LAKE HAVASU CITY, AZ JUNE 6, 2010 The Best in the Desert Silver State 300, part of the Grand Slam of Off Road series, didn’t give Rick Mooneyham the finish that he desired. “This race was really organized and had a fun atmosphere, I just wish I had done better,” said Mooneyham with a heavy heart after the passing of his team manager and friend Bruce Creed just two days earlier.
Mooneyham started in the 8th position of the 4400 Ultra4 class, a new class to BITD last year. The Lucas Oil Ultra4 car was ready to race the 17 other cars in the class, and started out on the fast foot. He caught the car that had started a minute ahead in under 9 miles, while maintaining speeds of 107mph, topping out at the class fastest: 110mph. Mooneyham hadn’t pre-ran the course, so knowing the places to pass cars that had started ahead of him was his biggest challenge.
And then it happened. The course jogged a little to the right around a Joshua Tree and a big rock garden filled with huge 2 foot boulders. Mooneyham didn’t see any of this in the dust and ended up right in the middle of the rock field. Luckily, they were ok, but the Lucas Oil Ultra4 car needed some serious attention. The first and most obvious break was the steering, which they were able to rig back together. They also had two broken wheels with flat tires to contend with. They put the one spare on the rear, and took the bead lock off the damaged wheel and mounted on the front wheel. What they didn’t realize, until after they had ran out of all their CO2 cartridges and broke the jack, was the sidewall of the front tire had a gash in it and was non-repairable.
With determination to get to Pit 1 to fix the steering and finish the race, they decided to limp on the Raceline Wheel with zero tire pressure. They would go for a while, then hit a big enough rock with the wheel to rip the steering back off again. They would fix, and then continue. They did this until they finally made it to Pit 1 where they welded up the steering, changed the tires and was ready to make up time when they were stopped at the checkpoint and told that they had timed out.
“We were so disappointed! We had been having a great race, and had all those problems over a dusty mistake. I want to finish all the races, but this was a special one with Bruce Creed’s uniform onboard who also got to experience our rather short, but fast ride,” said Mooneyham.
With not finishing the BITD Silver State race, Mooneyham now sits in 6th place in the Grand Slam of Off Road Racing Series. Mooneyham finished a very successful 4th place in the 2010 Griffin King of the Hammers.
Photo Credit: Lewis C. Prock
Southern Missouri Off Road Ranch ; July 10, 2010
Colorado Hill climb Association Lands End Hill Climb ; August 14-15, 2010
Rock Crawling Event TBD ; Last Quarter 2010
About Rick Mooneyham: Owner of Trick Toys Fabrication in Lake Havasu City, Rick Mooneyham builds quality products based on his successes in racing. Completing and placing 3rd in both 2008 and 2009 King of the Hammers, he proved that his dual purpose family wheeler is capable of success. In 2010, he was the first to take the checkered flag at the Griffin King of the Hammers, but 4th in adjusted time. Mooneyham is competing in both the International Endurance Championship series where he is currently 4th in points and the Grand Slam of Off Road Racing where he is currently 6th in points. When he is not racing, the former Marine is utilizing the same car enjoying the trails with his family.
Sponsors: Lucas Oil, BFGoodrich Tires, Trick Toys Fabrication, Turnkey Engine Supply, Figspeed, Raceline Wheels, JH Sims Trucking, Longfield Superaxles, Magnum Ink, Sidewinders 4 Wheel Club