2013 Ultra4 Racing 4 Wheel Parts Glen Helen Grand Prix Discount Tire Off Road Evolution, Nitto Tire, Dynatrac, ATX Wheels Race Team Results
“A HOT Ultra4 Experience”
May 24-25th Ultra4 Glen Helen 2013 – Congratulations to Nick Nelson #4404 for his win in the Ultra4 Glen Helen Grand Prix. Nick was followed by 2nd place Wayland Campbell #3 and 3rd place Driver Loren Healy #67.
Southern California is known for its blue skies and “hot” summer days and it was definitely a hot experience for the Discount Tire Off Road Evolution Race Team during this past weekend Ultra4 4 Wheel Parts Glen Helen Race. Here’s a recap of how the races unfolded from driver Mel Wade.
Friday, May 24th – Practice and Qualifying
(Mel Wade) “EVO 1 was running great. We got to dial in the suspension for the track. No leaks, no smoke and we set a decent qualifying start time(25th position) for the 1st prelim Race.
EVO TJ was fast Fast FAST!.. We qualified 10 seconds ahead of everyone in our Stock Class and 1 second ahead of the leader of the Stock Mod Class above us.
Our qualifying time led me to spend most of Friday night with Dave Cole, the owner of Ultra4 Racing, and the lead Ultra 4 Tech Official for a second inspection of the TJ. Apparently, a number of our competitors were upset with our times and my suspension design. After multiple inspections and discussions about Stock Class Ultra 4 Rules, and our suspension engineering inside of these rules, they authorized us to be able to race the EVO Built TJ in the main event. Since we qualified first we were still going to be able to start first… “
Saturday May 25th, 9:00am -Ultra4 Prelim EVO 1 Qualifier
(Mel Wade) “My Copilot was Brian Hogue. Our start position was 25th and we started working our way up the pack. The goal was to do our best and qualify for the mail event. We would need a top 18 finish to qualify. The JK was working great, temps were all good, around 35 minutes in and on lap 5 the temps spiked up to 260 with a nice white puff of smoke. We tried to chance our driving style and ran a couple more laps but the temp kept coming up. We decided to pull into the pit once the temp went up to 280 to save the engine. At that point we had moved up to the 21st position. IN the pit we inspected Evo1. The cooling fan had failed. It got so hot that the fan melted into the fan shroud taking us out of the race. We were all disappointed but we were still in the hunt for a win in the TJ so I decided to focus on the next race.”
Saturday May 25th 11:00am – Stock/Mod and Baja Cup UTV Race – EVO TJ Race Time
(Mel Wade) “Little Mel was my copilot. We started 1st in the Stock Class with 6 Stock Mod Rigs in front of us. They let us go in 10 seconds intervals.
We pulled quick off the line and started to gain on the Stock Mods. All temps were great and we managed to work our way through the pack up to 3rd over all and 1st in class with a 36 second lead time over 2nd place.
We led for 45 min until, unfortunately, the TJ’s temp also started to spike. It climbed to about 250 when a puff of white electrical smelling smoke let out… Not again…Yes, the TJ cooling fan had now failed.. not losing my position, I stayed on it the rest of that lap with the temp increasing.
By the time we made it to the pit the temp was pegged well over 300 and when we pulled into the pit the motor lock up. When we pulled into the pits we were still 36 seconds in front of the 2nd place Stock Class Rig and only 10 seconds behind the leader of the Stock Modified Class. Unfortunately, our day had ended and our lead and potential podium finish had vanished.
What did we learn and why should we be proud of this weekend?
(Mel Wade) “Well, I’m now looking for a new brand of cooling fan and I know which ones are NOT going back on any of my rigs, that is for sure. It will be an easy fix for the JK, EVO1 but the engine in the TJ will be need to be rebuilt and for the next race.
The Off Road Evolution/Discount Tire/Nitto/Dynatrac/ATX race team should hold our heads high and be proud of our Ultra4 Glen Helen 2013 Experience. We had a great showing and we got the attention of EVERYONE with our fast full size production Jeep JK. We passed tube buggies and our JK still has a legal license plate hanging off the back. The lightning quick STOCK EVO TJ certainly made a great showing as well as it flew faster than stock and stock mod classes.
I think even more than that, I am proud that every member of our team helped us to be as organized and professional as anyone could wish for. From the set up of the pit to the work that was done on the vehicles, the pit crew, track spotters, time keepers and cooks all made this weekend a success. We all pulled together and even though we were unable to stand on the podium, WE set the example of a WINNING TEAM!“