RENO, NV MAY 16, 2011 Torchmate Racing had four cars cross the finish line at the Silver State 300; one Class 1000 and three Class 4400. In a valiant effort, Class 1000 Mike Shaffer placed third in their second race in the new car. Also in a new car, JT Taylor placed 4th in the 4400 class with Roger Lovell placing 12th and Jesse Haines placing 9th securing himself a place in the 2012 King of the Hammers after completing the 300 mile desert race.
Best In The Desert’s Bilek Silver State 300 proved to be a good test for the improvements made by the Shaffer-Motorsports crew to the Torchmate 1066 car. Starting last in Class 10, by the end of the race 1066 finished a very respectable third in class. Reaching nearly 100mph on several sections, the Torchmate 1066 car’s Turnkey tuned Ecotec motor screamed through the eastern Nevada desert. “It’s amazing how that stock, little 4 cylinder takes off like a rocket once you get in the power band,” noted Bernie Strom. “The Fox Shox suspension setup is way better than what we started with at Parker,” added Shawn Twitchell. “You can push and toss this car a lot now.”
JT Taylor, Torchmate Racing Manager and Driver, drove the #4413 Ultra4 car with co-driver Shannon Powell. This is the second race this car has competed in, with an outstanding 4th place performance. “We drove 200 miles and at over 111mph with no brakes! Thanks to Shannon Powell calling perfect turns we kept a good pace throughout the race,” said JT Taylor. “The hardest part was knowing that we could catch the cars in front of us if we had brakes to use in the hunt.” With a few other minor issues the team worked its way from the very back of the pack to the front with lots of great in-car camera shots shown in the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26jVrdWJx-4
Jesse Haines and co-driver Rich Klein knew that they needed to finish in the top 10 to qualify for King of the Hammers, “Our game plan was to run a smooth, consistent race starting at the back of the pack,” said Haines. “Early in the race we were moving at a good pace and passing quite a few Ultra4’s. When we stopped at pit 1 our crew told us we were the 13th car through the pit.” The mount for the carrier bearing on the front driveline broke off the frame which took them a bit to fix and once back on course they went right back to the game plan and made up for lost time. It was a pretty typical day of desert racing; plenty of dust, some exciting passes, some blown turns, a couple flats, speeds over 100mph, and enough banging around to make you sore for a few days. They came across the finish line well before dark and finished 9th in class securing a spot in the 2012 King of the Hammers. Since last year’s Silver State 300 race Haines has finished four Ultra4 races in a row with pretty respectable results.
Roger Lovell finished the race in 12th place. “After last year, our plan was simply to outlast the other trucks,” said navigator Brad Lovell, “We set a strong pace and focused on making the truck survive the whole race.” By race mile 100 the brothers had gained position without pushing the truck past the limit. The team’s plans were working as many other teams were stopped for repairs or crashed. The pit crew performed lightening fast fuelings that twice helped Roger gain position. “The teamwork was spot on,” said Roger, “Brad and I were working well together and I kept the truck right at the limit. It went 300 miles without missing a beat. While the results were outside my hopes, we had a great performance.”
The Torchmate team continues to be present around the country at different tracks and in different disciplines of racing.
Recap Video of Torchmate Racing Team at Silver State 300 including interviews, in-car camera and more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26jVrdWJx-4
Videos of #4413 Pre-Running: