Hot Springs Arkansas Ultra 4 Race – Loren Healy
Our team did not plan on competing at the Superlift off road park in Hot Spring Arkansas but after two straight DNF’s in Utah and Indiana we had no choice if we wanted to compete for the Nitto Tire National Championship. After Indiana we knew that our big IFS desert car was far from the ideal choice for woods racing on the east coast so we decided to take our 3 year old solid axle car that we had just recently reacquired.
Friday morning we got our first taste of the slick rocks in Arkansas while pre running with 4 or 5 other ultra 4 racers, it took us 3 hours to run 1 lap! If I had to describe the course I would say it is a lot like KOH with out the desert, only rock sections. We all had to pull winch lines for each other and flip cars over that had rolled and broke. We got back to the pits and prepared to qualify. After walking the course we knew it was a crap shoot on whether it would get harder as the rocks changed or easier but we didn’t want to risk it getting harder so we jumped right in line and set the fastest time for the day.
Qualifying on the pole turned out to be the key for the race, we cleared the first rock section with out a problem and didn’t see another race car until we got into lap traffic on the 3rd lap. Every one was real nice getting out of the way letting us run our race. On the 4th lap the rock sections were twice as hard from water and all the traffic through them, we made a couple mistakes and even laid the car on its side but were able to back out of it on the final lap. Bringing the old race car turned out to be a great decision putting us in the #1 spot after 2 hours and 13 minutes. We had done what we came to do which was get on the podium so we could be close to the top for national standing, we should be sitting in 2nd with 2898 points, only 11 points behind the leader! Time to get ready for nationals in Las Vegas the end of September. Huge Thanks to my awesome sponsors and Casey Trujillo for doing a great job co-driving.