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  1. #1
    Member ken bouq's Avatar
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    Default Road America June Sprints

    I follow Apex daily but I've seldom posted on Apex but thought it might be time.

    It was nice to be back at Road America for the June Sprints after not being there since 2006 in a tin top. Its a long bumpy haul from the NorthWest hills of Connecticut but I was in the points chase so I made the trip out. The facility is nicer than ever, absolutely beautiful.

    Jay Messenger had a nasty crash on Friday and I spoke with him Friday night. He got banged up pretty good but he said with a smile, "I'm still a racer!" What a great grassroots guy. Hope you made it home safely and get well soon Jay.

    Saturday was a dry 25 minute green to checker race under a hot sunny Wisconsin sky and lots of fun. F600 guys were flying and the V's were watching their mirrors. Congrats to Mateo for the sweep! New pavement is slick, challenging, and fast as always...

    Sundays Main race was a sh*t show with what I thought was a terrible call from race control while a few of us fought for the Hoosier Super Tour points lead.
    I've been on track 28 days and ran 17 races since Jan 1 2023 with both FRP and the SCCA Super Tour because I love to race but this final race of the tour really made me think hard about spending lots of money and lots of my precious time in life on SCCA racing going forward.
    I have always personally looked forward to the longer 35 minute races where car setup, tire management, and driver conditioning/skill truly comes into play and we ended up getting 2.5 laps. All those miles traveled hauling, 35+ hours spent on car prep before the race, all the funds, weeks away from my wonderful wife, for 2.5 laps in the main, ridiculous.
    Granted, almost the whole field made the wrong tire choice and the weather turned against us but the "risk to reward" decisions made on track and the money I saw spent on wrecked cars in "for fun" racing has made me look closely at the future of Super Tour FF racing for me.
    I made a mistake and spun in the pouring rain while I tried to gather it up on lap two coming into Canada corner as Cliff and I jockeyed for position, so I slowed down when I got going again. I kept it on the pavement although the risk of wrecking my car in the pouring rain while on slicks wasn't worth it for me but the rules and final outcome don't seem logical or sensible considering it was the final race in the points chase.

    Race control could have brought out the pace car and taken a final lap when the five wrecked cars were in the wall and way off the track. They could have let the field pass start finish and throw the red flag there. I spoke with Race Control afterwards and they said, "we are on a time restraint and we were worried about oil on the new surface, we want a green/white/checker, you could have went to Portland and got easy points." All BS in my mind. Someone oiled the entire front straight the day before. Hey SCCA, how about less than nine damn race groups and giving some time between races like they used to do years ago for situations just like this. How about understanding the points chase, whose involved, and making better "shoot from the hip" decisions. I'm here to race good drivers, not drive around alone for points.

    The rules reverted back to the last full lap so one of the guys who pounded into the wall was on the podium, oh yeah, but he wasn't there because he was probably still at medical getting cleared. How does this rule make any sense, especially in the last race of the season when its a points chase with multiple drivers, none of which were the many guys who pounded into the wall and "caused" the red flag. How about the driver that was blowing thru the field by making the right tire choice and deserved to be on the podium!
    My phone blew up after the race with texts from family, friends, and racers who all said, "this is complete BS, they crashed out !"

    I've seen this rule take effect before more than once in my many decades of racing. This time I was on the short end of the stick, and that's racing. Regardless I wont be attending any more SCCA races in 2023 in FF as planned or going to the 2023 Run-Offs as planned since I got knocked out of the points chase with a BS call. Maybe I'll get over it and come back again next year in FF but likely I won't because the same people will be making the same baseless decisions. SCCA probably just lost another FF racer.

    I'm getting faster every weekend with lots of seat time while personally prepping my Mygale (GrassRoots), so for the rest of the season I'll stick with FRP, 9 races to go in 2023 !!

    Go right ahead , break out the torch and start scorching.
    Last edited by ken bouq; 06.28.23 at 9:52 PM.

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  3. #2
    Contributing Member CheckeredFlag's Avatar
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    Ferdinand, Indiana
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    I was working corner 6-Flags under the Corvette Bridge on Friday and could see Jay's incident with my binoculars. My comm guy let everyone know on the net that I had seen Jay on the stretcher but looking OK since other corner workers were concerned. He was told on the net that was a "...violation of HIPPA." I call B.S. on that. We were not his medical team nor involved in his care; we're 3rd-party volunteers.

    It was our first time ever racing at RA in our FE2. My son (the driver) is totally PO'd at the whole handling of the weekend. He also doesn't want to return.

    We needed 9 groups, though. STU and STL got split from T2/T3/T4 or it would've been 70 cars. FA/FC/FE2/FX/P1/P2 in a combined group would have been 75 cars! SRF3 with 76 was just nuts. No way you put 75 big-bore o/w cars on a track at the same time, even if it is the 4.0 mile RA.

    The June Sprints was off the charts in attendance; a good thing. However, when classes are allowed to run Super Tours that couldn't maintain the 4.0 two-year Majors attendance average, we get huge turnouts for a couple big events at bucket-list tracks. This was one of those times.
    Dean Fehribach
    Car owner: SCCA Enterprises FE2 chassis #037.
    Car owner: 2017 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Autocross STU

  4. #3
    Classifieds Super License Messenger Racing's Avatar
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    Muleshoe, Texas USA
    Liked: 147

    Default June Sprints

    Thanks for the kind words all... I am home and following the orders of my bosses (wife, daughters, Doc, crew) Concussion, cracked clavicle - trauma to shoulder - more MRIs this week.

    CheckeredFlag - you are correct - a ton of folks were asking about me and all SCCA emergency workers/paid or volunteers are hereby absolved of all HIPPA claims! I was amazed at the number of race volunteers and competitors checking on me.

    Many outside of the midwest may not know that RaceDog has a mission to raise money for rescue dogs and race folks - we have given away over $2,000 in RMDIV volunteer cash awards since founding with all of the money coming from drivers. We are all about our volunteer/emergency working community - many cars and emergency vehicles carry the RaceDog logo in the midwest.

    Ken - Regarding the finish - I think we have to find a way to avoid a decision that allows the cars that caused the red flag to earn finishing positions/points ahead of cars that were still running and ahead of them on track when the red flag was displayed. I believe that the cars causing the red flag should not benefit from causing the red flag. In an extreme example (which nearly happened) the top three cars could all crash and take each other out on the last corner of the Runoffs causing a Red Flag all and forcing the race to not allow for a restart for whatever reason. The June Sprints protest ruling precedent would say that the podium would go to the wrecked cars and not the next three who were running and legitimately should be podium finishers.

    Two options I would have investigated - if I were King RaceDog - which I am not and glad for that as well...

    1. Could the drivers in the wreck been subsequently penalized below those still running/ physically ahead on the track even if the last lap data had to be used. I do think the video showed the track blocked by emergency vehicles so I do understand that even driving the cars around to complete the next lap was tough - however they did eventually do that with entrance onto pit lane to clear the track so there is an argument that we could have used option 2.

    2. the cars could have/and did complete the next lap and I am curious why the checker could not have be waved as they crossed the S/F behind the pace car on pit lane with one more lap completed.

    So bottom line - I am not giving up on SCCA - I am an avid supporter of her - warts and all - I have 44 years of road racing and have flipped three times - it just so happens all were last Friday! I have also not given up on SCCA after this ruling but I do believe the outcome is not what SCCA or the competitors want for key points races in its highest profile events - I think stewards should/maybe do have the ability to penalize cars positions when they cause an on track incident even if another lap couldn't be completed for timing and scoring.

    Still a little blurry this morning so forgive if this is rambling.
    Thanks all

    Last edited by Messenger Racing; 06.28.23 at 6:46 PM.
    Messenger Racing
    Muleshoe, Texas USA

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