Laps to Conquer M.S., Inc
A Charity Drive to End Multiple Sclerosis
PO Box 94, Lenni, PA 19052-0094
Welcome to the LCMS 2007 One Lap of America Page
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One week before the One Lap of America, (OLOA), Laps to Conquer M.S., Inc. (LCMS), had sponsors - Dominion Title Services, Audubon Environmental, Sunoco plus new associate sponsor, Matt's Automotive Service - but no car to use. Every manufacturer or dealer asked said not this year. BeaveRun Motorsports Complex tried but didn't get the "Jello nailed to the wall" in time. It seemed that LCMS needed another way to show that an MS diagnosis changed-not ended-how we MS'ers can stay involved in life. The third LCMS team member, my son-Wayne Hickman-offered his 1990 Geo Metro Wagon; a three-speed automatic, three cylinders, one liter of squirrel-power!?! He was reasonably sure "Hoopty" could do it - his fingers were crossed when he said that. We asked if it had a cigarette lighter; it had one. Wayne maintained the car for his customer since new and then bought it three years ago to be his daily driver; so the mechanic comes with it. He got to our house at 9 am Wednesday morning with a clean Hoopty. David and Wayne "dressed" Hoopty with the magnetic, reusable LCMS 1 Lap and sponsor decals-they used the roof, too (Getting Ready) - and laid out a packing plan while I got ready. Surprise - my scooter, Traveler, fit without laying the back seat flat, so the driver riding in back may sit up or lay down. At 11 am they loaded me and finished packing. Wayne added a five-plug extender to the cigarette lighter for the GPS, CB, radar-detector and charging cell phones - he hoped the alternator could handle it. (Wayne really wanted to do without the GPS after his experience w ith it last year.) We set off at 11:30am for Hoopty's first challenge-crossing the PA Appalachians.
Hoopty needed a muffler when Wayne got it. He found an aftermarket muffler in a junk yard and force-fit it to the car - it is louder inside than out! At a fuel stop, we discovered the radio was on and turned up! Hoopty's own sound system meant no radio was needed. With the windows down - no A/C (are you surprised?) - the exhaust seemed louder. The magnetic decals needed more tape - passing traffic lifted them, but none were lost. Hoopty crossed the Appalachians by 5 pm and delivered us to a motel in Irwin, PA. There we met Danny and Arlene Yanda for dinner. Danny was one of LCMS' two third team members in 2005; Arlene is one of LCMS' cheerleaders. She left for a meeting after dinner leaving the four of us to talk strategy. We agreed, get to the finish! Danny had words of praise for LCMS' ride; he and Wayne talked about Hoopty's heritage.
Thursday morning David and Wayne loaded me and got on the road to South Bend, IN. Hoopty got us to the motel about 5 pm. The LCMS team wasn't the first to arrive but the Dominion Title Audubon Environmental Sunoco # 94 Hoopty was the best "dressed". Other teams apply their 1 Lap decals after getting them at registration. A sit-down dinner at the Steak & Ale proved to be our last proper meal for a week! Back at the motel, (After Dark) more teams had arrived. We visited with everyone and then went to our room to check the WiFi connection. We didn't have much time for that either during the next week.
David, Wayne and I had a good breakfast before going to the Tire Rack headquarters. We registered and got the last of the required decals plus the 1 Lap Route Book; it tells us where to go and how to get there - but warns to check a map too. While David and Wayne applied the last decals and got Hoopty through Tech (Dressed), I visited with old friends (Dave Carr and Fay) and made new ones. Much speculation was made by the others about whether we were seriously using Hoopty or if it could possibly finish the 1 Lap. I said that since no manufacturer or dealer had a vehicle for LCMS, Wayne offered his cheapest, most expendable vehicle. And, since the owner/mechanic came with it, LCMS accepted the offer. Some (most!) still had serious doubts. Hoopty passed Tech. Everyone attended the Drivers' Meeting. (Driver's Meeting) Back at the motel, there was a buffet dinner for the 1 Lappers.
The first event ran in car number order. LCMS is number 94 for long-time sponsor Sunoco's gasoline octane rating. This year the number was prophetic-Hoopty ran last every time. David drove this event. There were two surprises: 1) how far the Hoopty leaned without rolling over (Hoopty Leaning) and; 2) David wasn't last - 62nd of the 84 cars - INCREDIBLE! - that ran! We loaded up for a 5-mile jaunt to the next competition.
South Bend Motor Speedway, South Bend, IN. Overall Mileage - 5
David and Wayne unloaded and Wayne suited up for his first event - fortunately the two drivers could wear the same helmet and driver's suit, Hoopty couldn't carry any more. This is a 1/4 mile paved oval. Wayne did well, he was 79th of the 84 cars - he leaned Hoopty as far as David did. (Wayne at South Bend) Wayne even beat the car that won Hoopty's Economy Car Class! (Cavalier) (It had a penalty added.) Everything went back into Hoopty to travel 135 miles to the 3rd competition at the 3rd track in the same day!
Autobahn Country Club, Joliet, IL. Overall Mileage - 140
This event's finish order set the car run order for the coming week. David drove here last year so he drove here this year too - anyway, Wayne was too tired after driving the 1/4 mile oval. (Wayne relaxing). Surprise again; Hoopty wasn't last - 82nd of the 83 cars that ran here! Still, Hoopty lined-up last at every event from here until the end, hoping to not be passed by the first car in the run group. The guys loaded me and our stuff back into Hoopty for a 453-mile drive to IA. Wayne noticed the truckers were annoyed by Hoopty's headlights. When he ran alone the road ahead wasn't lit, so he tried the high-beams. The high-beams lit the overhead power lines! Note to mechanic: tomorrow, adjust headlights AFTER loading Hoopty. We got to the motel in Glenwood, Iowa, at 2:16 am after driving through several severe thunderstorms that threatened to blow Hoopty off the interstate.
Bad weather during the night left standing water on the race course so the event started late. David finished 78th of the 80 cars that ran here. (David at MidAmerica)
A severe weather forecast for the night's 984-mile transit to Salt Lake City, UT, combined with the morning's late start caused OLOA to cancel the second event. Everyone gets an equal score - zero - and an earlier start on the transit to UT. The trip over the Rockies used I-80. Hoopty found uphill challenging (Brock Jr. giving Wayne directions) but never faltered - and never down-shifted to first! Even with the early start, we got to the motel at 3:20 am - last to run and slowest on the road equals little sleep! (But the last-to-run do get to sleep-in later than the front-runners.)
Miller Motorsports Park is a great, new road-race that has North America's longest road course. It is 4.5 miles long and can be split into two tracks; each is over two miles long and has a separate control / timing tower. The area has mild elevation changes, no vegetation, just the salt desert, with snow-capped peaks in the distance. (Wayne and a view) Any car that goes off the paving kicks up a lot of dust and brings dirt back on-course - if it doesn't get stuck! OLOA couldn't do all three courses in one day. 1 Lappers ran the longest of the short courses in the morning and the 4.5 mile long course in the afternoon. David wanted to drive the long course - he drives in endurance races - so Wayne drove the short-course.
Wayne was 79th of the 79 cars that ran the short course.
David was 76th of the 76 cars that ran the long course - the 3 laps took over 14 minutes. (Dave finishes) (Do you see consistency among the LCMS drivers?)
David and Wayne loaded me and our stuff for the 597-mile transit back over the Rockies. The route used a two-lane route and we were warned that Hoopty would use first gear. Hoopty got us to the motel, and bed, at 2:30 am - WITHOUT using first gear! Oh ye of little faith!
(Pueblo Motorsports Park) When we got to the track, everyone was talking about the bad weather they drove through last night. We drove on some wet roads and through some slush - maybe last-on-the-road was a good thing. David checks the 1 Lap scores every day. The Hoopty is in a heated battle for . . . LAST. To finish dead-last-but-running, a car must finish every event. The other car, a turbo-charged Isuzu, had mechanical woes and three novice competition drivers - all Rice University SAE Engineering students driving and working on their professor's car. (The Competition) Hoopty had no mechanical woes - once the headlights were readjusted - and one licensed competition driver, David. Maybe we should strive for last.
Event # 8
David was 73rd of the 75 cars that ran. (He just can't slow down.) (Dave Pueblo)
Event # 9
Wayne 72nd of the 72 cars that ran. (He had team spirit.) (Wayne at Pueblo)
As David and Wayne started repacking Hoopty, they found their helmet bag already had a helmet in it! They had one bag and two helmets!?! Two other teams - Mark Blaha/David Rothert and Bill Mains/Tom Veselich - share their shade canopies with us to stow our stuff and hide me from the sun; it may be one of their's. They ran in earlier groups than Hoopty and were gone. Brock Yates, Jr., - OLOA event operator, and also David's son-in-law - passed by as he left to tease us - again. We gave the helmet to him because the 1 Lap track events don't start without him and his crew had contact with every car/team - and we were space - deprived. Hoopty got loaded for the short (?), 591-mile transit to OK.
Here's a few pics for you. We are having a fierce battle for last place. This morning at Pueblo we were 40 pts. out of last place and then I managed to beat our compitition. This put us 45 pts. out of last place. So we put Wayne in the car for the second run. Back to 40 pts. We are thinking of letting Wayne run all the remaining compititions. This way we may be able to just sneak into last. He may have to run the dry skid pad backwards to do it though.
We are in Stillwater, Ok and will be at Hallett in about 4 hours. Need sleep. Will call in during the SJR meeting tonight. If any of us remember.
photo # 1 - At Autobahn
photo # 2 - Miller Motorsports Park
photo # 3 - All dressed at the Tire Rack
photo # 4 - Wayne at the 1/4 mile oval (if we only had sway bars)
photo # 5 - Brock giving Wayne directions (the autoparts store for the turbo is...)
photo # 6 - Wayne in the last corner at Pueblo (what sway bars)
Hallett is the track that 1 Lap has visited the most. It can run counter-clockwise - the usual direction - or clockwise; 1 Lap runs counter-clockwise this year. Kicker Car Stereo, an OLOA sponsor, hosted the 1 Lappers for lunch in the cafeteria that serves good, cooked-to-order food. Kicker Car Stereo brought three busloads of employees to visit 1 Lappers and cheer us on. The guys unloaded me and our stuff at the usual canopy. The helmet mystery was solved before we got there. David's and Bill Mains' helmet bags are identical; the only difference is where they lay under the canopy. Bill watched teammate Tom stash the helmet in the closest bag (David's); then they loaded the empty bag (Bill's) with their stuff as they left Pueblo. Bill thought someone played a nasty prank on him. He went to tell Brock the problem before his run group was called. Brock gave him the helmet and Bill made his run group. Mary Seelhorst, a competitor and a photographer for Car and Driver magazine, took a team photo of us (LCMS Team) and said to watch their website (Car and Driver) and the August issue of Car and Driver. Our dead-last-but-running competition had their car running better. David started coaching their driving; they were college students using their professor's car. David is a good driving coach, maybe this will work.
Event # 10
David was 74th of the 76 cars that ran. (The plan isn't working yet.)
Event # 11
Wayne was 69th of the 69 cars that ran. (Wayne is a good team player.) (Wayne - At Speed?)
They loaded me and our stuff for a 674-mile transit - there's nothing extra this time. Wayne had "issues" with the GPS as he got close to the motel. "She" told him one exit and displayed using another - now I know why he's not married, women confuse him. Five minutes later, 1:45 pm, he found the motel.
OLOA used this track before; David drove it then so he knew it. 1 Lap planned to do four events here; two road course events, one Elimination Drag Race and one Bracket Drag Race. When the 1 Lap was here in 2003, LCMS used a GMC Envoy and spectators enjoyed David's runs. We found the guys with the shade canopy and unloaded just in time for David's run. This year spectators watched Hoopty expecting to see it rollover!
Event # 12
David was 73rd of the 73 cars that ran. (Finally, the plan worked.) (O'Reilly Raceway)
David spent time coaching Wayne and the Isuzu drivers. It was hot; both of my drivers were watching to see that I didn't get too hot.
Event # 13
Wayne was 72nd of the 72 cars that ran. (He is a great team player.) (Wayne at O'Reilly)
David saw me wilting and looked for a place to put me. After Wayne's run, the track manager was kind enough to allow moving me into the A/C in the Drag Strip's timing tower. Next were the Drag races. Hoopty was expected to be slowest of speed runs; we knew that. But, Hoopty could do well in the Bracket drag race - predict your finish time then drive it. The LCMS team decided to try to win that event. David coached Wayne. (Staging Lane) (Time to get off the Brakes!
Event # 14
Wayne was 73rd of the 73 cars that ran - as expected. (For those who know Drag Racing: 21.66 seconds, 61.66 mph-a 1 Lap record (slow!) time.) (Drag time)
Event # 15
CANCELED!?! OLOA canceled the Bracket Drags due to not enough time before 1 Lap had to leave the track. (We think everyone feared Hoopty would embarrass them!)
David and Wayne loaded up for a 251-mile jaunt - a really short transit; the GPS' expected arrival time is before midnight. The guys are hungry; we hadn't had a proper meal since the 1 Lap started. The GPS found a steak house and got us to it. As we ordered, another team's media crew was seated at the next table. We shared a night's lodging with them last year; other diners weren't sure if all of us were crazy or sane. They posted stories and videos every day; see them at Lake Effect Racing. Even after taking time to eat, we got to the motel before midnight.
OLOA hasn't been here since 1987 when I ran my first 1 Lap. David hasn't been here since we timed 24-hour races for Briody Racing in the mid '80's. Wayne attended motorcycle races here this decade. Ron Pizor, LCMS' team member 2000 - 2005, met us, concerned because we arrived so late. We were just in time for David's run group. Why be earlier? We introduced Ron to our shade-mates.
Event # 15
David was 73rd of the 73 cars that ran. (He learned to be a team player.)
(Carousel at Mid-Ohio)
I didn't have trouble with the heat here, the concrete and block garages stay cool and give shade. Traveler doesn't take much parking space so the other competitors share space with us. I was able to watch Hoopty's afternoon run from near the start line. Hoopty started close to the car ahead of it. At the end of the first lap, that gap was much greater. The gap grew each lap until the first-in-the-run-group was close enough that Wayne thought he would get passed. That car was finishing its after-checker-cool-down lap as Wayne was about to start his last lap!
Event # 16
Wayne was 73rd of the 73 cars that ran. (He is so consistent.)
(Onto the front Straight at Mid-Ohio)
Everything was loaded for the last transit-258 miles back to IN. That's why it's 1 Lap; it starts and finishes in the same place and competitors go around only once. It was still daylight when we got to the motel. After getting into our room, we joined the other 1 Lappers at the bar for dinner and lots of stories from this Lap. They all were glad - and some surprised - that Hoopty made it all the way.
In the motel's breakfast area, the stories continued until we left. We checked-out and got to the Tire Rack in time for photographers Steve and Angelo to put Hoopty and us in the second row of the group photo - just behind the first and third place finishers. See their pictures of Hoopty at: Highland Design Studio, on page 3, car # 94. (In exalted company)
David checked the results and found that Hoopty was solidly LAST. Wayne was allowed to drive the dry skid pad as fast as Hoopty would go - as if he hadn't every time. This time the cars ran in reverse order; last-to-first. Wayne LEADS this 1 Lap event - until the next car runs.
Event # 17
Wayne was 72nd of the 73 cars that ran - but Hoopty was still last overall.
(Wayne leans too!)
The OLOA Awards Banquet started at 1pm in the same tent the drivers' meeting was in . . . only last Friday. After everyone ate the many Awards were presented. (Trophies by Corsa)
For the 4th year - was a Porsche 996TT driven by Mark DaVia and Drew Wikstrom. (4-time Winners)
First in Economy Car Class
(Hoopty's class) was a Chevy Cavalier driven by Amanda Hennessey (Fay and Amanda) and Thomas Datwyler. Hoopty (the only real economy car) was 6th of the 9 cars in Economy Car Class; the last 3 cars didn't finish every event.
for finishing all the events but scoring the least points was given to Hoopty. Hoopty got a certificate to get a helmet and driver's gear bag. It's the only award that doesn't need dusting. (Hoopty owner Wayne let David get a new helmet.) I have tried to win the 1 Lap since 1987, LCMS and David since 1989, Wayne since last year. It took us that long to sink this low . . . BUT the LCMS Dominion Title Audubon Environmental Sunoco Hoopty TEAM HAD FUN! Hoopty's ability to lean that far and keep all four tires on the ground entertained. After crossing the Rockies twice, the gang began expecting us - instead of being surprised we got there. (Brock Sr., and Jr.) (Somebody loves us!