT POP, Header, and full exhaust. Also, the car was mechanically solid. Lots of love in it’s 258,000 miles. For LeMons – we scored!

So, a check was sent in the mail and on June 29th, we picked up the car and drove it back to Dallas.

Time for a plan…..

If you would like to follow the progress of the car, be sure and check out our Blog, be a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

LeMons SE-R