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DSMTuners Sponsored Greg Collier "WINS" 2005 Championship

Posted by Greg Collier, Nov 15, 2005

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  1. Greg Collier

    Greg Collier Proven Member

    Joined Mar 8, 2003
    Diego, California
    Pre race drama

    None (Thank God)


    The car was tuned, trailered, and ready to rock en roll. The truck was packed with spare parts, tires, and tools, and we were off for the final race of the season at Buttonwillow Raceway just north of Bakersfield California. The drive was easy and it seemed in no time we were there and unloading. I maintained a low-key attitude preparing for the task at hand (the 2005 championship).


    The track was buzzing with racers and spectators. I was blown away with how many people showed up for this, the last race of the season. There were still quite a few class championships that still had to be determined, and today was the day that a year’s worth of work would come to an end (good or totally sucked).

    It was a chilly 43 degrees with hazy skies but the forecast had called for a beautiful day for racing. We arrived, rolled up our garage door, and began our preparation for our track warm up session. I climbed in the car to start the motor to get all the fluid lines pumping. I turned on the main power switch, the secondary power switch, the fuel pump switch, then pushed the starter switch and nothing! I pushed it again… nothing! One more time and… nothing! All the blood in my body shot to my brain and with all that extra weight my brain detached and dropped down my neck into my stomach. OH MY GOD!!! I started throwing switches left and right and everything worked except the starter.

    It took almost an hour pulling the entire dash apart to find that the expensive, big time, especially race manufactured, starter switch went bad. I don’t carry a replacement with me so the fix was two bare wires sticking out of the dash to start up the car. I called it my “stolen vehicle hot wire” set-up. All that mattered was it worked, and now I had to figure out how to get my brain back into my skull…

    Warm up session

    With new sticker Hoosiers on the front I took to the track under the first lap double yellow flag conditions. I had set my tire pressures high because it was so cold outside and knew it would take a bit for the rubber to warm up. After the second lap I could feel the car grabbing in the corners and I pushed a little harder. I was five laps into my warm up and the car was loosening up just how I liked it, but I was going to stay in cruise mode until I felt really comfortable. I ran the full session and parked the car.


    It was mid morning and the ambient temperature was in the high sixties. In the two hours preceding our qualifying session I had been talking to one of my fellow racers about some of his driving lines around the track. We had talked about the last turn just before the front straight and I asked how he was getting so much speed out of that turn. Wrong thing to be talking about!

    We’re running the long track configuration counter clockwise. It’s over two and a half miles of sweepers, long and short straights, buttonhooks, and tight ass holy cow I don’t think I can do that again. The track was hot, which means it’s balls out, so try to do your fastest lap time. The drivers were pretty much spread out giving each other room to do their thing and I was on the beginning of my third lap. My car felt set with everything up to temperature so I went into qualifying mode. I blasted down the front straight with clean power shifts then a down-shift coming into turn one before the S’s. I found the straightest line accelerating the whole way through. Star Mazda turn comes up which is a hard small left hand buttonhook that throws you out onto another straight. I always go into second because I can really pick up some speed coming out. Then it’s third then fourth as Magic Mountain comes up real quick. With hard braking, a down shift, slight turn right, then left, your wheels go off the ground then down to an off camber banking left that takes you out onto a small straight. Then it’s the long power-drifting left-handed sweeper named Talladega. A right turn called the Bus Stop rears it’s ugly head so a quick tap of the brakes and a downshift is called for as you want to carry your speed though a small right handed sweeper to set yourself up for another left handed turn without lifting. A hard brake and down shift through a tight lefty to a real tight left then right then left again, you find yourself on another small straight coming up to the Buttonhook. This is a slow down or I’m gonna spin out for sure left-handed turn. Then it’s pedal to the metal again to a diminishing right-hander forget about the apex, out onto the front straight. It was this turn that I was carrying so much speed I went out like a slingshot and caught my rear tire on the outside burm and set the car spinning into the wall. SMASH!

    There I sat stalled up against the tire barrier that sits in front of the concrete wall. I knew I had damage and I couldn’t believe what I did. As quickly as I could I did my new hot-wired starting system, I got the car running and was able to get off the track. As I was driving toward my garage I could see everyone staring at the side of my car. I was thinking, “sh**… what have I done!”

    Once I got back to the garage I checked out the damage. It was purely cosmetic, although I did take out the front blinker and driving light assembly so I’d be sucking a bit more air. With ten feet of baling wire and a half a pound of yellow duct tape the “flying banana” was bruised but not squashed. My wife Kathy shook head and said, “Yeah Greg… now is a good time to try a new driving line!” I held my head in shame…

    I guess I tell these pre-race stories to let you know that anything can happen. Things like starter switches and crashing into a wall during qualifying can ruin all of your time, energy, and especially money, not to mention trying to win a championship.

    The Race

    This weekend my class was running with ASC, which translates as the American Stockcar Challenge. These are big tube framed, sheet metal, big horsepower, very sticky slicked, NASCAR type racecars. These drivers go for the gusto with a “fear not” attitude that proved itself during that race. There were 17 ASC cars in total.

    My group, “Super Unlimited” consisted of 10 very fast and very well built racecars. We’re talking Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Viper, Mustang Salleen, Dodge SRT, need I say more. The guy with the Ferrari flew in on a helicopter 20 minutes before his qualifying time. He had “two” full double-decker trailers full of brand new race prepped Ferraris and a crew of at least eight people. I couldn’t frigging believe it…

    It was 2:50 on Saturday afternoon and it was race time. The ASC cars were going to do a rolling green flag start in front of my class, then we’d follow with a second rolling start. I qualified last because of my wall incident and not getting a decent qualifying lap in.

    Green, green, green, and I passed a Porsche and another car to take the first turn. It’s balls out with 27 extremely loud cars belching out clouds of high-test race fuel. We’re all bunched up nose to tail two wide and sometimes three wide all trying to get the best line for the next turn. The cars begin to run single file as the more difficult parts of the track come into sight. As the first lap came to the end the faster cars are flying down the front straight as the rest of the pack are finishing up their final turns. I was getting some distance between myself and the cars I passed earlier when I came upon Magic Mountain way too fast and it was spin city. The Porsche passed me but I was able to get started and back to business before the other car caught up. It was lap three and I was seeing dust clouds, smoke, and various car parts lying on and off the track. I came up on an ASC car with its entire front end crushed in sitting in the middle of a field (off track). Further up the track there was another ASC car off track with its entire side ripped open like a sardine can. It was a double yellow flag and the entire field of cars slowed with more carnage on the horizon. It was almost three laps of double yellow flag laps to clean the track up good enough to continue the race.
    The green flag was dropped again and the game of bumper pool went back into full force. It wasn’t just the ASC guys that were having all the fun. The Ferrari braked really hard just before the exit of Star Mazda turn and a BMW punted his rear end sending the Ferrari spinning off the track into a dead stall. As I passed him I remember thinking, “that guy came in on a helicopter!”

    To make a long race short, 7 of the 17 ASC cars were wrecked beyond repair to run the following day, a quarter million dollar Ferrari had its rear end chewed up, and I came in 7th in class, after I spun out. At that point I knew all I had to do was go out on the track for one lap during the race on Sunday and I’d take the 2005 Championship for “Super Unlimited!” EEE HAA!!!

    Sunday Warm ups

    I did two laps…

    Sunday Qualifying

    I did two laps… qualified last.

    Sunday Race

    It was basically the same group of cars that raced on Saturday less (7) ASC cars and the addition of a 650 hp twin turbo Supra running 315s all the way around in my Super Unlimited class.

    We took to the track behind the pace car and the ASC group took off with the first green. We were close behind and got the second green. I kept a good car length behind the pack making sure if somebody did something stupid I’d be prepared. We did our pack thing all the way around the track coming back to the front straight. As I passed the checkered flag stand I knew I had the championship in the bag!
    My face froze with an ear-to-ear grin and I thought, “I got nothing to lose now…it’s time to race boys!”
    I reached down and switched my boost controller to max and shoved my accelerator through the floorboard. At this very moment as I’m writing this all I can remember is I was going faster then sh**. The car absolutely loved it and the engine seemed to roar an octave lower. I could smell the tires heat up like a Thanksgiving Turkey and the car reacted to every turn like it was on rails. I remembered California Speedway at the beginning of the season and the absolute thrill of running balls out with the big boys with a “take no prisoners” attitude. It was so cool to finally not to have to worry about breaking down or blowing up the engine. I got two full race seasons out of one engine without a rebuild. The motor presently sucks up almost two quarts of oil every race event with water and water wetter to match. This is a definite tribute to the 4G63 MOTOR… what a frigging joy.

    I ran the rest of race at full boost with engine temps reaching upwards of 240. From starting last I think I came in 6th, but at this point who cares? I took the 2005 “Super Unlimited” road racing championship two years in a row! I am so stoked that all the hard work paid off. What a frigging trip!

    I have so many people to thank for this season’s win because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have had a chance.

    Here’s a BIG THANK YOU to,

    DSMTuners Chris, you da man!

    Road Race Engineering Mike Welch and John Mueller

    Vivid Racing Dan Mermelstein

    Go Hi Performance Tom Dixon and Ginger Hoffman

    Shepherd Racing John Shepherd

    Stop Tech Brakes Matt Weiss

    Bogart Racing Wheels Rich Bogart

    Hoyt Technologies Chris Royer

    Track Out Design Peter Beale

    Extreme Dimensions George Chen

    AZ Auto Graphics Louis

    Hoosier Tires (for the great rubber)
    Buschur Racing (for the turbo that never quit)
    ACT (for clutch that took my big foot abuse)
    Pann Auto (for the invaluable dyno time)

    Another special thanks to Tom Dixon whose interest, positive words, and friendship, can never be measured.

    Scot Gray, the master tuner of the universe, who always made something better then it, actually should be!

    My son Joshua, who held the fort down while his Dad played racecar driver.

    My wife Kathy from where my life began and where it will end and her relentless understanding having to put up with my crap!

    And a special appreciation for all the Tuners on the site for all your kind words and constant encouragement that made it all worthwhile, I thank you…

    Greg ROFL ROFL

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  2. Stanford

    Stanford Proven Member

    Joined Mar 21, 2004
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Congrats Greg, thats quite an accomplishment. You make the DSM community proud. :thumb:

    246  0

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    12.910 @ 109.260 · 2G DSM
  3. prostreetdsmx1

    prostreetdsmx1 Proven Member

    Joined Sep 29, 2002
    Altamonte, Florida
    man congrats on the all the great work. you have done such a great job keeping us all on the edge of our seats and frankly i think you bring new respect to the community showing that our cars are able to do more than drag race. thank you for all your hard work. We are all really proud of you.

    and chris, thanks for putting this whole thing together. i can't tell you how excited i would get everytime there was an update. it was like we were all there with greg. thanks dude!

    :rocks: :rocks: :rocks:

    392  0

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    13.100 @ 104.100 · 2G DSM
  4. mavisky

    mavisky DSM Wiseman

    Joined Sep 13, 2002
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Congratulations Greg, and a big thanks to you for proving that these cars can do more than just go in straight lines. :thumb:

    Looks like the flying banana took it on the chin but kept on its feet. I would've guessed those fiberglass pieces would've went splintering after hitting the wall, must be built better than I originally believed. WTF
  5. terefic181

    terefic181 Proven Member

    Joined Mar 3, 2004
    Riverside, California

    Let me be the 1st to congratulate you on an OUTSTANDING 2 year run and wins for the NASA So Cal Super Unlimited series. I know you've worked extremely hard for this and I can't think of anyone more deserving. CONGRATULATIONS man you've done the DSM comunity extraordinarily proud.

    Thank's for being there for us.


    398  0

    1990 Plymouth Laser RS Turbo
    manual · 1G DSM
  6. igopoopy

    igopoopy Proven Member

    Joined May 5, 2004
    tucson, Arizona
    so is luda going to get you that evo or new eclipse or something like that ?

    all i can say is ####yea :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  7. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

    Joined Nov 12, 2001
    Roseville, California
    Congratulations Greg!!!!

    I wanted to personally thank Greg for letting us be part of this winning season. He's definitely gone above and beyond our expectations this year with his priceless race diaries. We had asked him in the beginning if he could do a brief follow-up after each race with some text and photos. Little did we know that his write-ups would be so in-depth and entertaining. I even had the pleasure of meeting Greg and watching him compete in one of his races.

    The main goal of our sponsorship was to help introduce our members to the world of amateur racing and to build excitement for something other than street racing. Greg has helped us accomplish this goal and then some. He's been an inspiration to the entire DSM community and we're proud to have him as a member.

    We'll have to do something special for him soon. I have a few ideas already ;)
    Congrats again Greg, and than you.


    Street Build 8K  0

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)
    manual · 2G DSM

    Road Race Build 6K  23

    1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    435.0 whp · 399.2 lb/ft · 1G DSM
  8. bane3d

    bane3d Proven Member

    Joined Aug 30, 2005
    St Peters, Missouri
    Congratulations Greg. Same goes to your family and friends who worked so hard this year to support you.

  9. andymoraitis

    andymoraitis Awaiting Email Verification

    Joined Jan 25, 2004
    Utica, Michigan

    Congratulations on an excellent season. I've greatly enjoyed reading about your exploits and wish you continued success in the next year.

    Keep on boostin!

  10. wimploki

    wimploki Proven Member

    Joined Mar 25, 2005
    SoCal, California
    Hey Greg,

    Congratulations on all your accomplisments! :thumb: :thumb:

    A DSM Legend is born. :dsm:
  11. solomontomb

    solomontomb Proven Member

    Joined Jan 4, 2004
    Doraville, Georgia
    Congrats! :thumb: :thumb:

    234  0

    1990 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    manual · 1G DSM
  12. Greg Collier

    Greg Collier Proven Member

    Joined Mar 8, 2003
    Diego, California
    Hey that's cool... :cool:

    Plus they all had to put up with me all year..... OMG

    Luda said something like, "the car's in the mail" WTF

    Thank you... this community has come a long way in a short time and I'm just glad to be a part of it:thumb:
  13. Greg Collier

    Greg Collier Proven Member

    Joined Mar 8, 2003
    Diego, California
    Thanks Tom, your constant support over the past years has meant a lot! :D
  14. Greg Collier

    Greg Collier Proven Member

    Joined Mar 8, 2003
    Diego, California

    Thanks to you Martin we can keep these cars going fast for a long time ROFL ROFL
  15. Greg Collier

    Greg Collier Proven Member

    Joined Mar 8, 2003
    Diego, California
    Oh yeah, Chris... what exactly does it mean, THE CAR IS IN THE MAIL? ;)

  16. Greg Collier

    Greg Collier Proven Member

    Joined Mar 8, 2003
    Diego, California

    OK Kyle... your on a run, and I want to keep hearing those updates regarding your mods!

    And yeah, I was surprised with the little damage to the front end fiberglass myself. It took a major hit... must a been that one bolt that was missing in the bottom assembly that helped it flex a little :shhh:

  17. L2RTSiAWD

    L2RTSiAWD Honorary Moderator

    Joined Apr 8, 2002
    Chandler, Arizona
    Big Congrats!!

    Where is the picture with your trophy?
  18. Greg Collier

    Greg Collier Proven Member

    Joined Mar 8, 2003
    Diego, California

    Thanks John... we usually have the awards ceremony in January in Los Angeles. This gives everybody time to chill from the long year and for them to do the engraving on the trophies... It's usually a pretty wild night :shhh:

    What does suck is that once we finish our race it's a mad dash to get packed up to get back on the freeway and drive six hours home. Then it's up early and work all day Monday... absolutely no frigging time to :rocks: PARTY :rocks:

    I'll have a beer tonight :boring:

  19. Rx3

    Rx3 DSM Wiseman

    Joined Mar 20, 2002
    Buffalo, New York
    This is SWEET! Congrats on the season Greg :thumb:

    722  0

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
  20. 98eclipseRS

    98eclipseRS Proven Member

    Joined Jan 1, 2003
    NORCAL, California
    Congrats Greg! I loved the race write ups you did and I respect you imensly for what you were able to pull off while still having a normal job to go to during the week. You are truly an inspiration for the rest of us.

    345  0

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    · 2G DSM
  21. Greg Collier

    Greg Collier Proven Member

    Joined Mar 8, 2003
    Diego, California
    I'm loven it too... it would have really sucked to come in second place :nono:
  22. ludevtec93

    ludevtec93 Proven Member

    Joined Jul 15, 2004
    oakland, California
    congrats on the big win, Greg! :thumb:
  23. Greg Collier

    Greg Collier Proven Member

    Joined Mar 8, 2003
    Diego, California
    Yeah... this normal job crap really sucks. Why can't we all just be independently wealthy and play with our cars every day :rocks:
  24. Quasimondo

    Quasimondo Proven Member

    Joined Jan 17, 2004
    Congratulations on the back-to-back championships. Any plans on going for the three-peat?
  25. Greg Collier

    Greg Collier Proven Member

    Joined Mar 8, 2003
    Diego, California
    Did I just talk to you on GRM? :shhh: As far as the three-peat is concerned... wouldn't that be cool? It's never been done before. I know next years Super Unlimited class is suppose to be insane with big time, big $, cars.

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