Just back from a too-long string of back-to-back business trips.
Paul's excellent summary of the Pumpkin Race at Nelson's (as usual) filled
me in on the details of the weekend's exciting finish Sunday. I'm sorry
that I had to leave before seeing Cathy with another chequered flag.
Thanks to all for letting me join the fun over several races this past
When the off-season repairs get underway and you think that you can use
another pair of left-hands, do let me in on that fun too. If I get in the
way of some serious work, you can always send me to a corner with an old
idler-box to keep me occupied.
Congratulations, again, to the wonderful Racing Sloans on a great season.
This is one OROC'er who is delighted by their ever-gracious hospitality at
these fun weekend outings.
At 04:13 PM 10/29/00 -0500, Paul wrote:
> HEAVY RAINS BRING TEAM SLOAN TO A HALT!!!
> Fortunately that was Friday night on the ride to the track! Saturday
>morning wasn't quite ready yet when Paul Kort showed up at the motor home
>headquarters of Sloan Racing just before 7 AM. But he managed to wake
>everyone up to get the day started before sunrise. Cloudy, cold and very
>windy. Thursday and Friday's 75 degree temperatures had been replaced with
>cool 40. It took awhile to get the cars warmed up. Cathy Ann needed a
>battery transplant to get things turning.
> Just to prove that we could actually feel colder than we already were,
>Teddy Seidenfeld drove in from Pittsburgh in his shiny red 2000, ... with
>the top DOWN! Teddy jumped right in and helped with the final preparations
>for morning warmups. Chris and Diane Luers drove in from Columbus, only to
>inform us that it was much WARMER back home. So much for the day's weather
> Ten minutes on the track was barely enough to get the tires warmed, but
>Cathy Ann knew her 1600 wasn't handling right. Jim said he was running
>so we let a few pounds of air out of her rear tires. Hopefully that would
> Qualifying gave everybody another chance at the track. The sun had
>managed to show up, but the winds persisted and kept things cool. Jim's
>qualifying laps were smooth and he qualified first for the afternoon's
>qualifying race. Cathy Ann continued to have handling problems and a new
>vibration in the steering wheel. The crew attacked Cathy Ann's roadster,
>determined to find the problem. When the words 'toe-in' were said, Chris
>commented that we had corrected the toe-in several times over the summer and
>dove underneath to find a very sloppy idler box. A brief discussion between
>Chris, head mechanic for Sloan Racing and Teddy, Idler box specialist (long
>story!) resulted. A quick trip up the ramps gave everybody a good look
>underneath and the problem was soon corrected, or so we hoped.
> Lunch was served by the best track Mom a team could ask for, Cathy Sloan
>(Jim's wife & Cathy Ann's mother). Revitalized and warmed by the sun, which
>had finally decided to joins us full time, it was back to the cars. Jim's
>car needed the brakes bled and adjusted. Chris made short work of that
>A few minor adjustments and topping off of fluids was all that was needed to
>prepare for the afternoon's qualifying race. Unfortunately, Teddy had to
>depart for Pittsburgh to prepare for a flight out of town. Cathy Ann's
>steering problems were on all our minds. Paul gave her a final talk on the
>grid. "Watch how she steers through the first turn, then forget about it
>race!" Cathy Ann was starting from the rear of the group after a poor
>showing in the morning sessions.
> When the green flag fell, Jim found himself surrounded by a Datsun 510
>a Porsche 914, both in a different class. He was having so much fun
>swapping places every lap with them, that he never noticed Cathy Ann's
>progress. The steering problems were gone, the brakes felt good, and the
>motor was running great. Time to start passing people in her way. Though
>she never caught Jim, she did manage to turn her best lap time ever at
>Nelson's and finished second behind Jim. Dad got a big hug at impound from
>a very happy daughter!
> Saturday evening was the year end party at the Kort's residence. Good
>food, Run-off videos, and great company. What could be better.
> Sunday morning the sun rose over the frosted fields and a hundred race
>cars at Nelson's. Slowly the silence of the night and the smell of
>breakfast cooking, was replaced with the sound of high compression motors
>struggling to start and the smell of starting fluid. Cathy Ann and Jim had
>stayed up late and adjusted the valves on her car so it would be ready for
> Hardship practice was slow, mainly due to really cold tires that refused
>to warm, but both cars were running fine. The sun continued to warm
>everything and unlike Saturday, no wind was blowing. By the time G
>Production's group took the track, it was actually starting to be a nice
>day. Since no race day is without a gremlin or two, Cathy Ann's car refused
>to go into gear on the false grid when called to the track. Chris and Paul
>were able to rock the car free of what ever had a hold of it and Cathy
>roared off to join the other cars on the grid just in time for the start.
>While Jim was running door to door with a FP CRX and a FP Midget, Cathy
>fought her way past an EP BMW 2002. Jim was off in first place in GP until
>the CRX decided to lose its motor. Jim, being the ever helpful sportsman
>that he is, attempted to help by pushing the CRX, not realizing the CRX was
>trying to get off the track and out of everybody's way. Jim left a
>fiberglass fender behind to mark the occasion and continued in a partially
>open wheeled Datsun. This gave Cathy an opportunity to sneak past dad and
>continue her battle with the BMW. They traded positions several laps in a
>row, before Cathy decided it was time to get serious and pulled out for a
>victory in her class and left the BMW driver wonder who was driving that
>little roadster! Jim, missing one fender and sporting a shortened hood, was
>able to regain most of the lost ground but could never quite catch Cathy and
>the crowd she was racing in. Cathy proudly took first in class and Jim
>managed to hang on to second place in class. The impound lot was again the
>scene of a happy family reunion. Thankfully, Jim's missing fender was
>collected by a corner worker and was returned by the SCCA Track Master, Walt
>Matenkosky. A quick survey of the damage to Jim's 1600 showed a smashed
>grill, a bit of bent sheet metal, the aforementioned shortened hood, but an
> The rest of the day was spent reviewing the year and discussing the off
>seasons rebuilding schedule, Everybody enjoyed another wonderful lunch
>prepared by Track Mom, Cathy. Group photos were in order, so with the crew
>surrounding Cathy's car and trophy, proudly displaying a Datsun banner,
>another great racing weekend drew to a close.