Well it was a eventful race for Ellett Racing at the Baja Racing Texas/Outlaw Desert Racing Cinco De Baja 200 in Albuquerque, New Mexico . After having my crew prep the car for 6 weeks preparing for the race, it was finally time to defend my title in New Mexico.
Tech inspection went great and we put on a great show for everyone. Race day came and we were excited to get it started, heading out for the parade lap and the buggy is running good until somewhere around mile marker 10 where the buggy started running pretty bad. Continuing on we came up to the rock section found a under cut water fall, and made a new line on the right to stay away from the under cut. It took a couple tries to make it up but finally we did, the only problem being was that I rolled the buggy dropping back in the trail! No damage to the rig just my pride.
The recovery crew rolled me back over, I started her back up and continued on. However, the buggy was barely running by the time I made it back to pits. We decided to change the fuel pump and replace the filters, then ran down the road real quick to check it out and it still wasn’t right. My pit crew decided to clean the mass air sensor before lining up for the start.
Left the line 13th in class and the buggy was running great again! Managed to pass three 4400′s and one rolled over class 1 by mile marker 7. A mile later at RM8 I over jumped a hill and landed in the face of the next hill at about 60mph. Needless to say the bolts on the high steer arms weren’t very happy with that decision, with three out of four bolts sheared off. This made it really hard to steer! I headed back to pits for repair but the fourth bolt gave up on me. It took me a good ten or fifteen minutes to figure out how to hook a twenty foot ratchet strap to the caliper and rotor to hold the tire and wheel straight, and an hour and a half later I roll into pit.
My crew did an awesome job of repairing the car. I got back in the race ready to make up time, three laps down already but committed to finishing the race. Made it back to where I broke and guess what the car starts running poorly again! Barely made up the water falls and back to the pit where we decided to change the mass air flow and filter and try that. We stole the parts off my crew member’s Tahoe for the buggy, thanks Chris! Back out racing and the car was running good again until mile marker ten it starts happening again. The car is back firing, popping and just plain not running very good at all. I made it back to pits again with a real bad smell of gas coming from somewhere.
We started looking for loose ground wires but couldn’t find anything wrong. Tried to start the rig and the motor hydro-locked, with the cylinder full of gas. We pulled the spark plugs find out which one it is pump out the gas and pull the fuel rail off to replace fuel injector. We replaced the spark plug and headed back out again, with the car still not sounding too good. I thought it would clear out and be fine, but it was not the case, and it started running so bad the top speed was only 23mph. I almost didn’t make it up the climbs or through the creek bed for matter.
You can’t say we didn’t try everything to finish this race, but we had to call it quits after 3 laps. We ending up bending the exhaust valve and ruining a set of heads. Oh well can’t win them all.
THANKS to all my pit crew for working so hard to try and get me to the finish. A little motor work and we’ll be right back at it!
Thanks also to: OG Extreme, Yukon Gear and Axle, PSC Steering, Pikes Peak Rovers, 4 Wheel Parts, 3D Dimensions, Raceline Wheels, Hci Motorsports, Mom and Dad, and the rest of the Family and Crew.
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