Friday, December 30, 2016

PSA: Annual get on my soap box and preach about Winter Tires! :)

Public Service Announcement:

Every year I try to help spread the word of how much better life is with winter tires.

"The most common excuses I hear is I don't want to spend the $$ or not worth the hassle."
My response usually contains these points:
-one incident where the tow truck needs to be called out weighs both of those arguments.
-the increased safety margin....better grip in the turns, less likely to slide off the road, better braking distance
-save time....better acceleration....also one can travel faster during adverse weather, as the roads aren't as quite as much of a threat.
-you are saving your normal tires.  Let's assume one gets 40k miles out of a set of tires.  The average person drives 15k a year, so that makes their life span 2.67 years.  So if one simply drives on those tires for 9 months vs. 12; that means those tires will last 3.5 years.  PLUS during the winter one will spin the tires more, thus increasing wear.

All season tires are like a swiss army knife.  Yes they can a lot but they generally suck at it.  Yes you can open a wine bottle, gut a fish, install/remove screws, but a device dedicate for the given task will out perform the multinational tool.

Consumer Reports on the subject of Winter vs All Season tires

Monday, November 14, 2016

Compilation video from BIR

Pretty good video featuring a few people from SCCA-LOL and people at BIR.  My Miata is in the shot from the air.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

SCCA-LOL on TV again....

The TV show Detroit Muscle was at the O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Machine Nationals St. Paul, this past year and did a bit of filming. That episode has been aired and can be view at the link below.  The bit about the auto-x portion ran by SCCA-LOL starts around the 11 minute mark.  Apparently I avoided the camera this time!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

SCCA - Oct 8 PDX-- -- Drive or Volunteer!


Drive like a pro without worrying about getting a ticket!
Sign up for the Oct 8th PDX-Performance Driving Experience

Register now, whether you are a driver, instructor or a volunteer!

Discover the secrets race car drivers know to drive faster and safer while avoiding the "average" (and more careless) drivers who cause accidents.

Want more details?  Click here

Sign up NOW
for the Saturday, Oct 8th PDX at Dakota County Technical Center -- Space is limited, so don't wait!
You'll have fun!

If you are an experienced SCCA driver you CAN  be an Instructor.
Register at:

Classroom and Driving Instructors are available to help participants drive more effectively.

This is your chance to get on track and master car control.  Classes available for beginner through advanced.

Need more information?  Go to for the schedule/supps and tech form

or call Kathy at 763-241-8010

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Sprint races at BIR Labor Day.

Volunteers AND drivers Needed
Calling all volunteers
Saturday, Sep 3 — Sunday, Sep 4, 2016
1. Friday Night Bar-B-Q 6PM at Hospitality Tent sponsored by VSCR and LOL
2. Lunchtime Touring--FREE for volunteers and $10/car for general public
3. Our Saturday night Pizza party
Registration hours at BIR
Friday 5 - 9 PM
Saturday 7:30 - 11:00 AM
Sunday 7:45 - 8:30 AM
Morning meetings 8 AM at the bandshell both days, Saturday and Sunday.
Any special requests please Jim Gillen directly.
Go to for more details
Please go to to pre-register (or just let Jim Gillen know).

Friday, July 29, 2016


SCCA Track Day America on Wed evening, Aug 3--Volunteers and Drivers Invited!

SCCA National sponsors a DCTC Track night for Performance Driving and Accident Avoidance.

You can participate as a volunteer (Instructors, grid, corners, registration and others needed) or as a Driver. Join us for a great evening!

Date: August 03, 201603:00 PM - 09:00 PM CDT
Address: 1300 145th St E, Rosemount, MN, 55068

Questions? call Kathy at 763-241-8010


Need more information?  Go to

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Derelict car projects

Because I obviously don't have enough to do, let's take on more projects!  :)

1996 Mazda Miata, 242k (yes you read that right), "needs a water pump".....well yes it did have a 1/2 inch of play on the pulley.  I did a timing belt kit.

2001 VW Jetta GLX, 12v VR6, leather seats, automagic.  "Needs an radiator", has a check engine light, and lord knows what else.


7/31/16 Update...Miata runs!  Water pump, t-stat, radiator, timing belt, and a bunch of degreasing.  I was lazy and didn't do cam & crank seals, or lifters. She is a bit clicky, after two heat cycles it sounded better.  After sitting in a two year coma, and having really black oil, it isn't all bad; we will see after some fresh fluids.

2016 Ojibwe Forests Rally Volunteers

Volunteers are still needed in all specialties for the 2016 Ojibwe 
Forests Rally on August 26 & 27, just one month away!
We already have 38 registered competitors,  it’s going to be a great event.

Online registration is now open at

Early registration will be on Thursday the 25th from 6 to 9 pm at the 
Pavilion, and Friday registration is from 9-12 at the same place. 
We’ll have a brief worker meeting at 1:00 and first time volunteer 
training at 1:30 before leaving for the woods.  Be sure to bring food 
and water for the day, and bring extra insect repellant.

Bring a friend too, no experience necessary, so bring someone and 
introduce them to rally!

Thanks in advance for your help.

Jonathan Atkins
Chief of Controls
2016 Ojibwe Forests Rally

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July 4th Weekend @ BIR w/ NASA & TransAm

First from Patrick Price's Nissan 200sx...we have a great joust.  He had a better qualifying time than I and started ahead of me.  I get him on the opening lap, he chases me down for next six laps.  He finally gets by me, and I stay on him through all the twisty bits.  I finished 3rd in this race.
The same race from my car:

The 2nd race, it was decided to invert the field (guy w/ the slowest time goes first, fastest guy in the back).  Due to a timing glitch, I didn't post a time, and I was on pole!  Kinda scary having all the really fast guys storm past you all in a short time frame.  What was real interesting was the very first lap.  Look at the black Mustang that is two rows in front of the car in this video.  He jumps out onto the grass and passes two cars in the grass!  WOW!  When he came on track he cut the nose of my car off, had I not lifted I would have rear ended him.  Patrick starts to catch me in lap 7, I stick to his bumper, and almost got him back except for the Spec Racer Ford that got between the two of us.  I finished 3rd in this race as well.

Same race taken video taken from my car
Lindell Motorsports.  Spec Racer Ford rental, preparation, and support.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

July 4th weekend at BIR

Multi-club event.... SCCA TransAm will be there and NASA....good event to spectate, compete, or volunteer (some of the best seats in the house!).

Register for the July 4th TransAm weekend at BIR. LOL is providing workers in exchange for track time at our own events. Fast Fun! Click to register.

Drive your car on Brainerd International Raceway's Road Course! JoinNASA Central Region (National Auto Sport Association) for our track weekend at Brainerd. Drive your car on track July 2nd and 3rd - and spent July 4th with family and fireworks!

Try our new Hyperdrive option; You get two, 20 minutes sessions on track for $89 and driving instruction. Any car in sound mechanical condition can participate. Sign-up here:

SCCA-LOL Rally-X 6/12

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Harvey West Memorial Day Classic 2016

Video from an James Berlin's ITA Nissan Sentra....the exciting part is Lap 1, then lap 5~10.  

Video from my car from the same race. 

Last race, lap 1, turn 3...Miata spun, Nissan and Corrado went off track to avoid.

I was racing on this wheel!  I notice the crack in the spokes when changing back to rain tires.  This was probably a few laps away from a major incident!  FWIW, this is the wheel that suffered some impact from when I got hit last year.

Monday, May 23, 2016

WRL @ Brainerd Intl. Raceway 5/21&22/2016

Grid on Saturday
Turn #3 during pace lap.  Taken from the "tail pace-car" errrr....pace-truck/flat tow, thanks for the ride (and the multiple tows Jim Anderson!).
Pit stop, action shot...

This is what the head off of the 2nd motor looks like....the one that was ran low on got SOO hot it melted the oil pressure sensor and popped out the freeze plug!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

SCCA-LoL Tech-Day & Open House 4/17/16

Mark Your Calendar and join us on Sunday April 17th at Tech Day and Meet-Up
at West Side VW.  Now's the time to get your car teched and visit with SCCA friends.
PLUS, we have a great program to share how to get involved in racing and volunteering.  Bring your friends and family.  Join us for lunch, and share your racing stories.
Tech is open from 10am-2pm
Open house and SCCA promotion 12 noon -2:30pm

Volunteer workers are the heart and soul of racing, and we'll showcase how fun it is to be involved with racing, even if you aren't a driver.
Please help us grow SCCA-LOL!
Need more information?  Go to

A couple of pictures from this year:

Monday, April 11, 2016

World Racing League @ Mid-Ohio 4/9-10/16

Friday's practice day was cold miserable, several spots on the track had water running across the track making braking zones and track out points very interesting.  Taking a rain line with our front wheel drive yielded us times besting most of the way faster BMW's, mostly in being able to put power down on corner exit.  Considering the forecast and we learned on Friday we had seriously considering acquiring a set of all season tires (or as I refer to them as: "no-season tires".  We discovered a transmission leak, one of the output cups on the transmission had some odd wear that caused fluid to seap past the seal.  A big shout out to Troy M. for hooking us up with a seal kit!
Troy M.'s turbo rabbit.

Saturday Morning the track looked like this!

The track staff did a remarkable job of clearing the track with snow plows and a front end loader tractor that pushed a stack of tires around the track (wiping the ice off and applying rubber to the surface).  Despite their laborious efforts a newish daily driver with new all season tires and a few "driving nannies" went sliding several times at speeds as low as 30mph.  A meeting with team captains was held, and it was decided to cancel for the day.

Sunday during the grid, temps were around 26 degrees, snow flurries.  Throughout the day the temps SLOWLY climbed, to roughly 40, occasional sprinkles,  Teams were allowed to park cars in the cold side of the pit stalls to keep warm.

2nd place in GP2, 9th overall!  We were 3 laps down from 1st.We might have been able get first, IF....we didn't have a tire change, had it not taken me almost an hour to get comfortable in the car to put down respectable lap times, had the weather stayed slightly worse, also having a more optimal driver rotation (we did get all five drivers in for a stint).