Team Life’s Good Racing!TM had a great showing at one of our favorite tracks, Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah, the weekend of June 20-21 where we competed in Round #2 of the 2015 US Touring Car Championships season.
The excitement began well in advance of reaching the track when our vehicle hauling three cars grenaded its fan (yes fan!) travelling up Highway 80 at a lower elevation in the Sierras just outside of Applegate, California. Luckily, we were able to reach Gary Odgers, a part-time Life’s Good Racing!TM team member who works at Winner Chevrolet in Colfax. He rallied the support to our rescue and with the help of the amazing staff and techs, we were back on the road by the evening. HUGE THANKS go out to Mike Tibbett, Eric Gullickson, Gary Odgers, the Tow Truck crew and everyone at Winner Chevrolet for the phenomenal service and support!
Luckily, the remainder of the trip to Utah was uneventful and the team arrived without further incident for practice and setup on Friday in advance of the race weekend. We were greeted by a huge fan contingent which was there to see both the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing and the Road Racing,
including United States Touring Car Championships.
It was clear from both Friday’s practice and Saturday’s Warmup and Qualifying sessions that the #10 Mitsubishi driven by Michael Whelden was the class of the field. The all wheel drive power put to the wheels through the Competition Clutch was just too much for the competition as Michael consistently put down the fastest laps in each session. Huge thanks also to WORKS Motorsports for the all wheel drive chassis dyno tuning prep that resulted in a flawlessly running car throughout the entire weekend!
Between the two Qual sessions, Saturday and Sunday, the grid for Sunday afternoon’s race had Michael Whelden starting on the pole in the #10 Mitsubishi with Beau Borders in the #12 M3 outside on the front row. A new driver to the team, Justin Crickenberger, was in the third grid spot, just behind Michael in our #11 M3, as Justin teamed up with Karl Chicca and took over driving duties for the weekend after Karl sorted out the car on Friday. This P1 through P3 start to Sunday’s race represented the first time that Team Life’s Good Racing!TM has swept all three starting grid positions!
The race started with a lot of exciting action as Beau Borders took the early lead with Michael all over him, and as expected, soon took the lead with Beau in second and Justin in third. Michael pulled out a sizeable lead after a few laps as Beau held second and Justin couldn’t hold off the hard charging Nissan of Patrick Chio behind him and dropped to fourth. That was how the majority of the race was run up until the final lap as the Nissan closed in on Beau’s P2. It was a very close battlebetween Beau and Patrick with the Nissan all over Beau in the final lap and, ultimately, contact between the cars with both cars sustaining damage in the final lap yet not enough to keep them from finishing in their respective order.
Michael took first, with Beau in second and Justin in fourth. This represented the highest finishing order of Team Life’s Good Racing!TM drivers in a USTCC race and a very successful weekend for the team. It was also dominating enough to credit the team with the Cobra Electronics Top Team Award!
The successful weekend represented the culmination of great performances by our drivers, intense work by the entire team, and fantastic support from our partners: HAWK Performance, producers of the best brake pads and rotors in the business which give us the ability to haul all that speed down; Competition Clutch (CCI), which provides clutch kits capable of handling all the power and abuse we put to our drive train, lap after flawless lap; Sparta Evolution, the awesome new brake kit company which produced the kit on the #12 M3 and #11 M3, Dublin Big O Tires, who handle all of our tire needs with exacting perfection; WORKS Motorsports, masters of dyno-tuning and so much more when it comes to squeezing every ounce of performance out of your ride; Supertech, manufacturer of high quality engine components; and Red Line fluids, producers of nothing but the best in the business. And, of course, we cannot forget Winner Chevrolet in Colfax, CA, without which we would not have made it to the track on time!
On to the next race weekend for Round #3 at Mazda Raceway, Laguna Seca first weekend in August.
Karl Chicca, Livermore, CA