The Holidays are upon us. Thanksgiving has come and gone. Well, most of it has. There are still a few pounds of weight to be lost. Even all the walking at the Performance Racing Industry Show failed to have much of an impact. This was the fourteenth edition of the show. While Reed has missed a few, Sandi has been to all of them. The show has grown dramatically since its Louisville debut. The current editions have been held early in Indianapolis during the week following the Thanksgiving holiday. The show is "trade only", which means no general public admittance. It is still very crowded. Over 30,000 people were anticipated to attend during the three days of this year‘s show. The following newsletter is a summary of our activities at the show and several activities which took place in the same time frame.
November 21, 2001
Late on Wednesday evening Reed returns from a month-long trip which started with the SEMA Show in Las Vegas and ended with his activities at California Speedway. Sandi has their house ready for Thanksgiving and the relatives.
November 22, 2001
Family and great food made for a fantastic Thanksgiving. We also surprised everyone with new living room furniture.
November 23 - 27, 2001
While Reed did a lot of catching up with mail and shop activities, perhaps the most important item which occurred during this time period was the finalization of the purchase of a new car to run in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. We had been working towards this goal for a long time. And our targeted vehicle was a Rocketsports-built Oldsmobile Cutlass which we would run in the American GT class. We had investigated many possibilities but this particular car kept standing out as the best choice. Even the owner was hesitant to sell it, but we eventually arrived at an agreed price. Monies were transferred into appropriate accounts prior to our leaving for the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show. Following our return we would obtain a cashiers check on Saturday, December 8th and travel to eastern Pennsylvania the next day to pick up the car. Shop space was cleared and Matt was ready to start prepping the car. But first we had to go to the show.
November 28, 2001
Reed and Sandi picked Matt up early in the day and drove to Indy. Along the way plans were laid for "attacking " the show. We planned on a two-day stay and a lot of work needed to be done during that time frame. When you look at the list of companies and people to visit it appears overwhelming. Last year only Sandi and Matt attended. Due to schedule conflicts they did everything in one day. They had split the "todo" list and ended up running through the show. What they missed doing that was the opportunities to actually stop and visit with the business reps as well as fellow racers. We also discussed our upcoming dinner meeting with Baer Claw Brake Systems.
During the past year Kryderacing has been the official Baer representative to SCCA American Sedan drivers. 2001 was the initial year for the program and it was time to evaluate results and discuss the future. After checking into our lodging we headed downtown and met Todd Gartshore and Ben O’Connor at St. Elmos. While we enjoyed entrees from "The best steakhouse in Indianapolis" we discussed business. A lot was discussed, but the bottom line was satisfaction by both Baer and Kryderacing with 2001 efforts and a desire to expand the program in 2002. A lot of follow-up is required and we should have some announcements in the future. This was a great start to our show.
November 29 & 30, 2001
The original bus from our hotel failed to materialize. There was a large group of us waiting to get to the opening breakfast. We were about to jump into our car when the second bus appeared. The breakfast wasn’t great, but guest speaker Humpy Wheeler had a few good stories to tell. Then it was on to the show. Matt had brought his suitcase on wheels. Don’t laugh. The collecting of new and/or updated catalogs is serious business and many of them are big and heavy. Matt had the list and was prepared. Reed and Sandi scheduled a lunch meeting with Matt and then went their separate way.
During the course of the next two days
a lot was accomplished. Besides business items, there are many opportunities
to visit old friends and discuss numerous racing related subjects. Below
is just a sampling:
* We talked with Dan Swain of Swain Tech Coatings. Dan was a fellow competitor in this year’s 1-Lap of America. He informed us of his plans to return in 2002, perhaps with his son. He also informed us the same son was a member of one of the surviving three teams on TV’s The Amazing Race program. A million dollars goes to the winners.
* We talked with Bob "Koolaid" Johnston at the BSR Products area. Many years ago Bob was one of Kryderacing’s more active volunteer crew members. We hadn’t seen him for a long time.
* Visited with Terry Satchel. Terry was working with GM and Reed was with Goodyear when they originally met.
* Long-time Nissan Competition boss Frank Honsowetz has relocated to Ed Pink Engines and was at that display. He introduced us to Ed while we discussed several topics.
* It took several stops by Advanced Racing Suspensions to actually find Chet Fillip at the display. Seems he was always out promoting his own racing activities. In addition to being a great driver, Chet helps his brother Corey with the shock business. Even though they do not specialize in road racing, we have found them very helpful in the past.
* Two friends we continued to miss were Dick Diasio and Bruce Hanusosky. Dick owns the beautiful Putnam Park Road Course and also manufactures the Diasio D962 race car. Bruce owns High Tech Performance Trailers, a item we would like to buy someday. We also looked for George Clarke of Motec, but he was busy back at the office.
* We visited Jim Downing and may be ordering a HANS devise in the near future.
* Reed has have always used Simpson Safety Equipment. He has always bought his own helmets, but the last several driving suits have been specified by criteria beyond personal preference. He wanted a new one and we used the opportunity to do a little comparative shopping. Now he’s really confused. The Simpson suits are great, but the competition offers intriguing alternatives. As mentioned, Kryderacing has been loyal to Simpson for many year, but during the search for a new suit we also looked into selling products for competitors. No decision has been made, but we are still considering it.
* A lot of shopping was done for equipment and sponsor support for the Rolex 24 at Daytona effort. Spares and special tools for a new class of vehicle, new crew suits, new radios, and other needs were researched. We also saw Dave Watson of Grand Am and informed him of our purchase.
* Matt talked with SCCA and NASA officials regarding 2002 plans.
* Several new product lines may be added to the Kryderacing store in 2002. We talked with Pit Pal, SBS Brakes, several suppliers of electrical engine control and monitoring systems, manufacturers of several seats, Intercomp (Scales), and several other companies.
* Several stops are mandatory, not just because they are great companies to be associated with, but many have longtime friends. Goodyear, BSR, Holliday Canopies, Citgo Petroleum, Earl’s, Ferrea Racing Components, Fluidyne, Hoosier, K&N Insurance, Mechanix Wear, Pace, Penske Racing Shocks, Performance Friction Corp, Quartermaster, Truechoice, and many other all required extended visits.
* There was also several conversations with fellow racers. Most of these centered around racing plans for 2002 and various sanctioning organizations. Some of their comments got very "colorful" over a few beers following Thursday’s show activities.
* One long-time friend and fellow racer we saw was Bob Ruman. Bob and Reed autocrossed against each other over a quarter of a century ago. Bob has been successfully competing in the Trans Am Series in recent years and we had been discussing joining together for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Seems Bob had a couple of engines to sell and we had a seat open for the race.
But things change............
We were waiting for the show to open on Friday morning when the cell phone rang. It was the owner of the car we planned to pick up on Sunday. He had been packing stuff for us and started having second thoughts. He had decided to keep the car. The sale was off. While Reed and Sandi updated some people they had talked to the previous day, Matt was still wandering the show with no knowledge of the change. We informed him at lunch. The news had a big impact on our approach to what was left of the show. We thought our luck had turned when we heard of a used Trans-Am Camaro located in Indianapolis. Sandi and Matt went to look at it after they dropped Reed of at the airport (back to California Speedway). While the car was fast in its day, it was in sad shape.
Since then we have considered several alternatives but none of them are realistic. Either the choices were too expensive or they needed more preparation than time allows before the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The car we "thought" we had bought had so much going for it and we had invested considerable time in finalizing the purchase. It was too late to start over and have any hope of prepping a car to the same level we had planned for the Oldsmobile. Perhaps one of our co-drivers was right when he said: "Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be this year." He then lifted our spirits when he added: "But sign me up for 2003 if you find a car."
We may still go to Daytona in 2002, but it won’t be with a Kryderacing owned car. We do have an experienced crew and are looking for another team to assist.
Reed was busy in California until December
8th. During one of his breaks while in the Los Angeles area, he stopped
by to visit Russ Wilson and discuss their recent Willow Springs track-day
as well as future plans. Matt has been doing several modifications (roll
bar, suspension, etc) to a C5 Corvette for a customer. Sandi has been doing
a mountain of Kryderacing paperwork in addition to prepping the house for
Christmas. Meetings are being held with the "Bills".
Bill Pintaric is considering whether to keep his Datsun 510 in GT4 or move
it to the GP class. Bill Schauer has been consulted for his opinions of
what we are going to do with our Nissan 240SX since it is no longer eligible
for SCCA National level competition. We had considered modifying for one
of the Grand Am support series, but looking at the rules, this now seems
unlikely. It will probably run in SCCA’s EP or ITS class. We have been
compiling schedules from SCCA, Grand-Am, 1-Lap of America, Track-Time (and
similar style events), vintage, and other areas in order to determine how
best Kryderacing can service our clients in 2002. And there is a "suitcase
full" of catalogs to review and file.
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR