Tag Archives: Lemons South Spring 09

Lemons Penalties 101

Guest Judge
As I mentioned in my last post, I spent most of the Lemons South Spring race as a guest judge. This meant that I not only got to decide and hand out penalties, but I also had a chance to document them. So now for your viewing pleasure, I present my guide to the penalties from Lemons South Spring 2009

Studs and Spurs
While in Texas, the Judges found a calendar that Lemons drivers love to emulate. Judge Jonny will lead you through a mock photoshoot in your pink cowboy hat

Studs and Spurs penalty – 24 Hours of Lemons from rnair on Vimeo.

Marcel Marceau “Mime Your Crime”
Offending driver must put on a French striped sailor shirt, a beret and paint his/her face white. Then the driver must mime their stint in the car – starting with putting on the helmet and gloves, driving around the track, the incident causing the black flag, the drive to the pits and the spin of the wheel.

Marcel Marceau “Mime your Crime” penalty – 24 Hours of Lemons from rnair on Vimeo.

Taiwanese National Anthem
This penalty was dreamed up by Judge Phil and qualifies as truly cruel and unusual punishment. While he explains it best in his post, the short version is that the team must wire a six tone car alarm into their car and the alarm must play constantly until the car comes off the track. As an added bonus the team must warn competitors of their bad driving by attaching a Taiwanese flag to their car. My thanks to the #56 Blind Rodent Racing team for demonstrating this penalty so that future lemons racers can understand just what fate awaits them.

Taiwanese National Anthem penalty – 24 Hours of Lemons from rnair on Vimeo.

Follow the Leader
This was an impromptu punishment dreamed up by Judge Lieberman when a seven car incident filled up the judging area with multiple miscreants. Rather than dealing an individual punishment to each team, all the drivers from each team were required to line up behind the Judgemobile and follow in single file while they took a slow lap of the paddock. They then had to warn other teams of their behaviour by shouting “We’re bad drivers!” every time the Judges honked the horn.

Follow the Leader penalty – 24 Hours of Lemons from rnair on Vimeo.

Butter and Moonshine
One thing the judges can always be counted on to do is to come up with creative punishments using locally available materials. In this case they pour liquid butter into the crankcase of the car followed by adding some local moonshine into the gas tank. This was particularly ironic since the team in question was the one that bribed the judges with the moonshine in the first place.

Butter penalty – 24 Hours of Lemons from rnair on Vimeo.

Moonshine penalty – 24 Hours of Lemons from rnair on Vimeo.

Three Legged Race

Three-legged race penalty – 24 Hours of Lemons from rnair on Vimeo.

This is a special penalty for the cars that are involved in metal to metal contact. Both cars are black flagged and since the drivers obviously like each other they are tied together for a three legged race around the paddock. The best part of this penalty is that it can be applied to any arbitrary number of drivers. In the video below we have 4 drivers from the same team taking a 5 legged lap of the paddock.

Three-legged race team penalty – 24 Hours of Lemons from rnair on Vimeo.

Bobby Bosch Relay Race
Bobby Bosch Relay Race
Another diabolical creation from the twisted mind of Judge Phil, the Bobby Bosch Relay Race is an E30 special penalty where the teams are handed a bag of Bosch relays of which one has been tampered with. They then have to go figure out which relay is the defective one before they are allowed to rejoin the race. And in case you were wondering you can tell by any external marks since Judge Phil opened the casings on all 10.
Bobby Bosch Relay Race

Preaching to the converted
Driver must stand on the hood or roof of his car and read “Pinto with a Pedigree” and the following chapter “Rescuing a Red Farmer Rust Bucket” from Tom Cotter’s book The Hemi in the Barn alound to his team, gathered around the car.

Preaching to the Converted penalty – 24 Hours of Lemons from rnair on Vimeo.

Paint your whip with Bob Ross

Bob Ross original

Bob Ross was a well known american painter who was famous for painting landscapes using oil paints. Teams that get this penalty must put on the Bob Ross wig and paint a serene landscape from the Paint with Bob Ross book on the hood of their car. This particular example was painted by #32 Superkak racing team.

Paint your whip with Bob Ross

Bart Simpson
Write your penaly on your car 100 times – “I will not pass under yellow” for example
Bart Simpson penalty

An E30 edition of this penalty requires that you write the penalty in German
Bart Simpson penalty in German

The Arc Angel attaches a metal farm animal or the “Move Over Dick” mirror to the offending car.
Arc Angel

Graffiti your Ride
You must graffiti your car with reasons why you wish you were driving a different marque. This particular example from the Crown Victoria of #60 Pleasant Valley Racers includes “I wish I was driving a Honda”, “Nascar Sux”, “Honda Rules” and even a Japanese flag on the roof.

Stay with Your Ride
If a team follows the judges around with too much whining the whole lot is duct taped to their car for the duration of their punishment.
Stay with your ride

The Pacifier
Drivers that whine at the judges have a baby bottle taped to their hand and must gnaw on a pacifier for the duration of their penalty.

Close Shave – Shave your way out of it
Have a beard or a goatee? Shave your beard or goatee off – as soon as its gone you and your car can return to the track. No facial hair/. How about shaving the legs from the knees down?

Shaving facial hair to avoid a penalty – 24 Hours of Lemons from rnair on Vimeo.

Why am I Upside-Down?
You’re upside-down because you have no business being out on a racetrack. If a car rolls at a Lemons race it is immediately done for the rest of the race. Unfortunately this is one rule that I am very familiar with 🙁
Photo stolen from Jalopnik

Peoples Curse
And finally the ultimate Lemons penalty – utter devastation of the peoples curse car at the hands of the excavator. The second car in this video is from another team (#85?) which was sick of working on their car and asked Jay to crush it along with the peoples curse.

Peoples Curse – Lemons South Spring 2009 from rnair on Vimeo.

Lemons South Race Recap

Ready to race at Lemons South Carolina

This is going to be a very short recap since we didnt really get very far in the race. I flew into South Carolina and made it to the track on friday. The Schumacher Taxi Service Corolla FX-16 had already been teched and looked pretty well setup. I didnt get to drive the track or the car so instead walked the track to get an idea of the flow of the track and see where our likely passing zones were. The interesting difference from previous races thing the lack of temporary chicanes, we were going to be use the full west course of the Carolina Motorsports Park with no changes whatsoever. Another change new to Lemons was that the corner workers were going to throw local yellows instead of the full course yellows we’ve seen at the previous events. It looks like Lemons is growing up and looking more and more like a real racing series.


On raceday I was the first driver and also one of the first car on track. This was super helpful since I then got to do 3-4 laps under yellow which helped me get used to the car and the track. Once the green flag went out It took me another 3-4 laps to get comfortable with the dynamics of the Corolla before I really started pushing the car. It turns out that the car had no power or torque but it did have excellent brakes and pretty decent lateral grip. The best way to pass people was under braking into turns 1, 11 and 14 though I did manage to pass a fair number of cars around the outside of turns 1 and 12 as well. Since the start of Lemons is really chaotic (92 cars on a 1 mile course) I got almost no “clean” laps and was dicing for position on every lap. In the end my laps times were pretty competitive (best of 1:08.9 at a time when the fastest cars were in the 1:07s) and I managed to get us up into 7th place at around the 90 minute mark.

This is when things start going wrong – I was trying to pass a car into turn 13 when a Miata hit my from behind and spun me around right at the apex. I got a black flag for spinning (the Miata got away scot free) and we spent about 20 minutes in penalty area before the next driver was allowed out. The new driver had no track or racing experience and about 5 laps into the race managed to do this:

Photo stolen from Jalopnik

Yup that’s our car on its side. He came into turn one too hot with one wheel off inside the rumble strip. At this point instead of just going straight off the track he tried to make the turn and caught a wheel on the curbing which led to a roll-over. Video of the roll below:

The driver was fine and the car was in surprisingly good shape. However Lemons has a “Why am I Upside-Down?” rule which says that if a car rolls it is done for the race. So that was the end of the race for us just 2 hours into the event. Luckily the 2 other guys on the team got 45 minutes of track time each with the other cars on Schumacher Taxi Service so at least it wasnt a total waste for them. I still had a day and half to go before my flight so I ended up becoming a guest judge for the event – more on that in my next post.

Guest Judge