Champions of the Lemons World: Your 2019 Winners!

By: Eric Rood Photo Credits: Eric Rood, Murile Martin, Nick Pon, Phillip Thomas, Shona Blizzard
December 20, 2019

With the checkered flag from Road Atlanta and the Yokohama Coldlanta 500, Lemons caps its 14 racing season. We do use the words “racing” and “season” lightly. With nearly 2,000 entries across 24 races in 2019, Lemons puts a whole bunch of people into the wild tumbler of road racing.

Every year, Lemons crowns season-long champions based on points (three for each entered car that begins a race plus points for Top 10 finishes…with some changes coming to the points system). Like the Index of Effluency, however, the important trophies are subjective: the Real Constructors Champions (make or model that does better than expected), the Deconstructors Champion (most pitiful make or model), and the vaunted Coppa di Bondo (the team that does the most with the least and embodies Lemons throughout a season).

With the holidays looming, here are your teams with bragging topics for their confused friends and relatives.

National Team Champion

Texas’ Ginger Race Team has grown from a single BMW 5-Series into a conglomeration of at least a half-dozen Class A and B cars. While the original E34 has won a race overall in the past, the team peppered the Top 5 in the Gulf and South races with Top 10 finishes. Sure, the cars are mostly BMWs with the odd Toyota Supra and Porsche 944 thrown in for good measure. Nevertheless, the glut of entries led to Ginger’s first national championship. To boot, they added champions of the South and Gulf regions to their 2019 tally.

We should make special note of Mome Rath Racing, who ran four races in 2019 with three wins and a second place. That earned team captain Amanda Tully and her lone co-driver James Mansour—yep, just two drivers for most of the year—fourth place in the national teams championship in only their Cheshire Cat BMW 3-Series.

National Team Championship

Ginger Race Team 123
ONSET/Tetanus 100
3 Pedal Mafia 69
Mome Rath Racing 51
Hella Shitty Racing 43

National Driver Champion – Christopher Blizzard

Hella Shitty Racing’s Christopher Blizzard (left, above) won his second national championship as a driver, which came with a couple of overall wins in the decade-old Judgebusters BMW. He also co-drove Anton Lovett’s Volvo PV544 to a couple of Top 10 finishes, which is no small feat.

National Driver Championship

Christopher Blizzard 76
Vann Duke 66
John Whitson 61
Anton Lovett 58
Roland Hahn/Ann Moran 56

Constructors Championship – BMW

Champions again. For the 11th year in a row, BMWs racked up the most Top 10 points.  [Snoring]

REAL Constructors Championship – Mitsubishi

Yeah, you’re reading that right. Four different Mitsubishis scored Top 10 points, plus the Index of Effluency-winning Plymouth Sundance Duster at Brainerd—which somehow finished 2nd place overall—is powered by a Mitsubishi V6. Throw in the Skip-A-Gear Racing Mitsubishi Starion that waxed the Index of Effluency field at Carolina Motorsports Park in September for good measure.

Yeah, it doesn’t sound like much, but that’s a strong showing for Mitsubishi. It’s good enough for us to call the Chrysler of Japan™ champions in our book.

Deconstructors Championship – Chevy Corvette

It’s only fitting that eight different Corvettes attempted Lemons in the year that Chevy unveiled its eight-generation C8 Corvette. Incredibly, one of those Lemons Corvettes finished in third place overall at The Ridge Motorsports Park in July. And that Corvette? Its engine is a BMW inline-six. One C4 Corvette with a V8 managed a ninth-place finish, but the other C4s represented America’s Sports Car exactly as we’d expect: many failed transmissions, smoking engines, brake failures, and one with more than few scorch marks.

We’ll add in the runners up for the Deconstructors Championship, Mercedes Benz. We counted 35 Mercedes entries in Lemons for 2019. The bulk of those were somewhat modern E-Class and C-Class entries with a few Kompressors for good measure. Of those few dozen Lemons entries of sport sedans and coupes, only two managed Top 10 finishes.

Coppa di Bondo – Salty Thunder Racing

Few Lemons teams would ever dare race one Pontiac Fiero, let alone two. Yet, Utah’s Salty Thunder Racing has spent several years in Lemons exhibiting masterful patience with a pair of GM’s part-bin paste-up Fieros. Not only did they finish 4th and 7th place overall at High Plains Raceway in September, Salty Thunder never fail to come with fantastic themes and costumes. They also bring a good time to the paddock after racing for the night, which goes a long way in Lemons. They’re a great group with horrendous cars having all of the fun and somehow not finishing well. That’s good enough for our imaginary top season honor!

We’ll make special mention of the notorious Chotus. Who could have guessed that a Lotus Elite with a Small-Block Chevy V8 and a Jaguar rear axle could be unreliable? Still, the Chotus crew stuck by their fiberglass V8 monster—really a British Corvette, if you think about it—for nine solid years before it held together long enough to win Class C finally at Thunderhill. Not only that, but it finished runner-up in Class B at its next race! Is the Chotus Domination Era upon us? Well…not quite.

Regionally Amazing Adequate

Below are the regional points winners. Gloat as you see fit.

East Teams Champion

3 Pedal Mafia 63
Mome Rath Racing 51
PunisherGP 27
Tyre Festival 27

East Driver Champion

Daniel Perlicki 54
Amanda Tully 51
James Mansour 51

Midwest Teams Champion

Kone Killer 29
Wisconsin Crap Racing 26
LemonAid Racing 25

Midwest Driver Champion

Nathan Schlawin 32
Steven Peterson 32
Mark John 31

South Teams Champion

Ginger Race Team 51
Surrealtime Racing 28
Burp Racing 27

South Driver Champion

Landers Sevier V 30
Kenneth Lazorchak 28
Justin Terrell 28
John Davis 28

Gulf Teams Champion

Ginger Race Team 52
ONSET/Tetanus Racing 40
Ron BurganZ Racing 13
ProNerd 13
Radiator Springs Racing 13

Gulf Driver Champion

Vann Duke 26
John Whitson 23
Garrett Whitson 23

West Teams Champion

Eyesore Racing 37
Hella Shitty Racing 30
Cerveza Racing 29
ONSET/Tetanus Racing 29

West Driver Champion

Christopher Blizzard 60
Dan Ehrlich 43
Sarah Fairfield 37
Ryan Meeks 37

Be sure to check out the 2020 schedule and sign up now to reserve your spot and your car number for those races. Perhaps you and your mates will be next year’s champions. We’ll have the Best New Lemons Cars of 2019 in the near future, so check back often for that and more here on the Lemons Blog.

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