2013 Jeepspeed Season Launches With Tough Race at Parker
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The 2013 Jeepspeed racing season got underway at the Best in the Desert, (BITD) Blue Water, Parker 425 in Parker, Arizona. 21 Jeepspeeds lined up to contend for the General Tire Jeepspeed Challenge presented by ATX Series Wheels. The first race of the season promises a fresh start for longtime competitors in the Jeepspeed series and the chance to make a mark for first time competitors. Both played out on the rough Parker course during the race.
The last time Eric Helgeson raced in Parker, the deep sands dashed his hopes of a top finish when his injured Jeepspeed was unable to make the steep climb up the sand hill they call the Matterhorn. This time out he would not let anything, including rolling his Nexgen Motorsports, Currie Enterprises, Anaheim Gear, Deaver Springs, OC Driveline, RDM OffRoad, King Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuel, General Tire, ATX Wheels, Jeepspeed to deter him from taking the win. “We started next to last but passed 16 or 18 Jeeps in the first 30 miles or so,” said Eric, “We were going strong until I ran out of talent and put our Jeepspeed on its lid. We got it back on all fours and decided to just, go for it! We were at full tilt chasing everyone down. In the end, we came out on top.”
For the Three Amigos, Dave Bolles, Jeff Sherrill and Ron Thomas the strategy they used to take fourth place was to drive smart and have fun. “This was our first time racing in Jeepspeed and our first time racing in Parker,” said Dave Bolles, “Our plan was for each of us to drive 90 miles so we could all get a feel for the Jeep. Once I got past the nerves and settled in, my race went flawless. We had a slight problem with a fuel pump but no flats and no other issues. We kept passing other jeeps until we made it to the finish line. When we pulled up and saw the other Jeeps lined up just ahead of us, we knew we had a great result. Jeepspeed is a killer deal. You become part of a really cool community when you race the series. You get hooked up with tires from General and ATX wheels and reduced entries from Best in the Desert. We had planned to race the Mint and Vegas to Reno but now we are in the hunt and intend to chase after the championship.”
Second place finisher Eric Heiden was overheard to ask, “How fast do you have to go to win one of these?” All joking aside, he was pleased with his second place showing and added that he had a great race. The top finish puts him solidly in championship contention. For Rick Randall, his podium finish was bittersweet. He led most of the race but lost time near the end with fuel pump and other issues that dropped him to third. “We decided not to push it and make sure we finished without breaking,” said Rick, “It was tough to pull over and let both Eric’s drive right past us. I thought it was our day, but that's racing. Five starts with the new truck and five finishes. See everyone at the Mint.” Rounding out the top five was Dustin Hoffman. “We could not be happier with our fifth place finish,” said Dustin, “This puts us in a good spot for the rookie of the year running.”
In the General Tire Jeepspeed Cup, the 3700 class and overall win in the two-lap race went to Bob Mamer in his turbocharged Comanche pick-up. “I’m not sure what happened to the other competitors in 3700 because we had to leave right after the finish,” said Bob, “We had an exhaust header break towards then end of the first lap but all in all, it was a great race for us in Parker. The engine is now tuned to our liking and the chassis work is done, we are looking forward to the Mint 400.” Second place and the only other finishers in 3700 were Scott and David Dzierzanowski who came all the way from Washington State.
The Parker race was filled with incredible action, tales of selfless sportsmanship and amazing feats of desert engineering to get to the finish line. It was unknown who would come away with the win until the very end of the last lap. The racers and crews will be preparing for the next round of racing at the Mint 400 March 21-23 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The format shifts to a heat race style so the Jeepspeeds will have the course to themselves while they battle amongst each other for the win, you won’t want to miss it! Go to www.jeepspeed.com for more information, race schedules, media and the Jeepspeed forum.
The Jeepspeed series is a competitive, cost effective series that has pitted Jeep vehicles against each other on challenging desert courses since 2001. Unlike the more expensive spec racing classes, there is no obligation to purchase your race vehicle or parts from the series organizer. You build your own vehicle the way you like as long as it fits within the rules. Jeepspeed offers the most fun and closest racing in the desert today. Jeepspeed series is supported by General Tire
, ATX Wheels
, RDM Offroad
, Howe Performance
, Currie Enterprises
, King Shocks
, TJ Performance Center
, Sunoco Race Fuels
, Baja Designs
, Rubicon Express
, G2 Axle & Gear
& PAC Racing Springs
Visit www.jeepspeed.com for more information.
About General Tire
For more than 95 years General Tire has offered a complete quality line of ultra-high performance, passenger, light truck, off-road and commercial tires to meet all your needs. General Tire is a proud supporter of Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series, Best in the Desert Racing Series, Major League Fishing, Chili Bowl, Pro-Pulling, Late-Model Dirt Series, Drag Boat Series, American Sprint Car Series, FreestyleMx.com Tour, Zero One Odyssey, and Spec Tire of Trophylite and JeepSpeed. Team GT supports off-road and short course teams including Banning Motorsports, CJ Hutchins, Garrick Freitas, Harley Letner, Jerry Zaiden/Jason Campbell/Jerry Whelchel (Camburg), Jim Riley, Justin Lofton, Macrae Glass, Mike Childress, Randy Merritt, Ray Griffith, Rick L. Johnson, Sean Backus, Steve Alexander, Carey Hart/Josh Merrell/Ryan Beat/Rob Naughton (Hart & Huntington), Carl Renezeder, Casey Currie, Kyle Lucas, Robby Woods, Ryan “Fluffer” Hagy, Marc Burnett, and Johnny Campbell.
General Tire is part of Continental Tire the Americas, LLC. (www.generaltire.com). CTA, based in Fort Mill, South Carolina, is a company of Germany-based Continental AG. With sales of approximately €20 billion in 2009 Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, Continental contributes enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has close to 160,000 employees in 45 countries.