24 Hours of LeMons

Thunderhill LeMons: Meet the Mega Cheaters

-1,500 Laps
Krider Racing

You may have been asking yourself why we were only going to hit the Dead Smurfs with 1,499 laps. Krider is the reason. See this particular Acura Integra won it all for Krider at last May’s Altamont LeMons race when the Spirit of San Diego’s fuel pump crapped out. So you know we were going to sweat the shit out of ‘em this time. Up went the front of the Integra, under went Jay Lamm and me — with flashlights. And will you look at the top of those sprayed black dampers — there’re actually red! In fact, the cunning Kriders had covered the basically brand new parts with fake dirt and grime. Springs were new and covered in fake muck, too. All three half-shafts were new (one didn’t even have grease on it), the sway bars were new, the bushings were new, the control arms and knuckles were new. Out we climbed and told Rob and Randy Krider they were getting 500 laps against them. As Jay put it, “250 for right now, and 250 for the last race.” Then something weird happened. The Kriders asked what the BS inspection record was. 770 laps Herr Lamm informed them. They wanted the record. I’d already written “500″ on their tech sheet, so we just added a one. Then they lifted the car back up and showed us everything we missed. We love the Kriders and really wanted them to have the record, which is why we were going to give the Dead Smurfs 1,499. But then Deliquent Racing showed up. A day late, I might add. 

-2,100 Laps
Deliquent Racing

Early on Saturday morning a 1996 SHO pulled into our inspection pit sounding like a stock car. Was it the side exhausts? The kids (and I mean children) running the car were so young and inexperienced they could barely speak. 

“Where’d you get the car?”
“It was donated to us.”
“By who?”
“Our shop teacher.”
“Is he on your team?”
“Is that your teacher standing over there?”

The Deliquents tried to run the classic “We Donated It To Ourselves” scam. Of course section 4.1.1 of the LeMons rules clearly states, “Lame-Ass Rationalizations: Cars that “should be” worth $500 don’t count; cars that “were worth $500″ before you spent another $2000 to fix them don’t count; cars you’ve owned for 20 years and spent more than $500 on during that time don’t count; “it would have been worth $500 if it didn’t already have a cage” doesn’t count. Five hundred dollars means five hundred frickin’ dollars.”  We asked the shop teacher how much he paid for the car in 1998 when he bought it. After a lengthy session of hemming and hawing he finally copped to the truth: $21,000. Which makes the skunked out SHO a $21,000 LeMons car. Presto — negative 2,100 laps. But the Deliquents shouldn’t feel too badly — at least they won a prize. The first (and hopefully last) ever Mega Cheaters trophy went to them for spending the most money yet completing the least laps. But it wasn’t a total wash — we also gave ‘em a nickel. 

Bonus Cheaters
Tank BMW 535i


From the outside it looks like your typical lazy-assed tank-themed car. But pound for pound I feel this Beemer violated the spirit of the rules more than any other LeMons car, including the Deliquents. Still, they only got penalized 150 laps. Here’s why. As they were coming through tech I started poking around their car. They seemed nervous. First of all, their no-documentation, bullshit story of getting the car for $200 just didn’t sit right. A 528e, sure, maybe. but a 535i? Very suspicious. Then I noticed the bright blue dampers and purple springs. However, before I got a chance to lower the gavel, they failed tech and disappeared. Then, when my back was turned they pled their case to one of the more lenient judges and got away with murder. Er, with cheatin’. I would have dinged ‘em 600 laps per corner — and that’s just for starts. In the end however, it didn’t matter. These bastid’s went ahead and slipped on 60 treadwear racing slicks on Sunday — the min allowed is 190. Not only that, but they took a grinder to the tires and shaved off the numbers. See rule #1 of Judge Martin’s guide to cheating to better understand how they got caught. Needless to say, they were kicked out. They didn’t like that, so the police showed up and lent a hand. Silly cheaters…

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