PRAIRIE CITY SVRA, CA: Thousands of fans weathered the triple digit heat last weekend at the MetalCloak Stampede to watch one of the most exciting ULTRA4 races to date. The main event saw two former and the current King of The Hammers each take a turn at leading throughout the 45 minute race. That is until the final lap, when Tom Wayes worked his way from a rear start to claim the checkered flag, and his first ULTRA4 win.
Wayes had the fastest qualifying lap on Friday morning, however after suffering mechanical issues, he was unable to race in Friday afternoon’s prelim races. The top 3 drivers from prelims moved directly to the main event on Saturday afternoon. Nitto Tire driver Loren Healy won the fastest prelim heat which put him on the pole for the main event with Shannon Campbell starting beside him.
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Campbell and Healy, both two-time Kings, wasted no time establishing their dominance when the green flag dropped. Campbell took the early lead with Healy close on his heels and 2009 King and Nitto Tire driver, Jason Scherer chasing them down for 3rd. The 3 Kings held the top 3 spots for the first half of the race. A full course yellow mid-race brought all the drivers back together and Campbell looked to take the lead again. Unfortunately Campbell bicycled in a tight turn and hit a k-rail while returning to the course, causing a mechanical failure. Healy then took the lead with Scherer close behind. Scherer overtook Healy until the last lap when Scherer succumbed to mechanical issues. All the while, Wayes was working his way up from the back of the pack. In the final lap, it was Healy and Wayes battling for the checkered flag with both drivers setting blisteringly fast lap times. In the final two laps, Wayes posted the two fastest lap times of the entire weekend propelling him into the lead to take his first ULTRA4 checkered flag.
In addition to the 4400 class, Saturday’s racing also featured the 4500 Rubicon Express Modified Class, the 4600 Pro Comp Stock Class, the Legends Class and UTVs. Jordan Townsend, a recent East Coast transplant, dominated the 4500 race with Gerald Lee racing for John Currie taking 2nd and Jimmy Jack claiming 3rd. In the 4600 stock race, Ben Varozza claimed the top spot followed by Bret Scheiding and Bailey Cole. Jessi Combs followed up her win in the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge race with another win in the 4800 legends class after doing battle with Jim Brown in both the prelims and the main event, with Dave Schneider taking 3rd. In the UTV sportsman class, Phil Cagliero dominated with Mel Wade IV claiming 2nd and Brian Hogue in 3rd.
The next ULTRA4 event will be the 2nd race in the 4WD Hardware Eastern Regional Series which will feature the ULTRA4s at Badlands in Attica, IN on June 26th and 27th. The next Trail-Gear Western regional event will be the 4th annual Glen Helen Grand Prix in San Bernardino July 11th and 12th.