View Full Version : 2013 One Lap of America - Day 2

James OLC
05-06-2013, 01:20 PM
May 5, 2013

Sunday started off under low clouds in Talladega, Alabama; weather radar suggested showers were in the mix and with 4 events on the schedule for the day we were wondering how many would be run before the skies opened up.

Our first stop of the day was Talladega Gran Prix Raceway - also known as Little Tally - and mission one was to get to the track. Usually that's a fairly simple order but there were two races going on in Talladega this Sunday - the One Lap of America and some NASCAR thing - I think it's fair to say the NASCAR deal outnumbered us by about 1000 to 1. To say that traffic was a challenging would have been an understatement.

Fortunately we were not far from the track and we arrived with plenty of time to get unpacked and walk the track. This was the first time we had even been to this track and, as it's only occasionally used for automobile racing, information was limited for study. After a "quick" walk around the mile and change course we finished up car prep and got in line for what was going to be our first road course event of the One Lap and our qualifying session for the week.

Mary took the honors at Talladega and lead what rapidly became known as the "Muscle Group" out on track. Five cars set out on the recon lap - four made it to the starting line. Damon Josz, driving "the Original One Lap Camaro" (poke poke) bailed before the green with a fuel pump issue. That left four cars to take the green flag - there were three left when the session was red flagged. Carl Casanova, driving the Honor Flight Camaro, got loose in the tricky turn 3 and spun, flying briefly through the air before getting firmly stuck in the wet infield. The remaining three cars were restarted after Carl was pulled out and the game was on.

Mary did a great job in the morning, finishing 24 overall and first in our class.

The afternoon session started under ominous skies and Mary headed out with a new strategy - shifting in to a higher gear on the longer straights and hoping that the additional speed offsets any time taken to shift up and down. Mary did her run and looked slightly slower than the morning session but with no official timing it was hard to say what the difference was, if any. Jimi, on the other hand, looked to have picked up some time as did Damon and a now clean Carl.

The rain started just as the event wound up and we packed up and made a mile towards Alabama Dragway - uncertain if there was going to be an event or not. About half way through to the track the official results for the afternoon were posted and amazingly - Mary was shown to be in First Place Overall! An awesome but utterly impossible finish. The timing crew had made a typo entering scores and lost a digit... Regardless, "officially", for about 16 hours the OneLapCamaro team held first spot.

The problem, of course, was that we didn't know what our actual time was... Which digit did they miss? If they missed the first digit - a three - we could be in third or even fourth in our class. If they missed the last digit - which could have been anything - we might be in first. The only thing that might be worse than thinking you might not have squeezed out the win has to be seeing everyone's times but yours and wondering...

When we finally arrived at Alabama Dragway (after following a very convoluted route to avoid the NASCAR traffic) we pulled in to a very soggy pit area and immediately confirmed that the event had been cancelled. This was a mixed blessing for us... the OneLapCamaro is reasonably capable on the drag strip and this was probably one of our best chances to pad our lead in our class and maybe move ahead overall. On the flip side, with a long transit ahead of us to New Orleans an extra two or three hours was more than welcome.

Before leaving, however, we needed to try to get some resolution to the scoring question as Mary was slowly being driven insane. Brock Yates Jr.'s response was brief but predictable... "I don't know... They'll figure it out... See you in New Orleans." And so we left - still unsure but safe in the knowledge that we weren't going to find out any time soon.

The transit south was a relatively brief 410 miles and was, for the most part, drama free. Perhaps the biggest misstep along the way was at a gas stop about 100 miles north of our destination. When the topic of dinner came up I replied with what sounded logical at the time... "Which would you rather have - dinner in New Orleans or dinner in Alabama?" The fact that we were in Mississippi and not Alabama aside, my reasoning was sound in we agreed that dinner in New Orleans certainly sounded better.

Which is how we came to eat at a Waffle House, in New Orleans (ish) for what might be our last sit-down dinner for week. Not exactly as planned and I think it's safe say that I won't be left in charge of the dining plans for a while.

And that's it... Almost 1200 miles in and we're sitting in 19th overall and first in class with a 30 point (?) lead over a second place tie between Jimi and Damon. Tomorrow we're at NOLA Motorsports Park for two rounds of time trials before a long transit to Daytona Beach...

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05-06-2013, 05:28 PM
Great to hear! Keep it up!