Endurance/ Skid Plate racing – Irwindale Speedway


(skip all this reading and jump to the VIDEO if all these words are overwhelming)

The original plan was to run in two events – first a 25 lap endurance race, followed by a 20 lap “skid plate race”.  I originally found out about skid plate racing from an article on Jalopnik (http://goo.gl/5cLGsl and http://goo.gl/TfQnSz).

Briefly, Skid Plate racing involves removing the rear wheels of a front wheel drive car and replacing them with flat metal plates that offer very little traction on a track.  The cars slide and spin like driving on ice.

After some research, I found out the man to speak to was Robert Rice (the creator of this type of racing).  I reached out to him about using one of his cars for an event.  He was good with my plan to run in both the endurance race (with all 4 tires) and then the Skid Plate race, but reminded me that if the car didn’t make it through the first event, I would be out of luck for the second event . . .

So, Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd of 6,500, it was my chance to race.  It was the track’s annual Night of Destruction with three demolition derbies, a trailer race, skid plate race, endurance race as well as an open competition race.

I'm told one of the largest crowds of the year - Over 6,000

I’m told one of the largest crowds of the year – Over 6,000

I'm told one of the largest crowds of the year - Over 6,000

Big crowd!


(This is the full race, see below for an EDITED version)

The starting order was randomly selected – there was no qualifying session.  I ended up starting towards the back of the grid (there were 30 or so cars in the event and technically I started last) but even with a spin I managed to make up a lot of places.  I ran into some major trouble at the end but I still managed to keep at least 6 places!

The night was not without some problems –

Due to the Halloween theme of the event, a few laps into the race we somehow ended up with a lot of smashed pumpkin right on one of the fastest turns of the track.  Smashed pumpkin is slippery!

I also had some GoPro related problems that limited the camera angles available.

Most significantly, I had a few incidents involving the big white tires marking the course.  I was able to keep driving through the first few incidents, but I could tell the last one did some real damage, making the car virtually un-drivable.  I pulled off the track at the end of the last lap and got the car to limp back to the pits.  We tried to get the car fixed and running again in time for the Skid Plate event, but the damage to the suspension was too severe and I had to retire the car and miss my last event (the skid plates).  A lot of fun though!

Tragedy struck my front suspension . . .

Tragedy struck my front suspension . . . They should generally be pointed in the same direction . . .