Parker 425 Recap:
What a week. Started out with a slight hiccup Wednesday night with Alex and David , Alex getting a flat on the way out. We can’t help but think wtf is this an omen?!! Anyways made it the rest of the way with no further issues. Pleased to hear Garrett on the radio following a few miles back. Wasn’t expecting Garrett until Thursday evening , but him being there on Thursday for qualifying turned out to be a huge help. Set up camp and got ready for qualifying.
Qualifying is a 5.4 mile loop, mostly sand and very loose dirt. Alex did the practice lap, we then heard on the radio that the tracker did not work…we didn’t install it. We had to secure a tracker and then we made the decision to drop some air pressure after Alex and Dave had a look at the course. Doing these things alone would have been possible but having Garrett there made it a lot easier. So Alex is in line to qualify, #20 out of #23 trucks.
He’s off and a couple minutes later I hear yelling coming over the radio, which typically isn’t what you want to hear. It’s Alex saying that they caught the truck in front of them. This is a major issue because Alex had to get around the guy, which would affect our time and qualifying position. I informed the race organization of this and they offered a re run. Alex however declined in order to save the truck for race day. Turns out we qualified 12th , even with a delay of running in dust and passing another truck.
Contingency was fun , not too crowded which was nice. Had pci program some channels into a radio, can’t say enough good things about these guys. If you ever need race radios, intercoms , etc these guys are very service oriented.
By this time David Hudson and Mike Hudson had shown up. Another good thing because we had to add another tracking device to the truck, this involved removing almost half of the body and the roof. We had a list of things to do, we all worked together and got it done. All while Mario was bbqing filets, potatoes and corn which really hit the spot.
Race day: Alex is running hard and makes it up to 3rd on the road a little over halfway of the first lap. Then we hear over the radio of a possible transmission problem. Turns out it was a rock jammed between the brake caliper and the wheel. Dave cleared it and they were back in the race. They got a flat a while after that as well. This put us 6th or 7th on the road now. First pit was mayhem. Just a lot of guys and a lot of stuff happening. We dumped 50 gallons of fuel, changed a rear tire that was going flat and sent them back on the road.
2nd lap Alex and Dave ran hard with no issues. As they were getting close to main pit we were ready and Alex had stated he needed something to eat, just a slice of bread haha. Well as they got closer, we told them that they had made up several positions and would be leaving our pit running 3rd on the road. At that point they said gas only! The crew made this a great stop. I would estimate just over a minute to dump 50 gallons. Quick checks while they were dumping fuel and the guys went out 3rd on the road.
About 5 miles later we hear they have a flat. Argh!! Dave got it handled and they are now in 5th with about 110 miles to go. Art was tracking them all day on the laptop and this was a huge help as well. We can see there is a battle going on for 3rd and 4th with Alex about 7 miles behind them. Then the 3rd place truck is having issues and we are running 4th about 5 miles behind 3rd.
Alex goes through pit 4 (race mile 100) about a minute behind 3rd passing Garrett and Nikki who are holding a sign saying “4th !!” Rad!! Of course Alex now can smell the blood in the water and goes to work. At this point I am telling them to only pass them if it’s a clean pass, because we will still have 3rd on corrected time if we come in on their bumper….of course Dave is saying “sorry we can’t hear you” hahaha. A few minutes later we hear Dave screaming that they made the pass….not without giving the truck ahead of them a “light” tap on the bumper of course!
430 miles of brutal course. 3rd out of 23 entries. We had about 200 miles of testing on a brand new truck and Alex’s first time driving a truck in a race. I think he did a heck of a job.
Lots of guys came out to help and made it possible…Doug, Adrian, Rudy, Beny, Seth, Jeff, Mike and I’m sure I forgot a few!
Now it’s time to take it all apart and do it again! Mint 400 just around the corner!