After a thrilling weekend of racing at Carolina Motorsports Park in South Carolina, the Park Bench Racing team survived a grueling 24 Hours Of Lemons. If you didn’t see our original report and subsequent updates, you might be wondering what we’re talking about.
Five drivers, including our staff writer, Austin Rexinger, took a 2002 Buick Regal – complete with a park bench bolted on the trunk – to the track and accomplished a major feat of motorsport. They survived 24 consecutive hours of racing through the night and into the morning.
Endurance racing is something that very few people understand. Why would you put yourself in that position? Why would you spend 24 hours trying to keep a car running? Why would you race through the night? These questions, and many more keep the outsiders out, and the insiders in. Because once you’ve experienced endurance racing, you’ll appreciate motorsport more than you ever have. At least we tend to think so.
The Park Bench Racing No. 451 Buick Regal finished 16th overall and 8th in B class after a full day of racing. The field consisted of just over 80 cars, half of which were in B class. The team estimated that the car spent between 21 and 22 hours on track. That’s right, a Buick that’s two decades old can be raced for nearly 22 hours straight during a 24 hour period.
The 24 hour race was a test of stamina, concentration, patience, persistence and reliability. The team learned several things during a day of racing:
- Carolina Motorsports Park loves to eat tires
- Racing at night is a thrill and a challenge
- Sleep is for the weak
- A Buick can be more reliable than a Honda, Mazda, or BMW
- Pushing your mind, body, and automobile to its limits can be some of the most fun you can have (with your clothes on)
For anyone who’s ever considered participating in an endurance race, do it. It’s a blast, and can teach you a lot about yourself. Oh, and despite popular belief, a Buick can make for an excellent racecar.