Two races = two wins.
When TJ Flores made his debut into the Trophy Truck ranks, he made a clear and simple statement: “We’re here to win. Getting a chance of a lifetime like this is more than a dream come true,” said Flores in a pre-race interview. “Right now we’re just getting some much needed seat time in the truck. We’re running these smaller races just so I can see how far I can push it, play with the set up, and get our program together. I’ve seen these guys in Trophy Truck charge hard and slam their trucks in qualifying. I want to be confident enough to do the same when we have to.”
TJ and team owner/ co-driver Stephanie Reynolds took the win in their heat on both days securing the Unlimited Truck as well as the overall win. “I couldn’t be happier,” said Ms. Reynolds. “We’re just getting our program together. It’s great to have a chance to work on our communication before we get out there with the big boys. TJ is a great driver and asset to our team. Next year we are going full on into BITD.”
Vic Bruckmann put on a dominating performance in class 12 taking the win in the class and 1st in Heat 3 on both days. “It great we went two for two this weekend,” said Bruckmann. “We finally got this car running fast and it’s a blast to drive. It looks like we were fast enough for 3rd overall on the weekend, so we’re real happy for our weekend.”
The best race of the weekend would be between Jason Coleman and Blaine Conrad. Only 26 seconds separated them after day 1’s heat race but the race on day 2 was something to be seen as Blaine lead Colman for 5 of the 6 laps and at one point had 20 seconds on Coleman. An uncharacterized mistake by Blaine let Colman by and on to the win. “Blaine got the jump on me off the start, but I was able to pace off him most of the race,” said Coleman at the finish of day 2. “I was able to put the pressure towards the end and biked it and I got by.” “This win should put us up there for the overall points so we’re going to fight for it at the next race and hopefully get the championship.”
“I had 20 seconds on him at one point but I wasn’t able to put any more time on him.” Said Blaine. “It was some great racing though, there may have been a low car count but this was as intense as any race could be.”
SNORE did their best in pulling off a great event despite having to change their venue at such a late date. Battling for access to our lands has become the hardest part for the promoters of off-road racing. The two-day multi heat format that is becoming a familiar occurrence seems to be taking over in place of the traditional open desert race. While it seems to keep the powers that control and regulate our public lands happy; it isn’t what we love about the sport we grew up with.
Gone are the days of going out to find a good camping spot near the race course, setting tents up for the night, bbq’s, beer and a race stories with friends under the desert sky and waking in the morning to see our favorite drivers race across the desert.
Somewhere along the way we were told that it’s no longer safe for us to enjoy life this way, and that it’s too dangerous to be responsible for ourselves. Somewhere in there, we bought that load of crap and now let others decide for us.
This style of racing will eventually change the sport to the point where we won’t be bracing in the desert at all as courses get smaller and smaller to the point where it will live on private, groomed, fenced in tracks.
Wait we have that already..
Words and photos by Art Eugenio