For immediate press release…
By Elias Vidal
B-F-E, CA – February 6, 2017 - Harley Letner, Chad Cummings and Joe David, all three, young and conspicuous drivers and CHECKERS members, showed why the CHECKERS are considered the top off-road Club in the history of the sport – Number 1 as its Club logo shows.
In only the third event of the 2017 off-road season the Club has garnered podium positions in all three events with the latest showing absolute dominance in BITD’s in Class 1, at February 4, Parker 425 Best in the Desert first major race of the season..
On this weekend, Harley Letner and co-driver Jimmy Hook, sent a warning shot to all contenders by qualifying their car as third overall fastest among Trophy Trucks and other Class 1 buggies. They emerged as the top-guns in Class 1.
From Harley Letner’s tenacious driving style to the never say-die attitude that Joe David and his Sierra Auto Recycling crew put on, this weekend’s effort can be taken as a clinic by those who think just because something goes wrong or breaks, that it can’t be fixed. Not true, not when you are a CHECKERS at least. Not only did Joe David made the start, looking for parts and then fixing the Sierra Auto Recycling Jimco (LS7 engine), and with co-drivers Warren Cooper and Johnny McCall, but finishing among the top three.
If that was not enough to show the tenacity of the Club, squeezed in between them in second place, was Chad Cummings who brought his car to BITD with two hours to go before the start of the race, so as to get it tech’ed, in time after pull an all-nighter with mechanical woes.
The 42-year-old CHECKERS OFF-ROAD Club that has basically dominated races in both Mexico and the U.S. has gone through major changes in the past few years with “New Blood” and new hot-shoes joining the long-standing tradition of the winningest club in the sport.
Still, some of the same old “desert rats” that have seen the sport grown from garage one-offs, through Baja Bugs and trucks, are now helping the youngsters, not so much with the new technology of the sport but with the nature sand secrets of racing off-road--like learning the ins and outs of long distance off-road racing -- a totally unique experience like no other. This shows the great tradition that the CHECKERS have forged now 42 years after, always instilling to its younger members: Perseverance is what gets it done…
Harley Letner (Alpha 2006) – Youtheory (The nutritional supplements giant), CHECKERS, made it all happen with a steady run that at one time had Letner/Hook/Gainart in the physical Overall lead, including over the highly touted Trophy Trucks. In the end a power steering pump made them pit long enough to allow the top two vehicles to get past him. After that it was just holding to the Class 1 lead and the 10th Overall vehicle Spots.
The guy who didn’t sleep much the night before while wrenching and then had a monkey wrench thrown at him late Friday was Chad Cummings – Spectrum – (Viper V10, KC Hilites, Transwest,, Maxwell Racing Engines, BP Air, Finish Line Grafix, BFG, King Shocks, CHECKERS). Chad got word that his best friend, Rick’s (car owner), mother had passed away. Needless to say he was about to pull the car off the start when he was given the green light to go ahead and “make it happen” as solo driver. Make it he did as even though the team had to pull an all-nighter with power steering issues and break light matters, they stayed consistent, never pushing too hard but hard enough to keep all challengers behind. Even on the last lap the CHECKERS pit caught a missing CV boot that was quickly replaced, lost a bit of time, but still managed to bring the car in second place.
Rounding out the top three in Class 1 and the top three in the CHECKERS roster, was Joe David, who father Tom Koch was listed as co-driver, but it appears that the old CHECKERS “rocket” knew that he had a thing going when Joe David established himself solidly among the top guns in Class, swapping first to third spots. Even after a transmission pump failed, broke a couple of fingers off the torque converter, got a converter from Butch Dean’s Valley Performance shop late Friday, they made it to the start, albeit last car to start in Class. They moved through the pack quite well and on the last lap they looked to be firmly fighting for first in class when a steering pump “took a dump.” Twenty minutes later Koch and crew showed up changed it and off Joe went to finish solidly in third place.
No victory is sweeter than when you go through all the setbacks that these guys went through. But like the old tradition of the CHECKERS OFF-ROAD CLUB says, you take it as they come and then “MAKE IT HAPPEN.” No wonder the CHECKERS are considered “Numero Uno” in the sport.
For more details of the CHECKERS finishers and excellent records so far in 2017, visit: www.checkersoff-road.com