Weekly Roundup: Those Are Rookie Numbers Edition

The final single released by Jimi Hendrix before his death, Stepping Stone, ends with a kind of intensity crescendo followed by the squeak of a pick (or hand) on his guitar strings, the click and buzz typically intended to suggest a cut-in from the recording booth to the studio, and a voice, not Jimi’s, saying “…made it.”

That’s how I felt at about two o’clock today when Danger Girl crossed the line to finish her first NASA sprint race. All day on Friday and Saturday we had struggled with a random cutout at speed that eventually became a misfire which eventually became the car running on just three cylinders. After no small amount of drama and hassle, I traced it to the trigger wire for the coilpack which had melted inside the intact housing and coil clip.

Naturally, the parts were only available back home in Columbus, so we missed Saturday’s race. And just as naturally for Ohio, today’s qualifying session was a rain-soaked mess. DG elected to start at the back of a 50-car race group. She didn’t finish last and she did not have the slowest lap times. We are going to call that an unqualified success. She also set her personal best lap for Mid-Ohio’s Club configuration in the middle of some unpleasant Spec Miata traffic. Finally, Marilyn the MX-5 Cup Car rang the Dynojet to the tune of 148 RWHP after our quick-and-dirty wiring-harness fix. All good news.

Let’s catch up on the Week That Was.


TTAC is still catching up on the backlog of posts I’ve submitted, largely because they have a variety of new-car press-trip reviews from Tim, Chris, and some other people. This week you can read last week’s post about the future of the Ford Ranger.

Brother Bark took some flak for his positive Pilot review, but I’m afraid the Pilot, like the RX300 and the short-bed crew-cab full-sized pickup, is more or less exactly what customers want at the moment.

Ten years from now, I wonder if anybody will remember that I wrote pretty much the first post anywhere on WaveSense autonomous tech? If it works as advertised, it’s the last piece of the puzzle for automated cross-country trucking, even in foul weather.

This week I’ll be prepping for, like, totally the most important thing I’ve done in years. At least it feels that way. More to come about that, but in the meantime would all of you cord-cutting Millennials out there figure out to get the CBS Network on your flatscreens? It might be relevant to what’s coming.

18 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: Those Are Rookie Numbers Edition”

  1. AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

    CBS sports network? Or news network?

    Not that I watch the news network, or any of the others for that matter, but if it’s new news network I hope its a UFC style cage match with one of the more liberal reporters.

    Reply
  2. AvatarHarry

    I am looking forward to the justifications of the AuxTruck, I believe it will take more logical leaps then either pre-Copernican orbital geometry or scientific racism.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      You mean scientific “equality”, right? Where evolution and differentiation stop magically right below the brain stem and where we are told that selection pressure created Bantu and Japanese from base stock in 100,000 years and that the brain mass is also demonstrably different but that the difference magically stops at the theoretical brain/mind barrier?

      In any event, the AuxTruck can be justified using a single fact: after today, every one of the nine or ten club race weekends we do in 2019 will involve two cars and two trailers — or a one-ton diesel hauling a DOT registered two-car trailer.

      Reply
      • AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

        If you haven’t dealt with DOT yet, you’re lucky. Even with a single car enclosed trailer you are supposed to follow EVERY rule that OTR trucks have to follow. DOT medical card, log book, fire extinguisher, safety triangles, etc. Doesn’t matter that it’s a private, not for hire, rig. I have all that for when I use my car hauler, 32′ triple axle, having learned all about that when I drove our company trucks/trailers to job sites a few years ago. 3 years ago a friend that has a 21 foot tandem axle that he hauls a drag bike in, got jammed up in Ohio on his way to Michigan for a race. Inspector issued him around $600 in fines and wanted him to stop driving due to him having been on the road for about 14 hours that day. AFAIK, if you are less that 150 miles from where the tow vehicle is registered, you’re safe. After that, DOT inspectors make the TSA seem like slackers.

        One other little tidbit; one section of the DOT regulations concerning privately owned tow rigs says to NOT put the DOT issued number on the vehicle. Another section says TO put them on the vehicle. I ended up not putting the numbers on my truck (do keep them in the glove compartment however), and printed out both relevant sections of the regulations in case I ever got jammed up.

        Reply
        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          That’s why I bought an ATC open hauler, actually, as much as it horrifies the sanctioning bodies with which I race. I’ve been all over the East Coast and the South without any trouble.

          Reply
      • AvatarHarry

        I am not trying to be critical of your want of another truck, it just isn’t the obvious solution to any of life’s problems in my mind. Most of my opinion about the scientific “equality” you are speaking of was formed by David Reich’s “Who We Are and How We Got Here” I suspect in broad strokes we are in agreement on the subject.

        I was referring to turn of the century scientific racism, which like using epicycles to explain retrograde movement in a geocentric model sounds absurd to our modern ear. Just as advancement in observation caused medieval astronomers to add more and more layers of complexity to their models to maintain geocentricity, so did people who wanted to believe their racism was founded on scientific fact impale that belief on whatever science was available at the time. Some of it makes phrenology look sound in comparison. Trying to prove that a drop of mud in a bucket of water makes muddy water with evolutionary science makes for a great farce.

        I contend that justifying on the utilitarian terms you often use in your articles, the expense, insurance, registration, depreciation and maintenance of an entire second truck and trailer which duplicates the function of your current truck for 340 days of the year, and travel logistics that eliminates the option of sharing driving duties on tiring weekends, will require mental gymnastics.

        I could be wrong about any of the following assumptions. The total weight of the two race cars, two car tag a long open trailer, and consumables should still be under the 12,000lbs limit of your max tow package. The only onerous requirement of the DOT stuff is the medical certificate, which you need to go racing anyway. If a 1-ton diesel an enclosed trailer is needed, I would still think that preferable to a duplicate vehicle.

        Since you like to use your thought process on selecting vehicles as garnish for your TTAC articles, I am looking forward to either disagreeing with your life choices or learning something.

        Reply
  3. AvatarDanny

    In response to your Ranger article, I hope the deep depreciation of mid size trucks also applies to the current diesel Colorado/Canyon, I was terribly excited to find out GM was building a smaller diesel truck, only to find out that they cost almost $40k, much more expensive than a base full-size. I really liked the idea of a 30 mpg daily that could tow my RX-7 to the track without a fuss..

    Reply

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