Race Prep: Lucky Dog Thunderhill

The last race of the year for me is just 1 week away. I love racing on the 5 mile track and I love Lucky Dog Racing League. I just checked the supps and was met with a bit of a shocker. At some point I believe this race was advertised as running the second day in the reverse direction, but somehow that changed. That’s a real bummer. I was looking forward to that. Or maybe I’m mistaken and that came to me in a dream. Sometimes I confuse dreams for reality. I have a funny story about that…

I don’t follow politics at all, but early in the Obama presidency I remarked to a friend that I thought it was a really smart that Obama’s VP was blacker than he was. That way people wouldn’t assassinate him for fear of the next guy in line being even more threatening (or whatever). That was something I dreamed because apparently Joe Biden is actually white. Back in the 70s, Saturday Night Live used to do skits where Garrett Morris played Mondale as VP. The joke was that Mondale was so easily overlooked that nobody realized he was black (Garrett Morris). Anyway, I had somehow confused Garrett Morris, Walter Mondale, and Joe Biden. Then again, there are people who would say that Obama is actually whiter than Biden… so maybe I had it right all along. I try to steer well clear of political content on this blog, so apologies for this short political interlude.

Speaking of dreams, wouldn’t it be awesome to get Randy Pobst to drive a stint in my car? Well, it turns out, he’s going to be at the race and he’s going to be driving various cars. I immediately sent an email to HQ to sign up for this, so it may happen. That would be a dream come true. If it does, I’ll be sure to post some video and telemetry analysis. I’d love to see how much better Randy drives.

Prep

As it turns out, the Yaris requires minimal prep, and there really isn’t much to do between races. The car is amazingly robust and simple.

  • Change oil and filter
  • Change front brake pads
  • Swap doors (I keep the ones with windows on when parked)
  • Reinstall fire bottle (I just had it recertified)
  • Reinstall window nets (I had them out for the Lemons race)
  • Pack

So what’s the packing list look like? Some things are large and bulky, like tires, but I also have lots of “kits” that aggregate related items, which makes packing and storing simple. I can generally get everything ready to go in a half hour.

  • Stuff
    • Jack, jack stands, wheel chocks
    • Fuel jugs, fire extinguisher, splash pan
    • Chairs, table, ice chest, EZ-up
    • Tires (see below)
  • Kits
    • Tool box (sockets, box wrenches, gloves, etc)
    • Power tools (impact, drill, air pump, light, vacuum)
    • Spill kit (absorbent litter, brush, scoop)
    • Brake kit: pads, fluid, catch can, brake tool
    • Service kit: oil, filter, funnel, paper towels, glass cleaner
    • Radio kit (UV-5R radios and accessories)
    • Race kit (tire pressure gauge, pyrometer, log books)
    • Telemetry kit (RumbleStrip, AiM Solo DL, Yi cameras, memory)
    • Fix kit (nuts, bolts, tapes, adhesives)
    • Electrical kit (multimeter, fuses, wires, crimper, etc)

Tires

The Lucky Dog Racing League is now sponsored by Hankook, and part of that arrangement is that the Hankook RS-4 is THE tire for the racing series. In order to get on the podium you have to run that tire. Ultimately, this is a fine thing, because it saves money on average. The RS-4 is a great endurance racing tire that has a combination of grip and longevity that is hard to beat. In very rough terms, they are a couple seconds slower than the cheater 200s like the RE-71R, but last 2-3 times as long.

Given that my car isn’t 15 years old, meaning I may get classed in Super Dawg, and is slow even for a C class car, it’s unlikely I will get anywhere near the podium. So the tire rule doesn’t really impact me. That’s good because I have several tires to burn through. This is what I’m bringing to the race.

  • 2 Federal 595 RS-RR 225/45/15 on 15×9 rims
  • 2 Federal 595 RS-RR 225/45/15 on 15×8 rims
  • 2 Hankook RS-3 225/45/15 on 15×8 rims
  • 2 Bridgestone RE-71R 205/50/15 on 15×8 rims

 

8 thoughts on “Race Prep: Lucky Dog Thunderhill

  1. Just to confirm your sanity, I have evidence in the form of a few excited messages back and forth with team mates that it was at one point advertised as being run in reverse on the 2nd day.
    It then changed to a single race in the normal direction with the overnight parc ferme.

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    1. We had signed up only because of the chance to run backwards(on purpose)Apparently they allow whiners in this league,as some teams threatened to pull out if they ran it backwards…..So,here we are….

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      1. I too signed up for the backwards day. Now that I did I’m not pulling out, but part of me would like to. I can’t believe there are people who don’t want to run it backwards. It boggles the mind. What could possibly motivate someone to be like that?

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  2. On a separate note, you make a good case for running a relatively new, unmodified, Japanese car. We’ve spent > 4 days with 2-3 of us working at a time fixing our car since our last race and it’s unlikely to be much more competitive than your Yaris.

    Also, tires are free choice for this race. The new rules come in 2020.

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    1. Sounds like you’re describing a VW Fox wagon!

      No, I did not keep a straight face while typing that.

      Good luck on the race, I wish it only took half an hour to load the trailer. We have almost as much cooking stuff as car stuff. Our at-track chef demands all the best.

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  3. it’d be SO amazing to get Randy to drive your car! you’ll get the data, you’ll share it with us, all’s right w/ the world! good luck and have fun!

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