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Speed and Strategy Key to King Shocks HDRA 250 Success

King Shocks race green  army headerRidgecrest, CA

The second round of HDRA desert racing in 2013 was at a new venue for the series in Ridgecrest, California. For some, it would be the first time racing in the scenic but extremely rough terrain. Ridgecrest has numerous unique rock formations that compete for your attention but racers who steal a glance are taking a chance.  The dusty conditions on race day added to the danger presented by the myriad of rocks dotting the landscape.  Going off course would guarantee a flat tire or worse. Racers would have to pick their spots when making a pass and take full advantage of any clean air to make time on the competition.

The race was filled with drama on and off the track. During the reconnaissance lap before qualifying, Cameron Steele lost an engine.

Not willing to give up, his crew rushed back to their shop in San Clemente and worked through the night getting their other truck, that just raced 400 miles, back together and ready to race. They rolled back into Ridgecrest as the sun was rising on race morning.

After qualifying first on the grid, Monster Energy / Toyo Tires / Rigid Industries driver BJ Baldwin looked to be in great position for an overall win but shortly into the race, he developed a driveline issue that sidelined him for 45 minutes while his crew made repairs.

13hdra_king250_race02 bjBaldwin’s misfortune put the two Herbst trucks, Kory Halopoff in Richard Boyle’s car and Justin Davis all in the lead pack. Halopoff was hampered with a leaky rear brake line caused by an errant rock that surprisingly, hurt him more in the fast sections than in the slow. In the twisty stuff, he could use the throttle for control. When the course opened up, he had a hard time getting slowed down for the corners. “It was hard to pass,” said Kory, “Anytime you pulled out it was a gamble. You would be following in the dust knowing there were rocks on both sides; sometimes you would hit one right in the middle. We got by Ryan Arciero in the one Terrible Herbst truck but I could not catch Larry, (Roessler). You had to be really smart to stay up front and still make it to the finish. It’s amazing that our General Tires held up like they did. We had a few slow leaks but no flats that we had to stop and change.”  Kory handed the car over to Richard Boyle who brought it home on the last lap for the victory in class one. Cody Parkhouse finished second, Chad Dohrman in third.
Kory Halopoff was not the only racer that played it smart, Justin Davis ran several clean laps in his Green Army Rigid Industries Trophy Truck after starting seventh to close on Tim Herbst who had the physical lead. Justin stayed in contact with Tim to the checkered flag winning the Trophy Truck class and the overall race on corrected time. “Our day went flawless,” said Justin, “We started seventh and just kept the truck moving; picking them off. You had to find your rhythm. If you strayed off course there was a rock waiting for you. The Herbst’s gave us a run for our money but it was just an awesome day. My Green Army Team had no problems. We want to thank Rigid Industries and BFG. The top three Trophy Trucks are all on BFGoodrich Tires, we couldn’t have done it without them.”

13hdra_king250_race07 four brothersFor brothers Tim and Troy Herbst, their hard work spent revising their suspension set-ups paid off with both landing on the podium. Tim, sharing driving duties with Larry Roessler was second and brother Troy and Ryan Arciero were third. “The truck ran great all day,” said Tim Herbst, “The crew has been working on our new King shocks quite a bit. It’s put us light years ahead of where we were. We’re real excited for the rest of the year. It was really fun but super dusty out there.”

The 1400 Sportsman Unlimited Trucks had a huge battle with Jonathan Libby beating 24 other trucks to the line. He had one flat tire on the first lap but otherwise a flawless day. In thick dust, he slammed a rear wheel on a rock while drifting through a corner. The resulting bent wheel caused the tire to go down. He was followed in by Ray Becker in second and Craig Reynolds in third.

Two racers who are definitely on a roll are Al Hogan and the team of Andrew Myers and Ross Savage. Both have taken back-to-back wins in HDRA this season. Al Hogan took another victory in the highly contested Class 7 beating the defending champion Josh Quintero in second and Steve Kovach in third. Myers and Savage also posted their second win in a row over Norris Brown in second and Richard Glaszczak in third.

Reid Rutherford got his first victory of the season in class 3000. “The 2013 HDRA Ridgecrest event was run on some of the roughest terrain I have seen in the states,” said Reid, “It was perfect for our Mason Pro Runner she just loves the bumps. The combination of BFGoodrich tires and FOX shocks proved to be the hot ticket again as we fought through the dust hitting hidden rocks without a single flat.”  Ryan Frisby was the second place finisher followed by Allan Lee. These three have been fighting it out all year.

Every racer who took to the course had a tough time at Ridgecrest. Racers looking for tight racing and a good challenge got plenty of it at the King Shocks HDRA 250. Those chasing the World Championship of Desert Racing are busy preparing for the Baja 500 May 31– June 2 in Ensenada, Baja Mexico. The HDRA series will next travel to Reno, Nevada July 12-14 for the epic Eldorado Reno 500.

Go to http://hdrarace.com/  and http://score-international.com/ for more race information.

You can see the entire unofficial results from the King Shocks HDRA 250 posted on the link below.
http://hdrarace.com/2013/04/06/king-shocks-hdra-250-unofficial-results-as-of-400pm/

Photography By: Brian Binkert
Bink Designs – www.binkdesigns.com

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