Sorry for the long read but here is our story.
Team 736’s race recap
Race prep started weeks ago. The buggy was in bad shape after spending a week out at KOH. We tore down and started repairing and reworking everything we thought might be a problem in the future. I was in the shop until midnight or later every day for 3 weeks after work. And got all the help I could get on the weekends from my co-driver and friends. Long hours and great friends got Mike and I to the starting line.
Wednesday before the race, I got a call from Timmay (LII) saying that he wanted to help me finish race prep. I couldn’t turn down a master fabricator coming to my shop to help me finish the buggy. Thursday after work, Mike (co-driver) finished wiring the buggy and as he left Tim showed up. We went over the To-Do list on the wall. Tim crossed out everything that wasn’t important and we got to work. We both worked quickly and deemed the buggy ready at 2 am and got some much needed sleep.
Friday morning we got up loaded the buggy on the goose and went to pick up the LII buggy in the middle of nowhere, where the Buffalo was getting worked on. Needless to say, our trip to Rausch was a story in itself. It consisted of detour after detour and crazy rednecks asking us 100 questions about the buggies when we were loading the LII buggy. But finally we got to Rausch, unloaded and got in the buggies and started to pre-run.
Tim and I headed out for our first lab of pre-running. Taking it easy and looking over the rock sections. Tim ended up pulling Will (heavy metal concepts) out of the mud and I blew a tire. I took care of the tire problem and we got ready to head out for another lap. Now with 25psi in the front and 20 in the rear. The second lap went great. Mike and I found our groove and knew the pace we needed to run during the race.
Saturday came and we lined up next to one of the Line Mt. boys with a race fuel powered V8. Smiley and Miller where both behind us, so we knew our little 4.0L was out gunned. I joked to Mike over the radio that I was going to take this 500+hp Line Mt. rig off the line. He laughed and said, “ya, good luck with that.” We pulled up to the line. I revved up to 3K and took off. The Line Mt. rig stalled and we took him off the line. :barf: :laughing:
The first two laps were uneventful. We managed to pass a bunch of rigs both at speed and broken down. Miller passed us doing a wheelie up a hill climb and we just shook our heads. Both laps were 33 minutes. A great pace. We pitted quick to top off on fuel and look over a couple things and got back on track. We were paced very well so push a bit harder and launched the buggy a couple times and all of a sudden the buggy was bottoming hard in the rear. One dual rate was stuck all the way up. We now had 4” of travel in the rear and not 10”. Our bodies were in for a beating the rest of the race. Right as we got to the bottom of the big messy hill climb the motor went into limp mode. We had no power to get up the hill. We were forced to winch. We ended up pulling over later and cleaned the air filter in a muddy puddle. The HMC crew has video of it. :laughing: We got on our way again but the motor was still dying. We stopped again, pulled the distributor cap to see if it had water in it. But it was dry. We cut power to the computer and started the buggy up. We were back to full power. YESSS. At this point we started pushing harder because we wanted to make up time. Now to the 4th lap. Uneventful until we got to the muddy hill climb again. I slid sideways and wedged myself on a stump. What seemed to be hours later, we were free. Again we pressed on. With the motor going in and out of limp mode we headed through our 5th and final lap. We were the only ones on the course at this point. We got within one mile of the finish line and we completely lost the electrical system. :mad3: Ended up finding a battery connection that feel off and we made it to the finish line. Matt waved the checkered flag and gave us the thumbs up. Mike and I were screaming. 5 hours and 6 minutes later we came across the line 10th. We had completed our first RCrocs race. Frozen and in extreme back pain we jumped into the truck and raced to the hotel so we didn't get hypothermia.:laughing:
Talk about an amazing feeling. I can’t thank everyone enough that helped make this race happen. Tim, Mike, Shawn, Chris and all of our supporters.