By on April 23, 2011


You get some crazy weather when your traveling race series holds events in April; last weekend, we had to throw the checkered flag early on Saturday’s race session because blowing Michigan snow knocked visibility down to zero. Today, we had to end the session an hour early because a wild lightning storm swooped in and threatened to zap the corner workers. Minutes later, the tornado alert sirens started blowing. The members of the Miagra Miata team, no doubt donning their helmets and cowering in the nearest bunker, could console themselves with the knowledge that their team will start tomorrow’s race session as the race leader. Well, that’s if a funnel cloud doesn’t deposit their Mazda in the next county.

Meanwhile, the members of the Blue Goose Golf team, who spent much of the day battling for (and occasionally grabbing) the lead with Los Miagras, are probably gritting their teeth and grumbling about weak-kneed race organizers who let a little weather put a halt to their chase of that damn Mazda. We’ve been seeing the Miagra guys at the Houston races for quite a while, and they’ve always been utterly terrible underdogs, breaking the car and racking up tremendous quantities of black flags. For this race, all of the team’s drivers prepared by taking every possible race-instruction class and (we assume) undergoing painful aversion-therapy treatments that applied electric shocks to sensitive body parts whenever a black flag appeared in the field of vision. This team has been very fast and utterly penalty-free so far, which I never would have predicted for these former repeat miscreants. Can the Blue Geese catch the blue-pill-adorned Miata tomorrow? Will one of the E30s nipping at their heels pass them both? We’ll find out tomorrow… if the track is still there.

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41 Comments on “In Spite of Texas Tornadoes, Miagra Miata Holds Lead In North Dallas Hooptie...”


  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    You know, LeMons is cool, but the coverage here is getting kind of obsessive. Aside from Shanghai, with a flurry of articles – but even then, somewhat – it seems like a quarter of the articles are about LeMons in one form or another.

    At least from my perspective, it feels like I’m wading through LeMons articles to get to the car stuff. I haven’t gone through and actually counted articles, but I think it might make sense to dial it down a couple of notches…

    • 0 avatar
      Nicodemus

      Yeah I’m glad someone said the emperor has no clothes. LeMons is OK for what it is, but like a tired sit-com it has been over-exposed to the point of tedium. I think we all get that it is light hearted racing with some interesting vehicles but at the end of the day you’re devoting a hell of a lot of space on the website to what is essentially banger-racing and asking us all to skip down the path with you.

      Unfortunately, unless you’re actively involved I think most people would get more enjoyment from watching a Wacky Races DVD.

    • 0 avatar
      peekay

      +1.  Although I don’t suppose it matters what I or any other individual prefers… the number of monthly hits on the site will indicate whether readers appreciate this type of content or not.  I know my visits are down.

    • 0 avatar

      We are on a common thread.  We enjoy cars old and new.   Interestingly enough, I feel like I am wading thru the car stuff getting both to the LeMons stuff.  Disco.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadInSideInc

      Gut check: “wading through LeMons articles to get to the car stuff”
       
      This is “car stuff” – and rather hilarious at that.

    • 0 avatar
      chris724

      Nicodemus – I couldn’t disagree more.
       

    • 0 avatar

      Perisoft,
      I think there are typically 3 LeMons related posts per week, the inspection, the mid-race report, and the wrap up. Sometimes if it’s worth talking about, like varied engine failures I guess Murilee is free to discuss it.
      I don’t object to it. The lo-buck, participatory racing scene is growing and worthy of coverage. I run Murilee’s 3D pics from the LeMons races at Cars In Depth.

      • 0 avatar
        Nicodemus

        Theres been at least 10 Lemons article this weeks

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        Ronnie, against my better judgment, I went back and counted the LeMons-tagged articles. From March 25th through April 25th there’ve been 22 LeMons posts. That’s one every day and a half, not three per week…
         
        There haven’t been quite 10 LeMons posts this week, but there have been at least one per day. That means that LeMons has made up 10% of your coverage during the Shanghai Auto Show – including April 21 and 22 alone, where there were around 20 Shanghai posts. In a normal week, LeMons would probably be between 20% and 25% of TTAC.
         
        I guess that’s the decision – if you like LeMons, that’s fine. But is it really 25% of what TTAC does?

    • 0 avatar
      Jellodyne

      If you’re having difficulty wading through the LeMons coverage, you may want to invest in a mouse with a lighter, easier-to-spin scroll wheel.

    • 0 avatar

      Sounds like somebody has sour grapes.  There were 4 articles about this week’s race.  The inspections, the end-of-the-day summary, the winner on laps and the IOE winner.  Last week’s race had one extra article devoted to the cause of the engine failures which – on a snowy track – is of interest to a broader audience.

      In the same time, there are probably twice as many articles about law enforcement via red light cameras or speed traps.

      If you aren’t interested in seeing old machines used in ways they never intended – or returned to battle after crashes that should have rendered them useless – then I suppose LeMons coverage must be uninteresting to you.  Oh, wait… you must also not be interested in interesting engineering problems like how to make engines and transmissions from varying makes and models work together without puking their guts out over the track.  Oh, and you must also not be interested in the humor and pageantry – the themes, costumes and penalties.  And one last thing – you must not be interested in low-dollar mechanical repairs.

      So if you have no interest in old cars, engineering problems, humor or low-buck repairs, I guess LeMons isn’t for you.  But that seems like a pretty wide swath of interests to me.

      When I visit TTAC, I do it by clicking on my bookmark for articles written by Murilee Martin.  What does that tell you?

      • 0 avatar
        mechimike

        “When I visit TTAC, I do it by clicking on my bookmark for articles written by Murilee Martin.  What does that tell you?”

        Funny, I do the exact same thing.  I bet others do, to.

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        the ‘i click on murilee’s articles’ thing is actually just the point. when you have a whole bunch of people coming -only looking for one thing-, maybe – as with curbside classics, which i love – they should each have their own ‘real’ site. in the end curbside and this seem to have attracted a critical mass of followers that suggests they either have to separate from or subsume other ttac content. i was unhappy when cc left ttac, but i think the result is better for both (though you’d have to ask paul for -that- side of the story).

        i think the fundamental thing is that the lemons coverage has outgrown its host. ffs, maybe it needs to be official or something. but when people are ignoring the rest of the site to read just that, it suggests that it needs – and clearly deserves and can sustain – its own place.

  • avatar
    rwb

    I think it’s fantastic, and between pie charts & this I choose this. Happy medium, probably right where it is now. whole site’s great, but look at that Golf action shot. That’s special.

  • avatar
    fabtoys

    Hey Perisoft ,Have you raced Lemons before ?

    Well this is one of the major blogs who follow it .

  • avatar
    spank

    Well, I don’t read anything BUT the LeMons coverage. Cut the coverage and I’m outta here. In fact, I was thinking the opposite: Might be nice to read a bit more like who the IOE contenders are and who is leading in the other classes (Class Bad and Class Ugly). Murilee is no automaton, though, so I’m just thankful for what I can get. Keep up the great work!

    • 0 avatar
      erik_t

      And a big ‘ol +1 to Mr. Spank. I am not in the market for a new car right now. I don’t care about car reviews, particularly whether or not 300hp is enough for my five-years-down-the-road minivan or whateverthehell. Le Mons is the only reason I’m here, and were there a dedicated blog for such I’d be there instead.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadInSideInc

      +2. It makes me happy. I’d love to do it but can’t.

    • 0 avatar

      Spank, be sure to check out Murilee’s 3D pics at Cars In Depth.

    • 0 avatar
      mechimike

      Agreed, I didn’t even know about TTAC until someone told me that’s where the LeMons coverage had moved to. 

      LeMons is a bit more than banger racing…but if you’d bother to actually participate, you’d know that.  There isn’t much that ups my ire more than people going off on something they have no clue about.  Would you review a book you hadn’t read?

      • 0 avatar
        Nicodemus

        “LeMons is a bit more than banger racing”

        No, LeMons is banger racing pure and simple, if you’d ever participated in Banger racing you’d know that…

      • 0 avatar
        mechimike

        Right…and Burning Man is a big stupid party in the middle of the desert.

        I can tell you’ve never participated in LeMons, because everyone I’ve ever met at a Lemons race says its just about the greatest thing they’ve ever done, except possibly having children.  About the only exceptions tend to be whiny automotive journalists or stuck up NASA/ SCCA types who got pissed that all their racing patches didn’t absolve them from a black flag penalty.

        I’m not knocking banger racing, either.  But LeMons is about more than buying a cheap car and driving it in a circle for 2 days. 

  • avatar

    I understand that LeMons may not be every gearhead’s cup o’ noodles, but I think having Murilee Martin @ TTAC & covering LeMons is a major shiny feather in TTAC’s cap.  What these racers do with cars that shouldn’t even be on the road, let alone a racetrack is downright commendable. The fun themes, the penalties, it’s a sport where the participants are there for the joy of it and most everything is done with class and aplomb.
     
    There are eras these days on websites. Farago has gone on to other projects, curbside classics is mostly done, we still get awesome news and automotive industry analysis that cuts through all the B.S. In depth reporting on LeMons, stories and tips to help people buy their next car and what really happens behind the scenes at the modern day auto auction. Car reviews that you can trust are honest with all attempted bribery disclosed. Crazy driving and crazy tales from Baruth, and it’s all for the ridiculous price of FREE!
     
    Keep up the stellar work, Missus Murillee and all the rest at TTAC. I can’t wait to see how your Dodge A100 project finally comes out!

  • avatar

    I’m with Spank. The LeMons coverage is the only thing I read here. I’d be happy with MORE coverage of the races. Those that have not been to one of the races don’t know what they’re missing.

    • 0 avatar
      Nicodemus

      Yeah, but you’re clearly involved as a participant of LeMons. Unfortunately not everyone is in the position to get so immersed in it. Whilst it is cool to know about it and have an article every now and then, I think it is also important to have a more catholic approach to automotive subject matter.

      The ad nauseum reportage is just getting a bit much in my eyes.

      • 0 avatar
        dculberson

        Just another voice here saying that the main reason I read TTAC is for the Lemons coverage.  I came here following Murillee Martin.  If he left, I would follow him.
         
        Nicodemus, you’re allowed to voice your opinion, we’re allowed ours.  So far there are a lot more supporters than detractors.  Maybe you should brush up on your scrolling skills. ;-)

  • avatar
    obbop

    Is there room for “My favorite dumpsters”?

  • avatar
    Benya

    I look forward to the LeMons coverage.  I am not involved (yet), but I find the pictures and stories inspiring.  And the recent coverage has only been on the weekends, when things are slower on the site anyway.  Keep the LeMons coming!

  • avatar
    fincar1

    Considering the stultifying conformity that seems to be spreading over most fields of automotive activity these days, I welcome the LeMons coverage.

  • avatar

    How can anyone have a problem with the amount of Lemons coverage on here? It’s 5 short stories only on the weekends when there are races.  Its different every time. And, You can scroll down and not click the link if you aren’t interested.
    You might as well complain that there are too many Spanish language stations on your radio.  You know what you can do? Skip them.
    If we are taking a pole of likes/dislikes on this site, I could do without so much coverage of what cars are big sellers in other parts of the world.  Does anyone really care what sells well in Brazil?  How about that riveting 2 part expose on mid-size leg room?

  • avatar
    K5ING

    Murilee…welcome to North Texas and our “little spring showers”.  I’m a little less than 10 miles (as the crow flies) from Eagle Canyon Raceway, and and I was thinking about you guys during the storms last night.  The trouble is that we don’t get rain around here unless it’s accompanied by wind, hail, lightening, and all the stuff you saw on Saturday.
     
    As for all the Lemons coverage on here…if anyone doesn’t like it, they don’t have to read it.  Personally, I don’t like coverage of Lambos, Porsches, or other cars that I’ll never, ever, be able to drive, much less own, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying this, and other car blogs.  I just skip over the articles.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    yah, Flogging  beaters  captures  my  interest more  than  the  Shanghai auto  show.  OR  who  will  save  SAAB

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I dunno; I suppose LeMons is okay if you’re into $5,000 rattlecan racing. I liked it more when it was about hauling some misbegotten heap out of someone’s backyard, dumping a case of STP down the valve cover, and making a few laps until the drivetrain kerploded.

    • 0 avatar
      budgie

      for some of us, that’s more or less what Lemons is all about. finding the least likely to succeed and trying our best to make it happen. 

      overheard in the paddock at NJMP: “gee, with both the cars running well, this is kind of boring.” Not to worry, a few minutes later one came in on the tow strap!!


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