Sunday morning the weather at Thunderhill Raceway Park was chilly, breezy and overcast for the second half of The 24 Hours of LeMons Arse Freeze-A-Palooza Race. The forecast had been for rain in the am, and the drivers were told in the morning meeting to have rain tires and windshield wipers if they could.
At the Sunday morning drivers’ meeting, conducted by Chief Perpetrator, JAY LAMM, a tall bundled-up driver asked to speak. FOMFOR, speaking with an accent, denied he was washed up driver/journalist, TOMMY KENDALL and wanted that clarified … before he asked about a white line rule. Kendall later said he’s always wanted to have a single name, a la Madonna.
One of the most fun parts of the LeMons races is the Penalty Box. There are various reasons for getting a black flag besides a mechanical problem – overdriving/aggressive driving, passing under caution, body contact, pit lane speeding, offs or spins, etc. There are three judges and sometimes Lamm, meting out the penalties in the large central paddock car port.
Penalty Assessment starts with the Wheel of Misfortune, which is spun to determine what penalty will be given. Some penalties are based on local track setup and weather conditions, such as water balloons heaved at the very hot Altamont races.
Among the penalties are “Mime The Crime”; an archangel in costume welding a barn animal air brake on the top of the car (pig, cow or humping rabbits); sitting in the Dog House; Sharpie writing ‘I Will Not —‘ 100 times on the race car; Preaching to the Converted; LeMons Trivia Quiz; Studs and Spurs; Barret Jackson; Bobby Bosch Relay; Faces of Math; Puzzled in the Pits; Three-legged race; Paint Your Whip with Bob Ross; Bart Simpson; Judge’s Choice; LeMons Haiku; Buying Lunch for the Judges; The Chronic Search; and Cultural Revolution. New this weekend was dressing up as a Red soldier with Mao cap, goose stepping around the area and reading from the Red Book, and wrapping the car with Christmas paper.
The Penalty Auditors have a large chart taped to a long table, listing every car by name and number, and space for listing the errors. A team of Punishers carry out the penalties.
As of noon Sunday there were 26 teams which had no penalties.
As the race progresses, the lines are longer in the Penalty Box. It is also a fun place for spectating.
The biggest penalty of the weekend is The People’s Curse. All teams are given ballots at Registration, listing every entered team. Each team can choose the team it wants to see crushed…or not. The deadline was 10 am Sunday and the crushing scheduled for noon. It’s not a first that no team ticked off enough people to be voted The People’s Curse. So the giant Excavator Crane will sit idle and the paddock spectators and teams will have to find something else to do for fun.
As of noon, still no rain and the sun was shining through some breaking clouds.