Texas Desert Racing Association 2017 Twin 150's, Notress, TX
On the last weekend in April, members of the Texas Desert Racing Association gathered at their familiar battleground west of Odessa Texas near the small town of Notrees. It was time once again for one of our favorite races, the Twin 150s. TDRA has been putting on races here for 7 years and this year marks the third running of this race. The 48-mile loop near Notrees, TX is one of a couple tracks TDRA uses and the course design allows racers to have two pit areas about 19 race miles apart while allowing pit crew access to both by simply crossing the road. TDRA prides itself on ensuring there is racing for years to come with our sustainable model: working with landowners to ensure the land is well cared for and track access is controlled to ensure spectator safety and limit racer liability.
The action started in Notrees on Thursday with several TDRA members coming out early to ensure the 48-mile loop was marked in both directions. This is one of the most unique races in the country in that the 300-mile race is held in two parts: 150 miles in the morning then 150 miles in the afternoon running the opposite direction. It makes for a LOT of course marking, but it makes for some very exciting racing! In fact, this is such a unique concept that other racing organizations are attempting to copy the format.
The race was started bright and early Saturday morning as the first vehicle was off the line at 7am. Racers pushed hard to cover the first 150 miles as their finishing positions in the first race determined their starting positions for the second race of the day, regardless of class. This ensured that a car in the air cooled class that pushed hard to get around a heavy metal or water cooled class vehicle would keep that hard fought position. A few vehicles took full advantage of the break between races while the bikes raced to make repairs and ensure their vehicles would be in top shape to get around the course for the second race of the day.
The afternoon race started in dramatic fashion with just a little sleet as the green flag was dropped. Adding to the excitement was the #98 unlimited class car driven by Josh Hess. In an amazing show of driving talent he showed the entire crowd at the start the underside of the car and somehow managed to bring the tires back down on the ground without getting upside down. He even managed to get some great in-car footage, check out our Facebook page for an intense ride-a-long!
After battling each other all day, Carl Langerhans (#486) managed to edge out the #1558 car of Dean Van Dam for the win. Rodney Madden (#4848) finished off the podium for the unlimited class. In another show of amazing driving, the #1122 car of BG Clark grabbed the top spot not only in the water-cooled class but also the overall win! Not far behind him was Allen Englebert (#1073) who …. The #1061 car (Race Ritchie) managed to overcome an eventful day to finish off the podium after a small electrical fire and two rollovers!
Our air cooled class is made up of a close knit group of racers/family, but they are also very competitive! At this race, Steven Sonnenberg managed to nab the #1 spot in his #1129 car. Not far behind him were long-time Texas racers #1651 of Billy Dobbs followed by Dale Hodges in his #1201 car.
In the heavy metal class, Erin Hames put together a solid day to hang onto the top spot in her #1759. Josh Steel, who did a lot of work to his truck ready after a tough crash last race, grabbed second in his #772 Toyota. For the second race in a row, Rocky Hess piloted his 1996 Nissan Pathfinder to an impressive 3rd place finish.
In the UTV Class Tom St. Peter piloted his Polaris to the top spot and second overall for the day, newcomer Michael Delgadillo took second, and the winner of the never give up award goes to Twent who had to run from the course to the pits more than once for parts, but managed to ink out a finish and third place.
It was an exciting day of racing for all involved and the racers, TDRA staff, and all the spectators owe a very heartfelt thanks to the volunteers who make it possible. Without their help with course setup/cleanup, vehicle recovery, crowd control, race operations and countless other tasks we would not be able to experience one of the most awesome motorsports on the planet. We would like to thank John Mitchell and Clayton Smith for their help with coursemarking, Michael Contreras, Corey Smith, and Steve Houak for their help with recovery and on site welding! All of the racers who helped setup the crowd fencing and pits, all of the spectators and racers for keeping the pits and ranch clean, and finally Race Ritchie, Jeff, Jake, and Josh for their help with course cleanup, tech inspection, and their tremendous support of TDRA. Looking forward to seeing everyone in July! More info on the Texana 180 below!