Monday, August 31, 2009

2009 Solo Nationals Preview - F125/F125L/FJB classes

This is not your "Sportscar" magazine preview where only the winners get mentioned. This is the equal opportunity WDCR F125/FJB classes preview where the loser (me) gets featured too:
In the next few days a bunch of us are leaving for Lincoln, Nebraska for the ProSolo Finale and the Solo Nationals. F125 guys, gal and FJB boys from the DC region are definitely representing: there are a total of 9 karters (6 F125s, 1 F125L, and 2 FJBs) at Lincoln spraying the course for bugs. Three towing vehicles will be towing seven karts, one Mitsubishi Evolution, and approximately 80 rims and tires for 1200 miles to Lincoln. We will probably stop for bathroom breaks for a total of 37 times. (3 times for the Ford Explorer, 4 times for the Ford Van, and 30 times for the Totota Tundra) An interesting fact: If you we move Mike Kline to the Ford Explorer, the combine ages of the passengers all three vehicle will be almost exactly the same.
Without further ado, here is your WDCR F125/F125L/FJB preview. Instead of the fastest guys first, we will feature the them by the order of age, because we all know about the "Beauty before Age" thing...
Carson Garfield - FJB

Carson is one of the 5 Garfields in the Solo Nationals this year, and probably the most coordinated. If Autocross is like Guitar Hero, Carson will be the National Champion in A-Mod. In every aspect Carson is just as fast as Julian, except a little lack of experience, and he does lift unlike his lead-footed older Brother. (Projected Finish: 2nd)
Julian Garfield - FJB
Julian is back to defend his FJB National Champion crown from last year, and he is the odds on favorite to repeat. Julian never lifts his throttle when he races, which kind of making him hard to beat. Plus he is on the same Bell Racing driver listing as Carl Edwards, and we all know Carl Edwards is the best driver ever. (That little crash over the weekend at the Rolax Grand-am race is just a minor glitch and we all do sometimes...) (Projected Finish: 1st)

Edwin Liu - F125

Sporting a brand "new" 1999 CRG 125, a powerful CR125 5 Speed motor and a wierd clutch lever position, Edwin is ready for his first Solo Nationals. Edwin's racing stratgy is simple: Go as fast as he can, scream as loud as he can, and make the kart is so uncomfortable for anyone over 6 feet tall so not only his co-driver Justin will not beat him, Justin will also get a cramp on his left leg, a massive burn on right leg from the motor, bruised right elbow from hitting the exhaust, and a hand cramp from holding the shift lever. Edwin is ready to rock. (Projected finish: 18th)
Justin Neal - F125
Justin "The Natural" Neal does not only know how to drive like Roy Hobbs knows how to pitch, he also gets all the girls attention like Robert Redford. The only way to stop Justin from winning a trophy from the Nationals is to secretly remove his exhaust springs, or shoot him in the stomach. Both methods have been attempted with moderate success in the last AI event. Justin is so fast, (how fast is he?) he has a bad reputation for being faster than the car/kart owner. (Several folks in the DC region also shared this bad reputation: Sam Strano, Mike Neary, Greg Olsen, Shane Chinonn-Rhoden, Darren Mass - until last weekend, and Larry Olsen - but I was told everybody is faster than Craig so Mr. Olsen's good reputation remains intact) Justin will be the biggest surprise at this year's National. (Projected Finish: 9th or 19th depends on how accurate Edwin's aim is)

Lisa Garfield - F125L

The Sportscar magazine doesn't know this, but Lisa is going to win the F125L National Championship this year. Lisa got a new motor, and a fourth rail on her kart this year; and more importantly, she tattooed the word "No Fear" on her forearm. She crushed the F125L favorites at the Toledo ProSolo, and she is getting even faster lately. Several of us were begging Lisa to run in F125L this year when she mentioned that she was going to run in open class. The excuse we used was she can win the Nationals in F125L, but the reality is we don't want to get crushed by Lisa, and the use of Jeff Gillooly's service for us is not an option. (Projected Finish - 1st)
Brian Garfield - F125
Brian hasn't been karting much due to his busy working schedule; and he has been practicing his driving skills on his Turbo Diesel Jetta, which is just slightly faster than my 76 BMW 2002 historic clunker with 40HP, but getting 131 MPG on the downhill on I-95. So we will either see a fresh Brian, or a not so fresh Brian. If Brian is smart, he will make Mike Kline drive the van all the way to Lincoln, so he can sleep on the back seat of his van and relax. The National Champion chances doubles if he make Mike to mount and change all the tires; and the chances triples if he makes Mike to get all four karts to grid by himself without help. But that's unlikely... (Projected Finish - 4th)

Danny Kao - F125

What does Danny Kao and Mark Liller have in common? They both drive until either the wheel falls off or the core showing, they run around on the course picking up cones like maniacs, amid in a different speed, and they both run in a very strong class (Mark is in F-Stock); but that's where the similarity ends. Unlike Mark who is getting faster and moving up in PAX, Danny has been moving down in PAX and constantly getting humiliated by the "Natural". Danny even came up with some lame excuse on going to see Neary's time trial to avoid the last AI autocross where he would be crushed by Edwin in order to protect his "Fastest Chinese guy in Gaithersburg" status. Nationals is not looking good for Danny, but he is ready to eat and buy souvenirs and blog. (Projected Finish: 23rd)

Frank Weichold - F125
Frank Weichold, aka "The Crazy German", is feared among the B-Stock guys. (So he claimed, but I don't see Shawn or Chike shaking their boots) Frank is going to test his "mad" skills at the Nationals in F125 this year. But the road to karting for Frank is long:
  • Crack his rib on his first indoor karting session by Brian Garfield, who showed him "who is the boss" at the Red Bull turn.
  • Pull his back while lifting a kart from the ground to the stand, resulted in an MRI.
  • Complain about headaches after the first test and tune, where he finish 3 seconds back of the "Natural", who drove for the first time and only two runs.
  • Couldn't stop spining and knock over cones for the first three events. Prompted Julian to ban him from running the course.
  • Tried to sign up in A-Mod and F125L multiple times to avoid the class he will be running and blame the computer guy for bad programming.
  • Cutting practice short claiming his butt hurts, also resulted to another MRI.
In Frank's defense, he is the oldest dude in F125 from the DC region at the Nationals this year, and his daughter is in medical school so she can medicate Frank when he needs it. But he is a crazy German, and a crazy German is always faster than an old Chinese guy. (Projected Finish: 22nd)

This leads to my projected F125 National Champion of this year. Drum roll please.......

Mike Kline - F125

Mike hasn't touch a thing on his kart this year. Not a jet, spark plug, alignment, or tire pressure. I don't even think Mike even washed his racing suit this year. Mike always takes naps under the shade, chit chat with girls. And when the temperature gets hot, he goes into the timing trailer and sleep next to the timing writing pretending he is auditing. To sum up, Mike is the most lay back guy I know in autocross, and he is fast as Sxxx. (Oh, I can't say that because Ian told me not to) With Brian chauffeuring Mike and Brian setup the kart and the tire pressure (PLUS JETTING!) , Mike Kline with hot tires and a functional kart will be hard to beat. Plus since Mike is really lay back, he might just let me have his National Champion jacket. Size L for me, please... (Projected Finish: 1st)

This concludes my version of the karting class preview for this year's National. If you have any complaints, please direct it to Pat Griffith as he is the Editor in charge. If you have any complaints in the twitter portion of this blog, please direct it to Clyde as he is the Twitter in charge. If you like this blog, please go to the WDCR Yahoo group site and let everyone know you like it. I am sure several MUCH MUCH better quality reporting will follow from the rest of the gang, and you don't have to know Chinese to understand it. :)
"See" you all over the blog at the Nationals. It's promised to be fun.

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