Their team name would be Vicious Regress, an obscure philosophy concept the meaning of which Matt defines as “the solution to the problem is the problem itself.” For example, “the solution to a hangover is to keep drinking.”
Their application sailed through. As for their utter lack of racing experience, that was hardly viewed as a negative.
“Beginners aren’t as bad as guys that know enough to get in trouble,” explained rules official “Judge” Phil Greden, who serves as “Chief Justice of LeMons Supreme Court.” “The worst drivers are the ones with enough skills to get going really fast before they wipe out.”
From a starting point of $200, the price of the Monza, the costs soon started to rise exponentially.
Matt is an occasional car-tinkerer who, in 2002, rebuilt a 1973 Land Rover Series-3 109. He paid $305 for a Holly carburetor and installed it himself. The sign-up costs for the LeMons race came out to nearly a grand. Since the Monza had been raced in a LeMons race before, he thought he had a free pass on all the safety equipment.
But the organizers had recently toughened the safety standards, so Matt had to get a new roll-cage and racing seat installed. Add new brakes and tires, and the safety add-ons came out to $3,400.
On the Friday of each race weekend, cars must pass two inspections — a tech inspection for safety, and an under-the-hood “B.S.” inspection to make sure you didn’t go over the $500 limit. Violators are docked one lap for every $10 over the limit. Having gone $5 over — with his $200 car and his $305 carburetor — Matt knew enough about LeMons culture to know the inspectors could be bribed, preferably with a bottle of alcohol, to look the other way at minor cost overruns.
As team Vicious Regress pulled in for inspection, Matt wore, per LeMons tradition, his scuba suit and Hale wore her rave-appropriate miniskirt and neon pink wig. Drivers from other teams gathered around to check out the Monza, part of an ill-fated Chevrolet line that lasted from 1975 to 1980. Its Iron Duke engine is widely ridiculed in auto circles as one of the weakest ever built.
“Is that a Monza?” one fellow competitor marveled.
“Is that an Iron Duke?” another chimed in. “Holy crap.”
But the Monza passed her B.S. inspection — thanks in no small part to the bottle of Fireball whiskey that was passed along to Judge Phil — and was a faulty brake light shy of passing the tech inspection. Just get that fixed by the 10 a.m. Saturday start time, Judge Phil said, and team Vicious Regress would be good to go.