Why have so many cars blown up, broken down, or crapped out? Nobody can say for sure. Whatever the reason, we've never seen so many dead cars at any LeMons race before.

Is it the fast track? The thin air? The mid-80s temperature? Theories abound in the pits, but there's no consensus. I must have seen at least 30 teams (out of 100 or so cars) frantically wrenching on their machines at one point Saturday afternoon. Blown head gaskets galore (the majority of Hondas are now suffering from this all-too-common malady). Thrown rods. Spun bearings. Fried clutches. Garboned transmissions. Cooked brakes. Electrical woes. Cracked blocks. Cracked heads. Burned valves. Dropped valves. Maddeningly undiagnosable ignition-system problems. Even the supposedly unfixable broken BMW M20 rocker arm.

Some cars are down for the count, while others might get back on the track tomorrow (after an all-night knuckle-shredding wrenchathon, in the howling and dusty "Washoe Zephyr" gales that seem to blast into life every evening in the Nevada high desert). The Unsafe At Any Speed Corvair: three obliterated pistons and cylinders, done for the weekend. The Metro Gnome Honda CBR900RR-powered Geo Metro: brake fire, probably knocked out of contention. The Hondarrari CRXstarossa: blown head gasket, should be back on the track tomorrow. The list just goes on and on.

Will the winner Sunday end up being the last car running? It appears that the field of serious lap-total contenders has been narrowed down to a dozen or so cars, so those among that group that can keep their heap in one piece (and away from the penalty box, where business has been quite brisk) should have a great shot at the checkered flag. Meanwhile, there's just no telling who will snare the Index Of Effluency award; the Mystery Machine Voyager Turbo minivan, all the Alfa Romeos, the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys' Peugeot 505, and- of course - the Killer Bees' MGB all make strong cases. Come back later for LeMons updates, and don't miss LeMons Supreme Court Justice Lavrinc's Tweetisms, or whatever the kids call 'em when you're done here!