Johnny Angal UTVWC Race Report
2016 Polaris RZR UTV World Championship Race Report
By: Johnny Angal
Well this makes our 22nd desert race and as of late I have not been having much good luck in the RZR. Yes, I know you can’t win them all, so don’t start that shit with me. I’ll be happy with a second place finish once in a while.
So we have been working on our issues so I don’t have to drive like a pussy. Things seem to be getting better but sometimes shit just happens. Like at this race, it was ten 16 mile laps and we started in the second row, with 10 cars per row, 9 rows of cars and each row starting 30 seconds apart.
First row is off the line and we are next off the line. 30 seconds to go. When the flag drops we need to start our cars and go ten wide into the first corner. We hold our line for a bit and we have cars bumping off the left and right of us so I back out of the gas a bit and let them bang it out. I get back into the gas and my car is all over the place! I am running over berms, swerving all over the track and off the first jump into the desert with Boner, my Co-Driver. He is heads up looking thru the dust with me and calling the corners. My car is fast and working great! We start passing people and are getting settled into pace. We come up to the first spot that the race course crosses the highway and Boner tells me “Don’t lift!” I don’t, we fly over the road, land great and get back in the gas. At this point I know we are doing great and in contention to win the grand prize of a brand new $25,000.00 (USD) Polaris RZR Turbo. Even though we are still on the first lap, lol. Anyhow, our first lap is great and second lap is even better!
Now we start passing whom I believe to be the guys in the top 5 of the race. These are the greatest drivers out there, guys like: Sims, Burnett, etc. and I am on fire! Not literally like Marc Burnett, but in a figure of speech. Then all of the freaking sudden going to the last hard turn before the pit area I’m carrying too much speed and the RZR goes up on two wheels. I turn into it trying to steer out of it. Then I think we are going a little too slow so I floor the gas pedal. In my mind I was thinking ‘Those freaking monster trucks start flipping over and they hit the gas and always land back on the tires.’ and guess what happens? Not a freaking thing! We just fell over onto the passenger side of the car. We are laying pretty much across the center of the race course. Boner unbuckles his harnesses and crawls out the front window opening while I just hang there sideways in my seat. I ask him if anybody is around to push, pull or lift us up so I don’t have to waste my time unbuckling and getting out of the car. He says ‘Nope.’ so I unbuckle and climb out. Before I get out of the car I fumble around in the car and find our tow strap so we can hook it up to flip the car over. Well, Boner and I try lifting the car… Nope, that’s not happening. I look over at the camera guy who is about 50 feet away from us and think to myself ‘Hey, how about a hand over here?” We are trying to race and I’m sure he knows we’re not going no place in our current situation. He really doesn’t give a crap and keeps taking pictures.
So you know what I think of next? Not sure how I came up with this while standing on the side of the race course but I’ll just use my ‘Super Human Strength’. Hell yah, my Grandson even calls me “Super Grandpa” every once in a while. I can do this! So I bend over, grab the roll cage and tell Boner to pull on that tow strap that he has hooked up. I am sure the camera guy was laughing his ass off but I had to try. Well I got the car 10-12 inches off the ground before I realized that Stan Lee’s Super Human’s Show was a bunch of bull crap! Well now Boner is waving the tow strap around and nobody is stopping to help us. After about 10 minutes of us watching everybody pass us I see a Best in the Desert Official Truck headed our way. At this point I am thinking there is no way he is going to get to the other side of us to pull us over. Boy was I wrong! He whips his truck around like a pro and within seconds we are climbing back in the car!
We were going so slow I did no real damage to the car but we did slightly bend the window net on Boners side. He couldn’t get it latched and had to hold it closed as we raced around the course on the third lap. We start seeing cars that have succumbed to the harsh desert race course. We pass more racing greats like Matlock, Wilson, etc. etc.
We keep on racing and we are really pushing the car harder than ever before. Everything is great even in the roughest part of the race course known as the ‘Fox Shox Proving Ground’. We are flying! At times we are doubling the big jumps/bumps, everything is perfect as we start to come around for the fourth lap.
I look over towards Wayne Matlock’s car and then I blink and look back. A huge smile breaks out on my face and then Boner sees it. Wayne and his co-driver are broke down in the middle of the race in the Nevada desert with camera men all around. Wait for it… wait for it… they have both dropped their fire suits to their knees and they are both butt naked MOONING Boner and I as we go flying by them. We start cracking up and say ‘Pay back!’ lol. You see, at last year’s Baja 500 I had broken down and I could hear them coming. I was bored so I ran out next to the race course and right after a blind corner I was standing there, bare assed, bent over and mooning them. Anyway, between my mistake of putting the car on the side and some belt issues later on we had a great time racing with our friends. We finished in 7th place out of the 87 other racers.
As always, I would Like to thank my great crew at UTV INC (http://www.UTVINC.com) and our awesome chase crew guys that come out on their own time to help us out!
Could not do it without a great group of sponsors:
Polaris RZR (http://www.polaris.com/en-us/home.aspx)
ITP Tires (http://www.itptires.com/)
Fox Shox (http://www.ridefox.com/)
Lonestar Racing (http://www.lsracing.com/)
UTV INC (http://www.UTVINC.com/)
Wolf Designs (http://wolfdesigns.biz/)
CR Designs and Custom Paint (http://www.crdesigns.com/)
PCI Race Radios (https://www.pciraceradios.com/)
Impact Racing (https://www.impactraceproducts.com/)
Rigid Industries Led Lighting (http://www.rigidindustries.com/)