Click on the photo above to see a full slide show.
We had a good feeling going into this race. We finished Vegas to Reno and identified all our problems… not individually, with the race truck. =) We relocated the rear arm that was hitting the frame. We installed the starter heat shield and moved the starter closer to the ring gear. We solved the starter problems. We installed a brand new transmission, the old one had 800 miles on it so we will get that one rebuilt. We replaced the driver’s side spindle, Ronnie from Wicked Sand Rails repaired it. He did a fantastic job and hopefully it’s even stronger than before.
We were off to a great start. Stewart was driving. Our rear start has become a real problem and we were slowing down before every corner to let the dust drift off the course a couple of feet. 15 miles into the race we caught 5th place and around 25 miles into we saw the number two truck just ahead. But we couldn’t pass because it was too early in the race to take chances.
When we arrived at Pit #1 we were at mile marker 43 and we were in the same order as we were at the start line. We have a large fuel cell and were able to pick any pit we want to fuel up. We decided not to stop at the first pit in the hopes of passing someone. It became an uphill climb around mile marker 51 and the engine started to misfire. We heard a loud pop in the driver’s side exhaust pipe (the push rods bent as well as some other damage to the valves.) We were just getting ready to pull off the track and were hit from behind. Luckily, there was no damage but we were done at mile marker 53. Our good feeling was gone!