With only a couple days remaining in this (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime year of 2020, Lemons HQ has one final look back to this season for our patrons. We’ve already covered our Organizer’s Choice and Index of Effluency winners from this year. Today, we are sharing our season champions from 2020 on the 24 Hours of Lemons YouTube Channel. Give it a watch below and enjoy some light reading about it beyond that.
Believe it or not, Lemons keeps tracks of points. While the numerous canceled races befuddled our automated points system, you can read about it in Section 5 of our rules page (It’s a short read). But if you’re too lazy for that click, here’s how teams score points.
3 points for showing up, applicable to both teams’ and driver’s championships.
1-10 points for a Top 10 finish overall (10 points for first, 9 points for second, etc.), applicable to both teams’ and driver’s championships.
2 points for each rookie in the teams championship.
We crown, such as it is, champions for each region and for a national title because many teams race in more than one region. Regional champions get a free entry to the season’s final race. Driver’s champions get called out in the video, right here, and get a hearty pat on the back.
Yes, Sorry For Party Racing’s scantily clad team co-captain Matt Farides racked up 40 points in the COVID-shortened season to win the national driver’s champion. As a member of Sorry For Party, he has raced a Pontiac Firebird and a Porsche 944. The Porsche won Class B at the 24-hour race at Carolina Motorsports Park in September. He also finished second place overall with Mome Rath Racing at NHMS and logged seat time with Three Pedal Mafia and Ran When Parked Racing.
Co-Idiot of Effluency winner Christian “Mental” Ward finished a single point behind Matt Farides in the driver’s championship. Mental earned an overall win with Three Pedal Mafia at Thompson and co-drove with champion Matt Farides at Buttonwillow.
Christopher Blizzard finished third in the driver’s championship with a pair of overall wins at The Ridge Motorsports Park and Buttonwillow in the Hella Shitty Racing BMW E30. He also scored a Top 10 finish with Salty Thunder Racing’s Pontiac Fiero at the 24-hour race in Colorado.
The massive Texas-based Ginger Race Team entered multiple competitive cars at several races, including about 39 cars at MSR Houston. Aside from Lemons’ first Honda Fit, they don’t tend to race anything super “interesting” in the parlance of Lemons (BMWs, Mustang, Toyota Supra). However, they bring lots of cars, lots of fun, and lots of new people into Lemons. Turns out, that’s how you win a Lemons Championship.
Similarly, the USMC Racing group came in second place. Their mission of giving a fun, creative outlet for military and first responders necessarily means including many rookies. They race across many regions with (now) four Lemons cars of varying crappiness.
Third place went to Lemons stalwarts and overall insane regulars Three Pedal Mafia. They’re previous National Effing Champions and also scored their first overall win at Thompson in August.
Fourth place finishers Braking Bad Racing also deserve a shoutout for bringing five cars and about a million rookies to MSR Houston. They racked up an impressive 41 points from a single race with cars that in no way threatened to finish in the Top 10. Get your rookies together for 2021!
Above are the winners from each region. Those include very-longtime Lemons racers Team Nonsequitur as the Midwest Drivers Champions. Those fools have raced with us consistently since finishing 7th overall at Michigan’s Flat Rock Speedway in 2007, the very first Lemons race outside of California.
We couldn’t decide which of these was more impressive. Here are the qualifications:
GM entries won both Michigan races (DETROIT IS BACK) and a Pontiac Fiero won the 12-hour “half race” at High Plains (albeit with only four entries). There were also Top 10 finishes for another Fiero, an Oldsmobile Omega, a Pontiac Solstice, and TWO Corvettes.
AMC had three Top 15 finishes. Team Lowball won Class C twice from 14th place with their Gremlin and their Hornet Sportabout. In addition, the Murder Whorenet Formerly Known As Rally Baby finished 14th overall at Thompson in August.
Over the years, we’ve been told repeatedly that Mercedes are unkillable. Totally indestructible. Cannot be defeated. We’ve seen some properly quick E-class cars over the years and have recently started to see SLK Kompressors turn up.
Indeed, the Squirtin’ Coronas brought their quick Kompressor to the 24-hour race at CMP, where it led much of the race from Class B. Furrowed brows populated the paddock as a Class B car was running away with it. “Just wait,” said both Judge Eric and Chief Perp Jay Lamm before they headed off to grab some overnight sleep. And guess what? The high-strung, supercharged engine blew the hell up.
We later discovered—unsurprisingly—that a Pinto engine with a Volvo B-Series head, motorcycle carbs, and a GM ignition system doesn’t make an SLK much better.
However, one lone SLK—the Party Girl W202 sedan—scored all 7 of Mercedes’ points in 2020 at the final race, MSR Houston.
Lemons’ top honor for the year, however, goes to the team that most exemplifies Lemons’ true spirit. And the Michigan/Ohio/Pennsylvania collective known as the League of Legitimate Nigerian Businessmen are indeed that. While they gave up on their horrible Ford Pinto Wagon in 2020, they instead stuck to a well-used Nissan 300ZX and a Subaru Outback.
It’s hard to explain the LOLNB’s attitude toward racing and competition without seeing their dedication to motorsports’ blah-ness in person. However, it’s pretty well summed up by a year that saw them stuffing four entries into three months, retheming their car at the track with decades-old (stolen) municipal paint, Queen tributes, and the most horrifyingly well-executed theme we’ve seen in a long time.
If the Midwest region of Lemons had a super group, it would be the assembly of team captains who guided two of the season’s most impressive performances. The core group of drivers piloted Brown Rubber Soul’s dominating IOE run at Gingerman in the fall with a clapped-out-but-looking-spectacular 1981 Mazda 626. That coincided with a legitimate Class B win at the same race using a clapped-out-and-scraped-up Ford Probe.
Before that? They wiped the track at Gingerman in June with Lemons’ first Chinese-built entry, the Voleex C20 with 14th-place overall, which is apparently where all the cool kids finish.
What can we even say about these guys? They absolutely crushed this year with two cars whose combined wheel horsepower is probably in double digits.
They started the season at Inde Motorsports Ranch with their rickety Geo Metro, which naturally blew up. On the drive to the track, however, they’d noticed a Metro parked next to a random house. When they needed parts, they simply knocked on the door to ask if they could harvest the parked Metro for parts. The owner agreed and return to the track they did. They followed that up with a Class C win at The Ridge in July, finishing in…13th place.
For their next trick, the father-son duo on the team towed the Metro to Colorado to run the 24-hour race themselves. What better family bonding could there be than a 14th place, a welded-in-place half-shaft, and an Index of Effluency?
Finally, they turned around two weeks later with the Metro again at Buttonwillow, accompanied by their freshly built Honda Insight. They tossed away the hybrid pieces, running the stock three-cylinder engine that (theoretically) makes 58 horsepower. While the Metro crapped out with only 100 laps, the Insight edged out a $1 Jaguar X-Type for the Class win with the 64th-quickest lap of the weekend and a finish in 13th place.
That’s a helluva season for anyone.
That wraps it up for us in 2020. You can find our 2021 season schedule and sign up for events on the website here. We’ll also have an upcoming iRacing event, the Kim Harmon iScrotium 500 on January 17. Look for details on that soon!