My Superlite Race Report - LOORRS!

450grl

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As some of you know, I was given an incredible opportunity this past weekend at the Lucas Oil Off Road Race Series, held in Surprise, AZ. After talking with Mike DeFord at BullyDog Technologies off and on since last year, I was offered a last minute, opportunity of a lifetime to not only drive, but RACE one of the coolest little short course race trucks out there - the Full Potential Superlite that is available through Speed Technologies. These little trucks are pretty light, have great suspension, and are powered by a 200HP Mazda rotary engine, which gives them a very unique powerband, similar to a two-stroke motor.

My race weekend began early Friday morning, as I headed out to Speedworld with our race rig while Jason (my hubby!) stayed at the shop to take care of the days work load. He would be heading out Friday night, leaving me to practice and qualify on my own (which is what we did most of last year, as well.)

The final decision to put me in a Superlite was done at the last minute, so even drivng out there I wasn't sure if it would happen or not. When I saw Mike heading over to me after my UTV practice, I knew that this was the weekend! We quickly got registered for the Superlite class, but would not get to practice before qualifiers due to time restraints with the truck.

So, the very first time I sat my rear end into that cool little black and yellow Xtreme Diesel Performance sponsored truck was when I was strapping in for qualifying on Friday afternoon!

Now, just to give a background on my offroad racing career...I began racing MX in 2001 (and still do so, actually). I started racing UTV's at the end of 2006, and also continue to do so. I have never driven a buggy, sandcar, or offroad truck except for Jimmy Weitzel's pre-runner (thank you Jimmy!) once in the desert. I can drive a stick shift, which is good - because the Superlites have a 4-speed, Mendeola transmission with a nice, short little throw. Since I normally race a fully automatic, 4-wheel drive UTV there was definitely a learning curve that I had to overcome to be comfortable once again in a manual two-wheel drive vehicle (actually, since this weekend's race, I have decided to race in two-wheel drive as much as possible in my UTV just to get used to rear wheel handling!).

So, as I am heading through the pits to staging, I am paying attention to the dash layout, the pedal configuation, the shift pattern, the outer body width and the steering feel. I also met my spotter for the day, Chad, just before heading out to the track....and I was happy to have his friendly voice on the radio with me. We were only in staging a short time before they sent us all out on the track, and thus began my crash course (no pun intended) in how to drive a race truck! With plenty of water on the track, my first challenge was to keep the truck straight on acceleration! With the rotary motor, the power comes on quick and just HAVING more than 62HP was a huge difference for me! :) 4 laps goes REAL quick, and by the time we pulled off, I felt like I hadn't even begun to learn my truck.....but I was already hooked!

Saturday morning came, and my weekend suddenly got very busy. Double classing can be tricky, but fortunately my UTV and Superlite races were spaced out really well, so there wasn't too much running around and freaking out. For Sat am practice, I once again used those precious few laps to learn the truck, and this time I even practiced powering out of the corners and finding some good lines through the whoops. My Superlite was great in the corners - it's low and wide stance was assuring, and it was awesome through those moguls! Jumping it on the big jumps was like floating in air, and I learned I could pre-load the suspension to keep the front end down....I never even felt the landings, and it made me want to hit the jumps as hard as I could on every lap! What racer doesn't love hangtime??!

In between my heat races and practice session, I got to know some of the race support crew and had a great time talking to the guys who were prepping my truck and making it run and look great for every appearance on the track. Everyone I talked to was really nice and very patient with my questions about the truck; Chuck Dempsey gave me a number of pointers on the trucks and how they handle, as well as some tips on how to keep in the power and take the corners. Alan Pflueger stopped by a couple of times to see how things were going and to give me race and line tips as well - and Rob Naughton always lets me pick his brain...he's never too busy to help a girl out! I even had results and lap times hand delivered to me at the Weller Racing pits after each event! The Superlite class seems to be a great group of racers, and you can tell that this class is serious about being a permanent fixture in shortcourse racing - it's great to see LOORRS giving these guys their own field for every race!

Now, Saturday's Superlite Main and my first race EVER in a truck was at hand, in front of a packed house, to boot! I had my hubby on the radio as my spotter, but due to some radio issues I could only hear him - I couldn't talk back (he probably prefers it that way!:D)....the truck was running great, and I was ready to give it a shot! It was now or never, I told myself. This is what I had been waiting for for a long time, so it was time to do my best with the very limited amount of seat time I had gotten so far!

As we staged, they put me on the pole - and had I not been racing short course for a while beforehand, it might have made me nervous, but it was just like my UTV races.....I knew I controlled the field after the pace truck pulled off, and I kept my eyes peeled for that green flag. Suddenly, rounding the big sweeper, I heard engines rev and several trucks flew past me - but there had been NO green flag thrown yet! (And I thought us UTV guys were jumpy - lol! ;) ) "NO GREEN! NO GREEN!" shouted my husband, and the tower flagged us back in formation for a restart. This meant I had one more pace lap to find a good line through the wet track. Usually I get frustrated with an added pace lap, but today I didn't mind at all!

Here we go again.....this time everyone stayed tight and waited....and waited........and...."GREEN! GREEN! GREEN!" through my radio, and I shifted into second and did my best to keep my rear from fishtailing from the acceleration and slippery track! Out in front and in the clear, I just focused on getting through each corner as fast and as clean as I could. Trying not to bog it too much, finding the right gear into and out of the corners, staying/getting straight for the jumps, and finding a fast path through those moguls took up all of my concentration for those 14 laps. Throw in avoiding wrecks all around me, trying not to slide into anyone and trying not to be slid into - and I had myself my very first, real offroad truck racing experience!

Even if my outgoing radio had been working, I was so busy shifting, steering (had to steer with both hands.....girlie arms, I guess!), and tearing tearoffs that I didn't have time to push the talk button anyway! I led for the first two laps, as our class got themselves sorted out behind me, and the faster drivers made their way through the inverted field. Once trucks started to make it around me, a lot of things happened....I learned a few new lines, claimed a few lines of my own (sorry about that nerf bar!), and was far too close to the truck that flipped end over end in the mogul section.....not sure how I squeezed past that one! I hope the driver of that truck is ok.....they pulled us all off into the hotpits to wait for him to get loaded into the ambulance.

As we waited to get back on the track, the LOORRS track crew came through making sure we all had plenty of cold water to drink - a gesture that I think was VERY much appreciated by us all. Sometimes it's the little things like that that really sets a series apart from the rest......

Once the track was cleared, we were led back out for two more laps by the pace truck.....I counted the trucks ahead of me, and I was in 4th place at that time. However, one of the trucks was a lap down, which actually put me into 3rd on the pace lap. When the green flag came out for the last time that day, the two lap race to the checkers was on, and it was frantic!

As I raced down the front stretch which began our last lap, I felt my rear end slip out in a wet patch just as another truck and I launched the front table - this sent me sideways in the air, and my truck made contact with the other truck in midair, forcing my truck straight again, and sending the other truck a bit sideways.....both of us recovered and kept the pedal down as the whole field headed for the checkered flag.

As I came around the long sweeper, I could see the packed stands cheering us on, and it was a great feeling!! "Great job, Corry!" my hubby said through my radio, and I couldn't stop smiling all the way to the Speed Technologies pit! I took 4th place that day, and accomplished my own personal goal of finishing in the top 5.

Since this is already a REALLY long post, I will keep Sunday's race short and sweet:

MUD SUCKS
TEAROFFS ARE IMPORTANT
LET'S JUST TALK ABOUT SATURDAY​

Despite what it may have looked like on Sunday, by the last 4 laps I was actually getting comfortable shifting all the way through the corners and really having fun with the way the truck felt and handled for the most part. I imagine that when I first started racing my Rhino, it was much the same....you start out focusing on just the functionality of the vehicle that you are learning - and then at some point you are so comfortable with what you are doing, that it becomes second nature. At that point, you can focus entirely on the race at hand.....pushing yourself and your vehicle to it's limits, strategizing your corners, out-maneuvering your competition, etc....

Anyway, I can only thank everyone again for the opportunity that was given to me, to not only get behind the wheel of an entirely new machine, but to be briefly a part of a great new LOORRS class that is truly a driver's class. When everything is the same, and there are no mechanical advantages over anyone else, it's purely a competition of who is the best driver out there.

And thanks to everyone on RDC who has cheered me on and wished me luck - you guys are the best, and I'm so honored to be a part of such a great online as well as offroad community!!
 

ML Racer

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Great job, great post and will we be seeing you in the truck again?
 

450grl

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You read all of that?? :D I'm impressed!

Oh wow....I don't know...... I would love the chance to do it again and get some real seat time, but whether or not that is possible or realistic.....I really don't know? My Rhino would get jealous if it knew I loved that little black truck, though! ;)
 

dan200

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You read all of that?? :D I'm impressed!

Oh wow....I don't know...... I would love the chance to do it again and get some real seat time, but whether or not that is possible or realistic.....I really don't know? My Rhino would get jealous if it knew I loved that little black truck, though! ;)

We watched you all weekend. It was easy to see you progress through learning the truck on the track. You seemed better and better after each turn. After that little tap in the air the guy next to me in the stands says "those dudes just got so lucky, they almost crashed bad"

I corrected him.

"Thats a girl in the black and yellow truck":p

"Really?":confused:

"Yep":p

"cool":cool:

I agreed.

You put on a good show and seemed to have the best line thru the rhythm section. If ya are gonna keep cheating on your UTV we wont tell.

Gas On CW!!!
 

ML Racer

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I see a screen name change in the future........

"SuperliteGirl"
 

OffroadExit

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My psychic says there is a superlite in your future Corry! Had fun watching you and interviewing you this weekend! See you on the podium at Elsinore!
 

07FJRog

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Good Job Cory, and what a great oppourtunity for ya, hope the best for you in SL.


Rog
 

baja619

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cbrdoll

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Wow...super read!....almost felt like I was there!!! thanks for taking the time to share your exciting story...and Congrats! :)
 

racerxx35

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Great Job!!
I have seen you at the CORR races, I race a pro light 35.
Keep up the good work like to see you guys move into the next level.

Javier
 

450grl

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Thanks so much, Javier!! I'd like to see that too....! ;)
 

diirk

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That was a great write-up. It would make an excellent piece in Dirt Sports, especially for those looking to get into short course racing.
 

Chris Tobin

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Hey Corry,

I guess I better watch out... you might be taking some work from me with that writing!!!

Good job in the truck and behind the keyboard!!!

CT
 

DUNE DUMMY # 29

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Great job on the report Corry, not only are you a great driver now you are a reporter too. When your driving days are over you can be an announcer or reporter. I hope you get more opportunities in a superlite. You deserve a ride in a top machine. You have entertained & thrilled us in the Rhino now you can do it in a Superlite.
 

450grl

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Thank you guys so much for the kind words!! Hugs all around!! :D
 
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