Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, November 10-13, 2005
Superkarts USA Supernationals
How Do We Stack Up?  Can We Hang With the Big Boys? (Girls?)

The mini-F1 circus heads to Vegas for some crazy close wheel-to-wheel racing -
Image by Steve Bullard at
(click here for larger pic)

So after that last relatively successful race at Moran (at least for me), Wayne and I are feeling cocky.  We think we should swagger into the SKUSA (SuperKarts USA) SuperNationals at Vegas and see how we do.  Especially since we see that at the Nation's Cup race in Colorado, Matt Kimble took pole in the stock Honda class, Greg Smith took 2nd, and the third place guy was 6/10ths behind Matt.  Greg ended up winning the class, and Matt was right behind him in 2nd place.  Right now, we calculate we are 7/10ths behind Matt at Moran, which makes us go hummm.......we have a shot at third place on the podium.  At least in our own demented minds, even though we've each only raced in one kart race the past six months......

Carter ready to roll in the shifter kart

Miscellaneous Car Stuff
We have some minor car woes.  We keep saying we are going to make it to a SpeedVentures event and bring out the NSX, S2000, and Evo.  The NSX is packed in the trailer, and has been ready to go for two months.  Wayne's Evo has been on the lift at the shop for two months.  Wayne and Jason are working on putting in some new crank bearings to try to get rid of the minor rattling sound in his motor.  The F355 is overheating, so either the fan motor died, or the temperature switch that fires up the fan is bad.   I need to get off my ass and get this fixed, along with putting some type of airbag disable switch for the passenger seat, so I can buzz around Kayla in the car.

Last minute check to make sure kart is ready to go on the track - image by Steve Bullard
Image by Steve Bullard at

Messley drops a transmission on his foot, crushing a couple of toes.  One of his shoes is now two sizes bigger, and it might stay like that permanently.  Bummer.  He did a lot of work on Peter Brock's personal Superformance Brock Coupe.  He pretty much took apart the entire suspension, re-tweaked it, meticulously put it back together with the original parts, and got it prepped for a Road and Track testing session.  The testing went extremely well.  You will probably see the results in the March issue of R&T.  Or it might be in a special edition "performance car mag" put out by R&T earlier than that.   Think the new Z06 and Viper are badass cars?  The Messley touch helped the Brock Coupe kick the Z06/Viper's asses in skid pad AND 700 foot slalom tests.  The Brock Coupe also  spanked the Z06 and Viper in the 0-60 mph, quarter mile, etc.  Messley has worked on three other Brock Coupes since working on Peter's car, as everyone wants to get their suspension setup like the Peter's personal coupe.

Messley tweaked the stock suspension on the Brock Coupe.  It now spanks the new Z06 & Viper
(Picture from Richard Graham)

Brett called me up in early November, as one of his friends with a Skyline needed some Hoosiers for a Time Attack event at Pahrump.  This was right after the SEMA show.  Kim, the Skyline owner, was able to get Tarzan (Japanese hot shoe driver) to drive his car, but they had no tires, and no way of getting tires on 24 hour notice on a weekend.  He called me up and wanted to know if I had any Hoosier tires in stock so they could throw down some fast lap times.   (slicks not allowed) I told him I had some slightly used Hoosier 275/35/18 from about a year or so ago that were the rears on the NSX, and another pair of used rears from about six months before that.  They wanted to put four of them on the Skyline, figuring that they would be better than new unshaved RA1s.  They get a person to come to my house and pick up the four used tires, drive them to Vegas, and get them mounted.  Tarzan wins the Overall Fastest Car at event with the Skyline, and the tires from the Flamemobile!  Kim's car is street legal, and he even beat the "race cars" that were there.  Ha ha!

Kim/Tarzan/XS Engineering become overall winners at the Time Attack at Pahrump

Wayne went out and bought another vehicle.  He went shopping for a Toyota Tundra, as he felt that baby Carter's head was moving like a bobble doll in the Evo back seat.  He went to a Elmore Toyota, who was advertising a $249 a month lease, $1500 down.  Apparently they want to blow out the V8 trucks due to concerns about the high price of gasoline.

$8 a day to lease this truck? Bargain of the century?

After doing the test drive and sitting in the sales office for two hours, Wayne is about to finish signing the deal and drive off with the truck.  The finance guy at the dealer then says, "I'm sorry, but your credit isn't good enough to qualify for the lease deal, we are going to have to charge you another $50 bucks a month, so the deal is $299 a month for you".  Wayne is ready to kill the guy, since he wasted two hours finalizing the deal.  "Hey, look at my credit report, you'll see that I have bought and paid off two NSXs, two Ferraris, four Porsches.  I own a house and two buildings, and I don't have any late payments.  And you think I'm gonna default on a $249 truck payment?" 

Matt Kimball.  15 years old, 215 lbs football player. He's kicking our ass on the track

The finance guy says, "Sorry, there is nothing I can do".   Wayne angrily walks out of the sales office, leaving the finance guy there with his mouth hanging open, not believing that Wayne is going to walk away from the deal because of a $50 a month increased payment.  A day later, Wayne visits the Toyota of Huntington Beach dealership, and says he wants the $249 lease deal with no strings attached, and the sales guy says, "Sure no problem".  And he gets the truck for $249 a month.  Of course the previous dealership (Elmore Toyota) didn't give him his license back (probably yet another shady sales tactic, kinda like a reverse "leave behind" from George on the Seinfeld TV show), so Wayne had to go back to the dealership, ask for his license, and then they asked if he was still interested in the $299 a month truck.  Wayne said, "No,  I bought a Tundra for $249 a month down the street.  I just came back here to pickup my license so I can finalize the purchase at the other dealer."  Memo to vendors:  Don't rip off the Pulp Racing guys or their army of fans, because we will expose your shyster ways right here for thousands of people to view every day.

Greg Smith. 59 years old.  Kicking our ass on the track.  We need a half second.....

Meanwhile, Wayne's nephew Dana had the itch for a new car.  He's been driving around a beater Honda Civic with an automatic transmission.  Since he's making all this cash as a sales guy for the Phoneguys, he's thinking he needs some new wheels.  He tells his dad that he is thinking about buying a new Subaru WRX STI, and his dad is telling him this is not a good idea.  I tell him if he is 19 years old, he shouldn't spend more than 19k on a car.  Hey, do 19 year olds ever listen to advice when it comes to cars?  Especially when they have an income stream of $5000 a month?  He goes out and purchases a brand new white WRX STI, paying $679 a month.   He's driving around in style now!  Wayne and I are a bad influence on young people...

Dana goes into debt, buys a brand new Subaru WRX STI

Every time I see Dana at the shop, I ask him, "Did you crash it yet?".  Hopefully that will make sure he doesn't do what most 19 year olds do with car a with 300 HP and will do 0-60 in five seconds.  Wayne's already telling him to put an exhaust on it and turn up the boost...

Fernando's GP kart.  He switched from SRA TM to Stock Honda.  He's kicking our ass

Late September, 2005
Wayne had to let his ribs rest a couple of weeks due to his ill-fitting Ribtect seat from the last race. (I uh..mean the practice before the race, as his ribs were hurting to much to enter the race!).  My ribs were hurting a little bit from the crash in the main race with Jeff (either that, or someone hit me after Jeff veered in front of me and I hit Jeff), so a couple of weeks off were needed.

October 16, 2005
Pro Kart Challenge has their awards banquet at the Marconi Auto Museum.  Marconi had a nice pair of red Ferrari F50s sitting in their museum, along with about sixty other cars.  PKC hosted one of the most amazing awards banquet I have ever seen, and I've seen some good ones in both racing and business events.  The top 3 winners in each class got big ass engraved plaques with pictures of them racing on it and cool jackets with their names embossed on them.  I mean, we are talking 3 foot wide plaques with pictures.  They had a drawing for prizes, and it was crazy.  Wayne won the least expensive prize, which was a Sirius Radio with 3 months of activation service.  Other prizes given out were stuff like a TaG Leopard engine, a generator, three Mychron timing units, THREE 125cc kart chassis (two Paul Tracy and one GP Racing), engine rebuild certificates, etc.  The grand prize was a plane ticket to Brazil+hotel+3 day Castroneves Racing Experience school on the Formula One track!  Jim Baltius (ex-KRC racer) won the grand prize, but since he also helps organize the PKC events, he politely declined the grand prize, and they pulled another name out of the hat so a fellow driver could go to Brazil!  Tom Kutscher said at the beginning of the season he wanted to see at the end of the year an awards banquet with hundreds of people(drivers, spouses, kids, etc) and he totally delivered on that.  They must have raffled off close to $30,000 in prizes! You can bet it got everyone fired up for next year's Pro Kart Challenge.  Dust off your old shifter kart, or go out and buy a new one and join us next year.   

Jeff Littrell said he's selling his Sports 2000 race car, and is going to concentrate solely on the Pro Kart Challenge series next year.  He thinks he's gonna come in and swoop onto the podium.  He's gonna have to get by us first...

The Pulp  Team for the weekend, with Jason, Amy, and Carter assisting

October 24, 2005
We are trying to stay with our once a week practice schedule.  We go to Moran with Jeff.  For some reason, our karts aren't handling as well as they did before.   Hummm.  On this day, Jeff is running almost a second a lap faster (1:05.2) than Wayne and myself.  Rocky Moran thinks we need to install additional seat brackets, so we don't get any wanted flex in the rear of the chassis.  Wayne and I decide that it is because Jeff hasn't been running his kart as much as us, and maybe our karts are getting more flex than when we first got them.  Paul and Heidi Taylor come out to the track, along with Jason Trumpio and Doug Ota.  Paul, Heidi, and Jason are running our spare karts.  Ota is about to buy one of our old karts.  It is kinda ridiculous at the shop now in terms of storage, as we have Jeff's new kart, Jeff's old kart, my new kart, Wayne's new kart, and Wayne and I have three old karts with Vortex ICC motors, and our old spare kart with a Kawasaki motor.  That means we have EIGHT karts at the shop right now. 

Paul and Heidi are autocrossers from San Diego that run dual NSXs.  I think we have them hooked on shifter karts.  Jason is blasting around at a pretty good pace for his first time.

Jason, Rhod from 2WildKarting, and Wayne

October 29, 2005
We get the seat brackets from 2Wild, and start prepping the karts for tomorrow's practice day.  Wayne's seat is also too far over to the right in his kart, so his elbow hits the motor and restricts his steering wheel movement.  We take the seat off, carefully re-bend the frame of the kart with a long pipe so the seat will move over 3/4 inch, and re-check the corner balance.  We attribute the frame being slightly off center due to Italian Quality Assurance procedures. We also drop my seat an inch in the rear.  It takes us about four hours to do all of this late Saturday night.

Nice looking trailer for a karting event

October 30th, 2005
We veer off our normal Monday practice schedule, and head off to the track on Sunday.  Monday is Halloween, and we don't want to be in deep water with the wives if we make it back too late to take the kids out for Trick or Treating.  If you go to Moran on Mondays, there are about 6-7 karts at the track.  If you go to Moran on a Sunday, there are about 50 karts there practicing.  It's like a damn race day.  There are about 20 trailers parked in front of us, waiting for the gate to open at the track.  They have to break up into three 20 minute run sessions, Slow, Fast, and kids group. 

A shot of about 50% of the circuit in the Sam Boyd Stadium parking lot

Early in the afternoon, I finally make it into the 1:04's with a 1:04.96.  Ha!  I beat Jeff and Wayne to be the first of us to make it below the 1:05 mark.  About an hour later, Wayne breaks into the 1:04's with an identical 1:04.96.  The track gets slower after that, and we don't get any faster, so we are tied for fastest lap at Moran.  It took us 1.5 years + two new karts with two new Honda motors + 1500 laps, but we break the sub 1:05 barrier.  Now we can work on breaking the sub 1:04 barrier..hopefully it won't take us as long and cost as much as it did to get below 1:05. 

Wayne happy about his 1:04.96

November 2, 2005
The fumes from the Go-Fast Crackpipe overcome Paul and Heidi.  They buy a used 2005 Tony Krypton Chassis, and are planning to buy a stock Honda motor.  They have two long until they get two shifter karts?  I'd give it three months.....

Tony Kart had a huge tent

November 6, 2005
I wake up at 4:30 in the morning for my twice-a-year golf game.  Hopefully I'll shoot below 110.  Some idiot breaks into the truck that I parked on the side street, and rips off my Valentine One radar detector and the satellite radio.  Assholes.  My alarm siren hasn't been working, and I meant to get it fixed in the next couple of days before I go to Vegas.  I birdie the toughest hole at Mount Woodson, a 432 yard par 4.  Tiger Woods, look out, I'm coming after ya.  Damn, this game is easy compared to racing.  Unfortunately, on the other 17 holes, I don't shoot below 110....

Wayne working on the karts in the 2WildKarting tent

November 7, 2005
After spending two hours screwing around trying to find the siren, pulling it out of the truck, and testing it, it seems to work fine.  Hummm...must be the alarm brain unit.  I take the truck to Beach Auto Sound, and ask them to fix the damn alarm.  I tell them the siren seems to work fine, but it doesn't sound off when a door is opened or when someone bangs on the window.  He immediately responds, "You have the alarm in 'valet mode', so just hit the two bottom buttons on the remote at same time to re-enable it."   DOH! 

The A and B grids in the pit area

Our softball team had a great fall season.  All the games were pretty close.  With two games left, we were 4-2-2, and tied with another team that was also 4-2-2.  So we had two ties, we lost one game by one run, and won two games by one run.  We ended up winning game #9 by a couple of runs, and go into the final game of the season in first place by half a game.

The last game of the season is the night before the start of the Supernationals.  Wayne and I decide we can't ditch the team, since we have been stuck in Coed C-3 for probably 11 seasons.  We decide to play the last game of the season, go out for pizza with the team, take a quick shower, drive to Vegas, get two hours of sleep, and then start driving the karts Thursday morning. 

The Champs: Diamond, Tony, Bonnie, Doug, Al, Joel, Stacey, Mary, Jason, Ted, Sue, Wayne
(not pictured:  Our third basewoman, Bits)

I'm on a roll at the plate.  The ball looks like the size of a basketball.  I feel like I can hit a trashcan with line drive anywhere in right field.  The past five games I've been doing hit-and-run plays whenever a girl is on first base, and I haven't got burned in about 8 consecutive tries.  I'm 16 for 16 in my last four games.  Perhaps I can have a hitting streak like back in the winter of 1999. We end up winning our last game of the season, to become the World Champions of Huntington Beach C-3 Coed Wednesday night softball.  Al is our pitcher, I think she has only walked two people the ENTIRE SEASON, and her on-base percentage is .711.  Our only problem now is that we will be moved up one division in January to C-2, and it seems like whenever a C-3 team moves up to C-2, they usually go 1-9 in the tougher league.  Must take preventative measures now to stop that from happening.... 

Phoneguys Coed Softball Team Onbase Percentage - Fall 2005




























41 35 .854 4 2 4 4 5 5 4 2 3 3 5 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4


38 27 .711 4 4 4 3     4 2 3 2 4 2 5 3 5 4 4 3 5 4


22 14 .636 3 2 4 2 5 4             3 0     3 3 4 3


38 24 .632 3 2 3 1 5 5 4 3 3 3 5 3 4 2 4 2 3 1 4 2


26 16 .615     3 1 5 3     2 1 4 3 4 1 4 4     4 3


7 4 .571             4 3 3 1                    


36 19 .528 5 3 3 1 5 1 3 1 3 1 4 2     4 4 4 4 5 2


30 15 .500 3 2     4 1     2 1 5 3 4 2 4 3 4 2 4 1


35 14 .400 4 2 4 0     4 3 3 0 5 3 4 1 3 2 4 1 4 2


31 11 .355 3 3 4 0 5 2 4 1 2 1 3 0 3 2 4 1     3 1


37 12 .324 5 1 3 2 5 2 4 1     3 1 4 3 5 0 4 1 4 1


25 8 .320     3 1 4 2     2 0 4 1 4 2 4 1 4 1    


29 9 .310 4 2 3 0 4 1 4 2 3 0 3 1 4 1         4 2


2 0 .000                 2 0                    


397 208 .524                                        

I promised $100 to anyone who could beat my onbase percentage.  It goes uncollected

Wayne and I have a victory pizza meal with the team, and head to Vegas on a roll........we are the champs of H.B. Softball, and we now wanna become Supernational Champs.  Wayne drives up with Amy and Carter, and I drive up by myself in the truck with small trailer.  I leave H.B. at 10:00 p.m., and I roll into Vegas at 2:10 a.m.  With no bathroom break, and no traffic, the drive isn't that bad.

Superkarts USA has ten run groups, and today each group gets six ten minute practice sessions.  So we run 10 minutes, then spend about 90 minutes getting the karts ready for the next run group, then repeat this six times.  The run groups are:

  1. Superpro - Pro guys, 125cc shifter, built motors. Many factory teams.  $5000 prize money.  Scott Speed won this event in both 2000 and 2001, and look where he's driving now.
  2. 125 Semi Pro - 125cc shifter, built motors
  3. 125 Masters - 125cc shifter, built motors, 35 years old and above
  4. Stock Honda - Our class, stock Honda, 125cc shifter, 385 lbs max
  5. 80 Junior - 80cc class for juniors
  6. 80/60 Novice - 60/80cc class for young drivers
  7. TAG SR - 125cc electric start, 15 years old and above
  8. TAG Masters - 125cc electric start, 35 years old and above
  9. JICA - junior class
  10. Comer/JR1 - entry level for young drivers

Rumor has it that some Tony Kart factory folks were "curious" about why anyone would re-powdercoat their frames from the standard Tony Kart green to red(like mine) and blue(like Wayne's).  I guess for purist, it is sacrilege to change the color of the Tony Kart frame.  For the record, the color green in my mind is represents these guys:

I hate the ffing Celtics.  Bird, Ainge, McHale, Parish, Dennis, Red, Russell, etc.

I will never EVER own a green car, a green house, a house with green walls, a green laptop, green pants, or a green shirt.  I don't celebrate Saint Patrick's Day, and I don't drink green beer,  and I sure as hell will never be seen racing a green vehicle on the race track.  Period.  Now this isn't to say that I'm a current Laker fan (They will suck until they trade Kobe for LeBron.  Or just trade Kobe for a couple of team players.)  I'm just saying that the Laker vs. Celtics Wars of the 1970's and 1980's are indelibly etched in my mind, and seeing anything green reminds me of how much I hate the Celtics.  That was a great rivalry, and I will hate those bastards until the day I die.  And I will not have their team colors on my kart.

Wayne and I also commit another karting fashion emergency.  It seems we are among the few people that wear our rib vest over the suit, instead of under the suit.  (Kinda how Madonna wears underwear on her outer clothes.)  It is easier to put on over your suit, and it doesn't pinch your skin.  We don't follow fashion, we create it.  That's why we are still wearing fanny packs. 

Matt working on his kart, with his #2 SKUSA board

I hear that Compcor, the USA distributor for Tony Kart, is dropping the product line, and that Tony Kart is looking for someone to buy the old inventory become the new USA importer/distributor.  Hummm....we have a 10,000 square foot warehouse that we need to rent out.......we could write off our kart racing if we become the USA distributor....but then I would have to powdercoat every green Tony Kart chassis that comes into the USA and paint it Ferrari Red.   That would probably piss off the Italians....but then again if they marketed a red chassis instead of a green chassis, perhaps they could increase their market share another 10 points.  Who the hell races green vehicles except for Jaguar?  Perhaps Wayne, Jeff, Ota, and I should become the distributor and build a Tony Kart dealer network that will crush all other non-Tony dealers with fancy red Tony Karts.  But I digress....

Rumor has it that 2WildKarting is the biggest USA dealer for Tony Kart Chassis
Call 949-206-9906 and put down a deposit for your 2006 Chassis!

Wayne and I suck at learning new tracks.  I put a GPS Navigation system on my steering wheel to help me remember where to go.  We are hanging out in the 2WildKarting tent along with Matt Kimball, and TAG drivers Paul Grey, Phillip Grey, and Jerry Henderson.  

I mount a GPS map below my Mychron

Wayne boneheads in one of the practice sessions, and crashes into a wall, bending his steering column and tie rods.  What a homo!  It takes us a couple of hours to fix his kart.  On the way back to the hotel, we stop at El Pollo and buy 50 pieces of legs and thighs, thus buying out their inventory for the evening.  We figure we can eat this for dinner and lunch tomorrow.  Later in the evening, Jason, our crew chief, cruises into town.  Wayne and I are dead tired, and we end up crashing around 10:00 p.m.

Wayne crashes into a plastic barrier filled with water.  It is like crashing into stone

Morning practice, qualify, and then a heat race at night.  I end up qualifying 9th out of 24.  Damn.  I should been around 6th or 7th in my mind.  Wayne takes 7th, so he's gridded right in front of me.  The way you qualify today determines the grid position for all three heat races.  Then, they tally up how you finished in all three heat races, and determine the grid for the final race from those stats.  So let's say if you finished 1st, 4th, 5th, in your heat races, you have a total of  "ten places", so you will probably be gridded close to the front.  But if you finished 1st, 5th, DNF(22nd), that is 28 places, so you will be gridded around 12th or so.

Greg, Wayne, Doug gridded for heat race.  All thinking, "Don't you ffing crash into me!"

Stock Honda - Qualifying

Pos No. Driver Chassis/Engine Best Lap
1. 07W Nick Halen MS Kart/Honda 55.638
2. 41 Curtis Cooksey Biesse/Honda 55.848
3. 45C Fernando Diaz GP/Honda 56.330
4. 96 Jonathan Wright Tony Kart/Hi-Tech Honda 56.340
5. 39C Greg Smith GP/Hi-Tech Honda 56.406
6. 90C Matt Kimball Tony Kart/DDR Honda 56.606
7. 800 Wayne Mello Tony Kart/DDR Honda 56.701
8. 23 Todd Edgington PTK/Honda 56.883
9. 55 Doug Hayashi Tony Kart/DDR Honda 57.164
10. 18 Sergio Machoda Birel/Honda 57.263
11. N3 Marty Henderson GP/DDR Honda 57.366
12. 42 Ryan Pool PTK/Honda 57.605
13. 5 Brian Cernius CRG/Honda 57.799
14. 41 Jamie Olsen Italkart/Hi-Tech Honda 58.222
15. 45 RJ Edgington PTK/Honda 58.234
16. 38C Greg Westmorland GP/DDR Honda 58.261
17. 84d Jim Keesling Birel/Honda 59.001
18. 4T Craig Andrews Maranello/Hi-Tech Honda 59.518
19. 33D Dan Wilmot Birel/Honda 1:00.423
20. 58T Brad Johnson CRG/Honda 1:00.432
21. 9 NA GP/Honda 1:01.784
DQ 9b Scott Barnes Intrepid/PG Honda 56.728

Analysis of qualifying:
I sucked in qualifying.  Way too much traffic, I should have tried to get a cleaner lap.  Wayne was only off 3/10ths off of Greg Smith, which is good, as we are usually .5-.7 behind him.  Wayne is only 1/10th off of Matt, but Matt didn't attend practice yesterday, as he had school/football stuff.  So Matt beat us, despite only have seen the track for one session before qualifying, unlike our seven sessions.  Matt's racing resume is a little better than ours. And he's spotting us 30 lbs, as he's weighing in around 417 lbs, and we are at 385.  So this is how we are gridded for the next 3 heat races.

The Stock Honda grid for the heat races.  Let's go to battle!
Image by Steve Bullard at
(click here for a larger pic)

In the night heat race under the lights, Wayne is holding down 5th place, as two of the fast guys in front of him crash.  Matt Kimble takes 4th place.  I'm looking for a 7th place finish, and with half a lap to go, one of the water filled plastic barriers jumps out at me, and I hit it with my right front tire.  I DNF.  I suck.  It is the same place where Wayne crashed.  I was zipping around the corner, a few inches from the wall, and it seemed to me like one of the barriers wasn't lined up with the rest, and I hit it.  I bent the steering column, tie rods, kingpin bolt, and the frame where the steering column connects to the frame.  Damn.  We wrench on the kart for two hours, and with some help and assistance from 2Wild, we replace all the parts, re-bend the frame , re-laser aligned, and ready to go like it was new. 

I crash in the exact same spot as Wayne did earlier.  What an idiot!

Stock Honda - Heat Race 1 Results

Pos No. Driver Chassis/Engine Diff Best Lap
1. 07W Nick Halen MS Kart/Honda - 55.752
2. 96 Jonathan Wright Tony Kart/Hi-Tech Honda 4.292 56.198
3. 39C Greg Smith GP/Hi-Tech Honda 4.585 56.218
4. 90C Matt Kimball Tony Kart/DDR Honda 8.767 56.558
5. 800 Wayne Mello Tony Kart/DDR Honda 10.285 56.504
6. 23 Todd Edgington PTK/Honda 14.392 56.949
7. 18 Sergio Machoda Birel/Honda 22.333 57.620
8. N3 Marty Henderson GP/DDR Honda 24.678 57.358
9. 42 Ryan Pool PTK/Honda 30.681 57.879
10. 41 Jamie Olsen Italkart/Hi-Tech Honda 34.046 57.503
11. 45 RJ Edgington PTK/Honda 34.271 57.967
12. N4 Jim Keesling Birel/Honda 34.271 58.472
13. 5 Brian Cernius CRG/Honda 38.592 57.301
14. 33D Dan Wilmot Birel/Honda 54.538 59.769
15. 58T Brad Johnson CRG/Honda 55.013 59.813
16. 4T Craig Andrews Maranello/Hi-Tech Honda 55.063 59.468
17. 55 Doug Hayashi Tony Kart/DDR Honda 1 Lap 57.228
18. 45C Fernando Diaz GP/Honda 3 Laps 56.159
19. 41 Curtis Cooksey Biesse/Honda 4 Laps 55.636
20. 9 NA GP/Honda 7 Laps 1:03.621
21. 38C Greg Westmorland GP/DDR Honda 10 Laps No time
22. 9b Scott Barnes Intrepid/PG Honda 10 Laps No time

Analysis of heat race:
I'm an idiot.  I woulda been 7th if I didn't hit the wall.  The 2WildKarting shifter team would have pulled down 4th, 5th, and 7th out of 22 drivers.  I woulda ran faster, but I had traffic in front of me.  Instead of eating dinner at 7 p.m. tonight, it is gonna take us two hours to fix the kart.  Greg Smith takes 3rd, Fernando has a mechanical DNF.

Night picture of the Pulp Racing Team

We get a late dinner at Hamada restaurant off of Flamingo Ave.  Glenson is our chef, and he is the best Teppan Yaki chef I have ever seen.  And he's a white dude!  He tells corny jokes in a fake halting/mumbling Japanese accent.

Getting ready for the green flag to drop
Image by Steve Bullard at
(click here for a larger pic)

Saturday Morning.
Damn.  I can barely talk, I'm losing my voice to a cold.  Probably from not getting any sleep the past few nights and running around on my feet 14 hours a day at the track.

Heat Race 2.
Finishing  is of utmost importance now.  I had a shot a passing Todd Edgington for 6th place behind Wayne, but I'm gun shy from my DNF in the previous race, so I decide to be happy with 7th.  I run the fastest lap of the midpackers.  Matt Kimble and another driver get tangled up in the first last, taking them both out of the race.  Fernando takes 3rd, and Greg takes 4th.

Stock Honda - Heat Race 2 Results

Pos No. Driver Chassis/Engine Diff Best Lap In Lap
1. 07W Nick Halen MS Kart/Honda - 55.594 8
2. 41 Curtis Cooksey Biesse/Honda 0.337 55.586 6
3. 45C Fernando Diaz GP/Honda 0.805 55.671 6
4. 39C Greg Smith GP/Hi-Tech Honda 5.103 No time 0
5. 800 Wayne Mello Tony Kart/DDR Honda 8.962 56.182 3
6. 23 Todd Edgington PTK/Honda 13.543 56.661 5
7. 55 Doug Hayashi Tony Kart/DDR Honda 13.784 56.615 6
8. 42 Ryan Pool PTK/Honda 14.852 56.809 10
9. 41 Jamie Olsen Italkart/Hi-Tech Honda 23.017 57.154 10
10. 9b Scott Barnes Intrepid/PG Honda 23.322 56.781 6
11. 18 Sergio Machoda Birel/Honda 23.539 56.846 10
12. N4 Jim Keesling Birel/Honda 27.15 57.892 2
13. N3 Marty Henderson GP/DDR Honda 53.352 56.919 7
14. N10 Dan Wilmot Birel/Honda 56.19 59.807 10
15. 4T Craig Andrews Maranello/Hi-Tech Honda 56.947 59.758 4
16. 58T Brad Johnson CRG/Honda 57.076 59.445 6
17. 45 RJ Edgington PTK/Honda 1 Lap 58.177 5
18. 9 NA GP/Honda 6 Laps 59.55 4
19. 38C Greg Westmorland GP/DDR Honda 9 Laps 01:02.1 1
20. 96 Jonathan Wright Tony Kart/Hi-Tech Honda 10 Laps No time -
21. 90C Matt Kimball Tony Kart/DDR Honda 10 Laps No time -
22. 5 Brian Cernius CRG/Honda 10 Laps No time -


Heat Race 3:
By now, all the races are a blur.  My cold is getting worse.  For heat race 1, the helmet battery came unplugged.  For heat race 2 and 3, I bring the battery charger from my hotel room instead of the battery. What a bonehead!  Anyways, from what I remember, my starts are at least decent with this new Honda motor.  Yesterday, we were trying to come up with our tire strategy.  We get two sets of tires for the weekend, and we decided to use the first set for qualifying, heat race 1, morning practice on Saturday and Sunday, and heat race 2.  We will use the new second set of tires for heat race 3 (10 Laps) and the final race (20 laps).  Right before our heat race, everyone including us is watching the Superpro race, as those guys are hauling ass and making some crazy passes.  As soon as they checker the Superpro race, we hop into our karts and get them fired up. 

The Superpro guys warming up their engines.  They are racing for $5000 bucks!
Image by Steve Bullard at
(click here for a larger pic)

This is when Wayne and I realize that we are the only people on the grid using new tires.  It seems like everyone else is saving their tires for the main race tomorrow.  Hummmm.....did we screw up?  We were figuring if it is a 10 lap race, we run them this race, let them sit overnight, and they will be heat cycled and ready for the main.  I guess everyone else on the grid disagrees with us.   Oh well...

Ready to go with the helmet cam.....sorta...
Image by Steve Bullard at
(click here for larger pic)

Green flag drops again and we are off!  I get stuck with the mid-packers.  Wayne, by qualifying 5th, gets away from the traffic, and only has to try to chase down the fast guys.  For the first time probably ever, Wayne's fastest lap in the race is faster than Greg Smith's.  Perhaps we are almost ready to catch that old bastard!  But then again, we realize that Wayne had on new tires, Greg probably ran all three heat races on his old tires.    I run the fastest lap of the mid-packers, but can't get around all the traffic to chase Wayne down.  I also didn't want to crash in this heat race, as I already have one DNF.   Matt has another incident on lap 2 (not his fault), so he's a DNF.  As we are all weighing in after the race, Wayne notices that a girl finished in front of me, and he's saying, "Hey, I never had a chick beat me in a kart race before.  Ha ha!".  I'm never gonna hear the end of that.  Greg takes 4th, Fernando gets in a racing incident and is a DNF.

Wayne and Amy are going out with Amy's friends who are in Vegas to see Zumanity.  I told them a few weeks ago that I would babysit Carter tonight.  They drop Carter off at 6:30 p.m., and Carter and I hang out together.  I entertain her for two hours before she decides she's had enough and is going to sleep for the night.  We watch a couple of episodes of Classical Baby on my laptop via the wireless connection back to my Tivo at home via the Slingbox. Now that's cool technology...

Stock Honda - Heat Race 3 Results

Pos No. Driver Chassis/Engine Diff Best Lap
1. 96 Jonathan Wright Tony Kart/Hi-Tech Honda - 55.421
2. 41 Curtis Cooksey Biesse/Honda 0.291 55.441
3. 07W Nick Halen MS Kart/Honda 0.625 55.442
4. 39C Greg Smith GP/Hi-Tech Honda 3.259 55.841
5. 800 Wayne Mello Tony Kart/DDR Honda 5.820 55.703
6. 41 Jamie Olsen Italkart/Hi-Tech Honda 15.148 56.504
7. 55 Doug Hayashi Tony Kart/Honda 17.718 56.439
8. 23 Todd Edgington PTK/Honda 17.940 56.494
9. N3 Marty Henderson GP/DDR Honda 19.763 56.795
10. 38C Greg Westmorland GP/DDR Honda 23.071 57.140
11. N4 Jim Keesling Birel/Honda 24.599 57.598
12. 45 RJ Edgington PTK/Honda 32.333 57.790
13. N10 Dan Wilmot Birel/Honda 45.528 58.856
14. 58T Brad Johnson CRG/Honda 45.948 59.111
15. 4T Craig Andrews Maranello/Hi-Tech Honda 46.895 59.062
16. 9 NA GP/Honda 51.760 58.567
17. 9b Scott Barnes Intrepid/PG Honda 1 Lap 56.576
18. 18 Sergio Machoda Birel/Honda 1 Lap 56.457
19. 5 Brian Cernius CRG/Honda 2 Laps 57.590
20. 90C Matt Kimball Tony Kart/DDR Honda 8 Laps 56.831
21. 45C Fernando Diaz GP/DDR Honda 9 Laps 58.308
22. 42 Ryan Pool PTK/Honda 9 Laps No time


Ready to hear the national anthem.  Thanks to all those in the armed forces!

Final Race, Sunday morning:
I can barely speak at all today.  I'm downing Advil, honey, water, tea, etc, to make sure I can run the final race.  We check the grid.  Wayne has three fifth places, which means he is starting 3rd on the grid for the main race!  I knew we had a shot at the podium.   I have two sevenths, and a DNF, which means I suck, and I'm gridded 9th for the main race.

Wayne rolls a Yatzee!  Three 5th places = P3 on the final grid!

If I would not have crashed in the first heat race, I calculate that I would be 4th on the grid, so the Pulp Racing team would be holding down the 2nd row in the main race.  We could have done all sorts of team tactics, block everyone two wide through the first couple of turns so no one gets the jump on us, both drive wide to keep the pack behind us etc.  But then again, knowing our history of crashing into each other, it is probably better that we are not on the same row.

Wayne holding down his position on the grid

Wayne does have some serious problems.  He's got three really fast guys gridded behind him that plan on coming through the field.  These are guys that have crashed and thus are gridded farther back.  Matt Kimball is gridded around 14th, as he has two DNFs due to crashes.  Fernando is back there with Matt, due to a racing incident and a mechanical DNF.  So Wayne appears to be the only one of us who is in position to podium for this race from the 2WildKarting tent.  I immediately slap four Pulp Racing stickers on his kart in case he makes it to the podium.  Rhod gives him a 2WildKarting T-shirt to wear underneath his suit.  Wayne keeps telling us, "Don't put any pressure on me, I crack under pressure".   I tell him just keep his position, follow Greg Smith, and hang with him and hope for someone in front to make a mistake.  If Greg gets tangled up with the guy on pole in turn 1, suddenly we have Mr. Mello leading the Stock Honda final race at the Supernationals!  I think technically at that point he can claim to be the best Stock Honda shifter racer in the nation.  At least until someone passes him.

Greg gridded second for the final, Wayne in third, Me way back in 9th

Green flag drops, and we are off.  Everyone in front of me seems to make it through okay.  I make it to the back straight staying in 9th or 10th place.  Wayne loses a position, and drops to 4th.  About 4 laps later, Fernando comes blowing by all of us upper midpackers and Wayne drops to 5th or so.  A little later, Barnes blows by me, and I don't recall him passing me in any of the heat races.  Hummm.   After getting around a few people, I start making my way to the front of the 2nd pack of drivers.  And most curiously, as I am making up ground, I see that I am right behind Wayne, who appears to be around 7th place now, battling with the second pack.

Matt making his way past Wayne and I
Image by Steve Bullard at
(Click here for a larger pic)

Going down the back straight, Wayne gets on the inside of Jamie and makes the pass on  her.  I'm rooting for them to both crash and clear the way for me.  A couple of turns later, Jamie passes him on the inside of one of the slower sweeper turns.  Again, I'm hoping they crash so I can easily get by.  Going down the back straight again, Wayne re-passes her again.  I'm almost close enough to get on the inside of Jamie, but not quite.  Nice close racing!  Going into the slower sweeper turn, Jamie tries to repass Wayne again on the inside, they bang wheels, and I see Wayne's kart veering violently to the right, across the track, and crashing into the barrier. 

Wayne bites the dust on the sweeper turn

Who's got the corner?  Jamie on the inside, or Wayne on the outside?
(helmet cam picture enlarged)

They touch wheels, Wayne gets airborne
(helmet cam picture enlarged)

Wayne veers to the right, headed straight for the barrier

Bummer for him, but hey, I move up a spot!   I think to myself...."Humm...maybe I should take those Pulp Racing stickers off of Wayne's kart".

Going down the pack straight, the guy in front of Jamie takes an inside line to get around the guy in front of him.  Jamie, takes the inside of the inside line, and they go three wide into the turn.  Jamie gets by both of the guys, and I get by one of them. 

Jamie passes two guys at the end of the back straightaway

So it is now Jamie, Todd, then me in our little group.  With one lap left to go, we catch up to slower traffic, Todd makes a pass going into the back straight, and I pass the guy also and I got a run on Todd going to the end of the back straight.  I pass him, but can't hold him off on the exit of the turn.  With a few more turns to go, I don't think I can execute a clean pass, so that's where I end up, in 8th place.  Later on, Fernando gets disqualified for having the wrong head on his motor.  Apparently there are two heads, one from last year that was an 11cc "machined" head instead of the 10.8cc totally stock head.  Last year, the 11cc head was the "legal head", but this year SKUSA went to the stock 10.8cc head (which some people say doesn't make too much difference, as there is higher compression with the stock head).  Greg told Fernando to pick up a stock head and throw it on to be safe (40 bucks for the stock head).  But no one listens to Greg, because he's old.  (just kidding).  Pro Kart Challenge doesn't care which head you use, as they feel they are equivalent.  So I move up a spot to 7th.  

Wayne torpedoes barrier at about 45 mph
Image by Steve Bullard at
(click here for a larger pic)

Wayne complains that Jamie purposely booted him off.  I tell him that it looked like to me from my limited angle that he left the door open on the inside of that turn that allowed her to get by the first time, and then he re-opened the door on the very next lap so she could pull up along side him a second time.  Wayne says that her kart wasn't along side him yet.  I check my helmet camera footage, and you can't tell who is in front, but it looks like an innocent racing incident in my opinion.  But Wayne is convinced she took him out on purpose.  Ha ha!  He's a paranoid dude! 

Nick Halen wins the class and is the Stock Honda King. But he is also doing a double stint, as he is racing in the Superpro class also.  Scott Barnes takes 5th, and he's also in the Superpro class.  No wonder they are fast, they shouldn't even be in our weekend warrior Stock Honda class!   They didn't qualify for the Superpro final, so they dropped down a class and whup our ass.  That would be like me changing the name of our co-ed softball team to "The Radioguys", and entering the team into the beginning Co-ed C-9 league with all the retards and short bus people, and spanking everyone 15-0 every game.  Cheating Bastards!  I woulda done the same thing though. year I enter Superpro and Stock Honda, I take last in Superpro, but at least I get double the practice for the Stock Honda class, which should help me pick up a few tenths of a second and maybe get to the podium.  Humm....

So let me continue, with my demented thinking here....Halen and Barnes shouldn't be in the class (in my demented opinion), Fernando got DQ'ed, so now the final results to me should have been:

1.  Jonathan Wright
2.  Greg Smith
3. Jamie Olsen
4. Todd Edgington
5. Doug Hayashi

Of which I think I can think I can beat Todd and Jamie, and Wayne was actually in front of Jamie most of the race.  So yeah....we think we can fight for third on the podium!  Woulda coulda know the old story...

Here's a 7 minute, 113 meg clip of the final race.

Stock Honda - Final Main Race

Pos No. Driver Chassis/Engine Diff Best Lap In Lap
1. 07W Nick Halen MS Kart/Honda - 55.218 5
2. 96 Jonathan Wright Tony Kart/Hi-Tech Honda 9.200 55.441 19
3. 39C Greg Smith GP/Hi-Tech Honda 10.287 55.598 3
4. DQ 45C Fernando Diaz GP/DDR Honda 16.166 55.759 4
5. 9b Scott Barnes Intrepid/PG Honda 24.975 56.057 8
6. 41 Jamie Olsen Italkart/Hi-Tech Honda 26.609 56.359 20
7. 23 Todd Edgington PTK/Honda 28.011 56.292 4
8. 55 Doug Hayashi Tony Kart/Honda 28.566 56.126 14
9. N3 Marty Henderson GP/DDR Honda 34.360 56.685 3
10. 42 Ryan Pool PTK/Honda 35.263 56.659 9
11. 45 RJ Edgington PTK/Honda 1 Lap 57.556 6
12. 58T Brad Johnson CRG/Honda 1 Lap 58.647 8
13. N10 Dan Wilmot Birel/Honda 1 Lap 58.983 3
14. 18 Sergio Machoda Birel/Honda 5 Laps 56.384 5
15. 4T Craig Andrews Maranello/Hi-Tech Honda 8 Laps 59.257 6
16. 38C Greg Westmorland GP/DDR Honda 15 Laps 56.740 4
17. 5 Brian Cernius CRG/Honda 18 Laps 1:03.282 2
18. 41 Curtis Cooksey Biesse/Honda 19 Laps 56.788 1
19. 800 Wayne Mello Tony Kart/DDR Honda 20 Laps No time -
20. N4 Jim Keesling Birel/Honda 20 Laps No time -
21. 90C Matt Kimball Tony Kart/DDR Honda 20 Laps No time -
22. 9 NA GP/Honda 20 Laps No time -

(Note: for some reason, Wayne's transponder didn't work the last race, so it says 20 laps down, no time.  I think he ran about 15-16 laps before the crash)

Greg Smith's wife comes by after the race, and says that the other day on the freeway they think our trailer hitch fell off the truck and almost hit them.  Huh?  I check the truck, and sure enough, the hitch and ball are gone.  Some idiot must have taken the pin out of our hitch, and as I'm driving on the freeway back to the hotel, the hitch worked itself loose and fell out.  I got lucky there, I coulda killed someone if that would have hit them.  Luckily for us, 2Wild has an extra hitch with a 2 inch ball on it, so we can hit the road instead of scrambling around to find a hitch and ball.

We pack up the trailer, and head back to the hotel so I can take a quick shower, and do some gambling.  I don't want to leave Vegas earlier than around 9 p.m. or 10 p.m., as I don't want to get stuck in the dreaded Las Vegas-to-LA traffic jam that happens on a Sunday.  The Tuscany hotel we are staying at has a nice little casino with two black jack tables that have double deck, $5 min-$500, and pays 3-2 on blackjack.  You don't see that very often.  I play for a couple of hours, take advantage of a couple of ten-rich decks, run it up to $1000 bucks, and then I try to get to $2000.  I get slapped down, and I give up and cash out for $700, so I end up winning about $400 in Vegas.

I leave Vegas around 10:00 p.m., and I make it home in about 4.5 hours. Everyone else that left between 5:00 p.m. and 8 p.m. hit a ton of traffic, due to all the crazy drivers that crash coming home from Vegas on the two lane freeway.  I think a 10 p.m. departure time from Vegas is mandatory on a Sunday night.   Wayne, Amy, and Carter stay an extra night in Vegas.  They forget to lock the door on their Honda Pilot, and someone breaks in and takes their camcorder and Wayne's Valentine One.  Damn, that's two radar detectors we have lost in a week.  WTF?

We'll be back with a vengeance at next year's Supernationals!

Next year, we will be better prepared for the Supernationals.  Only problem is that I am sure there are going to be more fast guys giving up their built ICC/built Honda motors to hop into the stock Honda class, so it will be tougher to get to the podium.  But we still think we have a shot at third place!

Monday, November 20, 2005
Wayne goes to Moran.  I still have a bit of a cold that I am trying to shake from Vegas, so I decide to sit out today.  Wayne runs a 1:04.91, so he's the current king of the hill between him, Jeff, and myself.

The next event is the Pro Kart Challenge/Gatorz event at Moran, going backwards, on Dec 3/4.  Practice on the 3rd, and race day on the 4th.  Our class races at 9:00 a.m. and 11:50 a.m. on Sunday.  We plan on being on the podium, using some Cheating Bastard tactics.

Monday, November 27, 2005
We go out to practice with Paul, Heidi, Ota, and Jason.  I get there at 9:30 a.m., and the track doesn't open until 10:00 a.m.  We try to convince the track attendant to let us run the track in reverse for a couple of sessions, since no one else is here on this early on a Monday morning.  Unfortunately for us, he says no.  He is not susceptible to bribes.  Someone must have warned the track that we would try to get some Cheating Bastard practice when no one was looking.  Damn!  Maybe we won't be on the podium, as we only have three 10 minute practice sessions before qualifying on Saturday.  Maybe we should have been cone-dodgers when we were younger, so we could learn to memorize a track quickly.  I beat Wayne today, running a 1:05.01 in the regular direction.  Let's see what we can do in the reverse direction this Saturday.  It won't be pretty.....

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