By on June 19, 2011

The Mercedes-Benz S500 of Team Opulence—We Has It ended today’s session as the lap leader. This massive dreadnaught took the win on laps at last year’s Capitol Offense, but has cooked its brakes in race after race since that time.

Opulence—We Has It’s lead isn’t exactly comfortable, however, with a mere two laps separating the big German from the Pro-Crash-Duh-Nation Alfa Romeo Milano. If the brakes on the Benz act up, or if one of their drivers suffers from brain-fade and gets a back flag, the Alfa (a perennial contender in East Division races, with a best lap time two-thousandths of a second quicker than the S500’s best lap) will move right into the lead. We should see an exciting German-V8-versus-Italian-V6 battle tomorrow.

Meanwhile, all the predictions of disaster for Speedycop’s Bonneville donk have proven incorrect; the majestic Pontiac cruised around and around the track all day with no sheared axles, no shattered 22″ wheels, and no busted suspension components. The only mechanical problem turned out to be the only part they replaced when setting up the car: the starter. A new starter should be delivered to a nearby parts store before the green flag waves tomorrow, so we expect to see the Bonneville, which sits in 73rd place out of 102 entries, make a run at an Index of Effluency title. GM cars always have an IOE advantage, and the repeated breakdowns of the two Fiats and the MGB-GT can only help the donk’s chances.

The mechanical carnage has been fairly severe, with a constant drumbeat of connecting rods against engine blocks and oil pans. This Voyager-V6-powered Dodge Daytona has been in approximately 100,000 pieces since early afternoon, with no end to the reshuffling of oily puzzle pieces in sight as of 10:00 PM.

It will be a long night for the engine swappers, but the lure of a Heroic Fix trophy (or maybe more laps) drives many teams to forgo sleep and keep turning those wrenches.

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