KibbetechRacing #1466 was victorious yet again with a First place finish at theSNORE/MORE KC Hilites Midnight Special in Lucerne Valley, Ca. With a total car count of 197 vehicles in the race and 34 in class 1400, it made for the largest class in the race.
1466 Race started in ninth position. Justin Oquendo was piloting the truck, leaving the starting line at 4:51pm. Justin set a fast pace on the first lap, pushing to find the first place position and clean air from the rest of the class. The first 13 miles of the race course were run on the 2012/13 King of the Hammers race course, littered with huge boulders, tight canyons and soft sandwashes. He passed a competitor every mile for the next ten miles, putting 1466 Race in the first place position in class by mile marker 10.
Justin continued with his pace, passing a total of 47 cars by the end of his first lap. Coming into the end of lap one, the truck set fast lap time for the night at 1 hour, 20 minutes, 36 seconds, with an average speed of 48.8 miles per hour. Pulling into pit, we changed co-drivers and took on 24 gallons of gas. Continuing on to lap two, on a battled and beat race course, we continued our pace and picked off multiple vehicles in faster classes, while putting a huge gap on second place in our class. At this point in the race the wind started to die down and the dust started to linger, making driving into the twilight hours even more demanding.
Completing lap two, coming into pit, 1466 changed co-drivers again, took on another 24 gallons of gas, one of the crew noticed a low driver’s side rear tire. Under further inspection they found that we had sheared off 3 wheel studs. At this point, Justin turned off and exited the vehicle to assess the situation with Jason Campbell, co-owner of Camburg Engineering. Thankfully the Performance Machine Forged wheels did their job and allowed the truck to get back to pit with only 2 wheel studs holding onto the hub. After pulling the rear tire from the race truck and realizing the hub was damaged beyond repair, we installed a spare hub, topped off gear oil and had the truck under way in 28 minutes.
Starting into lap 3, we were back in 3rd position and set a blistering pace, on the hunt for the number one spot. Coming down a sand wash, right after mile marker 9, we came across an over turned vehicle, blocking the live race course, in an un-passable position. 1466 Race hooked a tow strap to the over turned race vehicle, pulling it backwards on course to right the vehicle. After pulling him over in reverse, the race truck got stuck and was forced to dig itself out before continuing onto lap 3. This whole event cost us a downtime of 20minutes. Continuing on to lap 3 we were on a mission to get the truck to the front of the pack.
Coming into pit at the end of lap3, the crew told Justin that they had informed MORE Race officials, who were a co-host with SNORE Racing. The pit captain informed Justin that the race organization was correcting our time for the incident on lap 3 and that we were in first place position with corrected time.
Starting Lap 4, the course had gotten extremely rough, with most of the sections becoming very deep, whoops faced off, huge breaking bumps coming into corners, with all of the sand washes becoming extremely rutted and violent. At this point, it was a race against ourselves and our equipment to make it to the finish line in one piece. The dust had continued to grow and we found ourselves having to come to complete stops, waiting for the dust to settle and trying to find the course direction. Coming into the finish line, completing the race in a total corrected time of 6hours and 20 minutes, 22 seconds, giving us the unofficial win for the race.
The following day, Kibbetech Racing attended the awards ceremony. Prior to the awards getting underway, Justin Oquend oand team were informed by Cody Jeffers of MORE Racing that we would not be getting the corrected time for the incident the previous night, contradicting his previous statement during the drivers meeting that any vehicle that stops to help another stuck or overturned vehicle on a live race course will get corrected time as long as the other team verifies it and it is reported during the race. Kerri Swanson of Kibbetech Public Relations informed Cody as the incident was reported to the pit captain and the driver and co-driver informed the pit upon exiting and re-entering the vehicle and time was reported and documented correctly. Kibbetech racing has filed a petition with our race organizers, SNORE Racing, who took it to the board on October 17, with the information that was provided by our team. Upon investigating the incidents, SNORE Racing received confirmation from the team that was involved in the matter. SNORE has since assured our team the corrected time and awarded our team the First Place finish for the race.
This podium finish has brought Justin to the points lead in the 2014 SNORE Championship.