SCORE Laughlin Sunday Post-Race Quotes, 1.15.12

January 15, 2012
18th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge
Round 2 of 2012 SCORE Desert Series
January 15, Laughlin, Nevada
Post-race driver quotes – Sunday, January 15
ROB MacCACHREN, No. 20 (First in class and first overall.) – Last year we were close and we ended up second but this year is going to be a great year. Last year we swept both rounds in San Felipe and the shocks have really come a long way over the years and these little shock coolers up on top, that’s our secret weapon for San Felipe. The whoops down there are super rough, a lot like here in Laughlin. There was some great racing today; I can’t wait to do it some more. I went out of here and I knew we had the lead and I was just getting roosted by (Steven Strobel’s) rocks. About the time I decided to back off, he checked up and moved over for me because we were in his mirror. We got by him at about mile two on that lap. We got in front of him and then I just wanted to keep him right behind me. He started pressuring me. The truck was flawless. Yesterday was teeing up to be a great battle with B.J. (Baldwin) and I don’t know what happened. I just probably threw it into a berm too hard and debeaded the tire. Today we made a little adjustment to that to make sure it didn’t happen so we came away with some success.
JUAN CARLOS LOPEZ, No. 18 (Second in class and second overall.) – It was very hard out there; lots of whoopty-doops. It was either too soft or too hard. It was a lot of fun. The truck ran great and we had no problems.
STEVEN STROBEL, No. 94 (Third in class and third overall.) – The course changed as the race went on and we lost some right at the end and I’m not sure what it was. The motor started to go a little bit soft and something in the suspension too, but I’m not sure what. It was chewed up out there today but we came home with a finish and going to San Felipe. Right at the end, Rob (MacCachren) caught us and I didn’t want to hold him up. He was faster than us and caught us through the traffic so we let him by and we chased him on in to the finish line. I didn’t want to hold him up. We weren’t going to be able to get the win so we’re all good. It’s a great way to start the season. We’re going to San Felipe, we’re running for the points and everything counts to get these things across the finish line.
BRENDAN GAUGHAN, No. 12 (Fourth in class and fourth overall.) – I’m having the greatest time. This is probably the best idea for a truck for me to race in again; it is tried and tested. It wasn’t me coming out here trying to figure out what I had to do or what I needed to do. Brian Collins and his crew knew what it should do and I just got to drive. It was fantastic. In talking about pavement racing vs. desert racing, there’s never been an interview that I’ve ever given where I did not say that desert racing was more fun. NASCAR is where the career is at. I don’t care what I do for a living, I will always have a home in the desert and I will always race in the SCORE series as long as I’m capable. Even my dad comes back and races. This is where I’m from and this is where I was born and raised and I couldn’t ask for anything better but to come out and play.
CAMERON STEELE, No. 16 (Fifth in class and fifth overall.) – It would have been pretty easy to not go racing but (co-driver Cody Stuart, who was injured on Saturday) told us to go race. It’s just tragic. We are all out here to have fun. We were looking to come out and just have a good, fun weekend at Laughlin. We didn’t come out to get totally crazy; we came out to run for the SCORE championship and race Class 1 for fun. It’s not fun when somebody gets hurt. We are a big family. Cody and I have been in the truck together since 2005 and we share a lot. We are very close and it is just crushing. Obviously, it is harder for Cody but for us, it is hard. We just love him and we’re praying and hoping for a great recovery. The doctors were really good and he had a good orthopedic surgeon and a good vascular surgeon. We are going to go back and research it and see what can be done to prevent the accident from happening again. We want to do anything we can to keep everybody safe. I’m praying that God is watching over him.
Co-driver Josh Daniel said: It went well but it was really, really rough. We were trying to have a good finish today because Cody hurt his leg yesterday. We tried to keep the truck together and keep it moving along. We did a good job of it, I think. It is a little torn up but not too bad – but it made it. Getting around some of the slower traffic cost us some time. If we are in the top five, I think that is a great finish. No problems today but the rear end was feeling a little loose and we tried to take it easy but the track just got rougher and rougher so I wanted to make sure we didn’t break anything or crash. We hit a couple little hairy bumps but we just tried to keep it straight. This is the new truck that had the transmission blow up on Saturday. It is pretty rare but it does happen. The whole top of the transmission blew off right into (Cody’s) leg. It was like a bomb going off. There was shrapnel in his leg and it was terrible. He just had surgery but he’s going to have to have a lot more. They were worried about getting all the metal out of his leg and worried about infection.
GARY WEYHRICH, No. 98 (Sixth in class and seventh overall.) – We made a shock change and I don’t know if the shock change was wrong or if we started losing our shocks. After a couple of laps the truck went away and after getting third yesterday I just persevered to get points. Considering what I had I was probably lucky to even get it back here. It wasn’t a huge adjustment and I don’t know if the adjustment did it or if it was the track. In some areas I thought the track was worse but some areas weren’t as bad where they graded it. The very top by the school was squared off like hitting ledges. It would push you back in the seat. We’ll get out of here hopefully in the top three in points and go race the long races.
CODY PARKHOUSE, No. 105 (First in class and sixth overall.) – It is a brutal, brutal track today. Everything is more squared off and twice as big – which suits this car well, but it beats you up. We had no issues at all; we ran clean and ran fast. According to our timing, we got (the win), but we’ll have to wait until it is official. Once again, I ran around with my dad for a lap or two and it was fun.
HARLEY LETNER, No. 112 (Second in class and eighth overall.) – It was a flawless run but I had to put a backup motor in after Friday, so it’s a little low on power but what it lacks in power, I make up on suspension. Our crew sets it up so great and it just works great. It was rough out there. Yesterday was a freeway compared to today; today was insane.
BRIAN PARKHOUSE, No. 102 (Fourth in class.) – We had no problems; it was just rough and I couldn’t keep up with the young kids. But we’re right there, probably third or fourth. I was pretty close to Harley (Letner) on splits, but we’ll see how it shakes out. The car worked great and the setup was good. The course got a lot rougher today. We expected that and made some adjustments. We bumped up some of the settings on our shock package and compensated for it pretty well.
CLYDE STACY, No. 114 (Sixth in class.) – Co-driver Jeff Geiser said: The truck ran good and we are fresh out of the box this weekend so we are kind of using this for testing but the 42-inch tires are a little harder on equipment. We got a lot of feedback in the steering and we’ve got more shock work to do. Of course, this is Laughlin so it’s rougher than anything. We are trying to get it ready for San Felipe and go tear it up there. It should definitely be something to be reckoned with but we’ve got to get it dialed in a little more and get more time on it. We broke a wheel yesterday and flipped it twice. We had no problems today; it’s just beating me up.
PETE SOHREN, No. 118 (Seventh in class.) – It was a hell of a drive today. We had some problems all day with the power steering and the motor isn’t running to full song yet. We’ve got a new motor builder and we’re getting him up to speed. It ran a lot better today than yesterday but not enough to win. It (the loss of the power steering) just beats the blood out of underneath your nails. We were just cruising for a few laps and when people started dropping out, we picked it up on the last lap.
CLASS 1/2-1600
ROBERT S. ARCHIBALD, No. 1606 (First in class.) – I started third and I got around the second car on the first lap and then I just tried to reel him in the whole rest of the race. I tried to get more efficient every lap. My shifter is messed up and I couldn’t put it into second gear a few times which cost me some time here and there. I had to set up before the turns to get it into second gear. I would come into a turn hot and I would be in neutral. It has a push down reverse with a spring and it’s broken. I drove the whole race with no reverse. We just adjusted it over so that it wouldn’t be able to go into reverse. I should have taken the time to replace it or do something with it because we tried to fix it and couldn’t do it. That cost me some time for sure but I drove around that issue. I think it is going to be a good season between Cody (Robinson) and me. I’m going to try and run the whole season because I think the two of us can have a good rivalry.
CODY ROBINSON, No. 1601 (Second in class.) – It was a little rougher than yesterday but nothing crazy. It was pretty much the same as yesterday but the straights were whooped out a bit. There is a little more water in the turns but besides that it was about the same. The car ran good but the last two or three laps the clutch started slipping. We had a main seal that was leaking yesterday.
BRAD WILSON, No. 1602 (Third in class.) – Co-driver Justin Munyon said: It was pretty good but it was really hard to stay with the fast single seat guys in a 1700 pound two-seater. We are carrying about 500 more pounds than them. I think this car has better advantage at the Baja 500 and Baja 1000 and that’s where the good points are. We come here and get points and I’m pretty stoked. We ran a good race and I tried to stay with them. We ended up rolling it in a corner but it landed on its wheels. That was the only issue all day. The car ran flawlessly all weekend.
JASON MARKHAM, No. 1607 (Fourth in class.) – Co-driver Jake Wreesman said: Things went very well. This is the first time I’ve driven this car so I just went out there and put the hammer down and we did good. The car drove flawlessly. The course is fun. It’s a little rough in sections compared to practice on Friday but the turns were great and everything was fun. It’s a brand new car for us and I had a blast.
GEORGE PETERS, No. 1610 (Fifth in class.) – Co-driver Ignacio King said: It was a great race and we had a lot of fun. The track is a little bit slippery. We had a little engine trouble getting off of the corners but everything went great. We were with (Brian) Wilson most of the time. It was bumper to bumper and it was a cool race. It is difficult when the mud gets in your face though.
BRIAN WILSON, No. 1604 (Sixth in class.) – Co-driver Kyle Quinn said: We were running pretty good and then every left turn the motor would cut out so we getting caught by everyone in left turns. If you multiply all the left turns by six then there is a lot of lost time. Other than that it was good and we had a lot of fun and we made it around. Last year I only made it two miles. It was a good day. We had the same problem yesterday though it was a little worse and we had our motor guy check it out and did some tweaks on it. It didn’t seem to help too much but at least it wasn’t doing it on the straightaways this time.
DONALD MOSS, No. 300 (First in class.) – The course was a lot tougher and that was by far the closest run we’ve ever had. We had two good days of racing. We traded it back and forth (with Billy Bunch in the No. 349). We actually hit each other. He didn’t see us as we were behind another truck that was faster and was passing and he shot across the track and went right into our right front. We thought he had some problems when he pulled over for a second. Good, fun racing.
BILLY BUNCH, No. 349 (Second in class.) – Co-driver Tareck Karam said: It was fun. (Donald) Moss and I battled it. It was pretty exciting, he got up and I thought we were going to roll him when he smashed right up against us when I didn’t see him while he was trying to make the pass on the last move. I’m just glad he didn’t roll. I hit the brakes and let him pass me because he was in front of us. The car ran great. I would like to run the bump stops but we can’t in Class 3 because they are inside the frame so we had to put the urethanes in which does make a big difference, for us at least.
KEVIN CARR, No. 500 (First in class.) – It’s getting rough out there so what was round yesterday is more square today. A portion of the backstretch near the high school has turned into a big ditch and we hit that pretty hard one time. Nothing fell off and no problems. It’s a good way to start the year.
CLASS 5-1600
ERICH REISEN, No. 551 (First in class.) – It was awesome out there – a lot better than yesterday. We lost our throttle cable on the first two turns yesterday and then we wired it wide open and the engine seized on lap three. Unfortunate, but we did okay today. We ran solid the whole way through. It needs a little tweaking but it was great. We drove from Canada down here so it took us a bit of a run to get it all organized. We worked on it both nights straight through. After yesterday, knowing we were so far behind in the points we needed the win. Our plan is to win the championship. That would be the first Canadian team to win.
CLYDE STACY, No. 552 (Second in class.) – I did one lap in this car and one in the Class 2 car. I’m so sore. My co-pilot is completely down and he’s not able to go so we are going to have a rough time. I think we are going to have our Class 1 car fixed for the next run but we are going to have a rough time driving it because we are both beat up pretty bad. The second wreck (yesterday) was pretty bad when the wheel broke. It’s just pretty tough. Overall we had a great day yesterday. All the guys did well. We had several new cars here. The Class 6 performed great and Eduardo (Laguna) did a good job. Juan (Carlos Lopez) did a super job with the Trophy Truck and he’ll do a good job today as well. We had to put a new motor in the Trophy Truck last night. It was giving out right at the end of the race.
EDUARDO LAGUNA, No. 618 (First in class.) – We found the course to be worse than yesterday. We tried to take care of the car in the first laps and then I saw another Class 6 car behind me so I needed to push a little bit more to gain advantage. It all went well.
DAN CHAMLEE, No. 700 (First in class.) – We were laying down good lap times as long as we weren’t broken. We bent a tie rod on the first lap and had to change it out on the course so we had to take a tire off and change a tie rod and get back going again. It put us down a couple of laps but we knew we could were able to run lap times fast enough that we could make a finish. We figured whatever happened to the guys in front of us, we knew we were going to run them down from two laps, so we just waited for them to both break which they did. It’s kind of like winning a drag race because the other guy red lights. If you laid a good lap time down you really only won because the other guy is out.
ELIAS HANNA, No. 740 (First in class.) – Yesterday, we ran the Class 6. I decided to race the Class 7SX today so I would be able to fight for my third championship in a row. We had fun, but you know it’s Laughlin and the track was rough. We started last and at mile four we passed the first-place truck. We took our pace today. Yesterday was full speed and full throttle. My co-pilot said the course was worse today but I say it was better. The turns were looser but the traction was good. This is my third year in a row winning Laughlin.
RODOLFO IRIBE, No. 839 (First in class.) – It’s another great day. It is a lot of fun. The RPM team has done a wonderful two days of racing. We’re not done yet but we’ve got some good trucks and some good people. The course today is much rougher and there are a lot of square edges which has really taken a toll on everybody. There are some hard hitting bumps out there. Like a sledgehammer. I think the truck ran a little bit better than yesterday. We did a little tweaking and everything is just running good and strong.
MICHAEL LaAPAGLIA, No. 117 (First in class.) – I think something must have broken in the shock because there was a really hard banging during the race from lap two on. It must have taken its toll and broken something in the frame. We struggled with it the whole race but we had to limp it in the last five miles. It’s a good thing we got a big lead early. We tried to put in consistent laps. The track was great and we had great lines. We were able to establish a huge lead so we could have a problem like this and still pull off the win. I’m very happy we were able to do it. We ran in Class 1 yesterday because we wanted to try something different. Originally there were only two or three cars signed up for Class 10 and we come out here to have fun. It’s not all about winning for us and we just wanted to complete in Class 1. Obviously we are a huge disadvantage having only 120 horsepower but we just wanted to have some fun. We were able to race Class 10 today to keep our name up there and make sure we are the baddest Class 10 car in the world still.
PETER HAJAS, No. 1001 (Second in class.) – We had a fun run. We got pulled over for about 15 seconds because our roof latch wouldn’t stay shut. We just had passed two or three guys so we had to pass them again. That hurt us a little bit. The course was definitely rougher than yesterday but not as rough as something like San Felipe. It is a big change day over day but you drive a little harder than during a long race like San Felipe so it’s probably harder on the cars.
MATT CULLEN, No. 1003 (Third in class.) – Co-driver Chuck Sacks said: We lost our power steering halfway through the third lap and it was just a handful from then on to hang onto it. The turning brake was getting stuck on the shifter and we thought we had a flat tire and then I felt the hard brake pedal and realized it was hung up on that so we moved it over. We had to bend it out of the way. We lost all of our power steering halfway through the third lap and it was a handful to take it around from there. Other than that it was working great while the steering was good, but when that steering went away I just couldn’t hold onto it through the rough stuff.
PERRY McNEIL, No. 1002 (Fourth in class.) – I’m racing my Class 12 against a Class 10 so it’s a really small motor but we got second yesterday and we were fortunate. I drove harder today than I did yesterday and I still couldn’t pull off more than fourth. There’s a long straightaway on the course with really soft sand and I’m doing 40 miles per hour and they are doing 60 or 70. There are so many square holes out there that you hit so hard it goes from fourth to neutral. Twice it went from fourth to third, which I wanted to be in anyway. It is so rough today, a lot worse than yesterday.
OTONIEL HUERTA, No. 1205 (First in class.) – It was a really good race with no problems. The track was good. It was a very good race and I had a lot of fun.
BRENT PARKHOUSE, No. 1202 (Second in class.) – Do-driver Brian Burgess said: It went good. We pushed hard. The points championship starts here so we’ve got to be halfway conservative because we need a finish for sure. The course isn’t rough with big holes, it’s just chewed up rough with tall divots and square edges. It’s a good, rough course.
RAFAEL NAVARRO IV, No. 1200 (Third in class.) – Co-driver Vic Bruckman said: We heard a noise twice and I didn’t know what the heck it was and we don’t have a spare on the car or a jack on the car so if the wheel falls off, I’m done. I pulled into the hot pit to have them check it and they said everything was fine. I don’t know if it was and axle or if we were losing a wheel bearing or what, but we heard that noise the whole race. I think we are going for points so we have to finish. We didn’t have much time to prep this car so it’s always going through your head that ‘I forgot this or I forgot that.’
JOE BACAL, No. 862 (First in class.) – This thing is pretty fast. We are getting closer and I tweaked the shocks a little bit. I bent my rear trailing link and it looked like a U-shape yesterday and I know I bent this one. It is what it is. I had to go as fast as I could go. It was a very clean race and that’s what you ask for and hope for. The full-time four-wheel drive helps a little bit for sure but I’m still not running manual mode. It works better when you’ve got the RPMs but automatic mode seemed to work okay but this is the second time in the truck for me. It’s this stock class; you never know what is going to happen. We did not have a very good year last year and we’re hoping to redeem ourselves this year.
ANDY BELL, No. 779 (First in class.) – The first lap – about halfway through – our center support bearing failed. It took 12 minutes to change the driveshaft in the hot pit. Our team was on top of things in there. We are stoked to finish. It was a little scary being about a quarter of the way in and having a major problem.
BILLY WILSON, No. 722 (First in class.) – I had to drive a little harder today but I made it work. No problems whatsoever. Everything worked great. I started first and got passed on the first lap and on the second lap I had to make up time. I ended up catching (Reid Rutherford in the No. 720) and putting about 20 seconds on him. I made up the time everywhere I could.
DEREK FLETCHER, No. 419 (First in class.) – We’re having a really great weekend (with RPM Motorsports). It was my first race in this car and I was pretty nervous but I loved it and it drove great. I raced Stock Mini in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, so this is my second race. It’s my first race in the Class 4 car and it is a lot different than the Stock Mini. Racing for RPM this weekend, I put a lot of pressure on myself; they didn’t put any pressure on me.
MIKE SHAFFER, No. 401 (Second in class.) – Co-driver Shawn Twitchell said: It was a good day. We’ve got a little more suspension tuning that we can do on this car. I took a couple of test laps on Friday and I would say right now that the course is where it was at when we took the test lap. There are some holes showing up with some rough stuff on the back side. It is really soft in a couple of places but all in all a pretty good course this year. We had fun and enjoyed it.
CLYDE STACY, No. 202 (First in class.) – Co-driver Steven Arlia said: Clyde drove one lap and got out at the hot pit and he’s going to spend more time in the truggy today and hopefully more time on the ground than in the air. Things went really well. It was very uneventful out there. The car ran perfect. The course was good and it wasn’t as rough as I figured it would be, so they did some work last night. In the morning, when the sun is low, you don’t see the corner until you are in it. It’s a good thing we know where it is. Until you get into the berm, the berm blocks the sun, and then you can see.