By Tyler Hooks
Race Report from Andrew Mowery:
June 1st, 2nd, and 3rd the Minnesota Off Road State Championships came to MMR in St louis Park Minnesota.
This year MMR brought us a technical track with speed, options and of course some great options.
The back quad sections had a run up wall that would allow even some of the slower classes a option to quad out at the price of a longer run line. It was apparent at the end of practice day one most classes were choosing a inside line at the end of the back stretch and a double double or a triple single for consistent quick laps. Well everyone except Jess the Quad man Isakson who choose the wall and quad every time.
The second option section was after the roller coming from left to right through the mid section of the track. You could choose the High Road and take a small table or the low path which was rutted and required timing and throttle control to navigate quickly. This was going to make for some terrific racing and qualifying as drivers had choices on lines and all options were showing nearly identical lap times.
Qualifying was 4 rounds with your 2 best counting using qual points. A ton of close battles through Saturday and Sunday morning but after the dust settled the grids were set.
Short Course Chris Murch
Spec Slash Evan Banta
2wd Buggy Andrew Mowery
4wd Buggy Joey Carlson
Stadium Truck Emery Starkweather
With the grids set mains were about to get going. All Mains are 8 minutes long and lower main winners bump up.
The most intense race of the day may have been the B main 2wd Buggy. Chris Murch took the lead on lap 6 as the Bq driver crashed. For the remainder of the race Jeff Will pushed and nibbled and chewed at the lead and on the last lap was near the bumper of Chris. Coming through the center section to the final double, just 2 corners from the line Chris tail slaps the lander just enough for Jeff to have the run across the caution bumps. Edging out to the lead Jeff took the run he had and finished first moving him up into the A Main.
A Main Spec Slash started out pretty bad for our Pole sitter. Evan who had been very strong and almost dominate drifted wide on the start hitting the outside wall and rolled putting him at the back of the field and playing catch up the rest of the race. Brad Gobar took full advantage and took off in the lead. Battling and swapping the lead out with Emery Starkweather they worked into the mid section of the race. In Spec slash the old fixed brush motors start to get warm batteries get soft and then they really have to work to stay consistent in the big jumps. Emery proved king and about the halfway point took the lead and never looked back taking home the Championship.
A Main Short Course we may have seen the most disappointment of any racer before the mains began. Chris Murch our TQ driver was working tech. He was prepping to get his car ready and right before the cars started coming out he had a polarity reversal on the battery. So with the speedo up in smoke the most dominate Short Course was out of the race. With Chris out Brian Hookam 2nd on the grid took off in the lead with Brian Lother right on his bumper. In Short Course even with the unlimited power the quad was a aerodynamic challenge and all of the A main trucks were triple singling. Keeping the nose in tight as the end of the straight as he did not need any run Hookam tapped the inside corner at the end of the straight and Lother went by for the lead on lap 3. Hookam recovered quickly and went into hot pursuit. On lap 10 Lother landed hard in the triple and Hookam squirted inside to retake the lead. With Lother on the bumper they ran nose to tail for almost the remainder of the race. At the 6:30 second mark Hookam started to have trouble in the triple, Lother took full advantage and took the lead and held onto it for the last 4 laps for the win.
A Main Stadium Truck: Emery started out in the 1st spot and never looked back. Tone to Tone for the win even with Brad all over his bumper for the first 4 laps and Brad and Brian swapping the second spot out a few times and charging back to be just 2 seconds back. The most spectacular part of the stadium Truck race was on Lap 1 when Tom goes for it all off the wall and on the quad. Misses the take off angle and hits a pole 8 ft up at the end of the quad. The crowd went wild with the incredible ring that happened. Toms associated truck was fine and he continued on to finish the main.
A Main 4wd Buggy. Joey “ Iceman” Carlson had dominated all of qualifying and was looking to just walk away in the main. A lap one mistake on the short Double would give Brian the lead and Joey was going to have to work to get it back. It took almost to the halfway point but with Ice in his veins Joey worked back to the front regained the lead and took the win with a healthy gap on the field.
A Main 2wd buggy. This is the “Money class” in the State right now and the incredible close racing has shown how excellent our fields of drivers are and how close they can race to each other. Andrew sat on the pole and at the sound of the horn Evan got the jump on the lander of the first corner. Evan took the lead and Andrew stuck on his bumper like Velcro. Doug Austad in third just a few feet back and the rest of the field tangling a little bit and leaving a small gap back from the leaders. Evan and Andrew would pace each other on the track and nearly ran the back stretch and the quad side by side. On lap 3 Andrew looks outside on the roller and Evan and Andrew touch wheels. Andrew rolls over and Evan gets a small Gap. Andrew whittles away on Evans Lead and gets back to his bumper and near the 2 1/2 minute mark gets the inside on the roller to take the lead just as they catch a car coming off a Marshal. The cars all get together just a little bit and Evan in the tire and tire contact goes over giving Andrew a small break and he will take that for the win. Trying hard to get the 2 seconds lost back Evan pushes through traffic and has a few mistakes pushing him back to Joey who takes full advantage to move up to second and it becomes a battle between Evan and Doug for the final podium spot. Going nose to tail for the last laps and finishing .5 apart Doug will upset Evan and finish 3rd.