Wednesday, September 23, 2009

WDCR Solo Nats Wrap Up Interviews

After every exciting event, there are always interviews of the winners; and to be honest, it's always pretty boring to hear from the winners - they already won for goodness sake! I say we should start a tradition of interviewing the losers; us losers deserve some lime light too! So without further ado, let's begin the interview. The interviewees are listed in no particular order, except the ones that got trophied get to be interview first:

Sam Strano (ProSolo National Champion, F-Stock National Champion) -

We are not interviewing Sam because he already won everything, I mean everything!!!! Oh, please remember to say Happy Birthday to Sam. Sam hates to be embarrassed and let's embarrass him for his birthday, which is September 24th. (Same as Kevin Henry, let's embarrass Kevin too)

Karen Kraus (ESPL National Champion) -

WB (WDCR Solo Nats Blog): When Krista Voda's contract is up, are you replacing her?

KK: I'm actually waiting for that return call from Michael Andretti to replace one of his drivers first... ;)

WB: Can I have your jacket?

KK: You wearing my jacket would be akin to you trying to drive Julian's kart. However, either one might be good entertainment for everyone else... especially when you tried to get out of either one!

Julian Garfield (FJB National Champion) -

WB: Winning by over 6 seconds is just not good form. Can you tell me where on the course that you can slow down?

JG: No, I don't think I can slow down anywhere because I can't lift my foot off the gas pedal.

WB: If a F1 team offers you a tire changer position right now, do you think you can do it?

JG: The job seems fairly simple, but I doubt an F1 driver would trust an 11yr old to put their tire on.

Carson Garfield (FJB 2nd Place) -

WB: Did you know Mr. Kao bought you the pink shirt because it is on sale?

CG: I don't see any pink, have you checked your "old man" eyes lately?

WB: Next year, are you going to beat up the field by over 7seconds?

CG: Yes, I plan on it. By the way, I hear you're moving to FJB next year...

Ian Baker (ProSolo Finale Champion, 3rd STS) -

WB: Now that you are rich from all the racing prize money, are you going to quit your day job?

IB: keeping the day job, have to keep up the appearances of still bring miserly :) and i'm still waiting for the gold trucks to show up!

WB: How does it feel now you got an official sponsorship from Monroe Shocks. Do you feel the warm and fuzzy with your billboard size picture on the Monroe trucks?

IB: I shaved last week, so not so fuzzy anymore :) and I feel h ***

*** Ian's responses ended there, I guess he is feeling fuzzy again.

Ian after the ProSolo Finale win!

Lee Piccione (3rd FS) -

WB: Now the Danny Kao Yellow Shelby made the podium, shouldn't you think the car belong to it's rightful owner - me?

LP: Rightful owner, that would be the bank until it get's paid off..

WB: We didn't see you much after the 3rd heat Tuesday and Wednesday, is the Pappa bear napping again?

LP: No napping this year, too busy doing stop at Nationals!

Brian Garfield (3rd F125) -

WB: Now you know that making Kline do all the work does payoff big time, do you have a list of chores for Vic?

BG: I'm gonna leave Vic alone because soon enough he'll have as many karts as I do to take care of.

WB: Can we put pinball machines in your new
toy hauler?

BG: *IF* I get something with more room, it'll just fill up with more karts, so no, I can't store your toy addiction in my trailer.

Mike Stanley (3rd FSAE) -

WB: Do you think your motley crew put the rain tires on one side and drys on the other side helped you or messed you up at the Nationals?

MS: (Grinding teeth, but no sound coming out and no response)

WB: After disc golf with Olsen, do you recognized now that you throw like a girl, and you can't even use old age as an excuse?

MS: (Grinding teeth, but no sound coming out and no response)

Brian Burdette (5th ESP) -

WB: Where do you find the best tasting scones ever?

BB: Two Twins Cafe in Lincoln, NE has the best *Chocolate Chip* scones ever. Their blueberry scones leave something to be desired, though. I don't specifically blame the blueberries for this.

WB: Rumor has it that you are switching to F-SAE or F125, is that true?

BB: I have no comment on our 2010 plans other than to say we are considering all options and in discussion with various parties.

Secret test session of Brian Burdette on the UMD FSAE car.

Jason Becker (6th SSM) -

Jason was not reachable for the post race press conference. He is the nicest Irish man in Nebraska though...

Big Mike Synder (8th FS) -


WB: Do you think trying to look 20 years younger than your real age gives you an advantage to the rest of the old geezers?

MS: Not really, most of them got higher trophy positions than me.

WB: Another F-stock championship, it is really the car, isn't it?

MS: I paid extra for a special blessing from Carroll Shelby. The goods news is that the blessing works, the bad news is it only works on the number 141.

*** Big Mike Snyder looked so different with his mustache gone, I can't recognize him in any pictures I have.

Mike Neary (10th STU) -

WB: Are you having trouble hearing because the sound of how awesome I am?

MN: No.

WB: Since the Wing on the Evo is gone, do you think it's a good idea to install a 5 feet Splitter?

MN: No.

WB: Bonus Question - Did you know that you could find Sam during your runs because Craig locked him in the trunk of the Evo?

MN: No.

Since Neary did not win the Nationals, here is his punishment the day after he returned home. We made him dressed in lea tarts and carry a bicycle while running in a sand pit. (See picture)

Eric Kriemelmeyer (15th AS) -

WB: Why were you searching for Sushi in Nebraska? Even Laslos don't have a fish dish!

EK: I found a place in downtown Lincoln that serves Sushi. Sushi fish is flown in fresh everywhere(including Bethesda, MD and San Diego, CA). Its pretty easy to spot bad fish, plus my iPhone said this one place has the best Sushi in Linco (ok, maybe it is the ONLY sushi in Lincoln). When we went out for steaks, the service was pathetic and besides, 'Misty' is a horse from Chincoteague, VA! I was kinda scared where they might be getting that beef from.

WB: How do you manage to work in your "mobile office" all day and trophy at the same time? Autox is not hard enough?

EK: I've had to stay home from Nationals because I could not afford the trip in the past, and also because I simply had too much work at the time. I enjoy seeing all my friends from other parts of the county at Nationals each year. Since I can not take the time to travel to far away Tours and Pro Solo's any longer Nationals is my chance to catch up with them. Taking some work along with me and being prepared to serve my clients is a necessary part of taking time away from my small business. With a little communication and planning nothing big came up this year, and what did come up was dealt with quickly. I'm hopeful that this added service not only made my clients projects happen on time, but also showed them that I am willing to do what it takes to ensure that their projects happen on time. Putting this all aside and getting in the drivers seat has become fairly easy for me over the years. I'm happy to have the opportunity to travel to Lincoln and compete for the Championship. I'm thankful that my family and clients helped to make it possible for me.

Greg Olsen (Frisbee Golf Champion) -

WB: Why do you "invite" us to Frisbee golf when you can throw the disc over 667 yards with laser guided accuracy? Did you know you bruised Mike Kline's ribs and busted his shoulder during that process?

GO: Real Answer - I relish in watching the defeat of others. Why else would I race? Brian paid me a considerable amount to injure Mike in a non-traceable way. I think he's gotten both jealous and fearful of getting beat by Kline in his own kart.

Political Answer - Disc golf is a lot of fun and I thought it would be a good way to kick back and relax in the middle of Nationals week. John and I both commented after that we didn't think about cars the entire time there, which was a nice, and needed, break.

WB: Are you Hans, or Franz? (For pumping iron while driving out with John V.)

GO: Which one is bigger and stronger? I'm that one.

Greg and Johnny V. laughing before they knew the rain is coming for their heat...

Frank Weichold (Chief Pit Crew) -

WB: What areas do you need to improve to further solidify your reputation as "Crazy German"?

FW: drive faster; stay longer on the gas, brake harder without loosing traction, finding the ideal line in big sweepers and don't lift in slaloms! I did cut already my F125 cart rear axle and increased the ride height so that I will have more bite in turns and will not be hindered by ankle-deep uneven spots in the pavement of the race courses. I am getting special (illegal) engine oil from a secret source to beef up my driving aggregate and make it super elastic with tons of torque in the lower rpm range. I am still developing a super stealth spoiler that will be mounted underneath the chassis (invisible to competitors and impound) that improves fast cornering...
I am also planning to take 4 Ibuprofen (200mg) before each race so that no pain will stop me from setting new marks in the history of senior citizens F125 racing.
I am still working on a bag full of things with the CM Shark Mobile that cannot be revealed as it might affect my reputation. Nothing illegal planned here.

WB: What's going to be: C-Mod, F125, or B-Stock next year?

FW: Not B-stock - its not fast enough, its not dirty enough. I was planning to sell the RX8 to the younger folks who want to taste a little speed. I am focused on "open wheel" racing which blends very well with my nature in the quest for lean speed and nimble systems. I have doubled my budget on race-suitable raingear for the next season and set up the racing gear trailer in a more versatile way... Looking at next year, I think we are good for some unexpected and rather surprising events - applying Kaointelligence almost guarantees our team to finish every event in superb conditions.

Mike Kline (Needs Surgery) -

WB: How was your Nationals, Mike?

MK: zzzzzzzzzz......

WB: Mike, how is your injury; are you ready to bounce back for the DC event?

MK: zzzzzzzzzz.......

Lisa Garfield (Ate the entire baskets of snacks and still weight 90 lbs) -

WB: Are you satisfied that you totally demolished Kao, Weichold and Edwin your best course run?

LG: Snagging a faster time on day 2 saved my butt from not besting my D.C. boys times on day 1. I have a reputation to uphold... I know I'm the primary target for all newbie kart drivers locally. Nobody wants to be beat by a girl! I need to keep them on their toes :-)

WB: How did you manage to eat the whole laundry basket worth of snacks and still add 100 lbs of weight to your kart?

LG: I NEED to eat a laundry basket full of snacks to maintain my weight, between sweating in the suit and not stopping to eat on the hectic days.

Marshall Cone (Where is Marshall?) -

Marshall was not available for comment... Something about got to go home to work or something silly like that....

Carrie Snyder (Best Looking Shirt Award) -

WB: Can I have your Gulf shirt from Le Mans?

CS: I'll think about it, it's a little big on me....

WB: Can I have your Gulf shirt from Le Mans, please???

CS: Now that I've thought about it... no.

Carrie doing her own version of the Le Mans race....

John Vitamvas (Lincoln Tree Climbing Champion) -

WB: How many harassment suits that you planned to file after your expose' pictures have been surfaced on the internet?

JV: Quite a few. If you are interested, here are my list:
  • The entire ProSolo finale ladies class.
  • The entire ladies classes at the Nationals.
  • All the women at the Frisbee golf course.
  • Five guys at the Frisbee golf course, which I will remain nameless.
  • The bartenders at the Embassy Suites.
  • And Greg Olsen - Franz.
WB: Do you feel you have improved your ability on climbing trees to retrieve Frisbees after the National week?

JV: Yes. I have also improved my swimming ability as well as crossing the highway ability; and next year, I am running number 1 SS if I knew if it was going to rain, bastards!?!!!

*** The above answers were fabricated by the interviewer and it is not the view of Mr. Vitamvas, he would have suit a lot of you than that. Plus he needs his cut for the pictures.

Little Mike Snyder (Where is little Mike?) -

WB: I see both you and Mash-all disappeared on Monday, is there a thing going on between you two?

MS: Nah, we were both only out for the Pro since we both had points.

WB: How's feel to win 2nd place and run? Is that the same as "take the money and run"?

MS: And yeah, second place in points made the trip worthwhile! Just wish I could have stayed the week but if I don't work, I don't get paid.

Mike Cook (Embassy Suites Beer Champion) -

WB: Where did you learn to drive like that? Did you stay in Holiday Express last night?

MC: Huh? Another beer please.

WB: Did you have a drinking contest with Craig?

MC: Wah? Another beer please.

Cookie wasn't coherent enough to do the interview and had to go back to class the next morning...

Learic Kammerer (1st Place, Cross Country Race, Yellow 370Z Class)

WB: Why did you let Clyde drive? Aren't you the faster one?

LK: Thank you for noticing. Yes, I am the faster is proven by my 23mph over infraction and the nav. screen showing a whopping 136mph during my stint. But there comes a time in every great athlete's (is that what we are btw??) career when they feel like they should give back to the less this case, Clyde. As his instructor, I felt the best way to help him learn the ways of the open highway was to let him fumble through it on his own and make fun of him the whole way when he's the one driving apparently he doesn't have to use the toilet as!

WB: When are you going to make the F125 guys cry now the Nationals is over?

LK: Not sure if you mean tears of fear or laughter but I hope both are involved. But really the answer is whenever someone is daring enough to give me a chance :) I took a bunch of mental notes when Julian was walking you around the courses so I think I have the edge I need. ;-P

Cylde Caplan (2nd place, Cross Country Race, Yellow 370Z Class) -

WB: Which is the best ice cream shop in Lincoln?

CC: Ivana Cone is much easier to stagger to from the Haymarket breweries than Coldstone which is several blocks away, but Ivana Cone has a line out the door.

WB: Since you got dusted by a pickup truck, a Econoline Van, and an old Ford Explorer on the race back to DC, isn't it time to switch to H-Stock?

CC: During my driving shift home, I had to make up for someone else's attempts to substitute a driving award for a coned away jacket & trophy. But, I did talk to someone about buying a G Stock car, so go figure... I'm still angling for a chance to learn how to drive in a Fun Stock car, though.

Jim Sykes (Biggest Lens, by far...) -

WB: So, can you tell us how much money you really made from John V's expose' pictures?

JS: Zero, I think Danny is keeping it all cause I'm sure there were a ton of women out there ordering up that photo.

WB: You have the uncanny ability of making all the Port-a-johns disappear in all your racing pictures. First, how did you do it? Seconds, if the the johns all have disappeared, where do I go?

JS: Surprisingly its not Photoshop, its from years of working next to race tracks that have port-a-johns all over the background of the best shots. You learn to actually look for them and when you look at them, they disappear. Use the ones in the paddock that dont get in the racing shots. ;)

Brendon Bengermino (Has a slacker co-driver/photographer) -

Brendon was not available for comment. I think he and his wife are still stuck in the ice cream store waiting for Clyde.

Shawn Roberts (Plaintiff- Decided not to file charges again Katie)

WB: Shawn, I have photos to prove that you were harassed and assaulted by Katie at the Grid on Friday, are you going to press charges?

SR: I wish I had known the photos were available for proof. The distance from Lincoln to DC makes filing the charges now a real pain so I will have to bide my time....................

WB: How much weight did you gain because Clyde forcing you guys to eat at every ice cream shops in Lincoln?

SR: I have never been forced to eat at an ice cream shop in my life (3.14159265 pounds:-( )

Katie Orgler (Defendent...) -

WB: Katie, where have you been hiding all week? You mysteriously show up for your run then disappearing again. What gives?

KO: The RPM based alarm that I had placed in Learic's Z would wake me up from sleep, whereupon I would appear in grid, take my runs and then slip away again. This also accounted for the continuous cups of coffee from BuzzThru.

WB: Are you blaming Kao for not trophying because we discussed course strategies during the course walk? If not, just so you know I am using you as the excuse for me not trophying.

KO: Actually, my mother taught us that it was best to make an strong impact in the all activities that we participate in. Unfortuantely, that corner worker didn't seem to agree with this philosophy and ran out of my way instead. Next time, all the course workers!!! Would you like to join me?

Chike Dellimore (Mr. 2010 STX) -

WB: The rumor on the street is you are going to stop BS-ing and enter the Street Touring EXTREME next year. Why spend $5000 and go slower?

CD: My top three reasons are:

#3. Chike wants to return to his drag/street racing roots and stock class doesn't allow me to bolt on the big wing, 20" rims and shoot flames out the tail pipes!!!

#2. The 370Z's are going to be kicking butt next season especially if Junior runs one...SO I WANT OUT OF THE CLASS NOW!

#1. After seeing how much Shawn and I have spent on tires and parts for a stock class car over the last two seasons, I'd rather spend 5-6K and only have to buy one set of $800 tires each season to get my autocross fix in. Plus, I get to keep that autocross speed on the street! ;-)

WB: So tell us, honestly, how many yellow corn hats have you bought since coming home from Lincoln?

CD: I can honestly say none...but I still have the chant "Hat, hat, hat, hat!!!" stuck in my mind after the Friday night banquet! Speaking of which since Brian Garfield wore the "communal" yellow corn hat, I really hope Lisa has de-liced hair by now. At the very least, no one should share helmets with him!

Pat Griffith (Cone Crasher and Rabbit Ear precipitant at the next Fedex event) -

WB: Do you feel more satisfied destroying cones in Lincoln than Fedex because the cones are newer?

PG: No.

WB: How did the Hoosier bear do at Lincoln?

PG: Fine.


Edwin Liu (1st place, Tricycle Class) -

WB: Now you have officially drove the front wheel of, have to ever thought the sabotage was meant for Justin by Dr. Evo?

EL: The timing was certainly suspect. After all, the spindle bent and caused the right brake drag on the first day at the end of Justin's last run--a run that was on pace to to be his quickest. Unfortunately, the saboteur did a shoddy job, and the axle stub held on long enough for me to finish it off dramatically on the first run the next day. Then again, this could easily be payback from sour losers over a certain bet for dinner...

I just hope your--I mean the unknown perpetrator's--aim with a gun isn't as bad as his aim with a hammer, or I may have to start wearing Kevlar whenever I'm around Justin.

WB: What's more intense? 6 runs at the National, or 6 hours following the Crazy German in Illinois and Pennsylvania?

EL: While most of us left it all on the course, the Crazy German saved it all for the drive home. As quick as Danny's Evo is in the right hands, I could not believe how fast it could slalom around semis and slower cars on the I-80 autobahn. Next year's must-have STU mod for Evos will be an 18ft trailer.

I drove the wheel off: Proclaimed by Edwin.

The three stooges doing three wheeling.
Edwin doing UMD FSAE Crew filming...

Justin Neal (Survived without gun shot wound)

WB: Firearms were not allowed at the Lincoln airport, but it's a common sighting at Fedex. Are you worried?

JN: Given the large number of threats regarding gunshot wounds, I was pretty happy about the ban on firerarms at Lincoln. I'll just have to swap out my rib protector for a bullet proof vest for Fedex.

WB: Flying is supposed to be faster than driving. Do you have anything to say about that?

JN: It turns out that flying from Lincoln to Chicago is approximately as far as flying across the entire country. I think we went through Canada.

Craig Garfield (Failed to keep his end of the bargain..) -

WB: Since you and Neary both didn't uphold your end of the bargain, do you feel ashamed?

CG: No, my job was to warm the tires without overheating them so that Mike would have nice sticky tires and a shot at winning. I did my job without finishing DFL once I knew he had blown the Jacket winning possibilities. Besides, Sammy said he would not ride in the trunk while I was driving yelling out instructions. He gets too bruised.

WB: Does Jane knew you sneak out during the awards presentation just to hang out with the Nebraska cheerleaders in the Atrium?

CG: I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may tend to incriminate me. Actually, truth be known, I went out to get coffee and didn’t feel like climbing back into the circle of chairs and spilling it all over everyone. Everyone knows now that I can’t walk and drink coffee, climbing over chairs would be out of the question.

Josh Luster (Mr. Congeniality 2009, Voted by the Cones of Lincoln) -

WB: Can you explain why the Lincoln cones love you, and the Fedex cones hate you?

JL: It's not that the Lincoln cones love me, it's that I'm so afraid of the Lincoln cones that I stay really far away from them (see your pics for proof).

WB: Did you like the food from the "Stake House" as much as I did? Or did you like Chesseburger and Peanut Butter Shakes from Sonic right afterwards as much as I did?

JL: Best "food" of the week goes to the Sonic PB shakes hands down...doesn't get much better than that. The burger at had at the Steak House was pretty tasty, but that could be because I waited an hour to get it.

The cones love Josh.

John Willemin (Simply known as "THE MAN" for being indestructable) -

WB: How can you spent 2 hours to scrap OPR off one tire, and finished the last three in 5 minutes when you heard free food at Laslos?

JW: I didn't hear anything about free food. I just am very good at half-assing things when I am hungry. Maybe I was hungry when I was taking my Friday runs.

WB: How can you have a 15 minutes head start at the Cranberry exit in PA, and got passed by a pickup truck at Breezewood an hour later?

JW: The wheelbase on a WRX is too short to drift like the pickup truck did through Breezewood. We had to take the "grip" line which is much slower, as all Japanese car videos teach us.

Shane Chinnon-Rhoden (Kao's Twin Brother) -

WB: Did you know you are I are twins? We both finished 13 on the first day and 16th on the second day; except you have 100 cars in your field and I have 16.

SC: Thats hilarious. You mentioned that on Friday but the odds of that is crazy.

WB: How do you get 4 miles per gallon on Friday, and 400 miles per gallon on Saturday?

SC: I may have misspoken or mistyped. We got 400miles per tank by drafting Garfields Trailer on Saturday I was about 1 car length behind him for about 100miles and was very efficient. On Race Day Friday I think we may have gotten about 16mpg due to the Races.

Danny Kao (Constipated/Loser) -

Cleaning OPR...

OPR causing griefs..

ME: Did you have a good time?

ME: Yes. But I don't like to use other people's rubber.

ME: Did you accomplish anything at this year's Nats?

Me: Yes. I finally finish this blog.

Hope you guys enjoyed the blogs from this Nationals. The production of this blog were brought to you by:

Clyde Caplan - Producer
Ian Baker - Director
Jim Sykes, Carrie Synder, Greg Olsen, Clyde Caplan, Karen Karus, Edwin Liu - Photography
Pat Griffith, Danny Kao - Writers
John Vitamvas - Lead Actor
The entire Prosolo Ladies class - Lead Actresses

We all had a great time at the Nationals. Hope these blogs will convince you to join us next year. It's promised to be a good time!


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