Kevin Adler of Kevin Adler Motorsports submitted this recap of the Ultra4 season from an insider’s perspective. Check out his recap of the 2013 season – Ed.
Excitement in the Desert
In late September, the Nitto Tire National Championship race happened at Thunder Valley Off-Road Park about miles outside of Wickenburg in Congress, Arizona. Our team arrived late Thursday afternoon at the park, and we got a chance to see the course early Friday. The course posed some formidable challenges for the Team Smittybilt/Pro Comp Kevin Adler Motorsports Jeep JK. We battled overheating issues and what appeared to be a compressor failure to our ARB system. The team finished our 15 mile pre-run at around 4 in the afternoon and worked late into the evening to get car 4602 prepped for the big day. My crew did yeoman’s work – chief Ryan, Jeep Thrills president Bert Contreras, and Big Joe helped to fix our issues.
Rocky Hills and Thrills
We headed out to the track bright and early on a crisp, cool Saturday morning relishing the challenge of a two lap dual. Points determined the starting order so we started second behind Richard Gauthier of Team Payless. Our truck worked exceptionally and by mile 10 we’d overtaken the first place truck. The plan was to pass when we crossed the start/finish for the second lap, but that plan was shelved when we encountered the second set of rocks. I flipped the ARB switches and discovered there were no ARBs so we locked it into low range. The Advance Adapters RubiCrawler shift lever crawled through some of the toughest rocks I’ve ever experienced.
We soldiered on to the last rock area and then managed to get stuck on a rock that we couldn’t pull away from. Fellow racer Bailey Cole, son of Dave Cole, offered assistance, but it wouldn’t budge. Bailey needed to keep going so we hooked our Smittybilt winch to a big boulder which pulled us off the rock sideways. We’d fallen to fifth place because of the delay, but we refused to give up and finished.
Looking Back on the Year
2013 was a great racing year. Besides King of the Hammers, we finished every event including placing second in the Nor Cal Stampede, and taking first place at the 4 Wheel Parts Glen Helen Grand Prix. Kelly Lee and Mike Slipage filled in for me at Glen Helen due to the untimely passing of a dear friend and co-worker of mine, TAP’s Tim Mongi. Kelly and Mike also came through with a first place finish in Toole, Utah. We finished third place overall, respectable for a first year team. The team Smittybilt /Pro Comp, Kevin Adler Motorsports Racing Team was able to bring home some big hardware this year and I’m proud of all of my guys and girls that made it a team effort. Smittybilt /Pro Comp has a reputation for selling stellar truck and Jeep parts and now they’re building a reputation for backing great racers.
We also finished this season with very respectable second place finishes in the west Ultra4 Series and the Everyman’s Challenge Series. Our team wants to thank our sponsors for their support along with TAP CFO Rich Botello president of TAP house brands and Sean Angues. Lastly, I want to thank my brother Greg Adler “The Captain of the Ship” for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to represent his company in a sport that’s dear to both our hearts. I’m looking forward to continuing a close relationship with all of the Kevin Adler Motorsports contributors. And keep an eye out for some exciting 2014 King of the Hammers news coming soon.