By 11:30 a.m., when I had returned to NCM Motorsports Park from a meeting, the road course and 1/8th-ish mile had been shut down and the autocross was in full swing. Amazingly, the Lincoln Mark VII that had been towed off of the race course with a dead electrical system had been brought back to life, as had the SN-95 Mustang whose radiator had been punctured by a brittle cone. The temperature had climbed to an almost balmy 19°F, which meant squat in the real world. Cars were working cones, workers were shagging cones (you know what I meant, stop laughing) and in between, people were hitting up the Shogun food truck for something warm to eat.
The attrition among the ranks continued. The SN-95 Mustang might have been sporting a new radiator, but the crucial step of burping the system was forgotten and the Mustang was “vurping” coolant any and everywhere it damn well pleased. The black Lincoln of Tichenor Towing seemed to be unhappy, Team PPM’s Nissan had a hose collapsing in on itself in the intake area, and the green Camaro convertible was up in the air, getting a catalytic converter cleared out. But those were minor maladies on cars that were pretty much heaps to begin with.
The Team69KOTH 2001 Cadillac Eldorado, on the other hand, had an issue and no amount of tools was gonna fix it. The VATS system on the car at some point had been messed with or bypassed, and during the runs something went wrong and the Cadillac went into “I’m being stolen!” mode and refused to start. Period. It wouldn’t even crank over. Everybody descended on the Eldorado to test all sorts of theories, from unhooking the battery to taking a hammer to the column to a Simon Sez-style code induction system that felt like you were trying to Konami Code the car. Unfortunately for the team, the Caddy was sick of everybody and refused to play along, so that meant that two teams would wind up sharing the reserve vehicle of shame: the KOTH HOE, a bright-yellow Pontiac Aztek.
When the decision was made to abandon the “Fatillac” to it’s temper tantrum, the autocross was shutting down and the rallycross was gearing up to get started. Do not be fooled by the gorgeous skies and the phrase “peak temperature”, twenty-six degrees with a breeze still is damn cold. The ground was dry and dusty and the hay bales that had been set out were pretty much bricks. Hauling ass in the grass seems to be a racer favorite at KOTH, and any and all cars that were still alive lined up for their shot at glory. This wasn’t a time to hold back and nobody did…not the Oldsmobile that lost all forward gears and reversed off of the track, not the Hyundai that drifted it’s way through the course, and not even the case of the hay bale-humping Mark VII, who ended up getting black-flagged and high-centered when the throttle stuck at wide-open. But no team gave the standing crowd what they wanted more than Team Whop A Peelie. With the Mustang’s coolant system somewhat back to useable, they came out and proceeded to throw sanity directly into the cloud of dust:
The photos do not do justice just how far over that car was on two wheels. Jimi Day later said, “I looked over and all I saw was roof.” And that ain’t a joke. Between the stunt driving and the “keep fighting” attitude with a car that was puking coolant like Linda Blair in The Exorcist, they won the PowerStop award for Round Two. (In case you were wondering, those rotors were supposed to be on the Z28 that I killed at the first event. They are now trophies.)
With half of the first season over, and two more races to go, there are questions: what cars are going to live long enough to see a third beating? Whose cars aren’t coming back (besides the Camaro that slapped the wall)? Will we see new entries? And will I be allowed to drive a car next time, or will I have to scrub “McTaggart’s Corner” clean with a toothbrush first? Round 3 will be held on February 3rd, 2018 and we will be there to find out! Meantime, check out the PM gallery from Round Two!
Car Casualty List (that we know of):
- Dang, Bros Camaro: Completely and utterly destroyed by pit wall
- Tichenor Towing Lincoln LS: unknown malady
- Team69KOTH Eldorado: Went into anti-theft mode courtesy of VATS system
- Lincoln Mark VII: Not dead, but black-flagged after throttle stuck wide-open
- Prestige WorldWide Malibu Maxx: Might be dead, known to be bleeding oil badly
- KOTH HOE Pontiac Aztek loaner: Puked fluids during rallycross. Dead for sure? Unknown.