6122 Whipple Superchargers 2020 BITD BWDC Race recap

MTPyle

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What a weekend, LOL …. Our plan was to podium and do the best we could do. We really felt like we finally had the truck and the speed to compete.

We did a pretty major prep on the truck getting ready for BWDC and so we could also be ready for the B1K. We got new engine, full prep, and some upgrades.

With the truck just about ready to load up for heading to the race we noticed the fuel pumps making cavitation noise. Long story short and 8 hours later we solved the problem. The fuel Mats had moved up the side of the cell. Apparently, we did not have enough foam in the cell.

Off to qualifying. This time we decided to let Connor (24) drive and Carson (17) co drive for qualifying and for the start of the race. Last few qualifying efforts I felt like I left way too much on the track. I am just too conservative to hang it out there. So it was time to see what Connor could do. After watching his V2R in car cams compared to mine it was clear he is now faster than I am. I usually do better in berms than he does and he does better letting it loose in the big stuff. So I was a little concerned when we found out we were running the Python for qualifying. But I still think they will do well.

They ran strong but I could tell he was coming in the corners slow and conservative. After watching the fast guys come thru after them it was clear we were not in the top 5 and not even sure we would be in the top 10. We had great exit speed but just too conservative on entry. I guess even Connor is worried about wrecking the truck LOL. After watching the in car video they had great lines and ran a very solid conservative run that got them P12. Not great but given they were at 85% pace it shows the truck is there. We had our qualifying gear set in and after talking to some we decided to keep it in for this race as we didn’t think we needed to get over 100mph much, our lower gear will get us 105 on hard pack and 95 in sand.

Since we could not pre run and we do not live close enough to “test” in Parker we decided to run 8100 class in the morning race. This will let us see the course and give Carson (17) more seat time. He has raced at Laughlin and this was his first time in the driver seat in Parker. Connor would co drive to get good notes for the 6100 race. Originally this seemed like a cheap way to pre run but BITD raised the price of 8100 and we found out last minute that we had to rent two RacingTrax. So it ended up costing us more than we thought. This would end up being a massive understatement, Haha

The boys lined up with about 16 or more TT and 6100 two by two. They started the 8100 after the smaller vehicles left. I was not far from the start line and it was really dusty. When the first couple TT took of it was crazy dusty, we could not see a thing. They were on 30 second splits. Carson was on the inside lane next to Grabowski. Grabowski gets Carson off the line and then I see Carson stay in it to try and catch up. As they disappeared into the dust I thought man I thought he said he would take it easy. Then I hear a big crunch and Grabowski comes out of the dust alone. I think Oh no, that’s not good. Then finally I hear our truck, which is a unique sound get going again. The buys come out of the dust and the truck is destroyed, every panel is broke. I can’t even understand what happened. I got on the radio and they could not hear me as the antenna was gone. But they are still racing. LOL I go to the Hot pit and wait for them to come in.

They came in and I ran up to Carson to tell him its OK. Tough for a 17yr old to roll his family’s race truck and I knew he would be freaked out. I made sure he knew it was OK and its just racing. I was bummed for sure but not at him. Its part of the job and we have to accept that risk when we get in the truck. He took it like a man and handled it very well, so impressed with this kid. The truck was a mess so I tell them to get back to the pits to get working on the truck so we can fix it the best we can for the 6100 race.

What had happened was the came into the first corner hot and bad dust. Connor called out hard left and Carson turned a little early. They ran up the sharp edge on the inside of the corner rolling them up into the berm. Fortunately, they landed on the tires. It was a rookie move and a simple mistake. That’s what seat time fixes. Haha. I was pretty upset about the dust and kind of lost it on BITD about it. They had water truck failures and did not water it. They admitted it was a mess and I cooled down. In the end it was still our fault. I felt bad I got on those guys like that. I forget that I am 6’5” 250lbs, I guess I can be a little intimidating when I get fired up. Haha

After a lot of work by the crew we got the truck ready for the race. Without a hood I was worried about our oil cooler being exposed to rocks. As we were talking about that Reed Dodenbier another 6100 racer had just stopped by to see how we were doing (which was cool) he asked if he could help and I said we need some mesh or expanded metal to protect our oil cooler. He said I got it handled. Not long after he shows up with some expanded metal that he had someone bring from Home Depot in Havasu. What a great guy, so cool to have a fellow racer helping us. Thanks Reed.

We checked the truck out the best we could and the boys lined up for the 6100 race. I had a friend bring down his R44 helicopter so I could chase the boys and get a birds eye view. I was blown away at how cool that was and had an absolute blast up there. It was great to learn about the helicopter operations for a BITD race. Very well organized and a really great group of guys. There are so many aspects of putting on these races that we don’t get to see.

The boys were starting next to Dan Werle in the Von Zipper truck. Dan beat them off the line and out of the first corners. I thought maybe Connor was shook up and had no plans of a repeat. They were for sure being conservative. Dan started to pull away on Shae Rd. I was a little surprised as I felt like we should hang better than that. I was not sure if there was something wrong with the truck or it was them taking it easy. Later I found out they had fuel pump issues on pump 1 and didn’t go to pump 2 until almost the end of lap 1. Connor said he was not shook up and was going as fast as he could LOL. The second lap they seemed to be moving strong. On the leader board they dropped to 18th on the 1st lap and the end of the 2nd lap back to 11th. The caught back up to Dan So I was feeling good. Truck was strong looking and they were taking great lines. What a view up there but it was so hard to not yell at them and tell them what to do. Haha I felt like a bad overbearing Soccer mom. Maybe that’s why they call it a helicopter Mom. Hehe

Its amazing what you can see when in a helicopter. We watched a 10 car roll coming into hot pits. We also saw a 10 car stuck in the berm in the Python ahead of the boys. It sucked to not be able to warn them and they hit the 10 car, but not hard. It was fun to see trucks racing and you could really see when they were gaining or pulling away.

On the 3rd lap they were flying and making up good time. They were coming to the end of a long straight and for some reason locked up the tires, I think they had too much speed and tried to stop fast to make the sharp corner. I saw a bunch of fluid come out of the truck and they just sat there. We hovered and made a call on the Air channel that BITD monitors to let them know they were broke down on the corner, It was a scary spot for sure. My pilot buddy was going to land and got pretty low and I was like what are you doing. He said I am going to land so you can go see what’s up. I said hell no, Do Not Land.. Haha he said oh OK and went back up. I had thought he knew that rule but I guess in the heat of the moment forgot. LOL Finally they got it started and took off.

We were following along and they were not on pace. Then noticed smoke and what looked like fire on the engine. They pulled over and I can see them get the fire extinguisher. They got the fire out fast. It was on the same side as the fire that almost burned our truck down at SS300 last year. So I was freaking out to say the least. The fire was from oil blowing out the breather on the header.

We think after that long hard pull on the strait they had it rung out. With this gearing they were high rpm. Then with the hard stop it shocked the engine and blew the head gasket. We looked at the max temps and we got to 250 on water and 220 oil. That’s hot but not hot enough to blow a head gasket. We have had our last engine way hotter than that and even had it shut its self down twice for cooling issues that we got fixed. So we are not sure what happened. This was the first time that new engine got raced and maybe just a weak one, not sure.

Either way we ended the weekend early with no body panels and a blown motor. Not what we wanted at all. One thing I will say is our truck is tough as hell. It took that rollover and did not bend one tube, very impressive. But this ended our B1K plans and maybe even our racing program. This one hurt for sure, not just financially but just one more big kick in the nuts. It’s a long drive back to Utah and these bad weekends make for an even longer ride home. I know we learned a lot but at some point we need to learn when to give up. To be honest I don’t think I can give up even though I should, we want a podium so bad. I have never worked so hard for anything in my life.

This sport has got to be one of the most difficult things in the world. I know we only have 2 years under our belt and guys do it for 10 and can’t get there, I know that. But I feel like we are so close to breaking thru to the top 5. But we also seem so far away.

Not looking for sympathy, just sharing my experience and thoughts. I know I sound like a wussy.

All that being said we are trying to figure out sponsors and our program for 2021. We may race less races and try to prepare better and practice more. I really really want to do KOH in 2021. So I think we will figure out a way to race that and a few other big races in 2021. Maybe with more Luck, work, a lot of money, blood, sweat, and tears we can get to the top 5 of a legit race. LOL

Here is a clip of them going down Shae Rd.


Mike
 

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nohandslance

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MTPyle,
I know sponsorship is a driving force in your goal of a podium, have you thought S.N.O.R.E., M.OR.E, Get a little more seat time for you and your boy's,.? Rather than run the bigger races. I'm the worst driver ever but I came to that conclusion 20 years ago. The SlashX Race In December would be great race for you to work on all your driving skills, plus its, Barstow, notorious for breaking many vehicles and dreams. There is a reason they "test out there" most of the time.
I like you enthusiasm.
Lance
 

SMS81

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Keep your chin up! Desert racing is hard, very hard! I know it sucks the fun away when you realize you spent enough $$ for your family to live in a resort for a year! Take a breath, find some smaller events, heck even change classes and find the fun again. It’s a fun hobby, don’t make it more than that or you will be disappointed! Good luck!
 

IRONGOOK

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Great read as always MIke. Keep your head up. Every time it gets hard I ask myself why I do this. But then when I'm on the starting line I remember. Think of it as an expensive form of Viagra, Very expensive! 😁
 

desertspeed

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Mike-

As always, thank you for sharing your experiences so openly. I wish more racers would post race reports like this, myself included.

I do think if you backed off on the number of races you are trying to do in a year things would get much, much more enjoyable. Trying to run a race team that far away from the majority of shops/suppliers in So Cal just adds to the amount of time everything takes. Add to that the fact that you seem to make some pretty big changes to the truck after each race and pull a lot of all nighters trying to get ready. We raced just four BITD races (missed VtoR) this year which were all pretty spread out, and even then there were times it was tough.

This is supposed to be fun- 3 or 4 races with plenty of prep time in between and less stress will restore your sanity (and your bank account :)) and keep you in the sport for much longer. Just my $.02
 

MTPyle

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Lance

For some crazy reason the smaller races are not as exciting for us. I know we could do well in the smaller series but those trophies would not mean as much to us. We think a top 5 against the best is better than a top 3 against a easier field.

Guys,

we spent a lot on body and wrap this year. Can’t do that again. So we are working on a new wrap partner and working with Fiberwerx on a season deal. That will greatly reduce our consumables cost. We need to get Whipple to sign another year for what they have done in the past. Toyo is helping us as well which will help on consumables. Maximum Transmissions has been great for 2020 and we need to get them committed for another season as well. And we need to get continued great support from our other partners. We put together a season budget and it has to make sense. Less races might help for sure.

The boys and I are not interested in the resort life. We do it often for my wife Stacey and all we can do is think about racing while we are laying there drinking $20 cocktails. Haha.

I don’t want to sound desperate or sad, I am not. I just am 100% open with my thoughts on here and not just trying to sound macho and tough. We are tough and this is making us tougher. But I want to be open with the struggles we have. I bet many other guys have the same struggles and thoughts but are not comfortable sharing them.

I love racing almost as much as my family. I can’t think of any other way I want to spend my time and money. There is no other hobby we could do that would give us what racing gives us. I have met some great people and have taught the boys some great lessons. We sat down and talked about it we should give up and both Connor and Carson said hell no. Let’s keep getting better and climb that mountain. We are lucky to have a Wife and Mother like Stacey that is willing to support us. She can not understand why we want to do this. She pretty much hates it and hates the money we spend. But she loves and supports us and does an amazing job of supporting us. Could not be more blessed and fortunate.

Mike
 
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I was in a very similar situation earlier this year but on a much different financial level. The ups and downs of desert racing is unexplainable. I won a championship my first year of racing in a smaller series then when to BITD to only break something at every race I entered (seriously every race). I always had the speed to run in the top but something always ended our race early. I sold my car this year and have regretted it ever since. Currently I am trying to figure out how to get back into racing because its just way to much fun to stop
 

jcorsico

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I've raced for a long time, and I've learned that your level of happiness is directly related to your goals and expectations. If you achieve your goal, you feel good. If you miss your goal, you feel bad. Winning, or being top-5, or being top qualifier, etc., is incredibly hard. So why pick a goal where you are almost guaranteed to be unhappy? Herbst, and Bryce, and Andy, and BJ, etc., can do this because they have way more money and thus way more help.

I don't try to win. I try to do better than I did last time. That's a realistic goal, and I'm often able to achieve it and thus feel good.
 

SN8KE

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Before you dismiss the smaller series take a look at the best TT guys out there today. You can search Youtube and find videos of a lot of them racing 1600 cars and alike in the SNORE series. They were (and are still) very competitive races. No doubt these races built their skill levels to compete at the highest level they are at today. As an example Justin Smith runs his class 5 car in SNORE and is driving the first leg of the Baja 1000 in Dan McM's truck. Many of these guys still dip into this series from time to time. You mentioned confidence as a factor and it certainly is a big factor - confidence is built from success which you are more likely to achieve in series like SNORE or MORE. Love that you are an open book with your posts - and I really like how most provide feedback that are supportive and not judgmental - we have enough of that going on right now outside of racing.
 

mike_osborn

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Mike - like the other guys have said, I love reading your recaps. They always make me think of all of the stuff that happens during a race. That's what makes it fun - overcoming the obstacles. No one talks about the wins they had, but they do talk about "...that time when XYZ happened". Like you, I really want to win races - sometimes I find that I obsess over the things I should have done differently and I beat myself up over it. Once I get a little distance from the race, I find myself enjoying the experience I had with my team. Is it frustrating? Hell yes. Is it the most fun I've ever had in my life? F$%K yeah!
 

SMS81

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Just because a series is smaller, it doesn’t mean the competition is less talented. It does, on the other hand, mean the tracks will be more difficult and tougher on your equipment!
 

MTPyle

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Mike O, you are right its pretty fun. We love the highs and overall we have taken the lows pretty well.

In my opinion smaller series are less competitive. We love the Rage and have raced it 2 times. But the top guys in SNORE 6100 would not be top guys in BITD or SCORE.

I agree that its all about expectations. When we started we were happy to finish at all. Haha I think the issue this year has been all the DNF's. Especially when we had a good chance in top 10 in many of them. Just a string of stupid things that took us out. That being said when you go faster the stupid thing are bigger. Haha just like V2R this year, we had pit issues. it was a very different race when we were going fast and in the top 10, Our truck was doing better than our pits. It takes everything to be right at the same time.

Thanks for the positive and good comments. You guys are great and I enjoy the positive conversation.

Mike
 

Tube ride

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You have something no other team takes advantage of ....you have a big audience here on RDC we all enjoy your first hand accounts. I would think that is a very marketable side to your sponsors and race program. After each post when you sign your name ..tag your sponsors. And Im sure we all would like to help you out so don’t hesitate to use us!!!
 

stephenrjking

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You guys are definitely close to top tens, because you've been there and then had the rug pulled out.

I hope your program will continue, and I'll keep rooting for you, because these recaps really take me inside the sport and I look forward to them after every race. Of course, rooting for you doesn't pay your bills, and I get that.

This recap is rough, raw, and real. Good stuff.
 

MTPyle

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Thanks guys,

With the exciting announcement from Dave about KOH we are going to prep for that race next. Give us some time to catch up on life and get the truck back together without going crazy. The boys will be getting a Fiberwerx body and new engine for Christmas. Haha Also give us some time to test and get more seat time before our next race.

Then I think we will do the Mint400 if we can pull that off and maybe a another race in the spring. The Mint400 seems like they are making some good changes that will fix our frustrations from last year.

Thanks again!
Mike
 

Frye Racing

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Mike,

I am sure you probably don't want to hear from me, poop happens in racing and for me it is never really a big deal the day after...LOL but I feel your pain and have seen so many have the same experience and then give up on racing or have to reduce their racing. Which I hate to see. So I wanted to give you my 2 cents. We just finish our 128th desert race at the Legacy Race in Pahrump. Since I have zero sponsors and have raced in almost every class I am always pounding the drum that racing needs to be more fun and less expensive to the racing organizations. I sit on the SNORE Board and the Clark County NV OHV advisory board. You have entered the 6100 class in BITD. Hands down the most competitive class there is in off-road racing. And probably the third most expensive. Just look at the sheer numbers. So it is almost impossible to podium with 40+ guys going 100% with a handful having an unlimited budget.

I would rather race more than race less. The only way to do this is to race smarter and therefore cheaper. And I want to race longer races. I only doo the short races when running for a championship or it is close to my home in Las Vegas.

I would suggest doing a couple specific races as the courses are more forgiving on your equipment and the cars are more spread out so less dust and some the entry fee is way cheaper.

You did V2R which for me after the first 100 miles everyone gets spread out and it is fun. The course is smoother and you can run. I think you have done SS300 as well, a fun course but in BITD a lot of racers so super dusty. But both cost more and there are a lot of cars which comes with its own issues.

The SNORE Caliente race is similar but I think you would have more fun and it would be a lot cheaper and you would have a better chance to podium. You could do the entire SNORE series for the cost of the Parker 425.

Same with the Legacy Pahrump race and the Alamo race for them this year. Lots of miles equals more fun in my opinion.

VORRA has some good races.

Anything in Jean NV or Lucerne CA is going to be rough. You have the best truck for those rougher courses, but it will not be as fun and they will cost a lot more to run and the prep afterword. Parker is not the best either, I only do it because of the series points I need.

But I get it when you first start out the hype for the big races is cool to be a part of. But after a couple DNFs and the $$ it wears off quick...Steve Strobel just did the Legacy Race in his TT which should tell you something.

Good luck to you and I hope too see you out racing again. As for me I love racing and I want the sport to grow. Every racers is important as Casey Folks used to say! Everyone thinks that every racer has sponsors that pay the bills, but the opposite is true 99%+ are privateers. People ask me all the time why don't I have an RV and sell my three cars and get a TT. I tell them if I did I couldn't race a much as I do and I wouldn't have won as many championships as we have. I race to have fun and if we win that is just a bonus..How long will someone do something that is not fun or that is too expensive?
 

MTPyle

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Frye

thanks for the feedback. You are right it needs to be fun.

We have a pretty fun schedule for 2021. I think with our new focus we will have fun bit won’t be racing for points, just fun races that are events.

Our next race is the King of the Hammers desert race and we could not be more excited. We have never been to a Ultra4 race but the more we learn the more excited we get for it. It’s a true event and in my opinion it’s the biggest race this side of the border.

We could not race without the help of our partners and sponsors. We put together another great team for 2021. We added Fiberwerx, Rapid Off-road, and Jed Head graphics this year. So now we have a fiberglass and wrap partner to help cover the cost when we roll or do stupid stuff. Haha We also re signed our title sponsor Whipple Superchargers, Toyo, and Maximum Transmissions’s. Could not be more excited for the team we have.

For us it’s an experience sport. It’s not all about the finish results but we want to achieve our goal of getting a podium in a big legit 6100 race. We think we have the chance to do that this year. So we will give it our all and go 110% into this season and if we do get on the podium it will be a huge achievement.

We hope to see you guys in the desert soon.

Mike
 
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