YJM’s Race Team Finishes all Laps in STORR’s 2019 Series
All things said, 2019 was a great year for the Yellow Jacket Motorsports Team. As noted in previous posts, we had three major goals going into 2019.
This was due to 2018 being such a terrible year for us and forcing us to put up or hang up the spurs and go home.
The goals were simple but ambitious.
- Finish all four of STORR’s races
- Win at least one race
- Win STORR’s Naturally Aspirated Pro UTV Class
Goal No. 1
As noted, this year we were able to finish all four of STORR’s races for a grand total of 700 extremely grueling miles that knocked out a fairly high percentage of challengers along the way.
Ironically, the last lap, of the last race, “The Revenge 150,” turned out to be the most challenging of all.
We did not get a chance to pre-run and from the green flag, it was obvious that something was terribly wrong with the recently rebuilt shocks.
The shocks were way too soft out of the gate and the racecourse was chock full of whoops of all sizes that made the car bottom out way too easily.
The shocks were also topping out very easily when before the rebuild they were performing perfectly at this particular setting.
This made it impossible to carry any speed through those long whoop sections.
Crew Chief, Hot Rod Todd made some shock adjustments at the end of lap one that improved our situation some, but not nearly enough.
To compound our issues, we broke the rear sway bar somewhere around the beginning of lap two.
This made the car lean excessively in the corners and added another dimension to keeping the car under control. Especially, in the off-camber corners on the loose rocks.
At the end of lap two, I got out and as planned. Israel then moved from the navigator’s seat and became the wheelman for the second time under race conditions.
While he and April were getting strapped in with Todd’s help, I made more adjustments to the compression and rebound on the shocks.
The new driver and navigator took off for the final 45.5-mile lap of the 2019 season. Right at ten minutes later, we got a call in the pits from April. She was a little shook up and noted that they had flipped end over end and were on their side, but OK.
While heading their way Israel called and said he believed the car would probably be alright if we could get it on its wheels pretty quickly.
It didn’t take long for STORR’s Christopher Saenz to get hooked up and pull the car over on its wheels. Almost no fluids had leaked and the car fired right up.
Both driver and navigator hopped back in and took off to finish the race.
Israel had been with me in the 7200 truck before when I turned it over so the situation was nothing new to him.
However, this was April’s first time in the car under race conditions.
At this point, I would like to give Kudos to both of them. Particularly to my daughter April, for choosing to get back in and finishing what they started.
Especially when they knew the car was handling so poorly and was now bent up some.
Goal No. 2
Winning at least one race in the 2019 season was very important to us. We have enough second and third place trophies.
Earlier in the year at the “Big Daddy 150,” there were seven Pro-Class entries. There were four Turbo and three in our Naturally Aspirated Class.
More than half of the seven Pros were unable to finish all of the laps. Only one Turbo and two NA cars completed every mile.
We took the win in NA by a wide margin over second place and finished thirteen minutes behind the venerable Pro Turbo team of Hector Contreras. We celebrated!!
Goal No. 3
The season points have not been tallied yet but we are sitting in a good position with a first, two seconds, and a fourth.
What is in store for 2020?
At the time of this writing, the frame on the car is bent to the point that we’ll be stripping it down and rebuilding it on a brand new chassis.
Current plans are to add a full cage, fuel cell, and a turbo in order to try our hand at Pro Turbo next year.
Finishing the 2020 NORRA 500 is the major goal for 2020.
Be safe out there and we’ll see you in 2020!