When we saw the cars that would be running in the fourth annual Capitol Offense 24 Hours of LeMons, we knew things would get weird when the green flag waved on Saturday morning. Sure enough, that’s just what happened.

First of all, the Class B ’86 Oldsmobile Delta 88 of Not So Fresh Off the Boat Racing stayed ahead of the other 96 cars for much of the morning, inspiring crazy talk that this improbable race leader (with its supercharged 3800 V6 swap and comfy suspension) might be able to keep it up all weekend. Sadly, a rash of black flags brought Not So Fresh Off the Boat Racing back to earth, and the team finished the day in P16.

The 1987 Mazda RX-7 of Ghetto Motorsports took the lead about midway through the day and held onto it through the rest of the session. LeMons racers who compete in the B.F.E. GP in Colorado know all about this team, which won the 2010, 2011, and 2012 events in their 1980 RX-7, but they’ve had less success with their East Coast cars. Today, though, the Ghetto Motorsports Mazda ran flawlessly and finished the day with a one-lap lead over its nearest rival.

That rival is the V6-powered 1994 Ford Mustang of Grim Reaper Racing, a team that climbed out of obscurity during the last couple of years and now contends in just about every East and South Region LeMons race.

The very quick 1987 Alfa Romeo Milano of Team Pro-Crash-Duh-Nation was an early favorite to take the lead, as always, but then disaster struck: a deer bounded across the infield, tried to leap over the Pro-Crash-Duh-Nation Alfa, bounced off its windshield, and ran off into the woods. Yes, this is a real photograph, courtesy of the GoPro camera mounted on the Three Pedal Mafia Sea Sprite; the video of the incident may be seen here.

LeMons rules mandate an unshattered, intact windshield or steel-mesh substitute, so the Pro-Crash-Duh-Nation guys were forced to fabricate a dirt-track-style replacement and fell out of contention for the lead.

Leading Class B, we’ve got the Rally Baby 1987 Audi 4000 Quattro, a car that has been around East Coast LeMons events for years, usually finishing way, waaaay down in the bottom of the standings. This race, however, has been different for the Rally Baby Audi: 8th overall and a quasi-safe 11 lap lead over the next Class B car (the Not So Fresh Off the Boat Olds).

In Class C, the 1971 Sea Sprite boat (mounted on a Chevrolet S10 pickup chassis) holds a seven-lap edge over the It Ain’t My Fault Morrow’s Racing Mitsubishi Mirage. Some say that a 4.3 liter V6-powered S10 with 5-speed doesn’t belong in Class C, but in what other class could you put a road-racing boat?

Check in Sunday night to see how all this sorts out!

By Murilee Martin