February 05, 2020 4 min read
Ultra 4 King of Hammers 2020 started out on the right foot. I qualified 3rd so that put me in row 2 with Guthrie JR and both millers on the first row. Guthrie got me off the start and had a blistering pace. We caught the millers before mile 2 and the race was on. Despite the lack of wind and crazy amount of dust we were bumper to bumper all the way to pit 1 where Guthrie stopped for fuel and Hunter and I kept going. I battled with hunter for the next 20 miles and was able to capitalize on a mistake he made in the Notches to take the lead. We were neck and neck all the way to Backdoor coming Into Hammertown on lap 1. My co-pilot Scott Lawrence got out to tether us down back door and he noticed the transmission was leaking a lot of oil. So our plan was to radio pit one and tell them to tell pit two at mile marker 119 to have us fuel and gear oil. I knew I could baby the car through the desert and create enough dust hunter would not be able to pass. Well that plan was shot down after our radios decided to stop working. So at around mile 90 I had to pull into pit one and relay the message verbally. At that time Hunter got around us and we ate his dust for the next 20 miles.
Then things start going bad. I’m following hunter up a rock hill and I’m following his bumper because the dust was so bad and next thing I know we’re on our side. Scott and I crawl out of the car and we attempt to flip it back over. The car is tipped down hill so we are fighting gravity. We try and try with no luck, but then Scott says grab the Pro Eagle CO2 jack. I start digging under the cage and wedge the jack between the ground and cage. That got the car at least 12” off the ground and we were able to push it back onto it’s wheels, and at that moment I knew we messed up bad. The car started rolling backwards down the hill. I forgot to put it in park. I knew if I did not get it slowed down or stopped it was going to flip down the mountain. I did everything in my power to get in to get the brake peddle or park lever, but my attempt failed and by that point it was too late. The car had caught me and threw me like a rag doll. I was lucky enough to slow it down and it made a slight turn and stopped sideways in the track.
When I went to stand I felt just rock on the bottom of my feet. Both my shoes were gone. Scott threw me one and the other one was close enough to grab. I went to put my right shoe on and couldn’t because two of my toes were sitting on top of my foot. I quickly pushed them back straight and got both shoes on. I tried to get up and run to the car but I could hardly stand. I scooted to the car and got in. The crash had blown the power steering. I had to drive to the bottom of mountain to get turned around and came back up to get Scott and try to fix the power steering. After a few minutes he finally found it was a blown fuse. Of course we had none, so we cut a wire out of our helmet pumper and he jumper-ed the fuse to get it back working. We got back on track and had a few miles left to pit 2a. We got to the pit and they gave us fuel and rear gear oil. At that time we had lost 20 minutes and I knew I had to drive flawless through the rocks to even have a chance to podium. We hit our marks and blitzed through some of the toughest rock sections known to man. By the time we rolled into Hammertown to see the checkered flag we were able to make up 17minutes in under 30 miles, but we fell under 2min 46 sec short of the win.
This race takes a team, you can not compete at this race without a solid team. For a week I had 4-8 guys non stop working in my pit area. Thank you to Jeremy Wallis, Jason Watt BAK40 motorsports, Josh Martell Jon Arnold, Peter Russell, Shane Schrader, Justin, Scottie Lawrence, Britton Wasmer, the millers and their guys, and everyone else that helped us out!
Thank you all and I’m greatful to have you all part of my program!
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