“I can honestly say I have had the worst start to a race season in years so far…. The new American Cross Country Championship Series (AXCC) is proving to be tough that’s for sure. The field is stacked with the top drivers in the country competing in both the Pro Turbo and the Pro 1000 NA classes.
Round 1 was held in my stomping grounds here in Texas at the Red River Motorcycle Trails off road park. The course was awesome and had a little bit of everything you could ask for in a XC track. I blasted off the line in 3rd and quickly worked my way up to 1st setting a fast pace for the race. By the end of the 1st lap of the 9 mile track I had passed several of the Pro Turbo cars and set what would be the fastest lap time of the weekend. The weather was very cold during the race. It was 28 degrees and the wind was blowing very hard. The track had 4 water crossings which made things difficult for the racers and the equipment. I had my throttle stick half way open causing me to have to drag my brakes and really work the car so that I wouldn’t hit anything. I made it to the last lap and had a big lead when I came around to an area that had 4 cars stuck and no where to go. With the throttle stuck I smoked my clutch trying to find away around the stuck cars and my race was over. With the lead I had I still ended up finishing 5th for the weekend which I was happy with but bummed about at the same time. This made me even more determined to do good at round 2.
Round 2 Took us to Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Tennessee. The track was extremely tight and very rocky with lot of hills. It had also just finished raining right before our start. I blasted off the line and was hit in the first corner causing me to go into the woods in 3rd place. After a big uphill and a big down hill I had passed my way into 1st place and was pulling away from the pack. I quickly caught the Pro Turbo Class but had a bad bounce in a rut coming out of a creek and clipped a tree ending my day on the first lap. I haven’t hit a tree yet in racing UTVs in the woods. You can imagine how bummed I was to be out of the race. Something that is a new factor we are running into this year is the ruts. Since there is another race before us the track is starting out very rutted. The setup that we developed and proved to be a race winner in GNCC is no longer working in the AXCC. My Yamaha is excellent in the woods. It handles amazingly, but we are going to have to go to a larger tire due to the ruts. We saw this in Texas at Rd 1 but thought is was mainly due to the sandy conditions, but after seeing it at Rd 2 we know we have to change our setup. So we are changing the transmission gear ratio and going to a larger tire to help with the ruts.
Round 3 is in a couple weeks in Kentucky. I am really going to put my head down and do my best to win out the season. I have given my competition a head start in the points chase and its time to pull back on the reins a bit. I am going to pull back on the pace a little to ensure nothing happens so I can stop beating myself at the track. I will then pick up the pace on the later laps to ensure a win. The competition is tough but we have the equipment, speed, and ability to win races and that’s what we are going to do. Thanks everyone for the support. We will get back on track. That is my promise and commitment to you as my sponsors.”