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Barn Finds Race Team Report: We Won!


photos by Huneycutt Photography

We came, we got a huge hurdle thrown in front of us, and we cleared it! 20 penalty laps when each lap takes around 2-1/2 minutes is a long, long way to come back from. When the judge stated they “didn’t want us to win Class C again” and gave us so many laps it put us in last place of 98 cars at the start, it kinda got under our team skin a little bit. Okay, a lot. We decided the only thing to do was to “win the whole ____ thing” (fans of Major League can fill in the blank). So that’s exactly what the members of Austin Powerless Racing did!


It took all we had, though. These tires were new at the start of day one. This is what they looked like after 8-1/2 hours of racing at the end of the day. Yes, Carolina Motorsports Park has pretty abrasive pavement. We also are unable to get decent 13″ tires that are above the 190 minimum treadwear limit–these were 400, and we could only get one set.


They were, however, better than the set we had for day two. Also new at the beginning of the day, these have six hours of racing on them. Our fastest driver radioed in after a couple of laps on these and said that if we got a truckload of these given to us to run the other way!


The Class A winner was the “AMX”/BMW Z3, which drove an almost flawless race. Clean car, clean driving and lots of speed! Class B’s winner was a 90’s Firebird V6.


A special award was given to the Electrica 007, which finished the race with over 50 laps. The flags were to warn other cars of it’s 50 mph top speed presence.


Here’s the results for Class C. Our slow lap time on the last lap was because something broke in the engine on the last corner of the last lap and Scott crossed the line doing about 30 miles per hour. The Rambler’s was slow because they got black-flagged for passing under yellow and spent some time in the pits. We would have won by about a lap and a half anyway, but that had us breathing a little easier!


In case you have stuck it out this long, yes, we are still running a B-series engine. All that black gook on the firewall I fear means something catastrophic must have happened–I haven’t had a chance to find out what yet.


Here’s Scott in the Marina coming off the track after the win.


And there is the trophy, along with $600 in nickels. Yes, nickels. You’d have to ask the folks in charge of LeMons! Thanks for reading this far, and thanks to Barn Finds for their support!


  1. Tony Goodner

    Congratulations y’all!

  2. Rob

    Way to go gents. Keep it up!!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Much appreciated, Rob!

  3. Woodie Man

    Winnah winnah! Chicken dinnah!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Ironically, we ate at Bojangles on the way back from the track (chicken)!

  4. Josh Staff

    Great work guys! Sounds like a fun weekend!

  5. Dolphin Member

    Who knew a 4-door Austin Marina was a good enough race car to come back from a 20 lap handicap to win? Congrats guys! You prevailed and won….a big bag of nickles. You weren’t ‘Runnin’ on empty’ at the end, but you sure were runnin’ on the cords.

    Well done!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Dolphin, I’m guessing the two door fastback “GT” model would get us about 1 mph extra due to aerodynamic streamlining! ;-)

  6. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    No way!!! Congratulations guys! Very impressive!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Thanks, Jesse!

  7. Blindmarc

    That’s what they get for trying to screw you guys over. Great job!

  8. Joe Howell

    Well done gentlemen :)

  9. Scotty Staff

    Congratulations, Jamie, and the whole team! Talk about a juggernaut!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Thanks, Scotty!

  10. Bingo

    How much does $600 in nickels weigh?

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      We found out last time we won that the boxes dent the roof when placed on it!

  11. Jeffro

    Congrateful guys! Way to pull together and kick some ass! Job well done. Need to set up a go-fund page for next race!

  12. David C

    Great Job!

  13. Fred W.

    Kudos on the win guys. Don’t spend all those nickels in one place!

  14. Jeff Staff

    Awesome story and highly enlightening of just how cruel those judges can be..

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Generally they are pretty good folks…and if you think about it, his handicapping was about right! :-) At least that’s how I’m looking at it now!

  15. roger

    Way to do it!
    Proud of you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. JCW Jr. Member

    Great Job! After this win what will the lap penalty be next race?

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      If we kept the Marina “as-is,” we would undoubtedly be moved to Class B, where we’d be extremely uncompetitive (would have finished 11th, about 30 laps behind the leading Class B car in this race). So we’re not sure yet what we’re going to do…prepare another car entirely or highly modify the Marina. Suggestions are welcomed :-)

  17. Chris A.

    Congratulations! See what broke, fix her and sell her to a newbie who wants to do Le Mons racing. Then see what you can find with the money. Second series Corvair 140?

  18. Martin Wallis

    Well done, you must keep the Marina……….nothing else will do.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Martin, took the first steps down that road today…

  19. MG'zer

    Good job guy! Way to hang their till the end, never give up! Most of all, thanks for allowing us to ride along!

  20. Michael D.

    Great job…..if you are in Florida, former IMSA, Grand Am, Trans Am driver and reader here. I’m available!

  21. Steve B.

    Congrats guys, that’s great. One of my bucket list items is to run an early 60’s Valiant in Class C and break the streak of grenading slant 6’s

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Steve, there was one in the last race! Also a slant six Dart :-)

  22. Ken

    Excellent result, well done. If time for a repower, how about a SP250 mill? Surely there one of those laying about your shop!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      You know, that’s one alternative I hadn’t thought of!

  23. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    what they said ^^^^^^. – good job to all you guys !

  24. ClassicCarFan

    Congratulations. Good to see an old ‘Morris’ Marina out there ! Sorry, having grown up in the UK with these cars – it’s hard to think of it as an “Austin’ – even though it was really an agnostic BL product and the choice of the Morris brand in the UK was simply a pragmatic one to give the separate “Morris” dealers a car to sell.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      CCF, my understanding is that it was badged as an “Austin” in the USA because there was an existing dealer contract for that brand due to the Austin Americas that were sold here previously.

  25. Graham Line

    Can you use MGB 14″ wheels without a penalty? Might help on the tire issue.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Unfortunately, that’s the wrong bolt circle…I wish!

  26. JCW Jr. Member

    How about custom wheels. On a steel wheel get a machinist to cut the centers out and put in your pattern.

  27. LD

    Congrats ! LD71 :D 👍

  28. BarryP

    Keep the Marina Jamie I love those cars and fun to drive.

  29. BMW/Tundra guy

    I know I am extremely late to the game but as was previously thrown out, why not set up a “Go Fund Me” style page so that your readers could contribute and feel even “more part of the action” than already is being experienced?!
    My 1/2¢ worth!

    P.S. EXTREMELY fine job!!! You guys really have your stuff together to pull that off with breaking the engine on the last lap and basically coasting (?) to the finish line!!!!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      We were able to hit 30 on the last lap after it broke. I haven’t even had time to take her out of the trailer yet!

      That being said, we HAVE started on the modifications for the next iteration…it will be quite different the next time we go to the track. 🏁

  30. Chris Weedon

    Any update on the engine problem? What broke?

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Turns out it was fuel feed, not engine (thankfully)! The team is re-grouping for 2018 at the moment; it didn’t help that my family has had a long protracted move and house/shop construction issues this year. Anyway, we decided that the Marina has been pretty much legislated out of competitiveness with the MG drive train, so it has been sold and we are planning a transplant…a pretty wild transplant (details as it happens, but that will be a while). In the meantime, we are planning on putting together a 1998 Mustang for racing this year–just need to find the time to do so! You can catch up with the latest updates on our Facebook page — Austin Powerless Racing. Thanks for asking!

  31. Chris Weedon

    I was thinking about your wheel problem. The Marina used a common to British Leyland bolt circle of 3.75” x 4. It was common to all the small Triumphs and later Austin Rovers. The interesting bit is that it carried all the way through to the MGF. So if the MGF & MGTF made to the US, you will find that you can get 15” & 16” alloy rims that will fit, although you may need wheel spacers on the front as the wheel offset is different. The MGF & MGTF used a 14” steel wheel as a spare wheel, with a bigger profile tyre. These could be banded out to fit any 14” tyre that suited your need.

    Sorry, that was all a bit complicated wasn’t it?

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      No, actually Chris it makes sense. However, we didn’t get the MGF or MGTF :-). We can actually get 15’s made up to the 3.75″ bolt circle, but have decided to go a different route going forward. If you change the stuff the wheels attach to, you can go with a common bolt pattern. I’ll leave it at that for now… :-)

      • Chris Weedon

        Is that anything to do with the bits that I sent over the other year?

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