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March 19, 2014

Team DragonFire Takes On The Mint 400


What better way to start the toughest off-road race in America than with a little sleep deprivation? The 5 a.m. start of The Mint 400 after a typical Friday night in Las Vegas saw the team up and about well before the sun. Since this was the first outing for Lacrecia Beurrier's newly completed DragonFire/RideNow/ Can-Am Maverick, the entire team was as excited as they were nervous to race the new Can-Am built by Rockstar Customs. Lacrecia and co-driver Chris Moore were strapped into their DragonFire harnesses and heading to the starting line for the green flag at 0-dark-30.


In the classic Mint 400 two-up start Lacrecia drew the 14th starting position and was on the line next to the #1922 car of Bret Ferrel, who came all the way out from Lakeland, TN (proving the widespread appeal of the race). The green flag dropped and the EPI clutch kit instantly put power to the ground! The deep sand at the start was heavily rutted, so the 30” ITP Bajacross tires really helped to get the Can-Am out front quickly heading into the rock quarry section of the course. Massive rocks and whoops made for an extremely rough course, but the Elka Suspension Stage 5 shocks allowed Lacrecia to keep the pedal to the metal as she started working her way though the pack. After many passes, Lacrecia found herself in the mix with the front runners as they battled it out trying to get around slower cars and trucks all the way into Pit A to meet the crew for a quick once-over. 


She was on a mission after leaving the pit and hammered back into one of the roughest sections of the day where the dust was so thick it totally obscured sight of the track. Somewhere in the silt, the car began to act differently, so Lacrecia stopped and Chris hopped out to check things out. He discovered that a CV joint on the rear axle had broken and was not allowing power to reach the rear tire. The two made the choice to throw the car into 4 wheel drive and continue the additional 70 miles to the next pit.


The Gates G-Force drive belts really showed their strength as the duo was able to sustain speeds of 50 miles an hour through the roughest terrain imaginable. Around mile marker 65 a sharp rock in a corner caused a flat tire, forcing the team to stop again. An awkward spot on the track made for a longer fix than normal, but they managed to get going again. Knowing the pit crew at the next stop had no parts to repair the broken axle, they made just a quick stop at the fellow Can-Am team of Murray Motorsports who graciously donated a spare tire to make sure they could make the next pit. Chris was on the radio relaying what needed to be fixed as Lacrecia nursed the car into the main pit. They discovered there were actually two broken axles, meaning Lacrecia drove almost a full lap in front wheel drive only! 


The pit crew blew everyone’s mind with a repair fast enough to impress NASCAR types, rebuilding the entire rear axle set-up on the vehicle in under 12 minutes. Special thanks go to Murray Motorsports and Michael Lansky who donated the complete axles on the spot!  Without them, Team DragonFire would have been dead in the water! Thanks guys, we definitely owe you big time!


As soon as the tires hit the ground, Lacrecia was on the throttle and they started out for the final lap. Lacrecia truly showed her skills as she was able to pick away at the cars that had been able to get by during the down time. She drove an almost flawless lap and the Can-Am Maverick never skipped a beat.

Passing backmarkers and battling slower traffic, Lacrecia never let up all the way into the finish, securing what seemed to be an impossible 11th place finish out of nearly 50 UTV entries in the Pro class. This was a truly impressive feat considering the course was so rough that less than 50% of the teams managed to finish and longest Lacrecia had previously run in this new car was less than 30 minutes.

Special shout out to Team DragonFire friends, family and most importantly, sponsors! Thanks to DragonFire, RideNow, Can-Am, Elka Suspension, ITP, CP-Carillo,, Royal Purple, Muzzys, Bell Helmets, Rugged Radios, WolfDesigns, Parker Oil Products, Wicked Bilt, Joel's T-Shirts, Bulldog LED Lighting, Mothers Polish, Lonestar Racing and Rockstar Custom Motorsports

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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.