LOVELLS CAPTURE TOP HONORS AT 2009 WE-ROCK DEBUT
TORCHMATE TEAM MAKES STRONG SHOWING
We-Rock is making a big move to manmade courses for 2009 and if you have been thinking about taxes lately, consider that We-Rock drivers laid first tracks on a brand new government-funded rock course at Pima Motorsports Park in Tucson, AZ. This fantastic facility was built using federal highway funds channeled through Pima County and will be made open for the public to hone their skill.
Speaking of honing skills, Brad and Roger have spent the last six months figuring out how to go fast and both arrived in Tucson questioning their ability on tight courses. After a few missteps on their first run, the pair settled down and regained their consistency. A heartbreaking rollover only yards from the exit gate on course A4 caused frustration but the Lovells were undeterred. The effort during regular competition was good enough to put the team in the finals in a tie for 4 th.
The team’s incredible showing in the finals is clearly what set the team apart from others. In Brad’s words, here’s how it went down.
“The course was the longest I have ever seen and we had been doing a good job getting through courses fast all weekend. Roger and I were in the zone and felt no pressure or stress. I was merciless on the truck and whipped it around the whole park lining up for the gates. My comfort with speed and Roger’s expert coaching in the rocks gave us a near perfect run. We had only one reverse and matched the low score in the unlimited class with a -46. That course could have been the most fun I have ever had rockcrawling.”
Brad continued, “Roger and I are really proud of the versatility of this truck. Coming off a 5 th place finish in King of the Hammers to a win in We-Rock feels pretty good. I am proud of our friends, family, and sponsors for their support.”
While the Lovells were tearing up the pro-modified class, their Torchmate teammates in the #199 unlimited car (Haines and Howard) were back to defend their 2008 championship. The team twisted and turned through the technical courses. Haines managed an astounding recovery righting the vehicle after a hard barrel roll and was in the fight for the lead until a hard landing sheared a suspension link. A strong run in the finals with only seconds to spare secured a 3 rd place finish for Haines and Howard putting them well on their way to another championship.
The #28 Torchmate crawler of Bill Kunz and Mike Shaffer was pushing hard for the entire event. The pair was clearing gates taken by nearly all other competitors and snuck by the tightest areas with incredible precision. A damaged air line cost the team points on day #1 but a quick pit stop got the pair back in action. Unfortunately, bad luck cost the team another course on the second day and they finished just outside of the finals. With the right weekend, expect to see Kunz and Shaffer on top.
The next stop for Torchmate Racing is the XRRA season opener only days away in Moab, UT on April 11 th. Brad Lovell (#232) and Roger Lovell (#32) are in pursuit of not only a race win, but the 2009 XRRA championship.
Photos without watermark by Jud Leslie
Photos with watermark by Chad Jock Photography