Thursday Auto-X update at the BUICK GS NATIONALS


Jun 10, 2001
Was well received , well liked , and for it to be the first inaugural event , and with talking with others , well .......... was a BIG success !
Thursday the rain stayed away and the track dried out , we did alter the course a bit because of it , still kept it tight but improved some areas to help keep the speeds but despite that fact the drivers adapted and the times started dropping.
All the folks , who talked to the drivers/participants and to me, all stated it was great to see those cars run the course as hard as they did and as many times as they did, to the point they themselves approached myself and the drivers and asked for ride-alongs , definitely seen several smiles and perma grins after riding in one of the Auto-X cars.
A couple cars dropped out because of some mechanical issues , and I wish those two a speedy recovery.
Total of 11 cars/drivers .... of the 11 cars 3 were trailered in , the rest were driven one car in particular was driven 8 hours to and is being driven back after days of Auto-Xing.
Yes being a Buick event a few non conformists showed up .... and they were welcomed , by us and the people watching . I didn't hear one complaint when those got a ride-along did so in a .... NON BUICK.
Those drivers love doing what they do and they do a lot of it for fun , and were very happy to see as the event ran more and more onlookers asking for ride alongs , and just happy to give them and to see the smiles and looks on the faces their new "addicts" .
So many runs where being made that for sure 3 of the participants ( who showed up with full tanks ) had to leave the track , fill up ...again.. and return to run some more. Then I heard they may have been a fourth.
Yes the Helmet "Rule" was dropped at the last minute , but it was for this venue because mother nature dictated there was no need for them , because after the rain on Wednesday the track was still damp but did dry up as the day went along , so the course remained the same (to keep speeds down) but was opened up a bit , none the less those drivers figured out the car and their lines and those times started dropping .
With that said next time might be different , more cars , different drivers , a drier track, and a warm day , higher speeds may necessitate the need for a Helmet , so I recommend coming a keeping one close by.
In some discussion with the drivers and those who participated and help put on the venue , they resounding said yes they want to come back and do this again.
Some cool tid bits and highlights about the cars and their drivers
Nick Rovansek , owner of the white Turbo'ed Buick T-Type , ( originally built and owned by GNS Performance) had never auto crossed before he bought car, still learning and has made changes to it since to help improve it . He's the one that drove 8 hours to get here from Cleveland OH, and will be driving it back.
Steve Smith (aka SteveRacer) , owner of the Purple 70 Buick GS , 455 powered 6 Speed , Use to drag race that Purple Buick found Auto-X and has been hooked since. Aslo unfortunately one of the two that were sidelined due to mechanical issues.
Tim Goheen , ( aka Timonator) , owner of the Yellow Buick GSX Tribute , still wet behind the ears in Auto-X , never drove that car in the rain , Did so on Wednesday in the rain a got a major learning curve on his car , by time we ended Thursday he looked like a seasoned driver . Leaned his car and found his line, it was great seeing that happen .
Paul Wilke (aka DRBuick) , owner of the white Buick GS with the Brown vinyl top , or the Buick known as "GS3" , 455 Stg 2 heads , With F.A.S.T. EfI and 2004r transmission, Paul has been doing this for several years and it's been 3 years since he's Auto-X the "GS3" Paul also owns the Blue 87 T-Type that won Car Craft magazine Real Street Eliminator Series Back in "98" , unfortunately he was one of two that was sidelined due to mechanical issues .
Jeff Peoples , owner of the Silver 72 Buick , Stage 2 455 , backed by a 6 speed , with after market Holley EFI , also a former drag racer himself , bought a car to enjoy and handle well has turned into what it is today . That Buick has been in a few popular car magazines.
Allen ...... ?? , ( I should know his last name he's a member of our IN Buick Chapter ) , owner of the STONE STOCK 1982 Buick Regal Pace car , Has ran Auto-X but newer GM products , wanted to test out his newly acquired ride , it was great to see that ole G body hug those tight corners ( while leaning way over) and scrubbing the white letters off his tires , made a couple runs in it , just to see how it would do. AWESOME to see a stocker run the course.
Mike Sheeran , owner of the 2000 Corvette , is also a Buick Owner , owns a Buick Skylark Suncoupe , brought his Vette to help promote the venue.
Mike Smith , (brother of Steve Smith the owner of the Purple Buick GS) owns the Silver 69 Camaro that is LS powered and backed by a 6 speed .... him and his brother Steve drove their cars from OH .
Chris German , owner of that Loud Nasty Sounding Flat Black 70 Camaro called "Delirious" , powered by a very health 6.0 Liter LS backed by a 6 speed , is also the owner of a custom car building shop in Cleveland TN .
Brent ........? ( never got his last name) owner of the New Black Camaro SS with the UMI stickers on it , does Auto-x when can , did have a fully equipped Auto-X Chevelle now plays with the modern stuff.
Bill Howell .... owner of the steel blue 72 Dodge Charger , powered by a 6.4 Hemi and backed by a 6 speed , known as the ole Dodge with just a Hemi in it , is also the CO-Owner of the American Street Car Series , he is the gentleman that set up the our road course with the cones , and brought in the timing equipment . He also is originator of the Run To The Hills , Auto-x programs a 2-3 day Auto-X ,road Course , Crusie event that's held all at various venues all over the country . Him and his "ole Dodge" have been on TV , one show was " Are you faster than a RedNeck?" and recently with the guys from "TopGear USA". He also found out he cant drive well with his "Pink " headlights turned on.
To all you guys a BIG THANK YOU for bringing your rides to make this event what it turned out to be.
To Bill Howell , Scot W of GNS Performance , Bennett Jones , the GSCA , Beech Bend Raceway Park , my Indiana Club Chapter , the Sponsors , and for those who pitched in and help with timing and cones ...... BIG THANK YOU for making this event come to fruition.
see you all next year !!