Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What A Slacker!

I just realized I never posted an update to our own stinkin' website! Sheesh!

Okay, the important numbers: we started 105 cars. We finished 29th overall! The car ran like crap on Saturday but had a ton of grip. We kept our nose clean & only got hit by other folks twice.

Sunday, the weather
cooled by some 15 degrees...and it rained. Bad news for our tires which we sourced from guys who threw them away after using them on Legends Cars. It was like driving on ice! That said, the cooler weather meant our engine ran GREAT! But...our starter gave out, forcing us to push start the car after every pit stop.

See a trend here? Good, bad, good, bad...and repeat.

We got hit multiple times, causing a lot of body damage to the car...although it's mechanically as bad as it ever was.

So now, after 3 races in the 24 Hours of Lemons series, what's next for our team? We're considering testing the waters with the guys at the ChumpCar World Series. They're running a 14 hour endurance race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (yes, including the NASCAR oval!). It's the day before Easter...and we just may try & make it happen. Stay tuned!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Here's hoping this thing works.

Recall the previous post about the d!c&ed up caliper? Yeah. The replacement we ordered had the SAME PROBLEM (bad threads in the fluid inlet). So, we ordered a THIRD caliper...and it worked. Whew. Got everything bled & things seem alright. I may do one final bleed before we race because it seems to still be a bit soft on the pedal, but it's not too bad.

The car is loaded on the rig, essentially ready to go when I get back from New Jersey Motorsports Park on Friday.

In the meantime, the rest of the team is getting prepped for the race. Todd & Ginny are headed here from MI. Zack raced his Spec Miata at CMP last weekend (and only wrecked a little!). Jim is in dire need of cash so we hear he's considering donating plasma...or any other bodily fluids someone will pay for.

So... Barring any big changes, we'll see you Friday at Carolina Motorsports Park for our third attempt at the 24 Hours of Lemons!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Holy Crap, The Car's Not Ready!

With less than 2 weeks before the race, I'm still scrambling to get the car together. If it's not one thing, it's another...

Last note talked about the snapped manifold stud. Well, last night I went to bleed the brakes...I mean, that's easy, right? Er, no. Got the rears done, went to the right front and...SNAP! Broke off the bleeder valve which had apparently welded itself to the inside of the caliper. We fought & fought with it, drilling carefully & trying to use an EZ Out... But ultimately, the thing is pretty d!ck3d up. So, I've got a rebuilt caliper on order. Should be in by this afternoon so I can install it tonight. Here's hoping everything comes correctly because I'm down to one final night of work before the race: my work travel schedule is crazy. I fly to PA Wednesday, return Sunday afternoon. Home Sunday evening to load up the car & trailer. Monday morning back on a plane to New Jersey, then fly home Friday morning...just to haul @$$ home, get the rig & get down to Kershaw for the race. Whoof!

I did get the wheels & tires mounted & balanced last night, so let's hope I'm just about wrapped up for this mess.

Oh, one last bummer: Stephanie had to cancel on us last minute for a job up in Michigan. That gave Jim Ballard (a Hammer's Hero from the last 2 races) a chance to slot in. That's great; he'll bring Lemons experience & knowledge of the car with him. A bonus since Todd & Zack have yet to even see the car in person!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Getting Closer...

Spent the weekend getting the car prepped for the race: changed the oil, filter & trans/diff lube. Wrapped up the front brakes & decided it's worth the $13.49 to put new shoes on the rear so I got them ordered (they'll be in today).

I attempted to replace a blown out exhaust flange gasket (between the downpipe & manifold)...and promptly snapped it off. $#!t. I can't reach the backside to drill it out so in the spirit of Lemons, I'm likely to grab a tube of Permatex & try to seal it up best I can.

Oh, and I mounted the TraqMate data system...which is worth more than the car itself.

Up next, get the tires mounted & balanced & load it up!

Monday, August 9, 2010

6 Weeks & Counting...

...until we race again!

"I'm feeling good" says Hammer's Heroes team principal John "Hammer" fresh off a weekend in his Spec Miata at Road Atlanta.

The rest of the team is gearing up too; Zack Skolnick & Todd Chapman are both going to be at New Jersey Motorsports Park this coming weekend...and as much as they need the practice, neither will be behind the wheel of anything more virile than a golf cart. Zack is spending the Summer with Ferrari North America & Todd is a part time crew member for ARCA's Eddie Sharp Racing.

Stephanie Reaves is fresh from a run at VIR and a corporate event in Atlanta where she got to rub elbows with singer Usher.

Hammer is going hunting for used tires off Legends cars this week; that's what the team uses on the BMW's stock 13" wheels. Why? They're cheap & last a long time! Brakes just came in too; a brake job is due up in the next couple weeks.

Think this whole mess sounds wild? It is! Wanna be part of it? Of course you do! Drop a line to Crew AT & come to the track in September... and you too can be one of Hammer's Heroes!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Got a good news / bad news note today.
  • The bad news: Wayne Shaver had to back out of the team...the economy is tight & it is what it is.
  • The good news: Stephanie Reaves is going to replace him. Love you Wayne, but she's better on so many levels...she 1) has money, 2) is a chick...sure to bring us notoriety! and 3) has money.
We had our first team conference call tonight & discussed the couple of things we need to do to prep the car: brake rotors & pads are ordered. We're going to wire up an old Miata radiator fan as a spare since we had cooling issues in the last race. We're also trying to figure out the fuel system mess...we'll hope a replacement seal on the fuel cap fixes our vacuum issue there. Hey, we've seen dumber things fix stuff!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Gearing Up To Grind Gears!

They're in... After a year out of competition, Hammer's Heroes are back in the mix at the 24 Hours of Lemons, the endurance race for $500 cars.

A new cast of characters are making the team this time around:

  • The Heroes are still led by team principal John "Hammer" Palazzolo. "I've said it before, Lemons is the most fun I've ever had in a racecar. To have these guys join me at the track is going to be huge fun!"
  • The rest of the team includes Wayne Shaver who worked with Hammer at both Xtreme Measures (a teen driving school) and Chrysler's SRT Track Experience.
  • Zack Skolnik is an up & coming shoe who's spending his summer in New Jersey under the wing of Ferrari North America.
  • The novice member of the team is an old friend & crew member for Eddie Sharp Racing's ARCA stock car team; Todd Chapman. Todd has never raced anything in his life...this is his first opportunity to pull on fireproof skivvies & live his dreams.
And that's what Hammer's Heroes are all about; living the dream. Want to be part of the Heroes? Drop a line to Race weekend is September 24-26 at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC. See you there!