As we come to a close on the national series of the Ultra4 race year we currently sit 3rd in national points for the 4500 class. We have checked, double checked, and rechecked our prep. New rebuilt motor, fresh FK Rod ends, and control arms to dial in the suspension. Loaded up we head north west to Reno Nevada to the Wild West Motorsports Park to cap the season with some short course racing.
Thursday we set the car for a few laps on the course to shake in the new motor and suspension. We are running a new route on the track and a much larger rock section as well so it’s imperative we find the best line for qualifying and race day. We spent this time too settling in our rebuilt Fox Shocks from damaging them last race when we lost our control arms on the car. Smooth is fast and fast is smooth. After about 4 laps we brought the car in for the day ready to qualify.
Friday afternoon Daystar Products put on a cookout for all the drivers, codrivers, and ultra4 staff before qualifying started. Hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and drinks flew through the afternoon. Big thanks to Chris Bolger and Melissa Stockard of Daystar feeding well over 250 people through the afternoon. While working on the car in the pit we had plenty of eyes on us and what was going on with the car and how we were going to overcome the situation. Friends pitched in help, advice, and the racing good karma juju.
Friday morning had the whole team in ready to rock the qualifying course. Dan from Arizona RV Salvage came in as crew chief for the weekend and jumped right in with swapping out fresh bushing on our Currie Antirock swaybar. We fired the car up and headed to the track for another lap before qualifying in the afternoon. We didn’t get 50 yards and the car ran rough and wouldn’t stay running. We didn’t get a full lap in when we brought the car back into the pit and found coolant pouring out of the exhaust.
After pulling the intake off the vehicle and not seeing any problem with the water jackets, we opted to pull the head of the side of the block the leak was prominent on. In doing so, we saw that something sucked through the intake and got stuck inside the cylinder, destroying the head, piston, and cracking the block. With almost all the 4500 class drivers in our pit helping solve, fix, or give advice on how to proceed with racing, we decided to put the car back together and run 7 cylinders for the main event. Thanks Kevin Sterns, Jesse Balter, Shawn Rants, and John Mathews on jumping in and getting the car back together.
Not making the Prelim race in time with the car apart, we buttoned up the car for the main event in the afternoon. Lined up and ready, we staged in the back of the pack to push the car as much as she would let us before giving up. We took the green flag and gave it all she had, passing Shawn in the rocks after they lost the driveline we were making good headway for what motor issues we had. Heading into the steep hill we gave it everything the car had to make the steep climb and down the shell rock curve. As we rounded the short course for the end of lap 1, the motor finally let loose pouring smoke out the hood. We were out of the race for good.
With having the tough break, we landed 12th for nationals. Having such a loss with high stakes, we were bumped off the podium for nationals and placed 5th for national points standing.
Western Series: 4th place
Eastern Series: 4th place
National Series: 5th place