June through Early September 2005
It is Our Destiny, It is Our Curse
The Go-Fast Crack Pipe is Calling Our Name

Now what are the dorks up to this time?

The NSX-Files.  Documenting Go-Fast adventures before today's bloggers even had a dial up internet connection.  And they probably are still using AOL dialup.  Have you ever actually read a blog that lasted more than a month that was even remotely interesting?  If so send it to me so I'll have a link when I have insomnia.  To those rank-amateur-wannabe-journalists:  The following chapter is how real story telling is done: <grin>

Yeah, I know it has been a long time since there was an update.  Thanks to everyone who has been cajoling me to get another chapter out.  Cooper is about 3 months old now, and he is almost sleeping through the night, which makes it so I can almost concentrate again.  For those of you without children, you become totally brain dead the first few months after a newborn shows up from lack of sleep and physical/mental exhaustion.  But we are getting into a routine again around the house, and more importantly, around the shop!  So if there is a routine going on at the shop, that means there is a little more time to satisfy our need for speed.  We must feed the beast.  It is our destiny, it is our curse.......

June 11, 2005
Wayne enters the Pro Kart Challenge race at Cal Speedway.  They setup a short course in the parking lot for this event.  I decide not to enter the race, as it is only a month or so since Cooper was born, and he is waking up every two hours screaming for me or the wife to feed him.  Wayne, using his five year old beat up kart with a stock ICC motor(but is forced to race in the built motor class due to classification rules) qualifies only 8/10ths of a second off of pole against the built motors guys.  But then again it is a real short track, taking only 39 seconds to do one lap.  We have been changing our oil in the karts after every practice day, but for some reason Wayne doesn't change it before this race day.  In the qual race, Wayne blows up his motor.  Bummer.  Not sure if it was because it was just a worn out motor, or no oil change, or maybe jetting was off.  We had good success in not blowing up a motor in a year or so, mainly because we have been more religious about checking jetting, changing oil frequently, and paying attention to the color of the burn on the spark plug.  We are paranoid about blowing up a karting motor, as it is getting too expensive to fix these things.  Today, Wayne's luck ran out.


Hummmm.......how to make some cash to go racing

We couldn't come up with any quick money making schemes.  Wayne comes up with new ideas every day, but I pretty much veto them.  Stuff like: 

1.  Dating website - Vetoed.  Been done already.  Besides, we are married, we can't test out the goods without getting hit by a rolling pin.

2.  Racing dating website, where hot chicks interested in cars can meet guys with fast cars.  - Vetoed, too specific a market niche. 

3. Tool rental shop - Vetoed.  We got three of those within four square miles of the shop.  Plus a Harbor Freight Tools, where you can buy imported tools that might be cheaper than renting tools.

4.  Home mortgage business - Vetoed.  Too many out there already.  Labor intensive.  Lots of people lying about their "stated income" to qualify for loan.  When the real estate market crashes, and people who can't pay their mortgage go suicidal because they can no longer afford to live in their spiffy new, overpriced homes, will they shoot:

a.  People in the bank that hold the loan where the interest rate is rising rapidly?
b.  The guy at the mortgage company that told them, "Yeah, just put down you make $20,000 a month on your application, even though you only make $5,000 a month.  Don't worry, the housing market will never crash.  You'll make it up on the backend"
c.  Themselves?

The evil we do to race....

5.  Go-Fast parts shop - Vetoed.  We would only buy stuff for our cars, and never sell any parts.  It would go belly up in 30 days.  Imagine us with Penske triples and carbon fiber splitters/wings on the 360, 355, MR2, EVO, Audi Wagon, Honda Pilot, Ford F350, etc. 

6.  Buy residential house and become a speculator - Vetoed.  I don't want to be the last guy buying into the residential housing market before it crashes.  It will crash, that is why I am renting.  It does kinda suck to hope for a total economic collapse in the housing market so you can be a bottom feeder and profit off of it, but hey, it will help pay for race rubber, I'm not morally opposed to being a pessimist.

7.  Buy commercial property and become a speculator - we seriously looked into this, and almost bought a 9000 square foot building for $150 a square foot, but someone else went in and paid $160 for it.  And the agent never even called us to tell us there was a  higher offer that was being accepted.  I mean, yeah we said we would not go over $150, but you would think he would at least say, "Hey, I got a dude willing to pay $160".  Anyway, he's fired.

Commercial property in the Huntington Beach area seems to still be a hot market.  There are very few buildings available, and lots of people run their businesses out of the Center of the Universe, and want to continue to live here.   If your business is in LA, Irvine, Santa Ana, etc, you have to deal with rush hour traffic every day.  Instead, by living and working in Huntington Beach, you can drive 5-10 minutes on city streets and get home by 5:10 p.m. after work.  If you have to work on your car/kart at night, it is a quick drive to get some solitude and work in a zen-like atmosphere on your Go-Fast vehicles.  Pretty damn nice.

So after doing nothing for about four months, another opportunity comes up.  A local commercial real estate broker came by the shop and dropped off a flyer for a building that is up for sale about 1000 feet from the Phoneguys/Pulp Racing building.  He said that the owner wanted to sell immediately, as he is going through a nasty divorce.  The building is a little beat up compared to the other building that sold for $160 a square foot, but we figured we could work around that.  The current owner uses the building to paint small computer/electronic parts.  Unfortunately for him, most of this business is moving overseas, so he was getting ready to shut the business down, sell the building, retire, and give the ex-wife half the proceeds so he would never have to talk to her again.

The building we were looking at.  Notice the smokestacks for the paint booths

Our plan was to buy the building and try to lease it out to another type of painting/powdering company that needs these half sized paint booths and a paint oven, and ride out appreciation gains in the long term.  If we can't lease the building to a paint type of company, we could then remove the paint booths and oven, and try to get another type of company to move in.  If that didn't work, we could move the Phoneguys/Pulp Racing operation to the newer building, and just up the rent to ourselves, and rent out the old building.  Since Wayne's brother Bobby owns 50% of the Phoneguys, we cut him in on the deal, because if the economy or real estate market crashes, Phoneguys is generating enough cash to cover the mortgage on the new building.  Pulp Racing can't even cover the water bill, much less a mortgage payment.  So we decide to go in 50-30-20 between Wayne, myself, and Bobby. 

Oven for baking painted products

So we at least had a plan with two backup plans incase the first one didn't work out.  Anyways, we decided to hop on this building immediately.  We put in a cash offer for $113 a square foot, thus putting in the first offer for the building.  Wayne starts schmoozing the owner like only Wayne can, and the owner said he appreciates the offer, but his wife's lawyer has to approve of it, and he will forward the offer to them.  We know it will get rejected.  Damn.  They come back and sorta imply that $140-145-ish might be a better price.  We politely bow out, with Wayne keeping in contact with the owner.   Another week or so later, the owner says he got another offer in at $130 a square foot, and that the buyer is trying to get financed, and that they are putting the paperwork in front of the wife's lawyer in another day or so.  Hummmm.........we tell the agent we will coming bombing in with a similar $130 a square foot offer, and we don't need financing, we can pay the guy cash so if he wants to walk away in 10 days from the building, he has that option.  The wife's lawyer looks at the two offers, one financed at $130 (who knows if he can approved for the loan?), and our offer of $130 cash-get-the-f-out-of-the-building offer, and they pick us!  We are now the proud owner of a 10,600 square foot building.

Various paint booths with stacks venting the air outside

After we buy the building, an aggressive, but very calm agent is calling Wayne every couple of days about the building.  Chris says if we want to flip the building, he can easily find a buyer.  We don't believe him, of course, since real estate agents that I have worked with seem to be in a category below used car salespeople, if you know what I mean.  (Except, of course, for John McMonigle's operation, which continues to stun and amaze me with their marketing prowess, big balls to make big bets, their professionalism, and innovated ideas on how to sell high end real estate.  That dude is the Bill Gates of residential real estate in the area, if not the world.  He sold $201 million bucks in residential real estate.  In 2004.  In the last three years, he sold half a billion dollars of residential real estate properties.)  Anyways, Chris claims he can sell our building for $160 a square foot, without us having to make any improvements on the building.  Yeah, right, we have heard that before.  We tell him that his commission/taxes would eat up most of the profits.  So he says he will sell it for more, just give him a 3 month listing.  Hummmm.......the old owner wanted to rent the building back from us for a month or so, and they wanted to have a 30-45 day escrow instead of a 10 day escrow like we were proposing, so what the heck.  Chris, you got 90 days to put up or shut up. 

Rant of the day: 
Why doesn't someone investigate why Wire Transfers do not happen instantly?  It's an ffing electronic transfer of money.  It seems like everyone (banks, escrow, lenders, etc) takes 1.5 days to move the cash.  WTF??  It would be quicker to move a million dollars in twenty dollar bills in a suitcase using a bicycle for these real estate deals.  This isn't the first time this has happened.  Everyone is trying to get an extra day's interest out of the deal, and there doesn't seem to be DAMN THING you can do about it.  What's this BS about, "I can't send a wire after 2 p.m."  Huh? Just put your mouse over the "send button", and give me my damn money, will ya?  Both buyers and sellers seem to get the same run around by all the middle men.  Bastards.

Nice looking Pantera

Saturday, June 18, 2005
I went to Cal Speedway with Speed Ventures on the infield course.  Much to my surprise, they changed pit entry on the infield course to be closer to the chicane that starts the back straight.  The change in the course is due to the Carrera GT that tragically crashed and killed two people earlier in the month.  Apparently there was a problem with a car entering from the pit area at the end of the straight that caused the Carrera GT to swerve and hit a brick retaining wall at 140+ mph.  So instead we now enter at the beginning of the straight.  But they move one of the stacks of tires that helped mark off one apex of the chicane area, since the tire stack does not allow the track starter to see if any cars are coming out of the hairpin.  So with the tire stack gone, it takes the more experienced racers about one lap before they completely ignore this part of the chicane, and they just blow straight through it, thus increasing their end of straightaway speed by a good 5-10 mph.  Heh!
I buzzed the S2000 around for 4 sessions, and the NSX for one session.  I really like the infield course for the S2000.  I ran 1:17.x in the S2000, and 1:11.x in the NSX.  I must have screwed up and left the brake fluid cap off the last time I took the NSX out a few months ago, and discovered it the night before this event.  Brake fluid was below the minimum mark, as it uhhh...musta sloshed out.  I filled it up, along with ABS, and bled brake system.  I didn't think to bleed the ABS system. 

Big ass forced induction kit on an NSX

There is a TV camera crew there from Eye on LA (Channel 7) to talk to some of the drivers.  Paul and Heidi were standing by my car when the female reporter walked by and they heard her say, "Oh, Doug Hayashi's here!".  Paul and Heidi looked at each other like "Huh?  How does a reporter recognize Doug?"  Turns out the reporter is Craig Oka's girlfriend, and she is there to come up with a possible segment for their TV show.  She interviews me, and I talk about the Go-Fast Crackpipe, and why we are all here at the track today.  I of course end it by trying to get them to be a sponsor for the Flamemobile.

The brakes were great on the NSX for 6 laps, and then on the next lap I was gonna bomb in on John Wurth's Vette in the hairpin (heh heh heh) when suddenly I had no brakes.  I re-pumped and slammed on the brakes again and then locked up all the tires, ABS didn't SEEM to kick in, and I end up doing a big, screeching, smoky 80 mph spin going into the hairpin in front of a Eye on LA TV crew.  I instantly go from Wheel-to-Wheel racer to Freeway Racer in two seconds.  So much for getting sponsorship, as I'm sure they won't believe my story about my ABS being screwed up.  Apparently you need to have the dealer bleed the ABS system with a special tool.  I'm sure Craig is begging his girlfriend to bust my balls and show the spin on the local Channel 7 news show, so millions of people can see me spinning like a moron.  I also flat spotted a pretty good slick into a squarish tire.  Damn.  And I didn't bring any extra tires, as I told myself I was only going to run the NSX one session to make sure everything was still working fine on it.

V8 Radical.  The new king of the track days?

There was a guy name Brian in a V8 Radical, who ran an incredible 1:03.  Ouch!  Said he paid 130k for his 1300 lb, 360 HP Radical.  He said he set the track record at Pahrump with it.  Another guy was there with a black SCCA GT3 RX7, nice looking car.  He was doing tire testing, and ran 1:09 on new slicks.  Said that he was record holder on the Roval in his class with a 1:44, and holds the record at Willow with a 1:25.  I think I coulda run a 1:09 if I had another session with a set of new slicks.

Fast RX7


A VW Rabbit dived bombed on a Vette in the hairpin. Not sure what for, the Vette was running 1:15, and I'm guessing the Rabbit was running 1:20 or higher, as I was blowing by him a lot.  There was a lot of contact, and the Vette had to be towed off, as the rear quarter was hit hard by the tire.  
Tip for the day:  The hairpin gets really greasy and slick late in the afternoon.  This happened the last time I was there also.  Not sure what is wrong with that turn, but it was only about 80 degrees out there today.  If you race there in the summer, late in the afternoon, take extra care going into that turn, as the guy in front of you will probably botch the turn and you can snake him on the inside.

250,000 people lined Main Street in Huntington Beach for the largest 4th of July Parade in the US

July 4th, 2005
Happy 4th of July! God Bless America.  I don't necessarily believe in G-O-D, but dammit I'll sing God Bless America every day.  I don't have a problem with that.  Nor do I have a problem with the Pledge of Allegiance. But I have a big ffing problem with Imbecile Design. (I mean er..Intelligent Design).   Intelligent Design = Earth is Flat = Bloodletting is Good = Sun Circles the Earth = Masturbation Causes Blindness.  I can see quite fine....

Hanging out Kayla, Amy, Wayne, and Baby Carter at the parade

Wayne's nephew Dana was working about 40 hours a week at the Gap clothing store.  Until someone returned a pair of pants.  She was a relatively thin woman, and she said her fat ass wouldn't fit into the pants.  So Dana wrote the reason for the return, "Can't fit her fat ass in the pants".  Unfortunately, the Gap supervisor doesn't find that humorous, so Dana gets busted for writing that comment down.  They tell him his hours are getting reduced to about 8 hours a week, so he went from about $1500 a month gross income to about $280.  Even though he is renting a two bedroom apartment with three other guys, he can't pay for his rent, or anything else for that matter.  (He's not a homo, he's just a kid out of high school exiting the parental nest). For the hell of it, Wayne and Bobby (his dad) give him a shot at doing  the dreaded "cold call" telesales with the Phoneguys, calling up existing customers to see if they need any new business phones or upgraded voicemail systems.  One of the sales guys at Phoneguys suddenly quits to work for another company, so Dana slides into his place to start answering the regular sales phones.  Suddenly Dana starts selling about $70,000 in used business phone systems a month.  At 5% commission plus10 bucks an hour salary, now he is grossing about $5000 a month.  Not bad for an 18 year old.  He's probably making twice as much as the Gap boss who threatened to cut his hours.   Ha! 

We keep hammering on him to take his funny haircut and tattoos and make sure he gets a college degree.  But how can you reason with a teenager making $5000 a month?  Stay tuned for Chapter 200 of the NSX-Files to find out what happens to Dana in 6 years!  Does he become a lawyer?  Used car sales person?  VOIP entrepreneur? Gynocologist?  Maybe he buys out the Phoneguys and franchises it, and pays for Wayne and I to drive on his ALMS team?  Who knows...the future is his to seize. 

Dana goes from Pulp Racing Go-Fer to highly paid sales executive in the telecom business

July 9th, 2005
We started up karting practice again.  Cooper is now 2 months old, so he's a little easier for the wife to watch him along with Kayla running around.    Wayne's wife Amy works four 10 hour days a week at the INS(Which is now really Homeland Security), and she has Mondays off.  So Wayne uses that day to ditch work and we get our karting practice in.  We take the Vortex motor off of our spare kart, and we put that motor on Wayne's kart, since Wayne blew up his motor last month.  Wayne said his kart was also having problem intermittantly shifting into 4th gear over the past year.  I get the motor dropped off to Greg Smith, who is one of the organizers of the Pro Kart Challenge and a mechanical guru when it comes to two stroke motors.  Greg takes the motor apart, gives me a list of $950 in parts that he needs to built it back to being reliable.   

Amy brings Baby Carter with her to work on her first day back.  They have daycare available at her work as a pay-as-you-go option.  When Amy goes to check on Carter during her break, Carter is crying along with 8 other newborn babies.  Wayne hears about this, and tells Amy to pull Carter out of daycare, and Wayne will be Mr. Mom and watch Carter when Amy is at work.  So daycare lasted one day.  Wayne figures he can either take her into work with him, or work from the house using the Nortel IP phones over a VPN line to boss people around and to run the marketing department for the Phoneguys.

The spare kart was pretty beat up

We have been going to Adams Karting Track in Riverside, which is only about 54 miles away from the shop.  We went there about four or five times just to stay in shape and get some practice.  Weather has been hot, in the high 90's or so.  But at least we get our go-fast crack fix.  The best thing is that on Mondays, we have the track to ourselves.  Very rarely does someone else show up.  Probably because they don't want to ditch work and sweat their ass off at the track.  It is like having our own private test day.  It's awesome!  We make changes to the track configuration, adding or deleting the chicane in favor of a fast 6th gear sweeper that we try to negotiate at full throttle in a 75 mph power slide, then quickly brake, downshift two gears, rip through another chicane, downshift, and head down the back straight which has a mini-Nascar bowl at the end.  Unfortunately for me, Wayne and Jeff have been kicking my ass everytime we go out.  Something must be wrong with my kart.  Andy from the LAPD also joins us about every other week for a little practice.

Messley gets to borrow another 250cc shifter kart to see if he can replicate his podium finish at last year's SuperKart race at Laguna Seca.  He gets to run a newer kart than last time, but apparently there are a lot more problems with this kart, and he isn't a contender this time.  Bummer......


I stripped it down the bare frame

July 15th, 2005
The wife's parent's come into town for a month.  They are having a blast with the kids.  They take Kayla out shopping with them to the grocery store, Home Depot, errands, etc, every morning for about 3 hours.  Then they come back and Kayla takes a nap.  Then Kayla gets fed, and then they take both kids in the double stroller to the beach/park for a two hour walk.  I beg her parents to stay until Christmas.   They say there is some rule that since they now live in Mexico, they can only come into the US for something like 180 days out of the next five years because of their visa.  Meanwhile, there are probably 200,000 illegal immigrants in southern California helping to pick crops, cut lawns, build houses, etc that live here 250+ days a YEAR.  Hummm......maybe I should complain to my congressman.  Oh wait...he's a Republican.  He'd kick the immigrants of the USA, kick my my in-laws out of the USA, and force me to pick my own lettuce and strawberries.  We'd like to get the wife's sister (lawyer) and her husband(CPA/Controller) to live in the U.S. permanently.  They live in Australia, and they can't get easily into the country to legally work.   If they were here, along with her parents, that's four more babysitters so I can concentrate on ah.....writing more Chapters in The NSX-Files.

During this time you would think I could get a lot of racing stuff accomplished, but it is real hot, and I come down with an ugly cough that knocks me out for two weeks.  I never get sick, but this time I am forced to go to the doctor and get some antibiotics.  My wife reminds me that I have to take the entire jar of antibiotics, or else the virus can mutate if it is not killed off.  Huh?  I never heard of that.....uh oh....as I remember throwing out half used bottles of antibiotics when I was younger.  Blame SARS on me, I guess.

July 17th weekend
Wayne, Ota, and myself meet with Tom Dodds in Las Vegas.  Tom has always wanted to go to a big fight in Vegas, and the Taylor-Hopkins fight is this weekend.  None of us has seen a big fight live before.  We go to the weigh-in the day before the fight, and a bunch of the fighters from The Contender are there.   We get a picture of us with Alfonso, who is the guy who almost made it to the top of the fighters on that show.  That guy was like the Mexican Rocky in his first fight.  The morning of the fight, we went golfing at Bear's Best, which was pretty fun, even though it was about 110 degrees by the time we finished at 11:30 a.m.  They require you to have a caddy in your foursome, which we protested, because Tom, Wayne, and myself suck at golf.  We didn't want parental supervision.  But this guy was GREAT!  He showed us how the putts would break, where to place your drives/iron shots, and more importantly, when we hit the balls into the rocks/trees, he would take off like a Labrador retriever and find the balls for us while we sit in the golf cart drinking beer!  Wayne says we will never golf again unless we get a caddy.

Alfonso kicked some ass in The Contender television show

I bet on Hopkins to win by a knockout.  Hopkins has made about 20 title defenses, and is the undisputed middleweight champ of the world at 46-2-1. Taylor is 23-0, and is the new up and coming young dude trying to take the numerous titles away from the old man.  I think the old guy is gonna be real crafty, and the youngster is gonna be a little too aggressive and burn out. 


Fight night at the MGM Grand.  How many yahoos can you fit in the ring before it collapses?

Dodds is from Philly, and we saw his hometown hero/villain T.O. stroll in with his entourage.  Unfortunately, we didn't have the camera ready at the time.  Hopkins starts out real slow, feeling out the young buck Taylor, and doesn't do much for the first six rounds.  Then Hopkins starts turning it on, to the point where he patted Taylor on the butt during one of the times they were tied up together, as if to say, "Nice try Sonny, but yer getting yet ass whupped today, and you know it."  And then shockingly to everyone in the crowd, the judges had Taylor winning on a split decision.   I guess  Hopkins waited one round too long before turning on the heat, and the loss of points for that round cost him his unified titles.  Wayne and I end up winning a couple of hundred bucks at the blackjack table, Tom wins $400+ on his first real "gambling trip", and Ota gets his ass whupped. 

The velvet rope line to get into Wynn's Ferrari Dealership

We stopped by the Ferrari dealership inside the Wynn hotel.  That dude is another genius.  He puts a Ferrari dealership right off the entrance to the hotel, and people have to wait in line and register to see the cars, so now he has a database of people who have cruised in to look at F-cars and Ferrari logo souvenirs.  The sushi restaurant in the hotel was spectacular, as was the bill.  Eight bucks for two pieces of tuna sushi.  Ouch! But damn it was good.

The view from the sushi restaurant patio terrace(with waterfall, of course)

July 21, 2005
Last softball game of the season.  If we win, we go 6-6 and are tied with two other teams for 2nd place.  Unfortunately, we lose due to some bonehead plays, and we take 4th place instead.  I tell Wayne that I refuse to support a non-podium finishing team, and I pull sponsorship from the Pulp Racing softball team.  He agrees to sponsor it under the Phoneguys name again .  It was the Phoneguys team for many years until he sold the business, and then I took it over again.  Now that his sales are at $200,000 a month, it is time for him to become the new Steinbrenner.

I trashed the two car garage of the rental we are living

August 4th, 2005
The rebuilt Bilsteins came in, and Erik finally gets time to put the F355 back together.  It was only sitting on the lift for 3.5 months.   Erik had the shocks revalved to be a little stiffer, so that the "Normal" setting on the suspension switch is now stiff, and the "Sport Mode" setting will be extra stiff, perfect for the track or twisty roads.  Heh.  Car feels good, except now one of the little electrical motors that sits on top of the shock that switches the shock from Normal to Stiff is dead.  All the motor does is turn the shock screw valve a quarter turn to soften or stiffen the ride.  Ferrari wants $900 to replace the motor.  ONE SHOCK MOTOR!  Bastard Italians!  Erik takes it apart, and says it really isn't fixable.  He said it is a really nice piece, has a little clutch gizmo built into it so that it doesn't over tighten the shock, etc.  He tries to source the motor in different places, and so far the cheapest place is around $750.  In the meantime, I'll just drive it with the shock always in "extra stiff" mode. 

Kayla in her kart

Chris the real estate agent comes in with an offer at $148 a square foot.  Hummm......we whip out the calculators, that is about a $191,000 profit, but we have to pay 5% commission, short term capital gain taxes, etc, which cuts the profit in half.  Still not bad, but still way below what we would flip it for.  After all, this was going to be a long term investment to hopefully allow us to buy another Italian car in the year 2013.  Or pay for food in the year 2013 after we go broke due to an obsession of wanting to constantly update the NSX-Files with racing stories. We reject the offer, and see if there is a counter offer or other buyers on the table.

Ota comes by, and says, "You got a building with paint booths, fans, air compressors, etc, that you aren't using?  Hey, I got a Sports 2000 racecar that I need to sand/primer/paint, and a couple of your paint booths would work great!"  Ota setups shop at the new building to finish up his car so he can do some SCCA racing.  He sold his Sports 2000 last year, took a year or so off, and now he's decided to get back into it again.  So far he and his mechanic have been working on his new car for about uh....four months trying to get it race ready to duke it out with Jeff L. in the S2 Cup series.  If I was ambitious, I would sand/primer/paint the Flamemobile......but that sounds like way too much work.

Ota takes over a paint booth.  The background wall is all filters that suck out air and paint

Meanwhile, even though we haven't sold the building and realized any profits, Wayne and I are thinking the same thing.  The building appreciated about 15% in a month.  We are geniuses!  Wayne of course tries to take all the credit, because it was his idea to look into buying a commercial building.  I take all the credit saying that I vetoed all the other ideas to keep us from going down the wrong path to begin with.  Anyways, we both agree that we need to reward ourselves with some go-fast parts, and decide to pick up some new shifter karts.  Heh.  We call Jeff L., and see if he is interested, and he is up for it.  We are back in business!

We have to make a choice between running Spec Honda moto motor vs. Built Honda/Pavesi/ICC motors.  The built motors are slightly faster, by say 1 to 1.5 seconds a lap, but require 5x the maintenance in terms of pistons, bottom ends, and blowing up.  And are double the cost of a stock motor.  Swedetech recommends a new piston, lower rod bearing, and thrust washers every 10 gallons of gas for their Italian built Pavesi motors.  That's crazy!  We think we can run a stock Honda for an entire season and maybe get away with just changing out ONE piston.  You figure that is probably 50-75 gallons of gas before we swap out a piston.  The stock motor class at the Pro Kart Challenge is growing pretty fast, so we decide to go the stock motor route in hopes of 20-40 kart fields in next year's Pro Kart Challenge.  We are pretty sure that these new stock karts will be faster than our older karts with the Vortex ICC motors, since we will have new frame/bearings/brakes which should make up for a little less HP with the Honda motor.  The new Krypton chassis by Tony Kart is supposed to be a great handling chassis.

Ota drying out freshly painted Sports 2000 parts

Then we have to decide whether to go GP Racing or Tony Kart for the chassis.  Currently the fast guys in the Pro Kart Challenge in the built motor class are running the GP chassis, and the fast guys in the stock class are running Tony Karts.  Since we are going to be running in the stock class, we figure we throw our hats into the Tony Kart/Stock Honda ring, and see if we can battle for the podium.  2WildKarting is supporting Matt Kimble, who was the points leader in the stock class until the last race.  Matt's dad is the chief mechanic at 2WildKarting, so we are assuming he can help us with kart setup, which is what we suck at.  We talk to Rhod at 2Wildkarting, who has been schmoozing us for 8 months to upgrade our old Tony Karts.  The weird thing about Rhod is that he answers his phone 99% of the time.  Service like that never happens in Go-Fast shops.  He has a building that he uses 70% of the space to run his machine shop business, and the other 30% to run 2WildKarting. 

Powder coated frame, one new caliper, rebuilt motor, new side pods, etc

August 11, 2005
After much discussion and debate among Wayne, Jeff L., and myself, we decide to go with 2WildKarting and place our order for new karts.  The final Pro Kart Challenge race for this year is on September 11th, and we are told if we order today, we can get the new Tony Kart Krypton Chassis and the Darcy Decoste stock Honda motor delivered and installed prior to the the race.  There is a 3+ week backorder on the engine.   Rhod says he's taking over the building next store to expand his karting operation.

I take the F355 to get detailed at Classy Cars Auto Detailing, 5842 McFadden Ave., Unit G Huntington Beach, CA 92649 714-891-3733.  Jeff spends a day on the car, and it comes out looking unbelievably good!  Jeff does a lot of the detailing for show cars for people like Chip Foose.   There are always interesting cars at his shop getting detailed.  You usually have to book a detail with him a couple weeks in advance. A week later, I haven't washed the car, and it still looks perfect.  I think I might have to proclaim Jeff to be the best detailer in the world.   Jeff also races a kart with a built motor in the Pro Kart Challenge, and he is considering hopping over to the stock class next year.  Especially since he blew up his built Honda motor, and it is gonna cost 3000+ in repairs to fix it.  For $3600 he can pick up a new "bullet proof" stock Honda motor with pipe, carb, etc, ready to bolt onto your chassis.

August 25th, 2005
We get the rebuilt Vortex motor back from Greg Smith.   He said he had to take the motor apart four times to figure out why it wouldn't shift correctly on his test bench.  Apparently there was a pin that was screwed up in the shifter drum, which is why Wayne was having intermittent problems in shifting into 4th gear the past year.  Greg is meticulous about his motors. 

Wayne says Carter is getting to be a handful now that she is a little older, and she is no longer content just sitting in the portable baby chair.  It is now much harder for him to work with her around.  He breaks down, and hires a nanny to watch Carter Tuesday through Friday, and Amy will watch her on Mondays so we can get some karting practice in.

How many Verizon workers does it take to install FIOS 15 mbps to the house?

August 26th, 2005
I put the spare kart back together, and fire it up.  Hey, it works, it goes straight, it turns left and right, and it stops.  Miracles never cease. 

August 29th, 2005
Off to Moran again to run our old karts one last time before we start selling them.  The motor that Greg Smith put back together is running great.  Doug Ota is eyeing the old karts, and is getting ready to buy one. 

August 31, 2005
First softball game of the season, and we crush the opponents 13-5 in a stunning display of softball prowess as the Phoneguys.  Wayne says if we don't come in 1st or 2nd this season, he's going to raise the fee from $30 to $60 for each team member, as he doesn't want to blemish the Phoneguys name.  (It cost $420 for the league fee, plus $165 in umpire fees.  As an incentive, I also offer to pay anyone $100 if they end up with a higher "on base percentage" than me (must play in minimum 6 games).  Since my OBP is usually around .800 to 1.000, I don't feel too threatened, but if we can get a couple of extra hits, we can win the Huntington Beach Coed C-3 league for the first time.

Wayne fires the nanny.  So he's back to being Mr. Mom until he can find another nanny.

Rhod the Go-Fast Crack dealer in a state of bliss with stacks of our $100 bills

September 4th, 2005, 8:00 a.m. on Sunday
We take delivery of 3 new Tony Karts.  Yeah baby!!!!!!!!  Just in time for a couple of test days before the big race.  Kudos to 2Wildkarting for busting their ass all day and night on Thursday-Friday-Saturday assembling our karts.  Last week the karts came in, but they had to take them apart to get them powder coated in our custom colors. Tony Karts come in racing green, which reminds me of the Celtics, so we gotta change that to Ferrari Red.  Waybe changes his to blue, and Jeff changes his to Chrome.  Of course the powder coating idiots were three days late, which meant that 2Wildkarting had to work overtime to get our karts ready for the promised delivery date.

September 5th, Labor Day
We are at Moran doing our testing.  For the first time in a couple of years, I beat both Jeff and Wayne's lap times in a shifter kart.  Ha!  I KNEW they were kicking my ass because my old kart kinda sucked in comparison to their karts.  I KNEW it couldn't be just talent alone that cause them to whup on me.  Wayne and Jeff grumble that they still need to dial in their kart.   I run a 1:05.6, and there is more left in that once I get my seat padding adjusted, different steering wheel, make some suspension adjustments.  Jeff runs a 1:05.8, Wayne runs a 1:06.3 (lots of hopping in his kart, and new seat hurts his ribs).  Our only problem is that since we are not used to the karts, we are working too hard in the karts since we are moving around a bit, a little bit more g-forces, etc.  In our old karts we could run a 25 lap race no problem, these new karts are going to be a little bit harder physically.

I check the old laptimes from the first Pro Kart Challenge race at Moran back in January, and discover that I would have been on pole for that race with my laptime today, and I still have to get used to the kart.   I check the laptimes from race #2 in February, and I would have qualified 3rd out of 21 people in the spec class, behind Alex Barron (1:04.2) and points leader Matt Kimble (1:05.04).  I think I can get down to high 1:04's, and I think Matt is now running mid 1:04's.  In six days, we have the big race.  Will Wayne, Jeff, and myself in the same spec karts be able to chase down Barron and Kimble and join them on the podium?  Or will we bite the dust like Old Man Hopkins did against Taylor?  Will Wayne and I crash into each other and take each other out for the 6th time?  Stayed tuned.....the results should be in the next chapter in about two weeks from now.

The new shifter kart, powdercoated red, badly in need of some stickers

Other Miscelleaneous stuff:
Rumor has it that James Sofronas' Global Motorsports Group has already outgrown the shop they moved into about six months ago.  They need a 10,000 square building.  We got a 10,000 square foot building right in the heart of the Go-Fast-Crackpipe-Capital-Of-The-World.  I mean, where else in the universe can you get world class detailing, suspension work, expert Honda tuning, show car quality painting and fabrication, four wheel dynos, within four square mile radius?   (and if you do happen to get all these services somewhere else, let me just throw in that it is 5 minutes away from the beach and bikinis). 

Dearing makes it to the big leagues with his World Challenge Viper.  He revives the Grey Ghost, and he's going Pro!

Dearing moves up to the Pro level with the World Challenge GT series!

Wayne gets the 360 back from GMG, and it is running great.  He and Brett are trying to get their EVOs to pump out lots of HP via pump gas using all kinds of tuning techniques.  Which is another way of saying "burning money on the dyno".  Latest problem is that they are not getting enough spark, with the theory that the extra boost is "blowing out" the spark, so they need a stronger ignition installed.  

Can Doug, Wayne and Jeff make it to the podium in the spec class?

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