2017 BITD Vegas to Reno Trick Truck Race Report

Johnny Angal TT63 – Polaris RZR – Vegas to Reno 2017

We will call this report ‘Mind Games’

So… after the Method Race Wheels Laughlin Classic, a race we finished in 6th place, in the new to us Trophy Truck we would start getting the truck ready for Vegas to Reno. Since my truck prep guy moved on to bigger and better things it was up to Vance, Boner, a new guy in my shop Ben, and myself to get the truck ready for 550 miles of crazy Nevada terrain. I must mention Vance went above and beyond working his ass off getting us ready for this race. I never dreamed Vance and I would be pulling and replacing transmissions, rear ends and everything else that had to be done on the truck to get it ready for the race but we got it done. LOL! We did a pretty good fucking job too!

So, during all that prep work I was thinking “550 miles… in the trophy truck… can I do it?” Now some of you guys are thinking ‘Wow, Trophy Trucks are like riding on a magic carpet, so fast and so smooth, 11 hours is no big deal!’ as you sit in front of the computer… right? Well you can all eat shit! It is so, so, so, physically demanding its’ just mind blowing. Yes it is faster and better riding then my Polaris RZR, but I am now hitting holes in the desert at 100-110 MPH vs 30-40 MPH. It is brutal. You can’t take your mind off what you’re doing for 1 second. It is 100% concentration the whole time or you’re going to be making new roads through the desert.

So anyhow I figured I’d ask the man I bought my truck from if he wanted to race with me. I figured he had a lot of seat time in the truck and he is one of the World’s top off road racers. I said to myself ‘The hell with it!’ and called him up. The call went great and he said he would let me know on Monday. Well Monday came and went… but I understood 100%. I figured if I was one of the best off-road racers in the world why would I team up with somebody who has only been racing for 3 years and has only raced a Trophy Truck 3 times in his life? Yep, I agree. It all went through my head and I had no problem with it. I had a backup plan. Remember how I told you it is so punishing on the mind and body? Well I started meditating to cleanse my mind and body. Yup, that’s right. LOL. Not really! I can’t believe you fell for that! LOL!! But I did start going to the gym and working out 5-6 days a week, hard for about 2 ½ months with Vance. We’ve had a blast I started seeing muscles that I had not seen for years come back to life. I was feeling good and ready to take on V2R!

Any way a week goes by and Jesse Jones whom I consider to be one of the ‘Original Bad Ass Trophy Truck Racers’ texts me back and says “Sorry, I’ve been so busy but yes, I’d love to race with you.”

Bam Boom!

My mind is blown! Jesse Jones is going to race with me! Woot! Woot! You would not believe my excitement! I tell him my plan and he’s like “Yep sounds great lets go race and have fun.” He asks “How well do you qualify?” Um, I say “Not great.” followed up with, “Well at qualifying for the Laughlin race I took the barbed wire fence out while on two wheels!” … So … yah … “Not bad” he says, “well as long as you qualify top 20 we’ll be fine.” Sounds easy enough to me, top 20, we got that.

Anyway, we finish prepping the truck and Boner gets to haul it up to Vegas so our motor builder, Kevin Kroyer, can get it on the dyno to make sure everything is good. They end up fixing some other issues on the truck and find a little more horsepower for me in some adjustments and a bad throttle body position sensor. To me it’s like a new truck and it’s pulling harder than ever before. Boy, I wish I had that extra power at the last three races! LOL!

Now that everything is a go and we head up to Vegas the day before qualifying. I am going to do it because I want to start the race and Jesse is very busy at work and he won’t be able to make it. As I am getting ready to get in the truck Jesse walks up with a big smile and says he just flew in last minute to check things out and he had to fly out in a couple of hours to take care of unfinished business back in Phoenix. I was very excited to see his passion for racing. Boner and I jump in the truck and sit in line sweating our asses off as we wait our turn to go. Its freaking hot out and our 468-cubic inch Kroyer motor is building heat like an old wood stove in the cab of the truck. It’s gotta be 130 degrees sitting in the truck waiting. We do our practice lap and Jesse comes over and gives me a few pointers and teaches me tricks and tips that he has learned in his years of racing. It is awesome! So now we have to sit and wait for our turn to qualify. Racing has a lot of sitting around, LOL! It is really freaking hot and, yes, I’m really freaking nervous, but it’s our turn and I have a plan for each section. Each bump. Each straightaway… Boom! Before you know it and, after a nose wheelie or two we are done! I feel good about it, I was nice and smooth. It seemed fast, I am sure I got that top 20 starting position we were shooting for, without a doubt in my mind! The results are posted and I qualified in 38th.

WWWWWHHHAAATTTTT?! 38th?!?!?!? NO WAY!!!

I had a smooth, clean, fast run, no way! Fucking 38th?! I sit there thinking to myself:

‘Well 38TH, no, no, no…’

‘I guess I will race the last two races of the year, then put the truck up for sale.’

‘Man, I suck!’

‘There is no reason for me to keep racing. I just don’t have what it takes to line up with these bad ass mother fuckers.’

‘Yup, it’s over, I’m not spending this kind of money to be the 38th fastest guy in the desert.’

‘I need a new hobby, I suck. 38th? LOL What am I doing here?’

‘Man, the timers must be wrong.’

‘38th THIRTY, EIGTH.’

That number is burning into my brain, that’s all that runs through my head for the next two days! Well that and boy do I suck! 38th?! Really?! I just let the whole team down and I just made Jesse think ‘What the hell was I thinking? This guy sucks! 38th place really?’

So I am guessing you guys now understand how I felt? Yah, fucking 38th place. So what that means is 37 guys that are faster than me, making dust, hitting huge rocks and throwing them out in the course in front of me. 37 trucks loosening and grinding the roads to a fine silt with no traction, oh well to much effort went into this to stop now, but I suck!!!

Contingency sucks, so we will just forget that even happened and get right to racing! I asked one of the best racers in the world to race with me and yup, I suck, I shouldn’t be here, I’m burning $100 bills like they grow on trees and for what I ask?

We are 38th off the line might I remind you? Oh well, here we go!

Our motor roars to life! Tires are spinning and we are off racing the 2017 Vegas To Reno in a Trophy / Trick Truck! I feel fine now. It feels like we are hauling ass. I catch the truck in front of me in the first 15 miles but when I go in for the kill I get dusted out. This happens for the first 100 or so miles. We are flying thru the air! I am feeling great! I am going fast, right? Oh shit, maybe I am just going 38th place fast…? We charge as hard as we can at times doing 117 miles per hour in dust so thick I can’t see Boner in the passenger seat. I am even thinking about God at times. Man, I am feeling good, I am pumped up! Right about then sweat starts rolling from my forehead. I am hot. I am nauseous. Oh fuck, I think I am going to throw up.

We are right around race mile 100 and I am thinking ‘I wonder if Jesse will mind getting in the truck at race mile 150? I suck anyway and should not be here.’ A few minutes pass and I am feeling better. I’m sliding the truck around corners and it’s feeling great over a few small jumps. Around race mile 150 I’m laughing and screaming in my helmet as we fly thru the air! Boner is thinking I’ve lost it! LOL! At race mile 200 we get a flat tire and get passed by 4 trucks in the blink of an eye. Now I’m in the dust again. Yep, you guessed it, I start feeling queasy again. At the next pit stop they tell us we are doing great and making up all kinds of spots. They think we have moved up to 16th truck on course. Now everyone is getting excited and saying we are doing great! I get out of the truck at race mile 300, and Jesse gets in with Boner. Kind of a slow driver change but all is good.

The truck is running strong and besides the one flat we are killing it! I start chasing from pit to pit and I am in Jesses Raptor. I have a hand-held radio and I think I hear Boner say “We need two tires on the rack.” I radio back with no response but Boner keeps calling with the same request. He just can’t hear me. So, I yank the spares out of the raptor and ask the Graf Racing guys if they will help me rack them and they kindly oblige. A huge thank you to those guys! I was feeling much betting knowing I started in the back and moved up 24 spots physically and on corrected time was close to the top ten. I was just smiling, happy, and my world was once again at peace. I was even thinking about ordering up that new 4 wheel drive trophy truck… fuck me, right? That is the ups and downs of racing. I can’t say much about Jesse’s 250 miles in the truck but Boner said we have a lot of the same driving style. However, Jesse isn’t afraid to hammer down in the rough stuff and Boner said as they were flying through the air at 108 mph Jesse said “This aint nothing! She hasn’t even started to stretch her legs!” So they ended up getting a couple of flats, and breaking the floor jack, then our air jack got stuck in the mount and wouldn’t come out which set us way back. All in we ended up with a 14th place finish and we had a ton of fun doing what we love!

I came home and learned I had taken the truck from 38th to 9th place on corrected time and my mind was blown. I was so excited, pumped, stoked, yah it aint first but I am learning! Sunday I loaded up my Polaris RZR and went for a 6 hour ride to relax, chill and reflect on one of the most bad ass Fridays of my life. Not to mention it was an awesome Sunday!!!

Shout out to Polaris RZR, Jesse Jones, The Geiser’s, Method Race Wheels, Baja Designs Lights, Fox Racing Shocks, Kroyer Racing Engines, Gear Works, Boner, Joe, Nickers, Nate, Vance, Chris, Tyler, Al, Conwon3, BITD, KN Filters, Howe Power Steering, my bad ass team at UTVINC

Team Work Makes The Dream Work!!!!!

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2017 BITD Laughlin Desert Classic Trick Truck Race Report

2017 Laughlin Method Race Wheels Desert Classic

Polaris RZR Factory Racing
Johnny Angal Trick Truck #63

Here we go! Well some of you know I had some shit happen and I missed the Mint 400. I was so bummed and disappointed but yah, shit happens. The truck was close to ready for the Laughlin race, I just had a few things to do to button it up. Being a small race with only 1 pit we would only need a small crew, 1 Chase Truck, and a co-driver. My co-driver or as he likes to call himself “Nava-guess-or” ie. Navigator, we all know him by the nickname, BONER. He no longer works for me but I was pretty comfortable with him in the truck so I asked him if he still wanted to race with me, and he said he was in! To get a little deeper into that, I also asked him “Why do you still want to race with me?” His reply was classic “I just want to go fast!”, so off to Laughlin we go!

We arrive the night before qualifying and after a quick steak dinner and some desert. Or as Vance thinks it should be called, ‘cheese PIE’, the rest of the world calls it, ‘cheese CAKE’, but in our little circle it will forever be called cheese pie, I told him that’s just fucking stupid. Ok, so we register and line up with the other Trick Tricks and Class 1 Cars for our practice lap. We take off and go through 5 or so quick turns then a straight sandy run, a couple more turns and then some… bumps? jumps? No, just huge piles of dirt that have no rhythm to them and a small kicker bump here and there between them. LOL. I’m not comfortable with any of them, then we head into a hard off-camber right turn that just doesn’t seem right but that’s the way it is.

We line back up for qualifying and we are off! Now remember I am new at this racing shit. This is only the beginning of my third year and just my third race in the truck. A 6000-pound truck, with an 850-horsepower motor, 40” tires and shocks that are the size of small trees. It can be kind of overwhelming at times to say the least. I am hoping to be in the top ten… So remember those 5 or so quick turns? Yah, well I made it to number 5 before all hell broke loose. Wouldn’t yah know as I railed into corner n5 the passenger side of the truck came off the ground and next thing you know I’m driving the truck on two wheels! Oh shit! I start to turn into it as it gets closer to rolling over. I’m turning more, and more, and a little more… It isn’t helping. There is a barb wire fence on the left and the only way I’m going to get the truck to not roll over and play dead is to turn the steering wheel all the way to the left and hit the gas a little and yup, go thru that barbed wire fence. So that is exactly what I do. The truck comes back down on all four tires. Now a quick thought goes thru my head ‘Do I circle around and go back thru that missing section of barbed wire fence?’ but just then my bad angel on the other shoulder says “Hey, it would be faster to just make a new hole in the fence!” So you know, I’m in a Trick Truck right? So I go with the fast route and just take out another section of fence! I know what you are thinking and yes, I told BITD I took out the fence, and yes, I would pay for it. LOL. I will let you guys know what that fiasco cost me later, not just in time lost, LOL.

Damn, this is a long race report… We haven’t even started racing yet!

Well, we qualified in 17th place. I am kind of embarrassed. Now you have to understand I don’t consider myself some bad ass off road racer. I’m just a guy that has done alright racing off road and I sure in the hell didn’t spend all this money on a truck to ever be in 17th place. Yup, that’s right, I have NO interest in being 17th anything. Unless maybe it’s the 17th richest guy in the world. My dad reinforced this thinking for me a couple of weeks ago while we were talking about racing the Trick Truck.

Him: “Go and WIN!”
Me: “I don’t think I can win yet, I need more seat time. I am still getting used to racing the truck.”
Him: “Well, I don’t even know why you go race if you can’t win?”
Me: “But Dad, you have to understand I’m racing against the fastest off-road racers in the world. Some of them have been racing for 10, 20, 30 years!”

However, he did make a good point… I’m going racing no matter what this year.

Saturday Morning:
We line up on race day they are starting 2 at a time, side by side. We finally get up to the starting line and all the nervousness leaves my body and I settle in. Green light!!! Go, goo, ggggoooo!!!! I floor the truck and we are racing! As we get close to leaving the infield section another truck that was on the side of the course pulls out on the race course in front of me. It’s the Mills Motorsports truck, I make it out ahead of the truck I started next to but now I have this other truck ahead of me I have to deal with. What does ‘deal with’ mean? ‘Deal with’, means as I get close to him and the dust his truck is kicking up, I must slow down. At times, I can’t see where I am going. ‘Deal with’ means as I get closer to him we get blasted with sand, gravel, and rocks hitting you as big as your fist. That shit hurts, seriously, and you just deal with it. So now I’m trying to chase him down. I want to pass him as I had a $100.00 side bet with one of his guys that I would beat them. So, we take the beating and try and stay close so hopefully we can make a pass. However, due to the dust we never make the pass on this lap but eventually he makes a mistake and ‘cha-ching’, I just got some money for barbed wire fencing! We race on, passing people here and there. Some have technical problems, some have flat tires, and we finish our four 17 mile laps and cross the finish line 9th overall. But we did well so on corrected time we really finished the day in 6th place. I’m pretty excited and kind of content with 6th place for the day. I start thinking ‘Well, if one guy breaks and I’m faster than two of the others, BAM! I’m on the podium!’ I’m also playing that thru my head as well if the leader breaks and the next 4 guys crash into him, BAM! I’m on the podium! LOL. Yah, crazy shit goes thru my mind at times.

Sunday Morning:
Another 4 laps, 17 miles each, and I’m third off the line this time. We pull up and settle in waiting for the green light. BAM there it is! We are off! We beat the truck next to us off the line and we are coming up to the first wet infield corner. I hit the brakes to slow down and the rear tires lock up and we start sliding sideways thru the corner and towards the berm. I am like “Ohhh shit!!”, the truck behind us slips past us. The reason why, my good friends that are reading this, is two people told me the day before; “Hey, it looks like you need to add a little more rear brake to your truck. It will keep the truck level and help you set up better for turns.” So I did! LOL, well I guess it was a little much. After we made it thru the corner and I got the truck going in the right direction I started turning the knob back the other way so that it wouldn’t happen again. Anyhow, we are now 6th place going into the desert. Jeff Geiser is starting 30 seconds behind me so I’m keeping my eye out for him. When him and I were talking, he pretty much told me he would be passing me fast, without really saying he would be passing me fast, LOL. And yup, on the first lap, I got a few glimpses of him behind me and I did my best to make sure I spun my tires and made as much dust as possible for him to eat. About a lap and a quarter in he was getting close to me and I figured he earned it so I backed off the gas and let him pass. I started eating his dust and tried to stay as close to him as possible as I might learn some tricks on driving the truck. As luck would have it, him passing me was a huge plus for me. There is a really, rough, uphill section that a truck was broke down on and we could see the blue truck he was driving was now stopped behind the other truck. So, I stopped short of the hill and as we sat there for a second, I eyeballed a very, very, steep narrow hill right in front of us. I started backing up thinking ‘Damn, I’m going to need a big run to make it up that.’ When all the sudden I remembered that off to the right was another hill I knew I could go up that wasn’t as steep. I started to head that way when I see one of the trucks that was behind me crest the hill. Another truck that was behind him headed to the hill on a different trail, I paused for a second and he got on the gas and went ahead of me, damn it! I think Jeff might still be sitting on that hill, LOL. Anyway, on the last lap we started getting some smoke in the cab of the truck. I was thinking this isn’t going to turn out well. I throw caution to the wind and keep pushing on. About half way thru I started getting hard spots in the steering wheel and the power steering slowly left the race. We had to back out of the gas because it is really, really, really, hard to turn the steering wheel with no power steering. You are hitting rocks, ruts, and bumps and it just yanks the steering wheel right out of your hands! We raced on, just a lot slower, praying that it would make it to the finish line before the steering pump locked up and sidelined us. We made it to the finish line in 6th place and with our combined times ended up in 6th place for the weekend.
I know I have a long way to go and a lot of learning about how hard I can push the truck as well as the small tricks racers learn over time, but I am going to keep on keepin’ on and give ‘er hell!

“Are you silly? I’m still gonna send it!” – Larry Enticer

Special Thanks goes out to Polaris RZR.

Method Race Wheels, Fox Racing Shocks, Kroyer Racing Engines, BFG Tires, Howe Power Steering, K&N Filters, Wolf Designs, JM collision center, Geiser Brothers Racing, UTV INC, BITD and everybody that supports our racing dreams and my bad ass crew!

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2017 BITD Parker 425 Trick Truck Race Report

Polaris RZR Parker 425 Race Report
Johnny Angal Trick Truck #63

So as most of you know by now after racing the Polaris RZR for a just over a year I won the Best in the Desert UTV Championship and the UTV Grand Championship in 2015. So I decided I wanted to step up the game a little and bought a Spec Class Trophy Truck. The Spec Class is limited to a factory sealed motor putting out about 500 HP. After a year of racing we ended up losing the Championship by 12 points and ended up 2nd Place overall. I was just getting comfortable in the Spec Truck and getting it dialed in and heard of a decent deal on a Trick Truck/Trophy Truck… and after a few days of dealing it was mine. Now I’ve got this bad ass 850 HP Geiser Brothers Trophy Truck I need to get a little seat time in, so I enter and race the Snore Rage at the River Race… See “last race report” for more details on it that one.

So we are getting ready for the first race of the season and we go on the ‘Parker 425 Fun Run’. We make some race notes and we learn how to mark and make even better notes. Which is good, it’s not like we have been doing this long and when you’re trying to learn it’s not like the other race teams are running up and showing you how they do things. So wanting to get a little more seat time in the Trick Truck we took it out to the desert and we learned A LOT, lol. Not so much about racing but more about how if you’re out testing you should wear your safety gear. When you come around a corner at 85 mph and freeze up and don’t commit like I did, shit goes bad, very fast. We blew a corner and hit a bank that shot the front passenger side of the truck up in the air. We did a full twist first and came crashing hard into the dirt on the front end. Then there was a little more twisting and landing hard upside down on the back of the truck. At that point I was hurting and thinking ‘Dam, that was bad but it wasn’t over. We were just barrel rolling thru the air and bam, bam, a couple more hard hits landing on our side.’ I ask Boner if he is ok and he says ‘Yes’. I turn the truck off, turn off the main battery switch and I can smell and hear fuel splashing on the ground. I want the out of the truck ASAP! I unbuckle and climb up and out past Boner. Now he is climbing out and I am looking for a shoe… we hit so fucking hard it knocked my shoe off and I’m looking for it! Boner goes and sits down and says he thinks he broke his ribs. I find my shoe and crawl back into the truck and grab my cell phone. We are in the middle of the desert, Boner is hurting, I’m hurting and my chase truck is an hour away. I’m thinking this isn’t good at all. I call my guy Craig and say we, LOL, “WE” just wadded up the truck bad but we are both somewhat ok. I make sure to tell him to calmly drive out to us with the truck and trailer. Boner’s hurting and says it feels just like last time he broke his ribs. I’m hurting pretty bad, my left knee got twisted bad, my right knee is bleeding, my back hurts and I think I must have some broken ribs as well. As we are waiting a couple of guys pull up and I’m sure this whole picture was quite a sight. Imagine a Trick Truck Yard sale in the middle of the desert, anyhow, I talk to them a bit and after a while Craig pulls up with the chase truck. He unhooks the trailer and gets the race truck pulled over on its tires and we load it up and head home. The whole trip back Boner is laying in the back seat not saying much.

When we get home Boner goes to the ER and they tell him he has a compression fracture to his spine, yup, a broken back. I wait a day or two trying to see if the pain would go away but it doesn’t. I go to the Urgent Care to see if my knee is broken as that’s what hurts the worst. They take a couple of x-rays and say “Nothing is broken, but you should go get a cat scan for muscle damage.” F THAT! I don’t like cats! Urgent Care gives me a set of crutches and says ‘Stay off your knee and ice it down.’ I thank them and use the crutches to get to the truck. Now my arm pits now hurt worse than my knee so I put them in the back seat and forget about them. The next morning I call Rick at Geiser Bros and tell him I need help with the truck. The race is in two weeks and I need it fixed. He tells me to bring it down he will get it taken care of. Another day goes by and I’m still hurting pretty bad. I am thinking about going to the Emergency Room to get looked at. I have a swollen spot on the side of my back that hurts and my knee is still killing me. I finally head to the hospital, I tell them about my knee, and my ribs and that my shoulders been hurting for about a year. So they send me for x-rays of my ribs, after the x-ray the doctor comes in and asked “So, when did you break your back the second time?” LOL I told him “Second time? Just the one time when I was 18 and I broke T3-4-5.” He says “No I am talking about T-12 and L-1.” He starts touching my back and says “Here.” I’m like “Yah that hurts so I would appreciate it if you don’t touch it there!” Now I am thinking ‘Well fuck, two more broken vertebra.’

My ribs and knee don’t hurt that much now and I ask him when I can get released? He looks at me funny and says “10-15 minutes.” I’m thinking to myself ‘I need to get out of here before this guy puts me in a body cast or something.’

Prep time

A photo posted by Johnny Angal (@johnnyangal) on

I have a week and a half to heal up, I will be fine, right…?

Qualifying day is here and I drew 29th off the line. Now, I’ve never qualified for a race before so I’m a bit nervous and I also have a new co driver in the truck with me. Boner needs to heal up and is sidelined this race. So first we get to follow each other, in order, around the 5 mile course to get the layout. Then one truck off the line every two minutes until I’m up. I’m hoping I can get in the 10th-15th area but when I look at the list of racers I’m thinking ‘Holy shit, these are the best off road racers in the world!’ The list of goes on and on and I think how did I even get on this list?! Me, Johnny Nobody vs. the best off road racers in the world, what the hell am I doing? It’s now my turn to qualify and I want to go fast but keep it easy and don’t wreck the truck again! Also go fast enough but not so fast you fuck up, oh shit, ok, medium fast…? I hit the gas and I’m around the first couple of corners with ease. We hit a couple of bumps and the truck bottoms out hard. Hmm the back is way too soft. I keep on driving trying not to make any mistakes. It all goes by really fast and we are done a couple of hours later. I’m thinking “I’ve got to be top 15th or so.” The results get posted and I find myself on the list. Top 15th, right? Hell no! I’m not even top 20, LOL, I’m 25th. Damn these guys drive hard, really hard, what am I doing here?

Race Day.

I think we line up around Noonish and the race starts at 1:30PM. Remember I am 25th off the line out of the 46 vehicles that qualified. I have two plans in my head: The first one is get the green light, pull forward a couple of hundred feet, and do a couple of smoky ass donuts right downtown then just have fun and race my race. The second one is don’t do anything stupid like flying off anything that I don’t know what’s on the other side, no rally car driving on the graded dirt roads, and don’t crash or break the truck at my first race of the season. As I am getting ready to leave the line I opt for number 2. I’m thinking a 7th place finish would be just right for my first “real race”. Well we are off the line I roll into the gas. The 850 HP Kroyer Racing Engine almost lifts the front tires off the ground, and we are running the new 40” BFGoodrich KR3 Racing Tires! About a mile off the straight line start they have a little S curve set up with cones and you’re not allowed to hit one. I’m off the gas early and cruise around the first hard left on the blacktop. I’m not hanging nothing out, calm and collective, number 2 style, and we have a great first lap. I never got passed but we did pass a lot of trucks in the pits and a few broke down on the course. The GPS says I am running a 63 MPH average and I know it’s to slow. So I pick up the pace a bit and am feeling more comfortable in the truck and with my new co driver Eric Clay. We are coming into Pit Two and the truck is telling us we are down on oil. My pit crew is telling us we are currently in Fifth, yah, FIFTH place! I am thinking ‘No way I am in 5th place…’ but anyway I decided to pull into the pits and take two quarts of oil. After about a minute or two and we get passed by two trucks. I knew I had just made a huge mistake. I just when from 5th to 7th in a flash. We race out of the pits and I am now back into eating dust. It’s starting to get dark and we start flipping on lights. None of our front bumper lights are working I’m thinking ‘Damn, those are all brand new Baja Designs lights!’ We check the breakers and still no lights. We just have the 50” Baja Designs light bar on the roof. It’s so dusty and no real wind so it’s just hanging in the air and I can’t see shit with the top bar. I really need my bumper lights. Well as it turns out right before Pit 1 I had been chasing down a truck in the dust and sun. When I went in for a nerf he hit his brakes, I hit him and I mangled all the brand new Baja Designs lights and wiring on my front bumper. Shit happens and we race on. Right as we leave the gravel pit we see a racer on the right side of the course telling us to slow down and then we come up to a truck on its side in the middle of the road. Another person is pointing us to go down a 6 foot or so embankment, so I do. I have no clue where it goes but am praying it will get me back to the course. All of the sudden I see a big wet area with a large pool of green algae, fungus, and moss and think ‘Oh shit!’ I roll into the gas and the truck starts sinking and slowing down. We make it across and the course is right in front of us. About this time my knees are killing me for some reason. On the longer races they start hurting bad, but it’s a typical thing. I hear somebody on the radio say something about Taylor Mills being out of the race. I tell them to ask if he will do the last lap for me and he says “Hell yes!” My co-driver, Eric, asks if he has to get out and I tell him “Taylor has his own co driver.” LOL, he is super bummed out and was ready to go the distance. We pull into the pits in 6th Place, I jump out we take on fuel and new rear tires. The guys start working on the lights, damn we lose another approx. 20 minutes fixing the lights. We get passed by a couple of trucks while the Mills Motorsports guys & my awesome pit crews get everything working again. Taylor gets in the truck takes off into the night. We hear them calling in every 5 miles. I hear “Race mile 60, all is good.” Then I hear something about the GPS is not working after the fire. … … What?! … FIRE?! … Damn. A fire?! … This can’t be good. Shit, fire, GPS, FIRE! FIRE! My mind is going crazy thinking about a fire. So it turns out we damaged a front shock and the oil sprayed on the header and caught fire. Taylor and Josh (Taylor’s co-dawg) got the fire extinguished quickly and the guys from McMillin Racing stopped to help as well as check out the situation. The call was made to keep racing so they jumped back in and cycled the battery switch and the GPS came back on. Now Taylor had to race at an easier pace to get the truck to the finish line, and he did just that. Crossing the line in 11th place overall and 10TH place in the Trick Truck Class. I know I will slowly get the truck dialed in for me and get more comfortable but for now it is what it is.

Thank You all so much for following along this racing adventure!

Thank You to everyone who makes my dream a reality every single day.

Polaris RZR, Method Race Wheels, BFGoodrich Tires, Baja Designs Lights, Fox Racing Shocks, JM Collision Center, Wolf Designs, Jesse Jones, The McMillin Crew, Eric Clay, Geiser Bros awesome Team for getting the truck fixed up, Mills Motorsports Crew, Taylor and Josh for lap three, my badass crew, everyone that came out to help, and YOU!

Best In the Desert Rest in Peace Casey Folks we miss you buddy…

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SNORE Rage At The River Race Report

SNORE Rage at the River

Johnny Angal Polaris RZR Racing Race Report

Unlimited Truck Category

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Well damn, yep another race report but this one’s a little different! After racing a full season in Best in the Desert in the Spec Class Trick Truck and finishing off the year in Second Place in points I started looking for a Trick Truck/Trophy Truck/Unlimited Truck. LOL! Yup, a full on bad ass 800 plus horsepower 6000 pound beast of a truck that will do 130+ MPH thru and across the most brutal ass kicking terrain in the world. With that being said I had never even sat in a Trick Truck, just a guy with a dream to give it a shot. I found a great used truck for sale, a 2010 Geiser Brothers truck that was built for Jesse Jones. Knowing a little bit about Jesse I figured the truck had been driven hard but also well taken care of. It had a fresh Kroyer motor, transmission package and was ready to race. We worked out a deal that was good for both of us and BAM! This mo-fucker is the proud owner of a Trick Truck.

So since I knew nothing about a truck like this I turned to my friends and neighbors at Mills Motorsports to help me freshen up a few things and dial the truck in for me. About the same time Mike from Mills started telling me the motor for their Trick Truck was not going to be done in time for the last race of the year, the Pahrump 250. So I tossed them the key to my truck and told them to race it. LOL, yah who does that? You know these guys have helped me so much with my Spec Truck and the whole team are just good people I was happy to help. When the Pahrump 250 race is over I call Rick at Geiser Brothers about something and he asks, “So you racing the Rage at the River next week?” He followed that up with “We will be there with a team to help,” and threw in “if you don’t you are not a man.” type of comment. I quickly say “Oh yah, I’m racing and getting ready to register when we get off the phone!” LOL. I had no plans at all to race and had only driven the Trick Truck at the Glamis Sand Dunes for about 30 minutes. I had never driven it in the dirt or at speed. Oh well, I thought what the worst case situation was…? I could die, right? Let’s do it!!

I call the Mills guys and tell them my new plan. They say ‘Hell yea we can get it prepped in 4 days! We will come out and help at the race too!’ Well looks like we are going racing boys and girls! So we get everything ready and load up to leave Mesa, AZ Thursday afternoon as we have to get inspected that evening. We will be doing qualifying on Friday if all goes well with tech. Friday Morning we show up to qualify and sit around for hours for no reason at all. LOL, one of my pet peeves is waiting for no reason at all. But hey it’s only a couple of hours, it’s not like I couldn’t have gotten laid, gotten drunk, gotten arrested, died, or taken my new truck off some cool jumps in that couple of hours right? Ok, so we qualify and all goes well. I know I’m not the fastest but also know I’m not the slowest but we will never know that because they had a glitch in the qualifying system. They just decided everybody will start based off entry order. I have no clue how to run a race but that sucks! There are 18 Trick Trucks entered and I am number 14. So that’s means I’m going to be eating a lot of dust!  Oh yea, guess what else? I’m lining up next to Jesse Jones in his new 4 wheel drive Geiser Brothers Trick Truck! Now I thinking there is no hope but on the bright side of things is I won’t be getting ran over by one of the best Trick Truck racers on the planet.

So its race day and we don’t line up until around 2:45PM Saturday afternoon, which makes for a long, nervous day. Okay, finally the races are starting and Mr. Jones and I pull up to the starting line. New versus Old, man versus man. Let’s do this! 3, 2, 1… the flag drops and we are off! He instantly pulls away from me and I’m kind of ok with that. I am not wanting to do any tire rubbing, body smashing at this point. As we come into the first corner I am 300 or 400 feet away from him, no big deal, I kind of keep that same gap for the first ½ mile or so. The key here is to watch what he is doing and how fast I am compared to him. I am thinking ‘Ok, not bad, I don’t suck that bad.” As we make a hard left onto the powerline road a cloud of dust rolls up and he disappears. We do are best with Boner calling dangers and speeds and we race on. During our second lap we catch our first traffic jam. As we are getting bombarded with dust, rocks and gravel, Rick Geiser pops into my head and says “Don’t sit behind this guy! Pull up and give him a bump so he knows your there and he will let you pass.” So I do and guess what? NOTHING! We keep following this guy and I can hear Rick say to me again “Pull up and send the sucker!” That means hit him harder. So I do. I floor the truck and it roars forward like a freight train and as we hit him I hear metal crunching and slamming. Damn, I got his attention now! He pulls to the left and we start to pass on the right. Just as I pass him my truck pitches sideways and Boner starts yelling something like “Power pole! Power pole! POWER POLE!!” I see it and I’m doing all I can to get the truck straightened out. We get her under control and we make the pass. I mash the pedal to the floor again and take off thinking ‘damn that could have been bad.’ I am also pretty hopped up on the fact that I just hit the truck in front of me while we were doing around 85mph. We start catching and passing more and more cars and are having a great race. The truck is working great and running hard. We are flying through the air like the valet that parked Ferris Bueller’s Dads Ferrari and it is just bad ass amazing! My mouth is dry but there is no way in hell I’m taking my hands off the steering wheel to grab my Camelback hose, nope, not doing it! I feel like we are kind of kicking ass and I’m starting to get the feel for the truck. I like it, err, I LOVE IT! We finish the race the first day in 4th place. I am amazed, Boner is amazed, and we are two happy mo-fuckers! I just had the most amazing, mind blowing time.

Day two starts out the same way, hurry up and wait. We line up in the afternoon and we think we are starting forth right? I finished fourth, so I start fourth, that’s how this works, right? Well they tell me to pull over to the far right. So we are sitting there thinking “What the hell?!” While we are bull shitting with the other racers they tell me I am going to be starting 1st. Instant fear goes through my mind. I am thinking I am the rabbit and this pack of wild dogs is going to be chasing me down trying to eat me for 5 laps. WTF! I didn’t sign up for this. I’m not stupid. I know there are guys behind me that are a lot faster than me! WTF!!!! I’ve only driven a trick truck about 80 miles at this point and ~60 of those miles were racing. WTF, I’m going to die! I sure hope the other guys have not got any tips From Rick Geiser! Yah that is what goes through my mind for the next 10 minutes as well as a lot more versions of WTF. People are walking up to me telling me “You’ll be fine.” and me thinking “How in the fuck can you say that?”

As we pull up to the starting line the guy next to me is in a Class 1 car. The green flag drops and he slowly pulls away from us. It’s probably a ½ mile straight away and we are not far behind him. We come into the first corner and just blow it! As I see him do it I mash the gas pedal down and turn hard, we pass him and we start flying through the corners, bumps and holes and make a hard right on to that power line road from the day before. We mash the gas again as we fly over and through the tore up race course that over 300 race cars have already done 3 to 5 laps each on. Our truck is doing work! Our BF Goodrich 39” tires are clawing at everything under them and pushing us forward. They are simply amazing! 800 plus horsepower just spinning nonstop. Our Fox Racing shocks take so much abuse I am always amazed at what these things can handle! We come up to a couple of huge drop offs that Boner was calling ‘bumps’ the day before. I am hard on the brakes and skidding across the dirt and we drop off the first one and a little gas up the next one then down, then mash the gas again up the road! First lap is done and nobody has caught us!! HOLY SHIT!! We have to make a full stop at the finish line and wait to get the green flag and take back off. We are getting after it for sure! Now we’re catching race traffic and I get to give a few of them bumps with the front bumper and they quickly make room for our bad ass truck. We catch a 6100 Spec Truck and follow him through a really long right hand sweeper. The guy must have had no clue we were back there and I’m not really wanting to give him the bumper as being in a turn I don’t want him to spin out and wreck. So I sit behind him getting pummeled with rocks and I’m getting pissed. Coming up is a couple of small turns and a HUGE drop of at least 100 feet to the valley floor. Boner must have heard and felt our truck accelerate and tells me “DON’T hit the guy now he will go flying off the hill!” Ok, I back off and sit behind this guy that I have now nick-named ‘Stupid Motherfucker’. As we get to the bottom of the hill, Stupid Motherfucker, takes back off and finally we give him a little bump. He tries pulling over but he is just too stupid to pull ALL the way off the race course so I can get around him. I think he is afraid he might get his tires dirty. Well, we finally get by Stupid Motherfucker and race on. We are now about a lap and a half in and we are coming into what we call the ‘FOX Proving Grounds’. I would say this section is a couple of miles of the hugest bumps, jumps, off camber, frame twisting, toss you around the cab of the truck, pure gnarliest terrain. I’m talking crazy, like if there was something called unnecessary roughness in off road racing, it’s the Fox Proving Grounds. Anyway, are still a lap and a half in and entering the Fox Proving Grounds and BAM! Boner and I both hear it and are like “What was that?” I let up on the gas a little and tell him, “I think we got a flat but I’m not sure.” We continue on a bit and I tell him “Get ready, I’m going to pull over, we must have a flat tire.” I see a clearing and pull over. Boner Jumps out of the truck, he get the impact wrench and grabs the floor jack off the back of the truck. He grabs the jack handle and starts jacking up the truck. Now the problem with this is that Boner is about 150 pounds and as he starts jacking up the truck, he barely has enough weight to push the handle down, LOL! He gets the truck up in the air and next up he pulls the flat tire off and runs to the back of the truck for our spare tire. Can you guess what our spare tire weighs?! 140 Pounds! He yanks it off the back of the truck, gets it on the truck and puts everything away. I’m always amazed when he lift the tire 3 or 4 feet in the air to put it back on the back of the truck. Sometimes I even sit in the truck waiting, smoking a cigarette and laughing as he struggles to get it up into the bed. Yah, I am a dick, LOL. Anyway he gets back in and I take off. He gets buckled in and have now lost at least 3 minutes. Also we got passed by a shit load of racers. I’m still feeling pretty good in the truck and while we were stopped I finally got that drink of water and relaxed for a couple of minutes. Boner on the other hand is out of breath and yet still calling turns and dangers. We start passing people back and come into the infield behind a 7200 Truck and a Trick Truck. I quickly pull behind both of them and the next corner the 7200 is in the middle, the Trick Truck goes to the right and I smash the gas and dive to the inside and pass them both. It was bad ass, I’m thinking to myself ‘That was so freaking awesome!’ I take my hand off the steering wheel to bust knuckles with Boner. We are excited! We pass another Trick Truck heading into an infield corner and actually are door to door rubbing paint with him. So freaking awesome! So exciting! So bad ass! This is everything you’d expect in one freaking race and more! We know we are down on time due to the flat tire and as we pass the pits on the last lap my guys come on the radio and say “That’s the lead trophy truck ahead of you, GET HIM!” We race in to the next couple of corners and quickly get behind him. We make the pass and now are the lead Trick Truck on course. How bad ass is that?! We had a flat tire and now just crossed the finish line first in our class in our first race.

Special thanks to Polaris RZR, Jesse Jones, Rick and Jeff Geiser, Gary Mills, Nick Mills, Taylor Mills, Mike Kerr, Bart Parker, Tran, Craig Hammar, Eric Ringler, all the guys on the Team, at the shop, and the guys that we race with that make these bad ass memories.

Thank you as well goes out to: Snore Racing, Method Race Wheels, Fox Racing Shox, Rigid Industries, BF Goodrich Tires, Kroyer Racing Engines, Fuel Safe, Impact Racing, Motec, Sparco, Wolf Designs, JM Collison Center, Ford Racing, UTV INC, Geiser Brothers, Brembo Brakes, FK Rod Ends, Howe Power Steering, SDHQ, XTC Motorsports, PCI race radios and as always, YOU, the reader. Thank you for following this journey with me and I can’t wait to share more as the new season starts.

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2016 Baja 1000 Pro UTV Forced Induction Race Report

Johnny Angal Score International Baja 1000 Race Report
Pro UTV Forced Induction

Silt Happens

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Well as I sit in my office on this overcast gloomy Sunday thinking about the race teams in Baja today going to the awards ceremony I kind of throw my hands up on the air. Being so disappointed yet again, I know I shouldn’t be but damn it’s hard not to be. We spent months getting ready for this race, we had friends and co-drivers fly in from all over the United States to help us. In all reality I know how hard it is to even show up for a race like this. With around 300 race teams once a year making the annual pilgrimage to Baja from all over the world. There is nothing easy about it the brutality of driving an off road vehicle 850 miles thru the most unforgiving terrain in the world. I say that not because you can’t find harder or steeper or softer terrain in other places, but because the roads and desert trails we are racing on have been chewed up by people prerunning for the last three weeks. Now 300 plus off road vehicles are racing in front of us literally chewing and grinding the dirt into the finest powder you can imagine. The dust floats in the air for hours, at times we can’t see two feet in front of us. The trophy trucks in front of us that are running 40” tires are pulling out rocks from the earth that have laid in the same spots for a million years. They are spitting them out on the trails that are narrower then our race cars. We are racing down next to a beautiful beach during the day with outside temps around 72 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s so badass and perfect! But, 10 feet away on the right are 150ft cliffs that with the tiniest mistake will send you plummeting to your death on a rocky beach! I am not sure why I do it or why my co-driver Boner would even sit in a car with me at time like that. While racing we experience sheer terror at times followed by brief moments of ecstasy and calm all while doing 90mph down a somewhat smooth flat straight road. With a cool breeze whisking the sweat and dust off our body’s, we finally get to take a deep breath, relax our grips on the steering wheel or whatever your co-driver might have been holding onto and prepare for the next 800 miles. A lot of this happens all before we even get out of town.

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I would like to thank everybody that made this trip possible: Polaris RZR, ITP Tires, Method Race Wheels, Fox Shocks, Rigid Industries LED Lighting, my awesome crew at UTV INC, Airdam Clutches, SMG Racing, Craig, Keith, Jesse, Al, Victor, Victor, Uncle Johnny, Rodger, Boner, Craig, Vance, My Brother Al, Hostyle Products, Wolf Designs, Mad Media, Joey, Josh, Rusty, Shock Therapy, Satmoto and everybody I am forgetting!!!!  It takes so many people to come together to make a race like this possible.

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So we went down to Baja 5 days before the race so we could prerun the course. Also I was to be racing the first 292 Miles, Victor doing the mid race section and Craig finishing the race. Prerunning went well for all of us and on Thursday we had tech inspection and contingency. First thing in the morning Boner and Adam (Airdam) had to go out and work on our clutching a little to get the car dialed in. Around noon we headed to line up in tech. When we got there the line wasn’t moving and was miles long so we waited for a couple more hours and got in line around 2pm. We sat in line so long, while I understand it’s something we have to do, to do this the day before a race, sitting in a line for 10 hours, with your legs aching and the sun burning your face and arms, I repeat 10 fucking hours, is just plain silly and to the point of just plain stupid!  We have a drivers meeting at 7PM, lol, but we are sitting in line until Midnight the day of the race with our race car! We get back to the hotel and I get about 4 hours of sleep. It’s 7AM and we meet for race day breakfast and head out to finish the final details and go over chase plans. Around 10AM I head to the hotel to put on my fire suit and ready myself for what should be 8 hours of having the ever living shit beat out of me! We head to the starting line around 10:30AM and get to sit and wait some more as we don’t start the race till around 12:30PM. LOL! Not sure again why, if we are not starting for 2 more hours, why we need to be there so early! Seems as if 30 mins prior should be enough time to get us lined up but what do I know, LOL! I just sit in the sun and burn for a couple more hours before I put my helmet on my sunburned face for the next 8 hours. Alright, we start lining up and heading to the starting line which takes no more than, yah you guessed it, 30 freaking minutes and we are 7th in line.

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Pulling over the box, I watch the other racers take off in front of me. The anticipation is building and I just stare at the green the flags. I pull up and take it all in. There are thousands of people lining the street at the starting line, I continue to stare at the green flags waiting for them to release us off the line. The green flags go up and we are off!

Our Polaris RZR Turbo 4 is running strong as we leave town and we quickly hit 90mph as I pull up behind three other cars in our class. They are going a bit slower so we pass a couple and pass a couple more that have already succumbed to some kind of issues. As we are leaving town around the 10 mile marker we have our own issues. The car starts running really bad and we lose power. I quickly tell Boner its feels like a spark or fuel problem. He jumps out and starts checking everything out. All the while 100’s of locals surround our race car for pictures and to see if they can help. It turns out our drive belt delaminated a 6” section. Boner put a new belt on and we were good to go except now every one of the UTVs in the race had passed us! I tell Boner ‘No big deal, it’s a long race and we can make it up’. As we take off I tell Boner to call our chase team at race mile 20 to get another spare belt for us just in case. As we pull up to them, we grab it and take back off. We are now in a speed zone on the highway and the speed is limited to 37mph for about the next 10 miles. If you go 1 mph over 37 you get an instant speed penalty. As we come off the highway we quickly start passing other cars. A couple of miles in we pull behind about 10 UTVs that are being held up by a diesel truck that is going so slow and will not pull off the course. So nobody can pass and it is really absurd that this guy is in front of the UTV class. Anyway, good for me, he slowed so many people down that we caught them and started making quick work of getting around them. At the end of the first 80 miles we are back in the race and headed to the coast. Everything is working great as we approach race mile 117. It is the section right next to the ocean and covered with HUGE river rocks. I see the Polaris RZR helicopter and not wanting to look slow I speed up a bit and fly into the river rock. I smash into a boulder and give us two flat tires. Boner gets out to assess the situation. Joey D (UTV Underground) comes running over and helps Boner get the rear tires changed and sees that we just bent our Method Race Wheel on the lip, letting the tire bead leak air. So they pull the front tire off the car and a local guy runs and gets a sledge hammer. He bends the wheel back in place and Joey runs over to his truck with the tire and fills it with air. Him and Boner come back and put it back on the car. Joey tosses us a tire plug kit as we will now be racing with no spare tire until the next pit stop at race mile 170. We are off and racing again. Around race mile 122ish we pass a RZR that is stuck in a huge hole and they are standing next to the race car with the tow strap out. I think “fuck that” as I drive past. Then I thought ‘Hey that was Justin from Shock Therapy!’ I slam on the brakes and back up to them. They hook the tow strap up to my car and I try yanking them out 3 or 4 times to no avail. As race traffic is pulling up on us they unhook their strap and tell us, “Go go go!!” We take back off into the night with no spare tire. Now we have a huge problem, my car is now attracted to rocks, LOL. Now I am normally very good at tire placement and not hitting rocks and stuff but now I cannot avoid them. Literally if my life depended on it I couldn’t avoid them. My front tire slams into the first rock and Boner is like “WTF?! You got to be careful, we don’t have a spare!” I am thinking to myself, I know that and that wasn’t my fault that rock must have just rolled in front of the tire! We are now around race mile 135 and guess what, yup, another rock jumped right in front of me. We hit it hard! We make it to a huge pit area at race mile 140 and we pull over. There is no way we are going to make it to our pit at race mile 170. We call our chase crew and tell them they need to come to us so we start going over the car making sure everything else is good. While we wait for them we watch everybody pass us again. We wait for about an hour for our crew to get to us. When they show up we load up with tires, fuel and head off into the darkness! It’s cold but the car is running great and we quickly catch a couple of cars and pass them. We don’t get much further as we come up a small rise right at the top is a silt hole on the driver’s side of the car. We are plugging along doing probably 30 mph and the front drives side tire slams into it stopping us dead in our tracks. I push the gas pedal and slowly pull off of the race course. Boner says “Flat tire?” I say “No… it isn’t flat, I can see it. It is right next to me outside the car about 2 feet from where it is supposed to be.” We get out of the car and see that it’s not good. We need our chase truck again. Between them getting to us and Boner fixing the car it will be hours of lost time. We decided to call the race on the spot. There was no way we are going to podium this race and that’s what we showed up for. It’s really sad when I call a race especially when you have other drivers that never even got to drive. It’s a really shitty feeling but I made the call and I’m sure I will go over it a million more times to see if it was the right call! Thank you all so much for supporting us and living the #RZRLife with us!

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The Mint 400 Race Report

Polaris RZR / ITP Tire Mint 400 Race Report
by: Johnny Angal

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The Mint 400 has a deep history in off road racing. It started in 1967, before most of you were born, so it has to be as they call it “The Great American Off Road Race”. Top name racers and movie stars alike have raced it and new great racers and movie stars are added to the list every year. It’s a huge race with a parade down Las Vegas Blvd, parties, Pit Crew Challenges and a contingency day like no other. There are hundreds of parts vendors as well as tens of thousands of racing fans and non-racing fans that show up to check out the goods.

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So as we prepare for the race, which we are going to be racing our Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo race car and our Geiser Bros. Spec Class Trophy Truck that is also Sponsored by Polaris. With the way the desert combined with some aggressing driving tears up our equipment, we have A LOT of work to do to get ready with only a couple of weeks to work on the RZR, Race Truck, Chase Trucks and a crew. Not an easy task for our small crew but everything is slowly coming together except for a few custom parts we are waiting to come in for the RZR. We are supposed to load up and head out on Wednesday but the parts don’t make it so we hang tight and the parts show up the next day around 8am but we still need to install the and test drive the car a bit. We do this and get loaded up around 1PM and head over to Jalapeno Bucks, a new little BBQ and Mexican take out place we found in Mesa AZ. We had an awesome lunch and talked with the owner and his Brother a bit. After a few good laughs and them wanting to tag our race trailer with Jalapeno Bucks they hooked us up with some burritos and chips for the road trip. Super nice of them and if you’re ever in the neighborhood you should really try it out. Awesome brisket sandwiches and a red chili shredded pork burrito that is to die for!

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Anyway, we make it to Vegas around 6PM, get checked into the hotel and head out on the town around 10PM. We make it down to the end of the ‘Pit Crew Challenge’ and bull shit with friends and then head over to the bar. A little something about myself that I have learned is that I shouldn’t drink more than once or twice a year. It’s just not good for me and I have a tendency to just do stupid shit when I am drinking. So I just hang out. We decide to walk over to a bar called ‘Hogs and Harleys’ or something to that effect and on the way we come across Dustin Jones. He is a fellow UTV racer who just happens to be talking to a smoking hot blonde whom I leaned over to and whispered in her ear “I see you have met our gay friend”. I then ask her if she ‘wants to get married’ or simply just wants to have an affair. So now we have added Dustin, her and some of his crew to the group as we continue into the bar. It has got to be sometime around midnight. We make it there and at the door I get carded! Once inside it’s a freaking mad house. Stupid music blaring, shoulder to shoulder standing room, fuck this… I am in! I order a beer and after thinking about it for about a minute I order another. After a couple of hours of that I head out to see the guys. They are slinging dice at the craps table at the Golden Nugget. I see a friend and sit down for a couple of hands of black jack which does not go well for me. So I head over to the craps table where the guys are hooting and hollering like they just won the lotto and I get excited too! I look down at the table and see a bunch of $5.00 and $10.00 bets. This is when I realize they are all just drunk! It’s 3AM now so I head to the room to get a couple of hours of sleep before I have to take the truck over to park it in contingency at the Polaris Booth. A couple of hours later the guys get the RZR and head thru the 5 hour long contingency line.

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It’s now around 4:30PM so I pull the truck out of its parking spot in the Polaris display and head thru the line. All goes well and it only takes about an hour and a half. We load the truck up and we leave 3 guys there to go to the drivers meeting. The rest of us head out to the pits in Primm, Nevada to get everything fueled up and ready. We have to line up at 5AM for the UTV Race. We get done and head to the hotel around 10PM. I set the alarm for 4:30AM and it comes way too soon.

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I suit up and head out to the pits. I’m pretty excited about this race thinking that our race RZR is the best it has ever been. I am ready to win! As we pull up to the starting line and flip on our 4 wheel drive switch we get a check engine light. We are pretty well screwed at this point and can’t do anything about it in the next 20 seconds or so before we get the green light to take off into the desert. Boom, GREEN LIGHT, GO!

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We are off! As we make our way out of the soft infield the rear tires are spinning like crazy. We are bouncing off the rev limiter but we still got the hole shot. We start passing people in the sand wash but it’s not long before the strain on the rear axles. Without any help of the 4 wheel drive it’s just too much for the car to take. We snap both rear axles at the same time! Boner, my co-pilot, jumps out to see what’s going on. He tells me “broke both rear axles”.  We are half way in the middle of the race course with 50 or so UTVs, Trucks, and Buggies coming our way! Well, we put in the spare axle and just didn’t have enough traction to even move the car with one wheel drive. So we had to wait, stuck half way in the middle of the race course while cars and trucks are bouncing off my RZR, for the Best in the Desert Rescue guy to come flip us around. So we head back down the sand wash and this whole time besides being embarrassed, I am thinking to myself: I have a top of the line bad ass race car and I could have taken a bone stock factory RZR and probably won this race but my bad ass piece of shit race car only went 5 miles before I was out of the race.

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Now, we are back in the pits and I am guessing it’s around 8:30AM. We are going to race the Spec Class Trick Truck and we are supposed to line up around 11AM. We are scheduled to start at 12:30PM but that really means we start around 1PM after the Unlimited Trick Trucks and Class 1 Cars. It can’t come soon enough because waiting really sucks! As we are waiting my buddy Marc Burnett, who is racing a RZR comes into the pits and one of his transmission seals had popped out. His guys ask if I have a spare transmission, hell yes we do! My guys and I go over to help him start doing a transmission swap. As some of you know Marc and I had a bet that if I won (the RZR race) he owed me $1000.00 and if he won I had to get rid of my long 80s haircut. LOL. Well as we got into the transmission swap I told Marc ‘If you want us to keep helping you to beat me, then the hair cut deal was off!’ He needed the help so he reluctantly agreed and we got it done. Now the truck plan is that Boner and I are going to race the first two laps and Craig and Keith are going to do the last lap. Now I got to tell you I have only raced the truck once at the Parker 425. We have a little testing seat time but I am a newbie and kind of nervous. Again, we didn’t take any short cuts, so I feel confident we can get it done. As you know that doesn’t mean shit at this point since we were prepared and only made 5 miles in the last race. That is pretty shitty, no, really shitty!

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We line up in the truck and after a while we are up to the starting line. We are starting 8th and the guy on are right is 7th. We get the green light and get a slight jump on the truck next to us and I think ‘Woohoo we are now in 7th!’ He is no slouch and right on our ass leaving the infield. Coming up next is a 25 MPH section that has to be 3 or 4 miles long and he’s right behind us. I am not too far behind the two trucks in front of me and as we get to the end of the speed zone I floor the truck and it roars to life. We start flying up thru the wash I think we pass a truck or two in the next few miles. We start pulling on two trucks that are ahead of us and next thing you know we come around a corner and there is a spare tire in the middle of the course! I guess the Mills truck nerfed the Banning truck in front of him a little hard and knocked his spare tire off. Next think I know we are behind Banning and as we catch him we see his co-driver signal he sees us behind him so we wait for him to move so we can make the pass. Just as he starts to pull over I tap the brakes and the truck behind us hits our rear bumper and knocks our spare tire off. We didn’t know it at the time we start charging hard and see the Sourapas truck pulled over with a flat tire. Well that good because the kid is fast! We keep going and pull behind the Mills truck and after a hard left he passes a class 1 car and as I pass them he sees me and pulls to the side so we can get past. In the next 4 or 5 miles we catch the up with the truck running in third but because of bad dust and rocks I can’t get close enough for a pass. I’m thinking at this point he is in 3rd and when we pass him, hell yes, we will be in 3rd! A few minutes later we get a flat tire and we pull over. Boner jumps out and comes back to the window and tells me we don’t have a spare. So I tell him to jump back in and let’s see if we can get to the pits. We only make it to the next check point, we jump out of the truck and the course workers (what a great bunch of guys and gals) tell us if we can get tires to the spectator area they will go pick them up for us. They also offer us water, hot dogs, anything and everything we need, thank you guys so much for all the help! Well an hour and twenty minutes later our two tires and some water for the radiator show up. We get it buttoned up just as the first 4 trick trucks fly past and I tell Boner hold on because we are in front of about 50 cars that can do 130 plus MPH. So we start flying and the Mad Media helicopter starts flying next to us as we fly thru the Fox Shox Proving Grounds. A little after the proving grounds the heli is now on my side and we are a little off the side of the course trying to pass another 6100 truck. As I look at the heli Josh is waving at me so I take my hand off the wheel and give them the bird! It was so much fun we were haulin’ ass and the truck was perfect. As we finished the first lap and headed to the pits going into a large berm I screwed up and rolled the truck over on the roof. We lost another 1 hour and 40 mins but our awesome crew and friends helped put the truck back together. Craig and Keith jump in and started railing the second lap and making up time. They also had a flat and brought the truck back in to the pits mostly in one piece. Craig had got side swiped by a trick truck taking of most of the driver’s side fender. As they came in I told them to stay in the truck and do the last lap. They said the course was beat up and they were good, LOL. So Boner and I jumped back in and headed out for the last lap and boy was it brutal! Spots that we were doing 60-70 MPH the first lap we were now doing 25 MPH with cars, trucks, UTVs, tires and body parts littering the course. We finished 13th out of 37. I’m not sure about the rest of the guys but I had the best time of my life. Even looked over at all the damage at the truck and it didn’t matter at all. I knew we tore shit up but it was totally worth it! You cannot buy memories like we had just experienced.

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I’d like to say thank you to all our great sponsors! The awesome guys from the Mills Motorsports Racing Team for all their help and their chase crew! All my awesome friends from the UTV races that helped and supported us at all the races!

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BITD UTV World Championship Race Report

Race: UTV World Championship ITP Tire Race Report
Vehicle: Polaris RZR XP Turbo 4

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Well this makes our 22nd desert race and as of late I have not been having much good luck in the RZR. Yes, I know you can’t win them all, so don’t start that shit with me. I’ll be happy with a second place finish once in a while.

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So we have been working on our issues so I don’t have to drive like a pussy. Things seem to be getting better but sometimes shit just happens. Like at this race, it was ten 16 mile laps and we started in the second row, with 10 cars per row, 9 rows of cars and each row starting 30 seconds apart.

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First row is off the line and we are next off the line. 30 seconds to go. When the flag drops we need to start our cars and go ten wide into the first corner. We hold our line for a bit and we have cars bumping off the left and right of us so I back out of the gas a bit and let them bang it out. I get back into the gas and my car is all over the place! I am running over berms, swerving all over the track and off the first jump into the desert with Boner, my Co-Driver. He is heads up looking thru the dust with me and calling the corners. My car is fast and working great! We start passing people and are getting settled into pace. We come up to the first spot that the race course crosses the highway and Boner tells me “Don’t lift!” I don’t, we fly over the road, land great and get back in the gas. At this point I know we are doing great and in contention to win the grand prize of a brand new $25,000.00 (USD) Polaris RZR Turbo. Even though we are still on the first lap, lol. Anyhow, our first lap is great and second lap is even better!

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Now we start passing whom I believe to be the guys in the top 5 of the race. These are the greatest drivers out there, guys like: Sims, Burnett, etc. and I am on fire! Not literally like Marc Burnett, but in a figure of speech. Then all of the freaking sudden going to the last hard turn before the pit area I’m carrying too much speed and the RZR goes up on two wheels. I turn into it trying to steer out of it. Then I think we are going a little too slow so I floor the gas pedal. In my mind I was thinking ‘Those freaking monster trucks start flipping over and they hit the gas and always land back on the tires.’ and guess what happens? Not a freaking thing! We just fell over onto the passenger side of the car. We are laying pretty much across the center of the race course. Boner unbuckles his harnesses and crawls out the front window opening while I just hang there sideways in my seat. I ask him if anybody is around to push, pull or lift us up so I don’t have to waste my time unbuckling and getting out of the car. He says ‘Nope.’ so I unbuckle and climb out. Before I get out of the car I fumble around in the car and find our tow strap so we can hook it up to flip the car over. Well, Boner and I try lifting the car… Nope, that’s not happening. I look over at the camera guy who is about 50 feet away from us and think to myself ‘Hey, how about a hand over here?” We are trying to race and I’m sure he knows we’re not going no place in our current situation. He really doesn’t give a crap and keeps taking pictures.

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(notice my hands are not on the steering wheel at this moment)

So you know what I think of next? Not sure how I came up with this while standing on the side of the race course but I’ll just use my ‘Super Human Strength’. Hell yah, my Grandson even calls me “Super Grandpa” every once in a while. I can do this! So I bend over, grab the roll cage and tell Boner to pull on that tow strap that he has hooked up. I am sure the camera guy was laughing his ass off but I had to try. Well I got the car 10-12 inches off the ground before I realized that Stan Lee’s Super Human’s Show was a bunch of bull crap! Well now Boner is waving the tow strap around and nobody is stopping to help us. After about 10 minutes of us watching everybody pass us I see a Best in the Desert Official Truck headed our way. At this point I am thinking there is no way he is going to get to the other side of us to pull us over. Boy was I wrong! He whips his truck around like a pro and within seconds we are climbing back in the car!
We were going so slow I did no real damage to the car but we did slightly bend the window net on Boners side. He couldn’t get it latched and had to hold it closed as we raced around the course on the third lap. We start seeing cars that have succumbed to the harsh desert race course. We pass more racing greats like Matlock, Wilson, etc. etc.

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We keep on racing and we are really pushing the car harder than ever before. Everything is great even in the roughest part of the race course known as the ‘Fox Shox Proving Ground’. We are flying! At times we are doubling the big jumps/bumps, everything is perfect as we start to come around for the fourth lap.

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I look over towards Wayne Matlock’s car and then I blink and look back. A huge smile breaks out on my face and then Boner sees it. Wayne and his co-driver are broke down in the middle of the race in the Nevada desert with camera men all around. Wait for it… wait for it… they have both dropped their fire suits to their knees and they are both butt naked MOONING Boner and I as we go flying by them. We start cracking up and say ‘Pay back!’ lol. You see, at last year’s Baja 500 I had broken down and I could hear them coming. I was bored so I ran out next to the race course and right after a blind corner I was standing there, bare assed, bent over and mooning them. Anyway, between my mistake of putting the car on the side and some belt issues later on we had a great time racing with our friends. We finished in 7th place out of the 87 other racers.

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As always, I would Like to thank my great crew at UTV INC (http://www.UTVINC.com) and our awesome chase crew guys that come out on their own time to help us out!

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Could not do it without a great group of sponsors:
Polaris RZR (http://www.polaris.com/en-us/home.aspx)
ITP Tires (http://www.itptires.com/)
Fox Shox (http://www.ridefox.com/)
Lonestar Racing (http://www.lsracing.com/)
UTV INC (http://www.UTVINC.com/)
Wolf Designs (http://wolfdesigns.biz/)
CR Designs and Custom Paint (http://www.crdesigns.com/)
PCI Race Radios (https://www.pciraceradios.com/)
Impact Racing (https://www.impactraceproducts.com/)
Rigid Industries Led Lighting (http://www.rigidindustries.com/)

Full gallery below:

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BITD Parker 425 Race Report : Class 6100

Best in the Desert Parker 425

Polaris RZR Race Report Racing The Geiser Spec Trophy Truck

by: Johnny Angal / UTVinc.com

Polaris-RZR-Parker425-UTVinc-Johnny Angal-Geiser (5)

Well I started desert racing just over a year and a half ago in a Polaris RZR and to my surprise (and in my eyes) I did pretty well. After about 10 months I started getting the itch and was thinking I wanted to race something a bit faster. When I got into racing the Polaris RZR my friends at Geiser Brothers had helped me a lot with stupid questions and were always willing to help. So when I got that itch the Geiser’s pretty much had sealed the deal before I even started shopping. They are known for building the most race winning trucks in the world. So after a couple of weeks of “This is what I want.” and “How much is this going to set me back?” They started working on a slightly used Geiser truck that I had purchased thru them. One of the things that was a deal breaker for me was the truck had King Racing shocks on it. After dealing with Fox Shocks, racing with them and the support they had provided me I would not buy the truck with the Kings on it. We came to an agreement where they would keep the Kings and they installed new Fox Racing Shox for me.

Well my plan was to race the Score International Races in Baja in the Truck and my new Polaris RZR XP Turbo car in the Best in the Desert races. The 2015 race season was just about over when I got this brilliant ideal. Since Polaris RZR is pretty much the definition of off road these days, I asked my contact at Polaris if he thought they might be interested in sponsoring a Spec Trophy Truck in the races. “Pipe Dream, Ya Right, wake up, You’re dreaming etc. etc.” Now remember, I have never raced anything other than my Polaris RZR so why would I think they would be remotely interested? Well low and behold they came back and said “Yes”! Not only that but they wanted to be the TITLE SPONSOR!!! I couldn’t believe it, me, going to my first race, with a title sponsor how cool is that! Thank you Polaris for all the love and support.

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Anyway, I get the truck and head out to the desert for the first time. I am impressed! It’s crazy smooth and faster than I thought it would be. Next time I head out with Rick Geiser to “Geiser loop”. It’s a little testing loop on the north side of Phoenix. Well Rick lets me drive around the loop a couple of times giving me pointers here and there and then asks if I want him to drive? This way I can see what the truck will do. So we swap seats and I will admit after about 30 seconds I was looking for something to hold on to in the truck. My Catholic upbringing was back in full effect as I was praying to Jesus and thinking to myself ‘no freaking way’ as we repeatedly hit water bars that crossed the road at 90 plus MPH and flew a 100 plus feet thru the air! When he was done I mustarded enough thought to ask ‘So was that what you think race speed is going to be?’ His answer being “YEP!” Oh shit, I am in trouble, I thought to myself without trying to show the trepidation and anxiety that just entered my mind.

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So I am thinking I need a lot more seat time because these guys are crazy! There is no way I am going to even be in the race. I just spent A LOT of money for that lesson. So I go out again and again even sneaking out Christmas Day to get seat time. My first race is going to be the San Felipe 250 and it’s a brutal race course. I start thinking maybe I should race the Parker 425 and get some real race experience. So I set that plan into motion but in the back of my mind I know I can’t race the whole 425 miles myself. All the racers I know are UTV racers. Who out of that group should I trust my life savings with that are now in the form of a race truck? Who do I know that is a safe, fast racer? Well I blame most of this racing addiction on one guy. This is the guy who hooked me up with my first RZR to turn into a race car. I also think how cool would it be to turn the tables on him since he also races a RZR and is pretty fast. I have chased him for miles in the desert, he hooked me up with a RZR, he works for my Title Sponsor and he can learn a lot from racing a truck as his Job is the General Manager of Polaris Off Road! So I send a text message to Craig Scanlon and ask if he wants to race with me. I tell him I only have one stipulation: you must fly out from Minnesota to practice and get seat time in the truck. He mulls it over, talks with his co-driver and says they are in! I think how cool this is, we are going to have a great time. So he does everything I asked: flies out for practice and for the pre run. My guys start getting the truck figured out and again Rick and Jeff Geiser go above and beyond helping us out with everything.

Polaris-RZR-Parker425-UTVinc-Johnny Angal-Geiser (4)

Okay, you are here because you want to know what it’s was like to race a truck don’t you?

Ok, fuck everything, we will get right to it! I won’t say “Thanks” to all my great sponsors like Polaris, Fox Shox, Method Race Wheels, Rigid Industries, Wolf Designs, CR Designs, Geiser Brothers, Howe Power Steering, Danzio Performance, Kroyer Racing, etc.

So race day is here! We line up around at 12 in the afternoon and the race starts at 1:30PM. I am ready but I’m also a bit on the scared, nervous, concernedantsy, on edge, tense side but I know as soon as we are off the line adrenaline will take over and I will be fine.

We line up at 12 noon and head to the start downtown on the streets of Parker AZ around 1pm in the afternoon. We slowly start edging forward to the starting line. I am starting 23rd in my class and that’s behind about 120 cars and trucks that started in front of me. We start getting closer to the starting line and I think to myself ‘Should I just floor the truck and do a big nasty burn out when the flag drops?’ or ‘I should ease into it so I don’t break anything on the starting line.’ We pull up to the start line and we are next Casey, the gentleman that puts the races on, he shakes our hands and 30 seconds later we are off!

Polaris-RZR-Parker425-UTVinc-Johnny Angal-Geiser (6)

You’re thinking ‘Johnny floored that truck and did a smokey burnout’, right? Nah, as bad as I wanted to I eased into like an adult and yes I’m still thinking what a wussy! Anyhow we are off and racing! I am excited, I am pumped, holy shit, let’s do this! I take it easy on the black top section and off into the dirt. I push the go pedal down hard and the motor roars to life. It’s loud and I LOVE it! Boner, my co-driver/navigation man, and I start hanging the back of the truck out as we slide around corners and off the first jump. WOOHOOOO! Air time, that was so badass! I think to myself ‘Damn that was bad ass!’ We are doing around 90 mph now and I feel great. Boner is sitting next to me calling out turns, we are flying and I love it! We make it to about a 2 mile long straight away and I catch my first truck. I should just pull right up to him and give him a bump so he gets out of my way but I’m a little scared even though everybody does it. So I sit behind him for 30 seconds or so and then the course widens out a bit and I go for the pass! I tell yah, I’m sorry for the language but I’m really fucking excited at this point. First race, my first pass, hell yes! I am back in the gas with the pedal pinned on the floor. 80mph… 85mph… 90mph… 95mph! Oh my god! Boner and I bust knuckles as we fly down the road over jumps and bumps with the truck pitching back and forth because we are in the groves of the other racers ahead of us. At mile marker ~4 we go down a big sand hill and into the wash. There is a hard right handed turn that now has a couple of huge bumps in it where dirt has piled up about 4 feet tall. We hit the first bump and the front end of the truck springs up in the air and then straight down into the next pile of dirt. The front of our truck digs into it then springs back up, throwing a wall of sand and gravel into the air that we drive into. We are now covered with sand and gravel but you know what? None of that matters because as I came down the hill I saw the next truck in front of me just turning that same corner. I thought to myself ‘oh yes, I’m going to pass another truck in the first few miles of the race.’ I pull behind him pretty fast and you can just call me “The Gentleman Racer” because at first it looks like he sees me and is going to pull over but he doesn’t. I don’t pull up and bump him as we are getting pelted by rocks and gravel coming off his tires but I’m not going to let him go. He sees me, slows and pulls to the side so I can pass. so I floor the truck and go for the pass, hell yes, two down! I am now floored again and the truck engine is screaming! As I let off the gas pedal for the next corner… uh? What the hell…? I let off the gas but the truck is still screaming! I hit the brakes and hit the ignition switch to shut the truck down and pull off the race course. I tell boner the throttle pedal is stuck so he unbuckles his harnesses and crawls to my side and pulls the pedal up and frees it? I’m not sure what happened but its working now, so I start the truck up and he starts buckling up his harnesses as the two trucks that I had passed go roaring by us. ‘Damn’ I think to myself but we are off again.

Polaris-RZR-Parker425-UTVinc-Johnny Angal-Geiser (9) Polaris-RZR-Parker425-UTVinc-Johnny Angal-Geiser (8) Polaris-RZR-Parker425-UTVinc-Johnny Angal-Geiser (7) Polaris-RZR-Parker425-UTVinc-Johnny Angal-Geiser (2)

I catch the first truck again pretty quick and get passed him but the second one is churning up a dust storm ahead of us. This is now a going to be a little harder to pass but I am thinking around race mile 15 or so I can get around him. We keep charging hard thru the dust and there really is no wind blowing, so it makes it difficult to catch and pass people. We slowly catch up and pass a few more racers. We are now on a graded road section and I am moving pretty good. 80 to 100 mph at times! I don’t make it all the way around one of the tighter corners and Boner and I plow a big pile of dirt on the edge of the road. We both take an extremely hard jolt to our bodies and I think I just wrecked this truck. I hit the gas and we are off and moving, everything must be okay. I ask Boner “Are you okay?”, he says “Yes!” and we go back to work. Shortly thereafter I am a going a little too fast again and I come around a corner over corrected and we are sliding sideways at 60 mph. I end up doing a 180 and facing the wrong way on the side of the course. I hit the gas as a truck flies by us and I get us back in the race.  We are now eating his dust and of course I yell a bit at poor Boner and tell him to call the corners sooner! However, it was pretty much my fault as I was in control of the truck, not him.

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Anyway, the first lap goes great and as we pit they tell us we are in 5th place and doing great. A quick drink of Gatorade and a couple folded up pieces of ham that they hand us is a welcomed treat but we have to get going. We pull out of the pits and as we come around the corner a full on Trophy Truck gets in front of us and Mills Motorsports V10 truck is right behind us. As we leave the speed zone of the pits we all hit the gas about the same time and you can feel the couple thousand horsepower roar to life, consuming fossil fuels at the rate of about 2MPG each! I stick to the truck ahead of me like glue for about ½ a mile. I see the Mills Motorsports truck right on my ass too. I know he has about 400 more horse power then I do, so I pull off the course doing about 80mph to let him pass. About half way thru the second lap I did get to pull up and bump a truck to get him to move. About that same time I was thinking to myself ‘God damn it got rough out here.’  Or, maybe I was thinking ‘I don’t know if I am cut out for this?’ I am getting the shit beat out of me! I really could not believe how tore up the race course had become. It was unreal. I also started to think poor Craig he’s going to race the last lap and boy is he in for a beating, he is going to hate me!

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We had some fueling issues during the second lap that set us back to 8th or 9th place but I really don’t know. At the time I was so beat down I didn’t really care I just wanted out of the truck. As we pulled into the pits I jumped out and told Craig “It’s really rough out there, be careful.” Craig and his Co-driver Keith did a great job on keeping it together on the brutal course. After it was all said and done we finished in 8th place. Thanks guys! I am extremely happy with our first race finish and for a couple of guys with not a lot of seat time and having only raced our Polaris RZRs before I know we will get it down.

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Huge thank you to everybody that helped make this happen for us!

Pit crew guys from Jagged X, High Lifter and my guy’s thank you all so much!

Boner, Craig, Keith, and the team at Polaris RZR, thank you!

Mad Media, 239 Films, Casey and the crew from Best in The Desert and all my fellow racers, thank you!

Jeff and Rick Geiser as well as the entire Geiser crew, thank you.

Fox Shox, Method Race Wheels, BFG Tires, Wolf Designs, Fiber Worx, Gear Works, Kroyer Racing, Danzio Performance, Lonestar Racing, ITP Tires, Impact Racing, Master Craft Racing, Ron Davis radiators, Pyrotech, Brembo Brakes, Aeromotive, Wire fab … Thank you all so much and a big thank you to all of those I always forget, Sorry …

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“Boner” is Eric Ringler

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2015 Score Baja 500 Race Report

‪#‎PolarisRZR‬ Racing ‪#‎ITP‬ ‪#‎UTVinc‬ – POLARIS RZR  – ITP TIRE BAJA 500 RACE REPORT

I honestly don’t even know where to start this one …

At the beginning of the 2015 season Score International had said there would be two Baja 500 races this year and we could race either one of them. I had the understanding that you didn’t have to race both of them. I was under the impression that the best finish from the two races would apply towards the season’s point’s championship. We finished with a strong third place at the first race (Baja Sur 500) but we knew with the guys we were racing against that might not be good enough. We decided to try and better a third place finish at the Baja 500. So, we started prepping and planning our best race yet all the while knowing that we needed to better our third place finish.

The team got the car cleaned up from the Silver State 300 race and started working on it as things came up. I told them “I don’t care what we need to change or replace I want it 100%, every time!” As the race drew close I knew that nothing had been over looked or considered ‘good enough’. It was the best we could do, nothing short of that. About two weeks prior to the race Branden Sims, Eric Ringler, Craig Hammar and myself loaded up a couple of Polaris RZR’s and headed down to Baja for some pre running. We started right outside of Mexicali and finished the first day at race mile 300, when we were done we headed over to Horse Power Ranch for the night. During the trip Branden and I cannot help but reminisce over our past races. Every hour or so I would remind him of a race that I got lucky and passed him in. To which he would reply with “Yah, but remember I won the Brand New Polaris RZR at the UTV World Championship” and I quickly shut up as he put me back in my place. The next day we head back to race mile 300 to start pre running Branden Sims’ section of the race course. As it turns out I kept teasing him that my 270 mile section was brutal and his was a smooth rally road. Neither of us really cared as long as we got to race! We had a good time pre running and again had zero problems with our two Polaris RZR XP 1000’s. So we loaded up and headed back to El Centro California for a fine dinner at Jack in the Box. As we ate at this fine dining establishment they were providing some music to enhance our dining experience when in walks a young presumably stoned young man. He stood in front of the counter for a moment, staring at the menu. Then all of the sudden the music and Baby Jesus overtook all control of his body! He started shaking, then he did a hand stand, a quick backflip and some other crazy convolution moves as he danced his way into the parking lot. He obviously was needing more room to let loose! We finished our meals and all agreed not to drink the water in El Centro. From here we decided head to the hotel room for the night and then back home tomorrow.
As race day nears we take our Polaris RZR XP 4 1000 racer to Wolf Designs to get a new wrap installed so the car is looking sharp for the Baja 500. Thursday Moring rolls around and we all meet at my place at 5AM to head out to the Baja 500. Along the way we happen to meet up with the LoneStar Racing Team of Cody Nygren and Dan Fisher. We caravan thru the border with them arriving around 1PM to our favorite taco stand for some tacos. After lunch we then head to the hotel to get unloaded and pre run the start and finish 40 miles or so of the race course. You can only pre run on Thursday or Friday so Branden and I jump in the race car. I drive my section out and he drives his section back in. Our Polaris RZR XP 1000 is feeling great! We call it a day and head back to our rooms to get some rest for the big weekend we have ahead of us.

Friday: Nate gets up early and takes our car to contingency at 6AM. We sit there until the line starts moving around 10AM. It does move very fast so we get all done around 3PM. I think to myself ‘Next time I’m getting in line at 3PM when the line is moving and we should be done by 6PM’, did I mention I hate standing or sitting in line?

Saturday: So race day is finally upon us! We meet outside at 7:30AM, I have already been at the coffee shop having my morning coffee, so I walk back to the hotel. We send the first truck off to Ojos approx. race mile 35 just in case we need something as we are heading out of town. I head back to the hotel room to put my race suit on and relax for a few minutes before I need to strap into the race car for the next 8 or so hours. We are told to line up at 8:30AM, so about 9AM I head over to line up, remember I hate waiting, LOL. Anyway… We are supposed to be off the starting line around 11:00AM but a car that started the race before us has spun out and hit a power pole. So now we have to wait even longer, I am guessing it was right around Noon when we started.
The green flag dropped and we started 6th off the line. I was feeling great and figured I would take it easy for the first 30 or so miles as we are leaving town. Around mile 25 we all got stopped behind a few racers that where getting stuck on a small hill section. We had to stop and wait in line for our turn to go up! Well, most of us waited in line… Cognito (#1918) figured they didn’t have to as they drove passed a bunch of us waiting in line. As they pulled up and realized we were not waiting for sandwiches and iced cold beverages they cut in front of Cory Sappington, who then proceeded to give the Cognito car a bump to push him forward a bit. I was sitting back and enjoying the show as a couple of pissed off locals tossed rocks at the Cognito car. As the hill cleared, the pile of cars was caused by Cognito passing everybody. It kind of helped us out as the truck in front of Cognito didn’t move and they couldn’t get around. Cory (Desert Toyz) passed them and I followed Cory up the hill. Due to the traffic jam going into Ojos we were all packed together pretty tight for the next 80 miles or so to La Rumorosa. We were eating dust the whole way and around that area we made it to La Rumorosa Hill and where the first ones down. While racing through a rocky section we got passed by Wayne Matlock as he picked a little smoother section right around race mile 130. He beat us to the pits at race mile 145 where we stopped for fuel and have the guys check our car over as it had been making a ticking noise. They checked the car over and we pulled out about a minute after Matlock. After a few miles we caught him back while they were both out of his car checking something out.

The next 40 or so miles was a brutal, nasty, whooped out section straight from Hell. We took the beating and pushed hard to make sure we could get the car to my co-driver Branden at race mile 270. Anyhow, right around race mile 200ish my car just died. We coasted off the track with some of the worst noises we have ever heard it make. We jumped out of the car as the smoke was pouring out of the side of the hole in the transmission. We call the guys in the chase truck to tell them we had blown the transmission and to haul ass to get to us. Little did we know it would take the guys two and a half hours to get to finally make it us at race mile 200.

In the mean time I started a camp fire to ward off the Chupacabra’ and keep us warm. It was about 99 degrees outside in the sun still but I was bored. I heard the next UTV coming and knew they now would be the race leaders. I ran out to the race track, unzipped my fire suit, and shot him the MOON ass, we would call it trying to distract and cheer him on, LOL, and I’ll never grow up.
So as we sat there looking at the car and trying to trap rats for dinner, I noticed our transmission fill plug had come out. This caused us to lose all of our transmission oil and take us out of the race.

What a way to go. You can only imagine how something like this would make you feel.

Back to the beginning of the story; I figured we already had a third place from the first Baja Sur 500 race and knowing that we would not beat that finish there was no reason to change the transmission and continue on. So we packed up and towed the car out of the desert. We headed to the finish line to see how everybody did. We ended up talking with the Murray’s at the finish line and they asked what had happened. I told them the story and they proceeded to tell me that Score changed the rules on the throw out race. Now you can throw out any race during the season. With that new information I knew I had just made the biggest mistake that might cost us the season championship… Damn, I have been kicking myself for the last few days wishing we would have swapped the transmission and finished the race. It’s a little too late now so we will just have to win the next two races!

Thank You Polaris RZR, UTV INC, Lone Star Racing, Method Wheels, ITP Tires, Wolf Designs, Rigid Lights, and everybody else that plays the tiniest part in our race program.

Without you we wouldn’t be racing!

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2015 Vegas To Reno Race Report

Vegas To Reno 2015 Polaris RZR Turbo ITP Tire Race Report – Johnny Angal 1921 UTVinc.com

As I sit here less than 2 days after a none stop storm tryin to turn a 2016 Polaris RZR Turbo in to a off road race car my neck is sore, my stomach, back, arms, shoulders, teeth, jaw, hands well you get the Idea but let me tell you not just me but after the race when you see all your fellow racers slowly climbing out of their race cars after 10 12 15 hours of getting tossed around in the race car, sweeting, you have a death grip on the steering wheel as the car gets bashed, you bottom out in large washes and the g-forces pound your spine and every joint and muscle in your body and after the first 100 miles you asking your self what the hell was I thinking ? what am I doing here ?

Well this race was a pretty special race for me and my Team after winning the Baja 1000 last year Polaris Industries sponsored my team, ya that’s what I was thinking why the hell would you put your faith, your Company name and everything you built behind Me a 50 year old guy that has never really raced anything ? well they did and when they released the 2016 Polaris RZR XP Turbo they Invited me to the release in Las Vegas and asked me If I wanted one to race ? how freaking special is that ? now you guys have to understand im 99.99999% sure they didn’t think I was stupid enough to Risk a season of racing and Being the Current 1900 Pro UTV Class points leader on a new untested as far as Racing is concerned machine as we all know that taking anything and Driving it as fast and as hard as you can none stop 545 Miles thru the most brutal terrain in Nevada will break anything and everything it can… Can you say Death Valley, Area 51, miles of burning hot, desolate Valleys, sand washes and barren waste land that is so remote they tested the first atomic bombs in the area because they knew nobody was stupid enough to ever journey into the area.

Well im sure they didn’t want nor think that somebody could build a competitive desert race car out of one of their brand new just released Turbo RZRs in 12 days and even if they could if a person was stupid enough to do that and they broke down 50 miles in the race it wouldn’t exactly be good for new car sales and I had that in the back of my mind when I told my Team at the shop we had less then two weeks to turn a stock RZR into a race car and throw caution into the wind again and race it with no spare parts 545 miles from Vegas to Reno
As we started the build and posting up a few pictures of our progress I was expecting a call from somebody at Polaris asking me what the hell I was doing and why would I risk everything on a new untested machine ? but that call never came and all I could think about was the new turbo machine was faster and I wanted to go faster. I also knew it was the next step of progress of all that they had learned thru the years and not JUST a faster more powerful machine but a complete upgrade of all the systems in the RZR that made it better, Better transmission, better brakes, clutchs, engine, the whole package

The Build

So anyhow I asked my two main fabrication guys Eric “Boner” Ringler and Craig Hammar if they could get it done ? really I told them here its is and I want it done in 10 Days and after getting the machine at 4:30 Pm they had it tore down into piles of parts scattered about our shop floor the first night, the next day I started making Phone calls to all the people that support our Team, Like Dan Fisher from lonestar racing asking him if he could build me custom axles in a week and if he had a spare racing fuel tank laying around and he said yes yes and yes, my guy from Fox Racing Shox Yes Yes and Yes, my guy from Rigid Industries LED Lighting Yes Yes and Yes, Method Wheels, ITP Tires, Wolf Designs, Crow Racing Harnesses, Impact Racing, PCI Race Radios, UPR racing supplies, SDHQ, everybody I called was there for us Making it happen it was The Team making it happen not me but the amazing people we work with making our problem there problems and getting it done for us. Thank You all so Much

Well we got it done and started loading our two chase trucks because we had to pull out the next morning for the 6 hour drive to Las Vegas for Tech inspection and contingency and the to the 5PM Drivers Meeting and yet even more another 2 hour drive to the starting line and the hotel we spent the night at the Death Valley Inn

The next morning is Race Day and Im thinking we will be off the starting line around 11:30 am but they want us to line up at 8:30 am lol so we can sit in the sun and cook in our full Fire race suits and knowing better I pull over to the staging area around 10 am and yep you guessed it sit in the sun cooking and sweeting till we leave the starting line right around 11:30
Yes we are off and running and the new car hauls ass we pass 2 or 3 cars in the first 10 miles and then our first problem is realized I had the guys set up the ride height a little lower for this race as last year it wasn’t to ruff but this year 250 other race cars and trucks started ahead of us and have worn huge deep rutts in the race course so our car is dragging it belly and bottoming out all over the place I tell Boner he needs to call the chase truck in Pit 1 and tell them they need to jack up the car and adjust the shocks so the car rides higher and he does, well about the time he gets done with that the car engine has overheated and we have to pull over to let it cool down, you see when we built the race car we had to modify the cooling lines and added a front bumper and lights to the front of the car in front of the radiator and turbo intercooler thus slowing down air flow to and thru the radiators so I also tell him to call to the pits and tell them to pull off the front lightbar hoping that would help it was 110 degrees out in the shade and we had to keep pulling over to let the car cool down and as we set on the side of the race course watching all the other racers drive by us we knew the mistakes we had made pretty quick

We made it to the first pit loosing at least 30 minutes and the changes helped a lot we where off and hauling ass again and when I could keep the car cool we would fly past the competition but in the 2 to 3 foot deep silt beds and deep sand and gravel the temps would still climb on the car and we had to pull over and let them pass us back and at this point I figured we just had to deal with it as we knew we had screwed up and didn’t have the tools or parts to fix it at this race

So we raced on having to take it easy on the gas pedal but even with that we slowly started gaining ground we also had a couple of problems with our rear aftermarket axles that slowed us down when we hit a large washed out section of road doing about 70 mph and when we pulling into the pits we had a problem removing the CV cup from the transmission to install a spare
Our chase pit crew was on the spot getting everything fixed as fast as they could while fueling our car with gas, fixing problem, feeding us and giving us drinks at the pits
We had one flat tire and Boner jumped out making quick work of it changing it out and I had told Boner I was going to race all 545 of the race myself with him as my navigator but if I did get wore out I was going to get out and have him get in the drivers seat with Craig as his navigator because Craig was the Navigator during the second half of the race last year and Im sure Boner was excited about it because in the last year and a half I had never let him drive he had always been my navigator well as his luck would have it around 10 PM race mile 400ish I told him I was ready to get out I had had enough and even my teeth hurt and he said his neck was sore I told him I would call on the radio and have Drew and Craig finish the race when all of a sudden he piped up with “oh my neck don’t hurt that bad” as we chuckled I knew after building me the best race rzrs over the last year he wanted nothing more then to get in the drives seat and show us how he could shine and I told him take it easy as there is nothing more important the getting this car across the finish line

As we rolled into the pit at race mile 410 I climbed out of the car cutting my finger and now bleeding all over the place Boner and Craig took off into the darkness it had cooled off a lot and we were able to drive harder and faster the next race update I got was we were in third place and I was so excited Boner and Craig had to pull over a few more times to cool down but it seemed as they where staying in third place and I thought to myself how fucking cool is that building a race car in 12 days and we going to podium the race little did I know their where two cars infront of us that trackers didn’t work so we where really in 5th place as I walk up to the finish line in the dark I thought it was our car sitting their but as I got closer I realized it was Jagged X while it took a few minutes for that shit to sink in our car crossed the finish line in 5th place

Im still super happy with the 5th place finish and my awesome Team that make it all possible and as it turned out I think we held our lead in the points race for the end of the season
In all reality How cool is even finishing a 545 Brutal off road race that rattles, shakes, pounds, and beets to death over half of the machines that start the race !!!!!!!!!

Congrats to all the racers and teams that took on Vegas To Reno !

Thank You Polaris RZR, UTV INC, Lone Star Racing, Method Wheels, ITP Tires, Wolf Designs, Rigid Lights, UTV Underground, Mad Media and everybody else that plays the tiniest part in our race program. Without you we wouldn’t be racing!

And a Special shout out for the help from Marc Burnett and Branden Sims

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