By Jacob Versey
#TeamZRP had some huge goals in 2018 and we met them nearly perfectly! Going for the title in the Ultra4 Racing National Points for myself and also in the Western Points for Travis Zollinger was no small task and the bar is high for 2019! We set another goal to get both of our teams cars across the finish line at the 2019 King of the Hammers UTV Race, and we did just that.
We left for King of the Hammers the Monday before the race and arrived late that evening to amazing weather. We wanted to pre run the entire course and get our cars dialed in before the race, and we accomplished those goals with little time spare. The rest of our Team Family and Friends arrived by Friday and spirits were high and everyone had smiles!
We were fortunate enough to be in Power Hour for qualifying and with stiff competition we did the best we could ending up with 24th to start. I was happy with that!
Myself and Riley left the line just after 8am to start the hardest one day off road race on the planet! We got the hole shot on our two car starts and we were off! The car was prepped very well and holding up great all through lap 1 of the desert. With a quick conservative pace we hit pit 1b for fuel and a quick check, with no flat tires and a healthy car we pressed on.
We had amazing support in all of our pits and I am so grateful for all of them – Adreana Versey, Ari Watt, Tyler Berry, Corey Lundahl, Micheala Dixon, Wyatt Dixon and Matt Lippman. We head for lap two and were making up time in the rock sections. We had worked into a decent physical position by this point and had a little bit of traffic in the rocks but for the most part pretty fast and smooth.
Around mile 100 I start to smell a little bit of coolant and with memories of the previous year at KOH breaking all of the radiator mounts we continued on cautiously. We arrive to remote pit 2b at mile 125 and our crew let’s us know we are losing way too much coolant to continue and the radiator was completely broken off and laying on the motor so we both get out of the car to start fixing it. I decided to strap the radiator back on with two ratchet straps.
To my great surprise and completely blown away with my team by the time I had it strapped down my team had already cut and spliced all of the hot coolant lines, filled it up with coolant and fueled the car by the time!
I will forever remember the teamwork and joy of those moments in despair as we overcame with record speed! Off we go with renewed hope and excitement, we head for Outerlimits knowing it was the hardest rock trail. We decided to help Shannon Campbell get back on his wheels from a tip over and ventured on to our worst hold up of the day in the top of Outer Limits. Phil Blurton had broken axles in the worst spot and instead of really cutting him off and showing no sportsmanship at all we decided to help him through which took a lot of time but in the end I feel worth it!
We cautiously sailed to the finished line with our original Gladiator Tires ending up with a 5th place finish! Every single Zollinger Racing Products part worked and held up flawlessly! We had some major highs and lows and I am so grateful for every single person that has helped us get to where we are in such a short amount of time!
Huge thank you to Travis Zollinger, with out him I would not be here! Also huge thank you to all of our partners and sponsors:
- Zollinger Race Products
- Gladiator Tires
- Flow Waterjet
- Walker Evans Racing
- HCR Racing
- RCV Performance
- Factory UTV
- Tag Coatings
- Warn Industries
- Trinity Racing
- Sparco USA
- Keller Performance Products
- Hansen Performance
- K&T Performance
- Polaris RZR