After our battle with new car blues at the Mint 400, the team spent many hours trying to diagnose and treat the issue with our 2017 Polaris RZR Turbo 1000. Believing we had it figured out, we decided to add a 2nd car and driver to the team for the 2017 BITD UTV World Championship. We chose Mark Queen of Queen Racing to be the driver of 2015 Polariz RZR 1000 na car. All that being said, the crew had a ton of work to do getting 2 cars race ready.
We arrived in Laughlin, NV just in time to participate in the Pit Crew Challenge. My girl Miss DragonFire, my co-driver, Mike Colosimo, my crew chief and husband, Eric Beurrier and my son, Trevor Beurrier would be putting it on the line for the chance to win some pretty cool prizes! We took the 2 seat na car to the challenge and began to formulate a strategy. Trevor would be in the car, brakes on. Eric would man the air gun, Miss DragonFire would be running tires around and Mike would be manning the Pro Eagle Jack. I don’t remember how many rounds we did, but my crew was blistering fast. We lost the win by mere 10ths of a second. Voices hoarse from screaming and laughing we went back to the pits to put the finishing touches on our 2 race cars.
Mark Queen would also be racing his 2016 Polariz RZR 1000 Turbo in the short course race so while he was busy preparing that car, my crew went to work with last minute axle swaps, camera placing, tool bag stuffing and spit shining the 2 desert cars.
Friday morning came and Mark Queen and I took the opportunity of the Poker Run to pre run the track. We hopped in his Polaris RZR XPT and went to check it out. The course was pretty much the same as last year so we were ready. We handed the car off to our co-drivers, Mike and Emily. Mike used this time to help Emily learn her co-driving duties. We were pretty set for race day in the morning!
Off to tech and contingency we went. I was invited to hang out at the Raceline Wheels booth and sign the rad posters they had made for me and our 2 seat car was on display at the AZ West booth. Had a great time with the Raceline Wheels crew! Time to get the cars back to the pits.
Race cars ready, crew ready, we settled down to a great BBQ prepared by our very own camp chef, Joe Weber. With dreams of victory in my head, sleep came quickly. Tomorrow was a big day!
Race day! We lined up in the second row and Mark way back in the na class. Race day jitters were getting the best of me as we sat in our row waiting for the green flag.
This race is not only a land rush start 18 cars wide, it’s also a dead engine start. Making it even more nerve racking! As luck would have it, the car didn’t start with the first crank so we started off in the middle of our row. We passed 4 cars right away and then several more as headed out to the desert. Car felt great and fast! We were pulling away from our group and catching up to the leaders when the car suddenly went into limp mode! Checking all the gauges, nothing seemed amiss. Then the car came back to life. We continued on passing cars and then limp mode again! Several times before we hit the hot pits. We heard our engine builder and driver of our na car, advise the crew chief to swap out the ECU. Just before we went down pit row we heard a strange noise coming from the back of the car after a quick inspection, the crew found the rear motor mount broken. Of all the spare parts we have, that was not one of them. We sent Trevor to the SMG pit to see if they had one we could use. They graciously gave us one and with that in place and the ECU swapped, we headed back out to try to catch up to the lead pack. It seemed that the limp mode problem had been solved and a as we headed to to the RZR jump in the infield, I floored it. Hoping for a sweet photo op! Well, we got one. We sailed that jump! Mike, the Princess co-dawg, joked he had time for a snack before we hit dirt!
We landed nice and soft and then clunk! I pulled off the track. Mike jumped out and found we had snapped a shock shaft. BITD officials towed us to the hot pits and my crew made short work of swapping out a shock, rear trailing arm and sway bar link on the passenger side. We headed back out wanting to make sure we as least could salvage a finish. We tore around the track a few more times and the car began to lose voltage and the motor was getting hot. Back to the hot pits we exchanged the voltage regulator and went back out. The problem continued. Low voltage, hot motor and limp mode. We exchanged the voltage regulator one more time and headed back out to hopefully get our finish. In the Fox proving grounds, the front of the car fell. Mike jumped out yet again and found a lower shock bolt missing. The whoops in the section were huge and even though my car was having issues, I didn’t let up and it was too much for that bolt! We jacked the car up and Mike made quick work getting a bolt in there and tire back on. We were missing a spring, so the car was leaning a little to the passenger side! We had just 20 minutes to make it to the finish! We limped, trying to make sure we didn’t lose another bolt. For the first time that day, we passed by the pits! We got the checkered flag! I have never been so happy to see it!
As my car struggled all day, Mark, in the DragonFire Racing NA car was having a few struggles also. He broke a clutch and a several axles. Between the 2 cars, we kept our pit crew hopping like the Easter Bunny! Though neither of us got the results we were hoping for, we had a great time! Mark finished just outside the top 10 in NA and I finished. It was a long exhausting day. I treated my crew to prime rib and we all went to watch the winners receive their awards. Congratulations to my fellow Polaris RZR races on great finishes! Congratulations to Blake Level on winning the perseverance award. My family wishes you the very best and hope you feel better soon!
Thanks to Eric Minks, Rugged Radio and UTV Underground for the rad photos and a great event! Thanks to all our sponsors! We will get this beautiful car on the podium! See you all next time!