You won’t believe this one! It’s mostly for the men, but Ladies. you’re welcome to keep reading too.
18 Months ago, I took two of my sons to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY for a special showing of the prestigious 24 Hour LeMans race in France. We had such a great time; even “camped in” at the museum (by invitation) much as they camp out at the track in France. This made another of my sons, Jess, who was studying in Israel at the time, jealous when he went online to see what we were doing. But in the process he discovered a parody race called “The 24 Hours of Lemons”.
The idea behind this race is that none of the cars are supposed to cost more than $500, at least to start with. But the sanctioning body is very serious about safety so they insist on a full roll cage, a fire suppression system, everyone has to be suited up in fireproof race suits, shoes, gloves, etc. In other words, other than the 120+ mph speeds the cars race at, safety is paramount.
Well all of this immediately struck the imagination of three of my sons and we immediately began shopping for a $500 “Race Car” which we found in the way of a 1996 long-ago-parked Camaro that we were challenged to bring back to life. The boys brought it home and proceeded to strip it of all unnecessary weight including, seats, upholstery, glass, heater, A/C, wipers and a literal-for-real rats nest (not a figure of speech”) from the air cleaner!
After an engine tune up and oil change, believe it or not, it started and “was ready to race” for the first time at the Road Atlanta course last December. Now, while the cars might be shabby, the racing venues are not. Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, as it was renamed in 2018 is a premier 2.54-mile road course located just north of Braselton, Georgia, It is owned by NASCAR via IMSA Holdings, LLC.
How did we do? Not only did we finish the race, which is a grueling fourteen hour endurance event over two days, and in this case almost-freezing days, of rain (did you remember I said we lightened the car by removing the heater, defroster and wipers?!!!), but we came in the top 50 cars out of more than 100 starters!
Well this coming weekend will be our second race at the Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, AL, just east of Birmingham. It is a similar premier venue to Road Atlanta. But no racer worth his salt is content to just show up with no improvements, right? So all year long we’ve been working to upgrade the car with a “new” rear axle, suspension components, supercharged engine and much, much more but space is limited here. Of course “New” here means new to the car; the major components came from the junk yard!
But what’s really new this year is that my sons have invited me to be one of the drivers and it will be a first for me even though next birthday will have a couple 7’s on the cake! Over the weekend I suited up in the fireproof suit, gloves, helmet and HANS device and practiced getting in and out of the car through the driver’s window and roll cage. I made it!
The race will be a real challenge in so many ways, not the least of which is to live up to what we’ve printed on our rear license plate: Heb 12:1 which says……
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us“.
Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!