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EvilSpeeder
12-07-2004, 10:12 PM
I was the crew chief for this one. When I finally went to bed at 12am monday morning I had been up for 40 hours straight. I'll post some more stats about fuel and tire useage later. Unfortunately there weren't any celicas there, but I think there might be a nasa class that would be a good fit. Someday....

We did pretty good, but damn I wish that tranny had held together. Pictures can be found at:

25 Hour Gallery (http://evilspeed.com/Galleries/25_Hour_2004/)



Wheels America Miatas Finish 4th, 14th at Longest Race in North America

December 5, 2004 (Dallas, Tx) – Wheels America Racing finished the 25 Hours of Thunderhill Sunday for the second consecutive year. The 01 Mazda Miata piloted by Bob Stretch, Ken Murillo, Ara Malkhassian, and Mike Bradshaw completed 606 laps and finished 4th in E2 class, 12th overall and was the 3rd place Miata. The 02 Mazda Miata driven by Mac Spikes, Tony Lee, Sherrie Schaeffer, Mike Glassburner, and Alison Malkhassian completed 568 laps and finished 14th in E2 class and 27th overall.

The 25 Hours of Thunderhill is the longest road race currently being run in North America. Beginning at 11am on Saturday morning and finishing at 12pm the next day, it is one of the most grueling automotive events in the world. Inclement weather is always impending and the temperatures can dip into the low 30s at night. This year 59 cars started the race with entries ranging from the ubiquitous Mazda Miata and Porsche 911 to Honda Civics and Superperformance Cobras. The winning Porsche completed 681 laps in 25 hours. Only 37 cars completed more than 500 laps.

The Wheels America 01 car started the race in 18th and quickly climbed up the order. By the middle of the night it was leading the class with gaps ranging from 2 laps to 5 laps. The car ran solidly in 5th place overall besting numerous faster cars with fast pitstops and consistent driving. 4th place overall and the class win were almost in sight when the dreaded radio call came in. “I’ve got a driveline vibration. I think the tranny is gone,” driver Bob Stretch radioed in. Fourth gear remained intact but how long it would last was unknown. There were just over 5 hours remaining in the race and the team made the decision to change the transmission to insure a finish. This would surely cost the team the lead. The car rolled in to the trailer and the transmission was replaced. The fight resumed with the car now running in 14th place overall. Drivers Ken Murillo and Mike Bradshaw mounted a late charge to move the car back up to 12th overall and 4th in class. The team was the 3rd highest placing Miata out of a field of 14. Twenty three cars entered the race in the E2 class.

The 02 car started the race on Saturday after having rolled in practice the day before and missing qualifying. The team stayed up all night fixing damage from the roll-over and making sure the car was as straight as possible. Any mistakes would cause severe tire wear or worse and could cause the car to not finish. The car seemed fine at the start of the race, much to the relief of the team who had worked so hard to get it on the track Saturday morning. The 02 quickly moved through the field after starting from the back. Things went well until a rock took out one of the lights at 9:30pm. The light shorted out causing the alternator to fail. There was no indication of the failure until the dash started indicating low voltage. All lights except the headlights were shut off taking the car from 900watts of lighting to 220. The drivers were almost blind and were following other cars just to stay on track. The alternator would have to be changed. The car was brought in to swap to a fully charged battery while an alternator could be sourced. After running on battery power only with just 220watts of headlight power for almost an hour the car was brought behind the wall and the alternator swapped. Everything went as planned and the car was back out with fresh tires, fuel, and a working alternator. The drivers mounted a late charge moving the car from 31st overall to 27th in the last two hours of the race. The 02 car finished 14th in class and was the 11th place Miata.

Crew for this race were: John Dolecek, Chris Boyer, Scott Stretch, Cody Twist, Sam Miller, Michael Gonzalez, and Stan Erickson


The team would like to thank BG Products, Larry Oka, Theresa Stretch, Michelle Murillo, and Jill.

ray_sir_6
12-08-2004, 07:15 AM
Nice light setup you had there...must have been bright as fuck driving by.

EvilSpeeder
12-09-2004, 04:40 AM
Ours wasn't even close to the brightest. There was an evo there with the full rally light pod, will all HIDs. It was insane.

roman
12-09-2004, 07:35 AM
Damn, that sounds like a lot of fun! I think I'll pass 25 hours at Thunderhill, but I definitely want to go there for a track day and race. One day...