One lap of America Meets Road America…Then Abruptly Abruptly Stops in Chicago For 3 Hours because of traffic that was nearly as long as this title…
Road America. This high speed and challenging track was the challenge of the day for the participants of the 2012 Tire Rack One Lap of America Presented by Grassroots Motorsports Magazine. Road America is such a famous track that I am sure many of you have driven it before. If you look at any racing game, Forza, etc, you will find the 4.2 mile, 14 turn wonder in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Because of the incredible speeds attained and elevation changes, this track is a dream for some and a nightmare for others. I will get to the big news that I am sure many are wondering about after reading about it on many of the vehicle bulletin boards, blogs, and/or sites. Yes, we did have a pretty bad crash. The Cadillac CTS-V driven by Robert Dubler has a serious brake issue after the hurry downs into turn 8 and went sideways into the gravel toppling end over end into the tires. Thank god Robert walked away from this wreck under his own power and unscathed. There had been some speculation and rumors that this was an accident due to poor driving which I will dispel right now.
I would like to go on the record as saying that Robert Dubler is as fine a driver as anyone you could ever put in a car. Having met Robert in 2007 and being fortunate to have interacted and raced with him on a yearly basis since then I can recount many stories that will display his driving prowess. However, the best way I can vouch for him is the following; this year Robert ran in his 20th One Lap of America. It is impossible to run for more than 1 year being a poor driver let alone 20. Additionally, after having seen the in-car footage i can tell you that Robert tried more to save that car then many reading this will ever be calm enough to attempt in that situation. Robert suffered a mechanical issue with the braking system on the car that is currently being examined and we will update you with the findings.
The rest of the session at Road America was thankfully uneventful and following the afternoon session the participants packed up and headed away from the last big track of the 2012 One Lap. This is when we found out that Chicago may be the windy city but apparently that’s the only thing that moves through Chicago. At a dead stop for 10 minutes at a time and covering 20 miles in 3 hours was an especially challenging segment of the One Lap this year. Being so close to completion and having to sit through stalled traffic is some of the worst torture imaginable for a One Lapper. Especially after having run on so many open roads for so long throughout the week.
Eventually we did arrive back in South Bend, Indiana and went straight to the bar to meet with the rest of the family and celebrate. As the night went on and the bar at the Waterford filled with those arriving later the atmosphere became intoxicating and many of us intoxicated. Sharing stories, laughs, smiles, hugs, and an overall sense of accomplishment the Lap Dogs congratulated one another on yet another year while officially designating the former Lap Puppies full fledged Lap Dogs.
Closing the bar at 3am we all realized that we had to be back at the Tire Rack at 8am for the infamous group photo of all the survivors. We did not care. After the week we all had we figured time would wait for US!