It was a successful turn out for the 2014 SNORE McKenzie’s Rage at the River. Over 200 entries would see classes racing bumper-to-bumper and door-to-door just to make a pass. The final year of the race had many drivers looking to wrap up championships and even looking to claim their first race of the year. The 2 days of racing provided just that and much more and lead positions would change numerous times only to leave drivers finishing races just seconds apart from one another.
Justin “Bean” Smith took on the challenge of racing in two premier classes, 1600 and Unlimited Truck. Smith is no stranger to racing in many different classes, but when the opportunity provided its self for him to race in the #58 Graf Racing Unlimited Truck, he didn’t hesitate to jump right into the drivers seat.
“After we wrapped up the Henderson 250 two weeks ago, we decided that Rage At The River would provide some great seat time for Graf. But when Graf realized he had prior obligations, he offered me to race and get some seat time in the truck myself,” stated Smith.
The plan of taking it easy on the truck went right out the window when Smith qualified in first for Saturdays race. This gave Smith the prime opportunity to be out of the dust. Smith held his lead in front of Olliges and Knuckles on the first lap, but Knuckles raced harder and made up just minor seconds on Smith by the 4th lap. Once Bean set out on his 5th and final lap he made his time back up and finished Saturdays race just ten seconds over Knuckles.
Sundays race for the Unlimited Trucks would see Smith starting out front again but it would be Knuckles with a two second lead on the first-second lap. Once Smith set out on his 3rd lap, he would spot Knuckles on the side of the course and out of the race. Knowing now he had Olliges behind him ready for Smith to make a mistake and take over the lead, Smith backed down on speed to be sure he didn’t break or make any mistakes. This is just what Smith needed to do as he finished Sundays race. Smith won both days in Unlimited Truck and took home the overall win as well.
“No issues, no flats on our BFGoodrich Tires and not having to wrench on the truck at all throughout the weekend is what made this race even better. I want to thank Tracy Graf for the opportunity and SNORE for another great race,” said Smith at the finish.
The 1450 class is always one that provides great racing and with 38 trucks lining up at the start it was bound to be one worth watching. Saturdays 4 lap race had numerous trucks competing for the win, but it would be Jake Povey and Dustin Hellstrom in the #1451 truck that would take the win by 1min 40sec. When lining up for Sundays race, Povey was prepared to keep his lead, yet drive cautiously on the now rougher course. However luck would not be on his side when a rock would knock an oil line loose and Povey would end up having to stop the race. This gave Vincent Munoz the lead and win for Sunday ultimately the overall win for the weekend.
It was no shock to anyone that the 1600 class had nearly 40 entries and was just as competitive as the Unlimited Truck and 1450 races. Justin “Bean” Smith ran the #1619 Competitive Metals car and with some carburetor issues, he wasn’t even sure if we would make a top finish. During Saturdays race he didn’t stop as he was still facing issues with the car, but on lap 3 the issue would stop and Smith made his way from 7th place all the way to 1st with only a 2 second lead over tough competitor, Curt Geer.
Sunday would see Smith taking the hole shot of the race and with a 9 second lead Smith would have to pull off the course as the damage to his car was not fixable. This gave many competitors the opportunity to step up and take the win. With a clean race that is just what Bud Ward did in the #1673 car. Just behind Ward would be Padilla then Geer to round out the top 3 finishers for the weekends race.
Kevin Thompson would take home the overall win for the weekend in the 1-Unlimited class and other overall winners for the weekend would include Clint Braun in Class 9, Richard Glaszczak in Class 10, Matt Ferrato in Class 12, Tori Poole in Class 13 and Travis Howard in Class 15.
For more results visit Snore-Racing.
Photography by Jenn Hellstrom