VOLUME 21, ISSUE 1                                                                                                                         February 18, 2008



Over the years we have always been amazed at the quality of people you meet in the racing community.  Years ago, when we first became involved in SCCA amateur racing we noticed everyone at the track was willing to lend a helping hand whenever someone else had a problem.  And if you left personal items lying around the paddock area while you were on track, they were still there when you returned.  The same was true when we moved to professional racing.  There were a couple of times when someone was going around stealing wallets from trailers.  Whenever that happened the word quickly spread about a thief.  One such incident took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway one year when Reed was working a NASCAR event for Goodyear.  Virtually all garage area activity stopped that afternoon while everyone joined in the manhunt for the villain.  Racers are family in a lot of ways.  By the way, the thief was in custody by suppertime.

Another great thing about the people you meet at the track is they frequently become your best friends.  Most of Kryderacing’s clients also become friends with our other clients.  It is rare when someone doesn’t fit into our Kryderacing family.  And the friendships quickly spread beyond the track.  First it’s getting together for dinner, then it’s a party, and the next thing you know you are being invited to weddings, etc.  “Family” is definitely the right term.

Recently Reed and Sandi decided to attend the Rose Bowl.  Being long time fans of Reed’s alma mater and, having never attended a Bowl game, they decided it was time.  They contacted Russ Wilson and let him know they were thinking about coming out to his part of the world (Newport Beach, California).  Russ originally contacted Kryderacing in 1990 regarding his newly acquired Corvette ZR-1.  Over the years Kryderacing performed many modifications to Russ’ ZR-1 and transported it to numerous race tracks across the USA.  Along the way Kryderacing started handling an annual track-day at Willow Springs for Russ and his friends.  This past year was the seventh edition.  When Russ heard about the Rose Bowl trip he let the members of the “Willow group” know and all of a sudden Reed and Sandi had the trip of a lifetime.  Russ and his wife, Judy, hosted them with lodging.  Paul and Ruth Arevalo invited them to their New Year’s Eve party.  And somehow Paul came up with seats for the Rose Bowl Parade.  Then Reed and Sandi were surprised with Rose Bowl game tickets in the 11th row on the 45 yard line.  Fellow Willow participants Tyler Wilson, Jeff Mason (another University of Illinois alum), and Oscar and Allie Delgado also attended many of the activities.  What would have been a great trip turned into something truly awesome thanks to some very special friends Reed and Sandi had met through racing.


Another special person we have met through racing is Dr. Mike Saddleton.  Anyone who races SCCA events in our part of the country knows Mike.  He has raced a GTL Nissan for many years and recently started competing in ITA with a Mazda RX7.  Mike has also been involved as the track doctor for many events and has annually performed numerous physicals for SCCA members.  Reed enjoys going to Dr. Saddleton because he also understands race drivers and Reed knows Mike isn‘t going to just let him slide by.  Mike usually does physicals at one of the early Spring SCCA functions.  Contact us and we will forward details as soon they are known.


Last year Kryderacing returned to professional level racing by assisting Team Sahlen with their Grand America Koni Series cars at the season opener at Daytona.  Our effort was well received and led to four additional races during the 2007 season.  The program continued into 2008 with our assistance being used at both the Daytona Rolex and Koni races.

The vehicle entered for the 3-hour Koni Challenge race was a Mazda RX8 running in the ST class.  There were 51 ST cars entered along with 46 in the faster GS class.  That’s a total of 97 cars.  It looked like rush hour.  The Kryderacing crew consisted of Reed and Sandi Kryder, Rod and Mary Whelan, Tim and Brent Walton, Matt Miller, and Matt Carson.  Joe Sahlen had an excellent qualifying run and placed the car 13th on the grid.  Joe ran strong for the first half of the race.  One of the race’s few cautions appeared at the perfect time to pit for gas and a driver change to Will Nonnamaker.  The timing was so close that (in hindsight - see below) it is doubtful we would have completed another lap (even a caution lap) without running out of gas.  As the race neared its end we were running strongly in the top ten, but would need another stop for a splash of gas.  Another caution lead to a decision to gamble and see if we had enough gas to make it to the end.  Several cars had the same idea.  Most of them, including us, ran out of gas within sight of the checkered flag.  It was a gamble, but everyone on the team either believed we could make it or prayed they were wrong in believing we wouldn’t.

Last year Reed and Sandi stayed to help with the 24-Hour Rolex race.  This year most of the Kryderacing crew joined the regular Team Sahlen crewmembers.  Their entry was a GT-class Corvette driven by Joe Sahlen, Joe Nonnamaker, and his sons Will and Wayne.  Their entire team has a lot of experience at this race.  All of their practice and qualifying efforts were targeted towards improving the chances of surviving the 24-hour grind.

The race featured many challenges, especially changing conditions from several periods of rain.  The driver’s did a terrific job and the car ran strong except for a series of small problems which slowly led to laps lost to the leaders.  A broken rear suspension eventually retired the car late Sunday morning.  It was the first time the Sahlen team failed to finish this race.  Sometimes the result sheets don’t truly define the quality of an effort.  Such was the case with Team Sahlen at the 2008 Daytona races.

One amusing story from the weekend was the “painting of the pit-walls”.  Thursday was the first day of practice and as everyone was prepping their cars in the garage area we started hearing announcements over the PA concerning the fresh paint on the pit-wall.  Apparently someone had scheduled a complete painting the night before.  The white paint was still extremely wet.  Many pairs of slacks were ruined by mechanics going back and forth over it.  Most teams tried to cover it with something.  We used our normal Sahlen banners but others used everything from tarps to paper towels.  Needless to say, the nice paint job also took a beating, especially in areas where some of the emergency coverings merged with the drying paint.  The last we heard on the subject was that someone wisely decided to schedule the repainting AFTER the weekend‘s events were completed.


The Mahoning Valley Region of the SCCA had sent Reed and Sandi to the 2007 National Convention in 2007.  They must have done something right because they got return tickets for 2008.  The Convention was in San Antonio both years but rumor has it  going to Las Vegas in 2009.

Over 400 people from all over the United States met to hear what was new with the National office, compare notes on how things are done in other parts of the country, discuss upcoming changes in rules and procedures, and honor several special members due to recent and past accomplishments.  And there was a lot of socializing amongst old and new friends.  Reed and Sandi will be writing reports for the upcoming Mahoning Valley Region newsletter summarizing the various meetings they attended.  Hopefully their efforts will lead to the Region deciding to send them again in 2009.  Perhaps they would increase the odds of this happening if they left out the Las Vegas rumor.


We had planned on announcing the schedule for the 26th edition of the series in this newsletter.  But there is one small piece of the puzzle yet to fall into place.  There may be a new addition.  Look forward to a complete listing of dates along with the rest of the Nelson Ledges schedule in our next newsletter.

Check www.kryderacing.com for weekly updates.