Weekends are racing everywhere. As an example, a lot of eyes were on the wheels of NASCAR in New York at Watkins Glen. Sprint Cup stock car racing on a road course. As it was, amidst the twists and turns of The Glen, Joey Logano won the day as Kevin Harvick ran the tank dry.
Jump a bit south and another race on another road course was crossing the checkers as they were going green in New York. The differences between these races are many but the game is the same. Drive, go fast, pass who you can, get up front and try to stay there. The racing is often close, cars break and drivers push too hard and it either pays off or they go off. Racing is racing and the price tag is a matter of details.
Twenty-Four hour racing is not new but events like Daytona and Le Mans are full of big teams with big sponsors and international, seasoned professional drivers on the top of their series. The cars they race are on the razor’s edge of technology with the absolute best engineering and testing. It’s a little different when they race 24 hours at Virginia International Raceway.
At VIR the Optima Batteries ChumpCar Series take on the full course with cars and drivers from the daily grind. The same course that hosts the world class speeds of the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship drops the green flag on “every man” racing with cars that were built on a shoe string. Safety is the only real consideration for modifications with seats and harnesses, roll cages and other requirements to protect the drivers. The cars themselves are limited in the way in which performance enhancements can be made. The focus is on giving an opportunity to anyone who wants to go racing without having to spend a lottery fortune on the latest tech, power and engineering. The cars can be found anywhere and it will cost a bit to add the safety spec but it is quite affordable as far as racing goes.
Virginia International Raceway hosts the Chumps and the 24 hour endurance test of drivers and their machines. To see it is to believe it. Some of these cars look pretty nice and except for the numbers and some stickers you likely wouldn’t give them a second glance on the highway. Many look a bit like something you might find 17th down in the third row at the local salvage yard. It’s possible that is where some of them came from. It’s a fair bet a big bunch of them have parts from there.
ChumpCar racing is the essence of “run what ya brung”. The pit crew is your family or friends and the car is what you could find for a few hundred dollars. The performance is essentially what the car was when it was a “car”. It’s obviously a fun thing to say you are a “race car driver” and have the thrill of racing. It’s also quite fun to watch. Check the schedule at Virginia International Raceway and the ChumpCar World Series websites. The Chumps are scheduled to return for racing in December. Grab a jacket or grab a car and come join in the fun.
Photos from Saturday at Virginia International Raceway with the Optima Batteries ChumpCar Red Line Oil 24 Hour Classic, including the big rigs of the ChampTruck series earlier in the day.
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ChumpCar and ChampTruck at VIR. August 8, 2015. Hi-Res digital images suitable for print are available by request / Donations accepted. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with subject VIR CHUMP Car #