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Changing of the Guard

Most of you know I "retired" from Home Depot just about a year ago and gave being self-employed a try, but both the racing and Cool Shirt businesses are very seasonal and inconsistent.  I'm still working at those part-time, but with Tony Dudek's help (and I'm apologizing yet AGAIN for giving him crap about being a Yankee all these years!) I've spent the last three days working for Modis, Inc., as a contract programmer assigned to Certegy. The one-way commute is twelve miles and takes less than 30 minutes, which is a far cry from the 33 miles and average of 90 minutes it used to take to Home Depot.  It's a return to 30+ years of IT experience, I feel like I'm making a contribution and it's good to be back in the business world. I've yet to receive my first paycheck, but I expect it will also feel good to get one on a regular basis again.
In the last BK Racing Update I mentioned we had a customer that was renting Lucifer in order to obtain his IMSA Pro license before July. He ran the school at Sebring in February using Chris Ingle's T-1 Corvette with BK Racing providing support, then we were going to run a Regional/National at Texas World Speedway, an AGT race at Homestead, followed by the May National at Daytona. That is a very aggressive schedule, so to give him some seat time in a non-competitive, low-pressure environment we arranged a test day at Talladega Grand Prix Raceway on the way to Texas. Long story short, on the fifth lap of his first session the customer spun coming onto the front straight and backed Lucifer into the end of pit wall! It ends up he was good for the $30,000 we estimated it would take to repair the car, but BK Racing was out the income we expected from rent and track support for three race weekends. And we STILL had a (very) broken race car to put back together.
Shortly after the weekend (and after Harriett took me off suicide watch) I got a call from my buddy Joe Hooker saying, "I don't want to be an ambulance chaser and I'll understand if you tell me to go to Hell, but what would you take for your car now?" Joe wants to drive a Nationally-competive GT-1 car before he gets too old to enjoy it but can't justify the money that takes, so he was thinking he could repair Lucifer (which IS Nationally-competitive) for a fraction of what it would take to buy/build one himself. And I've slowly come to the realization I don't have the resources to race at that level in GT-1 (i.e. - I can OWN the car or I can RACE the car, but not both! <g>), so after a bit of conversation Joe & I have agreed in principle on a deal to swap our respective race cars. The only issues outstanding at the moment are the logistics of executing the swap, but we're shooting to have everything concluded by mid-June. He gets Lucifer and related spares with no engine and in a partial state of repair, I get his (race ready) #8 GTA Monte Carlo and related spares, an extra Jerico transmission, an extra Winters QC rear end, some cash, and a player to be name later. He gets a car that's capable of contending for the GT-1 National Championship while I get a car that's (still) a hoot to drive and much more affordable. We're still Turning Money Into Noise, we'll just make a little less noise much more frequently.  Obviously it's a win-win for both of us.
Minuses for us:
  • it's a step backward in performance
  • it's not as flashy as racing a Corvette
  • we need to update the website sooner rather than later
  • we need to come up with a new car name (see next article)
  • four (4) times the racing for the same budget
  • makes the right noises
  • still capable of getting sideways in an instant
  • still rewards good driving
  • there are more people to race with in GTA than GT-1
  • we get to go racing again much sooner (we're looking to debut July 9,10 in Savannah)
  • still capable of low 1:32s at Road Atlanta
  • frees up budget to build another (faster) Corvette in the future
  • still get our own class (GTA) at the ARRC each November
  • still capable of 170 on the banking at Daytona (and we can do it in 2005!)
  • much less heartburn if a future renter happens to mess up
  • did I mention it's MUCH cheaper to run?
More later, and we'll see you at the track...