Made quite a few improvements to the rig between nationals and the Hammers, most importantly, replaced the head and got the exhaust done. Huge improvement in power with all 4 cylinders cookin :). It was a lot nicer this year going down with a running vehicle instead of having to bust ass and get the thing built on the lakebed like last year. Actually got to pre-run a bit and see part of the course prior to racing.
Race started off well, we got smoked off the line like usual, and settled into a good pace. We quickly caught up to a bunch of rigs broken down in the first rock section and passed a few others as well. The goal was to keep the rig together, but stay on a good pace. After getting up the sand hill with ease, we continued on. Stopped briefly to pit at the start/finish and headed back out. The start of Lap 2 took us out into some nasty whoops that slowed us down quite a bit, but got some good speeds going once we got closer to the lakebed. Got up to about 75 again this year before the car started shaking a bit. Saw some smoke coming from the hill on the far side of the lakebed and learned later that another rig (our pit neighbor) had rolled and the rig had caught fire and burned to the ground. So sad to come all that way and put in all the time and money to lose the rig like that. Thankfully everyone was OK!
Unfortunately, we would end up rolling shortly after that towards the end of Aftershock. Last year we got lucky and were able to take the high line, this year not so much. We rolled off a 20 foot drop or so, and luckily landed on the wheels. After getting out and checking things over, we got going again only to have the ARB switch wiring start shorting out and smoking as soon as we started. We re-wired them, stealing the switch from the light bar, and while we were fixing that let another team borrow the welder to fix their rig.
By the time we finally got into the remote pit, it was starting to get late. we had lost a lot of time and were now behind a lot of other cars. When we got over to jack hammer, there was a line of rigs trying to get through it. A couple rigs in front of us broke but we got through with a lot of winching and frustration. By the time we were coming around to Chocolate Thunder, it was 6 PM and the race was over. the front diff was done and the axle seals had let go again. Made it about 75 miles this year, better luck next time.