Pro Kart Challenge and Gatorz Race Dec 3/4, 2005
Reaching for the Podium
Each Time We Get a Little Closer

Looking good!  Except the stupid helmet camera didn't work this weekend
Image by Steve Bullard at

Here's a quick update to end the old year, and bring in the New Year!

Saturday, December 3rd
The next race was a non-points race at Moran, the catch being that we are running the track backwards.  Normally, PKC runs their races on Saturday, which makes it so that we still have Sunday to spend with our families.  This PKC/Gatorz race is a two day event, with practice and qualifying on Saturday, and the race on Sunday.  We were kinda worried about this race, as rumor had it that we only get three 10 minute practice sessions to prepare for this race.  Moran did not allow any practice days going backwards, so it would be a new track for everyone.  Normally, we need about 1000 laps before we feel comfortable with a track.  Musta been all that alcohol from our younger days that affected our short term memory.  Luckily for us, Pro Kart Challenge organizers made a decision to change the schedule, and allowed us to have five 10 minute practice sessions prior to qualifying.  They also change it so that on Sunday, we have a short practice, two 10 lap heat races, and a 25 lap main race.  Three races in one day!

Wayne fantasizing that he's gonna be on the podium
Image by Steve Bullard at

The night prior to this race, Kayla woke up about three times between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m.  I end up getting 2 hours of sleep.  This is gonna be rough race day.  Four hours of sleep I can sorta function, but only two hours is tough.


We throw on the new tires, and we have about 12 minutes to throw down a fast lap time.  There is a little bit of traffic in the beginning, but after getting the tires warmed up and some clear room, I run a 1:05.592 which puts me on row 2, in front of Jeff and Wayne.  Ha ha.  Nick Halen, coming off his win in the Stock Honda class at the Supernationals, crushes the field with a blistering 1:04.483.  Let's just say the rest of us are racing for 2nd place and 3rd place.  Jeff and Wayne are right behind me on the grid, so before the first heat race, we are all pointing fingers at each other saying, "Don't crash into me."  We are slotted in positions 4, 5, and 6.  Fernando is usually half a second faster than Wayne and I, but now I got it cut down to .25 seconds.  We are gaining ground on him. 

What Wayne and Jeff see after qualifying
Image by Steve Bullard at

Qualifying Results for Stock Honda Class

1 07 Nick Halen 1:04.483 3 56.945     5
2 45c Fernando Diaz 1:05.349 4 56.191 0.866 0.866 8
3 111 Randy McKee 1:05.499 5 56.062 1.016 0.150 11
4 55 Doug Hayashi 1:05.592 4 55.982 1.109 0.093 11
5 95 Jeff Littrell 1:05.773 5 55.828 1.290 0.181 10
6 800 Wayne Mello 1:06.140 6 55.519 1.657 0.367 11
7 3 Marty Henderson 1:07.048 4 54.767 2.565 0.908 11
8 88 Sean Bond 1:07.103 3 54.722 2.620 0.055 7
9 7 Jeff Krueger 1:08.030 7 53.976 3.547 0.927 11
10 14 Justin Krueger 1:08.118 10 53.906 3.635 0.088 10
11 12 Bryan Benso 1:08.248 6 53.804 3.765 0.130 8
12 11x Nicholas Krueger 1:08.668 6 53.475 4.185 0.420 10
Class: Spec2
1 8x Adam Ledford 1:07.440 5 54.448     6
2 37 Harris Koenig 1:07.981 3 54.015 0.541 0.541 7
3 36c Bill Cox 1:08.612 7 53.518 1.172 0.631 11
4 99 David Smock 1:10.770 7 51.886 3.330 2.158 10
5 10 Tim McClanahan 1:11.836 3 51.116 4.396 1.066 10

Heat 1
Green flag drops and there is some confusion.  Halen seems to have a mechanical problem with his kart on the warmup lap.  Bummer for him.  So now I only have Fernando and McKee in front of me on the grid.  I have been having decent starts using this stock Honda motor, as opposed to having horrendous starts with the old Vortex ICC motor.  This time is no exception.  I almost get a run going in between  Fernando and McKee into the first turn, but I restrain myself and opt to slot in behind them.  Near the end of the first lap, I look behind me for Wayne and Jeff to kamikaze me on one of the turns, but they aren't there.  Completing one lap and going into the turn 1, I see that there was a four kart pile up going into turn 1 on the start, and Jeff and Wayne are involved.  They are standing around, surveying damage on their kart.  Bummer for them.  Ha ha! 

Jeff's rear tire has a little extra toe in

I make a couple of mistakes shifting and missing some apexes, and Fernando and McKee are out of striking reach.  I opt to save my tires for the next races.   I end up taking 3rd in the first heat.  Heh.  I foresee a podium in my future.  Fernando is now only .18 seconds ahead of me.   Wayne ends up needing a new steering column, as it bent at 20 degree angle, and Jeff's rear axle is bent at a 30 degree angle.  With me in row 2, I don't have to deal with all the hacks behind me crashing into each other.  Ha! 

Wayne gridded behind me, as it should be!
Image by Steve Bullard at

Heat Race 1 Results

Class: Spec1
1 45c Fernando Diaz 10 10:58.802   1:06.094 5 55.557
2 111 Randy McKee 10 11:00.805 2.003 1:06.239 5 55.436
3 55 Doug Hayashi 10 11:17.556 18.754 1:06.274 5 55.406
4 3 Marty Henderson 10 11:28.710 29.908 1:07.811 8 54.151
5 12 Bryan Benso 10 11:37.256 38.454 1:09.003 9 53.215
6 11x Nicholas Krueger 10 11:46.018 47.216 1:09.909 4 52.525
Not Classified
DNF 14 Justin Krueger 6 6:58.151   1:08.826 6 53.352
DNF 88 Sean Bond 4 4:31.200   1:09.064 3 53.168
DNF 95 Jeff Littrell 0 --:--:--.---   --:--:--.--- 0 -
DNF 800 Wayne Mello 0 --:--:--.---   --:--:--.--- 0 -
DNF 7 Jeff Krueger 0 --:--:--.---   --:--:--.--- 0 -
DNS 07 Nick Halen 0 --:--:--.---   --:--:--.--- 0 -
Class: Spec2
1 36c Bill Cox 10 11:29.236   1:08.433 7 53.658
2 8x Adam Ledford 10 11:32.989 3.753 1:08.695 6 53.454
3 37 Harris Koenig 10 11:37.437 8.201 1:08.885 9 53.306
Not Classified
DNF 99 David Smock 5 6:01.768   1:10.026 5 52.438
DNF 10 Tim McClanahan 0 --:--:--.---   --:--:--.--- 0 -

Concentrate.  Focus.  Think podium!
Image by Steve Bullard at

Heat 2
For the next race, I'm gridded 3rd, sitting pretty on the 2nd row.  Jeff, Wayne, and Halen are at the back of the pack, where they belong.  We are all gridded, revving out motors, the starter gives the signal to watch for the green light, and suddenly McKee in P2 waves his hand up to signal something is wrong with his kart.  But it's too late to signal for a "Do over".  Green light comes on, and some people hesitate before they launch thinking that there will be a restart, but Fernando and I are off to the races and start hauling ass outta there.   Those drivers behind us have some slow ass reactions!

Checking out the TAG racers coming down the front straight
Image by Steve Bullard at

Fernando's kart and tires seem real quick off the bat, but my kart doesn't seem to start sticking until midway through the heat race.  I make a couple more mistakes, and Fernando's outta reach.  Out of nowhere Mr. Halen (anybody running a full second faster than me should be referred to as "Mr.") comes blowing by me like I was standing still.   There's no way I can catch up to Halen and Fernando, so I cruise the kart into 3rd place, a comfortable 10 seconds head of Mr. Mello, who is in front of Jeff.   Fernando is now only .14 in front of me in terms of laptimes.  Wayne, Jeff, and I finish in 3rd, 4th, and 5th for the race.  Not bad for our 3 kart team!

Heat Race 2 Results

Class: Spec1
1 07 Nick Halen 10 10:48.368   1:04.626 6 56.819
2 45c Fernando Diaz 10 10:49.126 0.758 1:05.582 10 55.991
3 55 Doug Hayashi 10 10:59.627 11.259 1:05.724 4 55.870
4 800 Wayne Mello 10 11:10.140 21.772 1:06.254 6 55.423
5 95 Jeff Littrell 10 11:18.226 29.858 1:06.328 6 55.361
6 12 Bryan Benso 10 11:18.308 29.940 1:07.065 6 54.753
7 111 Randy McKee 10 11:18.433 30.065 1:05.442 7 56.111
8 14 Justin Krueger 10 11:21.251 32.883 1:07.976 6 54.019
9 88 Sean Bond 10 11:26.334 37.966 1:08.077 9 53.939
10 7 Jeff Krueger 10 11:26.853 38.485 1:07.928 10 54.057
11 11x Nicholas Krueger 10 11:27.413 39.045 1:07.968 8 54.025
12 3 Marty Henderson 10 11:47.993 59.625 1:07.117 3 54.710
Class: Spec2
1 8x Adam Ledford 10 11:20.980   1:08.195 6 53.846
2 36c Bill Cox 10 11:29.542 8.562 1:07.944 5 54.045
3 37 Harris Koenig 10 11:30.693 9.713 1:08.262 10 53.793
4 10 Tim McClanahan 9 10:48.114 1 Lap 1:11.263 2 51.527
5 99 David Smock 8 11:03.652 2 Laps 1:10.778 4 51.881

The Main Race.
So we go to the main race.   Halen's sitting in P1, running almost a full second faster than Fernando in the previous race.  We ain't catching Halen unless he breaks or crashes.  Fernando's in P2, and I'm sitting in P3, with Wayne next to me on Row 2, and Jeff right behind me in Row 3.  We do our usual, "Don't you ffing crash into me into turn 1" warnings between the three of us. 

Wayne tightening up bolts on his kart
Image by Steve Bullard at

Green flag drops, and we are off.  I hold my position in P3, and Halen and Fernando start pulling away from me.  After about 5 laps or so, I look back and Wayne is a couple of seconds behind me.  He'll never catch me.  He's half a second a lap slower than me.  Ha ha.  On lap five, hauling ass out of the sweeper on the back side of the track (it is kinda like the Streets of Willow hairpin after the bowl running clockwise), I brake hard for the 2nd gear turn and I SPIN!  I never spin in a race.  Shit.  Wayne goes blowing by me.  Oh no!  I get back on the track, and the pursuit begins. 

Me checking bolts on my kart. Jeff with engine builder Darcy Decoste in the background.
Image by Steve Bullard at

On lap 8, Halen breaks!  So now Fernando is in first, Wayne's in 2nd, and I'm in 3rd!  We got two shots for the podium, providing we can keep Jeff and McKee behind us.  Around lap 13, McKee gets by me, and now he and Wayne are fighting for 2nd place.  I stay right on their butts.  This is gonna be a good race.  Going up to the corkscrew, we get into lapped traffic, and Wayne and McKee get by, and I try to force my way through right behind them, but realize I'm going to bang wheels with someone, so I hit the brakes in the turn, and unfortunately I spin the kart and stall it.  Damn!  I'm a moron, totally my mistake. I shoulda waited until the next couple of turns to pass.  Traffic gets by me, and 30 seconds later, the corner worker gets me restarted.  I'm no longer a podium contender.  Wayne can't hold off McKee, but is able to hold onto 3rd place for his first podium finish!  Jeff apparently had brake problem in the first lap, and crashed out.   In two race days, Jeff has run 4 heats and two mains, but has only finished 2 heat races, and DNF'ed the other four.  He's an SCCA Sports 2000 Champ, but I'm whupping on him so far.  I wonder what would happen if I jump into a Sports 2000 car? Would I be faster than Jeff?  Makes me go humm...

Final Results, Main Race

Class: Spec1
1 45c Fernando Diaz 25 27:10.878   1:05.282 5 56.248
2 111 Randy McKee 25 27:23.778 12.900 1:05.296 10 56.236
3 800 Wayne Mello 25 27:32.217 21.339 1:06.027 6 55.614
4 88 Sean Bond 25 28:02.513 51.635 1:06.753 22 55.009
5 3 Marty Henderson 25 28:02.877 51.999 1:06.431 22 55.275
6 55 Doug Hayashi 24 27:21.085 1 Lap 1:05.630 9 55.950
7 11x Nicholas Krueger 24 27:23.118 2.033 1:08.262 18 53.793
8 14 Justin Krueger 24 27:23.262 2.177 1:08.200 18 53.842
9 7 Jeff Krueger 24 28:04.312 43.227 1:08.691 10 53.457
Not Classified
DNF 12 Bryan Benso 9 10:21.473   1:08.228 8 53.820
DNF 07 Nick Halen 8 8:18.858   1:04.639 7 56.808
DNF 95 Jeff Littrell 1 1:31.839   --:--:--.--- 1 -
Class: Spec2
1 8x Adam Ledford 25 28:00.555   1:06.997 23 54.808
2 10 Tim McClanahan 23 28:15.680 2 Laps 1:11.347 2 51.467
3 99 David Smock 22 27:12.458 3 Laps 1:11.064 18 51.672
Not Classified
DNF 37 Harris Koenig 21 23:53.576   1:08.518 19 53.592
DNF 36c Bill Cox 15 16:58.502   1:07.275 10 54.582

I blame the spins during the race on the equipment.  It can't be me.  On the laser alignment tool, the camber of my kart is off 2 degrees on one side, maybe that contributed to it?  I tell 2Wild that I'll drop the kart off at their shop and see if they can get that 2 degrees back to 0 degrees by bending the frame.



Wayne becomes the first between me, him and Jeff to make it to a PKC podium

Afterward accepting his trophy, Wayne said that being on the podium in 3rd place made him feel like a loser, since he had two guys in front of him.  So he was really the "loser" in terms of people on the podium.  So we push onward, trying to make it to the top of the podium.  We still have a few tricks up our sleeve.....

Pro Kart Challenge takes over SKUSA

December 17th, 2005
Pro Kart Challenge announces that they are taking over Superkarts USA(SKUSA).  SKUSA are the folks that put on events like the Supernationals and other regional events across the nation.  The PKC events are known for their great organization and lots of seat time for the drivers.  Imagine what they could do with the Supernationals event in Vegas for 2006!

Unlike some kart clubs that have 9 or 10 run groups, PKC has been running only 4 run groups in the Southern California area.  Not sure what their plans are for other regions, but I'm sure the Tom Kutcher Army is gonna take a stab getting more publicity and exposure for the karting world, as well as building up the customer base so we can get more people to race with.  What are you guys waiting for?  Buy/borrow a shifter or TAG kart and attend a PKC event.  You'll be hooked on the Go-Fast Crack Pipe!

I pick up my kart from 2Wild.  They were able to re-bend the frame so that camber on both sides is back to 0, instead of one side being a -2 degrees.

Monday, December 19th
On our practice day at Moran, Wayne and I make a radical break through.  There were only about 7 people at the track on this day.  Not sure if it was a mental thing, or if the track was freaky fast, or if we just suddenly understand what we have to do to go fast.  We check our laptimes against the results from the PKC race here in September, and realize that either of us could have been on pole with our laptimes that we ran today on old tires.  Unfortunately for me, I can't gloat too much, as Wayne beats me by 1/10th of a second.  Something isn't quite right with Jeff's kart, so he doesn't make the big breakthrough like we did today.   I attribute my spins in the race because of the 2 degrees of camber that the alignment was off.  That had to be it....

The light bulb in our brain goes on. We have achieved Karting Nirvana at Moran

For the next 10 days, we become obsessed with looking at the charts from the Mychron data, checking out sector times, reading books on karting, etc.  We are probably over analyzing everything.

December 25th, Christmas Day
Merry Christmas!  We have less people for Xmas dinner than we usually have, so no big poker game.  Instead, I play gin rummy with my uncle for a couple of hours after dinner.  I'm up $40 bucks playing a $5/$10 game after two hours.  Ha.  Then I somehow lose something like 12 games in a row.  Unbelievable bad streak.  I end up losing $100 bucks.  Ouch!

December 27th
We go to DEFCON 2 with our karting plans.  We spend 30 man hours working on the trailers.  We pull the NSX and 25 rims/tires for the Evo/S2000/NSX out of the 48 footer.  We pull all the car racing stuff out of the big trailer.  We fix all three of the older karts, and prep our newer karts for the next practice day.  We empty the small karting trailer out and put the karting equipment in the 48 footer, along with my kart, Jeff's kart, Wayne's kart, my old kart, Wayne's old kart, the spare kart, and Paul and Heidi's kart into the trailer.  We now have all our spare parts/tools/extra rims/tires/tire changer/etc in the 48 footer.  The trailer is COMPLETELY packed with karting stuff.  We need a 52 footer. We figure we roll with the 48 footer until a highly desirable car event comes up, and then we can spend a day moving the karting stuff out and putting the car stuff back in.  Jason spends about 10 hours fixing the Evo, replacing some bearings.  He still needs a few more hours to finish it up. 

Wednesday, December 29th
We go to the track with Jeff, Andy, Jason, Andy's stepson Eric who was two days away from going back to fighting in Iraq, Paul and Heidi, Wayne Kimball and Matt Kimball.  Paul and Heidi buy a spec Darcy Decoste Honda motor, and 2Wild puts it on the used kart they bought from Slava.  Wayne and I throw on new tires to see if our kart setup is correct for new tires, or did we dial in the kart for old tires?  Unfortunately, there are about 50+ people here on this practice day, so it is tough to get a clean lap.   The few times we get a clean lap, our laptimes suck.  Now we don't feel so fast.  And we had new tires today.  Shit.

10 days later the light bulb in our brain shatters.  We are back to sucking!

Were last week's fast laptimes a fluke?  I guess we will have to wait until the January 7th race to see if we really have a shot at the top of the podium.  That is, if Mr. Halen doesn't show up....otherwise we have to set our sights on 2nd place.

We are working on running 6 karts out of the trailer for the race on January 7th.  Me, Wayne, Jeff, Paul Taylor, Ota, and Jason are trying to prep karts for the event. 

The Building
On the building front, we decided that the tax implications of selling the building for a profit were too much to handle.  The government and real estate agents together would make more money than we would. We end up renting the building to our friend Teddy, who started up Sureshine Stone and Tile Technology.  He's got a bunch of vans equipped with stone polishing machines, and is plotting becoming the Big Gorilla in the stone polishing market.  He also plays outfield on our softball team.  He's renting 8000 square feet of the building, and we are saving 2600 square feet for ourselves, as we are running out of room on the Pulp Racing side of the Phoneguys building. 

Call Teddy for all your stone polishing needs at (866) 346 - 2121

We had to get rid of the six paint booths, paint baking oven, an 8'x15' paint storage bin, a bunch of racks, and six smokestacks.  Wayne "Mr. Ebay" Mello put all this stuff on Ebay with the caveat that who ever wins the bidding, has to remove the stuff for free.  He sold everything except for the smokestacks, so we found someone to remove that.   Here's some random pictures of the building stuff we had to remove.  Total cost for removing all this crap?  $3000 bucks or so, thanks to Mr. Ebay.  We got Mark repainting the inside of the building.  Threw some new carpet in the offices.  Instead of looking like a beat-up, run down building, it now looks like an average building.  A little more fixing up and hopefully it will look like prime real estate!

We still need to blow out one of the garage doors so we could potentially put the 48 footer on our side of the new building.  Since Teddy does stone refinishing, we are hoping he's gonna refinished the cement floor inside our building for a discount.  Have you ever gotten a quote to refinish and paint the floor of 10,600 square feet of concrete?  It's recockulous!

More 1980's Lakers vs. Celtic Weirdness
Quite  few people made some comments to me about the 1980's Lakers vs. Celtics rant from the last story.  This guy below understands what I'm talking about. 
Larry Bird Inspires Man's Longer Jail Term
8:04 AM PST - Friday, October 21, 2005
AP Staff

A man got a prison term longer than prosecutors and
defense attorneys had agreed to all because of Celtics great Larry Bird.

The lawyers reached a plea agreement Tuesday for a 30-year term for a man accused of shooting with an intent to kill and robbery. But Eric James Torpy wanted his prison term to match Bird's jersey number 33.

"He said if he was going to go down, he was going to go down in Larry Bird's jersey," Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott said Wednesday. "We accommodated his request and he was just as happy as he could be.

"I've never seen anything like this in 26 years in the courthouse. But, I know the DA is happy about it."

You think he'd ever be caught dead driving a Purple and Gold shifter kart?  Hell no!  I'm sure he hates the Lakers as much as I hate the Celtics.  If not more...

Friday, December 30th.
It looks like Tony Kart USA will not have a formal USA distributor for their products in the US since Compcor retired from the Tony Kart business.  From now on, Tony Kart USA dealers will have to order directly from Italy.  2WildKarting decides to jump in with both feet and become a "defacto distributor" and orders close to 30(thirty!) 125 cc & 100cc Tony Kart chassis to be delivered in mid January.  This will ensure a good supply of karts/parts on hand for USA/Mexico customers.  Reserve yours now before they sell out!  See if you can out qualify and out race the Pulp Racing team at the track!

2WildKarting has huge shipment of Tony Kart Chassis arriving soon!
Phone: 1-949-206-9906,  Email:

Saturday, December 31st
Happy New Year!   May your racing be fast and clean, and may you never DNF in 2006!

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