Grassroots racing is the great equalizer, leveling the playing field between rich idiots and idiots like nothing else can. Think you have what it takes to compete against pros like Travis Pastrana, Conor Daly, and Kevin Madsen? (You probably don’t, but you can at least try.)
This weekend at MSR Houston, Team Yokohama and their misfit group including Pastrana, Daly, and Madsen will jump in their respective hoopties and race alongside regular ol’ weirdos at the 24 Hours of Lemons’ Yokohama Stuntin’ & Splodin’ Soiree 2022. The action begins at noon Friday with practice and BS inspection—the gratuitous negotiation between judges (including yours truly, but more on that later) and racers for classification. The race kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday until 5 p.m., then again 9 a.m. Sunday to 4:30 p.m.
“People always ask what I do when I’m not racing, but the truth is that when I’m not being paid to race, I’m paying to race. Doesn’t matter if it’s a field car race in Perth, Australia, with the Aussie Nitro Circus crew or a can-am race in the hills of Tennessee with my buddy Hubert; driving, riding and talking shit is what we all like to do most," Pastrana said. "Winning a championship at the highest level is amazing after it’s all said and done, but it’s a lot of long hours in highly stressful situations with big teams and corporations depending on you to deliver. When we come to a race like Lemons, the camaraderie of the team comes together from the start of car build all the way through the pit party at the race. We can walk through the pits and talk to the other teams check out the cars and laugh at our teammates when they mess up. At the end of the day, no one is getting a ride to do the indy 500 because of a Lemons win and no one is going to be fired for losing—it’s all about having fun and enjoying the best parts of racing with your friends."
“I have never done a race of lemons before. I do like to add lemons to my water sometimes, not sure if that means I’ll be fast or not,” said Daly, an IndyCar vet but Lemons noob. “When Travis invites me to do new and exciting things I’ve learned to always say yes. I have never driven at this track before, so I plan on studying and doing bountiful amounts of research to make sure I am ready to perform for my team. I know this group doesn’t show up to finish second so I can’t wait to fight for a victory and whatever that means for our futures as racing drivers.”
“In the 16-year history of Lemons many real racers have come and failed. It’s a rich tradition,” said Nick Pon, associate perpetrator at the 24 Hours of Lemons. “We’re excited to have exceptionally talented racers like Travis, Conor, Kevin and others this weekend in exceptionally bad cars.”
Spectator tickets cost $30 for the whole weekend—if you tell them you know me, they’ll likely cost more so just keep that between us.
If you’ve never seen the 24 Hours of Lemons, it’s a treat but I admit my bias. During the week, I’m your fair and even-handed Senior News Editor here at The Drive, but on weekends I’m usually found at Lemons races across the country, photographing, judging, and yelling at drivers.
No other race series I’ve seen embraces fans like Lemons, and that’s because it’s all-access all the time. Hang out with the teams, see the cars up close, watch the wrenching and talk the talk. Like many other Lemons racers know, it’s real racin’, real fun, and real easy.
So, stop by, say hi, come chat up the Yokohama racers—including Pastrana, Daly, and Madsen—and then come see me. I’ll be meting out penalties like any good judge does: plastic-wrapping fools to roofs, emceeing awful rap battles, yelling at drivers, and taking bribes.
See you there!
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