Friday Morning we went to registration early. Contingency and Tech went great… we made it through by 1PM with no issues. From there we headed over to Mama’s cafe for Russell’s favorite, chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and french fries. It was awesome! The restaurant was packed with locals —“We were like the celebrities of Moms cafe!”, joked Jimmy Keys with a big smile on his face. “The people of Pahrump are so genuine, and extremely appreciative to have an event like this in their town”. Everywhere we went the people were asking questions and everyone was smiling—its so cool to be apart of that”.
That afternoon we checked air pressures, topped the fuel and put the navigation system in, did a radio check with our helmets and handhelds, then did a thorough cleaning and once over for all the gear and equipment and headed over to the brand new Holiday Inn Express to turn in for the night.
Saturday AM, we met at the track at 5:30 am. It was 33 degrees outside with frost on the pickups. We unloaded the car – gave it a quick once over and the guys got suited up in their fire suits. We went to staging at the Pahrump Nugget at 6:30 lining up 22nd out of 33 drivers. They left staging at 7:15 and made their way to the start. Russell left the line at 9:15 AM.
Jimmy and Nick high-tailed it to the first pit at mile 28 to beat Russell. By the time Russell drove by pit 1 he had made it to 19th place physically, and had passed 9 cars in 30 miles.
It was very difficult for Nick and Jimmy to get to Pit 2 before Russell — but we made in time to see him drive by and everything looked good.
We went to pit 3 (Mile 78) – Russell radioed that he needed fuel which took us by surprise, we thought he was going to need fuel once at pit 4 and would be able to make it to the end of the race. He was in 10th place physically and in 2nd place overall for corrected time at mile at Mile 75. Russell pulled into pit 3, we dumped in 6 g allons of fuel and he was off again.
At pit 4 we planned to top him off at fuel again. He was 6 miles out and radioed us that he lost high range and he could only run 30 to 40 mph in low range. When he arrived at Pit 4, it was apparent that he had blown a transmission and not having a replacement on hand there nothing we could do.
This was a rough course which demanded a lot— it was very high speed with a lot of rocks everywhere; our new Fuel Off-Road 32” Gripper TRK’s performed great for the 115 miles- which is a great testament to their integrity under extreme rocky conditions.
After a brief conversation, we decided to withdraw the car at mile 115 – to minimize damage as we look to 2019. We loaded everything in the trailer and began our celebrations for all we had accomplished in our first season running against the top pros. It was challenging, and just really fun!
We are so excited for the season coming up. We have had 2 great runs in the last three races, where we have been able to come up from the back and be in contention for the podium. Our focus now is on getting the car to a point were we can keep it in good condition for the whole of the race.
Our crew for the weekend:
Driver- Russell Griffen
Russell’s Navigator – Greg Corckern from ATV Zone
Pit Support/Fuel Guy- Nick Fiveash of Trail Armor
Pit Support- Jimmy Keys
We want to thank each and every one of our sponsors for their expertise and their tireless support… click the links to find out more.
- Dragonfire Racing
- Fuel Offroad UTV
- Double E Racing
- Polaris RZR
- Cognito Motorsports
- Rugged Radios
- Trail Armor