24 Hours of LeMons

Thunderhill LeMons: Meet the Mega Cheaters

While no one is really sure what the actual goal of a LeMons race is (Winning? Getting away from your family? Having the best theme? Index of Effluency? The People’s Curse?), I’m pretty sure it’s not winning. I mean, let’s say you get your crappy car around the track the most times — so what? There’s an old saying, “You know how to make a little money in racing? Start with a lot of money.” Case in point — if you somehow manage to win, you get handed $1,500 in nickels. Like serious — several hundred pounds of nickels. Even if you got your car for free (sure ya did), the cost of putting in a cage, tires, brakes, racing gear, travel, food, gas and entry fees are in the $5,000+ range. Spending $5,000 to get $1,500 is dumb. Teams that cheat (i.e. spend more than $500 on their cars) are even dumber. But dumb has never stopped anyone from doing anything. Stupid, neither. Case in point: last weekend’s race. In fact, the deceit got so out of control at Arse-Freeze-Apalooza that a new class of LeMons racer was born — the Mega Cheaters! 

Now, if there’s one thing I know it’s cheatin’. Hell, my co-conspiriter — Judge Martin – wrote the book on cheatin’. At every race we find a dozen (or doubel that many) teams that can’t bare the thought of not running adjustable shocks. We ding ‘em ten, maybe twenty laps. Big deal, end of story. Something changed at this year’s Thunderhill. Maybe it’s because LeMons is getting more popular. Or maybe because Northern California has seen so many damn LeMons races. Or — maybe — teams are just assuming that we don’t really check. Regardless, there were multiple teams that ignored the rules and went for broke, spending much more than $500 on their car. Let’s meet ‘em. 

-800 Laps
Lost Cause Racing

Whoever thought they could fool us using a FC RX-7 with the hood, snout and tush painted black is a crackhead. Er, I mean, is a member of the aptly named Lost Cause Racing team. Seriously, is there anyone breathing that thinks this particular car is worth less than $501? Mustang owners put your hands down. I was busy busting helping others, but negative 800 laps can only mean one thing — Jay Lamm himself dropped the hammer on Lost Cause’s dream of sleeping atop all those shiny nickels. 

-1,200 Laps
The Dead Smurfs

These guys. Not that there was anyway they could have known 25 Hours of Thunderhill E2 class winner Evil John Pagel would be running tech, but come on boys — at least beat on the body with a hammer to make your lie look possible. Anyhow, John — who has personally prepped more than 30 Miatas for racing purposes — took three looks at the Dead Smurfs’s car and said, “It’s worth $5,000.” Of course, I had to hear their BS story for myself. Naturally, there was no paperwork. They claimed they got it for $500 because it was running funny. Then another guy said $450. They never explained how they got it running good. Then they spent another $500 on a turbocharger. And another $100 on an intercooler (at least) And they couldn’t answer my questions when I randomly pointed at bits of their engine and asked, “How much was that?” So, we figured 1,499 laps were in order. But then Jay reminded me that the Dead Smurf’s were going to let two of the Surrender Monkeys drive their car. As such, we lowered the total to minus 1,200 laps. The Smurf’s were good enough to tag it on their hood for all to see. 

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