So after some recuperation, starting school, and buying another Raptor 700, I figure it's time for a post race report.
We woke up at 4 AM and were out at the staging area in Beatty, NV by 5:15. There were over 100 quads and dirt bikes staging so it was pretty crazy. I left the starting line at around 6:45 AM starting 101st and 3rd in my class. The sun had just come up so between that and the dust it was almost impossible to see anything for the first few miles. We finally turned and started heading west and the sun was no longer a problem.
In the first 100 miles I passed quite a few people. Both dirt bikes and quads. I was averaging over 40 mph which is considered around pro speed. (Pro quads average around 45+) The quad was running great! The maxxis tires I had to order days before the race were nice and smooth with no wobble. I hit over 90 mph out on one of the massive lake beds in the beginning of the race. Unfortunately I would side wall both of the Maxxis tires and ended up running my GBCs on the Hiper wheels in the rears for over 300 miles.
The first 300 miles was a walk in the park. 80% of the course so far was pretty smooth (to my standards) and fast. But after pit 10 at Mina RM354 it began to get worse. The trucks began to catch me after that pit so I had to keep an eye out for them. Having 800+ HP going 100+ MPH is nothing to play chicken with. Jason Voss was the first to pass me in a truck and from there on it was game on with the 4 wheel vehicles. The silt beds out of pit 10 were HORRIBLE. There were bikes stuck in it but luckily I held it wide open and was able to get through it with no trouble from the trucks.
After pit 11 in Gabbs at RM 406 the course began to deteriorate because of the intense rain storms we had been getting the weeks prior. Casey even told us at the drivers meeting in Vegas the night before the race that there were people out on bikes trying to remark the course after all of the rain. After Gabbs I had to ride into the sun yet again for 25 miles except this time the sun was setting.
I rode in the dark from RM 432 all the way to the finish at RM 545. I got stuck in some really bad silt beds within sight of pit 13 at Top Gun raceway. First I was stuck in a massive rain wash (with trucks coming up behind me in the dark) Then once I got out of that not 30 seconds later I buried it in 3 feet of silt. I actually got a trophy truck stuck after they saw me stuck and had to slow down. Completely out of energy I flagged down another ironman rider on a bike and between him, me, and the co driver in the truck, we were able to pull it out of the silt.
The last 20 miles of the course was beyond what any of you can imagine. After riding over 500 miles solo I could barley stand but I couldn't sit either. For 20 miles I pushed through rocks, rocks, and more rocks. The first UTVs actually caught me. Surprising Johnny Angel in the new UTV INC Turbo RZR was able to finish. They built the car in 12 days! I finished at 1:30 in the morning with a time of 18:46:32.
I saw my share of carnage and broken bones. I saw one expert team rider roll his quad sideways over a burm when he slid into it. I saw one of thr pro riders who broke his collar bone. It also could have been the rider who broke his back. Not sure. I saw one expert team rider with a tie rod that came apart on the side of the course. And another expert rider who lost his motor around RM 300 or so. There were trucks and buggys littered all over the place. The TSCO truck had ripped off the entire control arm just before Gabbs. And Pistol Pete taco'ed his truck in a MASSIVE rain wash early in the race. The finishing rate was only a hair over 50% for both MC/Quad and Car/Truck. I'm happy to say I had no mechanical issues. Only 2 flat tires and a few nuts and bolts loosen up. But we caught them before they became a problem.
I'd like to thank Kevin for getting my shocks setup right. They ran great the whole race and I never had to think about them. I also want to thank Fuel Customs for hooking me up with and extra filter and outerware for free! I couldn't have done it without my parents and our friends Jeff and Cherie in the pits! They made the 545 miles a lot easier since I didn't have to worry about how the bike was holding up.