Triumph 675 Forums banner

OMG! I never knew what I was missing on 4 wheels!

379 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  firestarter
I'm rarely here anymore, and don't feel like I know anyone in the main forum section, but I do still know most of you... Had to share this!

So Thursday started our fall break at school and that coincided with an event called Fun Fest at the Brownstown Raceway about 40 minutes from my house. I have a buddy that works in the vocational school connected to my high school who had a small race team that was participating in the event.

I decided to grab a case of beer and head down for the evening to hang out in the pits with those guys and check out the dirt track racing.

These guys race mini sprints... a small winged sprint car chassis with a 1000cc Motorcycle Engine, running alcohol, chain drive, solid rear axle and torsion bar front and rear suspension. Pretty trick little pieces of kit. Most run either a GSXR or R1 motor.

So, it turned out that they had 3 cars and only 2 drivers, so they decided that it would be fun to put me in one for the practice laps to see how I did. They cobbled together a complete race outfit from the three of them (my one buddy is undergoing chemo and still has a port in, so that is why they were short a driver) for me to wear.

I strapped myself in and tooled around the pits getting the feel for the clutch (I killed it several times). They use a hand clutch and shifter setup that is just outside the cockpit and a foot brake and throttle.

After getting the feel for it, they strapped me in and the other two led me out to the shoot to enter the track for practice. We turned about 5 laps and headed back to the pits! Man was that fun! I have never driven a sprint car or any kind of car on a dirt track before, but sliding sideways while hard on the throttle was so cool!

I got back to the pits and celebrated the fact that I didn't spin out and didn't wreck. In fact, I pulled a guy down the back stretch and into the 3rd turn during practice.

The guys decided that practice wasn't enough and they were going to strap me in for the sprint race. We went down to the race entry building and put my name in as the driver. I then went and watched the full sprint cars run some hot laps and returned to the pits.

I got ready to head to the shoot to line up for the race. I had drawn the 9th place on the grid, so I was on the inside row in the last position. There were only 10 cars in the heat race. We rolled out onto the track, ran one lap under yellow and then took the green flag. We were bunched up really tight for the start and I dove into the first turn dead even with the 8th place car. I got inside him headed into the turn and was dead even as we came through 2, but I got a bit greedy on the throttle and spun up the rear and he got the drive on me headed down the back stretch. I settled in behind him after the first lap and just tried to stay right on his tail.

The 10th place car came around me on about lap 5, but I went right back past him with a low to high slide job in turns 3/4 and stayed in front of him for the remainder of the race. I tried not to get too greedy, because the car I was driving was for sale and the buyer was supposed to pick it up the next day. I wanted to make sure I returned it in one piece to my buddy. I ended up finishing 9th, didn't spin out and didn't crash. All of the other racers were experienced, so I felt like I did a decent job of not embarrassing myself. I finished less than 2 seconds behind the winner. The 5 lap practice session was my first time on a dirt track and I had never even sat in a mini sprint until that night.

All in all, the whole evening was a blast! Here's a quick pic...

Not really a motorcycle, but at least a motorcycle engine.

I wonder how a 955i motor or a 1050 motor would do in this environment, given the better torque curve. You basically get on track and get into 2nd or 3rd gear, depending on the sprockets you are running, and leave it in that gear for the whole race. I was spinning up the rear every time I would exit the corner and head down the front or back stretch.

See less See more
1 - 1 of 2 Posts
i thought everything in America was bigger but that car looks smaller than a fiat 500!:smilielol5:still looks like fun though and nice to see you around.
you probably noticed that your the first to post in the coocoo's nest in at least four months.
1 - 1 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.