(June 16, 2017) Shawn Morris Off Road Racing rolled into ERX Motor Park in Elk River, MN, this past weekend for the Twin Cities Takedown, Rounds 3 and 4 of the TORC Off Road Racing Series. ERX Motor Park is in its second year and quickly became a racer and fan favorite because of its multiple elevation changes, high banked corners and unique split lane back stretch. The track also features several different consistencies from hard packed clay to loamy sand, the racing would be fast and action packed.
Saturday dawned with clear skies and warm temperatures. The crew readied the #27 Pro Light for qualifying. Seven Pro Lights entered the track for a five lap qualifying session. When the dust settled and the results were posted the top 6 trucks were all within half a second of each other, the Round 3 race Saturday afternoon would be very close racing.
As the thermometer rose so did the fans excitement, the Pro Light race was about to start. The #27 Pro Light lined up on the outside of the third row next to Kenda Motorsports teammate Chad Rayford. The green flag dropped and 3500 horsepower flew over the start tabletop jump, the race was on. Morris patiently drove the first half of the race looking for fast lines and searching for passing opportunities. The trucks stayed single file until the competition caution at the half way point. When the racing resumed Morris used his track knowledge to methodically work his way through the field. When the checkered flag fell Morris was pressing for second place but was edged out by teammate Rayford, the #27 Pro Light was on the podium for the first time in 2017 with a third place finish.
The team prepped the truck and prepared for Round 4 on Sunday afternoon. As the daybreak came the teams were greeted with dark skies and a weather forecast for severe storms. At approximately 9:00am the forecast became reality when the skies opened up to torrential rains, extreme winds and dramatic lightening. The team quickly secured the pit awning and held on for 20 extremely tense minutes as the storm passed over the track. When the storm abated the crew emerged to survey the damage. Several other race teams had their awnings destroyed, the spotters tower was listing 30 degrees, the spectator bleachers had been throw around from wind and tree limbs were everywhere, the pit area resembled a war zone. No one was hurt, the teams rallied together to help every one access the damage and clean up. The track was now inundated with water and given the totality of the situation the TORC officials elected to cancel the day’s racing and reschedule Round 4 for the fall ERX race September 23-24. The teams loaded up and head home to make repairs.
Next up for Shawn Morris Off Road Racing will be the Rounds 5 and 6 at the epicenter of short-course off-road racing, Crandon International Raceway in Crandon, WI, on June 22 and 23. With less than two weeks to prep the truck and make the repairs from the storm Team Morris will be busy, but will ready to continue the battle for the championship.
We would like to thank the marketing partners of Shawn Morris Off Road Racing for without their support none of this would be possible.
Kenda Tires, AMSOIL, Proformance Diesel and Auto Repair, Method Race Wheels, PAC Springs, NAPA of Loveland, Ten Factory, Jaz Products, Impact Race Products, ATD Transmission, ProPower Engines, Sunoco Fuel.
ABOUT SHAWN MORRIS OFF ROAD
Shawn Morris began his off-road career in the sand dunes of Colorado with his family. While serving in the Marines, Morris became a mechanic and eventually opened his own business in Loveland, CO in 2003. Shortly after he started racing locally in a 1600 buggy. When the drive for more competition struck, he built a Pro Buggy in 2008. In his first full season of Pro Buggy he won the World Championship and the overall Points Championship in 2009. Again looking for a greater challenge, he stepped up into the Pro Light division in 2010. Today, Morris continues to refine his driving skills, and fine tune the race truck