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WELLER RACING 2016 BITD VEGAS TO RENO RACE REPORT

August 24, 2016 | WRITTEN BY: TEAM DRAGONFIRE  [0Comments]

Corry Weller has been killing it in short course racing this season, but what about the desert? “Despite our crazy busy schedule with short-course racing, we really wanted to get out to some desert races this year, because we know what a great machine the YXZ is for this type of racing!” Nothing like an impossible time frame, and a stock vehicle for a real trial by fire by tackling the longest desert race in the U.S. – Best In The Desert's Vegas To Reno!

 

“We wanted a light and simple race car for our first outing, so we went with factory suspension and only added the basic Best In The Desert safety requirements. We also added some heavy duty skids from Factory UTV to protect the undercarriage from high speed rock contact and a nifty 17% gear reduction kit from Tubeworks to help in the silt beds.” 

 

Speaking of silt, the Raceline Mamba beadlock wheels combined with 30” Maxxis Liberty tires (which crew chief/husband Jason Weller competed with at King Of the Hammers and says is an amazing tire!) were the hot ticket for surviving 650 miles of the nastiest desert terrain Nevada can dish up. The only other additions were light bars from Lazer Star Lights, SPARCO race seats, DragonFire accessories (including our number plates, harnesses, DoorBags, etc.),  Weller Racing HD tie rods, exhaust and flash…. basically the YXZ was bone stock.

 

The Weller Racing team also opted for the minimalist support plan. “We were chasing this entire race with one truck, which meant the chase truck would be racing us to every pit along the way. We could not have done this without the help of some of our crew, friends and family. My co-driver Kyle Anderson, was also Jason’s co-driver at KOH earlier this year, and one of our best employees at Weller Racing. I would also be driving the entire race, to eliminate any time lost to driver changes… and because I don’t like to give up the wheel – ever!”

 

DAY 1

Due to a military helicopter crash (no fatalities) on the course, the racers would be racing from the start to Pit 1, then putting all of the race cars and trucks on trailers and hauled down the highway to Pit 2. “Since we had zero time on the YXZ, we used the first 50 miles as a sort of  'shakedown' run so we could evaluate the suspension settings and see if we need to make any changes. Fortunately, Jason has his suspension tuning pretty dialed, so the only unknown was how heavy we actually were with the fuel cell, spare tire, etc.”

 

Corry started in 27th position in class, out of about 33 entries, and after all of the Production Turbo UTVs.  “We also started after most of the rest of the field, including bikes, quads, trophy trucks and other fast truck and buggy classes. This meant a very torn up course for us and very deep truck ruts… but that was to be expected.” Nothing like eating the dust of 300+ entries!

 

“As soon as we headed out, I knew something was wrong with my power steering… As in I had none This was not a failure, but an oversight on our part involving the speed sensor when prepping the car. While it would give my forearms a real workout, it was not devastating and I would work with it the whole first day of racing.”

 

The goal was to drive smart and make it to the Day 1 finish in Tonopah. “My strategy was to race harder on Day 2, after the field had thinned itself out by attrition throughout the first 300 miles. Everything was going great, and I was getting used to the heavier feel of the desert setup when we were hit Race Mile 6 and all Hell broke loose!"

 

Race Mile 6 was the start of a very deep silt bed. “When we hit it, we were in a complete white-out. While you can’t just stop in the silt, it’s extremely dangerous to just plow through at full speed, so I did my best to maintain a decent speed, but not go so fast that I couldn’t make a sudden stop if I needed to.”

 

“That is when we started to see the ghost images of upside down trophy trucks, just the rear wheels sticking out of the ground, and outlines of drivers and co-drivers waving frantically at us to avoid the carnage all around. One of the shadowy figures waved us to a space just big enough for us to squeeze through without stopping. We managed to make it through that mess without stuffing our own YXZ into a ravine or hit anything… somehow.”

 

Corry continued to plow through the deep, blinding silt, all the while dodging anything that popped up suddenly through the haze, including power poles, large rocks and other stuck vehicles. “We finally made it out the other side, only to find a new challenge!”

 

Attempting to negotiate the three-foot deep ruts in the many washes caused by the trophy trucks proved to be interesting… definitely not the sort of thing you encounter on a freshly groomed short course. “Without long-travel, we weren’t as wide as the 3 foot deep ruts, which meant I had to straddle and balance above them, without dropping one side or the other into the deep cutouts.” Remember she is having to handle this balancing act in poor visibility and without power steering!

 

“This was fine on the straight portions, but in the tight turns of the washes, it was a real challenge. Doing this at speed was even trickier… but after 650 miles of this, I got pretty good at knowing when we could drop in, when we could cross over, and how to use the berms to our advantage, without slowing down.” 

 

“After 50 miles, we made it to Pit 1, where everyone was frantically trying to find their pit crews and trailers, and load up for the transfer to Pit 2. This whole transfer was not planned, so while our time stopped when we entered Pit 1, it was first come first serve for the restart at Pit 2. This translated to track position, which meant clean air for some. Clean air is everything in a silty race like this.”

 

“Despite suffering some cosmetic damage to the chase truck getting in and out of the chaos that was Pit 1, we made it to Pit 2. We unloaded, strapped back in and headed out onto the course once again. The race went great for us from there, and it seemed that every mile or so, we would see another truck, buggy or UTV off to the side, changing a tire or a belt, or driver just standing there with hands on hips, looking dejected.”

 

“We didn’t have to pit except for fuel as the race went on. Many times we just waved to our pit crew as we went by. We were not doing any driver changes, and we had both done a good job of hydration management, so there would be no potty breaks either.” No breaks didn't mean it was all smooth sailing, though. 

 

“There were many times where we would come up on a slower vehicle, but there was so much dust and no wind that we had to wait miles and miles before we could risk driving through their dust to make the pass safely. Being patient is very hard in those situations, but my goal of getting to Tonopah was first and foremost… so we were patient.” Patience paid off as the Yamaha worked its way up through the ranks.

 

“As the miles flew by, it was fun to see what new terrain we would be driving through. Deep sand, rutted washes, high-walled canyons, fast flat roads, super rocky and twisty sections.  Then we hit another 20 miles of silt beds… and the fun stopped!”  

 

The trucks that had broken down or needed to change a tire used the long, flat silt beds to make up time and that they did! “A truck coming up behind you can be unnerving enough, but when they pass you in the silt going 100 mph, you are suddenly enveloped in a thick blanket that totally blocks out the sun… you can’t even see your hand in front of your face! If you know they are coming, you can try to memorize the terrain in front of you before the white-out — but if you get caught by surprise you just have to try to maintain enough speed to not get stuck, yet not hit anything in the full minute that you can’t see a thing.” 

 

“Even though I drove as fast as I dared through the deep powder, that 20 miles seemed like forever. Every once in a while, we would hit a particularly thick section of stilt, and the rear end would step out and I would find myself completely sideways, which can easily result in a flipped vehicle if you react too suddenly in any way. We finally came out the other side of that endless silt bed happy to be moving and alive.”

 

After the silt beds, Corry kept the hammer down for the remaining 50 miles to complete Day 1. “Tonopah was a welcome sight, and we were stoked to have made it without having any issues other than a severe case of arm-pump for me by the end of the day.”

 

DAY 2

Patience paid off as the Weller teamed moved up to 12 place in the UTV class on Day 1. “Our goal on Day 2 was to push harder, yet still keep the YXZ alive and make it to the finish. We put on a new set of fresh Maxxis Liberties, hooked up the power steering, cleaned all the dust off of our YXZ so you could see what color it was again, and headed out for the longer of the two days of racing."

 

“Having power steering back was wonderful! Pair that with the fact that I was now very used to how the YXZ handled with a desert setup, and we were off at a great pace.”

 

The bad news? BITD started Day 2’s race order based on how ALL classes finished Day 1.  “We finished 90th overall, which meant we started ahead of a LOT of trucks and fast buggies that had broken the day before. Having smaller, slower UTVs starting in front of large, fast vehicles makes for some really sketchy situations — I was glad we had made a sturdy rear bumper on our YXZ!”

 

The first 5 miles or so, the course wound through a deep, very tight wash, which meant straddling the massively deep truck ruts once again. “We were overtaken by a truck who was racing to make up time, and he immediately plowed into us to let us know that he was in a hurry. Tapping a bumper in desert racing is par for the course, but the UTVs and smaller vehicles are equipped with a blue strobe so that the larger vehicles know not to touch us. I think they all ignore that rule, and my neck is still feeling it…

 

“Having nowhere to go, we got hit a few times by this truck, until I finally could find a space to squeeze over and let him by. We got back going again once we could see through the dust enough to pull back onto the track, then another fast truck was on our bumper. We took a number of really hard hits from trucks and a Class 1 car until we got clipped so hard by a truck on my side, that I thought he had ripped the back end off the YXZ!

 

“We got going again, all the while feeling out the YXZ and trying to figure out the extent of the damage. I thought for sure we had at least a flat tire, broken shock or ripped out A-arm. The car felt okay, but I couldn’t see back there and I didn’t want to stop until we reached the next pit.

 

“I radioed ahead to the crew to be ready to fix some rear end damage, so they were ready with spare parts if we needed them. After a quick check, it was determined we had suffered a small dent in the left rear A-arm and a small dent in the rear bumper… that's it! Everything else was great… Have I mentioned how tough the YXZ is??

 

“After that, the rest of Day 2 was a lot of fun… we dealt with dust when making passes as first… but as the race wore on, we were seeing fewer and fewer racers on the course. Eventually it was just us out there in clean air, and we were able to really let it fly!

 

“Again we were exposed to all different types of terrain and situations, and the YXZ handled it all with ease. About 20 miles from the finish, we came into a section that was SO rocky that we caught up to a couple more vehicles, including a RZR and a truck. We made quick work of passing the RZR and were able to go so fast through the rocks that we caught up to the bumper of the truck that had breezed past us miles ago. I contemplated tapping them since our siren had stopped working at some point in the silt but thought better of it. As soon as he saw us on his bumper, he hit the throttle and started bouncing as fast as he could through the rocks.   

 

“I already knew what the Liberties could handle, so rocky sections were our forte. Even so, I still worked hard to make sure I didn’t overwork the sidewalls, and took the worst of the rocks right on the lugs or where we had the highest clearance under the chassis. Having those Factory UTV skids gave us a lot of confidence, and in the few instances that we misjudged the height of a jutting rock or boulder, the skids did a great job of protecting our underbelly.

 

We flew through the rock section and onto the last portion of the course, which was a very twisty, tight road on the side of a steep cliff. Then, we wound down into a deep crevice and back up the other side, and saw the finish line ahead! We had made it! 

 

“I had no doubt that the YXZ could handle this course, none at all. I just needed to be sure I didn’t do anything stupid as the driver. I had a great co-driver in Kyle, and a fantastic pit crew who was SO quick with the fuel and made it to every pit in case we needed them. I also had a great crew at the shop who did such a good job of getting our YXZ ready for a race of this magnitude, and the best products out there from all of the companies who support us! 

 

We showed 6th overall in our class as we crossed the finish line, but there was one UTV that had a tracker that wasn’t working, so we actually finished 7th overall on corrected time. We started in the back of a large and ultra-competitive field, with a YXZ that had a bone stock motor, suspension and chassis, with zero time on it, in a class full of UTVs that were rebuilt from the ground up. Just to finish this race is a huge achievement, but to finish where we did is awesome! When the silt settled, we finished 7th out of 34 in the
Pro Production class UTVs; 12th overall
out of 70 total UTVs and 65th overall out
of all the truck/car/UTV class entries!

 

SILT HAPPENS!

August 23, 2016 | WRITTEN BY: TEAM DRAGONFIRE  [0Comments]

Vegas To Reno… The Loooong Way!

 

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the longest off-road race in America, Best In The Desert decided to make it the toughest race in America, too! The General Tire Vegas to Reno “The Long Way,” Presented by Fox also featured a unique split into two days and featured nearly 350 entries. Technically the starting line was at the Delamar airstrip just east of Alamo, Nevada rather than Las Vegas, but you get the idea. 

 

Day #1 was a 296 mile dash to the finish in Tonopah… or was supposed to be. A military helicopter crashed on the course on a night training mission (resulting in four non-life-threatening injuries, but fortunately no fatalities), hours before the 5:45 A.M. start on Friday. The crash area was declared off limits by the military, which left Best In The Desert scrambling and delayed the start somewhat. 

 

Casey Folks and the BITD crew scrambled and came up with Plan B:  when the racers reached Pit #1, they clocked in and then had to load up the race vehicles and take them down the highway to Pit #2. This resulted in the race being able to continue around the off-limits area, but resulted in some confusion and timing issues.

 

But at least the race went on. “We were lucky enough to begin this race in the top 10 after a 3rd place finish at the Laughlin Desert Classic,” says last year's V2R winner, Lacrecia Beurrier. “There were approximately 60 UTVs behind us at the starting line with two full days and 648 miles of the toughest desert Nevada has to offer in front off us!” Talk about a rock and a hard place, however the Rockstar Racing/DragonFire team had a game plan.

 

“Our plan was to put as much time between us and all 60 of the other UTVs as we possibly could,” she says. “We had heard from BITD that there was a pile up at approximately Race Mile 7 in a huge silt bed, so we were on the lookout.” Despite the best laid plans and keeping a wary eye on the course, silt happens!

 

“The track started off with deep silt and we knew we had to keep our guard up. Luck would have it that we were able to see as the first stuck vehicles. There were cars and trucks stuck everywhere! We had to keep moving to avoid getting stuck ourselves and frantically searching for a way around the chaos. Off to the right we saw a racer waving us over and pointing to a clear spot in the track.” Thanks to their dusty benefactor, the Pink Polaris RZR was able to skirt the pile up and headed off to Pit #1 with no one in sight.

 

“Due to the helicopter accident, we were instructed to load the cars at Pit #1 and trailer to Pit #2. We hit Pit #1 in the top 5 of all the UTVs," says Lacrecria. “My team unloaded, fueled and sent us back out still in the top 5.” As the team plowed through 200 miles of pure silt, belt temps began reaching 240-degrees, overheating the CVs and melting the occupants inside the race car. “Luckily a couple of water crossings gave us a bit of a cool down. We crossed the finish line on Day 1 6th overall UTV and 3rd Pro Production UTV.”

 
At a “normal” desert race the day would have been done and the team would have had a podium finish. Not so with the longest race in America! “We had to totally re-prep the car and get ready for an even longer day in the morning. My crew made short work of getting us ready and our camp chef, Joe Weber, made sure we all had full bellies with elk tacos and brats.”

 

Another twist for Day 2 was that all vehicles started in order of finish… that meant Trophy Trucks, buggies and UTVs were all mixed up. “This time, not only were we in the top 10 of the UTVs, we were running in the top 65 of all the cars and trucks! Our DragonFire Racing teammate Russell Griffin just beat us on time on Day 1, so we started right behind him. Although we always wish our teammates well, we didn't want to be eating Russell's dust all day.” 

 

There was no wind at the start and the dust was thick as the #1970 RZR of Griffin took off. One minute later the #1924 Rockstar RZR headed out after the KeysCrete car. “We passed them quickly and tried to get some time between us. The track was pretty smooth and fast! Lots of mountain trails and powerline roads. We missed a couple of corners in the dust and spun out once, costing us some time.” Still, things were going well enough that the team decided to spell Lacrecia and her co-driver at Race Mile 100 for a one pit, 50-mile break to keep them fresh for the long run to the finish… so much for sticking to the plan.

 

“Just before we hit the pit, a belt let go. As we struggled with a hot clutch and a bent clutch tool, we lost a couple of spots, including the #1970 of Griffin! We put the belt back on and blazed to the pit where my relief driver Brian Thomas and Miss DragonFire Emily climbed in for a 50-mile ride.” Brian chased the Keyscrete car, but to not avail, then came some more drama.

 

The driver change at the next pit became a challenge as the seat jammed and would not slide forward. “Thanks to Mike Colosimo for the pillow! Unfortunately, the long driver change let the #1970 and a couple of other UTVs in our class get some more time on us! We knew we had to charge to the finish with only 150 miles left to go.” However she may have charged too hard.

 

“We pushed so hard that the chase team was unable to beat us to the next pit where we were supposed to get fuel. We headed to the next pit on fumes facing another 40 miles to the finish and still no team!” Unbeknownst to Lacrecia, the chase truck had stopped to help another chase vehicle stuck on the side of the road, and then became stuck themselves.”  

 

The crew knew how low Lacrecia was on fuel and frantically called everyone they could. They finally found the Can-Am Team of Murray Racing who was able to help at the last pit. “They splashed us enough fuel to us home! We caught the #1970 on a sandy powerline road and just as we were about to pass, silt happened!  It was lights out for us! It gave Griffin just enough time to get away again and we were unable to catch him.”

 
When the silt finally settled, Lacrecia crossed the finish line unofficially 6th in class and 65th out 342 entries. Not bad for a girl in a Polaris RZR! “It was two solid days of tough racing! I can’t thank my team and my sponsors enough for giving us the opportunity to race such an epic race! Happy 20 Year Anniversary Vegas to Reno! We had a great time!

 

 

 
Special thanks to Mike Colosimo of STV Motorsports and Murray Racing for helping us get to the finish line! Also Miss DragonFire for keeping you all updated with amazing photos and results and for jumping in the race car last minute! She may have a future in that right seat!”

 

SUMMER VACATION IS OVER: Let's Go Racing!

August 17, 2016 | WRITTEN BY: TEAM DRAGONFIRE  [0Comments]

Mid-Season Recap

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Just like school kids, DragonFire race teams get the summer months off from both the Lucas Oil Regional Series in Arizona and Southern California as well as the Best In The Desert Series. But now that summer vacation is over, it is time to take to the track and school the competition again! In a rare opportunity for many of DragonFire top teams, Bobby VanBeekum and Lacrecia Beurrier will be contesting The Best In The Desert Vegas To Reno along with Corry Weller and even Jimmy Keys and Russell Griffin all the way from the Rally Raid UTV endurance series in Alabama.

 

 

The Lucas Oil Arizona Series so far:

Round 1 Weller 2nd (just behind Yamaha teammate Dustin Nelson)

                Ken Benson 3rd

                Bobby VanBeekum 6th

 

Round 2 

            Bobby VanBeekum 1st

            Corry Weller 6th

            Ken Benson 7th

 

Round 3

            Corry Weller 1st

            Ken Benson 7th

            Bobby VanBeekum 10th

 

Round 4

            Bobby VanBeekum 2nd

            Ken Benson 4th

            Corry Weller 6th

 

Round 5&6 DragonFire Rumble After Dark

            Corry Weller 4th

 

Round 7

            Corry Weller 2nd

            Ken Benson 4th

            Bobby VanBeekum 12th

           

 

Weller Recap: A Tale Of Two Seasons

Rounds 1-4 of Corry Weller's Arizona campaign were covered in the blog earlier, but we missed rounds 4-5 at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, AZ for Rounds 5 and 6 of the Lucas Oil Regional Arizona Series. With some track changes and new dirt, Corry says this weekend was a lot of fun and made for some great racing!

 

 

 
“Our Yamaha YXZR is really dialed in, so qualifying went as good as it could go for us, as we pulled off the fastest lap of the session by almost half of a second over second place,” says the Yamaha/Weller Racing/DragonFire pilot. “Everything felt perfect, so we made no adjustments for the actual race.

 

My spotter drew a 0 for the inversion, which put me on the pole for the start of the race.  When the flag dropped, I got into an early lead and hammered down from there, just working on my lines and seeing how the track was developing for the important drive after the mandatory caution.

 
It didn’t take long for my fellow Yamaha racer Dustin Nelson to work his way into second place behind me, and on the restart he got a jump on the flag and pushed me out from the inside of turn one to take the lead. I knew I was faster than him, however, and stayed on him until I could take the lead back in the same turn on the next lap.  Using the same move he put on me, I took the lead back from him and led the entire rest of the race to the checkers, taking another win in the Production 1000 class!  I was happy to see Nelson take 2nd place, making it another 1-2 Yamaha podium for Round 5!”

 

The next day for Round 6 qualifying for Production 1000 went just as well as the night before. "I burned the fastest lap of the field once again!  My spotter drew a 0 for the inversion again, which would put me on the pole for this race as well!

 

I had a great start at the green flag, and jumped into the lead early.  My YXZ was handling so well, and I was able to run my lines and keep that lead until the mandatory caution. On the restart, after some pretty aggressive moves, Nelson got past me and I ran him on his bumper as hard as I could without taking him out.  I knew his YXZ wasn’t handling the corners as well as mine was, so I didn’t want to get inside him and push him out in the wrong corner, and cause him to wreck, but I couldn’t get close enough in the only turn I could really push him out safely, so I stayed right on his bumper hoping he would make a mistake.  We crossed the checker .001 seconds apart, and I took 2nd after a really close, really fun race.  With another YXZ taking 3rd, this made for a 1-2-3 Yamaha podium sweep!

 

The Production 1000 class is tricky for me, because Nelson and I are so close in speed that the only way either of us can pass the other is by moving the other driver out of the way.  I want to win, more than anything….but, I also want to be sure Yamaha always has that 1-2 spot on the podium!  More than anything, however, I hope we are giving the fans a great show, and selling a lot of Yamahas and sponsor products!”


“After Round #5 we have a break from the Lucas Oil Regional Series until September 16-17th for rounds 8-9 of the Gears & Glory 9/11 Memorial Race, so Jason and I headed to the midwest to race my Yamaha YXZ in the new Pro Stock UTV classes that have been added to the TORC Series, complete with TV highlights and live action feed!”

Keyscrete UTV Rally Raid Season At A Glance

August 15, 2016 | WRITTEN BY: TEAM DRAGONFIRE  [0Comments]

The UTV Rally Raid series in the Southeast is totally different than the short course and desert racing series many of DragonFire drivers compete in. First off, these 4 hour endurance events are held in the woods. Secondly they also have a unique day/night split format. What remains the same is that sponsored racers Jimmy Keys and Russell Griffin are out there #MakingMemories!

 
Driving styles may differ but the DNA is the same for all DragonFire champions. “The Keyscrete RZR actually has more DragonFire product on it than just about any other racer we sponsor,” notes DragonFire Racing Operations Manager Brice Ginn. “It even has an old cage we built a few years ago.” 

 

Because of busted ribs, the 2014 UTV Rally Raid champ was unable to start the season in the driver's seat (he had to sit out The Mint 400, too). But his co-driver Russell didn't miss a beat, doing both legs of the uniquely formatted event.

 

As is the case with all UTV Rally Raids, the race started at 5:01pm to allow for 2 hours of daylight/2 hours of darkness race format. “Overall the track was in great shape other than dusty,” says Russell. “The weather report was calling for rain which never materialized so the water truck had to play catch up. We really enjoy racing in the dust, so it was no problem.

 
The latter laps proved just how tough DragonFire suspension parts are, as the track definitely deteriorated in the darkness. “Our car had a total of 1.2 miles on it at the start of the race,” adds Jimmy. “We were very nervous about not having any testing prior to this event, however since none of the driveline or engine components had any major modifications were confident we could finish the race.”

 

A proven set-up and Russell's solid performance kept the Keyscrete team in contention the whole race. “We ran the identical setup last year other than new ZBros Exit shocks. Our new shocks worked fairly well but they are going to need some tuning to eliminate a bottom out condition,” notes Griffin. “Thank goodness we had the DragonFire GT seat to take up the slack!”

 

One problem we are going to address is fuel consumption. The Turbo uses about 30% more fuel and we have to pit every four laps. A fuel cell will be installed before the next race, which should allow us to only fuel up once in the four hours.

 

UTV Rally Raid events are always very fun and fast, and this one was no different. “We were pleased to stay in the top three cars all day, and are extremely happy with the performance of the new car,” says Keys. “As we entered the later laps, the track began to deteriorate and slowed us down some, but we are happy to pull out a second place, against some very talented drivers.” When the checkers finally flew after four hours, Team Keyscrete finished 2nd in Pro Unlimited class 2nd overall.  

 

“We both would like to say a huge ‘Thank You’ to everybody at DragonFire for the awesome products and support!,” says Jimmy. “As always, the UTVRR staff put on a great event, and we are looking forward to returning for the April race.  

 

Overview: Round 2 UTV Rally Raid 2016

 

April showers bring May flowers… and they also screw up the best laid plans of mice and men. “More than 3 inches of rain the night before caused the race to be extremely muddy,” notes Jimmy. “There were very few spots in the track where mud and water didn’t cause problems.”

 

Clutch problems and sloppy conditions meant running at less than RacePace. “To be honest the race felt like a 4 hour wet trail ride,” he says. It was evident from the onset that this was going to be a survival race. “The first lap I went through 20 tear offs, 3 screen savers, and 2 microfiber towels. There were many sections that I had to idle through mud holes just to preserve my vision.”

 

In addition to having to pit every other lap to get the radiator flushed out, a couple of flat font tires slowed the team down. “Deep mud and flat tires don’t mix well,” ruefully says Jimmy. 

 

“We spent all morning testing getting the clutch to work correctly. We got it close but it will still needs some more testing. We had a huge problem with overheating due to mud building up in the radiator. I have ordered an ABF fabrication radiator relocation kit that will be installed before the next race. Our ZBroz suspension was difficult to tell if Double E racing’s tune made any difference due to the conditions but we feel confident we are going in the right direction.

 

“Over all it was a long race but as usual we had a great time” adds Jimmy. Finish Position: 3rd in Pro Unlimited class. The next UTV Rally Raid race is set for September 17th in Shreveport, Louisiana. In the meantime Jimmy and Russell will be trying their luck in Vegas again. After finishing top DragonFire team at The Mint 400, they are hoping to cash in on the BITD Vegas To Reno Race in August as a "warm up" (the Nevada desert in August should be plenty warm). Good luck guys!

 

Riding Along With Corry Weller

July 29, 2016 | WRITTEN BY: TEAM DRAGONFIRE  [0Comments]

Lucas Oil Regionals Heat Up!

 

Some on-track fireworks and a pair of podiums highlighted Round 5 of the Lucas Oil Regional Series SoCal. Since this was the last race before the summer break, the action was even hotter than usual at Glen Helen Raceway on July 9th. “The track was typical Glen Helen — rough and rutted and technical… which is what makes this track so much fun,” said Team Yamaha/Weller Racing/DragonFire's Corry Weller. 

 

A record number of entries, a huge crowd and major coverage by the leading UTV media outlets made Glen Helen the place to be on a hot Saturday night in Southern California. Maybe too much of a good thing? With more than 30 vehicles jockeying for qualifying positions during the afternoon it was time to #FeelTheHeat!

 

Here Corry gives you the ultimate Insider's view of how the races played out:

 

 Production 1000 

 

“The Production 1000 class is huge in the SoCal Series, and there is no order for lining up for qualifying,” says DragonFire's ultimate Insider, Corry Weller. “If you don’t get to the front of the line and have some clean air, qualifying can be quite the challenge. I just tried to get a decent gap on the field so I could run some fast lines. I felt pretty good out there, but wound up a with 3rd place qualifier, about 2/10s of a second behind Yamaha teammate Dustin Nelson. With a 6 car inversion, I would be starting outside, second row.”

 

When the green flag dropped for the main event, Corry grabbed the gears and jumped into second before the first turn. Then the first of the full course yellow flags came out… and the race began to go downhill fast! “We lined back up again, and this time I wasn’t able to get out front as fast as I needed to,” she says.

 

“I began to get smacked around and shuffled back into about 4th place. Getting sucked backwards is like being stuck in quicksand, and with everyone bouncing off of everyone else, it can be difficult to make forward progress. However, I was making passes and moving towards the front when I hooked a deep rut in turn 3 and went up on two wheels. I saved it, but as it set back down, I was sideswiped by a racer who went way too wide in turn three.”

 

This “racing incident” pushed Weller's car up onto the K-rail and nearly out of the race. “The YXZ 1000 is a tough machine, I was able to keep driving, get it off of the K-rail and bounced back onto the track!” In that process, she did drop back into 11th position before another caution flag came out and the chaos began. 

 

“I have never seen such a mess of a class in my years of racing.” Many drivers continued racing through the mandatory caution. "It was chaos, with drivers just jumping back into line wherever they thought they should be.  As race control repeatedly continued to call out where each racer should be in line, some must not have had working radios, and one in particular just didn’t feel he should be behind me, regardless of what race control was ordering him to do." Unfortunately for Corry stuck outside the top 10, there were more laps run under caution due to this mess than actual race laps.   

 

Finally, after having to actually send workers onto the track to physically sort out the racers, the green flag dropped on the restart. “I immediately jumped past several drivers on the start, and began my drive to the front in the two laps we had left…” then the caution came out yet again! 

 

“By this time I was in 6th place with only one lap only until the checkers!  On the restart, I grabbed another position and began chasing down 4th place. The XP I was hunting down was good at guarding lines, but I set him up in the final turn and raced him to the checkers, taking over 4th position right at the finish line!”

 

While Weller just missed the podium, the same XP that set the fastest qualifying lap and finished in second place was DQ’d in post-race tech for cheating. “That put me into 3rd place officially, giving Yamaha another 1-2-3 podium sweep with Nelson in first, another YXZ in 2nd, and me rounding out 3rd place.  It was not the finish I wanted, but we had a great drive through a mess of racers with a ton of contact coming from every direction.”

 

SR1 


Despite not having any seat time in her SR1 “Honey Badger” Corry clicked off a qualifying time 1 ½ seconds faster than the field. Her spotter drew a 4, so she once again had to start on the outside, second row for the start of the Main.

 

“Coming right off of the track from Prod 1000, I already knew where the big ruts and holes were… and where the good lines were, too. I only had 4 tear-offs left due to having to go straight from post-race tech with the YXZ to staging in the SR1! I knew I’d have to get out front quickly, or run the risk of having vision                                                                                                       issues due to a muddy faceshield.”

 

Oddly, when the green flag dropped, Corry held back. "I didn’t try to make a move going into turn one because the two drivers on the front row are not exactly known for their car control," she laughs. I wanted to be sure I could get past them both clean without being taken out." 

 

After letting the field spread out a little, she started making passes. "I was soon in first, and then let Honey Badger stretch his legs… After being in that stifling mess of a Prod 1000 field, it felt good to have clean air and be able to run any lines I wanted!"

 

However another caution was thrown and the field bunched back up right on Corry's bumper for the restart. No worries as grabbed another great start and pulled away from the entire field, banging the rev limiter and gapped the field by half a lap at the checkers (see DragonFire's Facebook page for the video of an angry Honey Badger in action).  

 

"We have a break from the Lucas Oil Regional Series until September, but Jason and I are heading to the midwest this week to race my Yamaha YXZ in the new Pro Stock UTV classes that have been added to the TORC Series, complete with TV highlights and live action feed!"

 

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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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