2016 Dirt RIot race in Tucson, AZ

Posted by Shawn Smith on 03 May, 2016 0 comments

Post race in your face!

Went down to Tucson this past weekend to race in the second Dirt Riot race of the season at the MC motorsports park.

The week prior was almost as exciting as the race with having to put not just one, but two motors in the buggy in a 3 day span. The later of those being decided at 9am the day we were set to leave for the race. "yay"

After deciding that little motor with the "knock knock, who's there" personality was not going to end well, we had another 6.0 loaner motor fetched, installed, wired and fired..even including a lunch break by 2pm just 5 hours later!

That tells me two things, 1. For a new buggy I have swapped in too many motors already. And 2, my friends are awesome! The swap in the JImmys4x4 chassis was painless "again" taking very little time to yank dead motors from its grave.

Local wheeler and now my co-crash dummy of a friend Brent stepped up to co-drive with me this year. Having kept my streak of swapping a motor the day before the race alive, we headed for Tucson the next morning having sadly missed our much anticipated shock tuning appointment :/

Race day..

After a little prerunning, we have our drivers meeting, take pictures of some guy wearing girls clothes, eat some tacos "bad idea" and I climb into the Goodall Racing UTV to co-drive with Logan before my race.


We ran a consistent race but the little 900 Polaris is lacking in the power department against those mean ol 1000cc motors after leveling up to the ProUTV class "we plan to fix that ;)" . Logan drove a drama free race and ended the day in 3rd place. The car is still in one piece..relatively great news being we race in Laughlin for a Best in the Desert race this coming weekend lol.

For mine and Brent's race in the Organ Donor Race buggy.. as soon as the Pro Utv race was over I literally had just a minute to hop out of his race car and run right into mine as they were already on the starting line.

Lap one and two were uneventful unless you count trying to flip the buggy end over end after a g-out wash out :) We stayed off the top end of the throttle knowing the tune for the motor was for higher rpms and we had a stock 6.0 in there. Rather conservative racing and let those that needed around us.

None the less by lap 3 and 4 we were in a good groove and I had Brent convinced I was neither crazy or going to kill him... very soon the "slow downs" and "easy, easy easy" became less prevalent as we drove the buggy from 4 2 wheels to zero wheels on the ground! Pitching the corners sooner, learning the track and how to manipulate the new buggy via the throttle and down shifts quickly led to faster laps and less mistakes.

By lap 5 we were actually racing and having a blast if I do say so myself.. we started to trust the buggy despite beating the hell out of the front axle with a wash out that seemed destined to be covered in dust each lap.. Speaking of abuse.. we worked the hell out of the TH-400 transmission! Having had so many transmission issues in the past, I owe the guys over at Sparks Pro Racing and Sun Transmissions a huge shout out.. these laps were mean to it and it hasn't wanted to quit yet.

Lap 6 we really picked up the pace. our sections in the trees, the rocks and even our jumps, all got a little more exciting with some speed as we were now letting the 3.0 ADS shocks and big 2.5" bump stops actually do their job.

Having worked back up to 3rd place, we lost the belt in the last 500 feet, thus taking out the steering. As we watched cars go by, we scrambled to do a quick engine belt change. A few minutes later we crossed the finish line in 6th place having raced for the second time in the new buggy and getting my first finish in it.

With my co-driver and the buggy still in one piece, its time to prep for the upcoming Ultra4 race in Glen Helen next month where we can push it even harder.

BIG thanks to my supportive friends & vendors who not only help make all this nonsense possible but also make it fun at the same time, hell some even brought me tacos while we worked :)

For more information, race results or pictures check out BowerMedia & WeRocklive.

2015 Ultra4 stampede in Rancho Cordova CA

Posted by Shawn Smith on 19 June, 2015 1 comment


Heading up to Northern California, 3 race cars in tow and our right feet getting a day off as we make the journey 12 hours North West @ 55 mph.. We patiently arrived with a feeling of excitement in the air and a reminder that California can't build roads.

Day 1 would prove exciting and set the precedent for what was to come on race day.

Roll overs, roll overs and more roll overs!

Action packed weekend that didn't disappoint, Goodall stepped up first with not only a roll over but a recovery to continue on and finish his heat. I checked the judges score cards and the landing must have won them over.

Andrew in the Letzroll 4493 would start his heat race in the 8th position. On his quest to advance to the front someone got the same idea that this was a race and tangled up in his rear taking out the rear brakes. No problem proved to be the theme of the day as he made his way to the front of the pack where he would get comfortable and finish first with our bud Wayland Campbell rounding out a top 3 with us.

Shannon decided to do what Shannon does and got a little crazy for the crowd and bicycled his 4400 class, setting himself up for a nose dive finish over the gap crazy guy you.

Saturday would prove to be exciting with Alan up to bat to compete with Goodall for the best roll recovery but he spiced it up by doing so over the front end, he wiped the lip stick off the pig in the first lap and when the dust settled she had more of a boar face:p 

Alan kept the pedal down and it rewarded him with the ability to continue on to finish the race and still in first out of the roll to boot!

During his main, a mechanical issue brought it to a stop early in the race but a great showing none the less and the car is only getting faster with each race.

In the thick of all this action the team managed to deal with the fact that Andrew had finished the last race with a blown rear pinion.. This left us with a short time span to swap a "not quite right but we can make it work" replacement 3rd into the rear axle.

All hands on deck from our friends on site with crew chief leading the repair. Keeping the team on pace, got the job finished in time and the car to the line in its well earned 4th starting position.

Onto the main event.. The gloves were off and we didn't have the same fight plan as Mayweather & Pacquiao. These boys dropped the gloves and went wheel to wheel and put on a show!

Shortly after the start Campbell, Healy, Andrew, Wayes, Goodall and others quickly let each other know who was there to race with the pack of our Arizona boys out in front like they all were fighting to be the parade marshal.

Cars started dropping like flies, with a couple cars attempting to race while on fire and giving race ops a chance to earn their money for the day.

Spectators were rewarded with drivers racing on flat tires, a driver who took off backwards, one car racing on 7 cylinders with his smoke screen behind him. The fans must be happy not every one has a shock tuner like our boy Brian because some cars were down right pogo sticks setting themselves over for some fun landings :)

The recovery of the wrecks from the Norcal Rocks crew was impressive to watch with Dave on the the radio while zipping around in his KOH edition Polaris Razor working hard to keep the rolled over drivers safe and the other racers informed of the oncoming wrecks being cleared. Their efforts and execution were simply amazing. Did i mention the water truck putting out a driver on fire..ya that happened.


Near the end, Andrew would go to pull off an inside pass over the boulders like the rock crawler turned racer he is. A move that just a lap earlier rewarded him the ability to advance around 4 cars but sadly the 4493 was struck this time and turned over by another competitor right after he passed several cars successfully. :/ That's racing!

Turned back over by the Norcal Rocks bronco after a few tugs, he went on to finish the race allotting him a qualified spot for KOH 2016.

On the back stretch team Goodall would fall victim to another roll, this too would loose them their position they fought for, as the dust settled Kennith and Jack would still finish and acquire their entry into kOH too, a very nice piece of mind this early in the season.

With the race over, the CAR-B-Q's were pulled off course and the mangled cars recovered, the drivers parked front and center to enjoy the moment their families, friends, racers and excited spectators.

With the Healy taking first, Shannon Second and his son Wayland 3rd there were plenty of smiles but none as wide as a happy little kid that Shannon rewarded with his trophy as a race day memory to enjoy for days to come.

No doubt that little guy will be educating other kids what ultra 4 racing is about come the next show & tell day at school.

Big thanks to all of our friends we call competitors for an awesome weekend!

Thanks to White Collar publishing, ShotsbyTBars, The Redline project and others for the killer pics! Lots more of them to come over the next few days.

With all that said..this is just a sample of one persons perspective..there were hundreds other people with teams there, these events do not disappoint!

If you haven't yet checked one out..DO IT