Cook Off Road Racing SCORE Imperial Valley 250 Report

Cook Off Road Racing SCORE Imperial Valley 250 Report

“Black Rhino/Racer X Motorsports’ Sponsored Athlete Sean Cook’s Race Report From the Imperial Valley 250”

El Cajon, CA October 1, 2015– Coming off the team’s first finish of the year at the Best in the Desert Vegas 2 Reno race, the #1930 team headed south to El Centro for the SCORE Imperial Valley 250.

Race preparation began immediately upon arriving home from Vegas 2 Reno. Major repairs and changes were made to the Polaris / Fabwerx chassis. During post race inspection numerous chassis failures were found to the front end; the team spent extra time to reinforce the pivot mounts and rear radius rod supports.

The team headed down to the Imperial Valley Wednesday night to allow plenty of time to acclimate to the heat. First item of business was to get the #1930 out into the desert for some shake down testing. As the team starting making some runs across the desert it became evident that their overheating issues experienced at Vegas 2 Reno were still happening. The team made some changes to the radiator shroud and were able to bring some much needed cooling
back. To say it was hot was an understatement; when the team returned to the hotel the air temp was 110, but the ground temp was holding steady at 132, but hey it’s a dry heat!

Friday was tech and registration and in typical Cook Racing fashion. Driver Sean Cook had the team convinced they needed to be at tech at 0600; they were the only ones there at 0600 but then again they were first in line and first out of tech. Tech was a piece of cake; all mandatory items were in place on the race vehicle. A few last minute stickers were added and now it was time to head back to the hotel and float in the pool until the drivers meeting.

0330 came early on Saturday but Sean had the team up and running on all cylinders in no time; the adrenaline or maybe it was the cool refreshing taste of the ice cold SPEED Energy was kicking in. The team had the #1930 on the starting line for their 0609 appointment with the green flag. When the flag dropped it was a drag race into the first corner with the turbo powered Can Am of the Murray bros. Sean decided it was too early to push the Polaris so he settled into his race pace and followed the Can Am into the darkness. The #1930 SPEED Energy / Polaris Villahermosa UTV was working great; no real issues to be concerned with until they hit the sand dunes. This uphill monster proved to be quite a challenge for Sean and co-driver Steve “Minion” Medley. As they negotiated across the dunes the temp readings were starting to climb so much so that the car switched into limp mode causing Sean to bring the car to a stop while it cooled down. After a brief rest the temps were down enough for them to continue on.

At about mile marker 29, while traversing one of the lake beds, Sean felt the car start pulling hard to the left. He thought either a tire was down or an axle problem. Sean pulled the car off the track and Steve jumped out to assess the situation. The report to Sean was the driver’s side inner CV was destroyed. The passenger side was not much better, the boot was gone and no grease but still in place. Sean elected to drive the car about a mile to the road crossing to make repairs.

MM 30 Sean pulls the car over to make repairs. No sooner does he pull over and who should pull in right next to them but none other than their good friend Alonzo Lopez driving the #1949. Alonzo was suffering from injector issues. Sean and Steve made the necessary repairs to the #1930 but after the amazing assistance given to Sean by Alonzo at the Mint 400 Sean knew he could not leave his friend stranded. Sean and Steve helped out and waited for Alonzo to get up and running and they were going to follow him into the next pit. When it was time to leave Alonzo fired up the #1949, hit the afterburners and in a cloud of dust he was gone. “So much for following him in”, Sean thought. So after a few miles of getting back into race mode, Sean and Steve came upon an ambulance on course. The driver did not seem to be in any type of hurry, just out watching the cars go by. It was about 2 miles later the Sean realized why the ambulance was there; Sean came upon a motorcyclist who was down with serious injuries. Fellow UTV drivers Cory Sappington and Johny Angel, along with the #1980 were already on scene lending first aid. On a side note for all, amongst the UTV class you might hear about a lot of in class anger amongst some of the drivers but I could not have been more proud when I pulled over and saw Johny and Cory showing what great and caring competitors we truly have in the 1900 class. Way to go guys!

And back to racing! Johny advised Sean that all was well and for Sean to continue on. Sean and Steve made it to the road where the chase team was waiting to make needed repairs to the axles. Sean pulled the car in, repairs were made and before they knew it they were off into the desert heat and dust.  A few miles after needed repairs were made Sean had the #1930 SPEED Energy / Polaris Villahermosa UTV dancing across a rhythm section of whoops when he felt that dreaded pull to the left again. Once again co driver Steve Medley jumped out and found that the driver’s side axle had snapped. Steve made a quick replacement and the two were off again.

Lap 2 was about upon the team but first a last pit stop was made for fuel and much needed hydration. Sean and Steve were off again on lap 2; Sean was reporting no issues other than the outside temperature was really starting to affect him. Sean was starting to see blue dots from his left eye. The duo hung on and about 3 miles from the finish line Steve told Sean he had a buggy on the left; that was no buggy but none other than Cory Sappington. Sean attempted to start racing Cory to the finish. Why no one knows, Cory had already passed them. He had already beaten them, maybe it was the heat but Sean soon realized he just needed to finish at this point.

Sure enough one last jump; ok maybe it was a little larger jump than Sean had anticipated but none the less the last one and the checkered flag flew for the #1930 SPEED Energy / Polaris Villahermosa UTV, they were done. Sean pulled the car over the stage and they received their finishing pins. I know finishing pins don’t sound like much but to a racer who finishes one of these races they are gold!

So to recap on the SCORE Imperial Valley 250, the #1930 SPEED Energy / Polaris Villahermosa suffered no flats on their GBC Kanati Mongrel tires, the King Shocks needed to be adjusted by 2 clicks at the halfway point, the Hellwig sway bars kept the car level and stable throughout the rough course, the Muzzy exhaust stayed quiet, the Dirty Dawg clutch kept the power to the wheels and never lost a Polaris CVT belt. Not to say everything worked perfectly because it’s desert racing but we are working very hard with all our sponsors to improve on some slightly weak links. Oh, by the way, Alonzo seemed to disappear never to be seen again until after the race perched under his umbrella drinking an ice cold Tecate!

The team is so grateful to all their amazing sponsors who stand behind them and support their effort to be the best they can be; SPEED Energy, GBC Motorsports, Black Rhino / Racer X, KING Shocks, OMF Wheels, L&L Powder Coating, Torco Oils, CryoHeat, Optima Batteries, Madigan Suspension, Muzzy Performance, Hellwig Motorsports, Factory UTV, Twisted Stitch Seats, Rigid Industries, Napa Auto Parts, Airaid, Transfer Flow, Bedslides, Fabwerxs, Polaris Industries, Fabtech, One Stop CNC, Polaris Villa Hermosa Cycle Center, Maxtraxx, Wetsounds, D&D Graphx, Hill Media Group, Red House BBQ, Griffin, Alba Performance, Dirty DNA, Ram Mounts, Driven Steering Wheels, BRE, Dirty Dawg Clutches, Summers Bros.