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Riding Along With Corry Weller

July 29, 2016

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.”



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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