Story By: Mike Ingalsbee
Photos By: Brandon Bunch
The Legacy Racing VT Construction Battleground Race held at Primm, Nevada took place in the shadow of the decommissioned roller coaster at the Buffalo Bills Hotel, and Casino. In the desert that backs up to the parking lot, racers had a roller coaster of their own, but there was no limit to how fast they could go, or a steel track to keep them from crashing. They got a twisty, sandy course full of jumps. It was a playground for the drivers. There were all different kinds of features that tested them.
Take the strait-a-ways for instance. There were long straits, short straits, straits with jumps; even dog leg straits that tested their nerves. Pick the right line, and you won’t have to lift. Get it wrong, and you end up on your lid. The same was true about the corners. They had tight corners, and big sweeping turns. Some were firm, slick, and choppy. Others were loose, and filled with whoops. The drivers had only brief seconds every lap where they could take a breath, maybe wipe their visor, or adjust their hands on the wheel. It was a driver’s course, and the adrenaline was flowing both days of competition.
A familiar format, racers would run heat style races on back to back days. Whoever had the lowest combined time would take the win. Crews had a chance to make changes to their UTV’s overnight, but any time spent in the hot pits during the race would be costly. In this high intensity environment, you better get it right before you line up, or the competition will bury you.
A feature that was popular with the fans was the Joker Lane. Racers were allowed to use the Joker Lane one time on each of the race days. It bypasses the short course track, giving them a 1-mile shortcut. They could use the Joker Lane on any lap except for at the start of the race. You won’t be penalized for not using the Joker Lane, but if they use the Joker Lane more than once per race day it’s an automatic 15-minute penalty. This adds a little strategy, and split second decision making to the race.
Official Results are now up, and you can view them here.
We talked to some of the fastest drivers, and this is what they had to say:
Ryan Piplic: “It went really good; we went one for one for the weekend, we can’t complain. Everything was smooth basically. No hiccups at all so we’re kind of excited. Today it felt a lot wetter; the water trucks were out there a lot longer so every time it was like, alright, this is gonna be a little; nope, it turned into a slip and slide contest. Nope, it’s wet again, and we’re gonna slide again. It was actually a lot of fun; it kept you on your toes. You would come around the corner and you’re like, what are we gonna get today?”
Maddie Wedeking: “Overall, it went really well. Yesterday was the first day of the race, and I got pretty carsick from driving short course (the roller coaster effect), so I fell off the pace a little bit. Today, I knew I had to make up the time. Matt killed it in the passenger seat. We tried to carry as much speed throughout the race as we could. I’m currently in first for the points championship. This third place continues our lead with one race to go. I’ll see you in Cedar City.”
Jack Olliges: “The weekend was amazing. We obviously overalled the race, and the course that Donald and Liz put on was just amazing. It had a lot of turns like a short course. We got through it, and were able to take the overall. I have to go to school so I can’t test very much, but we were constantly racing. We ran races almost every weekend. We’re just picking up speed, following people who are faster, and just learning by seeing what they’re doing. We are constantly picking up that knowledge. The course was amazing. It got a little bumpy here at the end, but other than that the turns were perfect, super soft, super sandy, but a lot of fun. Next year, we’ll probably go up to unlimited or pro turbo and see how we do there.”
Dan Fisher: “The weekend overall was fantastic; I mean we definitely tried pushing, but we knew it was an uphill battle against Piplic. This this is definitely not in my wheelhouse, but the course from day one to day two was amazing. The course was super, super nice. It didn’t get anywhere near as torn up as it did yesterday. We were able to run good, run clean, and no problems. Yesterday, day one, we almost ran out of gas. We took a gamble. We didn’t really pay attention, and we almost suffered the consequences. If there was one more lap, we would have been parked; we were starting to sputter right there at the end. It was like, oh my gosh, what were we thinking? Today went really smooth.”
Austin Bolton: “The race was good, we started second. On lap three, Maddie got around us with the joker lane, but then ran at a solid pace and made up some time on her the last couple laps. We decided to take the joker lane on the second to last lap, and got around her. We put a minute and a half on her. Yeah, it was a good day. It was good. Both days were pretty much the same, except I was able to get Maddie on the third lap. The track was good today, and was really good yesterday.”
Andy Blood: “We were playing the old Tortoise and the Hare; we were the tortoise. We are in a new car, and used the race as a test session. We didn’t expect to bring home some hardware. The team is going great. Our goal was to get through the weekend. We had some high belt temperatures, but we were running stock clutching. The course was awesome; those big jumps were so much fun. The dyke jump was rad. It was cool seeing the big trucks fly off there. It was fun to see all the people there. It felt great to get out there, and race again.”
Everyone is now in full preparation for the final Legacy UTV race of the season on November 5-7 in Cedar City, UT. That’s where everyone will be going full out because championships will be on the line.