Las Vegas, NV
Rounds 13 and 14 of the Lucas Oil Off-road Racing Series, Billed as the “LoanMart, Fight under the Lights,” lived up to expectations for the drivers and the fans. The track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a tough one filled with huge jumps and tight, flat corners making it difficult to pass.
Alumi Craft racers got a little taste of everything this race including a wire-to-wire win for Stronghold Motorsports / Monster Energy driver Cameron Steele in round 13. He was followed closely by Geoffrey Cooley the entire race resulting in a one-two finish for Alumi Craft.
With a clear track ahead, the two were unstoppable. This was Steele’s second victory of the season and his sixth trip to the podium. In round 14, he was racing for the lead when he got tangled up with Cody Freeman. Undeterred, he battled on for another podium, his seventh, finishing in third place. Steele was quick to credit his Alumi Craft Pro Buggy, which he describes as “badass” and his crew members Shawn and Matt for their hard work.
Geoffrey Cooley’s second place finish adds to his impressive tally of four podiums in this his rookie season in a Pro Buggy. He was ready to go in round 14 after the run-away success he and Cameron had the night before. He got a great start and was in a solid second place when on lap 4 he was hit, allowing two cars to get by. The next few laps, the car was going in and out of limp mode costing him even more track position.
On lap 9, he was on the outside going into turn three; taking the high line to stay clear. Another driver went straight through the corner slamming him hard in the side and sending him straight into the wall. The hit seemed both uncalled for and avoidable. The crew was understandably upset when they examined the damage and pile of broken parts after the race.
“There is always going to be a little bumping and aggressive driving out there but this was ridiculous,” said Geoffrey’s father John, an accomplished racer himself, “With open wheel cars you have to be in control and show some respect to the other drivers. That’s what we expect from Geoffrey when he’s in the car and he’s done a great job driving aggressive but in control all season.”
Alumi Craft racers Geoffrey Cooley and Dave Mason Jr. each had new graphics on their cars for this race. Competitive Metals owner Greg Parker, who sponsors both drivers in addition to Pro Lite racer Justin “Bean” Smith, had the idea to wrap both cars with graphics supporting Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan.
Geoffrey’s car was the only Pro Buggy invited to the exhibit held on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas Thursday night. In an un-official poll of the fans in attendance, the Romney car got an overwhelmingly positive response. One of the fans impressed with the new graphics was former Governor and Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin who was in attendance at the race. “It was a lot of fun,” said John Cooley, “We got about a 90% thumbs up from the fans. We knew it might be a little controversial, some people dislike politics but we felt in our hearts that we should make a statement. It was encouraging to see a huge majority of the public on Fremont Street felt the same way we do.”
The crew will hard at work getting the cars ready for the last round of the season at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix on October 27th. With the season and the points race coming to an end, it’s going to be exciting!
Photography By Brian Binkert
Bink Designs – www.binkdesigns.com
About Alumi Craft
Alumi Craft is the premier racecar chassis manufacturer in the off road industry. Crafting cars from lengths of 4130 Chromoly tubing is our specialty. We offer a variety of vehicles to accommodate the professional off road racer to the recreational driver. For the past five years, Alumi Craft has claimed Four Pro Buggy championships and Three Super Buggy Championship in Short Course. The drivers who aided Alumi Craft in achieving the repeat are Rob MacCachren, Chuck Cheek, Cameron Steele, CJ Greaves Mike Porter and Mitchell DeJong.
For more information on Alumi Craft Race Cars check out www.alumicraft.info
About Bink Designs
Bink Designs is a premier graphic design company located in San Diego. Since 2003, we have been committed to providing cost-effective solutions to our clients’ high-end graphic needs. Whether you want to create, maintain, or revamp your corporate identity, Bink Designs will work with you to develop a strategy that matches your goals. Bink Designs offers a number of services, including: Identity, Print Design, Vinyl Graphics, Web Design, Photography and Apparel.
For more information on Bink Designs see www.binkdesigns.com