SNORE Rage at the River
Johnny Angal Polaris RZR Racing Race Report
Unlimited Truck Category
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.