SNORE – King Shocks Battle at Primm – Race Recap
By: Dave Morganthall
(ALL RESULTS AND POSITIONS ARE BASED UPON UNOFFICIAL STANDINGS AT TIME OF WRITING)
The 2015 King Shocks Battle at Primm was the fast paced, high flying, action packed weekend that everyone expects from a season opener. By Sunday afternoon the course had evolved into what the SNORE team could only had hoped for when planning for the event. In total there would be 234 entries, in 18 classes, competing for over $20,000 in cash and prizes.
First on the course throughout the weekend were the 13, 15, and Pre-Run cars. Like a swarm of angry hornets, the drivers wound their engines tight as they crossed the starting line. They buzzed through the corners, pushing the limits of traction and control as they each tried to be the first to take the checkered flag. Top honors for the early classes would go to Emiley Shapiro (1342) and John Morgan (1545). I caught up with Emiley before her race, she sat in 2nd place at the time, and asked how she felt about the car and competition. “Car is running great! I thought we were starting in first, but second isn’t bad”. Well, Emiley, at least that left you with some room for improvement…
Next up were the 9, Stock Bug, and 5/1600 classes. Admittedly the bugs are some of my favorite cars to see take on a race course. Their function over form styling leaves a gear head like me grinning every time one speeds by. The 1158 of Jeremy Hendrickson would gain a position for the day and bring his bug across the line in first place. Saturday’s #1 in class would make an early exit from the day and Jeremy would turn all four laps in 38 seconds shy of an hour. The 9’s were next fastest of the heat, Forest Creasy and his 905 car climbed two positions in their race to the top. There was a slim gap between the top two, 31 seconds behind the 905 was Kurt Davidson, Jr (920), who held on to his second place for spot which he had earned the day before. Rounding out the heat were the 5/1600 class. These souped up classics let it all hang out as they zipped around the track. Raul Solano (554) would fight his way through the field and gain a whopping NINE positions on the day, finishing his five laps in 01:03:18.563 and holding off Brent Shermak (558) who finished a close second.
By the third heat the skies began to assist with the dust control. A light rain settled over the course and blanketed the track with a thin coat of sticky desert mud. Michael “Bud” Ward would claim first place (and $6,000) in the 1 / 2 1600 class, and despite his pre-race concerns managed to keep Fernie Padialla (1632) in his rear view. Before the race Bud said “[the] car’s running great, we just can’t let ‘these guys’ catch us” as he smiled and pointed. After the race Padialla told me “They’re fast! They have a little bit fresher motor than we do, but we’ll get them on the next one.” The class wide competition throughout the weekend maintained a very friendly and supportive tone, as each driver crossed the line they were greeted not only by their friends and family, but by the other racers who rushed up to talk of their on course battle for the podium.
The narrow field of Class 18 left little room for error. These drivers raced hard to hold on to the positions they earned. Beans Davidson (1820) would squeak out the class win over Douglas Arnold (1866), the previous day’s #1. Mark Bass (1844) slipped one to bring home 3rd and Tammie Gubler (1801) would round out the class in 4th.
The rain held off for most of the 4th Heat. Perhaps it was due to the whirlwind of on track activity or maybe it was from all the flag waving at the start line. Whatever the reason, drivers took full advantage of the break between showers to put as much dirt behind them as possible before the skies opened up again. Class 10’s winner, Michael Lapaglia (1038), would hold on to his day one top spot, keeping Richard Glaszczak (1073) in 2nd, while Justin Davis (1085) climbed nine spots to finish 3rd. In the 12 and 3000 Classes it was three drivers that would be shuffled around the top three for the weekend, with Rick Poole (1260) and Aronne Tranvaglia (3048) finishing in first place within their respective classes. After posing for team photos atop his car Aronne said “It was between me and the , he’d pass me and then I’d pass him…but he got a flat so at the end I was just racing myself.” In the 5 Unlimited class there was no shortage of friendly competition, the top three in class held on to their spots throughout the weekend with Zac Resish (535) keeping the rest at bay on his way to the top.
As Heat 5 took to the track, the rain had finally settled over the Primm Valley to stay but the fans held strong as the high flyers took to the course. Kyle Jergensen kept a tight grip on the wheel and brought his 44 machine across the line first, after a weekend of long jumps and broadside landings it was his co-dawg that best described it after the race saying “Man, Kyle just drove the wheels off this thing.” Kevin Thompson (170) would finish in first place in the 1 Unlimited class.
The day was closed out when the 1450 Class took to the track for the 6th and final heat. These weekend warriors are a crowd favorite, and after watching their custom creations blast through anything the track threw at them it’s not difficult to ascertain the reason why. In all there were 38 entries in the “working doors” class, and Dave Hill (1415) would take home the first place prize. After the race Dave said “the rain was great, it kept the dust down so we could see where we were going”. An excited Gregg Zumwalt (1412) crossed the line 3rd and quickly exited his 4-cylinder powered Toyota to congratulate Hill. He said “Just to be able to run with these guys is…awesome! I kept thinking ‘I’m gonna break…’ but just kept going!”
Race Fuel again sponsored the Longest Dike Jump Competition where Jonathan Libby repeated last year’s victory by flying further than the rest of the field. Libby, who traveled all the way from Alaska to race, would jump his car 182 feet to claim the prize.
The underlying theme of the weekend was preparation for the upcoming Mint 400 race, many drivers had already started planning their repairs and upgrades upon their finish. Eric Trondle (1004) said “This was our first run in the car. We have some bugs to work out before the Mint but we’ll be ready.” With little more than a month to go before the racers again take on the Primm Valley, the wrenches will be turning late into the coming nights as the drivers get their machines ready to fly once again.
Many thanks go out to the army of volunteers that helped the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts bring the 2015 Battle at Primm to life, their hard work and dedication kept the course hot and running ahead of schedule throughout the weekend. My deepest gratitude goes to Tom High, Debbie and Bill Burgos, and Vince Bishop for their hospitality and the constant flow of race updates throughout the weekend. Keep up the great work guys and girls, from all of the fans and media alike we thank you for all that you continue to do to keep off road racing alive and well in the Southern Nevada area. Last, but certainly not least, thanks to the race-deZert team for bringing me on board to cover the races.