Vegas to Reno Review Part 1

Contingency

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It was around 107 degrees for what seemed to be all day. We spent the day in lines throughout the vendor area. Our truck was getting a lot more attention because the wrap looked so great. I was hoping to get tires from BFG and spent more than 3 hours talking to every rep I could, we needed two more projects to start the race but no luck. We finished the day outside in the amphitheatre at the drivers’ meeting, still around 102 degrees.

Day 1

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I’ll make this kind of short: We made every mistake possible including mistakes we’ve already made before. Here’s the list:

• Broken rim

• Flat tire

• Rolled the truck over

• Stuck the truck in silt bed

• Burned up the starter

• Bent the front spindle by putting a tire with the wrong backset

However, we finished that day around 8:00 p.m.. Very tired. We worked in the pits until midnight and got to bed around 1:00 or 2:00 a.m..

Day 2

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Starting in the back of the pack is getting to be a real problem. Dust, dirt, and sand everywhere. Our parker pumper (air filter) stopped working half way through each day. The first big problem of the day: the rear bolt in the trailing arm was falling out. I guess there wasn’t enough space between the sway bar and rear arm for a locknut. It fell out twice before we could replace it at Pit 3. Then the alternator wasn’t working. We finally pulled the hood and checked it out, the belt was gone and no, we didn’t have a belt on the chase truck. I spent over $5,000.00 in spare parts but no $5.00 belt! We decided to push on to Pit 4 and replace the belt there. Chase 2 picked up a new belt and installed it quickly but the truck was too hot to start and there was no amperage in the batteries. We tried to jump start it with two trucks, no luck, the starter was fried again. We were timed out at Pit 4 and DNF for the day.

At this point we needed a new starter and heat shield. I called Baja Mike at Kartek in Corona. He was the only one I knew that would have the starter on the shelf. He set up a drop site but I needed someone to drive 450 miles to deliver it. Stewart, who had to miss this race because he has a new baby girl at home jumped in his truck with Butch, his father-in-law and part of our pit crew, and headed out with the new starter. They got to us at 4:00 a.m.. We got the new starter and heat shield installed and placed the truck into impound around 6:00 a.m.., all ready to go. Thanks to Stewart , Butch, Baja Mike, and my grandsons, Evan & Parker we were able to start day 3.

To be continued…

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