Race Tracker: "The X-Files"

Team Xterra Racing

Jul. 03, 2007 By Dan Spalinger/Team Xterra Racing
What a way to celebrate a birthday!! Exactly one year after Team Xterra Racing (TXR) made its professional debut at the ‘06 version of the Terrible’s Town 250 they returned to finish what they had started a year before...

Under nearly ideal racing conditions -- blue skies and 90 degree temps -- “The Richest Off-Road Race in Nevada” got underway with TXR starting sixth in its class. Before the race even reached its first pit TXR had passed a number of vehicles in its class and stood in 2nd place on time...

This is desert racing however, and its not IF you will have issues, but WHEN and how you and your team deal with them determines where you will finish, if you finish at all...

First up was a U-joint in the steering column which snapped and nearly ended any ability to stear... About 20 feet of duct tape (what doesn’t duct tape fix???) and Dave Blakely (driver) and Robert Pinon (co-driver) were able to limp the Xterra into pit #2 at half speed.

Out came the welding machine and an ingenious usage of a Snap-On wobbly socket to replace the broken U-joint got TXR back in the race (but not without losing some significant time). It was soon evident that the steering fix would hold and Dave was back on the gas.

By the time the Xterra reached Pit #3 TXR had moved back up to 4th place but were plagued by a loud bang- ing noise underneath the rear of the truck. Getting a splash of gas here, Dave asked the chase crew to take a peek at the underside of the Xterra where they discovered that one of the rear leaf spring shackles had literally dissapeared... Fortunately this was a quick replacement and once again TXR was on its way.

Finally the bugs seemed to be going away as Dave and Robert buzzed through pits 4 and 6 without stopping, pausing at pits 5 and 7 for some quick Goodyear tire changes. At this point the team was aware that they had secured 3rd place as long as the truck completed the course... Taking a conservative but wise approach for the last 70 miles or so the Xterra crossed the finish line in a time of 9 hours, 54 minutes and 52 seconds, good for a third place, podium finish.


Taking a few moments during his post race interview to thank all his sponsors Dave added “This was the finish... Next is the win.” And it shouldn’t surprise anyone if that win comes long before TXR’s 2nd birth- day...

TXR is sponsored by several large entities. Nissan, Nismo, Fox Shocks, PIAA, National Springs, DJ Safety, Speedhut, EVCO, Double D Bolt and CWI Hosting. It is because of great sponsors, Xterraracer is able compete on this level. We thank our sponsors!

Just remember one thing: You can either make dust or eat dust, we hope you are hungry!



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