Arse Freeze-a-Palooza LeMons Day One: E34 Leads, E30 and SE-R Close Behind

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

The checkered flag waved, the sun went down, the traditional delivery of lost bumpers and mufflers got dumped off the safety truck in front of LeMons HQ, and the Buttonwillow paddock went into the usual LeMons Saturday Night party mode. With the top five teams all grouped into a three-lap spread, there’ll be a long night of beer-fueled bench racing ahead.

At the moment, the If It’s Not Punk It’s Junk BMW 5 Series has a two-lap edge over the P2 car. This team has been climbing the ranks of LeMons contenders for a long time, and they came tantalizingly close to taking the overall win at the Skankaway Anti-Toe-Fungal 500 at Infineon Raceway. All they need to do to get the win tomorrow is avoid making even a single mistake.

If the Punks do make a mistake, the always-menacing POSRacing “F’ed Up Express” BMW E30 (which won the ’10 Arse Freeze-a-Palooza) will be right there to make them pay.

A single lap behind the F’ed Up Express, the Lipstick On a Pig Nissan Sentra SE-R will take advantage if one or both of the BMWs catches a black flag or bobbles a pit stop. This veteran team has been in the hunt many times in the past, but never this close to the lead after the first day’s race session.

The battle for the Index of Effluency seems wide open, with the four Class C machines of Spank’s “IOE Onslaught” (Austin America, Mini Moke, Turbo Mini, Simca 1204) making a real statement.

The IOE favorite when the green flag waved this morning, the B-Team’s Chevy-powered Lotus Elite, didn’t have a great day. In fact, the Chotus managed just two very smoky laps. At the time of this writing, they have their 350 scattered all over their pit space, hoping to solve the catastrophic oil-burning problem.

As for the Class C favorite, a Quad 4-powered Oldsmobile… well, it turns out that all those stories about Quad 4 reliability/wrenching-difficulty issues are true; the cylinder head got nuked after a dozen or so practice laps on Friday and the team spent all day today chasing parts and spinning wrenches. They swear they’ll be hitting the track tomorrow, so perhaps we’ll get to enjoy the sight of a Chevy-ized Lotus dicing with a crazily torque-steering Oldsmobile.


But that’s tomorrow. Right now, there’s live music in the paddock, courtesy of If It’s Not Punk It’s Junk and their friends The Mice.



Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Ciddyguy Ciddyguy on Dec 04, 2011

    Hmmm... Sounds like the Chotus may have gotten a bad motor to start with if it's smoking from the get go. The Quad 4, while it may proven some adages about Chevy's reliability in the past to be true, what you wanna bet its issues had something to do with prior maintenance (or the lack there of) or perhaps the mileage before purchase had something to do with it's maladies and once they get it fixed it might just perform right but knowing Chevy, anything's possible!

  • BoredOOMM BoredOOMM on Dec 04, 2011

    Low temp today 31....... Freeze-a-Palooza indeed.

  • Stephen My "mid-level" limited edition Tonino Lambo Ferraccio Junior watch has performed flawlessly with attractive understated style for nearly 20 years. Their cars are not so much to my taste-- my Acura NSX is just fine. Not sure why you have such condescension towards these excellent timepieces. They are attractive without unnecessary flamboyance, keep perfect time and are extremely reliable. They are also very reasonably priced.
  • Dana You don’t need park, you set auto hold (button on the console). Every BMW answers to ‘Hey, BMW’, but you can set your own personal wake word in iDrive. It takes less than 5 minutes to figure that that out, btw. The audio stays on which is handy for Teams meetings. Once your phone is out of range, the audio is stopped on the car. You can always press down on the audio volume wheel which will mute it, if it bothers you. I found all the controls very intuitive.
  • ToolGuy Not sure if I've ever said this, or if you were listening:• Learn to drive, people.Also, learn which vehicles to take home with you and which ones to walk away from. You are an adult now, think for yourself. (Those ads are lying to you. Your friendly neighborhood automotive dealer, also lying to you. Politicians? Lying to you. Oh yeah, learn how to vote lol.)Addendum for the weak-minded who think I am advocating some 'driver training' program: Learning is not something you do in school once for all time. Learning how to drive is not something that someone does for you. It is a continuous process driven by YOU. Learn how to learn how to drive, and learn to drive. Keep on learning how to drive. (You -- over there -- especially you, you kind of suck at driving. LOL.)Example: Do you know where your tires are? When you are 4 hours into a 6 hour interstate journey and change lanes, do you run over the raised center line retroreflective bumpers, or do you steer between them?
  • Mike Bradley Advertising, movies and TV, manufacturing, and car culture have all made speeding and crashing the ultimate tests of manhood. Throw in the political craziness and you've got a perfect soup of destruction and costs.
  • Lou_BC Jay Leno had said that EV's would be good since they could allow the continued existence of ICE cars for enthusiasts. That sentiment makes sense. Many buyers see vehicles as a necessary appliance.
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