When the 2014 TORC schedule was released the Sturgis Bike Rally wasn’t initially listed on the tour, but as the season drew closer an opportunity to bring short-course off road racing to a gathering of 500,000 motorcycle enthusiasts was seized. As the race teams rolled through downtown Sturgis it was evident that the TORC Series was a great fit for Rally week.
“I have never been to Sturgis for the Bike Rally so it was such a cool experience to see all the bikes, riders, vendors, and businesses around town.”
The “Battle at the Chip” would consist of a Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday race schedule to coincide with the first official days of the Bike Rally. Monday saw Morris take the track for two practice sessions. The first session was just getting to know the track which consisted of heavy elevation changes, two right hand downhill corners, big tabletop jumps, and short rhythms. During the second session Morris was able to find fast lines and back in the pits made minor adjustments to the truck to better suit the track conditions.
“It took some time on the track to figure things out. It’s a very technical and deceiving track. From the outside it looks fast like Crandon or Bark River, but once we drove it, you realize how much you needed to be smooth to be fast. It’s a driver’s track for sure.”
Tuesday morning started with a few shakedown laps followed by qualifying. Due to a large Pro Light truck count, the group was split into 2 groups; Morris was in the second group. Even though he was 5th fastest in his group, when both groups were combined and inverted, Morris started 8th.
When the green flag dropped, Morris worked his way through traffic and was up to 6th place when another competitor cut the track short and hit Morris in the rear fender at a very dangerous, off camber section of the track. The contact sent Morris off the edge of a 15 foot embankment, rolling the truck. A broken left front spindle would end Morris’s day; he was scored with an 18th place finish.
“It was so disappointing to get rolled on Tuesday. My crew did an awesome job of getting the truck fixed and ready for Wednesday.”
With overnight rains soaking the track, TORC Officials cancelled practice to save the integrity of the track surface for racing later in the day. Unfortunately for Morris, the starting grid for Wednesday would be set off finishing positions from Tuesday’s race. He would have to start 18th of 20 trucks.
In Round 12, Morris took his time passing each truck clean, and methodically making moves to keep his truck from being damaged. By the competition caution he was up into 6th place comfortably. With a handful of laps remaining a competitor chose to drive into Morris and spin him. Morris collected the truck but lost a couple positions and finished the race in 9th.
“Sturgis was a great event. The Buffalo Chip was an awesome venue that welcomed the race teams and made us feel like we had been going there for years. We were able to take some time to attend the Motley Crew and Florida Georgia Line concerts at night and meet bikers from across the country. I’m excited to go back next year.”
Up next for the team is the final event of 2014, Crandon. The World’s Championship at Crandon International Off Road Raceway will be celebrating its 45th Anniversary with TORC Pro Rounds 13 & 14 on August 30th & 31st. Morris is currently in a solid 6th place in points and hopes to have a strong enough weekend in Crandon to move up into 5th place.
Be sure to catch the team live via You Tube on the TORC Channel (www.youtube.com/user/USACTORC ). Round 14 will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network on September 6th at 3:30pm EST. For up to the minute updates, results, and photos follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About Shawn Morris:
Shawn is a Colorado native who grew up in Erie, Colorado. He joined the Marines after high school and was trained as a diesel mechanic. Upon return from his service he worked at several repair shops before opening his own business, Proformance Diesel and Auto Repair in 2003 located in Loveland, Colorado. Proformance has grown to be one of the premier light duty diesel repair facility in northern Colorado. Shawn began racing in the mid 1990’s and was the TORC Pro Buggy Champion in 2009. After the buggy championship he stepped up to the professional Pro Light division and has finished in the top 10 in championship points in all four years of competing.
TORC: The Off-Road Championship is the nation’s premiere short-course, off-road truck racing series. Known as a collision between action sports and motorsports, TORC is the ultimate battleground for 900-horsepower race trucks competing to win the prestigious TORC National Championship. Fans from all over the world enjoy TORC through high-energy events as well as the TV broadcasts on NBC Sports. For additional series information visit www.torcseries.com.
Press Release Supplied By: Shawn Morris Off Road Racing
Press Release Contact Email: Shawnmorrisoffroad@gmail.com
Photo Credit To: Proformance Off Road Racing
News Compliments of OffRoad Newswire
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Category: Racing & Racers, Short Course, Battle at the Chip, Off-Road, offroad racing, Pro Light, Pro Light truck, Proformance Off Road Racing, Shawn Morris, Sturgis, The Buffalo Chip, TORC, TORC Series, TORC: The Off-Road Championship