Trail-Gear arrived on the lakebed almost a week before the big race to make their final tweaks and get the car fully dialed in. A 9th place finish at last year’s King of the Hammers proved that the 4-cylinder, Ecotec powered engine at the heart of the #17 Trail-Gear Godspeed buggy had what it took to be a contender at the toughest off road race in the world.

“I’ll drive fast enough to put that fire out.” Those were the words of Matt Messer, owner of Trail-Gear, regarding concerns of a potential fire if any race fuel were to spill onto the turbo during refueling in the pits. It was obvious that their only options were to win or break trying. Starting at the middle of the pack in 44th position meant having to reel in a large number of other racers to move into contention.

Trail-Gear took the jump off the line and raced into what would be a high speed, low visibility first lap. The winds were low at The Hammers and the dust was like a dense fog that just wouldn’t evaporate.

Gary Feravanti limped into the pits halfway through the race on with only 1/2 of a rim on one corner and 4WheelParts owner, Greg Adler, sat for ages waiting for tire changes and other adjustments. It was nerve wracking to think what shape the Godspeed buggy might be in.

RENO, NEV — A new partnership between manufacturer Torchmate and retailer 4 Wheel Parts is putting affordable, automated, metal-cutting machinery into storefronts across the nation, where hobbyists, off-roaders and small metal shops can view and purchase the versatile prototyping units.

Torchmate’s industry-leading 2X2 CNC Prototyping System packs computer-automated Plasma-cutting, routing, drilling and engraving into a mobile and affordable package. The versatile, compact and precise automated system can be used by off-road drivers to fabricate frame and suspension components or by metal shops to cut or engrave items during fabrication.

“The response to our latest Torchmate 2×2 CNC Prototyping System has been overwhelming. The partnership with 4WheelParts is going to allow us to get the word out much faster that CNC plasma cutting and routing technology is available to everyone and not only the fabricating elite,” said Torchmate CEO Bill Kunz.