Day 24 – Hear the engines roar at The Big House

Day 24 – Crandon, WI  (At the track…  Again)

Date: 06/25/2016 Saturday
Starting Location: Crandon, WI
Ending Location: Crandon, WI
Starting Odometer: 11958
Ending Odometer:
11964
Mileage Today:  5.6 Miles
Mileage Total:  5110.7 miles
Today’s MPG:  43 mpg
Total Average MPG:  41 mpg

Internet access at the hotel

As I went to bed last night, I started to notice issues with the WiFi in the hotel  It was getting slower, and I was experiencing numerous disconnections.  When I got up this morning, I tested it again, and it had only gotten worse.  So, after trying every trick I knew, I figured it was time to get a litlte help.  So, I called in to let them know about a problem.

These folks are hotel owners, in a small town.  So, it’s no surprise that they did not really know what to do, but we agreed that they would reset the modem, and they would let me know that it’s been reset, and I would test it.

The good news is that I tested it, and it’s now working like a champ.  I also spent about 5 minutes explaining to them what had gone wrong, and why a reset fixed the problem.  So, with my little technical support conversation behind me, it was time to head to the track.

The Paddock

Walking the paddock, I’m fascinated by how the engineers and mechanics prepare the cars, trucks and bikes for the events.  I always talk to the folks that are working on these race vehicles, and I always learn a whole lot.  Today, I came upon one of the teams that I had talked to yesterday, and once again today, they were cutting grooves in their tires.  i spoke briefly about this process yesterday, but today, I thought I would show you exactly how it works.

Below, you’ll see a picture of a stock tire.  When the technician is through with his job, the tire will have been transformed, and customized for this track, on this weekend.

625-Tires

The video below shows how the technician cuts grooves in the tires, making them unique for that team, on the given weekend.

End VIDEO

Breakfast at the track

A nutritional breakfast, off-road racing style

END VIDEO

Meeting the drivers

Walking through the paddock, I’ve got access to all the teams, and all the drivers.  Some of the teams are very well funded, often paid millions to race and win, while other teams, especially those in the sportsman classes operate on a shoestring budget.  I enjoy talking to both the well funded, and the barely funded teams, so as I was walking through the paddock, I came upon Justin Monty.  Justin races a truck in the 4×4 class.

I started talking to Justin, and he was really helpful, talking about the truck, the class of vehicle, and how he thinks he’ll fare this weekend. Unfortunately, as Justin explained, he’s having carburetor problems, and the truck was not delivering all the power that it would if it were running in top form.

Because Justin is not one of those teams that is paid, nor does he have a lot of sponsors, he pays for this hobby out of his own pocket.  So, while a well-financed pro would simply change the engine, or the carburetor, Justin was set to race with the truck running just as it is.

Here’s a picture of his truck.

IMG_1263

It was great to see his attitude, and his feelings that as long as he’s at Crandon, he’s going to run hard, and do his best, even if the truck is compromised.  So, when Justin’s class hit the track, I was rooting for him to perform well, and to hopefully stand on the podium.

Unfortunately, the truck did not have the power that it should have had, but Justin gave it everything.  I could see how hard he was driving, especially during the final laps of the race.   He stuffed the nose of the truck into an open space between the truck ahead, and the edge of the track, and while he briefly gained the advantage, he couldn’t make the pass.

Hats off to Justin, for being a passionate racer, and a great sportsman.  Below, is a picture of Justin in front of his truck.

IMG_1264

Practice Starts

I had a chance to watch several of the classes make practice starts.  Crandon is one of the only tracks to use the mass start to begin the race.  The mass start means that all cars/trucks start in a horizontal line, and when the flag drops, all of them race to get the best line in Turn 1.  It’s kind of controlled chaos, but fun to watch.  Below, you’ll see some video of the practice start for the Pro 2 trucks.

END VIDEO

Rain, Rain go away

As the Pro 4 trucks were getting ready to start their race, it started to rain.  Since I had only worn minimal protective gear because the track is only 2 miles of slow roads from the hotel, I decided that I did not want to incur any risk, so with the first sign of rain, I headed back to the hotel for the evening.

Dinner in Crandon

I’ve now had a chance to eat two breakfasts and two dinners in Crandon, and while they weren’t bad, none of them were worth talking about.  So, this time I decided to go to Subway to get a simple meal, and call it a day.

I grabbed a turkey on whole wheat, and headed back to the hotel

What’s on store for tomorrow

Tomorrow looks to be a tricky day.  The weather channel is showing scattered rain in Chicago in the morning, with more pronounced rain in the afternoon. Crandon is showing clear skies in the morning, and rain in the afternoon.  So, it seems to me that my best plan is to get up very early, and hit the road ASAP.  With any luck, I can be in Naperville by Noon, and avoid the storms on both ends.  Time will tell whether this is a good strategy or not.

I’ve searched for a clever name for this strategy, and I’ve settled on calling it CREXIT.  (anyone watching the news….)

About the Author

Cliff Musante

Cliff Musante is a technologist, business leader, motorcycle enthusiast, father, grandfather, and more. In June, 2013 his passion for motorcycles was revitalized, and he set out to ride across Patagonia. This 'Blog is the story of all of his adventures.

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