We had quite the quad showing present. There were 31 quad teams. Our class was the biggest with 17 Expert Quad teams. You were allowed 1 DNF day (which added a 12-hour penalty to your time). If you DNF'd, you were allowed to come back the next day and race. I believe we finished:
8th in our class (of 17)
14th overall quad (of 31)
37th overall bike/quad finisher! (out of 77 total bike/quad teams)
There were guys from Japan, from Israel, from Australia, and from all over the world racing bikes, most of them being ironmen. It was amazing!
The chaos and craziness of each day is what kept it interesting. The placement positions swapped around each day. By the last day, there were quite a few quad teams in the Top 20. I know the bike guys hated the quads being in front of them ~ It was funny to hear them in the pits "damn quad was dusting me out"...
Our first day was flawless on the quad. (Only 1 minor issue for me... There was way too much air in the tires and I was drifting all over the place. Isn't 14 pounds too much?!) Anyway, I had to stop twice to let some air out. We took 6th that day in our class! No flats!
Day 2 - I was feeling tired. We started having some minor issues. We had to replace the tearing throttle cable, adjust the carb, filter changes, and some other stuff while on the course. We lost about 20 minutes or so doing this. I knew the trucks would be coming soon. This would be my first experience getting caught by them. Really, it wasn't that bad at all. I saw the helicopter and knew they would be there any minute. I turned around, saw them coming and tried to time it and it worked. I would ride as hard as I could until they were behind me. They didn't run me over like I had always imagined! I saw them, threw up my hand as if to say "Uno momento, por favor" and I'd get over as quickly as possible. Well, I had to do this about 5 or 6 times. Baldwin's went wide around me on the silt-bed and then got back in front of me. It was like night-time fell. I was laughing so hard and thinking "suckers"... I'm sure they get a kick out of that. I had to stop to wipe the silt off my goggles. Anyway, it was not as bad as I had anticipated. That day in the "garage" was a little stressful. We noticed a crack on the swing-arm and had to borrow a welder. Thanks to the Rod Hall's Hummer Team for letting us use their welder! We got it welded and had to do some other things as well. I believe we changed the carb also on this day (or was that day 3?) Still, no flats on the quad! (2 of our chase trucks had 3 flats total. I know a lot of other chase trucks also got flats)
Day 3 - I felt great. I loved my sections. It's amazing how many different types of terrain you see in a 90-mile stint. I was down in the hot, silty valley, then on some fast power line roads, then up in the twisty trails of the pine forests. Some silt, whoops, lots of rocky canyons. So awesome!! The quad really started acting up on this day. We were losing bottom-end power, the carb was going away, the motor was going away. You had to stay on the throttle or it would stall out. It was a little stressful. We lost more time because of this but kept on truckin'. That day in the "garage" was the most stressful. We noticed other cracks in the frame & swing-arm. Since the truck guys were still out on course we were thinking we weren't going to find a welder. Thank you to Temecula Motorsports (Mike Cafro). These guys saved us. They had the welder but not a generator. We just "happened" to have our generator in the back of our truck (total coincidence). Anyway, we had to make several other repairs plus the welding. We went over our 1-hour time limit by only 6 or 7 minutes. WHEW! We were running back and forth and all around, everyone helping each other and pitching in. It was so chaotic! This would have been a great reality TV show! On this day, my friend and only other female quad racer, Pro rider Lynn Prosser, would DNF and not finish the race. Sorry to Lynn. That really bummed me out.
Day 4 - Was the shortest day on course (120 miles) and I have to say THE MOST STRESSFUL! We didn't think the quad was going to make it. Todd stopped for a downed rider. This quad guy had his leg wrapped around the rear axle and his foot was caught under the skid-plate. Shaun and Eric also stopped. It took them 20 minutes or more to remove this guy’s leg by having to remove some of the parts first. He was with team Q78. I hope he is ok. The trucks caught us by Pit 3 as they started only 1 hour behind us this day. Todd ran out of gas due to our quad having major issues… it was eating up gas too. Thank you to ERIC for stopping and helping Todd and giving him some of your gas and then plowing into the back of him with your deer stopper to get him going! Pete pulled into the last pit and handed off the quad to me for the last 24 miles. When I started my final ride, I seriously was not sure the quad was going to make it. With a blown head, oil leak, cracked frame, water seepage, and several other issues, all I could do was pray to make it to the finish. I stalled it once in a turn and thank GOD it started right up! WHEW!!! I literally limped the quad into the finish with the trucks in tow. At one point I was crying thinking the quad wasn't going to make it! Thank God it was twisty and silty towards the end. The trucks are slower than us in that stuff. When I saw the finish-line I started crying (again). I was almost sad that it was over but SO HAPPY that WE DID IT!! We made it!! When I stopped at the finish-line, the quad was done. It would not start up again. We had several interviews at the finish line and lots of people taking pictures and congratulating us. They informed me that I was the only female quad finisher! Very proud of that! Some of the truck people could not believe I was out there with the trucks 2 of the days. They thought it was amazing that I was out there racing with men and congratulated us. One guy asked Todd "Is that a little kid?"... Todd said "No, but it's a girl"...!
Great job to EVERYONE and a very special thanks to our pit crew/chase crew, including my teammates Todd Johnson and Pete Garcia. Todd and Pete rode awesome, setting a great race pace each day for us... then at the end of each day had to work on the quad. Thanks to David and Marty. These 2 were the most awesome pit crew. David does pits for a trophy truck team and he saved us each day with his knowledge. THANK YOU!!! Thank you to JC, McKenzie, Andrea, Ryan for helping us on Day 3 at the remote pit. You guys are terrific people and terrific friends.
Great job to all the teams that started and finished this race~ We are all heroes!! This was a tough race but will be my most memorable event so far. An absolute EPIC adventure for sure. Waking up at 4:00am, going to bed never before 10:00pm. Barely eating but drinking tons of protein shakes, electrolytes. FUN FUN GOOD GOOD TIMES!!!!!! WE DID IT!!!!! YA-HOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!
TPP Racing - #Q70