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DragonFire Dominates Lucas Oil Regionals

March 22, 2016 | WRITTEN BY: TEAM DRAGONFIRE  [0Comments]

Weller Bounces Back, Mixed Bag For VanBeekum, Benson Gets Beat Up!

 

Team DragonFire was out in force at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona, for Rounds 3 and 4 of the Lucas Oil Regional Off-Road Series. With two thirds of the “Killer Bs” — Ken Benson and Bobby VanBeekum — and Corry Weller competing in multiple machines in a couple of classes, we were a factor in just about every lap of qualifying to the finals in the Production 1000cc UTV and SR1 classes. 

 

 

The weekend started off on the right track with Bobby VanBeekum setting the first fast time in Production 1000 qualifying, just a fraction of a second ahead of “rookie” Corry Weller (Corry is a multi-time champ, but this is her first season with Team DragonFire and in her new Yamaha YXZ 1000 racer). How close was it? Bobby's top speed was 67.699mph with a lap time of 47.859 seconds, while Weller was just 0.265 seconds behind with a top speed of 67.325mph! Despite some teething pains with his new Can-Am, Ken Benson was still in the hunt, just 0.653 back of VanBeekum. 
 
“Clutch and steering issues continued throughout Friday's practice,” says Benson. “We did some corrections in time for the qualifying and made the main on Saturday. The Can-Am car is growing into a competitive car… we have the speed, we just need to get the handling dialed in a little better.” After working out some of the bugs, Benson had to battle ongoing steering rack issues, compounded by a flat tire 2 laps in. “I had work to salvage the points I could for the season and hang on for 7th place.” Meanwhile fast qualifier VanBeekum got caught up in the first turn turmoil and was only able to make it half-way through the 10 lap main.

 

However Corry was in a class by herself, putting almost a full second gap on the field in Saturday's Production main event. But it wasn't as easy as she made it look. “I led wire to wire... after getting taken out on turn one.” A spectacular aerial flip didn't seem to slow her in the Prod 1000 class. “I got a great start at the green, and was railing the cushion in turn 1 when I got plowed by another racer who failed to hold their line, which sent me flipping. I landed on my wheels, and was able to fire my YXZ back up again. When an incident happens on the first lap, the race is restarted, and since I was able to keep going, I gained my front row position back — I always drive better when I'm angry,” she laughs.

 
She also went on to set the fast qualifying time in SR1 with a speed of 72.172mph half a second over Benson. Weller won Saturday's SR1 main in her trusty Honey Badger and Benson finished as solid 5th. “SR1 racing always gets the adrenaline going, with 100ths of a second separating the class it comes down to 10 laps of consistency,” says Ken. “Corry is the defending class champ because she is consistent… and consistently FAST!”

 

SUNDAY
A wet track both days resulted in all the racers having a lot of fun! “The SR1 class was a fast race as usual and wet track conditions made the action even more intense,” explains Ken Benson. “Sunday was a great battle with the McCormick team in the SR1 class. I made a clean pass into 4th when I pushed over a berm in turn 4 resulting in a three position loss with just one lap to go.” While most people would be bummed by getting bumped out of contention on the last lap, Benson will be back. “I had a blast this weekend and can't wait for the next round… Nothing compares to the door to door action of short course!”

 

“Qualifying for the SR1 class on Sunday went just like it did on Saturday,” claims Corry. “I was able to burn off the fastest qualifying lap once again in a very fast field. The top eight SR1s were all within .9 seconds of each other!” This parity places a premium on the SR1 start. “I knew I needed to get out front quickly, because if you don’t, it takes a tremendous amount of work to pass anyone in the top 5 or 6 cars.”

 

Her Honey Badger was up to the task. “My SR1 is so dialed in I feel like it is an extension of my body and it does anything I ask of it. We swept the SR1 class for the whole weekend and took three wins out of four races this weekend — I'll take it!” The only fly in the ointment was the last Production 1000 race on Sunday. “I was in second and getting ready to make a pass for the lead when an electrical issue from my rollover on Saturday killed my motor. I had to fight those issues the rest of the race. Still finished and happy that Dustin Nelson was able to take the win in his Yamaha YXZ1000.”

 

Meanwhile in a bit of redemption from getting taken out after being fast qualifier on Saturday, Bobby VanBeekum bounced back. He set second fastest qualifying time on Sunday and demonstrated why he is the defending champ in the Production 1000 class putting his Polaris RZR into second just behind Dustin Nelson, nearly three seconds clear of third place. “It was definitely a mixed bag in terms of results, but it was a blast,” he concludes.

 

There is now a break in the Lucas Oil Arizona Regional Series. Rounds #5 & #6 are set for May 6th and 7th at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.

 

 

By The Numbers:

Ken Benson SR1 Qualifying Position:

Saturday 5th, Sunday 7th

Made one lap on Saturday after almost missing qualifying!

Finish Position:

Saturday 5th, Sunday 7th

 

Ken Benson Production 1000 Qualifying Position:

Saturday 5th, Sunday 6th

Finish Position:

Saturday 7th, Sunday 4th

 

Robert VanBeekum Production 1000 Qualifying Position:

Saturday 1st, Sunday 2nd

Finish Position:

Saturday 10th, Sunday 2nd

 

Corry Weller SR1 Qualifying Position:

Saturday 1st, Sunday 1st

Finish Position:

Saturday 1st, Sunday 1st

 

Corry Weller Production 1000 Qualifying Position:

Saturday 2nd, Sunday 6th

Finish Position:

Saturday 1st, Sunday 6th

UTV WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

March 14, 2016 | WRITTEN BY: TEAM DRAGONFIRE  [0Comments]

Killer Bs Get Stung

 

With more than $100,000 in cash and prizes on the line and 200+ teams entered in the race, 2016 Polaris RZR UTV World Championship lived up to its billing as a true “world” championship. In addition to the cash and bragging rights, Polaris put up four RZRs for race winners! More than enough incentive for Team DragonFire “Killer Bs” (Ken Benson, Bobby VanBeekum and Lacrecia Beurrier) to buzz into the February 18-20 festivities in force! 

 
After taking third overall last year, Lacrecia was looking forward to being on the top step of the podium in 2016, while Ken and Bobby were looking forward to teaming up together rather than racing against each other like they usually do in short course competition (Bobby was the 2015 Lucas Oil Off-Road Regional champ, just beating Ken in the final standings). In addition to Benson, VanBeekum and Beurrier, Team DragonFire bolstered the ranks for the UTV World Championships with UTV Rally Raid competitor Russell Griffin who normally teams with Jimmy Keys in the 4-hour woods races. “How hard can it be? There are no trees to worry about,” Russell joked.

 

Although there were no trees, the 180 mile course proved to be no joke! Instead of making a beeline for the podium all three of the Killer Bs got stung!  VanBeekum/Benson finished 12th, best on a bad day for the team. After finishing 3rd last year Lacrecia was 32nd and Russell found the desert to be a challenge coming in 36th. "Definitely a rough weekend out there but that’s racing," notes DragonFire Operations and Team Manager Brice Ginn.

 

VanBeekum/Benson 

“I felt we did really well for our first time out in a new car,” says Bobby. “We finished… just not in the position we felt we should be in.” Despite the buzzkill of a DNF in the short course competition, VanBeekum was upbeat about the UTV World Championships. “What a great weekend spent with an amazing group of people. We woke up bright and early Saturday morning to the sound of the quads and motorcycles leaving the line for their race. We headed to the line at 9:30 for the desert race in the new car built by Lone Star. This was the car's first time out and I was excited to see how it was going to take the punishment of ten 18-mile laps.

 

“We started in row 5 for this race and like last year we had to do a dead engine start. I got the holeshot off the line and hoped the race would continue to go in our favor. We steadily reeled in other cars, thankful for the strong breeze keeping the dust clear… all systems go!”

 

Then the first of several misfortunes hit when the VanBeekum/Benson duo lost a belt. “We ended up losing two more belts, two axles, and the front diff when we tussled with a rather large rock that miraculously appeared in the middle of the track on the last lap! With all the mechanical issues we still managed to limp to the finish.”

 

Bobby then jumped into his short course car for his second race of the day… an exhausting choice. “It was another dead engine start, only this time I was on the first row to start. Guthrie Jr. and I made it out front and battled back in forth for the lead until I lost another belt. I got the belt changed only to lose my front axles and a bolt out of the steering rack. I decided to call it a day… but a good day. We had a fantastic time at this event. It was well organized as usual for the BITD crew and we appreciate all of their hard work. We cannot thank our pit crew enough for their time and dedication to helping us compete at this level. We also have to thank all of our sponsors for their continued support:  Muzzys, DragonFire, Method Race Wheels, Walker Evans Shocks, Lone Star Racing, Xtreme Machine & Fabrication, UTV Inc. and R-N-R Steel.”

 

Beurrier 

Lacrecia had really been looking forward to the UTV World Championship, with her sights set on top of the podium. That plan began to look a little dimmer when she drew a start position at the back of the approximately 80 UTV field. “We knew we had our work cut out for us with that many cars in front of us. We had our XP1K motor freshened up by Mark at Queen Racing with some great parts from Webcam Racing cams and CP Carrillo pistons and rods.”

 

As usual, there was no time for testing and tuning since Lacrecia works full time as an ER nurse. “We just loaded up the car and headed straight to Laughlin for tech! We started the race on Saturday morning in the 4th row. It was a dead engine start, but with a line of 16 cars, I couldn’t tell if my motor was running or not! Needless to say, I didn’t get the holeshot, but we missed some bar banging in the first corner and were able to go around a few stuck cars.”

 

After surviving the starting line chaos, it was time to lay down some fast lap times. “We passed many racers and many more were off the course already broken. Our Radflo Suspension shocks were spot on in the giant whoops and some of the worst chatter bumps I have ever encountered. I was told by a spectator that our car was one of only a few he saw that was able to keep the tires on the ground through the bumps, thanks to RadFlo! 

 

“Our Queen Racing motor was really strong… and fast! Our crew radioed in on the start of the second lap to report that we had gone from approximately 50th to the top 20 in the first lap! I knew the car felt fast, but I had no idea how fast! But, as luck would have it, as we were nearing the end of lap 2 we got tangled up with #1952 Jonathon McVey. The collision broke my passenger tie rod and sent me crashing into the #1952 car a second time… rolling it over on its passenger side. I stopped immediately and my co-driver and I jumped out to make sure they were okay.”

  
Fortunately Lacrecia's skills as a nurse were not needed.  “We helped them right their car and get going again, but we did not have a spare tie rod on the car, so were stuck until my crew sent a replacement out to the CT Race Worx team. Thanks to them we had the part in no time and Dustin, my co-driver made short work of replacing the rod.” The incident ended up costing the team at least two laps… maybe three. We made it to the pits and the crew said the car was okay, but I was feeling so badly for the crash with McVey, that we decided we would wait for the end of the race and just receive our finish points.” As it turns out, the team was misinformed and it wasn't a GP finish. “We went three more laps before taking the checkered flag in 31st position. Though it isn’t at all how we planned to race the UTVWC, we had a great time, jumped big, made some great passes and finished  All in all a good day in the desert! I want to again extend my apologies to the 1952 team and am so glad that no one was injured. Special thanks to the CT Race Worx team for delivering the tie rod and to all our amazing sponsors!”

Team DragonFire Shares The Love On Valentine's Day

March 11, 2016 | WRITTEN BY: TEAM DRAGONFIRE  [0Comments]

2015 Awards, 2016 Season Kick Off & Relationship With Weller Racing Make For A Lovely Weekend 

 

Team DragonFire was definitely feeling the love on Valentine's weekend as the 2016 Lucas Oil Regional Off-Road Racing Series kicked off at our "home track" Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. An awards ceremony started the new season off on a high note as three Team DragonFire racers collected their trophies on Friday night, and then it was back to their winning ways on Saturday and Sunday for Rounds #1 and #2.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Congratulations to Lucas Oil Regional Off-Road Racing Series, Arizona 2015 champions! A true gentleman of the sport and crowd favorite Hans Waage was crowned the 2015 Unlimited UTV champ. Production 1000 Champion Robert VanBeekum was recognized for not only winning, but for being a class act in the pits, supporting the LOROS events and always helping out fellow racers any way possible. We also wanted to share a little Valentine's Day love with Team DragonFire's Ken Benson. Ken took his Can-Am to a hard fought second in the 2015 Production 1000 UTV Championship behind Bobby and he also races in the SR1 class. 
 

Just to prove there are no hard feelings between Ken and Bobby, the two are teaming up to try out Best In The Desert racing this year. They will join Team DragonFire's 2015 BITD Pro Unlimited champ and defending Mint 400 winner Lacrecia Beurrier competing in the longer desert races this year. Our "Killer Bs" (Beurrier, Benson and VanBeekum) should generate some real buzz in the BITD series this season! 

 

 
Valentine’s Day was also the perfect time to reveal the relationship with Weller Racing. Although we have been working with Jason and Corry Weller for a couple of years to create performance kits, it was time to team up to go racing! Corry Weller is contesting the 2016 Lucas Oil Regional Off Road Series short course races in Arizona and California as well as select Best In The Desert events as part of Team DragonFire.
 
 

 

The new Weller/DragonFire team made its LOROS debut a good one. Talk about love at first sight! Corry qualified 1st in SR1 and finished 3rd in the main event. She followed that up with 2nd overall in Production 1000 — her first ever race in the intensely competitive class. Not a bad start to a new partnership. “This was the first weekend ever driving my new YXZ in the Production 1000 class,” says DragonFire Racing's newest sponsored racer. “Yamaha took the top two spots on the podium, with my DragonFire teammate Ken Benson taking third in his Can-Am!” 

  
“We finished off Sunday with another 2nd place podium finish in the SR1 class and a tricky race in the YXZ when a brake line was severed by some contact on lap one! Had to run the whole race with zero brakes, just downshifting and using the handbrake to salvage a 5th place finish, just ahead of Ken Benson who was battling through some issues of his own. However it was clear sailing for Bobby who closed out the Valentine's weekend with the win.” Corry summed it up best as the various Team DragonFire rigs were being loaded up on Sunday. “Wow, what a great start to our season!”

From The Dunes To The Track

February 09, 2016 | WRITTEN BY: TEAM DRAGONFIRE  [0Comments]

Team DragonFire Races AZOP Vulture Min

 

 

DragonFire Racing Operations Manager Brice Ginn rode co-pilot with his buddy Mac Mitchell in the Arizona Off-Road Promotions event at Vulture Mine (near Wickenburg, AZ) to kick off the 2016 season. Beautiful desert landscape next to an active mine made for an interesting setting combined with a challenging track. Rough and rocky mixed in with rutted out wash sections… great for racing but a tough transition for someone more accustomed to the sand dunes.

 

Mac is an avid “duner” but the last time he drove on hardpack, he threw his Polaris RZR on its side, Brice pointed out as he strapped into the passenger's seat. However Mac kept its shiny side up on Sunday and the race went great overall… until halfway through the last lap when a ball joint failure brought the team to a stop. “Being Mac Mitchell’s first UTV race, he did an amazing job navigating the harsh Arizona desert terrain. He was able to maintain a smooth/fast pace, stayed on the lead lap and passed multiple 1000cc cars during laps 2 and 3,” says Brice.

 

 

The Mitchell/Ginn duo raced alongside fellow Team DragonFire driver Robert van Beekum. The #64 Pro UTV Driver won the AZOP series last year… and he picked up right where he left off winning the opening round handily. He was also kind enough to pass along some advice for the rookie team. Before getting paddle tires put on it, the RZR was Bobby's 2013 WORCS racer so his advice was invaluable! 

 

 

 
After starting in 4th place in class (and 46th overall out of 56 vehicles for all classes), the team was running  in 1st place in the 900cc class until the last lap when a lower front ball joint failure led to complete loss of the front right suspension, ending the race day abruptly. However, due to other DNFs in class and completed lap times, we still managed to finish 2nd overall in the 900 class! 

 

Mac is now hooked! “As this was my first AZOP race, I was very excited for this event and impressed with how the AZOP staff and volunteers put on this race,” says the rookie racer. “The race course was extremely rough and formidable, so the goal was to keep the car together, maintain a consistent pace and finish.” Well two out of three ain't bad for your first time out. But finishing 2nd despite the broken ball joint and total collapse of the front end is a real win for Mac.

 

“Lap one was hectic to say the least — a lot of people were trying to win on the first lap which caused a lot of carnage out on the track… and a bent rear bumper and upper bed support frame on our car. Once the dust settled and lap two began, our pace and comfort level continued to increase and we were picking off those who started ahead of us in class and also those in the 1000 class. When we came into pit at the start of lap three, we were in 2nd overall for our class and closing in on first. We passed first place at mile marker 2 of the third lap and put it in cruise control to play it safe and keep the car together."

 
All was going according to plan until just past mile marker 11 when the passenger side front ball joints broke (lower failed and then the upper broke). This caused the vehicle to lose control and drift off the race course into a wash which was fortunately safely off of the race line. “The day then grew more interesting as we had to sit and wait for 4-5 hours in the desert until the truck/buggy race was complete,” adds Brice. “Once the last race was completed we were able to recover the broken racecar and bring it back to the pits.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
Mac would like to thank all those who helped make this weekend happen: Brice Ginn and the team at DragonFire Racing, Brian Causse of Stick-It 1 Racing, Emmett Mitchell of Maxline Products, my wife Kim & baby boy Max for the love & support, Bobby VanBeekum of R-N-R Steel for sponsoring the UTV class, Kyle Krause and his team of volunteers from Arizona Off-Road Promotions, and to the family at Checkpoint 2 for the hospitality while we waited out the Trophy Truck race. Can’t wait to get the RZR 900XP repaired and back out there soon!

Team DragonFire Takes On The 2016 Parker 250

January 22, 2016 | WRITTEN BY: TEAM DRAGONFIRE  [0Comments]

You Win Some...

 

 

Fresh off of a five-race winning streak and the 2015 UTV Unlimited Pro championship, the DragonFire/Rockstar Racing team was looking forward to the start of the 2016 Best In The Desert racing season. Rain before the THR Motorsports Parker 250 on January 8-9, 2016 meant there would be plenty of traction and no dust to worry about in the Arizona desert. Things were off to a great start with a new car and a new season! 

 
During the off-season, the team decided to move to the UTV Production Pro Class in 2016. “We wanted to compete with a bigger field and give someone else a chance to win the Unlimited Class,” said DragonFire Pro athlete Lacrecia Beurrier of her decision not to defend her title. Be careful what you ask for! There were more than 30 Production Pro on the starting line for the Parker 250!  

 

Undaunted, Lacrecia lined the 1924 Polaris RZR up 18th next to a brand new Yamaha YXZ 1000. Lacrecia pulled two consecutive holeshots over Turbo Mavericks in the last two rounds and she was confident crew chief (and husband) Eric had built an even better car this season. She was right, the Yamaha never had a chance! In fact, nobody seemed to have a chance as the first 30 miles flew by with no one in the review mirror. 

 

Passing a trail of broken cars scattered all over the track, and with no dust to contend with, things were looking good to start off 2016 the way last year ended! With another podium on her mind, Lacrecia drove confidently over the typically rough Arizona desert terrain. 

 

All systems were go until just before the midway pit when the familiar sound of a broken belt was heard. Co-driver Cal Vandervoort, jumped out to do a quick change… or so he thought. A total rat's nest of cords was tangled up in the clutch. Lacrecia sat heartbroken as one-by-one, 20 cars passed by. Cal was finally able to free the clutch and the team managed to get moving again.

 

Driving aggressively in an attempt to catch all the cars that had gotten by during the extended belt change, bad luck struck again. Lacrecia lost control and rolled over a soft sandy berm. Luckily the only damage done was to her pride. Friend and fellow racer, Michael Lansky, was kind enough to put his race on hold and give the team a pull back over on their wheels. 

 

Lacrecia put her game face on and charged off to try and salvage as many points as possible from the first race of the season. Tip-toeing through the rock garden and flying through the wash they finally reached the Rockstar Racing pit. After a quick inspection, the pit crew assured the team that no damage was done to the car. After a splash of fuel, they were once again tearing through the whoops and rocks. 

 

The second lap was uneventful until mile 60 when the sickeningly familiar sound of yet another broken belt was heard. Fortunately the belt change went much faster this time and the team sped off to finish 14th out of 33 Pro 1000 cars (and 28th overall).

 
“You win some… you lose some, that's racing,” says Lacrecia. “But we plan to put this Polaris RZR on the podium at Laughlin! The team had a great time and, as always, thanks to all of our sponsors that make race day happen. Special thanks to our home own Polaris dealer AZ West, ITP tires for no flat tires, Ryan from Raceline wheels, Alex Reed, Murray Racing and S3 crew for helping us out in the pits!”

 

Next Race:

POLARIS RZR UTV WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 

February 18, 19, 20, 2016

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DragonFire
After years of researching and developing the best products in the industry, DragonFire has taken UTV’s to the next level. Superior technology and innovation are incorporated into all of our products. The DragonFire team consists of industry experts in multiple disciplines, which leads to unsurpassed quality, performance and usability.

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