Mooresville NC 3/19/14 – JRi Shocks ATV and UTV racers battled one of the most challenging WORCS courses to date at the last round of the World Offroad Championship series as record numbers of ATV, UTV and Motorcycle racers turned out for the final Lake Havasu WORCS race held at Crazy Horse Campground. Over the years, the Havasu round has become a favorite among racers despite consistently being dubbed one of the harshest, most abusive courses on the circuit.
JRi Shocks has entered 2014 with a fully fueled roster featuring five UTV Racers and two top ATV racers who will fly the JRi flag at each of the series 9 rounds.
Humboldt Motorsports, a three car team comprised of owners Roger Kirkpatrick, Travis Rasmussen and Pro UTV racer Dana Creech, approached JRi last winter with the intention of fielding a factory-like presence for each of the 9 WORCS rounds. JRi Shocks jumped on board and despite limited time testing the new ECX 3 XP 1000 shocks, the racers have been nothing but pleased with its performance.
“All of the WORCS courses are known to be some of most roughest and most abusive courses on cars and equipment and we definitely found that out at the first round but the shocks can handle it” says Travis Rasmussen. “I actually jumped the lagoon jump twice in practice and everyone was coming up to me telling me how nice and level the car was flying and the landing was nice and smooth.”
Rasmussen and his teammate Roger Kirkpatrick contested the 1000 class in their Humboldt Motorsports/OSi Trailers/JRi Shocks Polaris XP 1000s. After getting comfortable on the lagoon jump in practice, Rasmussen used the jump to make a first lap pass, catapulting himself into the first position from his row and making up several seconds on the racers ahead of him. Unfortunately on the very next lap, Rasmussen would break a belt on the face of the lagoon jump. Fortunately his momentum was enough to carry him most of the way a across the jump and the JRi Shocks soaked up the harsh landing. After changing the belt, Rasmussen was able to get going but would settle for an 18th place finish. Kirkpatrick battled slower traffic on much of the one lined course behind his teammate but his smooth and steady driving allowed him to save his vehicle and ultimately earn a ninth place finish.
Former racer and ATV freestyle motocross pioneer Dana Creech has been somewhat absent from the offroad scene for a few years but has made a return in recent months with the support of Humboldt Motorsports and JRi Shocks, and was looking forward to tackling the brutal Havasu course.
With a record turnout of UTV entries, Creech would be forced to start from the third row in a jam packed side by side Pro class. After rounding the first turn in third, Creech began working his way toward the front, battling with Tyler Winbury as the pair attempted to pass slower UTV’s on the severely one lined course.
In an attempt to make up more time, Creech opted to take the lagoon jump on lap 3 and although he cleared it, got crossed up in the ruts following the jump and ended up on his lid. After being righted by several spectators, Creech got going again only to suffer a broken belt nearly a lap later. After time lost changing the belt, Creech would have to settle for 26th place. “I never really got a clean lap without traffic,” said Creech. “It was an incredibly difficult track to pass on.”
Also representing JRi Shocks in Havasu was the Factory Polaris/Blingstar team of Clint Roberts and Nick Nelson. Nelson, who is still racing an XP 900 model from last year came on strong but unfortunately lost his motor just two laps in. Nelson has plans to be in an XP 1000, hopefully by the next round. Nelson’s teammate Clint Roberts started from the second line and ran a great pace until his steering began to fade. Despite being very difficult to navigate through the deeply rutted out course, Roberts pressed on and managed to finish the race.
Despite some mechanical induced disappointment during Saturday’s event, Sunday looked promising with JRi’s Dillon Zimmerman and David Flores racing in the ATV main event.
Zimmerman lined up in the Pro class and after struggling from the dead engine start, left the line in second to last place. Zimmerman trailed in the leaders dust for most of the first lap which ended up working in his favor by the time they reached the lagoon jump. Since the pack was so close together, several riders failed to make the turn for the lagoon jump which gave Zimmerman the opportunity to pass all the way to second place where he pressured leader Robbie Mitchell until his Can-Am DS 450 began spewing white smoke. Zimmerman kept pace for a few more laps but the engine finally gave out, ending his day with a DNF.
Behind Zimmerman, Pro-Am racer David Flores would settle into second place off the start and begin distancing himself from the rest of the pack. Although he was never able to reel in first place, Flores rode a solid consistent race, finishing over two minutes ahead of 3rd place despite getting bucked off the course and down a small ravine. A 2nd place finish put Flores on the podium and gave him enough points to retain his overall lead in the season standings.
While not the weekend any of the racers had hoped for from a points standpoint, everyone was excited about the performance of their JRi Shocks and is eagerly looking forward to the next round at Sand Hollow. “Mechanical issues are just a part of racing” said Tony Cuva, Offroad market manager for JRi Shocks. “We’re incredibly happy with the performance of the shock, despite very limited testing time with our racers. These guys have faith in our product and we know they have the ability to take it to the front.”
About JRi Shocks
Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UTVGuide