Ken's Racing Page...scroll down to skip the boring text for pics/info on my race cars.
NOTE: Geocities is GOING AWAY soon, these pages now live at dye.datsun510.com.
How did I get here? I grew up in Indianapolis, and of course the Race (Indy 500) and the month of May in general held my interest. My father also was into cars and racing as a boy/young man, I eventually hope to have a few pics of his cars on these pages. He got out of racing when he had children but still had a great spectator interest. As a child we went to Indiana short tracks like Kitley (now the Speedrome on Kitley Avenue) in downtown Indianapolis, the high banked Winchester, Paragon and even the famous Eldora 1/2 mile clay oval in Ohio.
Occasionally on Sundays Dad would dissappear, taking a small 2 wheeled pull cart and bag lunch/canteen with him. I later learned he was out at Indianapolis Raceway Park, having fun doing corner working at Sports Car Club of America events on the road course there (the pull cart was for hauling fire extinguishers, flags and stuff).
I grew up driving large, V8 powered rear wheel drive sedans. Dad had real good luck with a '67 Pontiac Catalina he bought new, so by the time I started driving he had bought another '67 Catalina (2 door fastback) from a friend. I learned to drive on these cars, and I think their size and RWD configuration taught me good car control (especially during the Indiana snow/icey winters). By the time I was driving (1977), they were also kind of old, so if I wanted to drive, I had to wrench a bit to keep them running.
I eventually got a first car of my own, Grandma Dye's '57 Pontiac StarChief. Learned a lot about wrenching on that one! Just before college I traded up to a '69 Bonneville (bought wrecked from a friend for $150); that car lasted me all through college and until I bought my first new car in '87, a bright new shiney Firebird Formula. I was living in Minneapolis, and a friends brother was into ice-racing and autocrossing, and it was there where I first got my first taste of participation in motorsports: autocrossing.
I got to be pretty decent, even won the Minnesota SCCA state championship, but
knew that I really wanted to go faster. I ended up moving to Chicago where
the Midwestern Council of Sports Car Clubs granted my speed wish...they
operated time trials on a local road course. I had fun here for a couple
of years but then had to move to California. I attended a couple of autocrosses
in San Fransisco, and had to rejoin SCCA, and thus became a SanFran region
member. Their monthly publication, The Wheel, had lots of roadracing coverage
which piqued my interest quite a bit. While in California I picked up
a Datsun 510, which from the SFR results in The Wheel always seemed to
dominate its class in Improved Touring "C". There is where I finally
realized my true passion: roadracing. What follows is a description
of my racecars, past and present:
|The Datsun 510 I picked up in LA started racing in '92, with only a couple
of mods: a roll bar (cage not required in Midwestern Council!),
cut springs to lower it, and a stiffer swaybar up front. I went to my first
driver's school (required pretty much for any club; they don't just let anyone
go wheeltowheel racing without some training) with very good friend of mine,
who autocrossed a Mustang and had similiar high-speed competition urges.|
The Datsun slowly got upgraded: a full cage, solid bushed, adjustable
suspension, upgraded brake pads (Ferodo DS11 firsst, Carbon Kevlar later) and
brake cooling, all the work being done by myself and Chris. The final touch
was the only part of the car I didn't work on: a motor prepared by Dave Rebello,
a west coast race engine builder. The car ended up Midwest Council ITC champion
in '93, and in late '93 I started attending SCCA events with great success (my
first event, qualified in a downpour to a pole position for the entire run group,
including classes faster than the one I was in). I had a blast in '94, running
Council and SCCA, setting track records at Putnam Park, winning a 4 race
"midsummer madness" series that SCCA put on.
| The Datsun was a fantastic car, but after doing some ride-swapping
with Chris's "American Sedan" (newer SCCA class for ponycars) I was
hooked and needed even more speed. Being a Pontiac man at heart, I
went back to Los Angeles to retreive a rustfree Trans Am to convert
to American Sedan specs. This time, however, a lot of modifications were done
to the car before it hit the track, and not all of them were successful.|
I had sold the datsun, so racing was put on hold while the lengthy construction took place. A year passed and finally the car was ready for the track. Lots of teething problems, the worst of which (brake caliper failure) caused a rollover at Canada Corner of Road America (see pics for video clip!). Just as things were starting to get sorted out in '97 (in only 5 National races I had enough points to get invited to the SCCS National Runoffs!) I was sidelined by a motorcycle accident (18 year old idiot broadsided me) that still has me screwed up (broken leg...tibia still hasn't healed even after a bone graft last Feburary). I'm hoping to make 1 or 2 races this year ('98), fingers crossed, before I get more bone graft surgery...I'm shooting for the first SCCA roadrace at the new Route 66 Speedway road course this September!
Click on the pic at right to see pics and info of my Trans Am racecar...
| Last summer a friend invited me to participate in what is called
"spectator racing" at a local 1/4 mile clay oval. Everyone should
do this at least once; the only catch is they don't allow you to
race if you have all your teeth (OK there is a waiver for that, but
you have to marry your cousin)! Smashing cars, being smashed, occasionally
seeing a car roll, and of course a Jerry Springer type fight
Click on image at right to check out my hillbilly racing experience!
| Ken's Dad's' racing page is under construction...enter with
Click on pic at right for pictures of Ken's racing heritage...
I live in Chicago and race at midwest tracks: Elkhart Lake (Road America), Mid-Ohio, Indianapolis Raceway Park, etc....
Questions or comments? Sign my guestbook: Sign Guestbook View Guestbook here is part of my old guestbook..... Sign Guestbook
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You can email me at this address...taking out the nospam stuff of course.
Please come back soon and visit me....I'll be adding a heritage racing page (Dad's pics) as well as a Hillbilly racing page ("spectator" racing at a local dirt circle track!).
I have started an SCCA American Sedan rules project, where we can make a convenient copy of the current, uptodate rules for our racing class. We need volunteers to review it for accuracy, and ideas on how to get the spec pages viewable on different media.
These pages, in their infant stages, have already won an award: at the Virtual Car Show contest....
This page has been visited times since
Fri Aug 28 12:08:56 CDT 1998
and was last modified on Mon Mar 22 16:25:38 CST 1999