Supercrawl Hopes Go Down in Flames
Lovells mark a disappointing end to a great season
Dec. 06, 2006
“The Ranger was in prime condition,” recalls Brad, “BFGoodrich supplied us with the next generation in rockcrawling tire, our new Fabtech suspension package had been installed, and Lovell air shift transfer case was working flawlessly. All of a sudden the power steering pump let go. We thought we could finish the course and did not know that we also lost the serpentine belt.” Using a series of front burns, the brothers were able to navigate through several more gates before the hot engine ignited now leaking power steering fluid. With an overheating engine, dead battery, and spreading flames, the team’s only choice was to stop.
Back in the pits, Brad and Roger immediately began repairs with the help of Team She-J and Rock Spider Racing. Electrical problems were resolved along with replacing the power steering pump and starter. Before the sun went down, the FABTECH Ranger was ready for day 2 and the team was still in second place.
Regretfully, the effort was for not. The engine would suffer terminal internal damage shortly into the second half of competition. “We are pretty sure it hydro-locked,” explains Roger, “Brad came off a wall and tipped the truck against a rock face. Oil most likely got into a cylinder and caused a connecting rod to fail.” The team suspects internal damage had occurred the previous day due to intense overheating. There was no choice but to throw in the towel and accept an 8 th place finish.
Brad adds, “It was a disappointing finish to our best season ever. We won 4 of 9 events this year and recaptured the UROC Season Championship. We have had tremendous support from sponsors, family, and fellow competitors. Roger and I owe a lot of thanks. Congratulation go to Rock Runner Racing for winning Supercrawl.” The team is already performing a comprehensive rebuild of the Ranger in preparation for an intensely competitive 2007 season. Watch for the team’s 2007 schedule to be released shortly.