A Deal is a Deal (Rookies Better Stock Up On Snickers & Mountain Dew)

They say when one door opens, another one closes. Well, in this case, said previous door may have been left slightly ajar. At least for the moment.

Two good ol' Corvette racing boys from the hills of Kentucky made a deal several years ago. Go out to Nevada, enter the Silver State Classic, get straight up to 150 Class, and throw everything at it until they score a win. The deal was, then, and only then, would a driver/navigator seat swap take place. You know, Father and Son, racing toward a dream. What could be better?

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the podium. We lost. Many, many times. So many times, in fact, that we sometimes wondered if we were just not cut out for Open Road Racing.

At one point in our seven year drought, when we realized our hard-fought 150 times would have often been good enough to win something in most other classes (running 9th with a .20 or 4th with a .15 can get to anyone after awhile), we even contemplated dropping down a class or two to try and win something. Anything.

Then, Dad got cancer, and my world nearly stopped turning. In those horrible, very private months, he only asked me for one thing. He said, "Son, when I beat this, and I fully intend to, I want a 150 Class win on 318, and I want you to help me get it." I promised we'd never give up on achieving that goal, no matter what.

With things in a clearer perspective, Dad got better, and we were back chasing that 150 Class title sooner than anyone thought possible. With a new lease on life, Dad went to Texas with Ken Rees (an ORR stopwatch master), and they managed to win back to back BBORR trophies in 130 & 135. Meanwhile, I was still zero for way too many attempts as navigator at NORC/SSCC with Dad. But, at this point, any thought of dropping down classes was long forgotten. It was 150, or nothing.

After several years, an empty, dusty trophy case openly mocks you. Especially as Dad's was beginning to fill up in Texas, my home state, without my help. When you're the one holding the stopwatch, you feel the weight. All the weight. Trust me. Then, in May 2015, it all changed in less than two inches.

Winning 150 in the NORC with a .0027 time variance was a rush! It was unreal! You may liken it to being beamed up by Scotty, and finding out that warp speed is, indeed, worth every drop of blood, sweat and adrenaline it takes to get there! When Mr. Zulu says he's giving it all it's got, trust me, Captain Kirk knows he ain't no chump! It takes all you've got, and then some, and then a lot more to get a 150 win. There's a reason everyone applauds loudest for a 150 win. Those few who've held that trophy know what I mean. It's our LeMans.

Problem is, once you get a taste of victory, you suddenly crave the whole pie. When September came, we stayed in the same seats and took another shot at 150. Hot diggity! 2 in a row! The chances of pulling that off are about as good as scoring VIP line jump passes to Saint Peter's Velvet Rope Club!

Of course, being as competitive as we are, we came back and tried to make history this past May, going for that all elusive three 150 wins in a row. Yeah ... this time around, we got another solid reminder of how that humble pie tastes. Yuck!

So, what does this all lead to? Why this rambling post? Because, there are lessons in here for everyone. 1) Set a goal and never give up! 2) Open Road Racing isn't for the faint of heart. You will lose far more races than you will win, but you'll win every time in the friendships and family you'll make in our sport. Last, but not least, everyone not already in 150 should take heed - 3) Don't jump up to 150 too quickly. The classes between 110 & 145 build skills, confidence, and character, albeit with a taste that many may find a bit easier to swallow.

Speaking of other classes, I'm glad to announce that my Dad is, indeed, a man of his word. A deal is a deal. Yep, it means Ricky Bobby finally gets to GO FAST in the driver's seat in an ORR event! I may even chew Big Red while doing so!

After nine years of studying every bump, turn, pebble, and millimeter between each mile marker on good ol' 318, look out for the newest "rookie" in Open Road Racing entering the 110 Class this fall. Sure, I now get to figure out how to use my magic stopwatch while also shifting and steering with the same two hands, but if Pop can do it, I believe I'll figure it out. As another Kentuckian racer, ol' DW would say, at least I've got some 'sperience! Boogity, indeed!

All I know is that after getting a good taste, I'm hungry for some more podium pie, and I want to add that 2016 SSCC 110 Champion stitching on my jacket sleeve right below that 2015 SSCC 150 Champion badge, badly!

So rookies and repeat 110 veterans take note - I know it's not easy, but I'm still coming for you, and I'm all jacked up on Snickers and Mountain Dew!

No matter how the pie crumbles, I hope all my friends have those silly cans ready, because guys and gals, come this September, the Queen of 318 is about to add another driver to the fold. Anyone got good aim? Bring it on!

Can't wait to see y'all in Ely next month!

Sincerely,

Berry Lowman

Team #Motorama LIVE

2015 NORC 150 Champ

2015 SSCC 150 Champ

2016 BBORR 145 Champ

"I'm all jacked up on Mountain Dew!"

Original Post
Lanny Lowman posted:

I hope you do good as a first time driver at the SSCC. It is a real blast to win including doing it twice in a row racing some of the best in the 150 mph class. Proud that you are my son whether you win or loose, don't give up ����

Thanks Dad. You know I'll never give up. I'll be racing until the day I die, or can't see the finish line anymore, whichever comes first!

Ray Alexander posted:

I thought you sold the rights to Snickers and Mountain Dew to Malcolm Johnson at the last awards ceremony?

I applaud tenacity.  See you in September.

I am taking my time to get to 150.

Well, Malcolm bought the rights to the race winning mojo of THAT particular Snickers bar and bottle of Mountain Dew. I sure hope he held onto them to consume on the 3rd Sunday of September on pre-grid in Lund!

Speaking of, it's not a bad time for Malcolm to step up and take a shot at 150 this time around, as the LeMans Blue Z06 that usually runs in that class will be lined up back in the 110 this time around!

Berry,  Moving from the 'Shot Gun seat' to the left seat is going to be a different experience.  I am absolutely sure that you will do well.  In 2008 when all four of us camped in the sun in the 110 mph division from 8:00 am to 2:30 or so waiting as rookies for the course to open was an adventure by its' self.  There were a lot more of the grumpier first timer's than the four of us.  Turns out that it was my "Lucky" day as I blew / melted the hydraulic   clutch line following 4 others @ 125+ back to LV .  Got the fire out with an ABC extinguisher.. and a tow later that evening from LV back to to LV  just in time to see the sun coming up .  Don't think I'll make an appearance this yr but next May will will give my shark grey  Z06  " El-Tibu" a run in the 125 division.

Berry good luck to you in your attempt, will see all of you soon. in Vegas at rookie school, or tech at Sam's Town, the caravan up to Ely , or in Ely at tech, the shootout, or during the car show. We used to have medals for all finishers guess it got too expensive. Have fun all and please be careful !!!    O 

Berry I thought about (for less than second) changing the car back to go that slow but it would be toooo much work! And I think you know faster is better anyway. I was a rookie in May 2011 and ran the 110 class there is a time for you to shoot for. But I should think that would not even be a challenge for you with all the time you have on 318.          Good Luck   Dave

John Flynn posted:

Berry,  Moving from the 'Shot Gun seat' to the left seat is going to be a different experience.  I am absolutely sure that you will do well.  In 2008 when all four of us camped in the sun in the 110 mph division from 8:00 am to 2:30 or so waiting as rookies for the course to open was an adventure by its' self.  There were a lot more of the grumpier first timer's than the four of us.  Turns out that it was my "Lucky" day as I blew / melted the hydraulic   clutch line following 4 others @ 125+ back to LV .  Got the fire out with an ABC extinguisher.. and a tow later that evening from LV back to to LV  just in time to see the sun coming up .  Don't think I'll make an appearance this yr but next May will will give my shark grey  Z06  " El-Tibu" a run in the 125 division.

Thanks John! Yeah, that May 2008 race was one heckuva intro to ORR, wasn't it?!? I'm so glad we came back for more after that debacle, or else look at all the fun we'd have missed out on all these years! Hope to see you & your new Z06 on 318 in 2017!

BTW, if you're running 125 next May, you may find yourself lined up on the grid close to me ...

Ray Alexander posted:

That was a wise marketing move.  I  am sure Malcolm and his stopwatch will do well and that will open the demand for mojo'ed sets of Snickers and Mountain Dew.  Maybe even branch into Rockin Nut Road Snickers and throw-back Mountain Dew.

HA HA! Well, I did recently purchase some bottles of the all new Mountain Dew "Dew-Shine" with the classic hillbilly logo on them, so maybe I'll swig some of that as well up in Ely this time for good measure!

Dave Bauer posted:

Good for you Berry, remember to respect your Nav. I know you will do good, but most of all have a good time and be safe.

Good advice, Dave. I plan to take it as easy on my navigator as my Dad always has on me (or maybe a bit easier, as a non-relative may actually dive out of the car mid-race ... ) LOL

Owen Green posted:

Oh BTW try this figure out a sound track to play . pick the tunes carefully set them up so that the tuneage matches the section your in with the music of your choice and the time for your class. but this is just a suggestion.   ha ha  O

Other than the 90 (or so) updates I expect to hear from my Nav, all I plan to listen to on 318 is that sweet sound of LS7 roaring for 90 miles. There will be plenty of time for tunes cruising from Ash Springs back to Vegas.

Dave Bauer posted:

Berry I thought about (for less than second) changing the car back to go that slow but it would be toooo much work! And I think you know faster is better anyway. I was a rookie in May 2011 and ran the 110 class there is a time for you to shoot for. But I should think that would not even be a challenge for you with all the time you have on 318.          Good Luck   Dave

 

As you know, there is always a new challenge, as each race presents new obstacles to overcome, and more opportunities to excel. That said, my personal goal since scoring that first 150 win has always been to go out and better my previous best time. I'm on a mission to do that, especially from the left seat. As I've said many times, "You have to believe it to achieve it!"

Of course, I'm always happy to just be there, hanging out with all our friends, and doing what we all love to do! See you in September!

Gary Innocenti posted:

Good luck Berry Bobby!

LOL Gary! THAT JUST HAPPENED! Shake and Bake, brother!

You know, you're still the man with the time to beat! Not only are you still .0004 better on the record books, but without your driving prowess, we'd not have those awesome BBORR 145 trophies! I'll gladly share my Snickers & Mountain Dew stash with you anytime!

Ray Alexander posted:

Several posts back you had some good advice from Dave Bauer, it was respect your navigator.

Imagine how embarrassing it would be for the participants behind you to observe you being disciplined alongside the highway.

 

If you'd ever heard some of the unedited audio clips from our in car comms, you'd know that I'm no stranger to being disciplined all the way down 318.

But seriously, no matter who my Nav is, they will get nothing but respect, including some intense lessons in stopwatch discipline. I know all to well how tough it is to do a good job in the right seat. The pressure you put on yourself is more than anyone who hasn't done it could comprehend. It's the toughest job in racing IMHO.

If any navigator isn't covered in sweat and adrenaline by Checkpoint 6, they just aren't concentrating hard enough.

Ray Alexander posted:

I thought Mr.Lowman was a shoe-in for navigator.  Still good advice

Dad would be a great choice for Nav, but he's not quite done driving just yet, so I knew that I'd need to recruit/train someone to be my co-dawg moving forward.

I've already been training a good friend for next season, and he's taken to the quick math like a duck to water, but he can't make this SSCC due to his work schedule. My backup had to cancel due to sudden money concerns, and my backup backup just had his appendix go BOOM last night. So, it's a bit up in the air at the moment as to who's going to be my Nav in Sept.

I keep joking amongst friends that surely someone would love to wax my car while learning the ancient art of ORR watch-fu, but thus far, most are either too scurred of the right seat, or their wives won't let them go. I guess we'll see what happens over the next month. Stay tuned!

Berry Lowman posted:
Ray Alexander posted:

I thought you sold the rights to Snickers and Mountain Dew to Malcolm Johnson at the last awards ceremony?

I applaud tenacity.  See you in September.

I am taking my time to get to 150.

Well, Malcolm bought the rights to the race winning mojo of THAT particular Snickers bar and bottle of Mountain Dew. I sure hope he held onto them to consume on the 3rd Sunday of September on pre-grid in Lund!

Speaking of, it's not a bad time for Malcolm to step up and take a shot at 150 this time around, as the LeMans Blue Z06 that usually runs in that class will be lined up back in the 110 this time around!

I don't own the exclusive rights to selling Mountain Dew and Snickers at the race?  Well darn!!!    I was hoping to get my business started and see if I could outsell Kelly with his $100 gloves!!     Yes, I'll be sure to fuel up on race morning with the breakfast of champions!!!!

I'm not planning on moving up to 150 this time.   My personal challenge is to win the class a couple of times before I move up and I believe I have 1 first and 2 second place finishes in 145.    I do get chewed on regularly by some other drivers who are pissed I'm in their class.    I even told one of them to call me and I'd let him know what class I'm running so he'd register for another class.   But there are great racers in most classes so there are not many "cake walks" anymore.  

I do want to run 150 with the big boys down the road.   BUT, I don't like the fact that us old dinosaur stop watch guys have to compete with the computer jockeys  with no distinction in class.   I used to frequently beat the computer jockeys with my $39 investment grade stopwatch.    But many of them have evolved to the practically unbeatable level.     I know I could take the plunge too but I personally don't get as much satisfaction as using my own 62 year processor to do the math, make speed adjustments, and drive all at the same time!   Don't ask me to chew gum too though!    I've reached the limit of my ancient technology!!

i look forward to seeing everyone in 2 weeks!!  

Malcolm aka "Mac"

 

 

 

I do want to run 150 with the big boys down the road.   BUT, I don't like the fact that us old dinosaur stop watch guys have to compete with the computer jockeys  with no distinction in class.   I used to frequently beat the computer jockeys with my $39 investment grade stopwatch.    But many of them have evolved to the practically unbeatable level.     I know I could take the plunge too but I personally don't get as much satisfaction as using my own 62 year processor to do the math, make speed adjustments, and drive all at the same time!

Well said Mac

Malcolm Johnson posted:
Berry Lowman posted:
Ray Alexander posted:

I thought you sold the rights to Snickers and Mountain Dew to Malcolm Johnson at the last awards ceremony?

I applaud tenacity.  See you in September.

I am taking my time to get to 150.

Well, Malcolm bought the rights to the race winning mojo of THAT particular Snickers bar and bottle of Mountain Dew. I sure hope he held onto them to consume on the 3rd Sunday of September on pre-grid in Lund!

Speaking of, it's not a bad time for Malcolm to step up and take a shot at 150 this time around, as the LeMans Blue Z06 that usually runs in that class will be lined up back in the 110 this time around!

I don't own the exclusive rights to selling Mountain Dew and Snickers at the race?  Well darn!!!    I was hoping to get my business started and see if I could outsell Kelly with his $100 gloves!!     Yes, I'll be sure to fuel up on race morning with the breakfast of champions!!!!

I'm not planning on moving up to 150 this time.   My personal challenge is to win the class a couple of times before I move up and I believe I have 1 first and 2 second place finishes in 145.    I do get chewed on regularly by some other drivers who are pissed I'm in their class.    I even told one of them to call me and I'd let him know what class I'm running so he'd register for another class.   But there are great racers in most classes so there are not many "cake walks" anymore.  

I do want to run 150 with the big boys down the road.   BUT, I don't like the fact that us old dinosaur stop watch guys have to compete with the computer jockeys  with no distinction in class.   I used to frequently beat the computer jockeys with my $39 investment grade stopwatch.    But many of them have evolved to the practically unbeatable level.     I know I could take the plunge too but I personally don't get as much satisfaction as using my own 62 year processor to do the math, make speed adjustments, and drive all at the same time!   Don't ask me to chew gum too though!    I've reached the limit of my ancient technology!!

i look forward to seeing everyone in 2 weeks!!  

Malcolm aka "Mac"

 

 

 

We'll have to do a Snickers and Mountain Dew toast at Lund Sunday AM!

As for computers in 150, or any class for that matter, remember this - we turned in a 0.0027 in May of 2015 using a stopwatch & a set of notes ONLY, so yep, it can be done. Just ask the team that zeroed the clock in 150 Class way back in ot spit before navigations systems or portable GPS were available in cars.

See you in Ely!

Ken Rees posted:

I do want to run 150 with the big boys down the road.   BUT, I don't like the fact that us old dinosaur stop watch guys have to compete with the computer jockeys  with no distinction in class.   I used to frequently beat the computer jockeys with my $39 investment grade stopwatch.    But many of them have evolved to the practically unbeatable level.     I know I could take the plunge too but I personally don't get as much satisfaction as using my own 62 year processor to do the math, make speed adjustments, and drive all at the same time!

Well said Mac

Interesting topic. I'll play devils advocate. We do that in #Motorama LIVE land. You know, according to SSCC records, the three most accurate times in the 29 year history of the NORC/SSCC 150 Class are recorded as follows: 0.00, 0.0023, 0.0027.

I know for certain the third best time was done on a stopwatch alone, because I was holding said stopwatch. The infamous zero out time happened so long ago, I'd say it's a safe bet it was done on a stopwatch, as well.

Sure, some so called "computer jockeys" are have some close finishes, and it seems as if there are a few more of them popping up at every ORR event nowadays. I saw some this year at BBORR, NORC, SORC, and you can bet there will be some at SSCC. Heck, there was even a guy at BBORR who had a dual processor 10x per second GPS fed computer system that he claimed was capable of controlling the throttle body in his car. He showed a few or us how his system was set up, and even answered a few questions about it. I saw the same guy at SORC last month, so he gets around. Such things exist.

Today's ORR competitive landscape is what it is. Advances in automotive OEM technology have lead to all sorts of onboard GPS timing systems and other such wizardry. Like every other sanctioned form of racing in the world, if the sanctioning bodies don't like something, and deem it an unfair advantage, they'll eventually outlaw it. Until then, in ORR just like in F1, IndyCar, NASCAR, WRC, etc., more and more people will likely experiment with anything they can to gain some form of competitive advantage. You know, I'm sure Bill France wasn't always happy with the things Smokey Yunick showed up at the track with, either, but he didn't exactly run ol' Smokey out of NASCAR either, did he? I'm sure Jim Weeks could probably share some amazing stories about those two.

However, before we all start grabbing up pitchforks and demanding the burning of all witches for their alleged sorcery, I think it's worth noting that most computer jockey finishes and GPS gurus still aren't historically as close to perfect as those that run, and win, on stopwatches alone. Wouldn't you agree?

I think knowing where the finish line is matters more than anything.  So much so, it's why Team Lowman put a giant pole with a flag on it where we believe it is in May of 2016. Of course, we lost that race, so what do we know?!? Also, I believe hitting stopwatch buttons at the right time matters a LOT more than most people think, but I'll leave that thought process to those who can figure it out.

In the meantime, I had a Buddhist Monk bless my stopwatch this time around. I even tried to hire him as a navigator, but that whole silence vow kind of makes it tough to follow his instructions at speed ...

I'm in for the S&MD toast!!   ����

Oh yes, I know a lot about the dual gps, dual processor, IMUs, and systems tied into cruise control that guys like Mike Black and Mike Hill run in Texas.   I've competed with them for years and we've probably split the head to head races.   I'm getting close to deciding to move up this race to 150 solo as several other Old Farts are gonna run 145.    

Monk as navigator?   Sounds good to me.   I've been known to tape my navigators mouth shut for the race cause I didn't want to hear him squeal!

Well time to start getting all my gear together.    I'm looking forward to another great adventure with all you guys!!!   

Old Farts drool, uh whoops.   I mean Old Farts Rule!!!

Old Fart Mac

 

 

 

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