February 2008 to November 18, 2008
"It Was a Bad Year"
This picture explains our 2008 karting season
I know, I know. It's been 11 MONTHS since I had an update.
I'll give a quick synopsis of what happened in an effort to get caught up for
the new 2009 karting season.
After the November 2007 Supernationals, we thought we were hot
stuff. After all, Jeff and I took 1st and 3rd at the national event in the
Stock Honda S4 "Old Guy class". So technically we could say we
were among the top 3 fastest Stock Honda CR125 Kart Drivers Over the Age of 35
in the World, since uh.....the rest of the world doesn't race Stock Hondas. And we took 7th and 9th in Stock Honda S3
against the "16-25 year old Kids Who Still Might have a Racing Career",
who are really the Fastest Stock Honda Drivers in the World, period.
Needless to say, we had high expectations for our 2008 ProKart Challenge series.
We also thought we would have a huge Pulp Racing
for 2008. Jason Steaman was going to run S4, Eric Messley was going
to run S4 or S3, Paul Taylor S4, and Scott Shimane was going to run S4.
But then calamity struck. Not sure what we did to piss off the the racing
gods, but it seemed we went into a "death spiral" the entire year. A quick overview of the bad run of luck could be
summed up as this:
1. Jeff had a severe
crash in practice session in late December 2007. He barely clipped a tire
wall on a
left hand turn going into the back straightaway at Calspeedway, and by a remarkable set of coincidences, flipped
the kart. After that, he couldn't keep his neck straight in high G turns,
so he wasn't able to finish some of the races. So he had a horrible Winternats series.
I didn't do much better in the Winternats series, especially since the Winternats focused on Calspeedway
and Qualcomm tracks, which we sorta sucked at.
2. Messley was having his usual unusual health
problems, like dropping auto transmissions on his toes, banging his head on
transmissions and passing out, weird back problems,
etc. And then he started doing lots of biking to get his stamina together,
and then while riding his bike, he tried to help push a skateboarder up a hill,
and then threw out his back. It was so bad he was having problems walking,
and could not lift any car parts. He ended up doing therapy every day,
seeing a wide variety of specialists, running up his doctor bills up to unheard
of amounts. Messley has become an expert on doctors and experimental
clinical trial treatments for all sorts of ailments. He was able to find a
doctor that took a laser beam to burn off tissue off his vertebrae, and
like a miracle, he was suddenly able to walk again and ride a bike the next day!
He was afraid that he was going to need a wheel chair to get around prior to
finding this doctor. But his doctor warned him......get back into a
shifter kart and he would risk re-injuring the back, or worse, the injury could
3. The economy was so bad in early 2008, that
our other teammates had reduced income, so they decided not to race karts
in 2008. Wayne also decides to bow out, as his expenses are getting too
high. I tell him there are some areas he can save money in, but he
refuses to cut his basic lifestyle. Meaning that 7 days a week, he has
breakfast at Woody's restaurant with his two kids (1 and 3 years old), and
either the nanny or his wife. $30 bucks a day for breakfast. Times
31 days = $930 just for breakfast. It gets worse. He doesn't cook,
and Amy doesn't really cook, and the nanny doesn't cook. He also eats out
for lunch and dinner also. I told him that $930 a month for
breakfast = 265 dozen eggs, or 3180 eggs a month he could buy if he could cook
breakfast himself. He could feed half the homeless people in Huntington
Beach. But he has a routine that he must maintain, so I don't see him
changing that routine in the near future. If someone wants to assassinate
him, just go to one of the Woody's Restaurants in Huntington Beach in the
morning, and wack him while he's eating his eggs.
Bobby Legate emerged as the winner of the
2008 Winternats, having a pretty good series. He was driving like he's on fire.
Bryan Eady gave Legate a good run for his money, but Legate ended up on top.
Jeff and I were also rans. Wayne didn't compete in the Winternats.
Legate stopped smoking, lost some weight, muscled up, and is kicking some ass.
So then the ProKart Challenge series started up
around April 2008.
I thought I would be ready for the challenge. Instead, it was a disaster.
All the young kids (well....let's say people under the age of 23) spanked us
into oblivion. I mean, at the 2007 Supernats we ran in the Top 10 against
the S3 Stock Honda Light
drivers from all over the US. But at our local PKC race series in 2008, we barely
finished in the top 10 against the local hot shot drivers. Instead
of us being a half second off of pole to the front runners like the 2007 season, now Legate was kicking our ass by a full
second. Wayne said it was because he wasn't racing with us, and that
he brings out of the best of Jeff and I, because we hate to lose to Wayne.
Calspeedway Race #1
Legate spanked everyone in Race #1 at Calspeedway. It was no contest. I barely
finished infront of Phil Conte, and he was running S3 Heavy, so he had 30 more
lbs than I did.
Qualifying, Race #1
Race #1, Main Heat
Race #2, Buttonwillow Raceway
Buttonwillow was a litte better for me. We had a smaller field than usual,
but I was still 7/10ths off of pole. In addition to Legate, Clinton
Schoombee busts out and is driving incredibly fast.
In the main, I finished 5th, had a shot a 4th, but Harley snaked
by me on the last lap. I think Harley is about 16 years old, and he's
whupping on me.
Qualifying, Race #2
Main Heat, Race #2
Race #3. Willow Springs Kart Track
I hate this kart track. I never do well on these technical, medium speed
type of tracks. I think I drove out to Willow Springs twice for practice
in the month prior to this race. The result? A full second off of
pole. Shoot me in the head. Again, I barely qualified in front of Conte,
who again was carrying 30 more lbs than me.
Qualifying, Race #3
Nick Halen made an impromptu appearance at Willow, and re-asserted his
dominance in the stock Honda class. If you will recall, a few years ago he
won a ridiculous 8 of 9 races that season in the Stock Honda class, and the race
he lost was due to a controversial decision. Nick is feared on the track
like Kaiser Souzai. The track at Willow was incredibly grippy, and when
you were standing in line for the scales after the heat races, your shoes would
stick to the ground. In the main race, for some reason, my kart motor
would not fire up. So after all that effort, including drive up to Willow
multiple times for practice sessions, I was a DNS in the main.
Main Heat, Race #3
Back to Calspeedway for Race #4
Legate is back on game, he takes pole. On the practice day prior to
the race, I thought I had great speed, and I even left the practice day early as
I was pretty confident I could finally keep the front runners in my gunsights.
My qual time of 46.212 would have taken pole the previous year, beating Connor
De Phillippi's pole time. This year......it was only good for 9th!
The competition has stepped up by a FULL SECOND from the previous year.
Halen appeared to have some mechanical problems. Which was bad for me, as
I was basing my practice times off of Halen's laptimes, and Halen seemed to be
having motor problems or something.
Qualifying, Race #4
Main Heat, Race #4
In the main race, my kart was hopping so much from being overstuck, that the
S3 Heavy guys (people running at 415 lbs vs 385 lbs), were right on my ass.
I couldn't hold them off. I let Rob, Marty, and Phil go by me so they
could actually have a good race without my slow ass interfering with their
points race in the Heavy class. No I'm so far behind, my kart is
handling crappy, that I just pulled off the track and took another DNF. Cushenberry takes the win on this day.
Race #5, Qualcomm Stadium
Legate is re-dialed again, spanks the entire field by 7/10ths, beats me by 1.2
seconds. He switched from Track Magic to an Arrow chassis, and the Arrow
boys run 1-2-3 in qualifying.
Qualifying, Race #5
Main Heat, Race #5
Mike Robbins' Select Shifter Arrow drivers show their dominance on this track, and hold
their 1-2-3 positions for the main. I was running good, but I didn't
modulate wheelspin on this parking lot track. I burned off my tires by the
main.......kart was undriveable, as I had zero grip, and I was going to cause an
accident on the track. I had to pull off.......DNF again.
I passed on going to the Santa Maria race, figuring I'm coming in last in my
class, and why should I spend a weekend and probably $1500 in hotel/track
fees/diesel/tires to come in last. I throw in the towel for the PKC
season. Instead, I plan to use the money saved from not racing in Race #6 for the Supernationals.
Race #6, Santa Maria
Santa Maria Final
Legate gets enough points to clinch his ProKart Challenge S3 Stock Honda win
for the season, thus joining super hot shoes Nick Halen and Connor De Phillippi
as a Champion for this class. Congrats to Bobby Legate for his
championship, he and his dad are fun to run against at the track. The S3
class is ultra competitive, but everyone involved in the class is very friendly
and fun to hang out with at the track. Rounding out the final points in
the S3 class were Patrick Cushenberry in 2nd, Clinton in 3rd, Brad Dunford 4th,
Harly Owen 5th.
Late March 2008
Playing softball, I got deep into the hole at short for a backhand grab at a
ground ball. I blow the play, and also blow out my right knee while
leaning to make the play. Requires knee surgery. Messley
claims that he knows a great knee doctor. He
recommends a doctor that worked on his ex-girlfriends knee, who also worked on
Jeff Altenburg's shoulder. Alternburg flew from back east to have his
I blew my knee out with a backhand like this
I go to same doctor, and this doctor specializes in PCL
replacements. I blew out my PCL and meniscus in 1994, and I had the
surgery for the meniscus, but never went back to have the second surgery to fix
the severed PCL. The cure back then was to sew in a cadaver PCL, and
supposedly sometimes it worked, sometimes it made it worse. Many people said if you can play the sports you need to
without a PCL, it might be better than risking a PCL surgery that could go bad
and make your knee worse. So after talking to this doctor, we decided that since
I can play world class (haha) softball and "B level" racquetball without the knee affecting me, he'll just
fix the meniscus and leave the PCL for another time. April 1st, I go
under the knife and have the surgery done. Two weeks later, I was at the PKC race, getting my ass whupped.
Early April, 2008
Wayne decides he's now a Marathon Man, despite only
running a max of 5-6 miles every other day. He started getting into
running to be in shape for karting, and even though he isn't karting, he
continued the running. He decided to run the Huntington Beach half
marathon. He's in pretty good shape, but he hasn't run that far before.
He runs a half marathon in the rain, and forces his body to endure the challenge
and completes the 13 mile run! In the process, he overexerts his knee, and
blows out his right knee. Now he needs knee surgery, on his right knee,
for a torn meniscus, the exact same surgery that I need on my right knee. No matter what I do, good
or bad.....Wayne copies me.
Wayne hobbles across finish line in a driving rain. Surgery ensues...
Mid April 2008
My trust Ford F350 dually dies while towing the 48 footer on the way to Calspeedway.
Disaster. I have to call Triple AAA to use my RV towing option. The
truck seems to pull okay at times, but dies going up big hills. I was
going 10 mph up the 91 freeway when a CHP officer pulled me over, asking me what
the hell I was doing going so slow. Luckily, he didn't give me a ticket.
A few days later, Precision Diesel looks at the truck, says I have leaky turbo.
Turbo is replaced.
Motor dies in the Pulp Truck
Truck runs fine for a couple of weeks, but then
suddenly it won't tow again. The head is taken off the motor, and it appears that the
copper sleeve inside the head is cracked. Shit. I get that fixed,
and then three weeks later the truck dies going uphill WITHOUT towing a trailer.
This time it turns out that the fuel tank has so much gunk in it, it is clogging
up the filter. When the truck is going uphill, the crap in the tank overloads
the internal fuel filter in the tank. Tank is drained, flushed, cleaned.
Truck now runs fine. That was only about $9000 to fix.....nice.
Which injector got steam cleaned via a crack in the copper sleeve in the head of
I won a ton of money betting against the Lakers in the NBA playoffs. The
Lakers weren't able to beat the points spread. Plus I hate the current
Lakers, and maintain that they will never win an NBA Championship with Kobe on
the team. He may be the among the top 3 players in the NBA right now, but
he ain't in the top 3 when it comes to understanding how to make the players
around him become better players. Don't believe me? Then put
your money where you mouth is, I put my money where my mouth was, and collected
I start getting bills from the knee doctor, since he was an "out of network" doctor.
I figured I would pay the difference. I didn't realize stupid ass Healthnet would try to only pay about 20% of the bill, and try to stick me with
paying 80% since he is an "out of network" doctor. WTF? They need to
fix healthcare in this country, this is ridiculous. Example: the
surgery center (not the doctor), made me pay $3000 up front before I went into
the surgery room. Then, they tried to bill Healthnet $20,000. WTF?
My doctor bills Healthnet about another $20,000, of which Healthnet feels obligated to
pay about $4000. WTF? Healthnet is lowballing, the doctor and
surgery center are highballing to make up for Healthnet's lowballing, and now
I'm stuck in the middle. Make me president, and I'll figure out how
to fix the healthcare mess, because it's all jacked up.
Streets of Willow Springs
There was one bright spot in 2008. The Gatorz Karting Club had an event at
the Streets of Willow, and they decided to open up a run group for shifters.
Streets of Willow in a kart is awesome: picture yourself going 100 mph an
inch off the ground, and running in a draft with other people to overcome wind
resistance, then popping out of the draft to out brake the other person into the
||Jul 12, 2008 9:03:00 AM
||Streets of Willow (1.8 miles)
Gatorz Streets of Willow
||Precision Works DD2 & Shifters
The 1:18.901 laptime is I believe a world record for Stock Honda
running at the Streets in the CCW config with the skidpad. I don't believe
you will find a faster time in a sanctioned race with a transponder, on a Stock
Honda 125 shifter kart. I am the King! But then again, the rest of
the PKC S3 gang wasn't there, so we didn't have to deal with Legate/Schoombee/Cushenberry/etc
spoiling the Pulp Racing 1-2-3 qualifying session.
I also won the race. Hey, it's about time I won something!
Go Racing Magazine:
"Doug Hayashi led the Pulp Racing trio in qualifying, putting
his kart ahead of Wayne Mello and two-time SuperNats winner Jeff Littrell.
Hayashi was left behind by his two friends at the start of the race, with Mello
jumping into the lead ahead of Littrell and Hayashi. Littrell took the lead a
lap later, and Mello had it back before the last lap. It was on the last lap,
however, that Mello went off the track and Hayashi drove past both of his
friends to take the pre-main win. Hayashi had things his own way in the main,
taking the lead and running away from the field until Littrell caught and passed
him on the tenth lap. Littrell spent two laps in the lead before Hayashi took it
back and gapped Littrell again. Littrell caught Hayashi on the last lap but
couldn't make the pass, and Hayashi took the win ahead of Littrell and Randy
Online Poker - The Real Reason Why I Haven't Updated the Website
I decided in order to help pay for my karting tire bill, (which was starting to
get out of control), I would research and conquer online poker. I mean,
I've been playing poker with friends and family since I was about 14 years old,
how hard could this be? I joined Full Tilt Poker, and promptly got crushed
for $200. I went to get advice from the only internet forum that can
really bring on the tech on any subject from guns-to-car
get advice, purchase about seven books on
poker. And then it happens.....I start winning these 9 person
tournaments called a "Sit N Go". I think I have discovered a "hole" in the
poker universe, as it seems that in these $55 entry tournaments, I'm kicking
ass. I'm winning tournaments, or coming in 2nd or 3rd, which is
still "in the money". I think I have finally figured out a way to
subsidize my kart racing! I now had about $1000 in my Full Tilt
account, (which almost made up for all my losses).
But then the experts on cc.com tell me the bad news. "Doug, you are on
a Heater, enjoy it while it lasts", implying that I'm just having a good
run of luck. Unfortunately, they were right. Everything went to shit
after that. I continued to get crushed. There were some
moments of brilliance where I was invincible, but more moments when I looked
like a rookie. Let's just say that I have played around 35,000 hands
of online poker, probably 600 online poker tournaments......and I've lost all my
ffing Laker winnings. %#$^! I've been playing between 15
hours of online poker a week, which means it cuts into the time I have for
updating the website. Apparently the consensus is that
online poker is much tougher to win at than playing live poker at a poker
casino. The problem is that online poker is so fast paced, that when you
play live poker, it seems boring. I can play 3 tables online
simultaneously, average about 200 hands an hour, and then when you play live,
you average about 30 hands. It's a damn snorefest. There's even a
YouTube video of a guy playing
26 tables at the same time! Anyways, let's
just say that the online poker playing was taking up about most of my evenings when I was supposed to be updating the website. As
of January 9, 2009, I'm going to dramatically curtail my poker playing to maybe
2 hours a week, as I can't take the ass whupping anymore. Nor am I willing
to spend 3 hours a night grinding out money. The good news is that I was
able to play my last 130 tournaments and about 5000 hands of regular cash .50/$1
and $1/$2 games, and lost about $200 total. So I have slowed the bleeding
so I can almost play for free (meaning I can almost break even after three weeks
of intensive playing), but I can't justify the time expended trying to make tire
money via poker.
But then on January 12th, I enter a $26 tournament with 711 other people, and
six hours later, I take 4th and win $1096 + another $70 for knocking out some
people! Hey now, maybe I can still
conquer online poker! Follow the play-by-play starting with
post 226 here.
I take 4th out of 711 people in an online poker tournament
Softball - Early October, 2008
Softball, we are 5-2, in first place, and it looks like we have a shot at the
title for the Huntington Beach Coed C3 league. This is the 2nd highest
league out of about 11 leagues. Unfortunately for us, we lose our next
five games, which started by us forfeiting a game by not having enough females
on time for the start of the game.......We end up 5-7, a miserable third place.
Wayne's having eye problems, he has "floaters" in his eye from previous Lasik
surgery. So he goes to this other doctor who "zaps out the floaters" with
a lasers. His eyes aren't any better. Now it looks like he needs cataract
surgery. We are falling apart!
Wayne has cataract surgery.
Oooops....appears wrong power lens was implanted in Wayne's eye. He goes
back to have another lens put in. I ask him where he finds his
doctors....in the Penny Saver?
The ARG Blog
Alex King started up a blog about Team ARG. I find it quite funny.
It possibly offends some people, but hey, you have to realize that it is humor
and is written "tongue-in-cheek" (well sorta, he needs to do some work on his
tongue-in-cheekiness). Anyways, if you are bored,
check there for some reading material. I contribute an article now and
then regarding the status of Pulp Racing. For a while there, ARG was doing
8 press releases a day, I couldn't keep up with them. It almost makes me
what to get off my ass and join the blogger geeks and start up an NSX-Files blog
so I can shoot out more frequent updates. Hummmm...
Let's see, a week after my knee surgery, I hobbled off to see Springsteen play a
killer set at the pond. Tom Morello hops on stage, sings and
screams his guitar on a version of The Ghost of Old Tom Joad. The
Hives came into town and blew the crowd away at The Grove, a venue that only
seats (stands?) 500 people or so. I don't understand why they haven't
taken over the world yet. I'm totally bummed that I missed out on
Gogol Bordello at the Grove, I really didn't know who the heck they were until
Stuff to check out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlY097pzGIg Nike Commercial - Saul
Williams - List of Demands
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzGx1XCAJ9E Nike Commercial - The Hives -
Tick Tick Tick Boom
Bordello - Wanderlust King
Remember all those rantings and ravings from two years ago in previous chapters about real estate
being too expensive? Turns out I was right. Unforunately, I didn't
bet any money on shorting the housing/mortgage stocks, otherwise I'd be writing
about how I am racing Ferrari 430 Scuderias instead of karts. Back around
June 2007, 64 mortgage lenders went out of business. Today, 314 lenders
have imploded. Remember that article about the
Pig Men? Ha ha, Russ Winters was right. Here's an excerpt from
the article, which was posted March 2007, and was referenced back in
Chapter 138 about 16 months ago:
Morgan Stanley who has heavy exposure to the second
largest subprime lender in the nation, New Century announced sterling
earnings from their black box fantasy machine, and with a straight face
claimed all is well on their subprime exposure. Bear Stearns pulled the same
hat trick, and is also apparently a buyer of these securities.
"We participate in the subprime mortgage market in a number of ways.
Through our securitized product groups we purchased loans from
originators and originate loans, including through Saxon, which closed
this quarter. We are active in the structuring, securitization, and
distribution of subprime products, including CLOs and CDOs. Third, we
manage our risk through a variety of hedging strategies and we also take
proprietary risk positions. In the aggregate, these activities were a
significant contributor to our results this quarter. In addition, we
extend loans and lending commitments to clients that are secured by
assets of the borrower such as loan pools. At the end of the quarter,
whereas lending commitments to the subprime lenders totaled $5.2
billion, of which $2.3 billion was funded and fully collateralized. The
largest component of this was the New Century. Our current funded
balance with New Century is $2.5 billion. "
Yes, Dr. Watson that's all the suspect had to say
about the dead body found buried in his basement, and don't even think about
getting out the rubber hose to beat it out of him. I'm sure he has plenty of
accomplices to provide alibis. Suspect claims the real culprit came from the
Milky Way, the same place the bad mortgages are hidden. I read through the
conference call and it was as about as fluffy as it gets. Not one single
dead fish analyst asked about the New Century exposure or one small question
or challenge about their mortgage biz. At this stage I merely post the call
for the record, as I anticipate we will revisit this one. "
Fast forward to today, where the financial sector (Bear Stearns/New
Century/Morgan Stanley/Citigroup/etc) is getting wiped out by the all the dead
bodies (mortgages) that they tried to hide for all these years.
Anyways, keep track of the blogger dorks who are covering the mortgage crisis
better than the mainstream media:
Looks like the financial crisis has really hit the fan. For the past few
months, we have at least three people living in their car/van in the cul-de-sac
area of the Pulp Racing headquarters. I'm going to guess that it is only
going to get worse. And for people who think it is going to get better
soon, remember the following things:
1. Houses that are bought today that were foreclosed on, got their notice of
default probably 9-12 months ago.
2. There are a lot of bank owned properties for sale now( but remember, these
were served default notices in early 2008)
3. In the past few months, Notices of Default have dramatically increased.
These houses won't be foreclosed on and sold for another 9-12 months (which will
only add to the inventory of distressed homes)
4. 100,000 jobs have been lost the past week from big companies.
Many of these people will probably get served their notice of default in the next 4-6
months, depending on how much savings they have accumulated.
5. Banks appear to be holding onto "shadow inventory" of homes that they
own due to defaults, and have not put many of these on the MLS.
6. Bottom line: The cycle continues. People can't afford their
houses, lose their house, which drops surrounding property values, which means those
left with houses are now more underwater on their house, which means now they can't
re-finance or afford their house which is declining in value, which means they
will possibly lose their house, which drops values again. The weird thing is
that people who own a house, won't admit there is a problem in their
neighborhood, despite all the underlying facts, until they actually have to
sell. It is a self-denial thing. It is kinda like people
can't believe their kid turned into a serial killer or a drug addict....they
won't believe it until it is too late.
Here's a Youtube video from Springsteen and Tom Morello about the economic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp-oDAxx8So (nice guitar solos at the end)
Hang in there, they'll be better days, but its gonna be a long hard road to get
there. We'll get through this somehow. In the meantime, I'm thinking
about fixing people's PCs for $50 to pay for my kart tire money. If I
could fix four PCs a week, and do it while I'm playing online poker at the same
time, I can pay for my racing!
Back to main
NSX-Files/Pulp Racing Stories page