2010 Chumpcar Nashville 9, Part Deux

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An hour before the checkered flag, we had the lead by four laps. Our final driver was in the car, fueled and back on course, running what would prove to be some of the fastest laps of the day for our team. The sun had come out, the track was dry--all we had to do was hang on to our lead. But a screamingly quick stint from the Blitzen Benz saw us losing 4-5 seconds per lap, and the calculations all said we'd be passed for the lead within minutes of the 9-hour mark. The anticipation in the pits was palpable. When the cars came around for the final time and the checkers flew, it was the Blitzen team in the lead, our White Lightning Honda in second place, just 43 seconds behind.

We'd lost the lead just 10 minutes from the end of the race after having led for nearly four hours straight. It was anti-climactic, but we had to acknowledge both the brilliant driving and fantastic fuel strategy of the Benz team in producing their victory. And in the end, we walked away with a trophy, a decent check, four bottles of wine, and an incredible day of racing.

What you may have noticed by now is that despite Chumpcar's $500 "crapcan" racing premise, it's not the track-apalooza fiasco that is the 24 Hours of LeMons. The partying, car themes, and antics of the judges don't take center stage, with the racing relegated to a pastime between episodes of the "real" show. We love LeMons, too, but Chumpcar fills a hole in the current landscape of budget endurance road racing that those of us that love competition as much as we love a cold beer or a good laugh deeply appreciate. It's real racing, and it's real fun.

Rain Or Shine, The Race Is On
Rain, rain, go away! After the deluge that cut short the first running of the 2010 Nashville 9--a truly surreal storm that saw some counties reach 300-year flood marks, caused 29 deaths, and dumped over 13 inches of rain in two days over most of middle Tennessee--we were hoping for dry weather for the second running of the 2010 Chumpcar Nashville 9. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be, though the rain that did come was of the conventional sort, for the most part.

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Comments (4)
  1. Excellent, well-written account of yesterday's race, Nelson. Much appreciation for your balanced coverage of a great endurance event as well as your comparative analysis of ChumpCar, LeMons, SCCA, etc. Let's attract more serious road-racers to ChumpCar World Series. John Condren and his colleagues are offering us a wonderful opportunity for terrific competition on first-rate courses.
    Maybe on our next encounter, Mother Nature will tip the scales in your favor. In the meantime, keep going fast---and safely.
    Warren Board
    Blitzen Benz Team

  2. Very good! Im glad to see some positive articles about the $500 car racing. I also like the ChumpCar Guys. Mr Boggs Went out his way to help us. John even gave us a trophy for Blowing up.... Had a great time. See you at Roebling!!
    Micheal Peden
    #84 Chicken Pit Mustang

  3. Thanks so much for writing such a wonderful synopsis of our day of racing. You captured it. It was an honor to be a part of this event.
    Jane M. Bridges, MD
    Kentucky Spirits

  4. Loved the write-up. I wasn't at Nashville (raced with Chump @ Shannonville this weekend), but all your thoughts about the differences between LeMons and ChumpCar are spot-on. Chump is all about the race, LeMons is much more about the party and spectacle. It was great being able to drive all-out without worrying about a wiggle or slide taking my team out of contention.
    Anyone that reads this and has 5 friends with $600-$700 each should start checking craigslist for a chump-worthy car now.

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