RED BUD, MI MAY 30, 2011 – The entire Midwest has been doused with rain and rivers across the country are ready to break free of their banks. Hidden in the lush landscape of southern Michigan is the legendary Red Bud racing facility that has been similarly saturated. The rain, combined with a brand new short course track set the stage for an extremely muddy start to the 2011 Traxxas TORC Series.
Rain delays caused a continual shifting schedule but the AMSOIL team of Scott Douglas, Chad Hord, Mike Oberg, and Brad Lovell were camped out under awnings and ready to hit the track at a moment’s notice. Pro-4 and Pro-2 were cancelled for Saturday leaving the focus on Lovell in the Pro-Light class. Starting in pole position Lovell slung mud around the track fighting off pressure and breaking free from the pack. He led for half the race until his pace was broken by the mandatory caution. The restart was devastating as fuel problems caused the #44 AMSOIL Nissan to choke on fumes before regaining speed. Unfortunately, the problem was terminal and Brad’s best race yet turned into a DNF. “It was truly a heartbreaker,” said Lovell, “The truck performs a world better than last season but we got bit by a gremlin.”
Additional rain again caused difficulty on Sunday and left the track muddier than the day before. Due to the DNF, Lovell was forced to start 11th. The green flag flew and hundreds of pounds of mud rose into the air. Brad recalls, “The mud was incredible. I was repeatedly blinded and blew through all my tearoffs. I was literally getting buried by mud and had to clear space for my feet to work the pedals. The bone stock BFG Mud-Terrains were the right call and I had great control. Everyone else was sliding around banging into each other and I fought for my line. I have never been part of such a muddy or destructive race.” The #44 AMSOIL Nissan charged the field and was putting pressure on 3rd before mechanical issues again plagued the team. “I’m disappointed with our results but confident we showed the other teams that we are racing for a win, not a mid-pack finish.”
The weather did not hamper spirits as the race had an estimated 8,000 fans show up and TORC worked expertly with track officials to make on the fly adjustments. Lovell concludes, “AMSOIL, BFGoodrich, Torchmate, Nissan, and Spidertrax all had someone on hand to help the team and while our results didn’t reflect their dedication, our newfound speed did. We can fix fuel problems and will only get stronger in the 3 weeks leading up to Crandon.”
The team wishes to thank all the volunteers, supporters, and family who helped at this event. The off-road community is a great bunch and the same people that race against Lovell one weekend are part of the team the next. The Lovell Brothers now regroup in Colorado to prepare for an assault on Crandon June 18th & 19th before a mad dash to Pikes Peak for the 89th running of the Race to the Clouds.