Saturday, January 21, 2012

LDC Day 1

January 14, 2012 by  
Despite a lower than normal amount of entries (102) the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge still put on a great day of racing. With a slightly different setup, round 1 of the two race weekend is a full points race unlike past years which was a combine of the two day event. Tomorrow is another full points day essentially making the LDC a double points race.

BJ Baldwin bested the field taking the overall win with Juan Carlos Lopez just over a minute behind in second.,  “I made a personal commitment to myself and my team at the end of 2011 to never let anything get in the way of pursuit of a victory,” said Baldwin. “Running our race team like a business has sometimes gotten in the way of that and I’m over it, my team’s over it and we are done losing. 2012 is going to be our best year. We were going to try and go slow for the first three laps because it is so hard on equipment but Rob MacCachren just wouldn’t let us do that. He was pushing the pace and I was trying to go as slow as I can but still go fast. He was catching me a second a lap and then on one of the laps I put three seconds on him and then the next lap he got a flat. To lose to Rob would be awesome but to beat him is even better. I’d like to thank everybody that lives here in Laughlin and everybody that lets us race down here. This is a wonderful place to put on an event. ”

Taking third spot on the podium was Gary Weyhrich. “The first lap wasn’t bad but every other lap it went away farther and farther,” said Gary. “I think we’ve got to stiffen up the shocks up a bit. As the run kept going we started getting loose in the rear end and it was hard to control it.  It was frustrating because I was pushing and most of the guys I usually run with were pulling away from me. I think we’ll be fine tomorrow but we’ve got to stiffen the whole truck up. There were a couple of guys broken down and a couple on their side. Typical Laughlin: It’s crazy.”

Working his way through the pack and taking first in Class 1, 5th overall was Adam Pfankuch co-driving for Steven Eugenio. “I didn’t push too hard,” said Pfankuch. “We decided to take it down a notch because we wanted to save the car for tomorrow. It was fun. We just cruised and went around all of the big bumps and helped make the car hold up for tomorrow. This thing is a rocket ship but once it gets a little rough out there it comes to our disadvantage so we took advantage of what we have today.”
The next two podium spots were taken by Cody Parkhouse in 3rd and Brian Parkhouse in 4th. “It was awesome,” said Cody. “We’ve got this thing dialed in so good right now. It might have been a little soft but other than that it was as fast as we could go, foot to the floor everywhere.”
A good example of the close racing today was Ronny Wilson’s and Harley Letner’s tie for fourth spot with the exact same time of 59:17.

Harley Letner. “We had a broken brake line and it made it really hard to stop. It was a good race up until that happened on the third or fourth lap and we still caught a couple of guys. We tried not to overshoot turns and make it to the end and get a finish. I was going for a win but I guess we’ll try again tomorrow.”
Ronny Wilson. “I had a couple of slow laps and got out of the groove. Our goal is to come here and maybe get on the podium or get a couple top five finishes and get to San Felipe. Our cars are really more set up for Mexico races.”

With the new format tomorrow brings another chance at the podium and many are working through the night to take advantage of that. What hasn’t changed is how much the 6 miles of Laughlin desert changes within a day of racing. Tomorrows course will be rough… The holes will be BIG… And the ruts deep..!
Starting line up for Sunday:
97 B.J. Baldwin
18 Juan Carlos Lopez
98 Gary Weyhrich
94 Steven Strobel
9 Mark Weyhrich
12 Brendan Gaughan
96 Bobby Baldwin
95 Scott Whipple
20 Rob MacCachren
2 Pete Sohren
47 James Bult
84 Nick Vanderwey
19 Tim Herbst
49 Ryan Arciero
34 Ken Losch
65 Lloyd Sproule
10 Greg Nunley
48 Jimmy Knuckles
30 Robbie Pierce
16 Cameron Steele
14 Cameron Steele
15 Armin Schwarz
68 Marc Ewing
35 Jason Voss
CLASS 1 (20)
101 Damen Jefferies
106 Eric Hardin
102 Brian Parkhouse
107 Ronny Wilson
109 Conan Barker
117 Michael LaPaglia
113 Steven Eugenio
112 Harley Letner
108 Steve Appleton
105 Cody Parkhouse
118 Pete Sohren
149 Louie Serna
148 Kevin Thompson
115 Robert Archibald
110 Monica Greenhill
111 Grant Lenk
114 Clyde Stacy
100 Justin Davis
116 Tony Miglini
119 Jaime Huerta

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