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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

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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 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!

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!

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