Prescott Arizona – I came into this race feeling very confident with my Polaris RZR XP1000 and with my ability to pilot it through the longest desert race in the United States. I was hoping to never have to sit and write a race recap on a race that I DNF’d on, but desert racing is all about conquering the elements and this time the elements got the best of me at this years Vegas to Reno. As I sit here and write this post race report I am both saddened by my first DNF of the season, but I am also struck with an extreme amount of determination to repair the part that failed, make it stronger, and come into the next race more prepared and on a mission to make up where I have failed this time around.
Friday morning (race day) came quick and we as a team were ready! I didn’t have the best draw for starting positions I drew near the middle of the pack 19th
to be exact. I knew that this was a long race which gives me a lot of time to work my way to the front, but the amount dust that you have to contend with starting that far back is beyond imaginable. I had a game plan and I was going to stick with it. A steady push to the front without making any critical mistakes was the plan.
The green flag dropped and we were off into the sunrise that made for one of the most difficult/dangerous mixtures you could encounter. The amount of dust and the sun shining right in my face made the first part of the race very interesting. I took my time, made smart choices, but pushed hard throughout the first 100 miles where we came into our first scheduled pit stop. We came into the first scheduled pit in the top 5 physically and on corrected time we were fighting for the top position. We came in for fuel only and left the pit with no problems. Shortly after our first scheduled pit at Rm100 we were racing for a position in the top 3 physically. We raced with the Monster Mav and the Polaris RZR of Scanlon for many race miles until we were hauling down a straight away and the car didn’t feel right. At that point I realized we had a flat. We pulled off the track and proceeded to change our tire as quick as possible. We got the tire changed and climbed back into the car. We headed back onto the track to try and make up the time we lost, but not before we lost a couple positions to Cognito and Holz. We raced hard into the next scheduled pit that was close to Rm195. We pulled in hoping to take fuel only, but realized we had lost all radio/intercom communication. We proceeded to spend a few minutes repairing the radios and with no luck we headed back onto the coarse in 4th place physically with no communication between the car and the pit crew nor my co driver and I. Shortly after leaving that pit we started to catch the dust of the next UTV in front of us.
We picked up the pace a little and right as we did that something let loose on the passenger side rear of the car. We found a safe place to pull off the track and climbed out thinking we had a flat tire issue. Once out of the car I ran to the back of the car and realized we had worse problems than a flat tire. The entire right rear of the car was laying almost horizontal and I found where the upper rear radius link had actually ripped a section of the frame apart. At this point I realized our day was finished. We were in a very remote area of the track at Rm207 where there was no way to repair the car and get it going again. We fixed it enough to limp it to the chase truck that was waiting for us about a mile away and we loaded it up on the trailer. We made the decision to head back to Vegas and head home a day early to begin the process of repairing the broken machine.
This was not the way I had planned the race to go and I apologize to everyone that has been supporting me throughout this year. I can say I learned a lot from this experience and you better believe that I will repair the part that failed, make it stronger, and come into the next race feeling more confident than ever!!!!! I really look forward to Parker, Henderson, and the entire BITD 2015 year!
Again I want to thank everyone that makes this possible for me to live out my childhood dream: Polaris RZR, Lonestar Racing, FOX, ITP tires and wheels, Northern Arizona Auto & Off Road, Queen Racing, Rugged Radios, the boys at UTVUNDERGROUND, Mad Media, Sims Motorsports, and as always my DAD and Friends/Pit Crew. Without each and everyone one of you this would not be possible. For this I thank you!!!!!!!
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