Desert Racing Thought for the Day

OldGreen

Well-Known Member
Posts
892
Reaction
33
I don't know what possessed me to write this, but I thought you guys would get a kick out of it.

Very often in a lap race, we'll be racing along. The co-dog keeps an eye on the mirrors and the temps while I negotiate slower cars, faster cars, the terrain, etc. We really get caught up in our little world. We are slow enough in the rough that we have time to talk about things like how the truck is handling, the scenery, carne asada in the main pit (that always makes me drive faster) and the like, but everything seems to move along pretty fast. We do haul tail on the graded sections and that gets our adrenaline up for a little while at 88.1 mph, but we are still pretty much tunnel vision and set on doing our assigned tasks. . .then, inevitably, from out of nowhere, it happens. The co-dog says two words that change everything. Their utterance alone causes me to veer sharply off track and hit the brakes as fast as I can. FEAR, PANIC and Anticipation rush over both of us as if we were just told that we had 10 seconds to live. It is one of the scariest, best, worst, most wonderful feelings you can imagine riding along through the whoops at 25mph in a stone stock Ranger. It is more intense than if he had yelled FIRE. Everything is suddenly at risk, but we want it to happen anyway. The ultimate front row seat. So what are those two words?

With his eyes on the mirror and terror in his voice, "Trophy Truck," crackles through the intercom and a chopper suddenly appears flying sideways over us. What a RUSH!

So. . .Thank you. 99.92% of the rocketship drivers out there have our gratitude for giving us a front row seat to the greatest show on Earth. NASCAR doesn't allow us to take our stock Camry on the track and I'm pretty sure that F1 frowns on go-carts during Grand Prix races. . .but just about anyone who has gotten to simultaneously compete in an off-road race AND be a big fan of the sport in the SAME RACE, is going to be hooked for life.

To the .08%. . .well, that's another thread.:)
 

bomber

Well-Known Member
Posts
1,018
Reaction
59
Haha, happens to u too huh? :)
 

Huntington Beach

Well-Known Member
Posts
572
Reaction
33
We had the same thing happen at the 08' Mint 400. Collins' heli was flying sideways in front of us and my co-dog is looking at it saying hey we are on film. All I could think was where is the TT at how am I going to get out of the way. Before I could slap my co pilot and tell him to look at the mirror, the truck was going past us at 80+ leaving us covered in rocks, dirt, dust, you name it. It was a pretty sureal experience and something I will never forget.
 

FCORR

Well-Known Member
Posts
657
Reaction
80
In my very first race a few years back at the MDR 400 we passed pit A and were soon told "Trophy Truck 2 minutes behind you," it was the scariest couple of minutes of my life going down a road at 60 mph where I knew he was doing 90+...when the truck finally broke through the dust I overreacted and threw the truck out into the desert at that same 60 mph...I think we're still pulling bushes out of the truck...jajaja
 

bomber

Well-Known Member
Posts
1,018
Reaction
59
There are 2 passes that really stick out in my memory as being incredible moments in our racing experience.

First, was our very first race ever in 2007. We had just made the turn heading north away from Evan Hewes on the east side of PC's train tracks when a Class 1 came up on our left. It was a fast section and it allowed us to enjoy hearing and watching just how bad ass the fast cars are for a minute or so. I was thinking, no dezert video as great as they are could ever even give a hint of how awesome it is to experience the cars up close.

The second, my favorite, was during last year's PC night race. We were on the northern most part of the track heading west. We were moving pretty good, there was no one in front of us so it was nice and clear with no dust. Then out of nowhere, Andy Mac passes us in his new Geiser truck that's super loud at blazing speed. Startled both of us pretty good, we both just laughed over the intercom at how ridiculous it is that they can just fly like that. Definitely one of the best moments I've had out in the dez.
 

OldGreen

Well-Known Member
Posts
892
Reaction
33
Lap 1 RM18 at this year's Parker 425. Osborn Wash. . .we were "flying", I was in co-dog at the time and I said, as calmly as I could. . .Andy's about 1/4 mile back. The driver was 50 yards off course in a matter of seconds but never slowed down!! He streaked by us at at least 3x our speed. Now, the funny part. . .it was another 10 miles before the second place car caught us and, after that. . .it seemed like forever. I'm glad it was a close race in our class or the mirrors would have gotten boring!!

The chopper deal was when the Land Shark passed us in that same race. Just before pit 1, the chopper comes over and I start waving like an idiot. . .HI MOM!! Then we got OWNED by a PO'd spaceship. We giggled like little girls. . .
 

B-Dub 1020

Well-Known Member
Posts
3,536
Reaction
159
We had the same thing happen at the 08' Mint 400. Collins' heli was flying sideways in front of us and my co-dog is looking at it saying hey we are on film. All I could think was where is the TT at how am I going to get out of the way. Before I could slap my co pilot and tell him to look at the mirror, the truck was going past us at 80+ leaving us covered in rocks, dirt, dust, you name it. It was a pretty sureal experience and something I will never forget.
Rob next time make sure your doing 80mph also, The only place a truck should be faster than us buggy dorks is when your going 90+
 

JB-13

Active Member
Posts
33
Reaction
0
Great Post! I know I get a thrill when trucks fly by a pit, but I could only imagine the "puckering" effect that happens when a trophy truck is in the rear view.
 

trent06

Mush
Posts
2,312
Reaction
240
I really enjoyed reading this thread so far, and Ill even chime in with a story. It was the 2007 Parker 425 and my first race ever behind the wheel. I was racing our pre-runner and had gotten off to a great start to the race and had made it all the way around to the C.A.P. section before getting caught by the first vehicle on road. However it had been a tense moment from midway pits all the way to the C.A.P. as each pit we would go through we would see a Riveria crew member standing near the track with headset on. Now back to the C.A.P. section we came around one of the switch backs on the ridge tops and noticed a helicopter, we thought awesome we got a helicopter following us, this will definitely make a video! LOL. As we came up over a rise Post was on our bumper he gave us time to slow down, we pulled off and he never touched us.

I would also say that this was within an 1/8 of a mile of where Andy passed us this year in Parker except this time I was in an 8100 driving. Again Andy gave us time to pull off and never touched us, and I also think the light he runs made it much easier for us to see him coming.

Back to the first year though, no one had caught us after Post did until nearly the end of the Jeep Trail then a certain class one buggy caught us in a spot with no where to pull off we waved and waved letting him know we knew he was behind us, but that didnt stop him from slamming us.....

Like said before 99.92% of the time their is no problem at all, but their is always one guy.....
 
Posts
16,402
Reaction
3,523
Catching a ride to the BFG pit south of Puertocitos in '04, I'd been trying to entice my generous stranger to pick up the pace. This guy had spent a little too long at CowPatty's. Looking at the clock, I knew it wouldn't be long before the TT's started getting there.

Fans on the hills started rising and waving at us frantically. I told the guy to "GO RIGHT!!" as a copter roared overhead. "WHAA?!?!?!" said the driver of the stock Ford pickup. I pointed hard to the right and as he complied, Robbie Gordon comes flying by on our far left, probably 100+ mph faster than our leisurely pace, executing a clean, smooth, if unexpected pass. Not a pebble was heard hitting the pickup, though we were immediately enveloped by a thick, impenetrable, cloud of dust.

[I'd like to digress here: This was just the first of many anecdotes I've seen that show how RG has shown a marked increase in maturity over the past five years.]

Before the dust could clear I had made it CLEAR that we needed to get off that road and into the BFG pit AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. And that Ford took off like a scalded cat!

Maybe even as fast as Greg Foutz!

As I watched the herd approaching through the back window, we flew towards our destination, and when my illustrious pilot saw the BFG trailer he headed straight for it.
Unfortunately, that was not the pit entrance.

With the roar of thunder at a fever pitch,
He hit that ditch like a son of a biatch,
And we were moving on!

He actually had his truck parked before the next TT roared by.
 

nelson979

Well-Known Member
Posts
618
Reaction
72
08 mint 400 we spend 4 hrs broke down and finally got going, after 20 miles we had just decided to pick up the pace and if we broke again then we would just deal with it. out of no where rick johnson passes us like we were standing still and the dust and rocks were so bad we had to pull over for a minute. it was amazing being right in the middle of it though.
 

ML Racer

Well-Known Member
Posts
1,293
Reaction
144
I think it was the 07 Primm 300 when we were in that narley whooped-out, rock sticking out everywhere section, just bucking along when my co-dog Grant says "Don't look now, but we're camera" I look right and there was this helo flying about 50' off the deck so we both "smiled" and waved. Two seconds later, this black truck passes on the right so we waved at Rob Mac as well!!
 

stockprerunner96

Well-Known Member
Posts
112
Reaction
2
08' Snore night race. Cruising through a hoop section, probly round 50-55, I saw a set of lights coming from behind us, so i pulled to the right a bit, and Hutchins flew by us like we were standing still. He passed us in the air, landed on two wheels, but never lifted. Then he was gone. Also at the same race that puckering effect came into play. Good ol Pab caught me coming out of the roughest section of the track. As I turned right and headed up the 1 lane road he was right on my bumper. Me and my co-rider were waving like crazy to let him know we knew he was there. He probably thought we were doing the macarena inside as much as we were flailing our arms around. HAha. Very narrow track with lots of bushes and boulders on the side, i quickly found a spot to pull off at. As I began to pull off I realized that there were boulders and yuckas that i wouldnt be able to stop in time for. I cranked it back on track, sorta cutting Pab off. Then I almost immediately found another spot to turn off at. Got outa his way. As he began to pass, my truck was at such an angle, since the ruts in the track were pretty deep, that it felt like we were on the verge of rolling sideways or sliding back onto the track. The only thing goin thorugh my mind was a small prayer, "dont roll into Pab as hes passing you, taking him out." Haha. He passed cleanly. I kinda felt bad, since I held him up for a bit, but he never hit me, and gave me the opportunity to get outa the way. Twice!! Very respectable. And I believe he still took the overall by a few minutes.
 

Tacochase

Well-Known Member
Posts
276
Reaction
7
I have never been in a race car/truck during a race but I know the feeling you are talking about. Back in the day I used to volunteer to work the race course in MDR and MORE races. Normally I would get a road crossing out in the middle of nowhere. I remember the first race was the MDR 400 in Lucerne. I was located at the northern end of Bessemer mine road. I could see the first class one coming down this long straight towards me. I get on the phone and call my wife so she could hear it go by. She though I was crazy for making the call but I had to share the experience of this car going by wide open through the crossing. There is no other feeling like it in the world! She later has gone to a few races and now understands why I called that day. Some day I hope to experience what you guys are talking about. But for now I will just sit on the side lines and :D every time a racer goes by.
 

randy s

Well-Known Member
Posts
8,333
Reaction
1,723
we start dead last in mexican score races and my biggest fear has always been that robby gordon gets a flat and gets it changed out right after we go by him on a one track section of the course. thank gawd for toyo tires.
 

D Bergstrom

Well-Known Member
Posts
450
Reaction
85
First time I ever got passed by a trophy truck was the first time we raced Vegas to Reno, 2006, the year it started in Alamo (Actually, the only time we ever get caught is Vegas to Reno.) Probably about race mile 400 or so. I was 5th gear pinned on a graded dirt road when I saw some spectators on a small hill to the right with one arm up in the air. I thought it was cool that they were waving me on! About that time I realized that they were pointing. I look over my shoulder and saw Garron Cadiente coming up behind me. Didn't slow down, but got as far over as I could on the road. (It was pretty wide.) At at least made sure I was on the upwind side of the road so I did not get dusted out!

If you guys worry about getting hit by a truck in a car or buggy, try being on a quad! Last year at Vegas to Reno we had almost two hours of downtime due to losing a front sprocket. We got going again and got on the quad at Top Gun to take it to the finish. Before and after Weeks pit, there was no wind what so ever, a truck passed me about half way between Top Gun and Weeks and I was in his dust all the way to Weeks. I was so paranoid someone would be driving by GPS and plow into the back of me, talk about nerve racking.

I will say that every driver that has ever caught and passed me has been very courtious.

Doug
 

Rockenbach

Active Member
Posts
42
Reaction
0
It was in the 2000 Primm 300 and I was racing my class 1 car a Jimco 2000 with a scat v-4 and a top speed of maybe 115 mph. We were running flat out on the old Vegas to LA highway section on our last lap this part of the race coarse is semi paved and is just barely wide enough for 2 cars if we were not hogging the middle of the road. All of a sudden Mark Post blasted by us and scared the %#$@ out of me. He had to drop the left side of his truck off the pavement to get buy. We of coarse were not checking our mirrors at top speed in a class 1 but I guess we should have been. This is of coarse before the class 1's were equipped with big Hp and were not capable of keeping up with the big trucks in the straight away, how times have changed in just a couple of years.

By the way we were not slow and finished 5th Overall beating all the Trophy Trucks that year
 

worcs761

Well-Known Member
Posts
303
Reaction
16
Can Motoheads chime in? Johnny C. lined up at the Honey Lake Worcs Race in 2006 four riders to my right, Class Open A ! Cool. Some of us are out there for a little more practice on Sat. afternoon and looks like JC is too. Soooo, the gate drops and I am four turns in and getting past by JC. What the heck, I gated better then JC! YOWZA. Lets see what I got, so JC goes outside and I dive to the inside rut with two other riders and the three of us pile up into a heap. Dang. Oh well. So, In my brothers van on the way back to the motel I am telling my Bro and Nephew how bad ars I am to gate so well! Telling how I was four turns in and ahead of JC. Blake, my nephew is sitting on a bike stand right behind the motor cover chuckling a little. Still I am thinking I am looking good in this bench race session. Then Blake laughs and says, "Johnny waited for everyone to get off the gate before he left the start line." The kid ruined my not so great story.
 

Huntington Beach

Well-Known Member
Posts
572
Reaction
33
Rob next time make sure your doing 80mph also, The only place a truck should be faster than us buggy dorks is when your going 90+

This was in that really rocky section next to the road before you cross and head for the dry lake.... not a section a 12 car can go flat out in
 
Top