By on August 2, 2014


I think I promised TTAC’s readers that I would put a whipping on their former Editor-In-Chief. Well, that didn’t happen. Not quite. In fact, the old man came within sixteen seconds of winning the whole thing. He just wasn’t counting on Randy Pobst to betray him.


Twenty-three cars took the start for AER’s first-ever race. The “media car”, which was an E30 325i, qualified fourth, and Travis Okulski took the start, to be followed by Jack and then Randy Pobst. My car was the #42 BMW E30 325i which qualified fifth. It was raining at the start. Travis dropped to eighth as our #42 car jammed up to second place. The #902 BMW E30 of Duct Tape Motorsports quickly dropped the field. An early safety-car incident and some pitstops allowed Travis to get to third, but by the time he finished his stint he was in sixth place with my teammates in #42 still in a strong second.


During Jack’s stint, he took the car to third place and unlapped himself against us by four laps in 96 minutes, making it a three-E30 race for first. He was far enough ahead of fourth place that he could take a three-minute pitstop to hand over to visiting pro Randy Pobst without losing third. But on our pitstop rotation, #42 fell to fourth place as I got in.

For the next hour, Randy and I diced back and forth as we used our shared radio channel to talk smack and share track tips. I’d never raced the Lightning course before but by the time he and I pitted I was doing pretty well. And when Randy knocked off the muffler by cutting the course short at 1 it looked like we might take the third spot. But what happened instead was that there was a mechanical and a crash ahead of us, putting Randy in first and us in second.

It looked for a while like the #1 car was a sure bet to win first place and I believe I heard Jack saying something about how this would be the greatest victory in the history of endurance racing. But just as he was simultaneously running his mouth and stuffing it full of BBQ chips, the #1 car had a contact incident that cost it two laps and placed it within vulnerable striking distance of the #901 E36 BMW of Cardorks, which had been making a strong run through the field into second place.

Time for final driver changes. At the 45 minute to go mark, I was back in the #42 which was holding a steady fourth place. Travis Okulski was in the #1 with a 42 second lead. And in the #901 was… Randy Pobst! Having knocked the muffler off the #1 car and then subsequently received some drama about it from a certain long-haired caveman-looking journalist, Randy switched to the #901. Resetting fast lap again and again, he chased down Okulski. With 18 minutes left to go, the gap was down to 2.7 seconds. But in the very next lap, Okulski had to yield to the charging E36. Still, he had a three-lap safety margin to third place, which was held by the very quick W124 300E of EZ Riders, seen here.


When the smoke cleared, it was

  • Cardorks #901 E36
  • AER #1 Media Car E30
  • EZ Riders #300 300E
  • CD4 #42 E30
  • Rally Baby #24 E36

Big props to the Rally Baby guys who brought eleven cars to the event and held a great party.

Due to the Lewis-class system used to classify the cars, there were three podiums.

Class C, won by the “old guys” at Rally Baby:


Class B, won by EZ Riders. You can find me on the second step of the podium:


Class A, won by Cardorks. You can see Randy standing between the second and first step on the podium since he drove both the first and second place cars:


A great time was had by all. Tomorrow we’ll do it all again, starting in the order we finished today — and who knows, this time we might be able to take home the win for TTAC!

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23 Comments on “AER Race Day One Report: Two If By Jack, Four If By Sam...”

  • avatar

    Sounds like a fun-filled race day. Good luck tomorrow!

  • avatar

    ….hmmm…my instincts are correct about the “beloved Jack Baruth”; a self professed “legend in his own time”. After reading his comments about the Niedermeyers, a half-assed BMXer; a half-assed professional driver; and a half-assed ” journalist”. Jack, the one trait of all “pathological liars” is deny, deny deny. You had an accident that damn near killed your self and significant other, a Woman you actually show no respect for. yet you refuse to take any responsibility, other than I probably should have had winter tires. I said this site needed a true editor and I stand by that statement. Good riddance to bad rubbish as the Brit’s say. I am canceling my R/T subscription.

    • 0 avatar

      I was once invited to a Hollywood party and upon arrival noticed that the host had two lighted niches in his living room wall to display his Emmy awards. I realized I was socializing out of my league, but was still disappointed by the caterer selected.

    • 0 avatar

      Niedermeyer senior on his own site complained about the influence BS had over his son. So were the comments that far off?

    • 0 avatar
      No McNickname

      Congratulations, Mr. dartman!

      You’ve inspired me after almost a year of reading TTAC to register and comment.

      You don’t know me, so please, allow me to introduce myself. I’m the “Woman” for whom you claim Jack has showed no respect for.

      Typically, I don’t take people like you or your comments seriously. There’s no point in expending the energy when I can focus it on things like spending time with my daughter, the man I love, or my rehabilitation. However, I knew there would come a day when I was ready to say more about the accident and today’s that day.

      You have incomplete information, Mr. dartman. You know only what Jack has been willing to share with the B&B (a group in which I don’t consider you a member, just an outlier) about the accident out of… wait for it… respect for me. Shocking! I know. It is not only his story to share, but mine as well. He often talks about his responsibility being to the readers, which is true, but in this case, he understands his responsibility to me. He has limited the details out of respect not only for me, but my daughter as well.

      In addition, you have no idea what this Man did for me post the accident. And it was just that, an accident. For months, while I was home bound (in his home), healing, he made absolutely certain that I was able to complete my required tasks of daily living and if I couldn’t (which comprised a majority of the months aforementioned), he assisted me with them. He did all of this when he didn’t have to. Jack did all of this when he was injured and healing from nine fractures and internal injuries, himself. I will never be able to thank this Man for what he has done and continues to do for me each and every day. He is absolutely committed to my complete recovery. He is absolutely committed to me. If that isn’t respect, I’m not sure what is. I certainly don’t understand your definition of it.

      So go ahead, cancel your R&T subscription. It’s time for me to stop over paying for them at B&N anyway. I’ll subscribe and it’ll be a wash.

      I caution you though, if you’re going to make a judgment of this magnitude, it’s a good idea to do so with all the information. Not just some of it.

    • 0 avatar
      Zekele Ibo

      @dartman – I like reading Jack’s articles. I like his writing style. Whether or not he’s an asshole is more a problem for his friends and family, not for me.

      Why do you feel the need to make judgmental comments about the morality of an automotive journalist based on rumor and bickering rather than first-hand knowledge, and what do his personal moral values have to do with anything anyway? I don’t know the guy, so who Jack fucks and lies to is not my concern.

    • 0 avatar

      dartman: I know Jack personally, and you could not be further off-base. Me thinks you have a hidden ax to grind.

    • 0 avatar

      Hi Dartman, I don’t know you. I’m going to follow your lead and judge anyway. Since you’ve stipulated that the term for being abnormally gifted at a difficult endevour you peruse wholeheartedly is half-assed I’m going to declare your efforts at humanity less than half-assed. Doesn’t mean I don’t love you, just that I’ll do it dry.

    • 0 avatar

      dartman – where did you develop your fascinating literary style – as a YouTube gamer fan-boy?

      Living half a world away I’m never likely to personally meet either you, or Jack Baruth, but I know which one I’d rather have a beer with.

      Check out the meaning of “beer” on Wikipedia, dartman.

      I’m sure R/T will welcome your cancellation.

    • 0 avatar

      Jeez buddy. Probably a good idea to keep personal attacks off this site or you may be next on the ban wagon. Why don’t you just write Jack personally with your issues rather than taking to someone else’s article to bash him?

  • avatar

    I called it, but that was easy. Jack ‘may’ be good, but Randy is in another league.

    Jack gave Randy, hell? What is wrong with that picture.

    Good driving and a bit of good racing luck to you all, tomorrow.

    Save those tires, Jack. Your going to need them.

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    Here’s the funny part: the time lost by Randy thanks to the muffler thing was greater than the margin of victory. In other words, Randy won the race for himself!

    Travis really drove a great race at the end. Randy’s E36 was much faster than our E30. Travis, as they say, did the maximum.

    • 0 avatar

      Best of luck to you and Sam, Jack. Pay no mind to Paul, Ed, and their minions. I’m not an expert in game theory, but getting seat time in as many cars as possible seems to increase your odds on top spot. Maybe you can drive three cars today?

    • 0 avatar

      Winning combination> Fastest car… Fastest driver. Only racing luck(bad)can mess with that combination.

      Sounds like you put in a commendable effort, Saturday, Jack.

      Hope today’s efforts produced a winning result.

    • 0 avatar
      Travis Okulski

      Thanks Jack! I was really a sitting duck in that last stint on Saturday, kind of hard to win when you have a pro driver in a car with way more motor running at least two seconds a lap faster. As soon as I saw him in the rearview I knew that we weren’t going to win.

      But I think Sunday more than made up for Saturday!

  • avatar

    “,,,and then subsequently received some drama about it from a certain long-haired caveman-looking journalist,”

    Maybe Jack can get sponsored by Geico if he does a caveman commercial for them.

    Nice racing. I’m rooting for everyone.

  • avatar

    Oh look there is Jack, I guess he is not dead after all.

    All the carrying on and crying that Jack is leaving was a little over the top.

    Change is good folks.

  • avatar

    Samantha Miller, by calling Jack “old,” you are making me feel like some pre-Cambrian fossil. Sheesh! As a late Nixon era baby, Jack is young! (And I’m old enough to remember Sputnik.)

    And welcome, Ms. No McNickname!

    • 0 avatar

      I quit really commenting/participating on blogs when I realized the age of most of the others commenting. I visualized myself sitting in a college student center talking about cars and the thought mortified me.

      As the lyrics in “Old Bones” say, “sometimes I pour me a whiskey, and fall asleep in my chair” But it ends there, I don’t “dream of being a man much younger than I am”. I’m happy where I’m at.

      • 0 avatar

        Surely for every time we notice that someone in a comment thread is a fourteen year old, there are several times we don’t notice it at all, and once that the person who seems 14 is actually 50. I kind of like the idea that I might at any time be in a specialized, mature, and interesting conversation with a precocious 14 year old from Trondheim and a 75 year old ex-NASA physicist. If the 14 year old can hold her own on the subject of how much Raymond Loewy really participated in the design of the Avanti, more power to her, and thank goodness for the internet allowing the conversation to happen at all.

        Mainly, however, I’m just commenting here now because I liked this post about the race, and didn’t want it to have low rankings in the eyes of the VerticalScope bean counters because too few of us commented.

  • avatar

    I know the Cardorks very well from LeMons racing. They are tough to beat, one of the best-organized teams on the East Coast. Adding Randy Pobst (who has raced and worked as an official with LeMons) as a ringer to that team seems a bit cheaty.

    • 0 avatar

      Reg: “Adding Randy Pobst (who has raced and worked as an official with LeMons) as a ringer to that team seems a bit cheaty.”

      How, so? So is it ‘Cheaty’ that he races LeMons events? Seems the AER event was a bit of a Crap Car event, too. And, Randy deserves to have a bit of fun, too.

      Had I been a driver in the event, I would have welcomed the opportunity to put my skills up against Randy’s, and maybe even learn something if I could have stayed close enough to his rear bumper.

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