November 01, 2012

Instead of the traditional corporate golf trip, SPEED Senior Account Manager Jordan Litchko and Sprint Senior Account Manager Donato Bonacquisto traveled to South Carolina to bond over racing their $500 1974 Ford Pinto.

The “24 Hours of Lemons Race” is a racing parody that gives everyday car junkies the chance to feel like a professional race car driver for a weekend. Participants drive junk cars around a track for 15 hours over the course of two days, with the winner completing the most laps overall.

After finding a rusty race car, Jordan decided to fix it up and enter the race. Donato came onboard the project shortly after, aiding Jordan in the repairs. The pair put in more than 200+ hours of labor to make the car drivable and safe. Honorary team member, Michael Verlatti, was unable to attend the race but donated funding, helping to make the project possible.

The duo recruited friends Jeff Reader, Matt Mondek, Mike Furick and Collin Pasi to join their team. The week leading up to the race was crunch time, with each of the Team Beaver Hunt members clocking more than 40 hours of work to get the car race ready.

The Friday of race weekend, the team transported the car by trailer to Carolina MotorSports Park in Kershaw, S.C., for tech where the car was tested for safety. The car failed miserably, but the first of many speed bumps didn’t throw the team. Instead, they hopped in the trailer and drove the car back to Good Fabrication in Mooresville where they worked on getting it up to specs until 4 a.m. Saturday.

Saturday at 8 a.m. came too quickly, but luckily the car passed tech this time and the competition began. Donato was the first to drive, putting the team in first place in their class and 29th overall after the first hour and a half driving sprint. At 4:30 p.m., Team Beaver Hunt’s engine blew leaving them with only three cylinders. They had to leave two hours before the end of the day’s race to repair the engine which wasn’t completed until 7 a.m. on Sunday.

The team started 66 laps behind the current leader on Sunday and had to make another pit stop a few hours in to patch up the new engine which was leaking fluids. The hard working team never gave up, finishing in fourth place in their class and 66th overall.

“There was no harder team out there,” said Donato. “We worked through the night two nights in a row while our competition was partying around us. It was an incredible bonding experience.”

They also were presented with two awards: “Judges Choice” and “Most Likely to Knock Out an Official.”

“A special thanks to the entire team including Michael, who helped to make this incredible experience possible,” said the pair.

“It was a difficult venture but there is no better bonding experience than this,” said Jordan. “We can’t wait to fix up the car again and bring home first place next year.”

– Jordan Litchko & Donato Bonacquisto

Jordan Litchko, Donato Bonacquisto, 24 Hours of Lemons