Super Lap Battle for over a decade has been the benchmark race for United States Time Attack teams to see where they stack up against the competition past and present. And while Buttonwillow is not necessarily what you might imagine when you picture a destination in California, the track and the competition make the unsightly (and smelly) surroundings worth the 42 hour cross country trip.
After SEMA, Kevin and I took a small backwards detour to visit the South Rim of Grand Canyon in Arizona. Since we arrived near dark, we decided to grab a hotel and wake up early to watch the sunrise over the canyon. I think one of my favorite things about traveling for racing is the sunrises, and between Pikes Peak and the Grand Canyon, I'm not sure which one has been most memorable this year, but they are all amazing in a unique sort of way.
After the early wake up call we got back on the road to California.
The following day we unloaded the car at the track to make a few small changes before race day, We got the car settled into our pit garage (courtesy of Fortune Auto) and set up to race the following morning.
Race day rolled around and I have to admit, I was bit more nervous than usual. It would be my first time racing at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, and I still wasn't completely comfortable with the car since the LS swap, not to mention we had made quite a few changes and were
still combating brake booster issues. I knew the competition was pretty fierce, and with no test day to learn the track, I would be thrown into the heat of things.
Day one, I spent most of the day learning the track. I couldn't ask much more than get faster every session, and I was able to do just that.
Day two, the competitive side of me started taking hold, for better or for worse. While I did get faster every session, and even went four wheeling a few times, as the day progressed the grim reality that I needed more seat time to be competitive at that track became obvious. Of course, some part of me refused to embrace that reality and was still somewhat disappointed in my final time of 2:04.2x, but the other part of me was just even more motivated to get more seat time and learn this new build.
In the end, I didn't quite get the results I wanted, but I did learn a lot. The trip was well worth the time just to learn the track, so that I may be competitive when we return next year!
Kevin and I began our long drive home to Maryland. Since we are both big history buffs, we decided to take our time and see some sights on the way. Here are some pictures of our trip home, Enjoy!
We had to make a stop at Six Flags: Magic Mountain in SoCal
Our final stop in California was the historic Calico Ghost Town of i-15
Whiskey Pete's Casino off i-15 in Nevada houses the authentic Bonnie & Clyde death car.
Heading into Las Vegas at night
Crossing over the Hoover Dam outside of Vegas!
Stopped by the Red Rock canyons On our way to the Grand Canyon, in Arizona!
South Rim at the Grand Canyon
Delgadillo"s Snow Cap on Historic Route 66 in Arizona,
Black Mountains off i-40 entering New Mexico
Checking out the ancient petroglyphs near Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Left our mark at Slug Bug ranch near Amarillo, Texas.
Unloaded the race car for some pictures at the famous Conoco Tower on Route 66 in Shamrock, Texas. You might recognize it from the movie Cars!
Route 66 sodas at the Historic U Drop Inn
Largest Route 66 sign off i-40 in Oklahoma
Driving through Arkansas with the Super Moon stained orange by smoke from local wild fires.
Fall colors in Tennessee
Stopped over the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia
Thomas Jefferson's House, Monticello, in Virginia.
and finally MARYLAND!