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Open Track Challenge 2002 -- Pat and Mark's Vegas Vacation
Event 6

Buttonwillow Raceway, Buttonwillow CA

This is going to be a REALLY quick update, as Pat said I have to get some sleep...

We rented a garage space with Pat and Ray, drivers of this silver turbo Subaru.  Pat is famous for his internet video at Lime Rock, called simply "The Crash". 

(Editors note:  Pat Olsen informs me his Subaru is NOT turbocharged, earning it the dubious distinction of the absolute slowest car entered in the OTC.   Any power boost it receives comes from the 2 Syrian Hamsters and 1 Mongolian Gerbil that are squirreled away under the hood.  Fortunately Pat is a skilled driver, and his poor rodent-propelled Subaru humiliated several other drivers in the final standings.)

After my usual scooter ride around the track, I got to work fixing the duct tape spoiler.  It seems to need reworking every now and then, probably why the factory chose to use the more durable ABS plastic.  Today we'll be driving the same Buttonwillow track we drove two days ago, but this time in reverse, and also with a few turn changes as well.    The track is MUCH more difficult in this direction, with several challenging braking zones, and some difficult late apex / decreasing radius turns.

Guess who came back to the track, this time in force?  Yes its true, Brown is really addicted to racing.  Buttonwillow Raceway can be seen from Interstate 5, so I suppose these guys can stop by when they see some good action going on.

Believe me, your package is in good hands with these guys.    And if your wondering just where it is, then try Buttonwillow Raceway!  Brown works really hard to get packages to their destination on time, especially if the destination is the race track.  I must admit, I have always been happy with the service I get from Brown, so I'm just kidding guys...

The Pulp Racing NSX lost its lightweight lexan rear window during a testing session (it blew out at high speed and they couldn't find it!), so they are fitting the standard glass one back into place.

Pulp Racing's other entry, driven by Wayne Mellow, is out with a blown headgasket.  Wayne was putting up an excellent battle for first place overall when this mechanical failure put him out of contention.

But don't worry, he'll get home ok, as their trailer can easily hold both cars.  Have you visited the Pulp Racing website yet?  They are posting real time updates, just like we are, only probably better!

To the left is the Turbo II RX-7, to the right the Miata R with some recent modications to lose weight and add power.  The Miata is now a real contender now that it sports new tires, and looks to be the spoiler in this event.

One of the Unlimited Porsche 914 race cars.   Obviously this one is towed from track to track, and not street driven.

Today was tough for us because we finished 3rd in class, despite our absolute best efforts.   The Turbo II RX-7 finished first, and the Miata R second, so now we are tied for First Place in Touring 4 with the Turbo II RX-7. 

Tomorrow the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will dictate who wins Touring 4.  If the RX-7 finishes ahead of us, he wins.  If we finish ahead of the RX-7, we win.  Its that simple.  No one else really has enough points to win T4, so its a showdown between us and them.   The RX-7 beat us at Buttonwillow twice, and also at the Streets of Willow.  We beat the RX-7 at Pahrump, Willow Springs, and ThunderHill.  A split decision, so far! 

We hit the road for Vegas at about 4:30, but the winding roads take us over the mountains, and sometimes they are only 2 lanes, with lots of truck traffic.  So it will be a late travel day for us.  The scenery is getting more beautiful, with rugged hills covered with tan grasses and green trees.

Now here is a man after my own heart.  He puts the likeness of his dog on the back of his trailer!  This is Turbo Dog, the team mascot!

I am sorry for the really short update, but sleep is a very strong consideration right now.   I almost fell asleep at the track today!  Pat insists I get a good nights rest for the battle ahead.  Expect an update shortly with the final results!


      Go to the next part of the adventure:  Las Vegas