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Thread: NASA western states championships 2016

  1. #41
    Junior Member BRP Mike's Avatar
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    Gents-

    First let me say it was an honor to have the 2016 edition of the NASA Western Championships at BRP. A lot of effort and long hours by our staff were put in during the weeks leading up to the event. Hopefully it was a good event for those that attended from near and far.

    I want to provide a little background on our dirt for those that don't know about its awfulness. First, the land that the track sits on was previously farm land. It became available because the dirt was so horrible it could no longer be farmed. Most people think dirt is dirt, right? There are no differences! Unfortunately that is not the case. Our dirt doesn't hold water well and has a very fine, powdery characteristic which contributes to the massive, hanging dust clouds. I personally drove the water truck after track activity on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings until it was dark. We water the edges of the race track to try to keep the dust down. Unfortunately, there is a fine line of how much we can do this due to the dirt situation I described above. I am sure most of you have been here a time or two when it actually rains and seen how the dirt turns to complete slime. The dirt does not absorb the water much at all, it just sits on top. If we water it some more, the top layer turns to slime, not what we want. Since only the top layer absorbs the water, once someone goes off at a higher rate of speed at any type of angle, they dig into the powdery layer and create a massive dust cloud. Add all that to the fact that we haven't received any measurable amount of rain in 6-7 months and temps are just now starting to cool off from the summer heat means everything is as dry as can be.

    We make a great effort to always grade and groom the edges nicely to make the runoff areas as flat and as safe as possible. The bottom line is our dirt situation is just plain crappy. We have looked into several different solutions, including spray products that are designed to keep dust "down". It works for about the first 2 offs and then you are right back to where we started. Since our track is multi use for cars and motorcycles and is run regularly in either direction, we can't really install any "bumps" on the edges or any other runoff type detractors. Short of digging it all out and trucking in tens of thousands of tons of new dirt (which is cost prohibitive), we must deal with the cards we have been dealt.

    I won't get into any of the politics or ideas behind how clubs could "police" the offs. I have been guilty a few times in creating those dust clouds myself As racers, if we haul it off into a corner at XXX MPH and there is nothing to hit on the other side, chances are you will try the next time through at XXX +3 MPH. If there is a wall on the other side, we probably will continue at XXX MPH. XXX +3 sure creates a lot of dust clouds!

    Happy Racing

    -Mike Miserendino
    Buttonwillow Raceway

  2. #42
    Junior Member BRP Mike's Avatar
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    P.S. Sorry about that BRUTAL wind storm Sunday. That certainly did this dust bowl no favors!!!
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    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    Mike, thanks for chiming in. I think you guys do a good job maintaining the track and I even noticed nicely graded runoff areas visible from the webcast.

    Talking about the quality of dirt. Have you thought about adding compost to the soil? Maybe have the feed lot up the road bring in some of its waste? It will both make the soil healthier and discourage offs when, um, freshly amended.

    Manure Matters: How Manures Measure Up
    Last edited by Red_5; 10-20-2016 at 11:17 AM.
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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRP Mike View Post
    Gents-

    First let me say it was an honor to have the 2016 edition of the NASA Western Championships at BRP. A lot of effort and long hours by our staff were put in during the weeks leading up to the event. Hopefully it was a good event for those that attended from near and far.

    I want to provide a little background on our dirt for those that don't know about its awfulness. First, the land that the track sits on was previously farm land. It became available because the dirt was so horrible it could no longer be farmed. Most people think dirt is dirt, right? There are no differences! Unfortunately that is not the case. Our dirt doesn't hold water well and has a very fine, powdery characteristic which contributes to the massive, hanging dust clouds. I personally drove the water truck after track activity on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings until it was dark. We water the edges of the race track to try to keep the dust down. Unfortunately, there is a fine line of how much we can do this due to the dirt situation I described above. I am sure most of you have been here a time or two when it actually rains and seen how the dirt turns to complete slime. The dirt does not absorb the water much at all, it just sits on top. If we water it some more, the top layer turns to slime, not what we want. Since only the top layer absorbs the water, once someone goes off at a higher rate of speed at any type of angle, they dig into the powdery layer and create a massive dust cloud. Add all that to the fact that we haven't received any measurable amount of rain in 6-7 months and temps are just now starting to cool off from the summer heat means everything is as dry as can be.

    We make a great effort to always grade and groom the edges nicely to make the runoff areas as flat and as safe as possible. The bottom line is our dirt situation is just plain crappy. We have looked into several different solutions, including spray products that are designed to keep dust "down". It works for about the first 2 offs and then you are right back to where we started. Since our track is multi use for cars and motorcycles and is run regularly in either direction, we can't really install any "bumps" on the edges or any other runoff type detractors. Short of digging it all out and trucking in tens of thousands of tons of new dirt (which is cost prohibitive), we must deal with the cards we have been dealt.

    I won't get into any of the politics or ideas behind how clubs could "police" the offs. I have been guilty a few times in creating those dust clouds myself As racers, if we haul it off into a corner at XXX MPH and there is nothing to hit on the other side, chances are you will try the next time through at XXX +3 MPH. If there is a wall on the other side, we probably will continue at XXX MPH. XXX +3 sure creates a lot of dust clouds!

    Happy Racing

    -Mike Miserendino
    Buttonwillow Raceway

    I believe this is what was used on the dirt prior to the paving of Pikes Peak: http://pennzsuppress.com/our-dust-control-product/
    Last edited by RacerJason99; 10-20-2016 at 01:17 PM.
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  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red_5 View Post
    Mike, thanks for chiming in. I think you guys do a good job maintaining the track and I even noticed nicely graded runoff areas visible from the webcast.

    Talking about the quality of dirt. Have you thought about adding compost to the soil? Maybe have the feed lot up the road bring in some of its waste? It will both make the soil healthier and discourage offs when, um, freshly amended.

    Manure Matters: How Manures Measure Up

    Oh Please NO! The place has a whiff of cow for miles in every direction. More of that is the last thing we need. OTOH, if I fly off Phil Hill and soil myself no one will be the wiser.
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  6. #46
    Sir flink
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    Yeah, the dust clouds are awful. Do you a) dive into it and t-bone someone or b) slow up and get rear-ended. Once or twice I have chosen c) and headed straight off into the countryside.

    Here's my GTS3 race. The first four minutes are vaguely interesting going from P4 to P1 and playing in dust clouds. After that it's just lapping, not very quickly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x69a386D6fc
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  7. #47
    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    Oh Please NO! The place has a whiff of cow for miles in every direction. More of that is the last thing we need. OTOH, if I fly off Phil Hill and soil myself no one will be the wiser.
    Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good.

    I grew up in farm country in PA and was around plenty of fields where they spread manure. It's really only bad for the first couple of days. If they spread manure around BRP on Monday, by Friday it wouldn't smell any worse than normal. After not too long the soil would be in better shape and less likely to form nasty dust clouds when dry.
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  8. #48
    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red_5 View Post
    Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good.

    I grew up in farm country in PA and was around plenty of fields where they spread manure. It's really only bad for the first couple of days. If they spread manure around BRP on Monday, by Friday it wouldn't smell any worse than normal. After not too long the soil would be in better shape and less likely to form nasty dust clouds when dry.
    I agree. And I bet Ballengee has literally tons of almond husks that can be spread into the dust. As they break down they will make for a more manageable soil.
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    Senior Member KJSCV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olitho View Post
    I agree. And I bet Ballengee has literally tons of almond husks that can be spread into the dust. As they break down they will make for a more manageable soil.
    the almond shells idea is one I was going to post... unless they're being sold off for another purpose.

    BRP dust is not that big a deal, once and awhile it raises it's ugly head but for the most parts it's not that big a deal and the BRP staff does a great job of maintaining the track edges which to me is more important than the dust. I remember talking to Les bout this years ago when the track was being resurfaced for the second time and with the alkaline in the soil there's really not much they can do, the stuff is a killer. Kills the plants, the soil and even the track itself as it eats away at the underside.
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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Ok, here's my video. I'm not terribly happy with the quality of the driving, but I think part of it was getting increasingly desperate as it became clear that the car was getting too hot to make good power. Going to try different thermostats in the offseason.

    Thanks to the sponsors:
    Race Engineering
    Iron Canyon Motorsports

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  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by flink View Post
    Once or twice I have chosen c) and headed straight off into the countryside.
    After the last SPM race at BRP, there was a lot of discussion about how to deal with these clouds. I think Emilio recommended (C) Head off into the countryside, (if safe, obviously). I hadn't really thought about it, but I guess it's just process of elimination: If you have to choose between a dust cloud on the track that might have a car in it, and a nice clear section dirt to drive through, its pretty obvious what is safest. And as long as you keep it straight in the dirt and ease it back on track past the cloud, you don't lose much time.

    The only downside seems to be the huge cloud you create for whoever comes next...
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  12. #52
    Master of Disaster SteveLevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robburgoon View Post
    Ok, here's my video. I'm not terribly happy with the quality of the driving, but I think part of it was getting increasingly desperate
    Are we sure we're talking about your car here?

    Couldn't resist

    Steve

  13. #53
    Senior Member Gian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRP Mike View Post
    P.S. Sorry about that BRUTAL wind storm Sunday. That certainly did this dust bowl no favors!!!
    What? You had control over that!!!... JK.. That was the first time I had ever see that kind of wind at Buttonwillow. Mad Max like, for sure. Acts of nature are part of the racing we do.
    I have been on that track since it has opened. Personally, I have never see the level of preparation at Buttonwillow before (or never really looked). All the edge's were nicely groomed. You guys did a great job. Thank you.
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    I've had a busy week since the race. I haven't had to much time to go over everything. I will be posting my duurty drive video of how to shoot your self in the foot racing technique and all the fun of getting passed in corners leading to long straights by faster class cars. Yes, this is my tail of woe of the dirty dust pirate!
    I learned a lot. 1.( don't lose custom, one off parts just before the race. 2( don't hit the TT/Race director in the first qualifying race. 3( forget about it all and go faster anyways.
    I'm still working on the last one.
    That's not a Typo, I just can't spell no so well.

  15. #55
    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    I had a talk with my dairy farmer this morning at the farmers market about getting the dirt at BRP in better shape. His suggestion was to have animals graze around the track area. For starters they'll need to give them some alfalfa until you actually get some grass growing. Start with smaller areas and move the herd around. They'll poop and pee and then walk around working it in the soil. He said it's important to have animals on site because the hoof action is a big part. This method has been used to rejuvenate soil in other locations and has been very effective. I don't know if it's realistic but it's an option. BTW, my dairy farmer is up in the Fresno area, they aren't located on the coast.
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  16. #56
    Senior Member Gian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red_5 View Post
    I had a talk with my dairy farmer this morning at the farmers market about getting the dirt at BRP in better shape. His suggestion was to have animals graze around the track area. For starters they'll need to give them some alfalfa until you actually get some grass growing. Start with smaller areas and move the herd around. They'll poop and pee and then walk around working it in the soil. He said it's important to have animals on site because the hoof action is a big part. This method has been used to rejuvenate soil in other locations and has been very effective. I don't know if it's realistic but it's an option. BTW, my dairy farmer is up in the Fresno area, they aren't located on the coast.
    Like were are you going to find cow's in Buttonwillow? gezz get real...

    On a dusty-er note, here is my first few laps. My camera stopped after 20min in. So I didn't get the complete race. I'll get more video soon. Reviewing it, I know my plain was to get behind the lead group, then get after them. But looks like I was a bit more lazy then I planed. Better get another chair for that porch.
    Last edited by Gian; 10-23-2016 at 01:58 PM.
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    Here is a shot of me speeding through "Beggar's Canyon" dodging Womp Rats on Tatooine....

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    Thanks,

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  18. #58
    Junior Member BRP Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olitho View Post
    I agree. And I bet Ballengee has literally tons of almond husks that can be spread into the dust. As they break down they will make for a more manageable soil.
    Those are not free either unfortunately. They are repurposed for a few different uses.

    I don't think the manure option is going to happen either. The office fields calls occasionally from wives of racers..."Is the smell gone yet?" "Is it going to smell as bad this year as it did last year when my husband was racing there?"
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  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRP Mike View Post
    Those are not free either unfortunately. They are repurposed for a few different uses.
    Well, you wouldn't have to try to do the entire facility at first, maybe just pick your favorite runoff like say the cotton corners or busstop exit and dump a truckload there, water it and see what happens.

  20. #60
    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plavan View Post
    Here is a shot of me speeding through "Beggar's Canyon" dodging Womp Rats on Tatooine....
    Womp rats, also known as Corvettes and Mustangs....
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