THERMAL GRAINGER

 

 

Thermal, CA-  Jim Slavik wrapped up the 2017 Thermal Triple Crown Championship in dramatic style today driving his TruSpeed prepared Grainger Porsche 911 Cup. Jim managed to place higher than the faster GT3 class with a season ending 89 points.

 

From the first race in November it became apparent Jim’s tactical approach of solid consistent finishes was going to pave the way towards a good standing in the final weekend. However, prior to the last race, the team’s decision to send his engine in for rebuild would provide the start of a challenging weekend. Going into the final Sunday race the team began to notice the oil pressure was below recommended values. Crew Chief (and spiritual advisor) Tyler Tadevic was then forced to give Jim his options; race for the championship and risk losing a $40,000.00 engine or pack it up. Listening intently Jim leaned against the trailer, and with his head slightly tilted, closed his eyes while taking one last draw off the Camel (Turkish blend) cigarette, exhaled, and stubbed the remainder under his foot and said “#$%& it, we are going”. With that, the car was rolled to grid for the start.

 

While the engine problems would have made for enough drama, Jim wasn’t done yet. During a chaotic first lap Jim succumbed to a spin on cold tires. Undeterred he began a systematic charge back to the front with the final minutes closing Jim began to reel in the Cup car class leader, his son, Evan Slavik. Evan was driving his best race ever and wasn’t about to let the old man by without a fight, even as his lead began to look tenuous. However, the battle for house domination was not going to get to play out to the end as an separate incident on track brought out the red flag.

 

In Evan’s post race interview he mentioned a certain nervousness in seeing Dad in the mirrors. Quote “It brought back memories of 1989 when I borrowed Dad’s 930 Turbo and on my way to PCH to make a run up to Malibu I had stopped to offer ride assistance to two ladies from Santa Monica City College. We were blasting up PCH with the best of Lynard Skynard playing on the Alpine tape deck when I noticed the flashing lights in the rear view. Pulling over for the CHP, it was at this point, the thoughts of having to explain to Dad as to why his 15 year-old son was in this predicament began to sink in. Thankfully the story of needing to get the girls to school on time was enough to get a warning and me out of potential sticky situation. Today might be a good day to share that story with him”…….