Articles tagged as sparks pro racing (view all)

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.