Our friends at Optima shot us an email wanting to know what we have been up to regarding race preparation with the car and personally!

Here’s what I had to say!

Optima Jim,

Hmm. Where to start! I believe Greg got the technical info to you regarding the car.

As for me??? So much less interesting!

I study and practice Yoga. Regularly. I started practicing Yoga last year to improve my race jitters. I thought if I could learn to relax more at the line then I could have a chance to learn more, ultimately leading me to doing better. Confidence and visualization I believe is a big part of being a winner at anything you do! I’ve always been beyond capable with academics and business. But I’m not a natural athlete. Don’t get me wrong, I can do almost any sport well. But I’m talking about the fact that there are some people who have a gift, a natural talent at basketball, gymnastics, driving! Sure I’m a good enough driver, but I have to work much harder than some people at getting my head right, chasing nerves away, and learning the courses. I didn’t start driving competitively until early last year. I really have only competed in business! So bottom line is Yoga has not made me more competitive, but it has helped eliminate the anxiety, the harsh self criticism, that crap talk in my head!

Physically, I’m working toward being lighter on my feet. I’m increasing my workouts and cleaning up my diet. I want to be in top physical condition for Optima/SEMA. I know that it will be a long week, so the better condition I am in physically the more likely it will be that I have a good time. And the more likely it will be that I am a contender. I’m planning on getting to Willow Springs at least once for testing and am looking to schedule a trip to Vegas for some practice, as well.

My goal for racing is first to have fun. But second is to show other women, wives, mother’s that our lives don’t end when our kids are grown and head off to college. I want to show the world that at ANY age we can have a rocking good time and do things other may not think possible. If I could be an ambassador for our sport, I would gladly do it! If by my participating in these events inspire someone else to live life to the fullest than I know that’s something I want to do!

Who do I think will win? That’s a toss up. Really the one who wins, is the one who shows up! If you don’t show up you’ll never win. Do I want to win? Abso-freaking-lutely! Do I think I can? YES. Because if I didn’t think for a minute that I could win, I probably shouldn’t be racing! I have an amazing car. I know how to drive it. When we got home from Portland we found many little issues that had ultimately slowed me down. The motor wasn’t performing as it should. One of the bolts had come off of the shocks. Little things like that. Could have had better times. I’m satisfied with my first real run at a road course. Honestly, I believe I can catch the field. I believe I have the heart and soul to win. I believe that if my Scarlett stays together, she and I will do amazing things. I believe that I will be one to watch!

With that said – that’s what’s happening here in my world – less than 60 days out from the event. Thanks for asking!

Post Race Stress Disorder

Posted: August 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

As many of you know we started to race autocross last year.

What is autocross you ask? In a nutshell, it’s a highly addictive form of driving competition (for fun) using a street machine, not purpose built, rather a vehicle that you’ve built for pleasure!

Naturally, we have a little beauty we have affectionately named Scarlett. In part due to her amazing color, Scarlett Red. In part due to her unique attitude, think Gone With the Wind!

Originally built in 1964, Scarlett has undergone not only  cosmetic ‘surgery’ but has endured modifications that have markedly improve her performance. From suspension updates to drive train improvements that changed this once antiquated ole girl into nothing shy of a sassy Playmate! In  the beginning she featured the finest creature comforts. A range of accessories from custom leather interior, Classic Instrument Gauge’s, Blue Tooth Stereo and Nav System, Power Windows, Locks & Seats (5 way adjustable) and so much more! She was built for performance AND luxury!

Then…..we found autocross! This was a sure fire way to see what we built in action. And we could test the water’s a bit. Was autocross any fun? The answer – a resounding YES! YES! YES!

Our first bonafide competition was a Goodguys Event held in Del Mar, California in April of last year. Then off to Camarillo for the So Cal Challenge. Then up to Pleasanton California for another Goodguys Event. Then back to the shop for some modifications.

First thing to go was the stereo.  Next, no more power windows. And 5 way adjustable seats, well they weigh too much! No speakers. No A/C. Definitely no deadener. That got rid of at least 200 lbs!

You see where this is going….don’t you??? HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!!!!!

Then it was back to Camarillo. This gave us a real chance to dial in the suspension and see what tires really worked the best. And it also cost a motor….that was then replaced within 8 hours!!!

One week later it was off to Costa Mesa for one more So Cal Challenge. Then Kaboom! One more motor almost down the drain. Within two weeks Scarlett was back up and running better than ever.

Then back to Camarillo for the season finals for So Cal Challenge, back up to Pleasanton for the Goodguys Autumn Get Together, with only Del Mar to go!

With something so fun how could there be anything like “Post Race Stress Disorder”?

Well my friends, that comes when the race is over!

You see racers don’t like Monday’s. It’s back to the real world and back to driving the mean streets of the city. Regardless of where you live, you will always be out numbered by idiot drivers.

Yeah I said it. And we’ve all seen them. Running lights. Swerving in and out of lanes too fast. Driving 60 MPH in a 45 MPH zone. Texting, talking on their phones, or the very worst – PUTTING ON MAKE-UP!!!! Please bitches – STOP THE MADNESS!

When we race, we drive with hyper-awareness. Where our car is in relationship to the apex of a turn, how to get around the cones as fast as possible without spinning out or losing control. We are vigilant and incredible executioner’s when it comes to where to place our car and how to get it from point A to point B the fastest. Monday morning rolls around and out come the idiots.

Monday Morning Idiots = Post Race Stress Disorder.

Generally a very happy bunch, we begin to feel the pangs of withdrawal. Our skin tightens and our flesh begins to itch and it’s not even 9:00 a.m. By noon, we start to loosen up a bit and relax. But it’s only temporary. As the late afternoon approaches we feel a bit lulled into almost a sense of comfort as we unlock the door to our cars and slip into the warmth of a sun soaked interior. We are captivated for a brief moment as we recall the past weekends events. Gently sliding the key into the ignition we feel powerful and the rush of adrenalin begins to pulse through our veins as we ease the seat back, depress the brake and lock into reverse.

At this point all seems right with the world. Our favorite driving song comes on as we leave the parking lot. We start humming Sammy Hagar’s “I can’t drive 55” and away we go.

SNAP back to reality when that B*&%h without a blinker cuts over last minute forcing us to SLAM on our brakes, jolting us from our moment of bliss, back to the reality of Post Race Stress Disorder! Some Lady Gaga song comes on and now we are in a panic! Our hearts beat a little faster, we are short of breath and maybe even seeing spots. It happens. Try as we might to remain calm but we are over taken by anxiety only to be reminded it’s just Monday and we can’t get the weekend here any faster!

Say it with me – Post Race Stress Disorder.

Understand we didn’t choose this life, it chose us! We are merely victims and we need your understanding and patience. Especially during the off season. Yes we racer’s have an Off-Season. This is why you should try a little harder to maneuver your vehicle in a very responsible manner.

You see Post Race Stress Disorder can lead to a number of other clinical and medically identified disorders. Including but not limited to this following list:

  • Insomnia
  • Excessive desire for sweets
  • Irrational urges to ride roller coasters
  • Inexplicable irritability
  • Hyper awareness of road construction cones

The above are just a few of the issues many with Post Race Stress Disorder suffer from. It’s real. And if you know someone who is suffering from this serious disorder, please do what you can to locate an auto cross in their area. It really is the only way to combat this  problem!!

Race Chat

Posted: August 1, 2013 in Random Rants & Racy Thoughts!

Eeek!

Sometimes I even think I’m BORING! However, not today! I’m so excited cause tomorrow is my birthday. And you know what? I don’t actually feel older this year.  And that’s a first!

More importantly I think it’s because I am kind of a bad ass mom! Yeah I said it! I’m a bad ass! Don’t believe me? Ask my kids!

I feel confident that this is my year.

I started autocross racing in February of this year and I freaking love it. I love doing it. I love talking about it. I even love looking for new race tracks to try.

But I’m not stopping with autocross.

You know when you do something, and you find out that you’re actually good at it? I mean, not pretty good, but GOOD GOOD? Well that’s how it is for me. Granted I’ve had more than thirty years behind the wheel of a car. But that’s not it. It’s the thought process, the challenge, the competition, the reward.

What’s really crazy is I am finding that I will listen to people and be capable of following their instruction and viola! I wind up shaving seconds off my lap times.

Of course having an AMAZING car helps too. Not only is this car like our little baby (I named her Scarlett), she performs like a dream. She’s loud, an obnoxiously beautiful shade of red, and a real show stopper. You know, like a super cute baby, with red hair! Drive her down the street and just try to change lanes. You can’t. Why? People ride along side just to catch a glimpse of her sheer perfection. She’s like Beyonce or Brittney. Or better yet, a Victoria’s Secret model.

Well, with any luck, I will continue to love this sport as much as I do today. I’m actually looking forward to being the Rookie and surprising a few folks! And trust me, I typically do what I set out to do. And right now that’s serving dinner!

Til tomorrow my loves when we get to talk about racing again!

American Street Car Series - Run To The Coast

American Street Car Series – Run To The Coast

C7 TOPLESS!

Posted: March 11, 2013 in Everything Corvette

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible revealed

It’s no heavier and it’s got the same 450bhp 6.2-litre V8

 

The fact that Chevy’s ripped the roof off its Corvette Stingray doesn’t come as much of a surprise – the American sportster was always designed to be a drop-top, so it’s never been integral to the structure.

The only changes are limited to accommodations for the folding top and repositioned safety belt mounts, which means it won’t get a watered-down engine. It’ll keep that lovely 450bhp 6.2-litre V8 that twists out 450lb ft of torque through either a seven-speed manual or six-speed auto’. Chevy expects the 0-62mph time to take less than four seconds, too, because the coupe and ‘vert share almost identical power-to-weight ratios.

Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “Because it was designed from the beginning as an open-top car, the Corvette Stingray delivers an exhilarating, connected driving experience – no matter what configuration you choose.”

Like its predecessor, the fully automatic roof’ll be fabric not metal, and you’ll be able to raise and lower it at up to 30mph.

GTS CustomHP Tuner softwares is proud to announce our recent addition to the collection of services we offer at the shop.

HP Tuners Software is the only tuning tool you’ll ever need for your newer Corvette or Off Road Truck with late model motor and computer. Vehicles that range from stock form to your serious performance enthusiast can benefit from digitally tweaking and tuning one of the most important parts in the vehicle, its computer. Don’t let a stock computer slow you down. Tune it with VCM Suite! Horsepower Tuners, Performance at Your Fingertips!

HP Tuners VCM Suite package sets the industry standard with lightning fast VCM/PCM reads and writes. No other commercial package today can provide you with better ease of use, data integrity or higher reliability than the VCM Suite tuning package. We are excited to share this technology with our clients!

From The Ground Up!

Posted: March 11, 2013 in From The Ground Up!

At GTS Customs our business – Corvette Resto-Mod; our specialty – Outrageous Paint!

Founded by Greg Thurmond in 1987, Outrageous Paint by GTS Customs has experience on all levels of automotive repair and restoration.  From fiberglass repair and fabrication, drive train and suspension conversion, computer and power plant upgrades, to flawless paint detail.

Greg grew up during the original Muscle Car Era. His passion for Corvette’s started as early as age ten. In fact, his first paint job, at age 15, happened to be his father’s ’63 Convertible Corvette that went on to win numerous shows and awards.

We invite you to take a look at the projects we’ve done and even the builds in progress. You’ll be moved by the incredible detail and passion that Greg puts into every car he does. From Concept to Completion, at GTS Customs we go beyond the enthusiasts expectations!

 

I’m came home Friday night and announced what I thought was a brilliant idea! Our daughter is going to need a car soon and she really likes my Magnum SRT8. So I thought, hey let’s give her my Magnum and sell Scarlett and get the new 2014 Corvette Stingray. Greg’s comment, “So sell a car that goes up in value to buy a car that will go down in value?” Of course that was my brilliant Pie in the Sky idea for Friday night that was quickly dashed as financially it made ZERO sense.

Of course, it seems now that unless I win the lottery or find a money tree, I won’t ever be able to afford this beauty! But I still love that car! T

ake a look at today’s report from Fox News and what took place at the Barrett-Jackson Auction yesterday! All I can say is ‘un-freaking-believable’!

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray with VIN ending in #0001 has sold at auction for an incredible $1.1 million, more than 20 times the expected cost of the latest ‘Vette.

Of course, getting to own the very first example to be sold to the public has its premium, and all proceeds from the sale will be going to benefit the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.

Nevertheless, the amount paid is still staggering.

The final bidder at the Barrett-Jackson auction held yesterday in Scottsdale, Arizona, was NASCAR team owner and avid Corvette collector Rick Hendrick.

Hats off to Rick Hendrick’s for having AMAZING taste in cars!
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Better? Or simply Pricey?

Better? Or simply Pricey?

A member of the Dodge Challenger owners’ forum was buying a new car from a dealer and noticed green valve-stem caps on all four tires. The salesman told him that the tires had been filled with nitrogen, which would keep the tire pressure and temperature more consistent and that it would prevent tire rot from the inside out. It wasn’t a free add-on, though. The “nitrogen upgrade” was a $69 item on the supplemental window sticker. Another forum member later posted that his dealer was charging $179 for this same “upgrade.”

Some dealerships and tire stores claim that filling your tires with nitrogen will save you money on gas while offering better performance than air. But a closer look reveals that nitrogen has few benefits and much higher costs. For starters, a typical nitrogen fill-up will cost you about $6 per tire.

Why Nitrogen?
The Get Nitrogen Institute Web site says that with nitrogen tire inflation, drivers will note improvements in a vehicle’s handling, fuel efficiency and tire life. All this is achieved through better tire-pressure retention, improved fuel economy and cooler-running tire temperatures, the institute says.

This sounds great in theory but let’s take a closer look at each of those claims.

  • Better tire-pressure retention: Over time, a tire will gradually lose pressure. Changes in temperature will accelerate this. The general rule of thumb is a loss of 1 psi for every 10-degree rise or fall in temperature. The institute says that nitrogen has a more stable pressure, since it has larger molecules than oxygen that are less likely to seep through the permeable tire walls.

In 2006, Consumer Reports conducted a year-long study to determine how much air loss was experienced in tires filled with nitrogen versus those filled with air. The results showed that nitrogen did reduce pressure loss over time, but it was only a 1.3 psi difference from air-filled tires. Among 31 pairs of tires, the average loss of air-filled tires was 3.5 psi from the initial 30 psi setting. Nitrogen-filled tires lost an average of 2.2 psi from the initial setting. Nitrogen won the test, but not by a significant margin.

  • Improved fuel economy: The EPA says that under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. The theory is that since nitrogen loses pressure at a slower rate than air, you are more likely to be at the correct psi and therefore get better fuel economy.

If you are proactive and check your tire pressure at least once a month, you can offset this difference with free air, and you won’t need expensive nitrogen. We think this invalidates the “better fuel economy with nitrogen” argument.

For many people, however, this kind of maintenance is easier said than done. Most people either forget to regularly check and top off their tires, or never learned how to do it in the first place.  And though tire-pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) now come standard on cars, a 2009 National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) study found that only 57 percent of vehicles with TPMS had the correct tire pressure. That’s because most systems are only meant to signal that a tire has very low pressure, not to show that the pressure is optimal.

  • Cooler running temperatures: When air is pressurized, the humidity in it condenses to a liquid and collects in the air storage tank you use at the local gas station. When you add compressed air to the tire, the water comes along for the ride. As the tire heats up during driving, that water changes to a gas, which then expands, increasing tire pressure. Because nitrogen is dry, there is no water in the tire to contribute to pressure fluctuations.But this fluctuation in temperature isn’t as significant as you might think. A 2008 ExxonMobil study plotted the changes in temperature over the course of various inflation pressures. The lines on the graph were virtually on top of each other. In other words, the change in temperature when using nitrogen was negligible.
  • Prevent wheel rot: Nitrogen proponents will also point out that water in a tire can lead to wheel rot. A tire engineer who anonymously maintains Barry’s Tire Tech, a blog on a number of tire issues, says this isn’t really a problem with modern cars.”Alloy wheels don’t really have a problem with water inside the tire,” the engineer writes in a post on nitrogen inflation. “They are coated to keep aluminum from forming aluminum oxide, which forms a crust, which isn’t very attractive. But even then, this crust protects the aluminum from further corrosion from the water.”Where wheels have problems is when the aluminum alloy contacts steel, such as the steel spring clip used on wheel weights. It’s a particular issue when salt is present, the engineer writes. “But this problem is totally independent of the inflation gas,” he says. “Steel wheels only have a problem if the paint is damaged.”

Cost and Convenience 

Let’s say a person bought a set of tires at Costco, a place that uses nitrogen to fill all the tires they sell. If he needs to top off the tires with more nitrogen, he won’t be able to go to just any gas station. He can use regular air if there is nothing else available, but that would dilute the nitrogen in the tires. He’ll have to go back to Costco and wait until the tire technicians can attend to the car. On a busy day, he could be there awhile.

Nitrogen is free at Costco and at some car dealerships we called, but these are rare cases. We called a number of tire shops that carry nitrogen and found that the prices for a nitrogen fill ranged from $5-$7 per tire. Assuming our consumer was diligent about checking his tires monthly, he could potentially spend about $84 a year on nitrogen alone per tire. Compare that to the most gas stations, where air is free or a 75-cent fill-up for all four tires at the most.

Finding tire shops with nitrogen could be an issue, too. We called a number of large chains, including America’s Tire Co., Discount Tire and Walmart. None carried nitrogen.

Is Nitrogen Worth It? 
The air we breathe is made up of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and a few other elements. To get the desired benefits for tires, nitrogen needs to be at least 93 percent pure, according to nitrogen service equipment providers quoted on Tirerack.com. So we’re basically talking about adding an extra 15 percent of nitrogen and getting rid of as much oxygen as possible.

Based on cost, convenience and actual performance benefit, we don’t think nitrogen is worth it. A much better use of your money would be to buy a good tire-pressure gauge and check your tires frequently. This is a good idea even if you have a tire-pressure monitoring system in your vehicle. The warning lights aren’t required to come on until you have less than 25 percent of the recommended tire pressure. Having the correct tire pressure will get you many of the benefits of using nitrogen and will ensure that your tires last longer.

by , Consumer Advice Editor, Edmunds.com

OMG! Pin It! Tweet It! Insta….. Oh sh%$ what’s next? I mean really. If I have to endure one more change on Facebook, I’m opening a MySpace account again!

Am I the only one that feels this way? Isn’t it enough just to have a GREAT Website?

Now I find myself feeling the pressure to snap a photo of anything note worthy and publish it to Instagram while I’m taking the kids to school. All that just to stay current, cutting edge and ahead of the curve! Sadly, it’s just not that interesting where I live and work! Or is it?

Do you really want to see an amazing photo of the meal I just prepared? Or better yet, how about the pan I burned, almost catching fire to the house while preparing that amazing meal, because I was too busy updating my status on our business page!

I’m really not self-centered enough to believe for one minute that I am alone in this. Just when I thought I had a handle on Pinterest, someone screwed everything up and asked to Pin To My Board. Stupid me…I accepted. Now I find that I need to readjust my settings so I don’t wind up with 400 email notifications that some gifted Pinterest over achiever has pinned forty pins to my board in the last fifteen minutes!

I haven’t even mentioned Yahoo! Or LinkedIn, Four Square, Twitter and let’s not forget YouTube! My gosh, where would we be without all of the social media outlets?

I can only imagine what you’re thinking right now. I feel it too! “Oh, to not be tied down to this horrific social life I’ve created on my computer. Agh!”

Well for me, I’d probably spend sometime at the gym. Maybe start working out again. I miss that. Or maybe I’d be out driving my Corvette (Scarlett). Enjoying the gorgeous, sun kissed California afternoon, driving through Kanan, listening to the Foo Fighters, heading to PCH. Or perhaps I’d even cook dinner without concern of burning down the house!

With all of the different social media outlets it seems now more than ever we have multi-tasked ourselves into a lifestyle that we can’t keep up with. At least that’s how I’m feelingl! Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE technology. I’d say that 95% of my day goes smoother as a result of having all this technology. But when it changes and updates at an exponential rate, I’ve found it more and more challenging to keep up and do everything else I’ve got to do to keep not just my business running smoothly, but my household too!

Maybe it’s time for me to grab Scarlett and go burn some rubber for a change! Be sure to honk and wave if you too get a chance to get out on the open road and feel the rush of adrenalin that only serious horse power can bring! Or take a picture of me as I race by and post it on Instagram. I’ll be sure to check it out when I return!

As always – keep an eye on the mirror and the peddle to the floor! Muah 🙂

I think if you ask my wife, she might say that the C2 “Sting Ray” is her favorite Corvette. I’m sure plenty of you would agree. Harlan talks about how this amazing design style came about almost fifty years ago. Check it out!