Dirt Riot Winners: Pro 4400: Andrew McLaughlin ; Pro 4500: Jeff Rector
Pro 4600: Matt Peterson ; Mod Trail Class: Ryan Miller ; UTV Class: Jeff Rector
Stock Trail: Rob Flandro
PLACERVILLE, CA APRIL 19, 2013: On a beautiful day in Moab Utah, the 4×4 Professional racers and Sportsman enthusiasts lined up for a green flag at the first round of the Mountain Series Dirt Riot race at AreaBFE. The racing format was different than a typical Dirt Riot race with a green flag on the top section, three laps around the greater portion of AreaBFE and then two additional laps around the top pit area in front of hundreds of spectators. By the end of the day it was Andrew McLaughlin who would take the Pro 4400 4×4 class win with Brad Lovell and Levi Shirley both being awarded second place finishes. “We couldn’t have asked for better racers, better spectators or better weather,” said Rich Klein, President and founder of W.E. Rock Events. “We would really like to thank the entire staff at AreaBFE for their outstanding support of this race and we look forward to having it here for many years to come.”
The morning of the race came at the end of a very busy Red Rock 4-Wheelers Easter Jeep Safari week in Moab. Qualifying was fast and Jeremy West from the 667 Rockers club added a bit of flare as he rolled across the finish line. “Well, that wasn’t planned!” said Jeremy when he was checking on his qualifying time: 14th out of 20. The pole position of the first race would go to the 2012 Moab Dirt Riot winner and the 2012 Dirt Sports driver of the year Brad Lovell.
With the format being a little different than normal, the Pro 4500, Pro 4600, Mod Trail Class and Stock Trail Classes all ran together in the morning hour. The format included two laps on the bottom section and then completing two laps on the top section. Jeff Rector, the Ironman of the day who competed in every single minute of racing, won the Pro 4500 class, with teammate Mitch Funk taking second and Shawn Rants in third. Pro 4600 Matt Peterson added the Dirt Riot win to his recent 2012 Everyman Challenge King of the Hammers win. Jason Kaminsky from Colorado finished second and Matt Salyers from Arizona finished third. Unfortunately, Cody Folsom and Ferris McCollum were not able to complete a lap and took DNF’s for this race.
In the trail classes that are built for all 4×4 enthusiasts to participate in, Rob Flandro won in the Stock Trail Class driving his Toyota truck. In the Mod Trail Class, Ryan Miller continued his winning streak followed by Rawlin McGhie in second and Danny Israel in third. These classes allow most all vehicles to run with minimal safety requirements.
Then it was time for the first heat of horsepower! The Professional 4400 4×4 class drivers were lined up and ready to race with 20 drivers taking the course 30 seconds apart, they ran three loops around the bottom section and then ran two laps on the top. They roared around, and soon it was Andrew McLaughlin in the LetzRoll Offroad car that came back up to the top section first, followed by Jeremy West who started 14th, Jeremy Ford who started 18th and then Chris Hoyt who started 6th. The controversy of the race was over Levi Shirley completing three or four laps based on information from officials at the bottom loop. It was determined that he did run four laps and the resolution was to have Levi only run two laps in the second heat, as the winner of the race was determined by the total of the two heat times, this solution would allow for the times to equal themselves out.
As we saw back of the starting pack drivers come up to the top section first, it proved the difficulty and challenges of the AreaBFE trail systems. Brad Lovell, who had started in first, finished heat one in 11th after changing a driveshaft. The first heat took it’s toll on drivers like Bailey Campbell, Brian Shirley, Todd McCullen, Dustin Isenhour, Todd Seawell and Chad Wheeler who would not make it to the start of the second heat placing 15th and below in the final standings.
When an intermission of utilizing the bottom section was necessary for a Red Rock 4 Wheelers Club trail run to come through, the UTV Class ran the top section only. This proved to be the most entertaining of the day hearing spectators cheering from every vantage point. Five drivers, three of which were also driving in the Pro 4400 Class, would compete and only one would take the checker flag: Ironman Jeff Rector. With multiple acts of sportsmanship among all the racers, Bebe Thiesen would have challenges early on, Levi Shirley at 7 laps and Brian Shirley at 9 laps would be forced to quit, and Brian Rector would sit after lap 6 laps. It was the cool, calm, collected way of getting laps on the Arctic Cat that brought Jeff Rector to the checker flag, after breaking early and then getting fixed before all the other cars had broken.
In the meantime, the 4400 4×4 cars were lining back up for the second heat. The combined times between heat one and heat two would determine the winners of this race. Andrew McLaughlin started off the line first followed by Levi Shirley, Jeremy West and a whole pack of 14 drivers that completed all of heat 1. With more challenges facing most of the teams, Andrew McLaughlin would have another fast heat putting him first in the overall race. Brad Lovell proved his Driver of the Year title with amazing driving skills starting in the back of the pack in the second heat and finishing so quickly that he finished second overall! Levi Shirley continued to show his young skills with another great finish, also taking second.
After the event it was determined, “Brad Lovell and Levi Shirley both awarded second place at the Mountain #1 Dirt Riot race in Moab, Utah last Saturday,” said Rich Klein. “After much review, we will award 2nd place to both racers. There were circumstances created by Dirt Riot staff that consequently made a situation difficult to remedy. In the end, the race was too close to call for second place, so rather than guess, both race teams were awarded second. First place was obvious, with Andrew McLaughlin taking it; fourth place was also obvious. Second and third were a little less so. Our apologies to all the racers in the race, in our world those kind of errors aren’t acceptable, we strive to always provide high quality racing and results. We are constantly learning and identifying weak areas so they aren’t repeated.”
The rest of field of drivers finished as follows: 4th place went to Jeremy Ford, 5th went to Ben Swain, 6th went to Tony Arledge, 7th went to Ironman Jeff Rector, 8th went to Ross Stanford, 9th to John Brock and rounding out the top 10 was Chris Hoyt. Eleventh place went to Matt Lee, 12th to Jeremy West, 13th to Hunter Sparrow and 14th position went to Dustin Sexton.
The next Mountain Series race will be Father’s Day Weekend June 15th in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the Ram Offroad Park. More information on that race will be posted at http://www.werocklive.com/events/dirt-riot-mountain-round-2/. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for ages 8-15, children 7 and under free and Military with ID get $5 off. There are vendors, food and amenities on site, and we encourage you to bring chairs and shade structures.
All the results, pictures and stories are currently posted at http://www.werocklive.com/2013/dirt-riot-mountain-series-1-moab-ut.
Past Event Coverage: http://www.werocklive.com
Event Sponsors: Maxxis Tires, Spider Trax, Trail Gear, Tom Woods Custom Driveshafts, Branik Motorsports, ADS Off-Road Racing Shocks, Artec Industries, ASR Offroad, Nitro Gear & Axle, Raceline Wheels, PCI Race Radios, CRAWL Magazine, The SickLine.com, I’m Not Just a Girl
About W.E.ROCK Events, LLC.
W.E.ROCK Events, LLC. A Placerville, CA based company, sanctions, promotes, and hosts specialty off road events, including the W.E.ROCK Rockcrawling US Pro-National series, Dirt Riot Endurance Racing Series and 13 international and sub-sanctions. Attracting thousands of spectators to each event, W.E.ROCK reaches a broad demographic of off-road enthusiasts and casual motorsports fans. The sport of rockcrawling has grown by giant leaps in the last decade and is now host to over 300 registered national-level competition teams. Major competition supporters and partners include Red Bull Energy Drink, Monster Energy, NOS Energy Drink, Home Depot, MAXXIS Tires, Cooper Tires, and Crown Royal. With the off road industry exceeding 4 billion in sales annually, the sport of rockcrawling leads the way in print media and advertising for the sport’s 12 major publications. For more information, visit www.werocklive.com
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