Poor Life Choices Racing, or PLC Racing for short, to avoid rolling eyes, is a ChumpCar World Series team established by Alex Cohen and Matt Randall in November 2014. Alex and Matt purchased a 1990 Acura Integra and began stripping it down to the frame; installing a roll cage, racing seat, fire suppression and suspension system.
In early March, a connection was made with an experienced race car driver, Tom Henderson, through their mutual friend Rob Roessel. Rob is currently the owner of Karlnoski-Roessel Racing, a fellow ChumpCar World Series competitor and childhood friend of Tom's. Tom worked alongside Alex and Matt through the end of May 2015, adding a refurbished engine, transmission, aerodynamics and most importantly, sponsor decals to the race car! The end result was the nearly bulletproof, highly tuned machine you see on track. Funny, I know...
Competing at Watkins Glen International on Memorial Day Weekend in 2015, PLC Racing finished 9th in class, an impressive top 10 finish in their first ever race. While the rest of the weekend was not uneventful, the car was running at the finish of the final race of the weekend and avoided major incidents with the competition. PLC Racing posted event finishes of 12th, 10th and 10th respectively in the other three events they competed in, resulting in a successful 2015 Season on the ChumpCar Circuit. Relive our first full season through on-board videos on our PLC Video page.
PLC Racing returned in 2016 attempting an expanded schedule with 4 event weekends. The first at Watkins Glen was incredibly hot and very eventful. The weekend opened with a test session where our hood pins failed, causing the hood to flip up and break our windshield. (You can watch that video clip here) Since we were unable to get a new one in time, we ran the weekend without a windshield, which was pretty awesome, especially since it was over 115 degrees in the car when we had a windshield. The rest of the weekend was riddled with mechanical issues but regardless, we had an awesome time.
The remainder of the 2016 season was mostly filled with us chasing mechanical issues with the car while still running very very well. Pretty much if we were able to avoid spending more than 10 minutes on pit road making repairs, PLC Racing was a top 10 finisher at the end of each event. After Watkins Glen, PLC made the trip north of the border to Calabogie Motorsports Park, a track that ate tires like you wouldn't believe and had massive prehistoric bugs. (Read about that here) While on the way back from the race, our trailer lost a wheel, leading to some lesson-learning, but we still had an amazing time and earned the ability to call PLC Racing an "International Race Team," which makes us much happier than it probably should.
The biggest challenge of 2016 was the 24 Hour Race at Virginia International Raceway. Yes, 24 hours STRAIGHT! green flag at noon on Saturday, checkered flag at noon on Sunday. Being in Virginia in the middle of August, it was damn hot too. The hottest we saw was 135 degrees inside the car, not exaggerating, you could cook food on the hood of the car. We battled fuel pump issues for pretty much the entire race but were running at the finish. Being able to finish the first 24 hour race we competed in, where 1/3 of the field did not finish, was quite the accomplishment. You know, plus staying up for 35 hours straight. (You can read about the 24 Hour Race here)
The 2016 season was incredibly challenging for PLC Racing, and honestly, all we wanted was for our final race at Pittsburgh International Race Complex to go smoothly, and not be over 100 degrees outside. And that is exactly what happened! PLC Racing had its best weekend ever, finishing 7th in class and we were running as high as 2nd place midway through the race! The weather was perfect, as was the car. It was borderline weird to not have to tinker with the car after the first race and be able to go out and eat a nice dinner as a team. But man, it was great. We ended the weekend with a DNF (Did Not Finish), but no one was upset. What happened was that we ran the car so hard, that the alternator fell off!! That caused us to slowly lose power and come to a halt in turn 16 with 20 minutes left in the race. You kinda had to be there, but it was hilarious!
While 2016 was amazing, it was not without its tolls. Due to all the mechanical issues throughout the season, and blowing an engine in Calabogie and transmission issues in Watkins Glen & VIR, it cost the team a good amount of money. Due to this, we cut back a bit on the 2017 schedule to mirror our 2015 season, only visiting Watkins Glen and Pittsburgh International.
2017 started off with an eery reminder that racing is not forgiving in any way. All momentum that we had as a team from our 2016 season finale, was instantly snatched from us at Watkins Glen. An engine failure only 3 hours into our first race had us pulling out our backup motor, which had been untested. The team spent time putting the backup engine in the car only to find that the engine, that we pulled from a junk yard for pennies on the dollar, was no good. We attempted to start the second race of the weekend Sunday morning, only to make it about 3 laps before that engine failed. Not fun at all. It was a really testing weekend for the team, but regardless, we chalked up our losses, packed the trailer, and went into town for a team lunch. In true to form PLC Racing fashion, that lunch was full of laughter and more beer than we could fit on the table.
To cap off the 2017 season, PLC will travel to Pittsburgh October 6th-8th to hopefully, once again, end the season on a positive note. If you wish to join us at the race, please email us at email@example.com and we will let you know how to join us at the track!
Thanks for taking the time to read this, as well as supporting PLC Racing, and our continued dreams of being professional race car drivers. If you are feeling generous, and wish to donate to PLC Racing, or even become a sponsor, please send us an email and we can tell you the best way to support PLC Racing! If you want to help us out, but don't have any money to spare, please follow us on Facebook, like and subscribe to our YouTube videos and share PLC content with your family and friends.
And seriously, above all, thank you for being a fan. Your support makes it all worth it :)
-The PLC Racing Team