July 16, 2013
The Team arrived on Friday for tech and contingency and was very prominently displayed on tech row for all to see. The team had plenty of ice cold SPEED Energy samples and plenty of goodie bags to give out courtesy of the Jackson Rancheria.
On Friday afternoon the team participated in the team pit challenge, unofficially the team was second but after discovering a loose lug nut they were assessed a penalty which allowed the Monster Energy Team of BJ Baldwin to take second. Driver Sean Cook stated it was an amazing attempt by the team considering two members had just flown in from Michigan and had zero experience in this venue.
The team was very excited just to be representing at such an event. Rigid Industries, one of Cooks sponsors provided plenty of Rigid Nation shirts for the team to wear. The day was full of meeting the many racers from around the world and providing plenty of SPEED. The team had some last minute tweaking to do to their Rugged Radios and with the help from Rugged Technician Nick they were off to the races.
Saturday was race morning and it came a little early, the team arrived at the Tahoe Motorplex bright and early and made the final adjustments to the car.
The #1939 car driven by team mate Robert Dalton experienced a mechanical failure and try as they did were unable to start the race. Driver Sean Cook along with his first time Co-Driver Joey Brasil left the starting line at about 10 am. The UTV class was the last class to leave the line. Cook drew the #2 spot behind the Arctic Cat of Paul Boughten. At mile #1 Cook experienced his first flat tire; this was not the result of any type of problem with the tire, but rather from the amount of rocks on course, as a matter of fact the GBC Mongrels on the vehicle had zero issues even in the hostile conditions they were in. Brasil leaped into action had the tire changed quickly and they were back on course in no time.
At about mm 50 Cook experienced a failure with the lower driver side ball joint. When the joint came apart the vehicle veered over the embankment and nearly rolled, with the great radio reception provided by their Rugged Radios, Cook was able to radio to his chase team, and help was on the way. The team made quick time of getting the vehicle fixed and soon they were rolling again.
Lap two was starting to show more and more carnage from vehicles being consumed by the incredibly rough terrain. Cook and Brasil were making great time catching up to race leader Doug McCrady in the #1901 Arctic Cat, but little did they know they passed the #1901 vehicle at mm 64. Cook was unaware #1901 had pulled off in the remote pit to make repairs. At mm 74 another ball joint failure brought the SPEED Energy RZR to a halt, this time it was in the bottle neck of a canyon. Race vehicles started piling up behind them as they worked to clear the #1440 truck that became stuck behind them with no reverse. Cook and Brasil dug out the boulder that was holding up the truck. The rock was finally moved and the bottle neck was re-opened. HDRA operations allowed the team to give the parts needed to fix the RZR to the pilot of the Monster Energy helicopter. Cook stated it was pretty cool to see the helo come into the canyon circle around and then the cameraman lean out the window and dropped the parts; unfortunately they were the wrong parts.
Crew Chief Jeff Correia drove out as close to the broken RZR as he could but still ended up hiking almost 2 miles up the canyon to make the necessary repairs. The RZR was running again and unknown to Cook he was now in first place. When Cook came across the start finish line he was informed that the #1901 car was broke behind him about 20 miles. Cook asked if the race would be called since he was the only car still running but HDRA officials advised him to complete the next 22 mile loop and when he returned to the pits HDRA should have a better idea what #1901 was going to do.
At about 9:30 Cook and Brasil made it to their pit but still no word on the #1901 vehicle, finally across the radio at about 11:30 HDRA reported #1901 had cleared the start finish line and was continuing on their third lap. Cook and Brasil buckled in and roared off into the desert darkness. Cook knew he had about a 22 mile cushion on #1901 but he knew he needed to play it safe in order to finish. Cook stated it is a whole different world at night in the desert, it was very eerie to come up on so many broken vehicles, some over the edge leaving just their rear ends exposed to the road while others just abandoned right in the middle of the road, with no drivers to be seen. The course had completely changed from lap two. Cook stated the silt was as deep as the top of his tires with hidden rocks everywhere. The Factory UTV supplied skid plate received a work out and never let the rocks damage the undercarriage of the vehicle. Cook and Brasil stayed on task and guided the RZR to the finish line crossing at 2:30 AM. Cook stated it was a great sight to see George Antill still waiting up for them. Cook was awarded the first place finish in the Pro UTV class.
With a first place finish at the El Dorado 500 the points tighten up considerably making the final race in Las Vegas a lay it all on the line type of showdown. Cook would like to congratulate the #1901 team for putting up a valiant fight right to the end. It is always a pleasure to race with such great sportsman.
Cook Off-Road Racing would like to thank all their sponsors who make this adventure possible:
SPEED Energy, Jackson Rancheria Casino, Black Rhino Performance, Muzzy Performance, Rigid Industries, GBC Motorsports, Torco Oils, Optima Batteries, Polaris, Factory UTV, Rugged Radios, OMF Performance, 4130 Clothing, MJ Motorsports, Kettle Pizza, XMF Fabrication, Summers Brothers Racing, N-Fab, Red House BBQ, Cal Hot Coating, Catch your eye Graphics
Cook Off-Road Racing would also like to express their sincere appreciation to the HDRA staff for putting on a first class race; where else can you race and get helicopter support for the UTV class!!
And last but not least to the hard working, never say quit team of professionals who make up Cook Off-Road Racing:
Gina Buzzini-Cook, Jeff and Toni Correia, Todd Latronica, Jeff and Carrie Grass, Joey and Michelle Brasil, Trent Woods, Kyle Martin, Dennis Jean, Tammy Faulkner, Colton and Brendan Cook, Doug Gonzales, Robert Dalton, Samantha Gonzales and to the rest of their family and friends who followed along on face book @ Speed Energy Nor Cal.
SPEED Energy Drink is available in four flavors: Unleaded, Fuel, Ethanol and Octane, which provides the human machine with the fuel it needs to keep up with the SPEED of life. Each drink contains a potent energy blend of B-vitamins, caffeine, taurine and ginseng. SPEED is packaged in 16-ounce cans that have a racing themed style and are available in singles, four-packs, and cases. SPEED Energy Drink is available in the United States in major retailers, convenience stores, grocery stores, bars and nightclubs
For more information on SPEED Energy Drink, please visit www.speedenergy.com or connect with SPEED Energy on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/thespeedenergydrink and by following on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/SPEED_ENERGY
About Jackson Rancheria Hotel and Casino
Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel (where 18 and older are welcome) offers over 1,500 Slot machines, more than 40 Table Games, a 24-hour Poker Room, and Restaurants offering everything from fast food to the best in casual dining. The Hotel features oversized guest rooms and themed suites, plus over 9,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, and the new full-service RV Park includes 100 sites with 30 pull-through sites. Visit http://www.jacksoncasino.com/ for more information.