6 Months

That’s how long I’ve been working on our car (aka ‘Cheesy’) for 24 Hours of Lemons and finally got to race it on the track. Six long months and I’ve finally done it. The first few minutes on the track I was a little emotional and when we finished up the race the second day I was emotional again. It’s an amazing feeling to put so much time into something and actually achieve it. It’s one of the best experiences of my life so far.

I honestly didn’t know what I was getting myself into in the beginning! Just finding the car and meeting the rules and regulations was a lot of work. Getting the car competitive was even more.

I’m incredibly proud of my teams and the car. It once was a piece of crap that ran on 4 of 6 cylinders, brakes barely worked, horrible suspension, bad tires and look liked crap. Now it’s actually slightly competitive; we can pass other (slow) cars!

The feeling of being on the track, racing bumper to bumper with other cars, squealing tires around turns, pushing yourself to brake later, accelerate harder and push yourself to the limit is an addicting experience. Working on a car with your bare hands, slowly improving it bit by bit is also addicting. Being able to point to something and say ‘I built that, it’s awesome because of me.’ is fulfilling.

Here’s a list of everything I can think of that we’ve done to the car:

  • Stripped interior, dash and all extraneous weight (glass, carpets, headlights, etc)
  • Had a roll cage installed
  • Installed racing seat and harness
  • Widened racing seat
  • Raised racing seat so we could see over the steering wheel
  • Mounted brake light to trunk
  • Installed fire extinguisher
  • Bled brakes (multiple times)
  • Upgraded all brakes and 2 rotors
  • Replaced engine (which also involves removing exhaust and drivetrain)
  • Lowered the suspension by cutting the springs
  • Installed new front struts
  • Had new straight exhaust installed
  • New rims & tires
  • Built new dashboard with gauges
  • Changed all fluids many times (oil, coolant, transmission, differential)
  • Built ghetto cool suit system (best thing ever for a hot race!)
  • Painted entire car
  • Installed kill switch
  • Decorated car
  • Replaced master brake cylinder (twice)
  • Mounted radio
  • And many other random things that broke or were required by the judges

We turned this:

Into this:

Our first race our fastest lap at Thunder Hill was 2:37, now our fastest lap is 2:33, so we’re definitely improving!

To wrap it all up here’s a video of our fastest lap. I’m super excited to race again in December!