By on May 7, 2011

Today was a long, grueling day of racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, with the occasional break for lightning storms and cleanup of oil from multiple catastrophic engine nukings.

Speaking of nuking, the leader at the end of Saturday’s race session ended up being the Goin’ Nuclear Civic, which now sits atop an intimidating 9-lap lead. Given the fissile nature of Civic head gaskets and the likelihood of xenon poisoning of Civic connecting rods, however, the Honda isn’t quite a safe bet to take the checkered flag tomorrow afternoon. The Goin’ Nuclear drivers have a lot of talent on their side (fast laps, zero black flags), but Civics tend to be all-or-nothing LeMons cars.

If the Goin’ Nuclear car suffers a meltdown, the Keystone Kops Volvo 240, which has suffered approximately zero mechanical problems in at least a half-dozen LeMons races, is poised to grab the lead. The Kops’ brick is pretty quick, but they’ll need some help from that fragile Honda engine to make their move.

The Index of Effluency battle appears to be an all-GM affair at the moment, which— given The General’s historical IOE dominance— comes as no big surprise. At the moment, the top IOE contenders look like the Chevette Where The Sun Don’t Shine, the Gutlass Cutlass, and the Brooklyn Bomb Squad Geo Storm. That could all change tomorrow; the Farfrumwinnin VW Fox would need to claw its way pretty deep into the top 10 to beat the trio of GM misery chariots to snatch the IOE, but it’s looking pretty strong as this point. Meanwhile, the Banana Hammock BMW L7 seems poised to make a move into the top third of the standings, at which point it would enter the IOE conversation. There’s just no telling what might happen tomorrow!

When the green flag waved Saturday morning, the heavy IOE favorite was definitely the Team Whaaambulance Dodge Daytona Shelby Z. At the end of the session, however, the Shelby Z had managed a total of five laps, due to massive oil leaking and burning (including an Exxon Valdez-grade track-oiling episode that ended the day’s race session 20 minutes early). Team Whaaaambulance isn’t giving up, however; as I write this, they’re spinning every wrench they can find in a valiant attempt to get their high-performance Shelby-approved machine back into quasi-raceworthy shape.

Thanks to our Atlanta-based LeMons Assistant Perp Kim, we’ve got a new penalty available to the LeMons Supreme Court Correctional System: the Royal Wedding Penalty. The drivers of two miscreant teams must don their wedding garb and ride in the Royal Golf Cart while “Rule Britannia” plays and commoners wave British flags. It was all so very festive.

We don’t know what New England weather will give us tomorrow, but we do know the battles for overall win and Index of Effluency will be interesting. Check in Sunday night for the latest Loudon Annoying 24 Hours of LeMons news.

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12 Comments on “New Hampshire LeMons Day 1 Over: Civic Leads, Chevette Shockingly Reliable...”

  • avatar

    Did the Gutlass actually make it through the day without blowing a gasket? I am impressed!

  • avatar

    The Gutlass looked pretty darn good out there…although I wanted to paint it brown and install a wood chipper in the back. Lots of properly heinous machinery, lots of bad theme ideas in my head, some of which have been regarded by others as terribly tasteless, which means they must be good.

    Had a great time wandering and watching, got to meet the great Murilee Martin, rocking the clip-on tie! His favorite question of the afternoon: “Hey, can we refuel in the garage during the lightning storm?” Thanks, MM, for taking a minute to talk to the guy in the red NE Forest Rally Shirt and Labatt’s hat and the other guy in the Hillbilly Racing shirt…we didn’t properly introduce ourselves.

  • avatar

    I don’t know why considering my own Turbo-Trans-4 experience, but I’m a little disappointed that the Shelby-Z didn’t make a better showing. It was a representative showing though. I always read that blogsters had high mileage headgasket and turbine bearing success with their Mopurbos, but I’d never seen one that had gone any sort of distance. Still haven’t, sadly enough. My friend’s PT Cruiser blew its headgasket today in sympathy for the track bound Daytona, just to remind me where my enthusiasm for the Pentastar can lead.

    Speaking of frangible powerplants, what’s motivating that Volvo?

  • avatar

    The Keystone Kops have a boosted Volvo 4 cylinder, complete with intercooler and PVC piping. Underhood pic is on Facebook if you look.

    Old Volvo engines are the most rugged things out there this side of a 12v Cummins Diesel!

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    I dig the Chevette, but would like to see pics on the Storm.

    Do you know what engine is installed in both of them?

  • avatar

    Saturn was running a DOHC Saturn engine. Not sure what the Geo Storm had under the hood, but it looked like it had a Slush-o-tragic shifter.

  • avatar

    glad to see the chevette doing so well. ours will do better than its first appearance when we come back in july. and Athos, the chevette was running the stock 1.6l engine

  • avatar

    It continues to be borderline-unbelievable (at least to me) that a running or almost-running Civic can be had for something like $500.

  • avatar

    When watching the Nascar races at Loudon on tv in years past I have wondered who’d been using the road course just before….

  • avatar

    Cripes, Murilee, would you please let me know the next time there’s a LeMons within one state of Massaschusetts? Or is there some website where I can keep track of where they are going to be? I would have come up for this.

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