Last week my wife and I decided to attend the Super D Cup event at US AIR in Shawano, Wisconsin due to the fact that there was no Final Bout event this year. The Final Bout events have essentially become just about the only car-related event that I attend each year over the past few years, largely due to the fact that is really hard to find the time to get out of the house with three little ones at home. Fortunately after my youngest daughter Alexi was born last year, my wife Alicia has been able to stay home with our kids every day. However, this means that my time is much more valuable as I really only get to spend time with my family in the evenings for a couple hours and on the weekends. I cherish that time so I try to really focus on being present with them instead of cruising around by myself in my car. And at the same time, there aren’t really local events that interest me much anymore. The friends I have made at US AIR events are now considered family, so getting to spend time with them once or twice a year is what I really treasure the most.
My mother in law was cool enough to come to our house Thursday night to watch the girls and ensure that my oldest got to first grade the next day before taking them back to her house for the weekend. Alicia and I gassed up the S13 and departed around 5:30 PM or so on Thursday night to make the trek into downtown Chicago. Though it was in the 70s when we left Michigan, it was nearly 90º at 10 PM when we pulled into my brother’s parking garage at his place in downtown Chicago. Thankfully the four hour drive passed without any major car issues. I am glad that I decided to install heat in this car, but without AC there isn’t really an easy way to completely turn it off. I was feeling extra warm on my side of the car due to the exhaust under my feet so it felt good to go into the A/C and relax with my brother and his wife for the evening.
On Friday morning, we woke up and said our goodbyes before heading over to meet up with my good pal Jimmy and his wife Kayla, as well as our friends Harris and RevGasm Josh. Jimmy and Harris drove up all the way from Houston towing Jim’s R32 sedan for the event, while Kayla caught a flight up so that she could avoid taking as much time off of work. After a quick stop at the Oasis we were on our way for leg two of the trip- the nearly four hour drive north to the middle of nowhere, Wisconsin.
Cheese curds- when in Rome.
The boys on the way up to Shawano.
And the ladies…
A massive cold front had begun to move in over the midwest meaning that the high temperature for the day happened at about 7 AM- pretty crazy. It was cloudy and windy with temps consistently dropping all through the day. While it had been 90º in Chicago the afternoon, temps dropped to 36º Friday night in Shawano- pretty wild temp swing! We took our time getting up to the track and arrived around 3:30 PM or so. Josh and Jimmy unloaded their cars while the rest of us hung out and caught up with friends we had not seen in quite some time. After getting the pits settled, we grabbed some Chinese food at a local spot we always seem to go to and spent the evening hanging out in the hotel lobby with friends from all over the world.
Michael Douglas’ (aka BURSTSPEED) excellent R32
This photo is really strange- I thought it was kind of neat.
On Saturday, Jimmy and I let the ladies sleep in while we went over to the track at around 6:30 or so. Jimmy’s car had some issues that needed to be sorted out- one of them requiring us to drop the transmission. I assisted with that a little bit, but Harris and Jimmy did the bulk of the work. Alicia and Kayla drove my S13 over to the track which was really a sight to see. I think I saw a few guys in line for their pit passes drooling a bit at the thought of two cute ladies driving into the event in an S13 which was pretty comical. Fortunately my friends Roy from Auto Collect Storm and Melvin from Club FR asked if they could park my car in the vendor area to represent both groups so that spared me from having to park in the mud pit like I did last year. The car got filthy from tire dust by being so close to the track but it was really neat to be parked alongside LA and Martino’s cars in this area.
Always showing my support of The Texas Rattlensake- Jimmy Yates.
Tony testing out Jimmy’s chairs.
While Jimmy didn’t really get to enjoy his car at all on Saturday, we did have a great time hanging out and watching some awesome driving. We decided to take our wives out to dinner on Saturday night to get away from all of the craziness at the track for a bit and then followed that up with our traditional trip to Longhorn Saloon, a local favorite. Alicia and I learned that our middle daughter Hattie had fallen off of her bike and cut her lip which required her to get stitches. It sounded fairly traumatic and we both felt very bad about being away from home when this happened, so we were pretty out of it at the bar- not to mention both of us being exhausted. We packed it up early and got some sleep before the competition on Sunday.
How many dudes does it take to fix an SR20DET?
Camden’s recently completed FD RX7 that likes to shoot lots of fire out of the exhaust.
We were only able to watch the top 32 portion of the competition on Sunday as we needed to leave by 2 PM or so to make it home to our kids at a somewhat reasonable time, as well as drop Kayla off at Midway Airport in Chicago on our way home for her flight back to Houston. We said our goodbyes and all three of us hit the road in my S13. Props to the ladies for not complaining about having to drive four hours to the airport in that thing- I’m sure the ride was less than enjoyable. Fortunately we made it with plenty of time to spare and survived the brutal road conditions at the airport without any major damage. While we were driving home, Jimmy finally got his car running properly and was able to enjoy some fun runs with friends after the competition ended, so I was really happy about that. He has poured a lot of time and money into his car over the last year to prepare for this so I am glad he finally got to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
Photo by the great Ryan Lopez
After a brutally long drive, we finally arrived at our in-law’s house at 2 AM on Monday morning- only to wake up at 7 AM to get ready for work and school. It has taken me most of the week to recover and I caught a cold as a result, but the journey was absolutely worth it! I had a great time seeing friends I have not seen in a very long time and watching some very talented drivers rip around the track. I’ll always be thankful for all of the great friends I have made as a result of this hobby!
I’m really pleased with how well my car held up on the 1,000+ mile journey, especially considering I have barely driven it anywhere this year aside from to work and the grocery store. This car continues to amaze me with its reliability- all while getting over 32 MPG along the way.
Last Saturday marked the first official day of fall- and we’ve been seeing the effects of this season change all week. The leaves are beginning to turn and it probably won’t be long before my car is put away for the season, but I will try to enjoy it a little bit more before the end of the year. I’m not sure what the off season holds for the future of my car, but this trip did give me a bit of perspective that I hope to share with you next week.
Thanks as always for stopping by!