Jeepspeed Racers Earned Every Mile At Silver State 300

Caliente, NV

The Best in the Desert series Silver State 300 takes in some incredible country around Caliente, Nevada. Expansive valleys, many with dry lake beds, give way to mountain ranges with striking rock formations. The abundance of water in some areas, allows lush vegetation that is in stark contrast to the desert like conditions found in the low lying areas. The terrain creates many unique challenges that range from silt beds to pine tree forests. The mountains are tight and twisty while the valleys are fast and smooth. There are several water crossings thrown in just to add one more element to the challenge. It’s extremely demanding, and at the same time fun, and rewarding. The course created a unique situation where racers in every class in the General Tire Jeepspeed Series, presented by KMC Wheels were dicing in the lead pack; each trying just to make it to the finish.

The first Jeepspeed racer to emerge from the fray was the 4700 Jeepspeed Trophy of Billy Bunch/Jessie Archer. You would assume that their purpose built race truck would easily dispose of the more factory based trucks in 3700, 2700, and 1700, but they had some trouble on the trail. “The truck was a lot of fun through forest roads,” said Jesse Archer, “After we got through Caliente, we were on the class 4400 leader’s tail. I got impatient following them up the washes, and went for a pass. I got the pass, and tried to get away hard; it was not a good move. I took an inside line in a 90 degree corner that had a huge rock sitting there. That rock ended our streak of 14 races with no flats. We got passed by 6 cars while changing the tire. Off we went; charging hard to get back by everyone that just passed us. By Pit 4, we got the spots back, and started working through the pack again. The later this race goes, the harder it is to pass. As we went through the forest area, and started coming down the backside, we decided to give ourselves a pucker moment. Coming over a blind rise at 70 mph, we were going straight, but the track went left with a cliff. All I could do was to throw the truck sideways, smash the skinny pedal, and hold on. We hung the rear tires on Ryan’s side off the cliff as we did a rail slide on the side of the mountain. From there on out we took a more conservative pace as day turned to night. We still have some work to do on both the driver and truck, but we’re getting there. It was a great weekend out there with Team Bunch. Thank you as always to Billy Bunch for this opportunity. Thank you to my Co Dog Ryan Moore. He made a lot of great calls this race. Thank you to my son Jared for fueling us up. Thanks to Craig Johnson, and Terri Croan for the help and support. Finally, Thank you to my wife for tolerating all the time and energy racing takes. Congratulations to all the other class winners.”

2019 SILVER STATE 300 - BILLY BUNCH

The next Jeepspeed racer to cross the line was Jeepspeed Outlaw class driver Robert Thomasson. Thomasson had a relatively uneventful race, but didn’t come through unscathed. “We started 2nd off the line and had the leader in our sites by pit 1,” says Rob. “They stopped to pit, so we took the lead. We really didn’t see anyone all day, and had no flats or other problems. We tangled with a driver in another class, and did some damage to our fiberglass up front. Right before pit 4 we were the first Jeepspeed on the road, but then Bunch passed us in the pits. We got out and were on his tail for a while. We brought it home clean from there. We really had our ducks in a row. It’s beautiful country; one of my favorite races. It’s not like your standard desert race.”

2019 SILVER STATE 300 - ROBERT THOMASSON

Jeepspeed Cup racer Skyler Gambrell was looking forward to opening up his new Jeep JK on the fast sections of the course. “After a solid debut at the Mint, and with some serious shock package changes, I was excited to finally be able to stretch the JK’s legs,” says Gambrell. “My normal co-dog was down racing NORRA in Baja, so I got Ian Massey to come along and ride shotgun. Mike Shetler offered up pit support as well, so huge thanks go out to him and his crew. I couldn’t have done the race without them! I passed a few cars before pit 1, and settled in a fast pace through the trees headed to pit 2. We cleared the pits, and were a few mins away from 3707. Suebert was behind me by about 4 minutes or so. I had a nice time cushion so I kept pressing on to our first scheduled fuel stop at Caliente. Shetler’s crew fueled me, and gave the car a quick once over before we took off. While pushing hard through the big sandy turns at race mile 110, I sanded a serpentine belt off the car. The belt shrapnel hurt the power steering pump seal, so I drove about 40 miles with no power steering. At pit 4 we had no spare parts, and the pit closing time was upon us, so we had to throw in the towel and accept the DNF. It was a strong showing for only the 2nd race on the truck. I’m looking forward to more improvements, and more speed out of the car!”

2019 SILVER STATE 300 - SKYLER GAMRELL

The Jeepspeed Challenge class had 6 competitors vying for the win. Defending champion Rob Seubert is just plain hard to beat, but the race course didn’t care. He came out on top, but it wasn’t easy. “The silver state 300 is my favorite race of the year, it’s a great Jeepspeed course,” says Seubert. “I didn’t have my normal co-pilot Dustin with me as he is in Alaska working the fishing season. Thanks to my brother-in-law Nick who stepped in for him. We drew the second starting position behind 1712. We closed the gap, but the dust was awful and we weren’t close enough to push a pass. We had to follow for a ways. We were just not able to get any closer than about 100 yards. After a few miles, there was a breeze that allowed us to close the gap. Then the course made a turn and dust consumed us instantly. Going too fast, and not being able to see, we launched over the berm, and flew out into the bushes. It was a wild ride for about 50 yards, but I got it stopped without hitting anything. The landing from the jump was surprisingly soft.”

2019 SILVER STATE 300 - ROB SUEBERT

“With the GPS zoomed in, Nick got me back on course. It was still thick with dust, we could not see much at all. It put a good scare in me; nearly throwing our race away in the first miles. We eventually got around 1712. I was a little cautious given that the race was 300 miles long, we were sitting in first, and first place in points, but I thought we were holding a pace that wouldn’t let anyone gain time on us. I was wrong though, Jimmy Perry caught us in the really cool tree section. He picked up the two minutes we had on him from the start, so I moved over and let him go. Admittedly, I was a little bummed to get caught, but knew it was a long race with some silt coming. Within a half mile of him going by, we caught him. His Left front wheel looked very unhappy, something was clearly broken. Somewhere around pit 4, we hit a cross ditch pretty hard, and the steering wheel was in a different position. It did it again just before pit 6 so we had our crew check things out while we fueled. They advised us that the pitman arm looked a little sloppy. The Jeep still felt plenty tight, but I took it even a bit more conservatively from there; particularly in the ditch spots. We made it to the finish without getting out of the car; it was a very good run for us. We hit 96 mph on the long gravel road. We had it to the floor the entire way trying to match the 100 mph mark we hit at the Mint, but we must have had a tail wind there.”

Second place in Jeepspeed Challenge was earned by Mike Bosley from Westminster, MD. Mike is a great addition to the Jeepspeed series and epitomizes the never give up attitude of his fellow competitors. He keeps his borrowed Jeep Cherokee in a storage garage outside Las Vegas. After every race he looks over the Jeep and makes a list of the parts he might need for the next race. He flies out a couple days before the race, preps his truck in a vacant lot, and heads to the course. Jeepspeed is perfect for Mike because he’s always been a Jeep Cherokee guy. “I bought my first Cherokee when I was 17 years old,” says Bosley. “I lifted it and loved to take it offroad. I got into rock crawling and first went to King of the Hammers in 2008. At one of the KOH races I saw a Jeepspeed on the lakebed and figured I could do this. There is nothing like desert racing in Maryland. We have a local off road series but there is no way you could hold a 300 mile race like the Silver State. I try not to be too hard on the Jeep. We started 5th and let 6th place go by; I knew it was going to be a long day. I was driving with my Son Jordan; Eric Stallknecht, and Austin Hernan were our other driving team. They would pit us when we were in the car, and then we would fuel them while they were driving. At pit 6 we beat them to the pits by a half hour. We don’t have very good radios so we only have a mile range or so. We helped pit Seubert while we waited for them. He was 45 minutes ahead of us so we knew it would be hard to catch them. Seubert is a machine and his Jeep is dialed in. We pulled in the reins a little and ran trouble free to the finish. Our goal was to finish, getting on the podium was a bonus. We have finished all our previous races and now we are on the podium. It makes us appreciate it so much more.”

2019 SILVER STATE 300 - MIKE BOSLEY

Helmut Schwarz finished on the podium in 3rd, and Mark Kammerlohr was close behind in 4th. Jeff Garzik, and Jimmy Perry had problems and were unable to finish. Grassroots racers like Mike Bosley can go racing because Jeepspeed racers get the normal prize money offered, plus contingency awards. Tuff Stuff 4X4 gives offroad accessory products to the winners of each class at each race. NEO Synthetic Oil supplies a case of oil for a win with their decal in place, and Action Sports Canopies will gives a canopy for the overall Jeepspeed champions at the end of the season. The support for the Jeepspeed series by sponsors General TireKMC WheelsCurrie EnterprisesAction Sports CanopiesSouthwest Boulder & StoneGG LightingJasper Racing EnginesNEO Synthetic OilRugged RadiosTuff Stuff 4X4Rock Krawler SuspensionKing Shocks, and T&J Performance helps to make the series very affordable, and contributes to the excellent quality and performance of the vehicles.

2019 SILVER STATE 300 - HELMUT SCHWARZ

The Jeepspeed series has very simple rules that allow you to build your own vehicle if you choose, and has 4, progressively more modified classes available. Jeepspeed now has a class for any desert race vehicle that is recognizable as a Jeep or Dodge. Mike Bosley has shown that anyone can be competitive on a shoestring budget. When you want to go faster, it’s easy to make changes to your existing race truck and move up into faster classes as you go. Jeepspeed is the best series for the average racer as the costs are reasonable, the sponsor support is very strong, and the fun level is off the charts. Think you would like to give Jeepspeed racing a try? For information about the Jeepspeed racing series go to www.jeepspeed.com. There you will find additional info, deals on some attractively priced race Jeeps for sale, Jeepspeed news, rules, forums, race results, videos and much more. Go to the Jeepspeed forum and you can read in-depth race reports from many of the Jeepspeed teams. The next race will be at the longest offroad race in the United States; Vegas to Reno (V2R), August 14-17 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Whether you show up as a competitor, or as a fan, you won’t want to miss it.

JEEPSPEED SPONSORS

Punishing Parker Course Greets Jeepspeed Racers At Season Opener

Parker, AZ

The first race of the General Tire Jeepspeed Series, presented by KMC Wheels, takes place at one of the toughest courses in the series. Parker, Arizona, is one of the most popular destinations for racers, and their fans. The scenery in Parker is spectacular, the terrain is challenging, and since everyone is starting with a clean slate, the competition is always fierce. All the meticulous work done while planning for the race, and the long hours spent in the garage, paid off with ear to ear grins on everyone’s faces. The field was loaded with many familiar faces, but new teams, and new trucks were also in the mix. Everyone was eager to put points on the board, and compete for the $1000 bonus that went to the winners of each class courtesy of Southwest Boulder & Stone.

Getting a fair amount of interest during contingency was the 4700 open, Jeepspeed Trophy of Billy Bunch. The truck has a tube chassis, big motor, and long travel suspension; all wrapped in a Dodge truck body. It had everyone doing double takes and asking questions. Those familiar with offroad racing history will remember the Pro truck class. Bunch’s truck was a former Pro truck, but with better suspension, and a bigger motor. There are many of these trucks collecting dust that can be had for a fraction of what it would take to build. Several teams are rumored to be out there searching right now; following Bunch’s lead. Leave it to the Jeepspeed series to create a class that is cost effective to compete in, even at the unlimited level.

“My crew chief Jesse (Archer) took the truck completely apart,” said Bunch, “We installed better brakes, and power steering. It already had Fox shocks and a detuned race motor to run on pump gas. On lap one, we rubbed up against an oil line, and had to stop to replace it. Everyone passed us while we were in the pits. On the next lap, we passed everyone back except one other truck to take the 4700 win and second place overall. Jesse did an amazing job on the truck, and behind the wheel. I’m so glad he is racing with me, and not against me.”

On the opposite end of the scale from Billy Bunch’s truck are the 1700 Jeepspeed Challenge trucks. The class is limited in the modifications you can make to your truck, which keeps the costs down. What is unlimited though, is the amount of fun they have, and fierce competition between the teams. It takes a lot of driving skill, and ingenuity in the pits to go fast in these trucks in such demanding conditions. That’s why the teams compete on the course, but also pitch in to help each other when the need arises. They develop a mutual respect for each other that is truly unique. Nine Jeepspeed Challenge trucks were all vying for the cash bonus, championship points, and bragging rights in Parker.

Finishing first was defending champion Rob Seubert. “The roughest course of the season, Parker is always a battle,” says Seubert, “We drew second starting position, which put us on the front row for the side by start; in the outside lane. We gave it all we could, but Jimmy Perry beat us to the merge. It’s a long race, so no problem; we just tucked in and followed him. We hadn’t had the opportunity for a good wheel to wheel battle with Jimmy yet. He held a good pace, but we hung on his tail and gave the pass button a push. He slid over and we slipped by before the big downhill just off the start.” Rob then put a gap on the rest of the field until they were only 35 miles from the finish. “Like a flip of the switch, we lost engine power,” Seubert continued, “A quick scan of the gauges showed the fuel pressure gauge looking like a windshield wiper. We either had a failure of our new fuel cell, and were out of gas, or the pump was dying. Luckily it was the pump. Dustin and I swapped the lines to the back-up pump and we were going again in about 10 minutes. That put a scare in us so we backed off just a bit and cruised to the finish from there. Although we didn’t see any other 1700 cars, we did hear updates from our crew, and the occasional radio chatter from Jimmy who is on the same channel.”

Unlike Rob Seubert who had a mostly trouble-free run, second place finisher Jimmy Perry had to overcome several mechanical issues on his way to the podium. He felt confident enough in his program this season to draw for a starting position instead of requesting to start in the rear. Not that it caused any pressure, but he drew the pole position next to the defending champ. His confidence was well founded as he got the holeshot. “Heading up the first straight, we felt something went wrong in the right front, and consequently had to back off a bit,” said Perry. “Seubert hit the pass button on the racing trax, so we let him go without a fight. We headed into Pit 2 so the team could take a look at the right front. There were no obvious issues so we motored on. For a long time we were exactly two miles behind Seubert. My XJ was still very fast on the smooth sections. Somewhere around race mile 110 I lost the brakes. It is the roughest area of the course, and a 4500lb. sled is very difficult to control with no brakes. The right front shock felt like it gave up, and with no brakes, we pogoed through 15 to 20 miles at a grannies pace. We had to get to the main pit without crashing into anything or rolling it.” They spent 35 minutes in the pits getting the brakes repaired, and replacing an o-ring in the front shock’s reservoir. As they were getting belted in, Chris Nissley went streaking by. “I didn’t know what to expect for a few miles on that shock, and I wasn’t full of faith running one rear caliper either,” Perry says, “By race mile 7 on lap 2, we had the 1719 behind us, and were back in Second. The XJ was back. We tore through lap 2 like we were in a different car. When we checked in at the finish line, we got the info from BITD that we finished second, only 21 minutes behind Seubert.”

Nissley was running 3rd, but it was Scott Biehl who would eventually take the final podium spot. He battled an electrical gremlin that had the truck going into limp mode. He would pass a couple trucks, and then when he went into limp mode they would pass him back. “We passed the same trucks 4 or 5 times,” said Biehl. “They must have been annoyed with us. We eventually figured out that if we kept the rpm’s low, we could go for a while without going into limp mode. On lap one, we ran out of gas coming into the main pit area. It was in a spot that was probably the farthest away from our pits, but the crew got to us and filled us up; otherwise we had a clean day. We race to have fun. I’ve raced faster cars before, but when the costs go up, it gets serious, and the fun goes out of it. We figure we are either going to be drinking beers to celebrate or commiserate, but either way, we’ll be drinking beers afterwards. It’s usually a boy’s weekend, but we had the whole family out here in Parker. We were sponsored by Hanger 24, so the whole team went there for dinner after the race.

My 9 year old loves coming to the races, and we let him drive the truck on and off the trailer. I am hoping that we can get him and his friends racing the truck someday, so we plan to keep it a long time.” Chris Nissley finished 4th, and Michael Bosley was 5th.

In the 2700 Jeepspeed cup, Skyler Gambrell ran unopposed, and it was a good thing. “It had been a mad thrash since the Pahrump race trying to finish up the JK Wrangler project and unfortunately I ran short on time,” said Gambrell. With no time to test, I borrowed the “Lost” Jeepspeed from Clive that is for sale, and tried to earn some points. I knew the 1700 cars were going to be in a dog fight off the start, so I decided to pull over right off the start, and let the whole field go by. After the last of the sportsman cars went by, we headed out to enjoy an easy lap around the familiar Parker race course. We stopped to check on every car that was pulled over with issues, and came across a class 10 buggy on its side. We took our time and helped the team get back on all fours. At about race mile 24, the steering shaft came disconnected from the steering box, and we ghosted off the race course; luckily we were going slowly. My co-driver Matt Vogler rigged up a solid fix that MacGyver himself would be jealous of, and we were off again. We finally made our way to the crew of the 3707 car at pit 2 for a little splash of fuel, thanks again Thomasson team! From Graham Wells on, we had a dust free, and somewhat lonely cruise towards Riverside drive, and the finish line. We tucked in behind the lead Jeepspeed of 4747 Bunch racing, and got the checkers for the grand prix finish.”

In the 3700 Jeepspeed Outlaws class, it was a game of attrition. Six trucks took the green flag, but Brian Davidson, Jerry Simonson, Will Heaton, and Dan Simonson all succumbed to the tough conditions. That left Scott Dzierzanowski, and Robert Thomasson to duke it out. Dzierzanowski is part of the Pacific North West contingent that made up 75% of the Class 3700 entries; all with V8 powered Wranglers. Thomasson is from the high desert in Southern California. In the end, Dzierzanowski carried the torch for his fellow Washington State racers; taking the win.

“My Dad started the race and had a nice lead until the 3rd corner where he got it up on 2 wheels; dropping him to second,” says Dzierzanowski. “He followed the other Jeepspeeds who were all tangled up in a huge battle. He ended up ahead of everyone, and kept a nice lead at the end of the first lap. I took over the wheel on lap 2, and after a few miles the front pinion nut came loose. We just dropped the front drive shaft and ran the rest of the race in 2 wheel drive. We had a great race with no flat tires, or other problems. My co-driver Dan Rheaune does a fantastic job keeping me under control and on course. It’s amazing how important he is. We have a strong team. That makes it go so much easier.”

“We took a rear start, got the hole shot, and were running real strong,” says second place Robert Thomasson, “By mile 20 we were first 3700 car on the road. All of a sudden we were having engine problems. A wire that went to the crank trigger fell onto the exhaust header. It was on and off again until we made it back to the main pit. Nick Beall from Jeeptricks diagnosed the problem and got it fixed. On the second lap, it ran really strong, and we made up a lot of lost time. We ended up only 20 minutes behind first place. This was the first race driving my own Jeep. I’ve raced with my Dad Steve before. He was part of the first class of Jeepspeed racers, and built several of the first Jeeps back in 2009. I like the Jeepspeed series because the competition is so tight. It’s a driver’s series. The prize money allows you to get something back at the end of the day. We also have great support from our sponsors General TireKMC WheelsKing ShocksDon-A-Vee MotorsportsJeepspeed, and Jeeptricks.”

In addition to the Southwest Boulder & Stone bonus money, Jeepspeed racers also get the normal prize money offered, plus contingency awards. Tuff Stuff 4X4 gives offroad accessory products to the winners of each class at each race. NEO Oil supplies a case of oil for a win with their decal in place, and Action Sports Canopies will be giving away a canopy for the overall Jeepspeed champions at the end of the season. The support for the Jeepspeed series by sponsors General TireKMC WheelsCurrie EnterprisesAction Sports CanopiesSouthwest Boulder & StoneGG LightingJasper Racing EnginesNEO Synthetic OilRugged RadiosTuff Stuff 4X4Rock Krawler SuspensionKing Shocks, and T&J Performance helps to make the series very affordable, and contributes to the excellent quality and performance of the vehicles. We have seen the average speeds steadily increase in the series. 1700 class winner Rob Seubert ran a 43 mph fast lap. Rob Thomasson’s fast lap was 51 mph, and Jesse Archer ran a 56 mph fast lap in the V8 Dodge.

The Jeepspeed series has very simple rules that allow you to build your own vehicle if you choose, and has 4, progressively more modified classes available. It’s even possible to make changes to your existing race truck and move up into faster classes as you go. Jeepspeed is the best series for the average racer as the costs are reasonable, the sponsor support is very strong, and the fun level is off the charts. Think you would like to give Jeepspeed racing a try? For information about the Jeepspeed racing series go to www.jeepspeed.com. There you will find additional info, deals on some attractively priced race Jeeps for sale, Jeepspeed news, rules, forums, race results, videos and much more. Go to the Jeepspeed forum and you can read in-depth race reports from many of the Jeepspeed teams. The next race will be at the legendary Mint 400 March 6-10 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Whether you show up as a competitor, or as a fan, you won’t want to miss it.

Photography By: Bink Designs

Record Jeepspeed Entries At 50th Anniversary Mint 400

Las Vegas, NV

The Mint 400 in Las Vegas, Nevada threw out a challenge to offroad racers, and Jeepspeed answered the call. Trucks in all three General Tire Jeepspeed series classes showed up in numbers to battle the brutal course and see who was fastest. 29 Jeepspeed racers in three classes chose to take on the Mint 400. 10 Jeepspeed Challenge Production Class 1700’s, 8 Jeepspeed Cup Modified Class 2700’s and 11 Jeepspeed Outlaws Unlimited Class 3700 trucks. The competition is clearly intensifying and the quality of the many new builds is raising the bar.

Jeepspeed, Brett Maister, Tuff Stuff 4X4, General Tire, KMC Wheels, GG Lighting, Bink Designs, The Mint 400

It might be the urgency created by the lure of a prestigious win, or the pile of rocks and dirt that makes up the course, but attrition at the Mint is always high. Who comes out on top is a matter of survival more than the pace. The key is to go fast enough to keep up without killing your truck in the process. Even on lap one, the course was already littered with broken trucks, and shattered dreams.

Jeepspeed Challenge winner Garett Allred is on a roll. His victory at the Mint 400 makes it 2 in a row. “Coming off a win at Parker, our team had a huge confident boost,” said Allred, “The Mint 400 is always the race to win or even to finish because of how grueling the course can be; it was gnarly. Luckily for us the car came back from Parker with minor issues which made prepping for the mint easier. It allowed us to put a new race radio in and to build a new front bumper to look good for the Mint. Garett and Dylan started off the line next to 1724 in row 2. Rob Seubert is a hell of a driver and after last race we knew it wasn’t going to be easy to get around him. Rob beat us off the line but we weren’t going to let off the rear of his bumper. We both went past 1741 together. We start rubbing doors as we come up on 1780 fast, we thought we had enough room on rob but tag the front of his jeep with the back corner of the car. We passed 1780 for the lead, with rob on our tail, and we start giving the car 100%. As we work through all the mangled up cars that started ahead of us, we found a pace that wasn’t beating up the Jeep. About 15 miles from the quarry, we snagged a good size rock on the front diff. We didn’t get out to check it until we rolled through pit B where the guys gave us thumbs up that we were good! We made it to main pit and felt a little steering vibration, but luckily Conrad & Corey from 3713 checked out the front end to find a jam nut came loose. They tightened it up and we were on our way to make our second lap. A banked corner caught us off guard and sent us into a bicycle, but we saved it. Unknown to us we ripped off a brake line which caused us to hit a square edge at appx. 35 mph. It sent us up and into a crazy landing but we kept the car on all 4 tires. At pit A, the team did an amazing job to get us fueled and to figure out the brakes in just under 6 minutes. JJ and I would have little brakes till about race mile 50 when we got all pressure back. Then we hauled ass straight to the finish. For a 25 year old car that is older than me, she still gets with it. Thank you to everyone that came out to support and help us get to the finish. And a big thanks to Mike Barnett and Clive Skilton for making Jeepspeed such a fun series to run!”

Jeepspeed, Garett Allred, General Tire, The Mint 400, KMC Wheels, GG Lighting, Bink Designs

Second in Jeepspeed Challenge was 1772, Tim Martin. “It’s been a while since I raced the jeep,” said Tim, “I had a year and 3 months to get it prepped and in typical fashion, I was still fixing something the week before. Tech and contingency went better than ever. Parking was great, registration easy, and tech effortless because they let us actually drive the jeep. Getting to the driver’s meeting at 6:00 proved to be the most difficult thing of the day. After the meeting, we ended up doing final preparations in the dark at the pit. No big deal, we were finally ready to race. We lined up next to 1785 Mark Kammerlohr for the start. He got the jump on me and we just let them set the pace until we hit the long straight away heading to the California state line. We passed them and another jeep heading toward the bridge. The jeep felt great, but seemed to be running rich. Right before Pit A, we hit a small Yucca tree going around several vehicles stuck in the main line. This changed the steering a little bit and also damaged the radiator which we didn’t realize until we got to the main pit. We jockeyed for position with 1741 Kyle Gieselmann several times. They fought hard to keep their position so I lost a lot of time in their dust. Finally we got a good run on them on the paved road before the quarry and passed them. The jeep developed a backfire issue and then overheated as we raced across the dry lake bed. I was thinking it needed a new temp sensor as we came into the main pit. My pit crew jumped to work as we came to a stop and quickly discovered there was a hole in the radiator. I jumped out and grabbed the alumaseal out of the door. We dumped it in along with 2 gallons of water. We fueled the truck, and I ate a turkey roll before we were off. I was told 1793 Garett Allred was 18 minutes ahead of us before we started repairs. I was doubtful that we could catch him unless he had a problem. The goal was to hold 2nd place. With less traffic to deal with, we picked up the pace. We never saw 1793 all day, but we crossed the finish line in 2nd place. I’ll take 2nd place for our first race of the year; that’s a good result. I can’t wait for the Silver State 300. It was a good race weekend. I even had time to go with my family to see the Blue Man Group. Thanks to my family and friends for being my main pit crew for this race and Shetler and Guidinger for letting me pit at A and B with them. Thanks to my sponsors JAZ Products, Oneway Transmissions, and Full-Traction Suspension, and thanks to Jeepspeed, General Tires (the new X3s are awesome), and KMC Wheels for supporting a class for all of us to race.”

Jeepspeed, Tim Martin, The Mint 400, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Off Road, Bink Designs

Number 1720 Jimmy Perry, was third. “Race Morning all was well,” said Perry. “The chase teams were organized, our new navigator ready, the car was ready, and I was ready. We left the line 5th out of 10, and by the blend I was all alone; we never saw the car that started beside us until around race mile 15. In some big rollers I went past the bicycle stage, which I can always save, and landed on the passenger side. As all the Jeepspeed cars went by, I was starting to get concerned that we could be out of the hunt, we had been sitting there for almost 15 minutes at this point. Thankfully 1785 Mark Kammerlohr stopped and tried to help, but just couldn’t get it pulled over. We sent him along and repositioned the tow strap. Next 1788 Mark Murrell stopped and got us on the tires. We changed a flat and looked at the suspension for another 5 minutes, then charged on to pit A. We spent about 15 minutes there making repairs and adjustments to get back in the game. That was the last stop we made for anything other than fuel. I got back in my zone and charged back to third place. It appears our engine woes are a thing of the past; this little straight 6 gets with the program now.”

Jeepspeed, Jimmy Perry, General Tire, KMC Wheels, The Mint 400, Bink Designs

In the Jeepspeed Cup Modified Class (2700), Mike Shetler took his second straight win with Mike Hames finishing in second. “This was the only race I’ve ever had where I didn’t unbuckle my seatbelts the entire time,” said Shetler, “It’s great to have a perfect race. We battled with 2727 Miguel Alvarado all day. We would get ahead in the tight stuff, and the fast stuff, but he was faster in the rough sections. We noticed a noise coming from the engine but when we stopped at pit 1 they told us it was only an exhaust gasket. I was racing with my son, my brother, and my nephew. We were short on people to man all the pits so 2784 Chris Clark, 2777 Wayne Guidinger, and 1772 Tim Martin all pooled our crews together to make sure we had a full crew at every pit. It’s amazing how everyone comes together to help their fellow Jeepspeed competitors. I was going across the lakebed and reached for the transfercase shifter. It came off in my hand and shifted into 4 low. We had to get to pit 2 in low range. Nick Hricziscse jumped under the truck there and shifted us back into high range. We caught back up to Miguel and had a fun, tight battle with him until pit 2 on lap 2. We both pitted at the same time and I urged my crew to get us out ahead of him. I was looking forward to a fight to the end, but he didn’t pull out of the pits with us. We lost power and started to run bad after we blew a hole in our exhaust header but we limped it into the finish for the win. It was fun battling with all the Jeepspeed’s that were racing. We had a fun time racing together as a family. Jeepspeed is the best family class out there.”

Jeepspeed, Mike Shelter, The Mint 400, General Tire, KMC Wheels, NEO Synthetics

Jeepspeed Outlaws Unlimited Class 3700 winner Billy Bunch, 2nd place 3714 Scott Dzierzanowski, and 3rd place 3711 Eric Sigwing had to overcome the challenge from 10 other unlimited trucks racing. “I was so excited to get out there with such a big class racing,” said Jesse Archer, who was driving for Bunch.

Scott Dzierzanowski, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

Eric Sigwing, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, The Mint 400, Bink Designs

“We started next to 3739 Will Heaton. I got the inside line coming into the first right hand corner. Heaton apexes the corner and comes right over into us, damn Rookies, Bunch said with a laugh. It was fun; I’ve got the mark on my door panel that shows how close we were. Heaton and I were balls out through the infield passing 5-6 cars.

Jeepspeed, Billy Bunch, Will Heaton, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs, The Mint 400

After the bridge, I knew the road funnels down into the uphill wash and I wanted to be there first. Three of us drag race up the straight away and Heaton checks up on the truck. I smash the throttle wide open and am able to get around the outside of them both. We almost had our day ended going up the wash. We’re running about 70 uphill with a little UTV sitting on the right. Right as I’m coming by him he reverses it back into the course. I don’t know how we missed him, Ryan and I both puckered up waiting for impact. That guy had an angel save him as we would have torn the whole back of his car off. From there we keep a fast pace picking off car after car. The 3722 Dan Simonson was the 2nd fastest car next to Heaton.

Dan Simonson, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, The Mint 400, Bink Designs

It took us a few miles to get by him safely. At race mile 21 we passed 3712 Mike Bragg for the lead.

Mike Bragg, Jeepspeed, Bink Designs, The Mint 400, General Tire Grabber X3

On the Jean lake bed heading back I’m only hitting 90’s; somethings up, I tell my Co Dog. As we start coming across the pole line road towards the bridge, now I’m at 45mph, when I should be at 85. We’re losing the Trans! In the infield I was down to 11mph and I’m beating the steering wheel. We limped into main still in the lead, and start ripping the car apart and find a trans cooler line blown. We did a quick rebuild of the hose, a driver change, and a tire change. We had 19 minutes down time, plus being slow the last 10 miles. Bob Keeran was in for the second lap with Craig Johnson co riding. Bob pulled out 3rd physically on road. I knew with Bob and Craig, if they got the 3749 around like it can, they’d have no issue getting back up front. I am a little jealous as Bob had clean air and was able to get the 3749 up to 113 across the lakebed. They did a hell of a job getting the 3749 back out front. Right before the finish line we wanted to get Billy in the Car. We got permission from the Best In The Desert officials and they watched us put him in right before the stadium. Billy took the 3749 across the Line for the win. It was Back to Back wins at The Mint 400 for us. I never would have dreamed any of this would be possible. All the hard work, dedication, and passion that this team has is truly humbling. I can’t wait to get back out there and rub some more with Will. That Jeep he has is one bad machine. Once he gets some more seat time and suspension tuning done, he will be a podium contender, no doubt.”

Jeepspeed, Billy Bunch, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Jeep JK

Jeepspeed racers left it all in the desert at the Mint 400 because the rich contingency program in the Jeepspeed series includes special bonuses paid by the sponsor bringing you each race. A $500 bonus was paid to each class winner by Rugged Radios at the Mint 400. In addition, Southwest Boulder & Stone gives $500 bonuses to winners at every race. Tuff Stuff 4X4 gives offroad accessory products to the winners of each class at each race. NEO Synthetic Oilsupplies a case of oil for a win with their decal in place, and Action Sports Canopies will be giving away a canopy for the overall Jeepspeed champions at the end of the season. The support for the Jeepspeed series by sponsors General TireKMC WheelsCurrie EnterprisesAction Sports CanopiesSouthwest Boulder & StoneGG LightingJasper Racing EnginesNEO Synthetic OilRugged RadiosTuff Stuff 4X4Rock Krawler SuspensionKing Shocks, and T&J Performance is responsible for many of the team’s strong performances.

Think you would like to give Jeepspeed racing a try? For information about the Jeepspeed racing series go to www.jeepspeed.com. There you will find additional info, deals on some attractively priced race Jeeps, Jeepspeed news, rules, forums, race results, videos and much more. Go to the Jeepspeed forum and you can read in-depth race reports from many of the Jeepspeed teams.

Photography By: Bink Designs

Jeepspeed Championships Decided At Pahrump 250

Jeepspeed Championships Decided At Pahrump 250

Jeepspeed Championships Decided At Pahrump 250

Pahrump, NV

It was no surprise that the championship winners in the General Tire Jeepspeed Series, presented by KMC Wheels, would be decided at the final race of the season. Jeepspeed’s class structure and few simple rules allow competitors to build and race a wide range of vehicles. The series provides a challenging format, and stiff competition. It also breeds a special comradery amongst competitors. At the Best In The Desert Pahrump 250 race, that comradery was on full display.

The terrain around Pahrump includes some brutally rocky sections that have to be negotiated right off the start, and for the last miles of the race as the course returns to town. After pounding through the desert all day, the racers still have to survive the worst before they can finish. Despite championships on the line, competitors leaped in and helped each other along the way to keep everyone on course.

Jeepspeed, Darren Skilton, Clive Skilton, Jeep Cherokee, Pahrump 250, Bink Designs

Jeepspeed Class 1700 winner in Pahrump, Jimmy Perry, has impressive credentials. He’s worked for a long list of race teams. In offroad racing, he worked for Larry Ragland, Jimmy Johnson, and Walker Evans. His chassis skills took him east to NASCAR, and Indycar; racing with names like Ganassi racing, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Jimmy Vasser. He eventually wound up in 24 hour endurance racing. At every stop along the way, when they found out he had roots in offroad racing, they knew he could make a car perform. After building his own race truck in his garage, Jimmy joined the Jeepspeed series. He farmed out the engine building as that was not his forte. Unfortunately, he suffered from a series of motor problems, and had several DNF’s (did not finish). He took some classes, learned how to build engines and program fuel injection. Pahrump was going to be his race.

Jeepspeed Race Series, Jimmy Perry, KMC Wheels, General Tire, Bink Designs

Competitors staged in the parking lot of the Pahrump Golden Nugget the morning of the race. They lined up and drove to the start outside of town. During the drive, Jimmy’s engine started to backfire and then lost oil pressure. Sharing the same radio frequency with friend and fellow competitor Rob Suebert, Suebert heard he was having an issue. The problem was diagnosed as a broken distributor drive gear. Suebert’s team had a spare distributor that they loaned to Perry. Perry and his team went from the depths of despair to relief in a matter of minutes.

“We always knew we had a great truck, we just couldn’t get it to the finish,” says Perry. “We left 6 minutes late from the line and figured we had nothing to lose. We didn’t even look in the mirror for the first 30 miles because we knew nobody was back there. By race mile 160, we weren’t sure, but thought we were leading. We then passed Billy Bunch on the course and took the overall lead. We pulled into pit 4 and had a soft tire so the crew changed it. Later on in the race we smacked into a bedrock shelf that was sticking out of the ground and cut a right rear but had no other problems. It’s great to go into next season with momentum. It’s been tough not finishing races. At the finish line, everyone that helps us out was nearly in tears. Nobody thought we would win this one. To win the race and lock up the championship for Rob; it was a great run!”

That’s right, Rob Suebert loaned the part that Jimmy Perry needed for the race and his selfless act actually resulted in Rob winning the Championship by only 2 points. Jeepspeed runs their races at the 6 race BITD series. Your best 4 results count towards points so budget racers that are unable to do the entire schedule still have a chance for a championship. “Our race did not go as planned,” said Suebert. “We figured we would win the championship as long as Mark Kammerlohr didn’t win the race. Our plan was to take control of the championship by winning the race. We had an engine problem but as long as I feathered the gas pedal it would run. I put a new front diff cover on before the race but used the factory bolts. There were so many rocks that the cover got bashed and the heads broke off the bolts. I pulled into the pits and had to pull all the broken bolts out before I could fix the diff cover. The pit captain came over and told me the pit would be closing so I had to keep going with the engine problem. We fueled again at pit 4; the fuel mileage was terrible. When we fueled again at pit 6, we were 2 minutes down to Kammerlohr. At race mile 160 we could see him ahead. All of a sudden, the rear end felt loose and we drifted off line into some rocks. We had 2 flats and the tie rod was out of the socket. We were out working on the truck when Skyler came by. During the day we lost track of where everyone was running, and we thought Skyler was leading. With all the dust, we never saw when we got past him. We knew that Mark was ahead of us, and thought he was going to win. We had no idea that Jimmy had won the race. We had a tough year but we worked through them at every race. We always managed to finish and ended up with the championship.”

Rob Seubert, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, King Shocks, Pahrump 250, Bink Designs

Second place in class 1700, and second in the points championship was Mark Kammerlohr. Marks first race in the Jeepspeed series was one year ago in Pahrump. He was now racing for the championship. “We knew we had a chance to take the championship, but we had to win,” said Kammerlohr. “I was going to drive with my Son to pit 4 where Mike Barnett and my Daughter Maleah would take over. It was her first time racing so we didn’t know if she would like it. Once she got in the truck, she loved it. They chased down Skyler, and passed Suebert in the pits. My son and I got in at pit 7 and tried to chase down Perry but he ran a pace that we just couldn’t match. It was really rough on the last section of the course. It felt like we were driving a snowplow we were hitting so many rocks on the diff and the undercarriage. We are so happy with our rookie season. Our win at Vegas to Reno put us in the hunt for the championship. We are just a father and son team. We have to thank Mike and Tom Barnett for all their help building the Jeep and giving us advice from their 30 years of experience. We have been teasing my Son Clayton that his sister is taking his navigator’s seat in the race truck, but actually I would like to see him do some more driving next year.”

Mark Kammerlohr, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, GG Lighting, Bink Designs, Off Road

The class 2700 win, and the class championship went to Wayne Guidinger. “It was cold in the morning but once the sun came up it was beautiful,” said Guidinger. “If there was a little breeze it would have been perfect racing weather; it was really dusty. All we had to do was finish and we would get the championship so we were at about 70% race pace. At contingency on Friday, we were at the Jeepspeed booth and Mike came out to look at our truck and noticed a crack in the coil bucket. We could not find a welder so we decided to just keep an eye on it. At pit 1, we pulled into the Baja Pits and the crack was getting bigger so they welded it. We also bypassed a cooler that had a slight leak. We were coming in towards the finish and we came up on a UTV that was stuck in the middle of the course. Best In The Desert was there but his bumper was too high to push the UTV. They asked us to help so we pushed them out and then cruised to the finish. We wanted the championship; getting the win was icing on the cake.” Wayne does all the work on his truck in his Brother’s back yard. He has had to delay doing some prep work because of the rain. His crew changes for nearly every race. Made up of friends and family, they make it possible by helping in the pits, navigating, and sometimes driving. Wayne pays it forward by helping others. During the race in Pahrump, he turned his car over to Mike Blackburn for a stint behind the wheel. Just then Mike Shetler, his competitor, came into the pit with a driveshaft problem. Wayne dove under the truck and helped Mike get going again.

Wayne Guidinger, Jeepspeed, General Tire Grabber X3, KMC Wheels, Pahrump 250, Bink Designs

Mike Shetler finished second place behind Wayne. He had been in the lead but began to overheat. He was helped out by Tom Thorvick at pit 2. Thorvick has raced in the Jeepspeed series on and off since 2010. When he’s not racing, he comes out to some of the races, just to help. He diagnosed the overheating problem as a bad ground wire on the cooling fan. He then developed a vibration in the driveline and eventually the u-joint went out. He pulled the rear shaft and ran on front drive only. He got stuck, but made it to pit 3. That’s where Wayne Guidinger helped him fix it. He chased Wayne’s truck all the way to pit 6. He was in some deep silt and hit an unseen boulder. He had two flat tires on the right side. He put a big load on the engine limping to the next pit on the flat tires. As he was getting to the pit, a valve cover leak caused the engine to catch on fire. He pulled into the pit and another team came over to help put him out. He was ready to call it quits until Thorvick showed up. He told him “You’ve only got an oil leak and some flat tires, you can fix this.” Mike was racing in what he calls DL; dead last, but he made it to the finish for a second place.

Jeepspeed, Mike Shelter, Pahrump 250

For many Jeepspeed racers, it’s a family affair. Dan Nidzieko races with his Brother Andy in class 3700. They built their truck in the garage, and share the driving duties. Dan drove to pit 4 with Andy navigating. Then they switched places. They made it through the mountains when they got tagged in the dust by another car. The other car went off the course and rolled. Dan and Andy pulled over to see if they were OK. They talked to the other racers and waited until race officials showed up. The contact took out Dan and Andy’s spare tire and broke their jack. They had 30 miles to go with no jack, and no spare, so they just cruised to the finish. They still managed a second place podium finish. “We are just a couple of brothers following their dreams,” says Dan, “We built the whole truck ourselves. It runs a junkyard motor and stock ford Bronco front suspension. We were going to race in 1700 but once we put the TTB on, we fit into the 3700 class. We go to the races and our parents stay home and watch our crewmembers kids. We are super happy with our second place finish. We had a flat tire and the only other damage was broken window. We are very proud to go 250 miles in the desert in a truck we built ourselves.”

Dan Nidzieko, Jeepspeed Race Series, Best In The Desert, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Off Road, Jeep

The biggest winner in Pahrump was Billy Bunch. He finished first place in the 3700 class. He won the Jeepspeed 3700 class championship. He won the KMC Wheels Wrangler Cup title, and he won the Best In The Desert series Jeepspeed overall points title. Bunch has been racing for 35 years, and this season must stand out from the rest. “It was a rough course,” said Bunch, “It was beat up but my Jeep Wrangler is built for it. I have to say that the new General Grabber X3 tires we are running are incredible. We raced all season and had one flat tire. My other driver Jesse Archer is amazing. As good as he is at driving, he is even better at doing the prep work. I can’t imagine what we could have done if I had him 5 years ago.”

Billy Bunch, Jeepspeed, KMC Wheels, General Tire Grabber X3, Bink Designs

Whether you like a short wheelbase Jeep, a Cherokee, or a Dodge pick-up, Jeepspeed has a class for you. One of the reasons why Jeepspeed racing is so rewarding is that competitors can purchase a vehicle or build their own. The rules are simple and the costs are a fraction of any other spec racing class. Many of the parts needed to build your Jeepspeed racer are supported by the series sponsors; General TireKMC WheelsCurrie EnterprisesKing ShocksRugged RadiosRubicon ExpressG2 Axle & GearSmittybiltHowe PerformanceNEO Synthetic OilJasper Racing EnginesSouthwest Boulder & Stone, and GG Lighting. In addition to strong aftermarket sponsor support, generous bonuses of cash and parts can be earned at every race.

Skyler Gambrell, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Jeepspeed Challenge, Bink Designs, Pahrump 250

Established in 2001, Jeepspeed is the longest running Spec Class in desert racing. Its affordability, sensible rules, and strong backing from supporting sponsors make it very popular with budget minded racers who crave competition. The enthusiasm has spread to tube framed Jeep racers as well. In 2018, the 4700 class will be launched for open framed/chassis vehicles with any make production or crate motor and up to 37” tires. This class will draw Ultra4 type cars amongst others and several new builds are already in process.

Jeepspeed, Jeepspeed Trophy, Class 4700, BITD, Ultra4

Jeepspeed has big rewards for racers in all 3 divisions of the Jeepspeed Challenge. In 2017, over $50,000 in cash and Jeepspeed product awards have been up for grabs. Each new winner this season received tires and wheels in addition to a cash bonus, race winnings and contingency bonuses.

Make sure not to miss out on our 2017 Awards Party and FREE brunch at the historic Moreno’s Mexican Restaurant on Sunday, January 14th @ 1PM. Please RSVP now at jeepspeedops@gmail.com.

Think you would like to give Jeepspeed racing a try? For information about the Jeepspeed racing series go to www.jeepspeed.com. There you will find additional info, deals on some attractively priced race Jeeps, Jeepspeed news, rules, forums, race results, videos and much more. Go to the Jeepspeed forum and you can read in-depth race reports from many of the Jeepspeed teams.

Photography By: Bink Designs

Jeepspeed SponsorsAbout Jeepspeed
The Jeepspeed series is a competitive, cost effective series that has pitted Jeep vehicles against each other on challenging desert courses since 2001. Unlike the more expensive spec racing classes, there is no obligation to purchase your race vehicle or parts from the series organizer. You build your own vehicle the way you like as long as it fits within the rules. Jeepspeed offers the most fun and closest racing in the desert today. Jeepspeed series is supported by General TireKMC WheelsCurrie EnterprisesKing ShocksRugged RadiosRubicon ExpressG2 Axle & GearSmittybiltGG LightingJasper Racing EnginesNEO Synthetic OilSouthwest Boulder & Stone, and Howe Performance.

About General Tire
For over 100 years General Tire has offered a complete quality line of ultra-high performance, passenger, light truck, off-road and commercial tires to meet all your needs. General Tire is a proud supporter of ARCA; Best in the Desert Racing Series; Major League Fishing; FLW Fishing; King of the Cage; Lucas Oil – Off Road Racing Series, Late Model Dirt Series, Pro Pulling League, Modified Series, Drag Boat Racing Series and ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series; Expedition Overland; FreestyleMx.com Tour; Zero One Odyssey; and Spec Tire of JeepSpeed. Team GT supports athletes: CJ Hutchins, Jim Beaver, Jeff Proctor, Chase Motorsports, Doug Fortin, Eric Fitch, Jim Riley, Camburg Racing, Lee Banning Sr., Jerett Brooks, Stan Shelton, Skeet Reese, Edwin Evers, John Crews, Britt Myers and Bill McDonald.

Visit // www.generaltire.com

About KMC Wheels
KMC is redefining performance on and off  the asphalt with innovation, style, and a relentless pursuit to confront possibility. We are for the rule-breaking, game-changing individuals who defy conventional
thinking in motorsports and use machines to pull off  the impossible.

Visit // www.kmcwheels.com

Tonopah 250 Full Of Extremes For Jeepspeed Racers

In the few days leading up to the Best In The Desert series Tonopah 250 race in Tonopah, Nevada the weather experienced drastic extremes. During qualifying for the unlimited cars on Thursday, the sky was clear and the temperature was quite pleasant.
Tonopah 250 Full Of Extremes For Jeepspeed Racers

Tonopah 250 Full Of Extremes For Jeepspeed Racers

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Tonopah, NV

In the few days leading up to the Best In The Desert series Tonopah 250 race in Tonopah, Nevada the weather experienced drastic extremes. During qualifying for the unlimited cars on Thursday, the sky was clear and the temperature was quite pleasant. During contingency on Friday, strong winds, and frigid air slammed anyone who ventured outdoors. People on contingency row were bundled up in winter jackets and moved quickly between strong gusts of wind.

Wayne Guidinger, Jeepspeed, General Tire, GrabberX3, KMC Wheels, Tonopah 250, Bink Designs

Billy Bunch, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Tonopah 250, Bink Designs

When race day came along on Saturday, the weather was near perfect for racing. The wind had died down to a nice breeze that was enough to blow the dust off the course and the sun warmed things up as the day wore on. Jeepspeed racers saw their own extremes during the 250 mile race. Depending who you talked to, the race was either a pleasant drive through the countryside, or a daunting test of perseverance.

In the Jeepspeed Challenge class 1700, Vegas to Reno winner Mark Kammerlohr, and his son Clayton, were looking to build on their previous win and move up in the championship points standings. Their plan went south when a competitor in another class made substantial contact with them from behind. “We started the day with high hopes on what turned out to be a fast track,” said Mark Kammerlohr, “Our goal was to finish the race as I knew Suebert was going to be fast, and tough to beat.

Mark Kammerlohr, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, T&J Performance, KING Shocks, Bink Designs, Tonopah 250

At about mile 41, our Alertrax indicated someone was behind wanting to pass. I hugged the right side waiting for the pass not sure who was behind. No one passed but then we received the signal again. We were not sure if it was a glitch or somebody was actually trying to pass. I maintained my speed hugging the right side. A few seconds later we were hit like an explosion and sent off course. It took a few seconds to collect our faculties and realize that we were punted and sent tumbling through the desert. After making sure we were each ok and climbing out of the jeep, we saw the “punter” stopped about ¾ of a mile down the road. The co-driver made his way down to see if we were alright, and in conversation about what happened he said they were driving in excess of 80 mph. A true testament to the quality build by T&J Performance is that my son and I walked away with little more than a headache and some sore muscles the next day. Hopefully we can put the Wrangler back together quickly and mount a run at Pahrump.”

For 1700 class racer Rob Suebert, and his co-driver Dustin Hoffman, they could not have had a better race. They ran trouble-free all day. Rob was down in Mexico preparing for the Baja 1000 race he will be running with the Strobel Trophy Truck team, so we talked to co-driver Dustin Hoffman.

Jeepspeed, Rob Suebert, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs, Best In The Desert, Tonopah 250

“We got out front at mile 30 and had no problems; no flats; we never got out of the truck. The course was super fun; we averaged about 46 miles per hour. Our crew really likes these chase races because they get a chance to move around and see us on the course several times. We caught up to Bunch (3700 class) and made a pass on him.

Jeepspeed, Billy Bunch, General Tire GrabberX3, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs, Best In The Desert, Tonopah 250

We had such a perfect race it gave us the chance to talk back and forth in the truck about all kinds of stuff; we were having a fun time. We had one bit of a strange thing happen to us. We came across a huge stranded fifth-wheel trailer that was sitting close to the course way out in the middle of nowhere. The win gives us the points lead going into the final race in Pahrump, but we need to finish. We will go out and race hard in Pahrump. The plan is to set the pace and make the rest of the field catch us.”

The reason Billy Bunch was slowed on the course was a front hub that was going out. The part later failed and put him on the trailer. Fellow open class 3700 racer Eric Sigwing also had problems. Sigwing lost a transmission that took him out of the race. The 3700 class is for Jeep or Dodge sport utility vehicles and light trucks. They have to be recognizable as a Jeep or Dodge by brand grill, hood and fenders. The class draws all types of vehicles and is popular with the fans.

Eric Sigwing, Jeepspeed, Tonopah 250, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

In the intermediate 2700 class, the race was a classic tortoise and hare battle with the hare coming out on top but the tortoise preserved his chances in the season long points chase. The hare was played by Wayne Guidinger in his 4 cylinder Jeep Comanche pick-up. Many of the vehicles in the Jeepspeed series are built in the family garage using readily available parts from the series sponsors like General TireKMC WheelsCurrie EnterprisesKing ShocksRugged RadiosRubicon ExpressG2 Axle & GearSmittybiltHowe PerformanceNEO Synthetic OilJasper Racing EnginesSouthwest Boulder & Stone, and GG Lighting. Jeepspeed is the only spec class that allows you to build your own vehicle; as long as it conforms to a few simple rules. Many of the vehicles racing in Jeepspeed have competed in other classes with impressive results. Guidinger’s Comanche is the same truck that Mike Lesle took to victory at the Baja 1000 in 1989; racing in SCORE Class 7. Guidinger does his own work on the truck, working on it in his brother’s back yard. Jeepspeed is like the early days of offroad racing where grassroots racers built their own stuff and had tons of fun on a real world budget.

“We had a couple of little issues but we loved the course,” says Guidinger, “Before we got to pit 2 we started to hear a clunking noise in the front end. We limped into the pit and discovered that the right front shock shaft had come loose from the rod end. We just put some thread locker on it and threaded it back together. We focused on getting a good finish; stopping in every pit to get a splash of fuel and take a good look at the truck. We still managed to average 38 miles per hour. We learned a lot when we won at the Mint 400. We broke the front suspension there and lost some time fixing it in the Checkers’ pit. We chased after the leaders not knowing they had lost their transmission. They were moving on the tracker because they were on a trailer headed to the main pits. We did the same thing in Tonopah. We ran our own race and got to the finish. If we had not finished, our chances of winning the championship would have been over. With our second win, we have a chance to take it in Pahrump.”

Wayne Guidinger, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, King Shocks, Bink Designs

The tortoise in Tonopah was Mike Shetler. Shetler is also in contention for the 2700 championship and needed to finish the race to stay in contention. “We certainly had an interesting weekend in Tonopah,” says Shetler, “During testing before the race our Jeep Cherokee ran great. We were sitting in line to take the start and the engine started running rough and missing. We left the line and it went into limp mode. At mile 30 we had to stop to top off the radiator but didn’t know where the coolant went, we weren’t overheating. When we got to pit 1 Mike Barnett, and Ian Massey jumped in to help our crew drain the oil and top off the coolant. We were getting water in our oil. We kept limping along with stops to top off the radiator. As we made it around the course, a lot of teams pitched in to help us. We got a five gallon can to carry extra water with us and a Trick Truck team gave us some fuel. Somehow the motor was still running and after pit 4 we actually passed the only other car on the course and went on to finish; it was a long day!”

Mike Shetler races with his sons who got an incredible life lesson on perseverance. A piston wrist pin on the motor came loose and wore a hole in the wall of the cylinder. The coolant flowed into the crankcase and mixed with the engine oil. That usually is a death sentence to any engine. The engine lasting for the entire race is just plain amazing, and is a reason why Jeepspeed racing is so popular. The tough vehicles they race are inexpensive and durable.

Mike Shelter, Jeepspeed, Jeep Comanche, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

Established in 2001, Jeepspeed is the longest running Spec Class in desert racing. Its affordability, sensible rules, and strong backing from supporting sponsors make it very popular with budget minded racers who crave competition. The enthusiasm has spread to tube framed Jeep racers as well. In 2018, the 4700 class will be launched for open framed/chassis vehicles with any make production or crate motor and up to 37” tires. This class will draw Ultra4 type cars amongst others and several new builds are already in process.

Class 4700 Open / Jeepspeed Trophy

Go to www.jeepspeed.com for more info. Jeepspeed has big rewards for racers in all 3 divisions of the Jeepspeed Challenge. In 2017, over $50,000 in cash and Jeepspeed product awards have been up for grabs. Each new winner this season receives tires and wheels in addition to a cash bonus, race winnings and contingency bonuses.

Think you would like to give Jeepspeed racing a try? For information about the Jeepspeed racing series go to www.jeepspeed.com. There you will find additional info, deals on some attractively priced race Jeeps, Jeepspeed news, rules, forums, race results, videos and much more. Go to the Jeepspeed forum and you can read in-depth race reports from many of the Jeepspeed teams.
Jeepspeed SponsorsAbout Jeepspeed
The Jeepspeed series is a competitive, cost effective series that has pitted Jeep vehicles against each other on challenging desert courses since 2001. Unlike the more expensive spec racing classes, there is no obligation to purchase your race vehicle or parts from the series organizer. You build your own vehicle the way you like as long as it fits within the rules. Jeepspeed offers the most fun and closest racing in the desert today. Jeepspeed series is supported by General TireKMC WheelsCurrie EnterprisesKing ShocksRugged RadiosRubicon ExpressG2 Axle & GearSmittybiltGG LightingJasper Racing EnginesNEO Synthetic OilSouthwest Boulder & Stone, and Howe Performance.

About General Tire
For over 100 years General Tire has offered a complete quality line of ultra-high performance, passenger, light truck, off-road and commercial tires to meet all your needs. General Tire is a proud supporter of ARCA; Best in the Desert Racing Series; Major League Fishing; FLW Fishing; King of the Cage; Lucas Oil – Off Road Racing Series, Late Model Dirt Series, Pro Pulling League, Modified Series, Drag Boat Racing Series and ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series; Expedition Overland; FreestyleMx.com Tour; Zero One Odyssey; and Spec Tire of JeepSpeed. Team GT supports athletes: CJ Hutchins, Jim Beaver, Jeff Proctor, Chase Motorsports, Doug Fortin, Eric Fitch, Jim Riley, Camburg Racing, Lee Banning Sr., Jerett Brooks, Stan Shelton, Skeet Reese, Edwin Evers, John Crews, Britt Myers and Bill McDonald.

Visit // www.generaltire.com

About KMC Wheels
KMC is redefining performance on and off  the asphalt with innovation, style, and a relentless pursuit to confront possibility. We are for the rule-breaking, game-changing individuals who defy conventional
thinking in motorsports and use machines to pull off  the impossible.

Visit // www.kmcwheels.com

Jeepspeed – Wranglers Get All The Glory At Vegas To Reno

Wranglers Get All The Glory At Vegas To Reno

Wranglers Get All The Glory At Vegas To Reno

Reno, NV

Offroad racing is notorious for rivalries between drivers and brands. In the General Tire Jeepspeed desert race series presented by KMC Wheels, Jeep Wrangler racers earned some bragging rights as they dominated the Cherokees, Grand Cherokees, and even the Dodge trucks at the longest offroad race in the US; Best In The Desert’s Vegas to Reno. At 539 miles, just finishing the course is a challenge. The terrain changes from pine tree forests in the mountains, to dry lake beds in the valley floors. Silt, rocks, even ancient lava flows cover the ground. With no wind to speak of, the dust was thick, and relentless. Your co-driver better be sharp because the dust was hiding trees, sharp rocks, and deep ruts everywhere. Go off course and you will shred your tires, rip your suspension off or end up on your lid.

Jeepspeed, Vegas To Reno, Jeff Sheriff, General Tire, KMC Wheels

12 Jeepspeed teams rose to the challenge; three 3700 class Jeeps, one 2700 class and eight in the 1700 class. Tech inspection and contingency was on Thursday in the parking lot of Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas.

2017 BITD Vegas To Reno Tech & Contingency

2017 BITD Vegas To Reno Tech & Contingency

The race started in Beatty, Nevada on Friday. Like most western showdowns, the Jeepspeed teams left the starting line at high noon. Two strong winners were sidelined early. Garrett Allred’s ZJ grand Cherokee developed ignition problems and past champion Rick Randall in the Bilstein Cherokee burnt a piston, taking him out. With Randall and Allred out, the 1700 class win was up for grabs. Ian Massey took the overall lead of the whole Jeepspeed field in his Class 2700 Cherokee on corrected time. Unfortunately, anyone who was leading seemed to suffer a curse. Massey was setting a blistering pace but was cruelly sidelined by broken drive line and cracked transfer case. Vegas to Reno marked the return of the 3 Amigos team to Jeepspeed racing. At mile 200, the 3 Amigos had already built up a sizeable lead in their recently purchased WJ Grand Cherokee. Newcomer Will Heaton was only 2 miles behind with the veteran Billy Bunch on his tail. The rest of the order included 1730 John Grewell, 3713 Conner Batham, 1785 Mark Kammerlohr, 1724 Rob Suebert and 1755 Jake Sheaffer.

John Grewell, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Vegas To Reno

As the miles wore on, the list of attrition grew. 3713 Conner Batham was stopped at mile 212. 1797 Jeff Sherrill lost a steering box at mile 285, and 1755 Jake Sheaffer was put on the trailer soon after. At mile 272 Bunch was leading followed by 1785 Mark Kammerlohr who was at mile 250.

Jeff Sherrill, Jeepspeed, Vegas To Reno, General Tire

During the night, the battle for the 3700 class raged on with Heaton and Bunch swapping the lead several times. At each pit stop, flat tire or stop for field repairs, the running order swapped places. 3739 Will Heaton was in his first race ever and driving the entire way himself. His learning curve was steep and he found out what lies just off the course in the bushes; bad news. He hit dirt and rocks that exploded into the sky. He was lucky just to receive a flat tire. Later in the race, his luck was not as fortuitous. He hit a boulder laying in the course that ripped the shock right out of the lower a-arm.

Will Heaton, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Vegas To Reno

Sitting in the pits, Heaton mustered up the courage to go ask the Veteran Bunch for advice. Bunch has seen it all and knows every trick in the book. In fact, he had handed his truck off to Jesse Archer to take it to the finish, and was still there to see what the gap was when Heaton left the pits. Bunch told the rookie he had two choices. He could slap his truck together and drive like hell to try and beat him. He would probably break again and spend the night in his truck in the middle of the desert. His other choice was to spend some time on repairs, and baby his truck in to get a finish. Heaton asked, “Well what would you do?” Bunch said he would slap his truck together, race like hell, and probably spend the night in the desert; but that’s Billy Bunch. After hours of racing, Bunch took the win, Kammerlohr finished next, winning his class, and Heaton nursed his wounded truck to the finish; earning a podium finish his first time out.

Jeepspeed, Billy Bunch, General Tire, KMC Wheels, GrabberX3, Vegas To Reno

“There were a lot of people on the internet telling me the “Super Jeep” of Heaton was going to beat us,” said Billy Bunch, “I think he did well. He might have done better if he shared the driving and wasn’t so tired. We had a great race. I stopped to help a truck that was stuck on the side of the course. I pulled up and my truck died. I had vapor lock. As I sat there, I got passed by a truck and the truck that was stuck got himself unstuck and took off. We measured out truck before the race to make sure it would fit through the tunnels and had room to spare. Not thinking about it, we put 37 inch tall tires on and when I drove down the tunnel we started throwing sparks from the light bar. I gassed it and jumped out of the tunnel; land in the rocks. We broke the front panhard bar. We limped into pit 5 and by the time we had it fixed, the field had a 2.5 hour lead.” Bunch was able to recover and go on to the win. His results put him in a great position for the class championship and possibly the overall points lead with 2 races to go.

Mark Kammerlohr and his Son Clayton joined the Jeepspeed series at the final race of the season in Pahrump last year. They landed on the podium in their first attempt. After a few disappointing results, they were back on the box; this time with their first win. “I knew Vegas to Reno was a big deal,” said Mark Kammerlohr, “Now that I’ve raced it, my respect for the race is even greater. We had a lot of help from the Barnet Brothers, Mike and Tom, Sean Hazelwood, and Mike Bragg. We kept rotating drivers and did our best to take care of the Jeep. My son has been my codriver since we started but Vegas to Reno was the first time he drove during a race. He did real well but I think the pressure got to him a little bit. He didn’t want to be the one who broke the car. We had some minor issues but kept making progress. I was driving with Tom when we saw the sun come up. He said when he got in the car that he was changing one flat, that’s it; you get the rest. I got a flat and all he said was “I can’t believe you did that.” When we made it across the finish line it was really special. The whole team was there waiting for us. Jack Weber, Mike and Sean, Doug Lawson and his son; Ryan Rivera. Sorry if I left anyone out, I was beat.” Actually Mark was not beat, he won! When the 1700 trucks get to the Tonopah race on October 19- 22 the points championship will be up for grabs.

Jeepspeed, General Tire, Mark Kammerlohr, KMC Wheels

Will Heaton was facing an incredible challenge. He was taking on the longest offroad race in the United States in a brand new truck. It was also his first race of any kind. He has done plenty of 4 wheeling but has never driven in competition. “This was the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said Will Heaton, “We came pretty close to not finishing. We hit a boulder in the course that cracked the lower a-arm and ripped the shock off. We made repairs but couldn’t get enough heat from the welder to get full penetration. We made it to pit 11 and the welds were cracking. They welded it some more and told us not to go over 20 mph. We went 50 in the smooth stuff and tried to baby the right front as much as possible. The last mountain section was stressful but we made it. It had its highs and lows and obstacles that had to be overcome. We had to find a solution and keep moving forward. That’s been my mentality for my whole life. I made mistakes and paid for them. Don’t go off course and hit bushes; there’s stuff out there. We lost our radio communications and then the intercom. My codriver Steven Hunt did a great job keeping me motivated and giving me moral support. I was amazed at all the different types of terrain; dirt, rocks, silt, cliffs, sand. There were big rocks, small rocks, sharp rocks, and round rocks. I think next time I will have another driver.” Taking on Vegas to Reno for your first attempt at offroad racing was ambitious. It’s nice to know that Heaton is eager to race again.

Jeepspeed, Will Heaton, Vegas To Reno, General Tire, KMC Wheels, KING

Think you would like to give Jeepspeed racing a try? There is a comradery in the Jeepspeed series that does not exist in other forms of racing. Many of the vehicles are built in the family garage using readily available parts from the series sponsors like General TireKMC WheelsCurrie EnterprisesKing ShocksRugged RadiosRubicon ExpressG2 Axle & GearSmittybiltHowe PerformanceNEO Synthetic OilJasper Racing EnginesSouthwest Boulder & Stone, and GG Lighting. For information about the Jeepspeed racing series go to www.jeepspeed.com. There you will find additional info, deals on some attractively priced race Jeeps, Jeepspeed news, rules, forums, race results, videos and much more. Go to the Jeepspeed forum and you can read in-depth race reports from many of the Jeepspeed teams.
Jeepspeed SponsorsAbout Jeepspeed
The Jeepspeed series is a competitive, cost effective series that has pitted Jeep vehicles against each other on challenging desert courses since 2001. Unlike the more expensive spec racing classes, there is no obligation to purchase your race vehicle or parts from the series organizer. You build your own vehicle the way you like as long as it fits within the rules. Jeepspeed offers the most fun and closest racing in the desert today. Jeepspeed series is supported by General TireKMC WheelsCurrie EnterprisesKing ShocksRugged RadiosRubicon ExpressG2 Axle & GearSmittybiltGG LightingJasper Racing EnginesNEO Synthetic OilSouthwest Boulder & Stone, and Howe Performance.

About General Tire
For over 100 years General Tire has offered a complete quality line of ultra-high performance, passenger, light truck, off-road and commercial tires to meet all your needs. General Tire is a proud supporter of ARCA; Best in the Desert Racing Series; Major League Fishing; FLW Fishing; King of the Cage; Lucas Oil – Off Road Racing Series, Late Model Dirt Series, Pro Pulling League, Modified Series, Drag Boat Racing Series and ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series; Expedition Overland; FreestyleMx.com Tour; Zero One Odyssey; and Spec Tire of JeepSpeed. Team GT supports athletes: CJ Hutchins, Jim Beaver, Jeff Proctor, Chase Motorsports, Doug Fortin, Eric Fitch, Jim Riley, Camburg Racing, Lee Banning Sr., Jerett Brooks, Stan Shelton, Skeet Reese, Edwin Evers, John Crews, Britt Myers and Bill McDonald.

Visit // www.generaltire.com

About KMC Wheels
KMC is redefining performance on and off  the asphalt with innovation, style, and a relentless pursuit to confront possibility. We are for the rule-breaking, game-changing individuals who defy conventional
thinking in motorsports and use machines to pull off  the impossible.

Visit // www.kmcwheels.com

Jeepspeed Racers Run Wide Open At BITD Laughlin Desert Classic

614a6a98-7f29-4b24-a121-f35368a5b95e

Laughlin, NV

Racers in the General Tire Jeepspeed Series presented by KMC Wheels had the opportunity to run wide open at the Best in the Desert series Laughlin Desert Classic in Laughlin, Nevada. Instead of the typical desert racing course, Laughlin is only 16 miles long and 90 percent is fast, graded fire roads. The race format consisted of 3 laps on Saturday and 3 more on Sunday. Winners were determined by the combined fastest times from both heats. Jeepspeed racing usually takes patience and strategy. They get plenty of challenge from their fellow competitors, but their toughest foe is typically the brutal desert terrain. At Laughlin, there were no pit stops, no strategy, and no limits. Competitors ran wide open.

Jeepspeed, Jimmy Perry, Best In The Desert, General Tire

16 teams of Jeep and Dodge vehicles took to the course in three classes. The 1700 class is for six cylinder Jeeps including Cherokees, Wranglers and the Grand Cherokee. Class 2700 allows Jeep and Dodge trucks with Mopar engines, and the 3700 class is for Jeep and Dodge trucks with any engine allowed. Whether you like a short wheelbase Jeep, Cherokee, or a pick-up, Jeepspeed has a class for you. One of the reasons why Jeepspeed racing is so rewarding is that competitors can purchase a vehicle or build their own. The rules are simple and the costs are a fraction of any other spec racing class. Many of the parts needed to build your Jeepspeed racer are supported by the series sponsors General Tire, KMC WheelsCurrie Enterprises, King Shocks, Rugged Radios, Rubicon Express, G2 Axle & Gear, SmittybiltHowe PerformanceNEO Synthetic Oil, Jasper Racing EnginesSouthwest Boulder & Stone, and GG Lighting. In addition to strong aftermarket sponsor support, generous bonuses of cash and parts can be earned at every race.

Conrad Batham, Jeepspeed, Dodge Ram

In the 1700 class, the three teams that finished on the podium were running bumper to bumper at different times during the weekend. Rick Randall was fastest on day 1 in his Cherokee with Garett Allred and Rob Seubert finishing second and third. During Sunday’s heat, Allred took the victory in his Grand Cherokee with Randall close behind. Seubert, also in a Jeep Cherokee, was consistent with a second straight 3rd place finish. After trading positions on both days, the top two finishers were only seconds apart with Randall holding a slight advantage; taking the overall win by mere seconds. Allred finished second on the weekend but took the heat race victory on Sunday, his Birthday.

Randall had a special co-driver with him this weekend; retired Marine Joanna M. Sweatt. Randall is supporting Vetdrenaline, a program that takes Veterans racing. “People do not understand that after you’ve experienced extreme situations in life, you crave that excitement forever,” says Vetdrenaline’s Jess Maney, “When we are forced to reconstruct our lives after our injuries and traumatic experiences. Many of us don’t have an outlet to feed the rush, to keep our edge. I truly believe that this leads to depression and substance abuse and even suicide. Our team of Veterans and Patriots look forward to being able to provide an outlet for energy and excitement to help veterans in their transition surviving the peace after war.” Rick Randall and his Jeepspeed team promised excitement for Joanna Sweatt, and they delivered!

Rick Randall, Jeepspeed, KMC Wheels, General Tire, Bink Designs

The 2700 class was won by Skyler Gambrell in his street legal Jeep Grand Cherokee.  “With our windows up, and the AC on, we lined up in staging next to a race gas fueled, iron duke motored Comanche and a 4.7 i-6 stroker XJ,” said Gambrell, “It felt like I had brought a butter knife to a gun fight, but to my surprise, our little mini-van engine fired off it’s 3.7 liters of fury, and we pulled off out of the infield 1st in class! Knowing we had untested suspension, I took advantage of the fast rally type roads for the first few miles and kept ahead until we hit the rough proving grounds section after the first road crossing. We missed the mark with the spring rate and valving in the front end so I had to slow considerably in the big holes; but we soldiered on. Somewhere near the end of the first lap, the upper a-arm came in contact with the coilover reservoir, and we broke the fitting off the shock, pumping out all the fluid. The next two laps we could go as fast I could in the smooth stuff and pretty much put it in reverse through the rough stuff. We still managed to pull off the win. With the shock repaired, my co -driver Russell “Full-Pull” Ficker and I pulled the holeshot on Sunday and motored around to a fairly uneventful day. The course was overwatered and we had some visibility issues, but to my surprise, we crossed the line to take the win in the 2700 class! The Jeep still needs some tuning on the front end to really show what the car is capable of, but it was a great weekend and a lot of fun!”

Skyler Gambrell, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs, Laughlin

Second place both days was Wayne Guidinger in his Comanche pick-up. “We had some gremlins on day one but managed through it,” said Guidinger, “The truck handled great through the bumps and ran fantastic all weekend. My team did everything they could to put everything together and it showed. We had strong support from everyone, and had an awesome time!”  Third place Mike Shetler had a strong pace going on day one keeping Gambrell in his rear view mirror. On lap 2 they had ignition troubles and tried to limp it in to the finish. It completely died on lap 3 and they were unable to finish. They got it fixed before Sunday’s heat race and finished all 3 laps to earn third place overall.

Garrett Allred, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

In the 3700 class, Eric Sigwing and Billy Bunch took turns winning. Sigwing took his Jeep rock racer to the win on Saturday and Bunch’s team took the heat win and wrapped up the overall victory on Sunday. “This was much better than the old people’s home,” Billy Bunch joked after the heat race on Saturday, “They let me out for the weekend. We had a slight issue with the brakes so I could not run as fast as I wanted to. The truck is really coming along. The suspension is a little soft but we will have it better for Vegas to Reno.” Billy Bunch was there in the very beginning of the Jeepspeed series and is still winning races.

Billy Bunch, Jeepspeed, KMC Wheels, General Tire, Laughlin Desert Classic

Eric Sigwing won the heat on Saturday but lost his front drive in the process. He was locked into a battle with Mike Bragg until Bragg lost an engine in the big Dodge pick-up. “We had a bit of a rough time on Saturday but still managed to win,” said Sigwing, “We went a little too big off a jump and lost the front driveshaft on the landing. We finished second on Sunday running in two wheel drive. Thanks to the crew, we were ready to go on Sunday. Despite some issues, we had a really fun time!” Conrad Batham finished in 3rd place both days to earn 3rd overall in his mean looking Dodge pick-up.

Eric Sigwing, Jeepspeed, GrabberX3, General Tire, KMC Wheels

Think you would like to give Jeepspeed racing a try? We have a special event this summer that will be a great opportunity to do just that. The General Tire Jeepspeed Racing Series is proud to announce a huge event for the summer of 2017, the Jeepspeed Open presented by Currie Enterprises. The Run What You Brung Summer Show will be held in conjunction with the M.O.R.E. night race on July 14-16 in Barstow, California; one of the most popular races of the year.

Jeepspeed Open Presented By Currie Enterprises

Jeepspeed will host The Jeep race everyone has been waiting for. No tire restrictions! No wheel restrictions! No burdensome rules, everyone can join in on the fun! Vehicles need only to pass technical inspection to insure they satisfy the race organizer’s safety requirements. The event is open to any desert race vehicle recognizable as a Jeep, Dodge, or Mopar appearing vehicle. For information about the Jeepspeed racing series go to www.jeepspeed.com. There you will find additional info, deals on some attractively priced race Jeeps, Jeepspeed news, rules, forums, race results, videos and much more. Go to the Jeepspeed forum and you can read in-depth race reports from many of the Jeepspeed teams.
Photography By: Bink Designs

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Jeepspeed Racers Bust Loose At The Mint 400

Jeepspeed Racers Bust Loose At The Mint 400
Las Vegas, NV

The Mint 400 race back in the 1960’s was known as one of the roughest. The race was a strange mix of Vegas glitz, and a brutal test out in the desert. Over the years, the race went dormant after losing the main sponsor and despite efforts by the SNORE series, shared only the name with the original event.
Jeepspeed, General Tire, The Mint 400, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs, Jeep

After taking the reins in 2012, the Martelli Brothers have worked to restore the race to its former glory. This year’s event had all the glitz, and the rocky course supplied a torture test that brought back the toughness of the original. The course took a toll on parts, but did nothing to curb the Jeepspeed racers resolve; the tougher the challenge, the greater the reward. Speaking of rewards, the General Tire Jeepspeed desert race series presented by KMC Wheels at the Mint 400 was brought to us by GG Lighting. Southwest Boulder & Stone put in an additional $500 bonus to each racing division and GG Lighting did the same. First time winners also got a set of KMC Wheels and a set of General Tires.

One would think that the more unlimited trucks in class 3700 would have an easier time on the course, but the class 1700 Jeep Cherokee of Rick Randall was the first Jeepspeed to come in; finishing 10th overall in the two lap race. “The course seemed a lot rockier and rougher this year,” said Randall, “It’s not much fun being the first 4×4 Jeepspeed on the road, plowing through the rocks in the center berm. We hit a few rocks and dented the diff cover but it wasn’t leaking too badly. We started 4th, on row 2, and made it to the merge first. We got to the front a little before pit A. We stopped at pit A for fuel and headed back to the main pit to look at the front diff cover. H Bomb racing #1780 was behind us by about 10-15 minutes so we had to be smart on Lap #2. Just before pit A, the Jeep was dragging so we stopped and found a flat right rear. That center berm was full of big, sharp rocks. We got a gash on the inside, sidewall. We changed it, and got going again. We stopped at pit A just to be safe. We looked everything over and loaded a fresh spare. We stopped at Pit B for a little fuel, and headed for the finish. By then most everyone had been down on time, so we took it easy, and cruised to the finish. It was a good day; pretty cool to win our 3rd Mint 400. My dad and I put in a lot of prep time on the Jeep to make sure we kept rolling on race day. I love the Helmet that The Mint 400 gave us for a trophy.”

Rick Randall, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Southwest Boulder & Stone, GG Lighting

The next Jeepspeed to cross the line was 3700 class winner Billy Bunch. Bunch was beaming after winning the race with only one wheel drive. “We took out the 4 wheel drive hardware to make the truck faster,” said Bunch, “When we broke an axle, our driver Jesse Archer limped it into the pits. We had a mix-up and only had two of the wrong side axles in the pit. Jesse drove the entire second lap with one axle driving. The truck was still fast, we were clocked at 105 mph on the dry lake bed with a peg leg. The Jeep is fast like it used to be. Jesse is doing a great job prepping the truck and is fast behind the wheel. He and co-driver Craig Johnson are doing great job. I think we need some stronger axles in the rear but we have all the other bugs worked out.”

Billy Bunch, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, The Mint 400, Bink Designs, King Shocks, Las Vegas

After swapping the lead with Bunch’s Jeep Wrangler all day, Mike Bragg brought his Dodge pick-up across the line for second place in class 3700. “We had some problems that cost us an hour of down time,” said Bragg, “We were first off the line and were setting a good pace when we got a flat tire. As we changed it, 3 or 4 cars pulled over at the same spot. I guess everyone was hitting the same rock. We got back to a good pace but when I would let off on the gas on the dry lake bed, we could hear a whine coming from the rear end. We had to stop to replace the rear diff and weld up the rear end housing; it was cracked from hitting a rock. Mike Barnett helped us change it out. Once we got back going we saw Bunch up on jack stands.  We thought we could make up time and get the win, but in the quarry the truck died. We checked fuel pressure and then found we didn’t have spark. There was a loose wire; we were lucky to find it. We fixed it and raced to the finish. The course was really rough and had a little of everything; rocks, sand, and whoops. There were slow technical sections and fast, wide-open lake beds; it was fun. It looks like this season is going to be a battle with Bunch at every race. It’s going to be tight.”

Mike Bragg, Jeepspeed, The Mint 400, General Tire, KMC Wheels, GG Lighting, Bink Designs

Only minutes later, the second place Jeep Cherokee in class 1700 crossed the line. Rob Seubert started first in class and had the early lead. “We got by a few cars that started ahead of us in the first 10 miles in some really rough chop, but got passed by 1710 (Randall),” said Seubert, “ Then smoke started to boil into the cab. I tried to convince my co-driver Dustin that it was just dust, but he insisted it was smoke; and he was right. With the exception of the transmission showing hot, all the other gauges were good. We were forced to pull over to see what was going on. Pulling the hood off revealed the motor bathed in transmission fluid that had puked out of the vent. As we were wiping up the bulk of the fluid to avoid catching it on fire, 1780 (Henriquez) went by us. That put a little more rush in our step, so we finished up, buckled back in and were off; now in third place. About mid lap, we clipped something with the right rear and shredded the tire. Dustin and I changed that pretty quickly so no one in our class went by. We only carried one spare, so now we had none, and the transmission was still running hot on any uphill or sand wash type terrain. With a little more caution, and a little less throttle, we were back on course. After making it into the main pit, we discussed our strategy for lap two. We decided to take a conservative pace as we were most likely not going to reel anybody in unless they had mechanical problems. Lucky for us, 1780 had some sort of issue. We passed them sitting on the side of the course, not too far into the second lap. We continued to see spiking transmission temperatures through the lap, but just had to back off a bit to bring them back down. After three car exits on the first lap, we never had to get out on the second lap. Once again, we are feeling very fortunate to land on the podium. We are looking forward to a clean run in Laughlin, and to give 1710 a little more competition.”

Rob Seubert, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, The Mint 400, Bink Designs

Mark Murrell from Fireguys racing took the last spot on the 1700 podium followed by Erin Hames. Erin, and Husband Mike, are from Alabama, and drove 26 hours just to get to and from the race. “Our friends in Alabama think we’re crazy,” said Erin, “They don’t know what the desert is; they can’t imagine what it’s like to race. We used to race a UTV and did some research about desert racing and decided the Jeepspeed series was where we wanted to race. We have three sons who love it too. We can’t do the whole series, but the Mint and Vegas to Reno are two races we wanted to do. We had a perfect race at the Mint, we didn’t have to stop for anything. We have run the Mint 400 before in our Razor but this time it was much rockier. We had no flats all day; we are so happy that we made it to the finish. We have no place to test in Alabama so it makes it tough.”

Mark Murrell, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, The Mint 400, Bink Designs

Third place in class 3700 was Steve Hearst. He was off to a good start but also fell prey to the rocky course. “The course was really chopped up and filled with rocks,” said Hearst, “We exploded the rear diff and broke the axle on lap one. We had to wait for a tow into the pits so we could make repairs. We had 3 hours of down time. We got it fixed, but only had enough time left to finish lap one. We were having a great time while we were running.”

The final finisher in the 2 lap race was class 2700 winner Wayne Guidinger. 2700 is the new intermediate class in the Jeepspeed series. Jeepspeed is the only spec racing class that allows you to build your own vehicle as long as it conforms to a few basic rules. The series attracted the Hames family all the way from Alabama. There is a comradery in the Jeepspeed series that does not exist in other forms of racing. Many of the vehicles are built in the family garage using readily available parts from the series sponsors like Jasper Racing Engines, the official engine company of Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC WheelsCurrie Enterprises, King Shocks,Rugged Radios, Rubicon Express, G2 Axle & Gear, Smittybilt, and Howe Performance. Official suppliers joining the Jeepspeed series this season are Jasper Racing Engines, NEO Synthetic Oil, Southwest Boulder & Stone, and GG Lighting.

Wayne Guidinger, Jeepspeed, Class 2700, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Southwest Boudler & Stone, GG Lighting, Bink Designs

Think you would like to give Jeepspeed racing a try? We have a special event this summer that will be a great opportunity to do just that. The General Tire Jeepspeed Racing Series is proud to announce a huge event for the summer of 2017, the Jeepspeed Open presented by Currie Enterprises. The Run What You Brung Summer Show will be held in conjunction with theM.O.R.E. night race on July 14-16 in Barstow, California; one of the most popular races of the year.

Jeepspeed Open Presented By Currie Enterprises

Jeepspeed will host The Jeep race everyone has been waiting for. No tire restrictions! No wheel restrictions! No burdensome rules, everyone can join in on the fun! Vehicles need only to pass technical inspection to insure they satisfy the race organizer’s safety requirements. The event is open to any desert race vehicle recognizable as a Jeep, Dodge, or Mopar appearing vehicle. For information about the Jeepspeed racing series go to www.jeepspeed.com. There you will find additional info, deals on some attractively priced race Jeeps, Jeepspeed news, rules, forums, race results, videos and much more. Go to the Jeepspeed forum and you can read in-depth race reports from many of the Jeepspeed teams.
Photography By: Bink Designs

Cherokees Sweep Season Opener In Parker

Jeepspeed Cherokees Sweep Season Opener In Parker
Parker, AZ

The first round of six in the General Tire Jeepspeed Series presented by KMC Wheels was held in Parker, Arizona on February 2-5. Sanctioned by the Best In The Desert series, the Parker 425 race was a tough test of competitors, right out of the box. For 2017, the Jeepspeed series has a three class structure that allows competitors to race a wide range of vehicles. The 1700 class is for six cylinder Jeeps including Cherokees, Wranglers and the Grand Cherokee. Class 2700 allows Jeep and Dodge trucks with Mopar engines. The 3700 class is for Jeep and Dodge trucks with any engine allowed. The field was a diverse mix of vehicles across the three classes. Competitors in the Jeepspeed series can build their own vehicles to a few simple rules and as a result, there are many options available. Trucks and Jeeps in Parker included Classic Cherokees, Wranglers and Grand Cherokees. In the 3700 class, there were Cherokees, a Wrangler, a Jeep Comanche and a Dodge D150 pick-up racing. This time, the Cherokees came out on top; winning in all classes.

Miguel Alvarado, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

Parker, Arizona is known for its recreational opportunities on the Colorado River, and for spectacular scenery. For offroad racers, the diversity of terrain provides both fun and challenges. Except for silt, (fine particles of dirt that are the consistency of baby powder) the Parker course contains every type of terrain the desert offers. There is deep, power robbing sand, big rocks, rough rutted hard pack, whoops, sometimes mud, and fast graded roads. Recent rains increased the veracity of each one. The sharp rocks were exposed, the sand was heavy and the ruts were square-edged and deeper. With the task being so great, the satisfaction of winning was amplified. Only 16 vehicles finished the 2 lap race; 9 were Jeepspeeds.

Rob Seubert. Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

The first Jeepspeed class to finish was the 3700 trucks led by defending 1700 class champion Skyler Gambrell. Gambrell’s winning time would have put him in the top 40 Trick Truck and unlimited open cars! “After a great season in 2016 and being lucky enough to secure the 1700 championship, the opportunity to race a 3700 car was presented and I had to jump at the chance,” said Gambrell, “The old factory class 6 racer I am driving has more history and race wins than I can comprehend. Drivers who have raced the truck to victories include Mike Leslie, Curt Leduc, Darren Skilton and Gavin Skilton. A quick prep and familiarization with the car before the race left me with zero actual test time on the car. I felt super nervous having never driven the car in the dirt before the green flagged dropped.  With the help of Chris Nissley my co-dog, we set off into the parker sunrise amidst the chaos of all the higher horse power V-8’s that started in front of us. I took it very easy through the first few miles just getting a feel for the car. At race mile 8 we passed the Honcho. At race mile 15, we got past Bragg. By race mile 18 we got by Billy’s Wrangler so I guess I was feeling OK in the car!

Skyler Gambrell, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

We settled into a groove and focused on putting down consistent miles. We took a splash of fuel at Mineral Wash pit courtesy of Wayne Vogler and Uncle Larry. Passing through the Jeep trail, I could feel the front shocks fading so I pulled back and just rolled through the big stuff. As we entered the Main Pit, I could see both Bragg and Billy moving to within striking distance of us. Woo Hoo! we still had a race to run! Thanks to help from Jeepspeed main pit we were off full of fuel and ready to put our heads down to maintain the lead. I ran a super aggressive pace up Osbourne Wash knowing once we hit the bigger moon hills and rough sections towards Bouse, I would have to slow down through the big holes with the tired front end. Between Bouse and Graham Wells, the oil pressure started dropping and I backed off even more; trying to make it to Midway for some oil. We nursed it to the pit and found old friends Lucas Hand and Curt Geer. With some help from RPI racing, they topped me off with some fresh oil and away we went with 60psi of oil pressure and a little pep in our step. We knew that by this time, someone must be close to catching us! After another quick splash of fuel at Pit4 and a clean flat free run to the finish, I could not believe that my first time driving the Jeepspeed Cherokee in the unlimited class would result in the win. I have to give a huge thanks to Clive for trusting me to drive such a legendary Jeep, Chris Nissley for jumping in with me on blind faith, Perry Coan for the endless sarcasm, cold beers and whiskey, and all the guys who helped pit the car at Jeepspeed Main. Last but not least, thanks to General Tire and KMC Wheels for supporting the Jeepspeed series! Gambrell took the first 3700 win of the season with Jesse Archer driving for Billy Bunch finishing second in the LS motored Jeep Wrangler, and Mike Bragg third behind the wheel of his Dodge D150 pick-up.

Billy Bunch, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

Both Gambrell and Bragg were racing older race vehicles that were brought back to life in order to race in the Jeepspeed series. If you have an old race truck sitting around, check out the Jeepspeed series. As long as it passes the few simple rules, you could be racing at the next event.

Mike Bragg, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

Taking the victory in the 1700 class was the Jeep Cherokee of Rick Randall. Randall is an Arizona local and a tough competitor whose family has raced Jeeps for generations. He was exceptionally hungry to add another win to his resume after having a challenging season last year. He was on a mission in more ways than one. “For this race we teamed up with Jess Maney and his sponsored veteran program, Vetdrenaline,” said Randall, “Jess is a wounded veteran himself and is very passionate about helping his brothers and sisters deal with the stresses of life after deployment. We were lucky enough to get Jess in the Jeep last season for Vegas to Reno and Bluewater. Our first veteran to ride this season was Jarred Maney. Jarred is a 2 time combat veteran, (Iraq and Afghanistan) with over 22 years of service in the Army. Jarred flew in from Wisconsin on late Wednesday, and Thursday morning we headed out for Parker to watch some qualifying. He loved it. My dad’s old codriver Bob Bower also came to Parker to help us pit and get Jarred ready to race. Who better for codriving advice than Bob Bower?!

Rick Randall, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

By race morning, Jarred was ready. We knew that the course may be a little different with all the rain, and we were right. Hands down it was the roughest Parker that I have ever raced. We started 3rd and got to the front just as we crossed the canal for the first time. We settled into a good pace and stopped at pit #2 for fuel and to switch co-drivers. Jarred did amazing watching the gauges, GPS, and rear view for the 8100’s that were passing us. Our radio decided to take dump so we weren’t able to get time splits on the field. Kevin got in and we were problem free back to the main pit. It was a rough ride from 108-130. We decided to get Jarred back in for the same section on lap 2 and he was thrilled. While fueling, the crew noticed a broken main leaf on the passenger leaf pack. We all pitched in and changed it out pretty fast, keeping us in first place. At pit 2, we switched Jarred and Kevin again. While inspecting the new leaf spring, Harley found a stress crack in the shackle, so with a loaner welder from Baja pits, we patched it up. Before we left pit 2, the crew told us that we had a good sized lead based on Racing Trax, so we went pretty slow to the finish. We finally got a win at the Parker 425! We’ve had nothing but bad luck at this race. I was so honored to have Jarred and Jess with us racing. We are hoping to have another Vet with us in Laughlin. Congrats to all the class winner and finishers. This was a nasty one.” 2016 Rookie of the Year Mark Murrell of Colorado was second in Class 1700, and former Jeepspeed Champion Rob Seubert from Oregon was third.

Mark Murrell, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

Mike Shetler took the 2700 class victory in Parker for the Cherokee hat trick. While the monkey was off Rick Randall’s back, it was riding with Shetler and causing havoc. “Everything went wrong,” said Mike Shetler, “We broke down at mile 5. Our crew is all volunteers and everyone could not make it at the last minute. My Brother Dennis stepped in to co-drive and Tom Thorvick helped us again, like he did in Pahrump. We also got help from Nick and Marcie Hricziscse, and Mike Petracci of Recoil Motorsports. They are volunteers who come out to the races and help just because they love it. We suffered electrical gremlins but once we got going it was so much fun. Parker has long stretches of fast roads where we can really open it up; it’s always a blast. We also got help from another team that we didn’t know. We were sitting in the pit trying to get the truck started and our battery was dead. A group of guys pulled up and said they recognized our truck because we had pulled them out at the Mint 400. They jumped us and got us going again. Their whole crew pitched in to help. We crossed the line after one lap but got the checkered flag because the overall leader had already finished. It was not the race we wanted but we’ll take it!”

Mike Shetler, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

There is a comradery in the Jeepspeed series that does not exist in other forms of racing. Many of the vehicles are built in the family garage using readily available parts from the series sponsors like Jasper Racing Engines, the official engine company of Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC WheelsCurrie Enterprises, King Shocks, Rugged Radios, Rubicon Express, G2 Axle & Gear, Smittybilt, and Howe Performance. Official suppliers joining the Jeepspeed series this season are Jasper Racing Engines, NEO Synthetic Oil, Southwest Boulder & Stone, and GG Lighting.

Established in 2001, Jeepspeed is the longest running Spec Class in desert racing. Its affordability, sensible rules, and strong backing from supporting sponsors make it very popular with budget minded racers who crave competition. Jeepspeed has big rewards for racers in all 3 divisions of the Jeepspeed Challenge in 2017. Over $50,000 in cash and Jeepspeed product awards are up for grabs. At the Parker 425, the cash bonus was brought to racers by Rugged Radios and Southwest Boulder & Stone. Racers in all three classes also qualified for a set ofGeneral Tires and a set of KMC Wheels. Each new winner this season will receive tires and wheels in addition to a cash bonus, race winnings and contingency bonuses.

Think you would like to give Jeepspeed racing a try? We have a special event this summer that will be a great opportunity to do just that. The General Tire Jeepspeed Racing Series is proud to announce a huge event for the summer of 2017, the Jeepspeed Open presented by Currie Enterprises. The Run What You Brung Summer Show will be held in conjunction with theM.O.R.E. night race on July 14-16 in Barstow, California; one of the most popular races of the year.

Jeepspeed Open Presented By Currie Enterprises

Jeepspeed will host The Jeep race everyone has been waiting for. No tire restrictions! No wheel restrictions! No burdensome rules, everyone can join in on the fun! Vehicles need only to pass technical inspection to insure they satisfy the race organizer’s safety requirements. The event is open to any desert race vehicle recognizable as a Jeep, Dodge, or Mopar appearing vehicle. For information about the Jeepspeed racing series go to www.jeepspeed.com. There you will find additional info, deals on some attractively priced race Jeeps, Jeepspeed news, rules, forums, race results, videos and much more. Go to the Jeepspeed forum and you can read in-depth race reports from many of the Jeepspeed teams.

Photography By: Bink Designs

Vegas To Reno Survival Of The Fittest For Jeepspeed Racers

 

Vegas To Reno Survival Of The Fittest For Jeepspeed Racers

Vegas To Reno Survival Of The Fittest For Jeepspeed Racers

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Merely finishing the Best In The Desert series’ Vegas to Reno race (V2R) is tough enough, but Jeepspeed racers were battling tooth and nail for every inch of the 644 miles. The General TireJeepspeed series presented by KMC Wheels and Premiere Automotive is known for stiff competition and affordable racing. At V2R, caution was thrown to the wind, competitive drive took over. The entire course was either covered in choking silt or littered with sharp rocks and boulders. This year’s event would take place over two days, with an over-night stop in Tonopah, Nevada. The break in action gave crews a chance to make repairs and drivers to catch their breaths. It also allowed a reversal of fortunes for some.  Jeepspeed had a good turn out with Cherokee, Wrangler, TJ, Comanche, Ram, Grand Cherokee, and 4 door Wrangler JK’s in the lineup.Jeepspeed, Jimmy Perry, General Tire, Premiere Automotive, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

In the General Tire Jeepspeed Challenge class, the top two points leaders Skyler Gambrell and Tim Martin were showing the speed they have used to gain all those points. Gambrell drove the Coan Brothers red Wrangler to the class lead after day one. He caught and passed Rick Randall after Randall got stuck in deep silt. “We set off into the dust knowing there were bottlenecks in the silt beds ahead,” said Gambrell, “Race mile 6-12 had some of the gnarliest silt I have ever fought through. With a lot of luck I was still within the collision light of Randall as we headed up in the hills out of the silt. I managed to squeeze past him when he got stuck in a super silty 90 degree left hander and was first on the road at about race mile 20. I had no other excitement through the rest of the day but there were lots and lots and lots of silt beds and the blinding dust that comes with it. I made it to Tonopah 1st in class with about 30 minutes lead on a hard charging Randall.”

On day two, Perry Coan took the wheel with Gambrell riding in the right hand seat. Day two became a three-way battle for the lead between Coan, Randall, and Martin. “Somewhere past pit 9 we had a fuel pump issue,” Gambrell continued, “I decided to put a new pump on. While swapping pumps, Randall made his way past. We set off again with fuel pressure and time to make up! Unfortunately, our fuel issue was not resolved; it turned out to be a heat and altitude issue. We ended up dousing the pumps in cold water and it would spring back to life. I was out of the car a total of four times on day 2 monkeying with the pumps.”

“After a fuel stop at pit10, we pulled out of the pits about 4 seconds in front of Martin. We both left the pits neck and neck and shockingly saw Randall pulled over a couple miles out with the hood off. We were back into the physical lead with Martin right behind us. We had about an hour time cushion from day 1 so we kept our head down and clicked off mile after mile of clean running. We made it across the finish line at dusk with a class win in Jeepspeed! We are so stoked to keep a solid season going. We had no flats, and no issues other than the fuel pump. Thanks to Jeepspeed, Clive, Mike, and everybody else! Our General Tires and KMC Wheels were as tough as can be; we finished on the same four that we started with.” Gambrell finished an amazing 85th place overall.

Jeepspeed, Skyler Gambrell, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Vegas To Reno

In contention for the win, Rick Randall was actually driving wounded. He was trying a different air filter on day one and it collapsed in the housing. It choked off the engine causing his truck to die in a corner; the same one that allowed Gambrell to make his pass. The silt that flowed over his hood also got sucked through the intake and into the engine. After hundreds of miles, the grit inside the engine wore out the piston rings causing a lack of compression and stopping him dead in his tracks.

With Randall out, it became a race between Coan and Martin on day two.  “We had as close to a perfect race as you could get,” said Martin, “The truck was getting hot in all that deep silt on day one. We had to pull over a couple times to let it cool, but never got out of the truck. We figured that since we lost time on day one we would not be able to chase the leaders down on day two so we ran our own pace. We were surprised when we caught Randall and Coan at pit ten. A mile later Rick was pulled over and they had their helmets off. (Usually a sign that they will be there awhile). It was now a two truck race. We knew Pee Wee (Coan) was driving but both he and Skyler are very fast. It was very dusty until we got close to the finish; then it was rocks, rocks, and more rocks. We wanted to chase them down but decided it was better to finish on the podium than to break in the final miles.”

Tim Martin, Jeepspeed, Vegas To Reno, JAZ Products, General Tire, KC Hilites, Bink Designs

Finishing third was first time racer John Grewell. He used to pit for a Trophy Truck team and always wanted to get behind the wheel. He met Jeepspeed’s Mike Barnett who helped him locate a race Jeep and make the purchase. With strong support from Jeepspeed sponsors General Tire, KMC Wheels,Premier Chrysler Jeep of Placentia, T&J Performance, Rock Krawler, Synergy, Currie Enterprises, G2 Axle & Gear, Howe Performance, KC Hilites, King Shocks, Rubicon Express,SmittyBilt, and Rugged Radios, it makes it easy to get started.

Jeepspeed, John Grewell, KMC Wheels, Currie Enterprises, General Tire, Vegas To Reno

“I had very little seat time before the race but I had 644 miles to figure it out,” said Grewell, “The first ten miles of the course were just crazy. It looked like a war zone with trucks buried and rolled over everywhere and a thick layer of dust hanging over everything; the silt was unbelievable. We got through that but hit a corner a little too fast and rolled onto our top. We had to wait for a Best in the Desert official to turn us back over; that ended our day. We got it all fixed in Tonopah and were ready to go on day two. We had no radio communications so we couldn’t talk to the crew. We got to the last miles of the course and knew we were running third so we just wanted to make sure we made it to the finish. We had no flats the entire race except to one of our chase trucks. Going into one of the pits, the chase truck got two three flats from the rocks. We were out until 3:00 am trying to find them. We are anxious to go to Parker even though we’ve never been there and have no idea what it’s like.”

In the General Tire Jeepspeed Outlaws class, Mike Bragg and Billy Bunch were mixing it up for the win.
“We finished with all of our body panels on the first day when others were getting stuck in the silt,” said Mike Bragg, “We came up on that big mess and went way around it. We ran good all day at a steady pace. We were 15 minutes from the finish when we had to stop and swap the fuel pump. Day two the course was completely different. It was faster and a lot more fun.

Mike Bragg, General Tire, Mopar, Jeepspeed, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs, Vegas To Reno

At mile 490 there was a UTV blocking the course. We stopped and got stuck ourselves. We got out and parked on the side so we could get all our gear together. It was like quicksand; just the vibration of the engine running would make us sink. We sunk to the axles and it took three hours of digging to get out. We went so deep we could smell Chinese food. We had to stop at the next pit to get tires because we aired down to get unstuck. It was getting dark so we fired up our new KC Hilites LED light bar on the bumper. At dusk when the dust is hanging, it’s really hard to see. The KC’s really lit things up. Bunch got past us when we were stuck so we tried to run him down. We caught him and had a time advantage from the day before but we wanted to be first to the line so we passed him.” Not only did KC Hilites help Mike Bragg see where he was going, but they put up a nice 500 dollar bonus for all Jeepspeed class winners.

Jeepspeed, Kchilites Bonus, Vegas To Reno, Mike Bragg, Skyler Gambrell

“That was some of the most intense racing I’ve seen in 35 years of racing,” said second place in Jeepspeed Outlaws Billy Bunch, “It was the roughest Vegas to Reno in years. I was amazed anyone who didn’t have four wheel drive could get through there. In the first miles of the course I must have seen 20 some cars upside down, stuck or buried. The silt would stick to your visor. Once it was on there, you couldn’t get it off. It was like someone was standing on the hood with a snow shovel scooping silt through the windshield. Our radiator got packed full of silt and the motor started to shut down. Day two was rocky. We knew Bragg was coming but he already had time on us from day one. We knew he would stay on top in the Outlaws point standings but we are leading the Wrangler Cup points so we had to finish; we let him go and wondered if he would break. I think we have the most superior car out there but the driver is getting old. I just turned 73 and it takes a little longer to recover after a race. It’s going to take me a week after this race.”

Billy Bunch, Jeepspeed, General Tirem KMC Wheels, Jeep Wrangler, Vegas To Reno, Off Road Racing, Bink Designs

With the brutal Vegas to Reno race in the rear view mirror, the Jeepspeed series heads to Parker, Arizona for a two day sprint race October 6-9. For information about the Jeepspeed racing series go towww.jeepspeed.com.

Mike Bragg, Best In The Desert, Vegas To Reno, Bink Designs, KMC Wheels, General Tire

There you will find additional info, deals on some attractively priced race Jeeps, Jeepspeed news, rules, forums, race results, videos and much more. Go to the Jeepspeed forum and you can read in-depth race reports from many of the Jeepspeed teams.

Photography By: Bink Designs
Jeepspeed Sponsors

About Jeepspeed
The Jeepspeed series is a competitive, cost effective series that has pitted Jeep vehicles against each other on challenging desert courses since 2001. Unlike the more expensive spec racing classes, there is no obligation to purchase your race vehicle or parts from the series organizer. You build your own vehicle the way you like as long as it fits within the rules. Jeepspeed offers the most fun and closest racing in the desert today. Jeepspeed series is supported by General Tire, KMC Wheels,Premier Chrysler & JeepKC Hilites, Currie Enterprises, King Shocks, Rugged Radios, Rubicon Express, G2 Axle & Gear, Smittybilt, Rock Krawler Racing Developments, Poly Performance,Synergy Manufacturing and Howe Performance.

About General Tire
For 100 years General Tire has offered a complete quality line of ultra-high performance, passenger, light truck, off-road and commercial tires to meet all your needs. General Tire is a proud supporter of ARCA; Best in the Desert Racing Series; Major League Fishing; King of the Cage; Lucas Oil – Off Road Racing Series, Late Model Dirt Series, Pro Pulling League, Modified Series, Drag Boat Racing Series and ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series; Expedition Overland; FreestyleMx.com Tour; Zero One Odyssey; and Spec Tire of JeepSpeed. Team GT supports athletes: CJ Hutchins, Jim Beaver, Jeff Proctor, Chase Motorsports, Doug Fortin, Jim Riley, Camburg Racing, Lee Banning Sr., Bryan Folks, Jerett Brooks and Stan Shelton.

Visit // www.generaltire.com

About KMC Wheels
KMC is redefining performance on and off  the asphalt with innovation, style, and a relentless pursuit to confront possibility. We are for the rule-breaking, game-changing individuals who defy conventional
thinking in motorsports and use machines to pull off  the impossible.

Visit // www.kmcwheels.com

Jeepspeed Racers Prove, It’s Not Over Until It’s Over At Silver State 300

General Tire Jeepspeed Silver State 300, KMC Wheels, Premier Automotive

Jeepspeed Racers Prove, It’s Not Over Until It’s Over At Silver State 300

Alamo, NV
If there is one thing that characterizes the level of competition in the General Tire Jeepspeed Desert Race Series presented by KMC Wheels and Premier Chrysler-Jeep, it’s the famous Yogi Berra saying, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. Like the Best In The Desert Silver State 300 course that climbs and drops over mountains and through valleys, Jeepspeed racers swapped the lead back and forth throughout the race. It’s amazing that a racing series that draws such a diverse field of vehicles can produce such parity and competition. 13 Jeepspeed Challenge Class 1700 entries entered the Silver State 300; one Wrangler, ten Cherokees, one Grand Cherokee, and the first short wheelbase Comanche Pickup truck.
Bob Mamer, Jeepspeed, Jeep Comanche, Silver State 300

At first glance, the #1707 entry of Perry Coan and Skyler Gambrell looked like a sure winner. Both drivers have a ton of racing success. They were in good equipment and they started on the pole. Despite losing a brake caliper early on, at mile 290 of 304 they looked like a sure bet to win. At race mile 290.5 they were out with a sheared sector shaft on the steering box. To add insult to injury, the shaft broke nearly flush with the housing; denying the crafty Gambrell from using vise grips or whittling a new pitman arm from a fallen cactus; like you would expect from him.

Jeepspeed, Perry Coan, Skyler Gambrell, General Tire, KMC Wheels

Race winner Rick Randall was up and down the order all day. He started in 11th place and charged through the dust to take the lead after pit 3. He got stuck in the silt allowing Gambrell to pass. After extracting themselves, they chased and caught Gambrell. As they pulled out to pass, they slammed a boulder, killing the left front tire. They changed the tire without losing a position and resumed their chase of Gambrell who was leading. Then they clipped a rock on the right rear causing another flat. When they discovered the lug socket went missing somewhere so they used a trusty crescent wrench on the lug nuts. The stop allowed Rob Seubert to get by dropping them to third. They passed Rob back as he sat on the side of the course a few miles later; they were back in second. “We decided to take it easy and settle for 2nd,” Said Randall, “As we made our way through the silt and Joshua trees towards the finish we were very surprised to see the 1707 parked off of the course.  Skyler gave us the thumbs up so we headed for the finish. We heard over the radio that Tim Martin was coming up behind us and we had to push it a little to beat him to the finish.  It felt good to win the race after making so many mistakes as a driver.” The win makes it two in a row for Randall racing.

Rick Randall, Jeepspeed, KC Hilites, General Tire, BInk Designs

“We had a good race but a little incident nearly cost us everything,” Said Tim Martin, “We were going back and forth with Seubert when he passed us. We came into a left to right corner and we missed the right. We went off course and were stuck on a ledge. 1771, (Korbet Krough and Jesse Stowell) gave us a tug off the ledge so we could continue.” Tim spent the rest of the race battling thick dust, trees and deep ruts in the silt beds. At one point he got crossed up in the deep ruts caused by the unlimited trucks and the Cherokee shot off course into the desert. As they kept moving they passed several competitors stopped on the course.  “There are so many fast guys in this class anyone can win,” says Martin, “My pit crew is my wife, kids and anyone who will lend a hand. We were happy to finish third but when we passed Skyler we knew we had second. This is my best finish to date. I’m looking forward to Vegas to Reno.” An interesting side note is that the Randall Racing crew built the engine in Tim Martin’s truck.

Tim Martin, Jeepspeed, Jeep Cherokee, JAZ Products

In third place was points leader Garrett Allred. He was dicing with Dylan Cochran through the trees when he clipped a boulder and flipped his Grand Cherokee onto the side. In an amazing act of sportsmanship, Cochran stopped and helped Allred back onto 4 wheels. “We would not be on the podium without their help,” said Allred, “We were overheating all day; the temperature did not want to go below 240. Then we had the roll. We got stuck in a silt bed but Best in the Desert was right there to pull us out. We really wanted a podium so I was on it; working the truck super hard. We stopped in the pits to tighten a ball joint; that’s when Martin passed us. Then Seubert went down, Gambrell went down, we ended up on the podium. Despite the day we had with all the problems, I can’t complain. I can’t even explain what a good feeling it is to be on the podium. I should buy Cochran a muffin basket or something for pulling us back over.” The podium finish keeps the rookie Allred in the points lead.

Garrett Allred, Silver State 300, General Tire, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Off Road

We were having a great battle through the trees when we came around a corner and they went on their side,” said Dylan Cochran about Allred’s roll, “We are friends with Garrett’s co-driver Ken Stahlman so we stopped. He was in a bad spot; we’ve been there before so I know how stressful it is. We passed those guys back and forth all day. At mile 240 we lost the rear track bar. I had to limp it in for 5th place.”

Dylan Cochran, Jeepspeed, Bink Designs, Off Road Racing, Jeep

In 4th place was Mike Bragg. He drove a solid race. While others dropped out or got stuck, he kept moving up through the field. “We had the 4×4 shift lever come loose, my co-driver had to hang onto it until we made it to pit 3,” said Bragg, “We stuck it in 4×4 and pulled the lever off. We got stuck 6 or 7 times here last year so we converted the front end to four wheel drive and added G2 gears in our Currie 9” and Dana 44 differential. We got stuck 6 or 7 times here last year so we converted the front end to four wheel drive. We were down on power so I had to keep downshifting. It turned out that we lost a header collector bolt that affected the O2 sensor. We just kept picking guys off all day. We came up on that uphill silt bed; I side-hilled it and passed two guys right there. We made easy passes like that all day.”

Mike Bragg, General Tire, Jeepspeed, Silver State 300, Currie Enterprises, Bink Designs

In Jeepspeed Cup Class 3700, Bob Mamer was sole survivor in his turbo charged Comanche. “We had a plan to take it easy until pit 5; especially after we heard about our friend Justin Lofton’s big crash while we were in staging,” said Mamer, “We had vapor lock issues that caused the motor to die. It got a little scary in the mountains. We stopped and tried a couple things but it continued. It started to die on the wooden bridge and we didn’t think we would make it across. We played with the fuel pumps and all of a sudden it was running good. Then it was running great. From then on it was a lot of fun. We heard others in our class had problems so we played it smart and it all worked out. We had no flats all day!”

Bob Mamer, Jeep Comanche, Off Road, Bink Designs, Siltbed

The competition seen in the Jeepspeed series would not be possible without the sponsors of the series that include General TireKMC Wheels; now the Official Wheel of Jeepspeed; taking over from their sister brand ATX. The Wheel Pros Group has sponsored Jeepspeed for more than 10 years now.Premier Chrysler Jeep is the Official Jeep Dealer and Presenting Sponsor of the Jeepspeed Desert Racing Series’. Currie Enterprises returns as the Official Axle of Jeepspeed. King Shocks are the Official Shock of Jeepspeed. G2 Axle & Gear is the Official Gear supplier of Jeepspeed. Rubicon Express is the Official Suspension of Jeepspeed. Three out of the top five finishers were running Rubicon Express suspension. SmittyBilt is the Official Off Road Equipment supplier of Jeepspeed.PAC Springs is the Official Spring of Jeepspeed and KC HiLites is the Official Light of Jeepspeed.

Jeepspeed Official Suppliers continue to be a vital part of our teams’ success also and a huge asset to the Jeepspeed series. Approved supporters and product suppliers also include Rock Krawler Racing DevelopmentsSynergy Mfg., JAZ Fuel CellsPoly Performance and Howe Performance Steering.

*In order to ensure close points throughout the initial year of the KMC Jeepspeed Wrangler Trophy there will be bonus points in addition to the normal Jeepspeed race points at Silver State 300 and Parker Blue Water Challenge. Points are as follows:

Race 1 / Mint 400 – No bonus.

Race 2 / Silver State 300  50 bonus start points. Plus class podium bonus, 50 bonus points for a class win. 25 bonus points for a class 2nd. 10 bonus points for a class 3rd.

Race 3 / Parker Blue Water Challenge – This is a two day race. 50 bonus points for starting each day, plus the class podium points bonus each day. Wrangler competitors do not have to enter all three races.  The Wrangler Trophy winner will be driver who amasses most points at any of these three races.

Jeepspeed Challenge Class 1700 points after the Silver State 300.
1. Allred 304 pts
2. Bragg 292
3. Seubert 286
4. Cochran 282
5. Hoffman 280
6. Randall 266
7. Martin 228.

Jeepspeed Cup Class 3700 points after the Silver State 300.
1. Mamer 271 pts

The next event will be August 13-15 when they race from Vegas to Reno, the longest off-road race in the United States.

Photography By: Bink Designs

Jeepspeed Sponsors

About Jeepspeed
The Jeepspeed series is a competitive, cost effective series that has pitted Jeep vehicles against each other on challenging desert courses since 2001. Unlike the more expensive spec racing classes, there is no obligation to purchase your race vehicle or parts from the series organizer. You build your own vehicle the way you like as long as it fits within the rules. Jeepspeed offers the most fun and closest racing in the desert today. Jeepspeed series is supported by General TireKMC Wheels,Premier Chrysler & JeepKC HilitesCurrie EnterprisesKing ShocksRubicon ExpressG2 Axle & GearSmittybiltPAC Racing SpringsRock Krawler Racing DevelopmentsSynergy MfgPoly Performance & Howe Performance.

About General Tire
For 100 years General Tire has offered a complete quality line of ultra-high performance, passenger, light truck, off-road and commercial tires to meet all your needs. General Tire is a proud supporter of Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series, Best in the Desert Racing Series, Major League Fishing, Chili Bowl, Pro-Pulling, Late-Model Dirt Series, Drag Boat Series, World Cup of Softball, American Sprint Car Series, FreestyleMx.com Tour, Zero One Odyssey, and Spec Tire of Trophylite and JeepSpeed. Team GT supports off-road and short course teams including Mikey Childress, CJ Hutchins, Doug Fortin, Harley Letner, Jim Riley, Macrae Glass, Randy Merritt, Ray Griffith, Ryan Beat, Carl Renezeder, Robby Woods and Camburg Racing.

Visit // www.generaltire.com

About KMC Wheels
Founded in 1982, KMC has a 30-year legacy of delivering quality aftermarket and off-road wheels at competitive prices. KMC is a Wheel Pros brand. Wheel Pros products are sold worldwide in more than 20 countries on four continents and through a U.S. network of more than 25,000 authorized dealers. It is one of the world’s largest suppliers of branded custom wheels, performance tires and related accessories for cars, SUVs and light trucks. KMC Wheels Like no other.

Visit // www.kmcwheels.com

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Parker 425 Extreme for Jeepspeed Racers

General Tire Jeepspeed Parker 425, KMC Wheels

Parker 425 Extreme for Jeepspeed Racers

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Parker, AZ


The definition of extreme reads: highest in intensity or degree. The General Tire Jeepspeed racing series saw some drastic extremes during the season opening Best in the Desert Parker 425 in Parker, Arizona. Probably the most extreme was the condition of the course. On the first lap, it was fairly typical for Parker; deep sand, big rocks and miles of whoops. As the laps clicked off, the course got much worse. The unlimited cars and trucks would run three laps compared to two for the less exotic Jeepspeed Challenge and Jeepspeed Cup trucks. As the Jeepspeed racers headed out on their second lap, the course was actually three times worse. Attrition was high in every class as were the stories of shattered wheels, flat tires and suspension parts torn from their chassis. The Jeepspeed field included 19 class 1700 Jeepspeed Challenge trucks and 5 Class 3700 Jeepspeed Outlaws. Only ten from the original 24 would finish.

The simple, easy to comply with rules in the Jeepspeed series, that allow you to build your own vehicle, have produced an evenly matched yet diverse field of vehicles. Like the vehicles they race, the competitors themselves are equally as diverse. Take the two class winners at Parker. Class 3700 Jeepspeed Outlaws was won by Billy Bunch. Bunch has numerous wins and championships having raced in the Jeepspeed series since its inception. Bunch continues to be very competitive at 71 years of age.

Billy Bunch, Jeepspeed, General Tire, KMC Wheels

The Class 1700 Jeepspeed Challenge winner was 18 year old rookie Garett Allred driving in his first race. The Jeep Grand Cherokee Allred was driving is four years older than he is. The Cherokee is new to him but not to his father Brad. Brad used to race years ago and spent time working for and racing with the legendary Don-A-Vee Jeep racing team. When Brad and his wife were expecting their child, Brad retired from racing to raise his son. Fast forward to 2015 and the younger Allred is ready to go 4 wheel racing after spending years competing on bikes. They go looking for a truck to race and find the Cherokee affectionately called “old grand dad” by the most recent driver Skyler Gambrell. In an incredible twist of fate, the elder Allred had a hand in building “Old Grand Dad” when he worked at Don-A-Vee 20 years earlier.

Garett Allred, Parker 425, KC Hilites, General Tire, Jeepspeed

“I’m so happy my son can start his racing career behind the wheel of the same Jeep,” said Brad, “Garett drove the first lap with me riding and then our other partner in the team Ken Stahlman got in to drive the second lap. Ken is the “K” in GBK racing. The course was really rough but we had a good clean run. On the second lap it was real torn up and the rocks were coming up. It worked in our favor because we wanted to run a consistent pace. I was a little concerned Garett might over drive the Jeep but he was very smooth. We had a great back and forth battle with the guys in the black HK Construction Jeep, (Kyle Gieselmann). We finally got past them on the second lap and didn’t see them after that. This was a great way to start the year; hope we stay on the podium all season.”

It was a race of extremes for second place Jeepspeed Challenge finisher Rob Seubert too. The defending 2014 champion started second and was in the lead after a few miles. That’s when the track bar on the front end broke. “At around the 10 mile mark the track bar came apart,” said Rob, “We really struggled to get the spare mounted; having to trim some of the bushing with a pocket knife. By the time we were on the move again, the entire field had passed us and was long gone. We passed a lot of jeeps pulled over with issues. 1717, (Dylan Cochran) had a wheel fall off right in front of us. It caused us, (and two trick trucks) to take a detour around a hill.  We feel fortunate to net a second place finish given the position we were in at the first pit stop. We are pleased with the start of our season.”

Rob Seubert, General Tire, Off Road Racing, Jeepspeed, Poly Performance

Third place Mike Bragg got off to a slow start. They made it all the way to the midway pit before the crew was able to trace down a loose plug wire at the distributor. They then hit a pipe sticking out of the ground that damaged one of his KMC wheels. “We heard on the radio that we were running third and then saw Randall pulled off to the side putting us in second,” said Bragg, “We were on the last lap when the brakes started locking up. We stopped to bleed them, that’s when Seubert went past us. It was exciting to have so many entries. It’s fun to race against a lot of trucks; especially when it’s so competitive. The new passing rules for the unlimited cars worked really well; I never got nerfed once.” Mike used to race in class 8 but came to Jeepspeed for the tougher competition.

Mike Bragg, General TIre, KC Hilites, Premier Automotive, Synergy Suspension, Bink Designs

At the other end of the extreme was Jeepspeed Outlaws Class 3700 second place finisher Jason Mack. He had nearly a trouble free day in his Chevy small block V8 powered Cherokee. “It was tough getting the truck ready for the race but we had a great day; no flats to our General Grabbers,” said Jason, “Our radio was out so we had no idea we were even running up front. If I had known we were in the hunt for a win I would have stepped it up a notch.”

Jason Mack, KMC Wheels, Parker 425, Bink Designs, General Tire Grabbers

Third place in 3700 was Bob Mamer who followed Mack and Bunch into the finish. Fourth place went to the big bad 3750 class Dodge of Tom Barnett.

Bob Mamer, Best In The Desert, Baja Pits, General Tire, Jeep Comanche

Whether it’s Jason Mack, Garett Allred or Cole Seiber, Jeepspeed is full of fast rookies this year. The youngest of the bunch is 15 year old Cole Seiber of Parker, Arizona. Cole was right in the mix too; finishing 4th in Jeepspeed Challenge class 1700.

Cole Sieber, Jeepspeed, King Shocks, Howe Performance

These drivers have figured out that Jeepspeed racing is the best way to get their off-road racing careers started. Strong support from sponsors and the ability to build your own vehicle makes it affordable, competitive and exciting. Sponsors of the series include General TireKMC Wheels; now the Official Wheel of Jeepspeed; taking over from their sister brand ATX. The Wheel Pros Group has sponsored Jeepspeed for more than 10 years now. Premier Chrysler Jeep is the Official Jeep Dealer and Presenting Sponsor of the Jeepspeed Desert Racing Series’. Currie Enterprises returns as the Official Axle of Jeepspeed. King shocks are the Official Shock of Jeepspeed. G2 Axle & Gear is the Official Gear supplier of Jeepspeed. Rubicon Express is the Official Suspension of Jeepspeed. (Winner Garett Allred and third place finisher Mike Bragg were both racing on the Rubicon express, long arm suspension). SmittyBilt is the Official Off Road Equipment supplier of Jeepspeed. PAC Springs is the Official Spring of Jeepspeed and KC HiLites is the Official Light of Jeepspeed. Jeepspeed Official Suppliers continue to be a vital part of our teams’ success also and a huge asset to the Jeepspeed series. Approved supporters and product suppliers also include Rock Krawler Racing DevelopmentsSynergy Mfg., Jaz Fuel CellsPoly Performance and Howe Performance.

Photography and Press Release By: Bink Designs

General Tire Jeepspeed Series Celebrates 2014 As 2015 Season Nears

General Tire Jeepspeed Series Celebrates 2014 As 2015 Season Nears

General Tire Jeepspeed Series Celebrates 2014 As 2015 Season Nears

Orange, CA
With the 2014 General Tire Jeepspeed racing champions decided, it was time for the teams to get together for their annual awards ceremony at Moreno’s Restaurant, in Orange, California. Just l  ike the diverse Jeep and Dodge vehicles that race in the Jeepspeed series, the teams come from all different backgrounds and locations. Interestingly, both the 2014 Jeepspeed Challenge and Jeepspeed Cup Champions that were honored are named Rob, hail from Portland, Oregon and earned rookie of the year awards. Rob Seubert took his Jeep Cherokee to the Jeepspeed Challenge Championship and earned the Coan Brothers class 1700 rookie of the year award. Jeepspeed Cup Champion and Howe Performance Steering Class 3700 Rookie of the Year Rob White earned his title driving the updated Jeep Honcho that was formerly raced by Roger Mears and the legendary Mears Gang.

Jeepspeed Awards, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Premier Jeep

Taking a Championship and rookie of the year title in a single season is a huge accomplishment for both drivers and their teams. Thanks to the Coan Brothers, Howe Performance, General Tire, (every Jeep in the field rolls on General Grabbers), ATX Wheels, Currie Enterprises, King Shocks, T&J Performance, Baja Designs Lighting, Rubicon Express Suspensions, Smittybilt Off Road Products, G2 Gear & Axle and PAC Racing Springs, 2014 has been a very successful year in the Jeepspeed series. In 2015, there will be even more to celebrate.

General Tire continues their support of the Jeepspeed racing series in 2015. General Tire has agreed to a multi-year sponsorship to continue as the official tire of the Jeepspeed Desert Race Series beginning January 2015. Since 2008, General Tire has been the official tire of Jeepspeed with teams utilizing the famed GRABBER tire. The partnership has allowed Jeepspeed to offer its competitors affordable racing within the Best in the Desert (BITD) Series where budget-conscious racers can compete on the same race courses as the pros. “We’re proud to extend our sponsorship with Jeepspeed,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing for General Tire. “This is an action-packed, affordable race series that continues to grow each year so it’s a great partnership for us.” This year also marks General Tires 100 Year Anniversary.

General Tire

Due to strong support from sponsors, Jeepspeed racers will continue to receive special subsidized entry fees. A flat fee at each race, no matter the race distance, will be extended to every Jeepspeed entry. Champions will be decided by the best 5 results from 6 races. In addition to General Tire, KMC Wheels will become the Official Wheel of Jeepspeed; taking over from their sister brand ATX. TheWheel Pros Group has sponsored Jeepspeed for more than 10 years now. Premier Chrysler Jeep is the Official Jeep Dealer and Presenting Sponsor of the Jeepspeed Desert Racing Series’. Currie Enterprises returns as the Official Axle of Jeepspeed. King shocks are the Official Shock of Jeepspeed. G2 is the Official Gear supplier of Jeepspeed. Rubicon Express is the Official Suspension of Jeepspeed. SmittyBilt is the Official Off Road Equipment supplier of Jeepspeed. PAC Racing Springs is the Official Spring of Jeepspeed and KC HiLites is the Official Light of Jeepspeed. Jeepspeed Official Suppliers continue to be a vital part of our teams’ success and a huge asset to the Jeepspeed series. Approved supporters and product suppliers also include Rock Krawler Racing Developments, Synergy Mfg., Poly Performance and Howe Performance.

The incredible level of competitiveness seen in 2014 will also continue in 2015 as the top performing teams in 1700 will all be back to battle for the championship. They will have to contend with a new crop of young talent that will be joining the ranks in 2015 including 15 year old Cole Seiber of Parker Az., 18 year old Garret Allred of Placentia, Ca., 19 year old Kyle Geiselmann of Poway, Ca. and 20 year old ex bike racer Kevin McKeehan from Thousand Oaks, Ca. Also new for 2015 will be the 3750 class. The new 3750 Class is designed for Class 1700 entries that want to step up their game. For example, former Jeepspeed racer Mike Shaffer will be back racing a Hemi powered 1993 Grand Cherokee and Tom Barnett will be challenging the 3750 class with a dual sport Ram 1500 truck. Complete rules for all classes are specified on the Jeepspeed website at http://jeepspeed.com/  The 3 Jeepspeed classes are also open to Jeeps that compete in stock class rock racing (KOH). For example, the KMC Jeepspeed Wrangler Trophy races are a good fit for these Jeep based rigs.

The action begins at the Best In The Desert Parker 425 on February 9, 10 in Parker, Arizona. With everyone starting with a clean slate, the action will be intense. Each team will attempt to distance themselves from the rest of the field as they battle on the brutal Parker course filled with dust, rocks and silt.

Jeepspeed Sponsors

About Jeepspeed
The Jeepspeed series is a competitive, cost effective series that has pitted Jeep vehicles against each other on challenging desert courses since 2001. Unlike the more expensive spec racing classes, there is no obligation to purchase your race vehicle or parts from the series organizer. You build your own vehicle the way you like as long as it fits within the rules. Jeepspeed offers the most fun and closest racing in the desert today. Jeepspeed series is supported by General Tire, KMC Wheels,Premier Chrysler & JeepKC Hilites, Currie Enterprises, King ShocksRubicon Express, G2 Axle & Gear, SmittybiltPAC Racing SpringsRock Krawler Racing DevelopmentsSynergy MfgPoly Performance & Howe Performance.

About General Tire
For 100 years General Tire has offered a complete quality line of ultra-high performance, passenger, light truck, off-road and commercial tires to meet all your needs. General Tire is a proud supporter of Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series, Best in the Desert Racing Series, Major League Fishing, Chili Bowl, Pro-Pulling, Late-Model Dirt Series, Drag Boat Series, World Cup of Softball, American Sprint Car Series, FreestyleMx.com Tour, Zero One Odyssey, and Spec Tire of Trophylite and JeepSpeed. Team GT supports off-road and short course teams including Mikey Childress, CJ Hutchins, Doug Fortin, Harley Letner, Jim Riley, Macrae Glass, Randy Merritt, Ray Griffith, Ryan Beat, Carl Renezeder, Robby Woods and Camburg Racing.

Visit // www.generaltire.com

About KMC Wheels
KMC Wheels are like no other. For more than 30 years, KMC has been producing quality, cutting-edge designs for lifted, lowered and stock trucks and SUVS. The KMC XD Series offers hard-wearing wheels for extra duty, including specialty dually and beadlock styles.

Visit // www.kmcwheels.com

Copyright © 2015 Jeepspeed, All rights reserved.
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Strategies Put To Test At Thrilling Jeepspeed Season Ender

Eric Heiden Wins General Tire Jeepspeed ATX Wheels BITD Henderson 250

Strategies Put To Test At Thrilling Jeepspeed Season Ender

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Henderson, NV
The final race of the 2014 Jeepspeed season posed a dilemma for nearly everyone in the race. Go all out for a win or try to be smart and protect your championship points. Both strategies played out during the Best In The Desert Henderson 250. The course was very fast which made it tough for those who tried to maintain a conservative pace. Some, who desperately needed points, took their fate into their own hands and pushed hard for the win. The result was a thrilling race that had championship implications everywhere you looked.

The atmosphere was much more relaxed during contingency and technical inspection on Friday before the race. The Jeepspeed trailer was displayed along Water Street in downtown Henderson to give the fans and racers alike a glimpse of what the Jeepspeed series offers. The Jeepspeed series has strong sponsor support from General Tire, every Jeep in the field rolls on General Grabbers, ATX Wheels,Currie Enterprises, King Shocks, Howe Performance Steering and T&J Performance who have all been there since the very beginning. Baja Designs Lights, Rubicon Express Suspensions,Smittybilt Off Road products, G2 Gear & Axle and PAC Racing Springs also help to make the series successful.

Jeepspeed, Rubicon, General Tire, Henderson 250, T&J Performance

When Dustin Hoffman wheeled his Jeep Cherokee through the line, Jeepspeed took the opportunity to award him with a Smittybilt winch that he was awarded for winning the Blue Water Challenge race in Parker, Arizona. The Smittybilt winch was just one of the many bonuses handed out during the Jeepspeed season.

There was another Jeepspeed prize winner at the Henderson race. A contest was held by 4Wheel Parts and General Tire that awarded an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas to ride with Eric Heiden to the 4Wheel Parts employee who sold the most General Tires during the contest period. Chris Schafer of San Antonio, TX, was the lucky winner. Chris had no idea what was really in his future. He did not get a little joyride through the desert; he ran the first 80 mile lap of the race as Heiden’s co-driver.

Chris Schafer, Eric Heiden, General Tire, 4 Wheel Parts

Eric was in the championship mix, (he finished third in points), but he was not out for points in Henderson, he was driving all out for a win. After starting towards the rear, Eric and Chris charged through the pack to second place after lap one. Chris and Eric handed the truck over to driver Dylan Cochran and co-driver Mark Linder who took the 1717 Jeep Cherokee to the win. How many contest winners get to be part of a race winning effort? Congratulations to Chris Schafer for getting the job done during his first ride in a race truck and 4Wheel Parts and General Tire for giving him the opportunity. “We had a trouble free run despite running the truck very hard,” said Eric Heiden, “It was the last race, we had nothing to lose, I think we gave Chris a good time.”

Second place finisher in the General Tire Jeepspeed Challenge, Dustin Hoffman, had a good race going with Skyler Gambrell on lap one until a water pump failure caused Skyler to pull over. Like many of the battles on course, the two were separated by mere seconds until Skyler was sidelined.

Skyler Gambrell, General Tire, Jeepspeed, Henderson 250, Bink Designs

Dustin soon made his way up to battle with the 1717 truck of Eric Heiden with Dylan Cochran behind the wheel. “My transmission was stuck in second gear,” says Hoffman, “I just kept it pinned. I could stay ahead in the rough but on the dry lakebed they came charging back. We caught them again in a rough section but in the end they took the win. Props to them, we had a great race with those guys.”

Jeepspeed, Dustin Hoffman, Jeep Cherokee

Third place on the podium went to second generation racer Mike Bragg driving his stars and stripes Jeep Cherokee and the fourth place finisher was Rob Seubert.

Mike Bragg, General Tire, Grabber, Jeepspeed, Henderson 250, Bink Designs, King Shocks

Rob was doing everything he could to get a finish. Fourth place gave him the General Tire Jeepspeed Challenge Championship. “It’s always hard not to push, but it was a long season to get to this point and we didn’t want a DNF, (did not finish), to end our storybook year,” said Rob, “We feel we had a lot of luck on our side to come away with 3 wins and a second on the way to the title. We pushed hard at the Mint 400 for the Oakley Bomb award; it looks great sitting on my shelf.  The mint was rough on the truck and we didn’t get everything back to 100% for the silver state. We had a DNF after battling overheating, brake failure and a broken steering box. V2R was the roller coaster of the year race for us.  Starting first, we came into pit one as the last moving car on the course with overheating issues. It’s a good thing V2R is such a long race; perseverance paid off and we came away with a win putting us at three for four on the year. Our second place at the BlueWater Challenge and fourth in Henderson gave us the title. Thanks to all our fellow 1700 class racers for a hard fought year and to Jeepspeed for developing such a great series.”

Rob Seubert, Jeepspeed, Best In The Desert, Off Road Racing, Jeep

Pacing Rob Seubert on lap one was John Brannon. He had the same challenge trying to get to the finish to secure second place in the championship. “We were not looking for a win,” says John Brannon’s co-driver, Brendan King, “Our goal was the championship points. We were one minute behind third place when we stopped on lap one. We spent 15 minutes in the pit welding up a broken steering mount before getting back out. John had to put it in kill mode on lap two and finished 5th. We could not DNF. We have 12 straight races without a DNF; we raced smart all season to earn our second place in the championship.”

John Brannon, Jeepspeed, ATX Wheels, General Tire, Bink Designs

The Henderson 250 was the first outing for the new 3750 class prototype, Dodge Ram 1500. Classes 3700 and 3750 are now known as “Jeepspeed Outlaws” and include Dodge vehicles. The street legal Dodge built and driven by Tom Barnett at T&J Performance even has a heater and AC. It was running with the 3700 class leaders until ball joint failure caused them to park it. The General Tire Jeepspeed Cup race was won by Billy Bunch. Bunch is a no-nonsense kind of guy. With a possible championship on the line he decided to mix it up with Bob Mamer for the win. “I got the holeshot off the line because my motor is stronger,” said Billy, “Then Mamer caught me in the rough because he has more suspension travel. I clipped a rock in the dust and had to stop to change the wheel. My co-driver Tareck Karam then chased Mamer down and passed him. We lost the driveshaft ¼ mile from the finish but my 4×4 front axle pulled us the rest of the way; beating Mamer by 12 seconds.”

Tom Barnett, Jeepspeed, Dodge Ram, T&J Performance

Rob White had a more conservative strategy. His plan all season was to run every race and make it to the finish for maximum points. He was leading the points but in order to take the title, he would have to finish the race. Rob drives an iconic Jeep J-10 truck that was raced by Roger Mears back in the 1970’s. It had several owners over the years and now has electronic fuel injection on the American Motors 401 cubic inch V8. Despite the modern touches, the truck was running rough before the race. “We scrambled to get the truck running right on Friday,” says Rob, “Our plan was to play it safe but only a few miles into the race we hit boulder that broke a wheel. We changed it and kept chugging along.” Rob was still racing when BITD diverted them to the finish line for safety reasons, (the Trick Trucks were on the course). His finish was official giving him the 2014 General Tire Jeepspeed Cup championship title that he worked towards all season.

Rob White, Jeepspeed Champion, General Tire, Off Road, Bink Designs

“It’s pretty cool driving an iconic truck,” says Rob, “Having a championship in it is surreal. We knew if we went to every race and did well those points would add up in the end. I have to thank my crew for all their hard work.”  The final results were Rob White taking the championship, Billy Bunch second in points and Bob Mamer third.

Bob Mamer, Jeepspeed, Jeep Comanche, General Tire, Bink Designs

Despite the tough battles on the course, the Jeepspeed racers are always willing to help a fellow racer. Eric Heiden summed up for many saying, “It’s a very competitive field but everyone helps each other out, even in the heat of battle. If you need parts or help with your truck, there is always someone to pitch in and help out. It was disheartening for us to lose the championship this year but I’m happy for Rob Seubert and I feel it’s an honor to be in the top three in such a competitive field.”

Eric, Rob and all the others will get their honors at Awards Night at Moreno’s Restaurant, in Orange, California on Jan 17th. The out of state champs will be flying in to join in the festivities. The party is being sponsored by Orange County’s newest Jeep dealer, Premier Chrysler Jeep of Placentia. It will be a great time and a fitting end to another incredible season of General Tire Jeepspeed racing. Stay tuned for exciting new things coming to Jeepspeed in 2015!

Photography By: Bink Designs
Jeepspeed Sponsors

About Jeepspeed
The Jeepspeed series is a competitive, cost effective series that has pitted Jeep vehicles against each other on challenging desert courses since 2001. Unlike the more expensive spec racing classes, there is no obligation to purchase your race vehicle or parts from the series organizer. You build your own vehicle the way you like as long as it fits within the rules. Jeepspeed offers the most fun and closest racing in the desert today. Jeepspeed series is supported by General Tire, ATX Wheels, RDM Offroad, Howe Performance, Currie Enterprises, King ShocksTJ Performance Center,Allpar.com, Sunoco Race FuelsBaja DesignsRubicon Express, G2 Axle & Gear, SmittybiltPAC Racing Springs.

Visit www.jeepspeed.com for more information.

About General Tire
For 99 years General Tire has offered a complete quality line of ultra-high performance, passenger, light truck, off-road and commercial tires to meet all your needs.  General Tire is a proud supporter of Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series, Best in the Desert Racing Series, Major League Fishing, Chili Bowl, Pro-Pulling, Late-Model Dirt Series, Drag Boat Series, American Sprint Car Series, FreestyleMx.com Tour, Zero One Odyssey, and Spec Tire of Trophylite and JeepSpeed.  Team GT supports off-road and short course teams including CJ Hutchins, Garrick Freitas, Harley Letner, Jerry Zaiden/Jason Campbell/Jerry Whelchel/ (Camburg), Jim Riley, Justin Lofton, Macrae Glass, Randy Merritt, Ray Griffith, Steve Alexander, Steve La Roza, Ryan Beat, Carl Renezeder, and Robby Woods.

About Continental AG
With provisional sales of around €33.3 billion in 2013, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires, and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has more than 177,000 employees in 46 countries.

About ATX
ATX Series wheels are designed and engineered to meet the demands of off-road and outdoor enthusiasts. ATX is a Wheel Pros brand. Wheel Pros products are sold worldwide in more than 20 countries on four continents and through a U.S. network of more than 25,000 authorized dealers. It is one of the world’s largest suppliers of aftermarket wheels, performance tires and related accessories for cars, SUVs and light trucks. To see the styles ATX has on offer, including more new products for 2013, visit www.atxwheels.com. For more media information, including high-resolution images, please contact pr@wheelpros.com.