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Categories: Miscellaneous

Fear And Loathing At the Rolex 24, Part 2

On: Fri, Feb 5, 2010 at 10:30AM | By: John Welch


Fear And Loathing At the Rolex 24, Part 2 test 1-1

Wet, thirsty, and brimming with manic excitement, I took stock of my current situation. The race (after thirty laps) had calmed into a steady ebb and flow that saw both the Daytona Protoype and GT lead change hands two or three times. It would be a while before the strongest competitors separated themselves from the field. The Ford contingent (Mike Shank Racing, Suntrust/Wayne Taylor Racing) were hanging close to the top four, but it was becoming apparent that the Ganassi BMW/Rileys and the two Porsche flat-six powered prototypes were the class of the field.

Th rain had lessened slightly, and the cold was begininng to set in. We decided it might be a good time to visit the dark green Subaru we had left in the parking lot two hours prior. After assessing what items other people were able to get into the grandstands (backpacks, entire 18 packs of Busch, massive camera equipment) we had a decent idea of what we needed to retrieve from the lowly Legacy. It was time to accessorize, strap loose beers, and a Canon D5 to our chests, and brave the coming night . . .


Fear And Loathing At the Rolex 24, Part 1

On: Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 6:02PM | By: John Welch


Fear And Loathing At the Rolex 24, Part 1 test 1-1

Oh muthereffer, did I really name this article in the most cliched, laziest fashion possible? Well, sure I did, but I have my reasons. Namely, "Fear and Loathing at the Rolex 24" is the best possible way to describe the end of my January. It was insane. Period.

First, a little background. The 'Shopper Blog has been around only since September of 2009. Grand-Am (the sanctioning body that plans and executes the Rolex 24) is owned by NASCAR. Combine those two factors and you can imagine how far I got in my quest to acquire Press Accreditation. Not far. It took five calls to Daytona International Speedway just to get somebody to tell me "No!" More on the ridiculously incompetent DIS staff later . . .

So, no credentials available, I figured I would have to wait until Sebring to cut my "endurance race journalism" teeth. Enter: Jane. My better half . . .

Google Chat Transcript:

Jane: "What is that thing you wanted to go to this weekend? I can't remember what it's called"

JD: "The Rolex 24 at Daytona. SIGH."

Jane: "What exactly was 'The Rolex 24' again?"

JD: "A sports car race that runs from 3:30 in the afternoon Saturday until 3:30 Sunday."

Jane: "And you couldn't get tickets?"

JD: "Naw, stupid NASCAR doesn't believe that we are an actual 'media outlet', and the tickets I need are too expensive for the 'Shopper's budget . . ."

JD: "<<--- DEPRESSED"

Jane: "Well, don't be depressed,"

JD (whining like a two year old): "How could I not be depressed?! I wanna goooooo"

Jane: "Because I just bought us tickets . . . "

About a nanosecond after reading that statement, my brain imploded. I couldn't believe it. This is easily the kewlest grrl on the planet, and she gets me! She really gets me! Sneaky effer that I am, I neglected to mention the lack of showers, electrical outlets, and general comfort that are associated with this undertaking. Thankfully, Jane is way tougher than I am and none of that stuff bothered her.

So, got tickets, got coffee, got cigarettes, got a good night's sleep, time to brave I-4, and witness the first serious Sports Car race of the year . . .

 

UPDATE: "PorscheStag" video added at the end of the post . . .


Review: Ford's 2010/93 Ford Taurus

On: Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 3:12PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Ford unveils new car for cash-strapped buyers  test 2

The 1993 Ford Taurus made its first appearance in, well, 1993 and it was re-introduced by Ford in November 2009 when a grainy picture of the vehicle's clay model surfaced on the Internet. Then, spy photos of the early, heavily camouflaged prototype of the full-size sedan arrived. With stunning features and classic looks it was destined for a warm welcome from all Americans. Much like the VW Bug was “The People's Car” this was the first time an auto manufacturer made “The American's Car”. Now we tried really hard to get our hands on one for testing to give it a proper review, but with its popularity we could not find anyone willing to part with one.


Vehicle Crashes Through Showroom Before Toyota Can Address Sticky Situation

On: Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 2:46PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Vehicle Crashes Through Showroom Before Toyota Can Address Sticky Situation test 1-1

Drivers go a week with fear about the safety of their cars, Toyota dealers forced to stop selling their most popular models, Tundra crashes into showroom and Toyota’s president apologizes for screw-up


 

Rain Did Not Dampen 2010 Bike Expo

On: Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 1:16PM | By: Clay Ritchings


2010 Bike Expo Clearwater FL test 2

This was the first time I have ever attended an event of this nature, and even though most of the displays and events outside were rained out, the display of bikes and the artistry that it takes to put it all together did not fall short. I did not count all the bikes that came for the build-off but there had to be over 40. Everything from old school designs to bikes that look like they came off the set of the movie “Alien”.  This was a complete motorcycle expo in Clearwater, Florida, with tons of vendors, stunt riders, multiple stages and bands, raffles, auctions, cash give-aways each hour, ride-in bike show on Sunday also with cash prizes, tattoo contest, food, beer, and tons of fun!  Oh, and do not forget the Miss Full Throttle Bikini Contest!


Web Find: 1971 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Only 3 Hours Left On Ebay!

On: Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 5:07PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Web Find: 1971 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Only 3 Hours Left On Ebay! test 1-1

Anyone looking for a classic Corvette Stingray? You may want to look really fast at this one up on Ebay; it has only 3 hours and change left, as I write. The listing claims 56,000 miles but it is undocumented, but take a look at the photos; it may just be real. Matching numbers, original 15-inch Corvette Rally wheels, repainted its original Warbonnet Yellow, the original blue and yellow Folsom State Prison-made California license plate included, Oh, and I almost forgot, it has a 454 big block! Current bid at time of post: $20,100.00 Other than the split window, this is my favorite Vette!

 

Check out the Ebay Listing

This vehicle is consigned to the California Automobile Museum, a non-profit organization located at 2200 Front Street, Sacramento, CA,


Forward Thinking From Honda

On: Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 5:24PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Hydrogen refill station test 2

Honda has taken steps forward in the fuel cell world by unveiling the next generation in the hydrogen refill station. Utilizing solar power and designed as a single, integrated unit to fit in the home garage, the station produces enough hydrogen in an eight-hour overnight fill to power a fuel cell electric vehicle for its typical daily commute. The unit was designed to complement a public network of fast-fill hydrogen stations by refilling overnight, letting owners take advantage of less expensive off-peak electrical power and remove the requirement of hydrogen storage. In other words the unit will use solar during the day and run off the power grid at night. . . Bravo!


Big Auto News; Spyker Nabs Saab, Toyota Eats Crow

On: Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 12:16PM | By: John Welch


Big Auto News; Spyker Nabs Saab, Toyota Eats Crow test 1-1

Two huge developments over the last 24 hours, one of which is good, the other, well, not so good. GM has finally unloaded beleaguered Saab, and the little Super-Car company that could, Spyker, is the proud new parent. On a slightly more somber note, Toyota has suspended sales of all of its domestically made vehicles. In other words, no Scions or Lexi, but everything else wearing a Toyota badge . . .


Don't Worry, I Can Fix It! DIY Gone Bad

On: Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 9:07PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Generator & AC Unit test 2

All cars will fall victim to maintenance issues from time to time, and with today’s economic downturn we all have to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty to address as many as we can to save a buck. With the right tools and a little mechanical ability, you can fix everything from gearshift knobs, battery terminals, faulty door locks, stereo installation, windows, and minor body repairs. The saying “With a little duct tape and a hammer anything can be fixed” has been taken to a new level that is both brilliant and disturbing at the same time.


Tex Takes The Job! Whitacre Names Self As GM CEO

On: Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 1:25PM | By: John Welch


Tex Takes The Job! Whitacre Names Self As GM CEO test 1-1

So, big news conference from GM yesterday. Tex Whitacre Jr. is the official CEO. Ohkay, not really news, but we'll take it . . .


Fort Lauderdale City Commission To Sign Pact With Dr. Evil

On: Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 1:59PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Fort Lauderdale City Commission To Sign Pact With Dr. Evil   test 1-1

Elected officials on Fort Lauderdale's City Commission will vote tonight to formally approve and set up red light camera enforcement and cement their pact with Dr Evil. Apparently Dr Evil has come out of his deep freeze and started up his evil empire. Problem is that evil empires need cash flow and since his Alan Parsons project failed, he started a dastardlier plan to make money. . . hence the birth of Red Light Cameras