We arrived Saturday and went out on a pre-run of the first 27 miles on Sunday. Elvis was pretty tough then, but it changed a lot during the week and by Wednesday the trail looked to be a lot easier.
After pre-running, we set about fine tuning our shocks with the help of the guys from Fox. They were a big help. Also worked with the guys from Rugged Radios. They tuned my antenna and we worked on a wierd noise that seemed to be generated by my power steering. Wally and I thought we had it licked during testing on Tuesday and Wednesday, but then right off the line on Thursday it was back. Ugh! Very nice though to have these businesses on the lake bed.
We were all set for the race on Thursday AM. We had the fifth position that turned into fourth when the guy in #1 had an engine issue. Our plan was to get to the front of the pack before Elvis. They sent us off 30 seconds apart and we got bunched up on the first hill climb just a mile out. The Arctic Cat that started first had problems getting up the hill. Things were backing up quickly and Rocker in the Tech 3 Teryx tried to get up the side hill. Wally and I had stopped and looked for an alternate line on Wednesday and did not see anything good, so we sat tight. Things finally broke through, but this gave everyone behind us an opportunity to catch up.
Once over the hill, we dashed off along the sand trails. We got past the Prowler and took a different line than Mark Turner and passed them. Only one left was Tech 3. At the top of the sand hill, we had spotted a little short cut and knew it could come in handy if we needed to pass. We took it and it worked perfect. We shot to the front and it was clear sailing. I backed off a bit to try and keep everything going well. Miles 2 – 6 were pretty uneventful, then my co-dog Wally said we had company. Damn, there went the Sunday drive plans. I stepped it back up a bit and Wally said it was a RZR. There were some huge whoops and I got a bit sideways and Guthrie was hauling the mail right there! Then kaboom! Passenger side front shock came right up through the hood. Crap. The shock tower had sheared right off. That ended our race right there between mile 6 and 7. What a disappointment.
KOH is a great race, but I sure seem to have a monkey on my back. I really appreciate all the help from everyone that helped us get to the starting line. Truly bummed that it wasn’t in the cards again. Congrats to Jagged X, Guthrie and everyone else that finished. Just getting across that finish line is a huge accomplishment.
Next up for my Monster Energy Kawasaki Teryx (after we get a new shock tower built) – VORRA short course races in March and April. Then the Yerington desert race in May. I sure hope that the race was successful enough for Jeff and Dave to do it again next year. For all of you on the fence, get working now and sign up early. Starting positions were assigned based on registration date.
More pictures at: Pit Bull Tires King of the Hammers UTV Race
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