WE DID IT! 1st in 6100 and 20th overall of 221 entries!
Alex and Dave are badass. Our support team works very well together. Prep was perfect.
Headed to Vegas for qualifying. Turns out qualifying really isn’t our thing right now! We were the sixth truck to qualify. I was able to watch the first few trucks and I knew that first right turn was a daisy. Alex and Dave thought I was kidding I guess! They hit it a little hard, Alex the courteous guy he is, decided to take out a tree stump instead of a guys camera. Dave comes over the radio about 10 seconds later and says the front end is messed up. We were able to get a visual on the straight away right in front of us and could see the bumper and valence were pushed into the tire so the guys kept running. It was a good run, but the competition is so close in this class that that slight mishap bumped us to ninth. Alex after qualifying- “that’s fine, I like running them down”.
Thursday night, Fremont street…..What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Let’s just say it was a lot of fun.
Friday put the truck through tech with no issues. Got the chase vehicles ready and finalized our pit and fueling strategies.
Left Vegas at 530am to begin the 120 mile trek to the start line. Ninth 6100 off the line. Beautiful day for racing, great weather, light breeze to clear a little dust.
Our first visual is at pit 2 race mile 71. Truck 6196 comes through running clean, 5th on the road, 5 minutes off the lead truck which put us 30 seconds off the lead on corrected time. They had gotten around the truck in front of them in the tight, technical stuff which turned out to be critical later in the race. Alex said after the race “I paced him for a while and stayed patient, I knew I would get him in the tight technical stuff” Approaching pit 2, Dave says all is good, they need nothing, truck is good and he’s feeling better after he got sick a while back….altitude sickness and the curves had gotten the best of him….well not the best of him, they were still running hard! We didn’t know it at the time, but apparently the sound and smell had gotten Alex sick as well! After they passed, Dave Hudson (chase 2) headed off to pit 3 while we headed to pit 4 (midway) to set up our fueling pit.
Got to pit 4, Dave Hudson had his visual at 3 and headed our way. This is when things started to get real. They come to pit 4, 4th on the road. This was to be a critical pit stop. The #2 truck pitted and was doing a driver change. Alex came through right after them. The guys ate a quick snack and picked up 49 gallons of fuel. The guys had kept the truck clean and it only needed fuel. They pulled out in front of the #2 truck, I was ecstatic for a moment thinking they were #2 on the road…my elation was short lived when I learned that a truck had passed while we were refueling. They were now 3rd on the road, up from their 9th place start!
Pit 6: we jumped in the truck and sent Alex and Dave off to do their thing. At pit 6 we watched the lead truck take fuel and do a driver change. We also noticed them looking at the front end quite a bit. Staring down the pit road we then see 6196!!! Wtf?!! Second on the road??! These guys do work! Even when covered in puke! Alex came through at 9:30 off the lead truck. This put us 5 minutes off the lead on corrected time. They’re only question to us as they passed was “who’s behind us??!!” We responded, “it’s Denton! 10 seconds behind you!” Alex responded with mash of the throttle pedal as they disappeared into the dust!!! Denton was the truck that Alex had passed 40 miles into the race.
We then headed to pit 7. While driving to pit 7, Mario, Alex’s father comes over the radio and says go to the other channel. “What’s up Mario?” Mario- “the lead truck blew an engine”. ….Silence for a few seconds….we’re about to become first on the road….Mario- “are you going to tell them on the radio?” My response “no. Let them pass them on the road and see it” It’s way to early to celebrate but we’re feeling really good at this point. The guys come through pit 7 for a thumbs up. “How far back is Denton?” is their only question. We give them the split. “30 seconds. See you at the finish.”
It will be a long long long time before I forget the sound and look of that truck at 100mph making its way to the finish and hearing Dave yell over the radio “WE DID IT BOYS!!!”
We knew all along all we needed was a clean run to get a win. Alex can drive that truck, no doubt. Would we have still won if the lead truck hadn’t broke? Possibly. Alex was definitely closing the time gap and there was less traffic holding him up. That’s racing though. A good friend told me on Saturday after the race “sometimes the bear gets you, but today you guys were the bear!”
Not one flat, not one issue.
What an epic day. Hugs all around and high fives even though the guys were covered in puke! I guess that’s what perseverance and not giving up will get you. A win.
6196 GHA racing now leads the points race halfway into the season with new truck and a new team.
Thanks Alex and Dave for driving your asses off and Alex for putting a great team together and thanks to all the team for working their asses off during prep and race day!