Danny is bad axx fast and driven to the extreme competitor. I like having Danny behind the wheel. It has been a huge adjustment for him coming from Corvette race cars to the 5th Gen. Corvette race car to 5th Gen street car with AC, power windows... is almost the same a strapping a F1 car to the roof of a Corvette race car. That is why wining at the OPTIMA would be so insanely cool. I think we give away 1,000 pounds or more to most every car that will be there. Todd is no slouch. Danny has been wrenching on Todd's Corvette for years and is also Todd's driving coach. I think Todd would love to beat the teacher in a rite of passage way.
Working with both TEAMS on the development of the cars has been a good experience. Some things I don't want to hear, but need to. Everyone in the group has a strong personality. Everyone wants to win. I already have won. I work with LPE, Mike Copeland and his crew in Brighton and LPE in Decatur with Graham and Jason. Then I have Bruce Raymond and Eric at Raymond's Performance who are top notch. Finally I have our driver's / consultants / car builders. They have each left their finger prints all over these two Camaros: John Buttermore, Dave Mikels, TJ Bain, Mark Hupfer, Bruce Raymond, Todd Rumpke and Danny Popp. Talk about depth of knowledge!
There hasn't been a single current model American Muscle Car that has even been close to our Camaro's on the road course. Not one in 2009, 2011 or 2012 to date. We like it that way. This weekend is the final shake down. We'll try a few more things (hard to believe we have a few more things to try, isn't it?) Danny and Todd think might work. After that, we'll race prep both cars, make the final adjustments and head out to SEMA.
If you know me, I don't like to lose. I am a poor loser. It is how I was raised. One of my coaches used to say,"Show me a happy loser and I'll show you a loser." He didn't have to tell me twice. I never lose, sometimes the clock runs out before I can win. Every football should be 5 or 6 quarters. If I can't beat them, I'll out work or outlast them. Winning at the OPTIMA with 5th Gens is close to the same possibility of the Cubs winning a World Series this year.
Last year we ran 9th on the OPTIMA Road Course at Spring Mountain. This year, top 5 is GREAT and 1st would be Dreams do Come True. Do you have any idea how many great cars we would need to beat to be in the top 5? Before we get there, I want to thank Ken Lingenfelter and Mike Copeland for allowing me to be part of the LPE TEAM. Cathy and Bruce Raymond are two f the best people you will ever meet. Our driver's have been awesome. It has been an experience I will remember for a long time. Given the commitment of all these people and resources the TEAM Pedders Camaros, owners, techs and drivers deserve nothing less than a 1 / 2 Finish.
What I am trying to say is I already won. Whatever happens from here is icing on the cake.