Andy had a flawless day. No flats, no mechanical problems. Neither him nor Brady Thomson ever had to exit the #31 Trick Truck. But… flawless doesn’t mean that there were no obstacles to overcome.
At 6:15AM Andy McMillin is staging. The crew helped to get the #31 Trick Truck to the line but also had to attend to Andy’s sister Jessica driving the #1831 Trick Truck in Sportsman Class. As soon as they walked away, Andy and Brady discovered that they had no two-way radio communication. Unable to fix the problem on the spot they started the race with zero communication to their team.
The first lap or so was dry, but then came the rain. Fortunately Andy was prepared by wearing a poncho over his driving suit. Kind of…since the race truck has no windshield or heating and speeds get into the low triple digits at times. It got cold quick. “But it was nice to pass slower vehicles without the dust” said Andy after the race.
Right before starting the 3rd and final lap the truck’s engine had a hard time revving above the 5500 RPM mark and power was somewhat down. They pulled into the main pit and after some assessment they discovered the problem to be a clogged up air filter. Total pit stop time was around 15 minutes. During the pit Andy was briefed on the overall race progress. He learned that he had a 10 minute lead on the next vehicle in his class. So for the first time, he realized that winning this race was a real possibility.
During the final third lap the pouring rain damaged the intercom between driver and co-driver. Now on top of no outside communication they faced no communication inside the cockpit. “You know what is funny is that it made me go faster” Andy admits with a laugh “Brady had to rely on hand signals to warn me about the dangerous stuff.”
At the finish line Andy was confident on a Trick Truck win but was surprised at taking the overall win.
Jessica’s day was “bumpy” with a roll at around RM1.5 and a consequent radiator failure at RM12 on the second lap. She had a blast in the Teams second Trick Truck that is currently for sale.
Who knows what the future holds but hopefully desert racing will see more of the brother sister team.