02nd Nov2015

Tresduro 2015: The Final Chapter

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

After ten years, and countless races from such series as the American Le Mans Series, Grand Am Rolex, Ferrari Challenge and NASCAR, the final chapter of the racing history at Miller Motorsports Park was written by the locals.  The last official race on the track was the final race in the 2015 NASA Utah season: the Tresduro.  What was a season ending endurance race has now become a winner takes all, three session day, with races held on three different configurations of the track.  On this day, the drivers would race on the Outer Loop, the East Track, and for the first time in years the Full Track.

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The fields were huge.  For the first time that I can remember, the all HPDE spots sold out.  The amount of cars in the HPDE 1, 2, and 3 groups were staggering.  And the TT groups were equally huge.  So large that they had to split the group up for the second timed session.  TTC, D and E would run with the HPDE 4, and the rest of the TT group would be out there afterward.

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TTE had four competitors, all in Mazdas.  Tyler Nisonger, in the On Point Supplements Miata, ran away with the class win.  His margin of victory was 23 seconds!  The gap between Hal Mortimer (#77 Mortimer Family FB RX-7) in second place, and Kelly Fisher (#19 Pro Tint/PT Auto Sales Miata) was only 10 seconds.  A dominating win for Tyler.

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TTC was occupied by one man.  One lone competitor in a BMW.  His name: Tom Rogers.  His car: an E30 BMW 325i.  His trunk was black, but the small spoiler on the decklid was red.  And he won gold.

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TTB was the deepest TT group.  Dave Wann in his S2000 battled Toby Crawford and his supercharged BRZ all day.  Toby’s added boost kept Dave within his sight, but Dave kept his better Miata just out of Toby’s grasp.  Dave walked away with another win on the season, and closed the book on a championship winning season.

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TT3 was down a competitor, since Jonathon Tapia did not return this season after his devastating wreck, but was still stacked with talented drivers.  With a twelve second margin of victory, James Pasquier took home a gold medal to hang on the wing of his 993 911.

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The lone TT2 competitor was Robert Poirier, in the only V8 powered car on the time sheets: the Black Diamond Development Mustang.

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Shawn Murphy, fresh from Lyfe Motorsport’s trip to World Time Attack in Sydney, Australia, came out swinging at Greg Valdez.  They traded blows in their Subarus (metaphorically, I’ll go ahead and say that Shawn would probably wreck Greg if they went full Days of Thunder), but a blown coupler put Shawn at a disadvantage for the third session.  Not being able to run at full boost allowed Greg to eek out a win.

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Formula series champion Bruno Carniero was not driving at the Tresduro.  He was at the track, but he was getting ready to go to China and compete in a Formula 4 race.  He finished on the podium if you’re curious.  In the formula races at the Tresduro, it was a one man show: Troy Duffin took home the final Formula class win awarded at Miller Motorsports Park.

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John LaBrie battled Steve Burns all day in Super Formula.  John managed to hold off Steve in each of the three races to end the day atop the podium.

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There was one Race Group.  For the final event, the powers that be combined the Thunder and Lightning groups into one, massive and competitive herd of cars, 38 deep.

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GTS2 was a battle of Porsches.  Heller and Miller’s Boxster duked it out with Chris Haunold’s 911, and the first generation Boxster took down the 911.  This may be a first for the oft slighted chassis, but hopefully not the last.

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GTS 3, 4 and 5 were all (unfortunately) occupied by one driver each.  GTS 3 saw Carol Nichols drive her Cayman to the land of golden bottle openers disguised as medals.  Byron Smith took his BMW to the promised land in GTS 4, and Gerry Shear collected a win for the Air Power Racing GTS 5 class 911.

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GTSU was full of drama.  In the second race, on the East Course, David Lockwood in the #42 Porsche 911 Cup Car collided with the Makes and Models R8 LMS in the first turn of the first lap of the race.  This contact ended both of their days.  In the final race on the Full Track, McKay Snow made contact with George Smith and guaranteed that the DXDT Racing R8 LMS Ultra would take home the victory.

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Ben Lamberson was the lone PTE driver.  Unfortunately he had no slicks, so he was on some 200 tread wear summer tires that somehow lasted all day!  Unfair advantage?  Perhaps…

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Spec Miata was a five way battle.  After the dust settled, Allan Anderson emerged holding the gold medal.

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Spec Z was, yet again, another massive field.  There were ten cars in this one field alone!  Arthur Golebiowski was battling all day.  Arthur managed to dispatch his competitors, earning a hard fought victory.  On another note, look at Tom Kaminski’s door!  That’s the most perfectly placed tire mark I’ve ever seen.

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Michael Eiffling battled Big Bob Evans in ST1, and managed to top Bob for the top podium spot.  Despite this victory, Bob towered over Michael.  Short of making Bob stand in a hole, he will tower over everyone.

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Yet another ST2 race saw Mike Mielke as the lone competitor.  And yet again, I’m not complaining about seeing his truck on track mixing it up.  There needs to be another ST2 truck.

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ST3 was the second deepest field with 8 cars.  Travis Tidball cracked his differential housing wide open, and retired early.  Travis Williams was out in the old, reliable #22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang FR500S, but old and reliable wasn’t enough to win.  No, the win would belong to the Us Against One/Spherion E36 M3.  Todd Ainsworth’s choice to jump into a BMW has proven to be a fortuitous one, and sharing seat time with Alex Whetman has payed dividends as well.

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George Smith’s Corvette has been around for a while.  He’s competed in it from the old MPRA days, all the way through this past event.  And despite having contact with McKay Snow, George managed to take home the final Super Unlimited win awarded at Miller Motorsports Park.  It was fitting that one of the old guard took home the last victory.

And there it is, the final race at Miller Motorsports Park.  I know you may have been expecting some long love letter to Miller, with some race highlights sprinkled in.  A love letter will be coming later, but this post was about the last race day at our home track as we know it.  Ladies and gentlemen, it has been an honor to bring you these write ups and galleries.  I’m glad that you’ve liked them as much as you have, and I look forward to bringing you more from Utah Motorsports Campus in the coming years.

Until then, this has Michael Chandler from Miller Motorsports Park.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
02nd Sep2015

JDM Legends End of Summer Meet Up

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

Last year, JDM Legends had their First Thursday series of meets at their shop.  It was cool to have Eric and the guys open up the shop to us: the lowly, unwashed masses.  This year the meets were absent, but last month the doors opened up, the cars were rolled out, and a meet was held!

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Plenty of S30s came out for the meet.  Seeing any number of these gorgeous coupes together in one place is always a welcomed sight.

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There were also some more modern classics in attendance.

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Inside the shop there were a couple of ongoing projects: a Hakosuka an a 240Z that looked eerily similar to a certain hero car.

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Outside was the car I’ve been dying to shoot photos of: the now legendary RX-7.  It was just hanging out, just chilling with its IMSA flares and Work wheels.

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We always love it when the doors go up and the cars come out at JDM Legends, because we always know something cool is going to roll out or we’ll see something awesome tucked away in a corner of the shop.

13th Apr2015

Makes and Models Open House

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

Over the weekend, our friends at Makes & Models threw open their doors and rolled some of their cars out into the parking lot and held an open house.  They wanted to show off the shop, and let the people know that “Yes there’s an R8 LMS racing with our logo all over it, but we’re so much more than that.”  Indeed they are.

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In addition to showing that every Euro is welcome, they welcomed some of the manufacturers of the parts they sell.  Grapple, maker of fine wheel spacers and adapters, brought out their very clean E30 and parked it with Parker Lambert’s bagged A3.  If you’re curious: people did step on his splitter.

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Behind the Grapple cars was Integrated Engineering, makers of Audi and VW go fast bits.  They had a selection of intake manifolds on display, along with some suspension pieces and information on their line of Golf R products.  They also had an unassuming E30 BMW hanging out.  Its unassuming looks hid a monster holding a hairdryer.  Just look at that thing!  This little beemer will move.

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And finally, NASA Utah had a pop up and were spreading the good word of getting your car on the track.  Parked next to the booth was Ben Lamberson’s 2014 TTE championship winning Audi 90.  Sitting on what’s left of the dash is what I can only assume is his secret to success: Secrets of Solo Racing by Henry A. Watts.  Does this actually help Ben win, and does he pass on these secrets to the drivers he instructs?  Beats me, but there it is.

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In the showroom was the TW Racing R8 LMS, and a corporate stablemate.  Speaking of the R8 LMS, did you know that Makes & Models can get you a sweet hook up on Global Motorsports Group parts?  Well, maybe not a “sweet hook up”, but if you want to hop up your Lamborghini, Porsche, Audi, Aston Martin, McLaren, Ferrari or BMW with some top notch parts, here you go.

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While most of the action was happening in the showroom and in the parking lot, there was something to see in the shop area.  Up on the alignment rack was this classic Alfa Romeo GTV.  It was just hanging out with some Porsches, being all classic and Italian.

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All makes and models were welcomed at the Makes & Models Open House, from Greg Valdez’s red WRX to a C7 Corvette with all sorts of APR goodies.  It was a solid event, complete with booth professionals, and a raffle.  Sad you missed out on a chance to see some ridiculously awesome cars?  Don’t worry!  Next weekend is the Import Spring Showoff, which we’ll talk about later.  In the meantime, enjoy a gallery from the Open House!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
03rd Apr2015

NASA Utah Round 1 In Motion

by Michael Chandler

Video by Gavin Pouquette

Seeing the photos and reading the write ups of the NASA Utah events are one thing, but seeing the car actually moving is another thing entirely!  For Round 1 we brought out Gavin Pouquette to shoot some video, and cut it together so we can show it to you all!  And without further ado, here it is!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
25th Apr2014

Import Spring Showoff 2014

by Michael Chandler

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What once was the UtahHondas.net spring meet has bloomed into one of the, if not the biggest show of the year.  450 cars made it into the pay lot, and into the judging for the various awards, while hundreds more filled the parking lots surrounding the Davis County Fairgrounds.  I popped the top on the Supra, grabbed a camera, and made my way north.  I arrived, made my way to one of the lots, reapplied the top and got to shooting.

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I didn’t quite make it into the paid lot, I ran into Nick Long as he was walking out.  We chatted and saw this bright green Bricklin SV-1 affectionately named “Kermit”.  After staring at what Canada can do we parted ways and I made my way in.

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There was almost everything there: a very clean NA2 NSX, to a Yugo!  A freaking Yugo!  Look at how clean that little communist hatchback is!  The Yugo, for those who don’t know, is a Fiat 127 built by Communists for as little as humanly possible.  Then Malcom Bricklin, the guy behind Bricklin and responsible for introducing Subaru to America, started importing and selling the things as inexpensive transport.  Then some lady got blown off of a bridge in Michigan while driving one and the rest is history.  Now that you’ve had a history lesson, here’s a gallery for you to enjoy.

22nd Apr2014

Catching up with the RBZ

by Michael Chandler

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When last we saw Clint Stoneham’s RB26DET powered 260Z, it was little more than an old Datsun shell wrapped around a new Datsun body.  But now things have changed.  It’s been tuned, had a cage built and certified, and it finally made a few passes.  After weeks of talking about it, I met up with Clint, Jason Kemp, and Melvin North.  What followed were four passes interrupted by some hunting.

By the time I got there (thanks for cutting me off twice Prius!) they already had the car unloaded and were getting her ready to make the first pass of the day.  After waiting in the staging lanes Clint pulled the orange sled into the burnout box and lit up the slicks.  And then he made his pass which, if I’m honest,  wasn’t exactly stellar.  I’ll spare you the time (i.e. I forgot to write it down), but it was slower than what the car was capable of.  While Clint was making the maiden pass, the rest of us heard something.  We met back in the pits, and the guys got to work.

 

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Out came the laptop, and the theories of what sounded like an ignition problem.  The data logs didn’t show anything, but we all heard it breaking up.  Thinking the spark plugs were amiss, Jason and Clint pulled them and Jason re-gapped them.  Fun Fact: the engine of a car gets hot while making a 1/4 mile pass, and it stays that way for a minute.  Guess who relearned that lesson?  No, not me.  I had my hands full of camera.  With the plugs re-installed and the coil packs back on, we piled onto the side by side and followed Clint to the staging lanes.

 

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Things were better, 10.87 compared to something much slower.  But the ignition was still breaking up.  Jason, who has a 900+whp 2JZ swapped Mk 3 Supra (!), posited that it might be weak coils.  The RB26 and 2JZ are made for a similar purpose, maybe they had similar problems.  Logs still showed nothing, plugs looked great, so it was back in the side by side for another pass.

 

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Clint lined up, burned out, and proceeded to go 10.50.  Still improving, and still breaking up.  Back in the pits I learned that the best time he could post was a 10.00, and the fastest he could go was 135mph.  Anything beyond that would require more safety equipment in the car.  So with that in the air, the guys again started taking the coil packs off the engine and pulling spark plugs.  The original plan was to swap in a set of HKS spark plugs, but Jason noticed something on the cylinder 3 coil pack.  There was carbon tracking, which meant electricity was arcing in the pack itself.  It wasn’t dead, but it was hurting.  Thinking a decrease in cylinder pressure would help, they switched places between the bad #3 pack and the known good #1 pack.  With the car buttoned up, we made our way back to the line.

 

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Before we left, Jason did some slight tweaking.  The boost was turned up ever so much and “a touch of fuel” was pulled out.  “This will exacerbate the problem” said Jason, knowing that some of us only heard that the boost was going up to around 24 or 25psi.  The 4th pass yielded a 10.33, which all things considered is not bad.  Plans were made for another pass and I would have stayed to watch him make a 10.2 pass, but a supercharged Charger SRT8 decided it wanted to break after doing a burnout… then repeat the the burnout/breakdown cycle again after a few cars were waved ahead of him.  Unfortunately I had a prior engagement and had to leave, BUT FEAR NOT! There is another chance for us all to see this thing go for the gusto!  This Friday night, or April 25th if you’re reading this after the event, is the first Midnight Drags at RMR and Clint will be making some passes in the brisk evening air.  I encourage you all to come out and watch.

Clint wasn’t the only fellow running at the Test N Tune.  I snapped some photos of those characters, and included them and all of the RBZ photos in a gallery below!

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
03rd Apr2014

NASA Utah 2014 Round 1 Photo Gallery

by Michael Chandler

As with most events, we took a ton of pictures at the NASA Utah season opener.  Unfortunately we could only stick so many in the actual reports; however, instead of letting these photos hang out on our hard drives we made some galleries so you can see what didn’t make the cut.  It’s broken down like the coverage posts were, (Thunder and Lightning combined groups, open wheel, and then TT) so you don’t have to scroll through a few hundred photos to find the one you want.

Thunder and Lightning:

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Open Wheel:

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TT:

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Words by Michael Chandler.  Photos by Michael Chandler and Michael Wells

 

 *Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
13th May2013

RallySport Direct’s Eat, Greet and Swap Meet 2013

by Michael Chandler

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May 11 was the annual RallySport Direct swap meet.  What started as an opportunity for RSD customers to free up some garage space by unloading parts has turned into a sizable event where you can also meet people and eat some free food.

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For the longest time RallySport was synonymous with Subarus and Mitsubishis, but they have since expanded their offerings to include Mazdas and even the new Focus ST has found a home in their stable.

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Everything was there for you to ogle, from all out race cars to high dollar exotics (The LFA is an exotic.  Deal with it)

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To classics and super stanced vehicles.

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Even grocery getters found some love!

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All in all it was a gargantuan success.  Multiple parking lots were filled, products were raffled away and most everyone got free food.

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Did you miss it?  A tragedy that.  But good news!  There’s a Facebook album with some more photos and it’s only about another year until it comes around again!  Even better news?

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.
03rd May2013

UtahHondas.net Import Spring Showoff

by Michael Chandler

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For the past seven years UtahHondas.net has been throwing a meet in the spring to to kick off the season.  And every year the meet has gotten bigger than the previous year.  This year was no different, so the name was changed to better reflect the diversity that the meet brings and it was moved to a larger space to accomodate the massive crowd.

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S2000’s were out in force.  A S2000 owners group occupied a few spots, while Nate showed off his new Voltex spoiler (and won best Honda) and Jon’s uber-clean supercharged S2000 quietly brought the crowds in

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Chase has a very, very fast four door Civic, but he decided to bring out his lawn ornament turbo D series powered ’79

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Dat, lookin good as always.  He won the Best of Event award

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This Celica GT4 was outside of the preferred parking area

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VW’s are imports too!  There were a bunch of nice Golf dotted about the parking lot

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Almost 1000 cars showed up.  The main lot and overflow lot were full, and the street was lined with cars for the show.  The meet happens happens every spring, usually in April, so you have about a year to get your vehicle ready.  There are some more photos in the ubiquitous Facebook album

 

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.
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28th Sep2012

Japanese Classic Car Show

by Michael Chandler

Last weekend was the Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach, California.  We were all busy with other things, but Aaron Cleverly (frequent reader, and now contributor) made the trip and brought back some photos for us

JDM Legends has a rebigulator!  And the skills to make a full scale car off of a car that only exists as a Hot Wheels car.

A Kenmeri Skyline came out to bask in the sun

And a Hakosuka with a surprise under the hood

I don’t know which Datsun is prettier, but I wouldn’t say no to either one if they showed up in my driveway.

And it wouldn’t be a classic Japanese car show without Toyotas.  They made some of the most beautiful cars to ever come off the Japanese islands.

More photos are up on the Facebook, give em a look.  You won’t be disappointed

Photos by Aaron Cleverly, words by Michael Chandler

*Article, photos and video are copyright of CAMautoMag.com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.com

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