Miss Red Dot 's Struggles Continue August 5, 2012, Seattle, WA- Driver Nate Brown, filling in for Kip Brown who broke his leg last week in testing for the Columbia cup, drove U-17 Miss Red Dot to 6th in the first heat on Saturday after jumping the start and getting an extra lap penalty. Nate Brown then made the decision to replace himself with Jeff Bernard.
Jeff tested the boat on Saturday night and Sunday morning and everything looked good. Jeff got lane one in heat 2 but just before the 1 min buoy, the turbine shut down from water. Jeff charged hard and caught some of the field to finish 4th. Heat 3 again saw Jeff get the inside lane but this time the boat would not get up to full power and the field left him behind. He limped home in 4th place.
The team raced to find the problem and changed turbines. However when the consolation heat started the power problem was back and had no chance of winning the consolation heat. The story of this season seams to repeat that what can go wrong will go wrong. The team never stopped working hard and sooner or later will rebound back to the top.
Nate Brown Qualifies Miss Red Dot 4th August 3, 2012, Seattle, WA- Driver Nate Brown, filling in for Kip Brown who broke his leg last week in testing for the Columbia cup, drove U-17 Miss Red Dot to a qualifying speed of 145.636 mph. This was the second qualifying run, the first one was thrown out for fuel violation. The boat was even faster in testing this morning when Nate ran a 152 mph lap. The U-17 crew is working to find more speed and get the boat back to where it was last season. Racing starts tomorrow afternoon with the first heat and finishes on Sunday with heats 2 & 3 and the final.
Nate Brown Just Misses Final Field July 29, 2012, Pasco, WA- Driver Nate Brown, filling in for Kip Brown who broke his leg on Friday in testing, drove the U-17 Miss Red Dot to a 5th place finish in Heat 3A. The team needed a 3rd place in that heat to make the front row in the final. On lap three it looked like Nate was going to get fourth as he caught up to 4th and 5th place in the first turn and looked to come out in the lead. The river had other plans and the boat hit a hole and went high on its side, slid out to the roostertail next to him. Nate did a great job turning the boat out of the roostertail but by the time he got going again they were ahead again. Nate caught the U-57 in turn two and led coming out but took to the air again and came up 5th.
All in all, a very tough weekend for the crew. The boat kept coming back in with cracks and missing parts. It kept the crew busy. After the 3rd heat the crew found a broken gear box. The team will head home and fix it all up for next weeks Albert Lee Cup at Seafair.
Kip Brown Hooks the U-17 Miss Red Dot in Testing July 27, 2012, Pasco, WA- Kip Brown took the U-17 Miss Red Dot out for a morning test session and ended up hooking the boat violently in the 2nd turn. Kip was injured and the boat was injured. The boat is being repaired but not in time to post a qualifying run and earn points this afternoon. Kip was hurting in his ribs and ankle, later deciding to get the leg x-rayed. That is when he learned he had broken his tibia, out for about a month. Nate Brown will slide into the cockpit and qualify the boat tomorrow. Heat racing starts tormorrow afternoon with the first heat followed on Sunday with the 2nd and 3rd heats and the final. Nate Brown won the Columbia Cup 10 years ago driving the Elstrom Boat which is now the Spirit of Qatar.
U-17 Miss Red Dot Survives Tough Weekend at Gold Cup in Detroit July 15, 2012, Detroit, MI- Kip Brown finished this Gold Cup weekend just like it started, with problems. This time it was having to unstrap and climb out of the boat unable to start heat 4. The power connector at the turbine had melted and all hopes of having a good last heat were gone. By this time the chance of making the final were gone.
The weekend started with Kip Brown hanging on as the U-17 Miss Red Dot spun in the Roostertail Turn on his first qualifying lap. The steering cable had loosened and he lost control. The team work fast after being towed back in to repair the boat. An hour later Kip qualified at 154 mph, good for middle of the pack. Kip had taken it easy to make sure the boat got qualified and earned points.
It didn't get any better from there. In Heat 1A the turbine went out before the score up buoy, by the time Kip relit the turbine he was late for the start and finished 4th. In Heat 2 he was run off the course just before the start and had to circle around and start late again. Kip raced hard and in the end ended in 2nd place after penalties on other boats. However, upon tech spec the team was disqualified for an N2 violation.
Sunday morning arrived and the team was in need of a lot of points and luck to make the final. Heat 3 went better with the team getting a second place finish. This one stood but it was not enough. Then the connector melted at Heat 4 and the weekend was over. It was a tough one and everything seemed to go wrong but as Nate Brown pointed out, "At least we did not end upside down." Three other teams flipped their boats this weekend and have repair work to do. The drives are all OK and look to have the boats repaired in time for Tri-Cities in two weeks. The only exception might be the U-22 which needs 2 new sponsons.
The team is now heading home for the 2 races in Washington State. It is time to regroup, make slight repairs and get ready to turn some heads in Tri-Cities. One thing is for sure, so far this season, Kip Brown and the
U-17 Miss Red Dot have not shown what they can do.
Kip Brown drives U-17 Miss Red Dot to 4th Place at Madison Regatta July 8, 2012, Madison, IN- Kip Brown brought the Miss Red Dot across the finish line in 4th place after a rough final. Kip started the heat in lane 3 outside of the U-1 and U-6. While defending his 3rd place position going into turn 1 Kip hit a hole, slid out and put the fire out in the turbine. After restarting the turbine he resumed the race in 5th place, however a penalty on the U-11 trailer boat brought the Miss Red Dot up to 4th.
The Lucas Oil Madison Regatta featured a longer but narrower course than last year and only 4 boats would start the final on the front line with a trailer boat 5 second behind. This meant every point counted this weekend. Kip drove the Miss Red Dot to victory in the first heat and followed that up with two 2nd places. This put the Miss Red Dot on the front line of the final. This was a very successful weekend of racing after having engine troubles during testing and qualifying on Friday that resulted in a middle of the pack speed. Now it is off to the Gold Cup in Detroit next weekend.
Kip Brown drives U-17 Miss Red Dot to Heat 1 Victory
July 7, 2012, Madison, IN- Miss Red Dot’s Kip Brown drove the boat to victory in the first heat of the 2012 Lucas Oil Madison Regatta. Kip started in lane 2 outside of the U-11 Peters and May, and inside of the U-9 Bellos Pizza. Kip ran deck to deck with J.W. Meyers for 2 and a half laps, then pulled away in the backstretch of lap 3 to claim the victory. It was a great beginning of the racing heats after the engine troubles the team overcame during testing and qualifying. Heat racing continues tomorrow.
David Bell wins 2011 Mexhanix Wear Crew Chief of the Year Award
Feb. 25, 2012, Seattle, WA- Miss Red Dot’s Nate Brown was tabbed as the Mechanix Wear Crew Chief of the Year. After Nate got to the podium, he presented the award to Our Gang's David Bell. David took over the duties of the crew chief in 2011 from Nate. He excelled in the job getting the crew and boat where it needed to be to have a successful season. And that it did with 3 podium finishes and 9 heat victories.
Our Gang Racing Team Debuts New Website
January, 2012, Preston, WA- The Our Gang Racing Team unveiled the race teams new website today. Featuring a new HD video and new user interface, the team looks to stay at the front of the pack in its web presence. New improved features will be introduced through out the next year.