Last year, I ran decent but lost my motor like 20 miles from the finish to end the season. So, did not want a repeat of last year. Morgan Russell, my co driver and main mechanic, made sure nothing was overlooked on the car. Friday morning, we loaded up and left for Parker, nice and close should be an easy weekend but far from the case. Morgan stayed back at the shop to finish a motor for Cody as I and some of the team went to tech. Pulling into Parker you could not ask for better conditions. The rain was gone and the track looked incredible. We made it to Parker and while going through contingency something broke on the clutch. It was making a lot of noise. We drove the car over to see Matt with Peak Powersports to grab a new primary which he had and an ECU. It is super nice to have someone bringing that type of support to the track, it really opens up options for a lot of people. So after a quick primary change, the noise on the car was gone and all was back to tip top.
So team LSR had their plates full Friday night. We had 2 cars with motor issues which needed to get pulled and gone through. I hung for a little while but went to bed early compared to the rest of the team. All the guys stuck around a while and did what they could but Morgan Russell, Heath Seritt and Shawn Fisher pulled an all nighter making sure the work was complete. These guys really stepped up and got it handled. I’m lucky to be surrounded by such good people. Without these guys there would not be a team.
Race morning has come and I am headed to breakfast with the family and Morgan is at the bar drinking a coffee. He was ready and focused with no rest. We have a great starting position 3rd row inside line. Start next to Logan Gastel, we are getting a little rivalry between each other for sure. So off the start we are neck and neck all the way to the ski jump. Neither of us are backing off but I held my line and Logan went off the side of the jump. Makes a great video and a great start of the race. So shortly after that Logan passed and we where glued to his bumper. Then Logan pulled over and followed us for a few miles. Then course spilt he took the better line and I was back to eating rocks off Logan’s tires for the next few miles till his car had a problem. The next couple miles were quiet till Dustin Battle Axe Jones caught me. He made a clean pass then it was follow the leader for awhile.
We stayed with Dustin just flying through some insane sections of the course. We where just feet off Dustin’s bumper when we went flying around the corner into some really rough course causing Dustin’s car getting off line and running off course. Dustin quickly got back on track and was on my bumper. So as fast as it changed it changed back and I am back looking at Dustin’s bumper. Back to just tearing up the best Parker has to offer. Morgan’s radio cable fell out and he had no clue. No time to solve it while following Dustin just made it work. Going through some big rollers we hit one fast and sent the car big. While I am in the air and no com between Morgan and I, I could still hear Morgan having a good time. We did this for some time till I think Dustin lost a belt and pulled over. All this has happened before Midway pit which is just over 27 miles. It is amazing how nice it is to race a course with no dust and that much traction. We drove through Midway and did not need a thing. As we leave we see Mitch Guthrie Jr pulling into Midway and my guys radio, telling us he drove through. So a short race like this it is always go time so Mitch was moving. No clue how many miles went by but at some point Mitch did catch me and pass. I did everything I could just to stay with him and we did. He would pull away and we would pull him back in. While chasing Mitch we came so close to putting the car on its side. Came in way too hot in a corner and the car came up fast. This would have been an awesome picture and was a great save. So we finished a full lap and Mitch is seconds in front of me. Team LSR was ready for pit and all we needed was a little fuel. No time to waste for anything else. So I had no clue of all the drama on the course and had no idea John Angal and Brandon Sims where having issues. So when I was leaving the main pit was physically second place with Brandon Schueler somewhere in front of me. This was a perfect storm for me and I wanted to capitalize on it so bad. Morgan and I stayed focus and wanted to drive clean. Now the problems started and the car just does not have the power it had the first lap. Look at the gages and see the check engine light. We are in the wash and seeing no one was really close to us at the point took the time to stop and reset the car. Once we do that back to full power. When this car has full power it is so much fun to drive. This check engine light came back a few more times during the race. We are back to flying again and hear we have like 6 minutes on the next closest guy in our class.
Not sure what mile marker but around mile 103 had a crazy problem and a rear wheel just exploded. Going through the whoops and boom car is on the ground. The noise was crazy so we pulled over quickly to address the situation. Morgan jumped out fast and started to jack the car. Trying to get the wheel off the car tipped in the sand and now we can not get the impact on the Jack. Morgan yells for help right then the first car passes us Justin Lambert. Now I am out of the car trying to lift the car so Morgan can get the jack out. Jack is out we are back to lifting the car and still not a sound of another UTV. After some work we finally get the wheel off the hub and start mounting the new tire. Here is a pack of Turbo cars coming so Morgan finished up mounting the tire as I get in the car and strap in. Last car to pass us was Jason Murray and we where off to catch them. Morgan is still strapping in and I am moving. We catch Jason after a couple miles and pass. We knew we had to stop at Midway to replace our spare so did everything we could to put some distance between us and Murray’s. We did some but not enough and Jason passed us while stopped at Midway. Would not see them again. Shortly after Midway and trying to catch the Murrays with no luck, Dustin caught me and was on a mission. We tried to hang with Dustin but he was moving on those fire roads and pulling away. We stuck to a solid pace at this point and was focus on the finish. This course was so much fun and so little dust. Had a blast racing with all these guys and love the competition this year will hold. So unofficially we finished 5th over all and 4th in the Pro Turbo class. Best finish to date and really excited for 2016.
Want to do a special thanks to my team. They are all so much help before, during and after the race. Morgan Russell, Shawn Fisher, Heath Seritt, Sheldon Stowell, Garrick Lastra, Langston Ward, Carlie Fisher and Chris Braddock. Really thank you to all my family and friends for all there support.
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