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Sizzlers & Fizzlers- Pocono Raceway

Sizzlers

 

Jeff Gordon- Remarkably Jeff Gordon’s recent career resurgence has resurrected the conversation about a potential drive for five.

Heading into the month of August Gordon continues to sit atop the NSCS point standings, a position he’s held for a majority of the 2014 season.  Certainly a fifth title for one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history is looking more like a reality than a possibility with each passing week. Jeff Gordon aided his bid for that elusive fifth championship by claiming his second victory of the season last Sunday at Indianapolis. No stranger to rewriting the NASCAR history book, Gordon stands alone as the only driver to record five victories at Indianapolis, a track that holds a tremendous amount of sentimental value to the kid from Indiana.

 

Joe Gibbs Racing

 

Over the last month no organization’s been hotter than Joe Gibbs Racing. All three teams have performed tremendously since the end of June. Virtually paralyzed by their struggles in the early portion of the season, JGR is now finding ways to finish races near the front with a measure of consistency.

 

Kyle Busch has managed to record three runner up finishes in the last four weeks. He’s clearly hitting his stride at the right time with the Chase looming.  Busch has one victory (Fontana) on the season, but would undoubtedly like to record another victory before the clock strikes midnight on Sept. 7 at Richmond.

 

Denny Hamlin hasn’t done much since his victory at Talladega, but in recent weeks he looks as consistent as any driver on the tour. Hamlin has rolled off two top ten finishes in the last two weeks to compliment his top five run at Indy.  Hamlin’s victory essentially puts him in the Chase; however he did miss a race earlier in the season. Another victory could bolster Denny’s march towards making the Chase following a disappointing 2013 season.

 

Matt Kenseth remains the lone JGR driver without a victory in 2014.  Kenseth’s position in the standings should guarantee him a position in the Chase, so don’t write off Matt just yet. Kenseth has followed the lead of his JGR teammates earning himself three top five finishes in the last four weeks. Kenseth has six opportunities left to score a victory to propel his positioning

Jul 27, 2014; Speedway, IN, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jeff Gordon who became a five time Brickyard 400 winner poses with the trophy and holds up five fingers after winning the Crown Royal Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

among the chase drivers.  The bottom line here is Kenseth will win a race in the next six weeks.

 

Joe Gibbs Racing has a ton of momentum on its side as the season winds down. If the last three weeks are any indication Kyle Busch could be the driver to watch once we get to the final 10 races of the season.

 

 

Kyle Larson

 

Simply phenomenal.  That’s what Kyle Larson’s rookie campaign has been highly successful thus far.

 

The 21 year old rookie sensation has adapted nicely to the demands that go with running a full season on the NSCS circuit.   His extraordinary march through the ranks has breathed new life into the NSCS rookie of the year battle, thus bringing a sense of respectability back to an entity that’s desperately needed a shot in the arm for quite some time.   Larson’s top ten run at Indy has the kid primed for a date with destiny in September. Should he make the Chase expect young Kyle Larson to fight the good fight.

 

 

Austin Dillon

 

Austin celebrated with little brother in victory lane on Saturday. On Sunday Austin turned in a fine performance finishing 10rh in the final running order. And like his fellow rookie of the year competitor, the above mentioned Kyle Larson, Austin’s weekly rise to the top of the NSCS rankings is equally satisfying as it is exhilarating.

 

 

 

Fizzlers

 

BK Racing

 

I get it. BK Racing’s three rookie drivers are not expected to compete for a championship; they are just looking to establish an identity.  I really want to root for them, I really do, but they make it tremendously difficult. It’s hard to feel something for a organization that appears hell bent on tanking.     This organization has regressed considerable in 2014 with rookie drivers Alex Bowman Ryan Truex at the helm. Adding Cole Whitt to the driver line following the demise of Swan Racing did little to impact their standing. It’s hard to see light at the end of the tunnel when things are this bleak. Bowman, Truex, and Whitt deserve better equipment than what they’ve been given. Let’s hope they weather the storm; it’s painful to see such young talent go to waste.

 

 

Juan Montoya

 

Team Penske has a rich history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as does Juan Montoya. For whatever reason, this pairing couldn’t capture the magic of days gone by at this year’s Brickyard 400 despite having a really good car for most of the weekend. However the weekend wasn’t’ totally uneventful for Juan Montoya; he managed to make a new friend in Paul Menard. Insert sarcastic one liner here.

 

 

 

Danica Patrick

 

Indianapolis was perhaps Dancia Patrick’s last chance to steal a position in this year’s Chase.  When it was all said and done all Danica was left with was the familiar feeling of disappointment.

 

 

 

Paul Menard

 

You have to feel for Paul Menard, the former Brickyard winner. He learly had his sights set on replicating his 2011 performance at the rack when he claimed his first NCSC win.  Paul’s done a outstanding job to keeping his Chase dreams alive for most of the 2014 season, but it’s highly likely he won’t have his day in the sun, thanks to an on track incident with Juan Montoya that certainly dashed his chase hopes for another season. Damn you Montoya!

 

Follow Stock Car Spin on Twitter @SCSblog or like Stock Car Spin on Facebook.

 

Article source: http://stockcarspin.com/2014/07/30/sizzlers-fizzlers-pocono/?utm_source=FanSided&utm_medium=Network&utm_campaign=Around%20the%20Network

Mark Martin returns to Roush Fenway

Mark Martin is returning to Roush Fenway Racing, but not as a driver. Instead, he’s going to be a driver development coach, according to a release from Roush Fenway Racing on Thursday.

“I’m excited to return to Roush Fenway Racing, as it feels like I’m going home to where I belong,” Martin said. “I was fortunate to help build this team from the beginning, and it’s very humbling to be a part of Jack’s team again. When Jack first hired me in 1988, we didn’t talk about salary or benefits or perks; we talked about testing, tires and putting the right personnel into place to win on the track. That commitment is what stood out to me then, and it’s still what stands out to me today.”

Martin was the first NASCAR driver hired by car owner Jack Roush. He drove for RFR from 1988 to 2006 before opting to scale back his schedule. During his time with Roush, Martin posted 35 Cup level wins and 47 victories in the Natonwide Series.

“The thing that always stood out about Mark was his unmatched drive to win,” Roush said. “Mark put us on the map, and I am pleased to have him as a part of our team again. Mark is not only a good friend but he’s also a fierce competitor, and I truly admire his passion and dedication to racing. I have no question that you will be able to see his influence on our young drivers. He understands what it takes to win and to be able to do that on a consistent basis, and he’ll, once again, be a great asset to have back within our organization.”

After leaving Roush Fenway Racing, Martin took some time off and then competed part-time for Ginn Racing and then Dale Earnhardt Inc., after Ginn Racing merged into DEI. He returned to full-time racing with Hendrick Motorsports, before going back to racing on a part-time basis in recent years with Michael Waltrip Racing. Martin last competed for MWR in 2013. He finished out his driving career as a fill-in driver for the injured Tony Stewart at the end of the 2013 season.

Earlier in the week, the organization revealed its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series line-up for 2015 to include Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne.

“Nobody does a better job at developing young talent than Jack Roush,” Martin said. “Roush Fenway has an abundance of young, talented drivers, and I’m looking forwaard to working with each of them going forward. I am very proud of what Jack and I were able to accomplish together, and I am excited to expand on those accomplishments.”

Follow Stock Car Spin on Twitter @SCSblog or like Stock Car Spin on Facebook. Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner

 

Article source: http://stockcarspin.com/2014/07/31/mark-martin-returns-roush-fenway/

Survey: Pontiac owners have most car sex


News To Me Blog

Posted: 4:49 pm Thursday, July 31st, 2014

By George Mathis

This Newnan car owner probably knows what we are talking about. (AJC file photo from 2008)

This Newnan car owner probably knows what we are talking about. (AJC file photo from 2008)

The Pontiac brand of automobiles may be dead, but there’s a chance you know someone whose life began in one.

A new survey conducted by online retailer CouponCodesPro.com, which probably uses the same methodology as Gallup, says more people have had sex in a Pontiac than any other make of car.

The company, which sells adult toys and lingerie and seems to be very nosy, asked its customers questions about their sex lives. Amazingly, almost 3,000 people were willing to share their secrets.

More than half (59 percent) of those desperate souls said they have had sex in a car.

What I am calling the “Smokey The Bandit Effect” must have powered the maker of the iconic Trans Am to this poll’s top position.

Eleven percent of respondents who did not have access to a home and a bed said they have had sex in some form of Pontiac.

I am going to go out on a limb and say Pontiac owners have the most car sex. But hopefully no one gets busy in a Vibe, which sounds like something CouponCodesPro might sell on its website.

Runner-ups in the car sex survey included Sex Toyota (9 percent), Ford (7 percent), Chevy (6 percent) and Honda (5 percent).

Other disturbing data from the survey includes:

  • 28 percent of those who admitted to having car sex said they lost their virginity in a car.
  • 31 percent said they had sex in car unexpectedly.
  • 26 percent said they had sex in a car because they wanted to do something risky.
  • 22 percent said they had sex in a car because they couldn’t have sex at home.
  • 46 percent said the car was in a parking lot during sex.
  • 19 percent said the car was in a driveway during sex.
  • 4 percent said the car was going down a major interstate during sex.

OK, I made that last one up. That would be a little too risky, unless the Snowman and Fred are running Smokey interference.

Real news I found on the Internet Thursday:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


About the Author

News to Me is a blog (not a news article) written Monday-Friday and any other day George finds spare time to do such a thing.

George has been a local news editor with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution since 1999. Earlier attempts at journalism included stops in Valdosta, Cordele and Tifton.

A lifelong resident of Georgia, he was raised in Berrien County. He’s fond of guitars, homemade beer and finding interesting news nuggets on the wire, Internet and Twitter.



Article source: http://newstome.blog.ajc.com/2014/07/31/survey-pontiac-owners-have-most-car-sex/

Darth Vader Drives A Corvette

Spoiler alert! Darth Vader dies at the end of Return Of The Jedi. Yet, despite Vader’s ultimate demise, the iconic character still lives on. In this case, he lives on as an awesome full-size replica of the Hot Wheels Darth Vader toy car.

Based on a C5 Chevrolet Corvette chassis, this Vader mobile is 64 times the size of its toy counterpart. The car’s design mimics Darth Vader’s iconic helmet, and Hot Wheels has added light saber side pipes and the sound of Vader’s labored breathing to the full-size car for added effect.

With a top speed of 80 mph, we can only assume the car’s original 5.7-liter V8 engine has been dumped in favor of something smaller, or that the Vader mobile is electronically limited, we’re not sure. The full-size Vader car will be on display at this week’s Comic Con in San Diego if you want to catch a glimpse of this unique custom Corvette.

Article source: http://gmauthority.com/blog/2014/07/darth-vader-drives-a-corvette/

Get in Touch with Nature… and a Free Car

click to enlarge

    Indiana’s Nature Conservancy and Honda have teamed up to encourage Hoosiers to get out and explore the state’s natural beauty.

    Their Natural Treasures challenge officially runs August 1 through September 30.

    Indiana residents are encouraged to visit one of the sites around the state, listed here, and upload a photo documenting their visit. One grand prize winner will receive a Honda Civic Hybrid.

    The Nature Conservancy hopes this challenge will encourage Hoosiers to appreciate the natural beauty around them, and subsequently help to protect it.

    Article source: http://www.nuvo.net/NewsBlog/archives/2014/07/30/get-in-touch-with-nature-and-a-free-car

    Power rankings Pocono Raceway – fantasy Insider

    For the third week in a row, NASCAR continues its flat track tour – back to Pocono Raceway.

    The track I call the “Cow Bell” is calling one more time this season to see if the previous winner can prevail at the “Tricky Triangle.” Dale Earnhardt Jr sling shot past Brad Keselowski during the stretch run of the first Pocono race to capture his second win of the season after Keselowski dominated the race.

    I look for both of those drivers to do the same thing come this weekend, weather permitting.

    I don’t want to sound like a broken record, so click on my name above and all my posts will pop up and you can get all the info you need by clicking on the first Pocono Power Rankings. I know; I know; I’m slacking off, but I will provide you with some info. you need to know.

    First Pocono race on June 8, 2014 top 10:

    #88 Dale Jr

    #2 Brad Keselowski

    #41 Kurt Busch

    #11 Denny Hamlin

    #42 Kyle Larson

    #48 Jimmie Johnson

    #31 Ryan Newman

    #24 Jeff Gordon

    #78 Martin Truex Jr

    #10 Jamie McMurray

     

    Two active drivers have posted consecutive poles at Pocono: Denny Hamlin with a 2006 sweep and Joey Logano in fall 2011 and spring 2012.

    Johnson leads all active drivers in driver ratings with one win, seven top fives, 13 top 10s and an average finish of 9.2 for his career at Pocono.

    Kyle Larson finished fifth a month ago and has the best rating at 5.0, but it’s only one race under his belt, so I won’t include him in my top ten.

    The top driver ratings for Pocono:

    #11-Denny Hamlin 
    #48-Jimmie Johnson 
    #41-Kurt Busch 
    #24-Jeff Gordon 
    #14-Tony Stewart 

     

    Here are  the latest power rankings for Pocono:

     

    10 Kyle Busch- three top fives and five top 10s, average finish 13.2.

    9 Clint Bowyer- three top 10s, average finish 12.4.

    8 Brad Keselowski- one win, three top fives and four top 10s, average finish 12.3.

    7 Dale Earnhardt Jr- one win, three top fives and six top 10s, average finish 12.2.

    6 Kurt Busch- four top fives and six top 10s, average finish 10.9.

    5 Kevin Harvick- three top fives and four top 10s, average finish 10.8.

    4 Jeff Gordon- two wins, three top fives and six top 10s, average finish 9.7.

    3 Ryan Newman- three top fives and six top 10s, average finish 8.2.

    2 Tony Stewart- five top fives and six top 10s, average finish 7.9.

    1 Jimmie Johnson- one win, five top fives and seven top 10s, average finish 6.8.

     

    Don’t forget to get the phone app to follow stockcarspin.com. follow us on Facebook and like us on Twitter. Thanks for stopping in.

    @JoeIcemanNieves

    Article source: http://stockcarspin.com/2014/07/30/power/

    New Audi offers glimpse of cars’ 4G future

    The speed of new technology can be dizzying, especially when it’s flying down the highway and streaming movies, games and music all at once.audipicture

    That was my experience recently with one of the first cars in the U.S. to come equipped with 4G LTE wireless service, the 2015 Audi A3 sedan that went on sale in April.

    Audi and ATT announced the 4G A3 in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where carmakers now go to show off how much their vehicles are morphing into electronic gadgets.

    Since the show, all sorts of carmakers have started offering built-in LTE modems on 2015 models.

    The connections serve several purposes. Drivers use them to connect to online services for traffic and mapping information, entertainment and even social networks, while passengers can connect phones, tablets, game players and other devices.

    Carmakers — starting with GM back in 1996 — have long used “telematics” systems to keep track of vehicles, monitor sensors for accidents or maintenance issues and send notifications to drivers.

    Over the past decade, they’ve made cars more like PCs or phones, enabling them to run all sorts of apps on their embedded computers and dashboard displays.

    Now we’re rolling into the fourth generation of telematics systems, moving beyond placing calls, navigating and connecting to networks, and into an era with “seamless integration of mobility and the Web,” according to Ernst Young, which predicts that 88 percent of new cars will have built-in wireless systems by 2025.

    This is being accelerated by European Commission rules mandating that by 2015, cars have systems capable of “calling in” an accident and reporting their location.

    Audi image

    Audi image

    I didn’t get the chance to test the A3’s accident-reporting capabilities, though it may be handy for drivers who flip the dashboard switch engaging the turbocharged car’s “dynamic” (bat out of hell) transmission mode.

    The A3 is Audi’s lower end model, aimed at what it calls the “entry premium market,” and named the 2015 World Car of the Year by the automotive journalism fraternity.

    It’s about the same dimensions as a Ford Focus and, lengthwise, it’s a foot shorter than a Toyota Camry. Getting in and out may involve a bit of twisting if you’re tall or have had too many bratwursts lately.

    The real test

    The taut and zippy “quattro S tronic” A3 I drove starts at $32,900, though Audi loaned me a $43,345 “Prestige” model with LTE, fancier navigation system and goodies like LED headlights and a Bang Olufsen stereo.

    To put the A3 through its paces and see what I could really do with an LTE car, I took my wife, two kids and a pile of tablets and smartphones connected to the in-car Wi-Fi network for an extended drive through prime Audi habitat — the Highway 520 corridor between Seattle and Redmond.

    Audi image

    Audi image

    Traveling both directions in this river of European cars, the A3’s hot spot was able to support two different movies streaming to an iPad Air and an 8-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S while a third passenger played the online game “Snap Attack” on a Windows Phone and the driver fiddled with the navigation system and the satellite radio.

    Download speeds were unremarkable. They ranged from 1 to 2 megabits per second, while upload speeds reached up to 5 Mbps, according to Speedtest.net tests done while parked in South Lake Union.

    Beyond this rolling hot-spot capability, the benefits of having 4G LTE service instead of plain old 3G service wasn’t as clear.

    It can also get expensive to use the car’s modem to entertain kids with streaming movies. After a free, six-month trial period, the car’s ATT service costs $99 for a six-month plan with 5 gigabytes of data throughput. A 30-month plan, with 30 gigs of data, costs $499.

    Shared-data plans

    If you’re budgeting for a road trip, Netflix uses 1 gig per hour for standard-definition movies or 3 gigs per hour for a high definition stream. ATT also plans to let people add cars like the A3 to its shared-data plans, in which a mix of devices share a pool of data.

    I think pricing plans is where carmakers and wireless companies need to get innovative, or the fourth-wave of telematics won’t amount to much.

    Even people buying $43,000 sport sedans will balk at a $500 addition to their wireless bill, especially if they don’t see a lot of reasons for a 4G LTE car.

    The A3 does a few tricks with the faster wireless service but they’re still not as refined and exciting as more elemental features of the car, such as its paddle shifters and tight handling.

    A special Nvidia processor helps the display that pops up in the middle of the dashboard to provide higher resolution, so the Google Earth graphics you can peruse are more vivid and responsive.

    Using Audi’s iPhone app, you can also send photos to the car, and the navigation system will then tell you how to drive to the pictured location.

    I’m not sure how often people will use the photo navigation — will they forget where they took the picture? — but it seemed like an amazing technical feat. At least it did until I realized that the system doesn’t actually analyze images to figure out a location and directions. Instead, it reads location coordinates attached to the digital picture file and enters them into the navigation system.

    Resulting directions are almost too precise. When I sent the car an image of the Seattle Great Wheel, the system directed me not to the waterfront Ferris wheel but to the point on the viaduct — a few blocks south of the wheel — where I had taken the picture.

    The dashboard system can also be used to check Facebook and Twitter updates. But that’s the last thing you want to be doing behind the wheel, especially if the car’s a pleasure to drive.

    Article source: http://blogs.seattletimes.com/brierdudley/2014/07/29/new-audi-offers-glimpse-of-cars-4g-future/

    Tony Stewart’s Mediocre Season Continues

    Tony Stewart finished 17th Sunday in the 21st running of the Brickyard 400 driving his #14 Stewart-Haas Chevrolet. Yet another middle of the pack showing for the three-time Sprint Cup champion, in a season filled with middle of the pack showings. With 16 left on the schedule, Smoke faces the threat of his first winless season ever.

    The Indiana native burst on the Cup scene in 1999 driving the #20 Home Depot Pontiac for Joe Gibbs Racing, winning three times in his rookie year. And the wins didn’t stop after that. The 2000 season saw him win a career high six races, and he has had at least one win every year since.

    But this year has been a struggle. Not only has he not won a race, but he has not even been close to contending for a win at the end of almost all 20 races so far this year, scoring only two top five finishes.

    If Stewart has looked to break out of his slump, Indianapolis must have seemed like an oasis in the desert. After all, this is the track in which he has scored nine top 10 finishes in the previous ten seasons, including two victories in that span. It’s also the home track for the Hoosier, a track that has always been very close to his racing heart.

    However, Stewart’s car showed no chance of contending for a victory Sunday. Qualifying 6th on the grid, Smoke spent much of the day outside of the top 15, running in the middle of the pack at a place where track position is king.

    With the poor finish at Indy, Stewart  sits 19th in points, with a real chance of missing the Chase for the first time since 2006 (not including his injury shortened 2013 season).

    Will Smoke be able to turn his season around in the final stretch leading up to the Chase? Fans can remember his 2011 championship season, a year in which he went winless in the regular season, only to roll off an astounding 5 wins in the 10 race playoff. This feat is unlikely to happen again, by any driver.

    But even with the mediocre finish at the Brickyard, perhaps Smoke will return to his winning ways very soon.

    Less than a year after breaking his leg  in a Sprint car race, he returned to the series to win during a Friday night race at Tri-City Motor Speedway in Auburn, Michigan during the Cup off week.

    In this interview before the Cup race Sunday, he discussed the boost in the arm the sprint car win gave him:

    It was a confidence boost for me…But dealing with when you haven’t won, and you haven’t been necessarily a contender to be in the top two or three each week and having those opportunities to win races this year, you start questioning what is it in the equation you’re  missing…Is it something you’re not doing as a driver? To be able to go out and win on Friday night and ran third on Saturday night, and to have two good runs like that in a car that I haven’t been in for almost a full year now, that was a huge confidence boost and made me feel like, hey, maybe we’ll just meet and find something else.  

    And as all of us race fans know by now, a win will get you into the Chase…even if your name is Aric Almirola. Stewart has six more races to find victory lane. Six more races to qualify for the Chase. He is a racer with the pure talent to win at any track on any given weekend. Never count him out, but he better hurry up.

    Follow Stock Car Spin on Twitter @SCSblog or like Stock Car Spin on Facebook.

     

    Article source: http://stockcarspin.com/2014/07/29/tony-stewarts-mediocre-season-continues/

    24 Hours of LeMons Chicago: The Winners!

    Randomness 4

    Randomness 4
    For the 24 Hours of LeMons’ fifth visit to the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois, we started things off with inspections of some strange-O engine-swapped machinery on Friday, then ran one long race session that started on Saturday morning and finished at midnight. With the lack of a break between sessions, mechanical problems tended to knock cars out of contention for class leads but heightened a near-panic-stricken sense of urgency among the teams that wanted their cars kept on the track at all costs. We saw much madness, much heroism, and much disappointment, and we rewarded nine teams with sure-to-be-cherished LeMons trophy hardware. Here are your 2014 Doin’ Time In Joliet 24 Hours of LeMons award winners.

    Class A Winner 3

    Class A Winner 3
    Only a few Nissan Z-cars have done very well in LeMons racing (though Z-based teams have been very numerous over the years), which tells us that the three teams that have won multiple races (one of which is Saab-powered) are nearly alone in overcoming the reliability problems of the breed. Team Back To The Past just added another win by getting 318 laps with their ’85 300ZX at Autobahn. These guys weren’t driving the fastest car on the track— in fact, 41 teams (out of 96 total) racked up quicker best lap times than did the Back To The Past Nissan— but they raced cleanly, didn’t hurt the car, and practiced impeccable pit-stop strategy, and in the end they’d won by a not-very-comfortable fraction of a lap over the LemonAid Racing BMW 325i. Back To The Past won the 2012 Heaps In the Heart of Texas race, followed by 2014 North Dallas Hooptie race, and now they are the Class A and overall winners of the 2014 Doin’ Time In Joliet race.

    Class B Winner 1

    Class B Winner 1
    In Class B, Point-O-Eight and their BMW-ized Ford Escort GT took the class win by four laps, finishing with 306 total laps and P10. This team has been competing in Midwest Region LeMons racing for a few years now, and they’ve gone from hard-luck parts-breakers to solid class contenders during that time.

    Class C Winner 1

    Class C Winner 1
    The Schnitzelwagen 1972 Volkswagen Type 3 Squareback glommed the Index of Effluency trophy at the 2012 Autobahn race, but that wasn’t enough for those air-cooled Volkswagen fanatics. They wanted a Class C win as well, and after a half-dozen attempts (involving many broken engine components) they’ve reached their goal. Der Schnitzelwagen’s drivers beat their closest class rival, the Windy City Racing BMW 2002, by four laps.

    25 - 24 Hours of LeMons Chicago Inspections

    25 - 24 Hours of LeMons Chicago Inspections
    There were several strong candidates for the Most Heroic Fix award at this race, but Milwaukee’s Pabst Blue Racing team out-sweated the rest, the team members shredding their knuckle flesh to the bone in most relentless fashion while patching their rear-wheel-drive-converted, Cadillac Northstar V8-powere Nissan Maxima together in time to catch the checkered flag.

    Heroic Fix Winner 2

    Heroic Fix Winner 2
    The PBR car broke a connecting rod on the second lap of the race, punching big holes in both sides of the engine block. Many teams faced with a much less severe problem— say, a blown head gasket in a Honda Civic— just pack up and go home at this point. The idea of obtaining and swapping a big, complicated engine in a weirdly fabricated mid-engined race car would seem as difficult as pushing a peanut all the way to the top of Pikes Peak with one’s nose to such a team, but Pabst Blue Racing is made of sterner stuff.

    Heroic Fix Winner 3

    Heroic Fix Winner 3
    The one bright spot for PBR was the ease of obtaining a junkyard Northstar in the Midwest on a Saturday afternoon. Illinois junkyards tend to be well-stocked with early-90s Cadillacs, and it wasn’t long before an allegedly good engine (the donor car had the word “RUNS” scrawled on its windshield) was back at the PBR pit space. The entire much-modified Cadillac suspension subframe had to be dropped out the bottom of the Maxima, followed by hundreds of large and small tasks to be accomplished in order to get the replacement engine installed.

    Heroic Fix Winner 1

    Heroic Fix Winner 1
    Nearly 12 hours after the first engine blew up, the Pabst Blue Racing Maxima was ready to go with its new engine. Unfortunately, it overheated just three laps after its glorious return to the track, and the team finished 96th out of 96 entries. So what? A well-earned Most Heroic Fix trophy!

    I Got Screwed 1

    I Got Screwed 1
    The LemonAid Racing Geo Metro managed to win both Class C and Index of Effluency trophies, three-cylinder engine and all. After the LemonAid guys got an overall win in their BMW 3-series (yes, the one that they made into a rolling monument to Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha) last year, they decided they wanted a tougher challenge, so they opted for a powertrain upgrade in their Metro.

    I Got Screwed 6

    I Got Screwed 6
    Yes, that’s a BMW M50, driving the Metro’s rear wheels. This beautiful abomination ended up weighing more than the team’s E30 (excess weight tends to be a problem with swaps like this), but the team had high hopes for its road-racing success. Sadly, it suffered many mechanical failures, wasn’t especially quick, and turned a mere 43 laps.

    I Got Screwed 2

    I Got Screwed 2
    Meanwhile, the LemonAid E30 spent most of the race in P1, but a late-innings black flag for a dramatic off-track excursion gave the lead to the Back To The Past Nissan. For ruining their perfectly good Geo Metro with a backbreaking 10,000-man-hour drivetrain swap and missing the overall win in their BMW due to a single driver mistake, we gave Team LemonAid the I Got Screwed award.

    Don't Listen To Judge Phil 2

    Don't Listen To Judge Phil 2
    The United Partnership of Pentastar Racers were well on the way to taking home a Most Heroic Fix or I Got Screwed trophy— racers who choose members of the extended Chrysler K-Car family tend to be major players when it comes to those two awards— when their 1992 Plymouth Sundance Duster clanked to a halt early in the race.

    Don't Listen To Judge Phil 6

    Don't Listen To Judge Phil 6
    The Mitsubishi 6G72 V6 engine under the Sundance’s hood refused to run correctly, due to undiagnosable fuel-delivery and/or ignition and/or cosmic-ray problems. The members of the United Partnership of Pentastar Racers are, to a man, engineers employed by Detroit auto manufacturers, but curing the maddening ailments of their engine controls seemed beyond the abilities of modern science. They tried swapping fuel injectors, then arrived at the junkyard too late to buy a replacement engine computer.

    Don't Listen To Judge Phil 5

    Don't Listen To Judge Phil 5
    At that point, I offered a terrible suggestion: cut a hole in the flat top surface of the 6G72′s intake manifold and mount a random carburetor borrowed from any team that would loan one out for a few hours. By the same means, scrounge up a low-pressure electric fuel pump and a crappy fuel-pressure regulator and provide the carb with the correct fuel flow. At first, the UPOPR engineers were too fastidious in their engineerdom to even consider such a hair-raisingly crude kludge (keep in mind that these guys scratchbuilt their own digital instrument cluster and then added wireless telemetry for the exhaust-gas temperature of each of the engine’s cylinders), but a combination of race fever and the offer of all the needed carburetor-related bits from the crazy New Zealanders of Apocalyptic Racing did the trick.

    Don't Listen To Judge Phil 3

    Don't Listen To Judge Phil 3
    In a very short time, the Aisin carburetor was mounted onto a freshly-hacked hole in the Mitsubishi’s intake, the linkage and fuel plumbing was in place, the hood had been sliced to clear the carb, and the team just needed to wait for the RTV to cure in order to get back onto the track.

    Don't Listen To Judge Phil 4

    Don't Listen To Judge Phil 4
    It worked! Two more laps of racing, with the car hitting 85 mph at one point. Then the RTV sealant began running, causing huge vacuum leaks and sending the Plymouth back to the pits. Still, it was one of the most triumphant moments in all of LeMons hooptiedom, and for that we honored the United Partnership of Pentastar Racers with the created-for-the-occasion Never Listen To Judge Phil award.

    Judges Choice Winner

    Judges Choice Winner
    The 24 Hours of LeMons Supreme Court justices always choose a recipient for the Judges’ Choice award, and this time the judges (which included Hooniverse writer Eric Rood and radial aircraft engine-powered MR2 builder Marc LaBranche) gave the trophy to a team that didn’t even bring a race car to the track. Team Muenster Energy suffered repeated trailer and tow-vehicle mishaps on their way from Wisconsin, damaging their race car beyond repair in the process. Rather than just give up, they came to the track and watched the race, offered to lend a hand to teams in need of assistance, and generally had a much more positive attitude than we see from most teams who don’t get to race at all. The LeMons Supreme Court justices approve of this, and so we gave Muenster Energy the Judges’ Choice award.

    Org Choice Winner 3

    Org Choice Winner 3
    The Organizer’s Choice went to a team that put a lot of effort into making their Mustang into a convincing flying pig, complete with heavy and drag-inducing oil-drum snout and huge plywood wings, even though they often contend with the fastest teams for an overall win. The Flying Pig Racing car looks spectacular on the track, and it generally finishes in the top five (this race, it was P3).

    Org Choice 1

    Org Choice 1
    We think that all the quick teams should decorate their cars this well.

    IOE Winner 4

    IOE Winner 4
    The top prize of LeMons racing is the Index of Effluency award, given to the team that accomplishes the most with the least likely vehicle. About halfway through this race, we decided that two teams stood out above all the others in the IOE race: the Sir Jackie Stewart’s Coin Purse Racing Ford EXP, and the Afunzalo Racing Fiat X1/9.

    IOE Runner-Up 2

    IOE Runner-Up 2
    Whichever of those two got the most laps by the time the checkered flag waved, we decided, would get the Index of Effluency trophy.

    IOE Winner 2

    IOE Winner 2
    The Fiat, while very slow, was slightly quicker than the Ford, but the two stayed neck and neck for hour after hour.

    IOE Runner-Up 3

    IOE Runner-Up 3
    Then, disaster struck! Actually, disaster (in the form of repeated mechanical woes) had been striking both teams all day, but the EXP suffered a catastrophic balljoint failure late in the afternoon and came in on the hook with the front wheels pointing in markedly different directions.

    IOE Winner 3

    IOE Winner 3
    The EXP was repaired amazingly quickly, but the Afunzalo Racing Fiat X1/9 built up enough of a lead to beat Sir Jackie Stewart’s Coin Purse Racing by six laps. Congratulations, Afunzalo Racing!

    Randomness 5

    Randomness 5
    Not enough LeMons coverage to satisfy your hooptie-racing jones? You can check out more photos of the Doin’ Time In Joliet race here, you can follow the updates from LeMons HQ on the 24 Hours of LeMons Facebook page, and you can always keep up with the latest LeMons news at the Inexplicably Presented By Car and Driver LeMons Roundup page.

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    Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/24-hours-of-lemons-chicago-the-winners-2/

    More than Just Car Insurance?

    The iPhone app from vehicle insurer Metromile can help policyholders check fuel consumption and even avoid a street sweeping ticket.

    Investigating New Auto Insurance
    More than Just Car Insurance?

    Here at Auto Credit Express we recently read a press release from auto insurance company Metromile outlining the various services they offer in conjunction with their pay-per-mile car insurance.

    Even though the company is currently in just four states (California, Oregon, Washington and Illinois), it plans on expanding. And since low mileage drivers, even those with bad credit, can save money with this type of policy, we decided to dig a little deeper to find out just how innovative this company is.

    The Metronome

    The device Metromile uses to track how far a vehicle is driven is called a Metronome. It’s currently free and plugs into the OBD II diagnostic port of a vehicle (all 1996 model year vehicles and newer, inside the vehicle within 2 feet of the steering wheel) and transmits data back to the Metromile platform.

    Downloading the Metromile app to an iPhone offers policyholders the ability to track fuel consumption, vehicle diagnostics, and car location (already the device has helped customers locate and recover vehicles that were either misplaced or stolen). Users also have the ability to view their fuel level (on supported vehicles), and can contact on-staff Metromile mechanics with inquiries while drivers in San Francisco and Chicago can opt to receive notifications to help them avoid those nasty street sweeping tickets.

    “Fundamentally, Metromile is a technology company with data science at its core,” said Metromile CEO Dan Preston. “We use data to give drivers features that are really useful, like how much they spent on fuel last month, how much time they spend driving below 30mph, and when they need to move their car to avoid a ticket. With these kinds of insights, we hope to make the urban driving experience simpler, more affordable and more enjoyable for everyone.”

    The Bottom Line

    Although the service area is currently very limited, we see the program offered by Metromile, which includes its “pay as you drive” billing model, to be of real value to drivers – even those with less than perfect credit.

    One more good thing: Auto Credit Express matches car buyers with past credit problems to dealers that can offer them a good opportunity for a car loan approval.

    So if you’re ready to reestablish your auto credit, you can start now by filling out our online auto loan application.

    Article source: http://www.autocreditexpress.com/blog/2014/07/27/more-than-just-car-insurance/