Thanks to Tracy (Xanga: scmeggiry) I need to make a correction to my previous entry. I don’t mind admitting I’m wrong when I’m totally wrong. Anyway, she’s a fellow lefty, so that’s makes it all good!
Tracy says the original Roscoe’s House of Chicken’ N Waffles is its Hollywood location (1514 N Gower St Los Angeles, CA 90028-6422), not the West L.A. one on West Pico Blvd. (5006 W Pico Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90019-4126).
I went to Dromo One with Tim Seargeant, Kenny Chin, and Kevin Chin on Thursday night. We ran in the 7:45 PM race with five other people we didn’t know, one of which was there for the first time. I finished third in our race to two “regulars”, but I set the fastest lap of the race by 0.104 of a second. When I went on Saturday, my best lap time was 24.672 seconds (on lap 18 of 18). On Thursday night, my best lap was 24.405 seconds (on lap 21 of 22).
Before our race, I commented that the track looked faster/grippier. The private group (some law firm I think, I saw a white Ford Explorer with a USC Law license frame and another one with a USC Alumni license frame with a plate that said USCTXMN or something like that) that went before us actually ran a 90-minute endurance race (>140 laps).
The best thing about my improved best lap time was that it was in the middle of a string of laps I put together at the end of the race, when I was starting to tire/fatigue a little bit. On Saturday with the crazy heat/humidity, I didn’t get tired at all during that race. But on Thursday night, I could feel it. The best thing is that my lap times improved as I soldiered on! Perhaps it was because we ate dinner before our race. I usually don’t like to eat before any sort of physical activity because I believe it’ll weigh me down or make me groggy. Before any of my baseball or football games in high school, I tried to make sure I visited John before getting on the bus/van. Most of you out there should be able to figure things out from there without me going into more detail.
Anyway, the 0.267 difference in my best lap times is slightly over a quarter of a second! Forty miles per hour is about 58-2/3 feet per second. That equates to about 15.664 feet on the track (two and a half kart lengths? – one kart is 70 inches long or 5 feet, 10 inches) on a straightaway.
Here is a list of my string of “good” lap times:
Lap 19 – 24.56
Lap 20 – 24.45
Lap 21 – 24.40 – best lap
Lap 22 – 24.71 – last lap of the race
The first three laps listed above were all better than my best lap time last Saturday.
Even though I finished third, I had a LOT of fun. I started the race third and was on the second place driver’s rear the whole time until we hit lap traffic which I caught at the wrong place on the track (that’s racing). The person we were lapping was not at fault in any way. I knew I was faster than the second place driver (unsure about the first place driver since I wasn’t close enough), but also knew I probably wasn’t going to be able to pass him cleanly. I take a lot of pride in making my passes as cleanly as possible and driving in a gentlemanly, sportsman-like manner. First and second place traded places a couple of times, but we all finished in the same positions we started. I was very satisfied to find out I turned the fastest lap in the race. The first place driver turned a best lap time of 24.509 seconds and the second place driver turned a best lap time of 24.717 seconds. Remember those guys are regulars who frequent the track and probably have at least a hundred plus laps on that track config. Actually, I think that was my fifth time driving that layout, so I probably have about a hundred laps on it. But I’m fairly confident they’ve logged a lot more laps than I have. The first place finisher had his own helmet. The second place finisher had his own helmet and driving suit. Then again, I have my own helmet and gloves too!
I was very proud that Tim, Kenny, and Kevin all had best lap times in the 25 second range! On Saturday, one of them had a 25.907, another a 26.296, and the other a 27.334. The track record is a 22.6xx. The hardcore regulars (hundreds of laps of experience) at Dromo One can turn high 22’s and low 23’s (not always in an “Arrive & Drive” 15-minute race format. It’s a lot easier to turn good lap times in an endurance race when the driver is in his or her rhythm/zone and the kart and track are up to temperature). I’m not quite familiar with the track and karts enough to be there, but I hope I will eventually dip into the 23-second range. As long as I improve a little every time, I’ll be totally happy!