Rausch Creek, PA: Last weekend’s WIDIA Rausch Creek Qualifier proved to be one of the coldest, wettest races in ULTRA4 history. Heavy rains on Friday produced thick fog and low-visibility conditions, prompting race organizer, Dave Cole to move qualifying to Saturday morning just two hours before the main race. 2010 Rausch Creek Champion, Derek West qualified 4th for the main race behind two former Kings of the Hammers, Shannon Campbell and Erik Miller, as well as 2012’s Rausch Creek winner, Bill Baird. By the second lap, West had worked his way past all three competitors to claim the lead and never looked back.
After just three hours and eighteen minutes, Derek West in his Nitto Tire ULTRA4 car had completed all five grueling laps and claimed the checkered flag beating 2012 King of The Hammers, Erik Miller by less than two minutes. Saturday’s win makes Derek West the only two-time ULTRA4 WIDIA Rausch Creek Champion. Saturday’s win makes West the current leader in the 4WD Hardware Eastern Regional ULTRA4 Series.
Shannon Campbell’s roll Many of the drivers experienced rollovers throughout the race. Both Bill Baird and Shannon Campbell rolled in the first lap. Baird’s rollover resulted in a broken A-Arm taking him out of the race. Video of Campbells’ spectacular end-over-end rollover has gone viral on youtube showing Campbell doing a full forward somersault while never letting off the throttle and accelerating out of the roll.
After six hours, only 11 of the 30 drivers had completed all five laps. Massachusetts driver, Lucas Murphy broke down less than 50 yards from the finish line and could only receive help from competitors. Both West and 3rd place finisher, Shannon Campbell rushed onto course to aid Murphy across the line. After several minutes of preparation, the drivers heard Jonathan Terhune’s car in the distance. In an exciting finish, Terhune made his way around Murphy with plans of pulling him across the line, only to see Campbell’s car already connected to Murphy. Ultimately, Terhune crossed the finish line fifth with Campbell dragging Murphy across the line for a sixth place finish. Murphy was unable to stop his vehicle and his front driver side tire drove up over Campbell’s rear passenger tire before coming to a complete stop just passed the finish line in front a stunned Rausch Creek audience.
This was the first race in the 4WD Hardware Eastern Regional ULTRA4 Series. The next race in series will be June 28th and 29th in Attica, IN at the Badlands Off Road Park. With only 11 drivers completing the difficult race, all eight non-qualified drivers earned spots in the 2014 Griffin King of The Hammers Presented by Nitto Tire. Below is the complete list of finishers.