The following is the final of three guest posts by John Watts about his team’s Lemons racing experience, and the genre of “crapcan” racing. See “So These Guys Find A Bucket of Lemons” (Part 1) and “Our Road to Lemons” (Part 2) for previous entries. In John’s words…
In 24 Hours of Lemons racing, I’ve found more than just a great way to get on track. There are a growing number of budget race series. Chump Car is the best known alternative, and has been described to me as being more fun on the track but less so off of it. Each series offers something different.
Lemons doesn’t take itself too seriously, and encourages a little lunacy. Case in point, a team recently sent a photo of an Integra they wanted to buy for an upcoming race to a Lemons judge for approval. The judge sent back a craigslist ad for a 1950s Studebaker in their area. They bought that instead.
I enjoy the pageantry of Lemons and find its culture more accepting of newcomers and amateurs – failure is celebrated as long as you fail in style.
There is also a high degree of car nerdiness – many try to find rare or unusual cars to bring – and a fair degree of redneck ingenuity (I’ve seen a Holley carburetor stuck onto an E30 to keep it in the race). If you already race in SCCA or something more formal, I encourage you to try Lemons for the novelty factor.
The true benefits of Lemons racing aren’t necessarily the obvious ones. Don’t get me wrong, racing 150 other cars – none of which belong anywhere near a racetrack – is amazing.
I enjoy karting and will continue to do it as often as I can. But racing streetcars on a proper circuit against that many opponents is a completely different experience – one that is truly addictive. If you haven’t tried it, you need to.
And you don’t need to start a team to do it. Many of the teams rent out spare places on their team for around $500 a weekend, which is a great way to try it out and get a taste.