Total Chaos Fabrcation

2011 MORE Powder Puff Race Report

TOTAL CHAOS Tacoma takes 1st in class 1400 at the 6th MORE Powder Puff Race for the Cure.

Barstow, Ca. has one of the roughest race courses on the planet. The guys will tell you that, and so will the 124 gals who signed up to race in the 6th annual M.O.R.E. Off Road Racing – Race for the Cure Powder Puff event. Raising money to support this deadly disease has become an annual event that benefits Cedar Sinai. Racers donated ½ the entry fee to Cedar Sinai and there were raffle tickets sold. Our industry was generous and donated thousands of dollars in prizes. The 27 mile course was dusty. The whoops were deep and rough. And the wicked rocks were freshly exposed waiting to take you out and gobble a tire after the recent torrential rains. The washes were epic and by the time the 2nd scheduled group of racers left the line, they had built some fast berms for the girls to go out and rail it.16 ladies in class 1400 started the race. The #7216 TC Tacoma drew 14th off the line. “Our lane choice was critical on lap one and we remained patient on the passes in the really thick dust. If we had a patch of clean air, my navigator Denyce Styles did an amazing job picking up the open lanes and directing me to jump into them to make clean passes,” stated Nicole Pitell-Vaughan after the race. “By the end of lap one, we ran down the entire class of girls to sit in the lead on corrected time. We were just flying! Nicole and I have almost 20 years of off road experience each. We have been playing in Barstow since the late 1990’s. Most these girls were not even driving back then,” joked Denyce as their 2nd consecutive 1st place finish in class 1400 began to sink in.

Desert racing is a challenging sport. One person never wins the race single handedly. There is a fine balance between vehicle preparation before the race, driver talent during the race, and strategic pit support that can become the determining factor on where you finish. On race day, either my dedicated angel Lucille Casella who passed away on 5/13/2011 pulled some strings or some good old fashioned luck went Team TOTAL CHAOS’ way. After officially taking the point of the conga line of trucks in class 1400 shortly after the start of lap 2, I just began to run as hard as I knew the truck could handle without overly abusing it.Barstowis its own monster, it’s definitely a physical course for the drivers and co-drivers.

There were several trucks broken or upside down each lap. We remained in the lead for class 1400 from that point on. Even though the truck felt great, the mental gremlins surfaced on lap 4. Starting the 4th lap, we had a 5 minute cushion on corrected time against the 2 trucks we battled with all day. We got the green flag to run lap 5 and knew this was going to be the ultimate test. Could we back to back this event? A quick splash of fuel on the start of lap 5 was scheduled. We started the lap and expanded the lead to almost 8 minutes. We mechanically ran a flawless day. The result from a great shop prep after Vegas to Reno (after the race I was informed we ran the same prep and uniball’s for 684 total race miles + 154 prerun laps at race speed).

We had a 1 pit crew stationed at mile 14.The 1st group of guys did a quick visual inspection and we are directed to pin it. Every lap I slammed into these huge rocks at mile 17.5 and I could not believe the abuse I put on my GOODYEAR Kevlar MTR production tires through. The tires were laughing at the rocks, lap after lap! Then I ran out of talent on a lane I had not previously taken. 4 out of 5 laps were flawless. Then whammo……the new lane had huge rocks hidden on the walls of the berm. I ran out of talent and felt a big hit. Knowing we had seasoned race veterans Jeremy Bonds & Dusty Ose stationed at the next pit, I knew we needed another quick inspection.

There was a slight pull, but nothing out of the ordinary as I drove in. The crew saw me crest the berm and noticed a front tire just starting to go low. This crew nailed a 2 minute 10 second tire change and kicked me out of the pit “GO, GO, GO. We are keeping your spare!”, yelled Jeremy over the radio.

We finished 7th overall in the 2nd group of ladies competing. Congrats to Shelby Reid for her back to back overall and for completing 6 hot laps. With an amazingly well prepped race truck from Vegas to Reno, combined with perfect pit logistics and I think some pretty good driving out of myself we pulled off back to back wins in class 1400.

I owe Team Locos Mocos for the last decade of experience prerunning inMexico&Nevada. I owe my moto crew for their support to push me when we ride. I also owe the shop for trusting me to drive one of the most amazingToyota’s out there racing today. And I owe our sponsors a huge “thank you” for building some of the best equipment in the off road racing industry!

GOODYEAR Tires – Fox Shox – Toyota T-Ten – MasterCraft Safety – Off Road Warehouse – K&N – Oakley – Culhane Transmissions – Inland Empire Driveline – Currie – LIFT Safety – Baja Designs – Doug Thorley Headers – Method

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