May 24, 2020- Mesquite, NV – I was stoked to be back at the track last weekend at WORCS racing and couldn’t wait to get in my car to head to the start line. I’ve been missing racing a lot these last few months!
We headed to the track on Thursday morning and arrived that evening. After getting our pit set up, I got to see some of my race family and friends. It felt like I was at home again!
On Friday afternoon, I went to the line to run the unclassified practice. It was hot, windy, and very dusty. My only goal was to get a good feel for the track because the course changed a little from the last time we ran there. My car gave me some trouble and I lost my front diff early in the one lap I completed. When I came around to the pit area, I pulled off the course so my crew could look at my car. The front diff was out and my brakes were on fire. I quickly got out and my crew and a few others put the fire out. Unfortunately, I had to end practice early that day.
I headed back to my pit so we could assess the damage and begin working on my car to get it ready to race on Saturday. We borrowed a front diff and got that in the car pretty quickly. Then we did some work on my brakes, bleeding all of the fluid out of the lines and making sure the pads looked ok to run. We added brake fluid back and made sure everything else was good to go for the race.
On Saturday morning, I got up early and radioed for one of my RZR170 buddies, and then I headed back to my pit to check my car one last time before heading to the line on Saturday afternoon. I put on my driving suit and got ready to go.
The SXS 1000 Production race was scheduled for 1:20 in the afternoon and I headed to the line about 40 minutes before go time. I lined up on row one and I felt good about my starting position. We got ready and when the green flag flew, we all took off! I was in P3 off the line, but quickly made a pass moving me into P2. I was chasing down the leader about half way through lap one, when I heard a loud noise and felt like I lost some power. I knew it wasn’t a good sign. Then I heard another loud noise and my car slowed to a stop. A billow of smoke filled the car and I was done. I radioed to my crew and told them what had happened. We had lost the motor. They sent a WORCS official to tow me in. I was beyond bummed.
We briefly looked at the car and confirmed that the motor was gone. I went and watched the rest of the Production race and then headed back to my pit. Later that afternoon, I radioed for one of my friends in the RS1 Youth 1000 class. Then, we made sure my Stock car was 100% ready for Sunday’s race. We checked the tire pressure, fueled my car, and did a final once over to make sure everything was perfect. We felt good about the car and felt ready to go.
Sunday afternoon, I lined up for the SXS 1000 Stock class. I was in row one and lined up in the same place as the day before. The green flag flew and we took off! I was in P2 off the start and stayed on the leader’s bumper as we headed out onto the course. It was dusty and in some areas, I had to back off a bit because I couldn’t see in front of me. As I completed lap 1, my crew noticed that I had bent a lower radius rod, but everything seemed to be handling ok, so I kept going. I continued to chase down the leader, but had some trouble in lap 2. There was a ledge that I didn’t see and flew off, nosing my car into the ground. I pulled over to make sure everything was ok, and unfortunately, I lost a position while I was on the side of the track. I got back on the course in P3. I was able to move into P2 again going into lap 3. I was doing everything I could to catch the leader, but with every bump and jump, the radius rod bent more and more. I was able to hold P2 for the next two laps. Going into the 6th and final lap, my radius rod finally gave way and broke completely. I slowed down to compensate, and I felt I could get through one more lap and come across the finish line. I was moving along pretty good, but without the radius rod, it was putting great strain on the rear driver’s side of the car. My lower shock eye broke, and then my rear tire flew up, knocking the coolant hose off the radiator, causing all of the coolant to drain from the motor. My car came to a stop. I radioed to my crew that I was getting out to see what had happened. I found the coolant hose and realized the car was done. I had lost another motor. The WORCS officials came and towed me back to my pit. I felt pretty defeated. Because I had completed almost the entire race, I was awarded finishing points and placed 12th.
We pushed both cars into the trailer and headed home. This weekend was one of the toughest race weekends I have ever had. Unfortunately, this is all part of racing. You’ll have times where everything well and you have a great finish. And, you’ll experience other times like last weekend when you lose two motors. These are the times that test us and make us stronger.
We are very busy tearing down both cars to get them ready for the parts and motors that will be arriving (hopefully) soon so we can prep for the next round in Wickenburg, AZ on June 19th – 21st. I am looking forward to getting back out there and getting those cars across the finish line.
Thanks so much to all of these amazing companies and people that support my program: Benchmark Performance, Candle Motorsports, Method Race Wheels, GBC Motorsports, Crow Enterprizes, Elka Suspension, Super ATV, Roll Design, Energy Coil Racing, Factory UTV, Baja Designs, Gates G-Force, PRP Seats, Rugged Radios, Maxima Racing Oils, Bikeman Performance, Tireblocks, Crown Performance Products, Got Sand Performance, Oceanside Driveline, HOK9, Perrault Motorsports, Dirt Rider Designs, and my parents who make this possible for me! Thanks to WORCS for putting on the series and Harlen Foley for the amazing pictures!
You can check out the Sims188 Racing team on Instagram @csims188 or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/csims188/.