At SideBySideStuff.com, we’re always looking for unique ways to include our customers and fans into our business. Dustin Turner, one of our customers who we’ve helped out, recently shared his Chupacabra 300 race report with us and we’re glad to have him share his perspective! Here’s his Chupacabra 300 race recap:
So there I was, Thursday night before we were to leave for the Chupacabra 300 at the Texana Ranch just outside Blackwell, Texas. I couldn’t help but think that something was wrong; this was the first time in a long time that we weren’t still thrashing trying to get ready for a race. Everything felt good; we were done with everything but packing clothes and putting a couple stickers on the RZR. This was going to be a pretty big race; rumor was that it would be the biggest off-road race in Texas history. The rumors were right, when I pulled into the ranch there were hundreds of people. I heard that it was close to 400. The final count was 42 entries, not bad for a 43 mile loop.
After getting registered and rolling through tech, we spent the afternoon checking over some of the suspension components, making sure bolts were tight, and making sure fluids looked good. We were pitted with a class 8 truck, a couple trophy trucks and a buggy. We were stuck between Jesse James and Pistol Pete Sohren – not a bad group of guys to be pitted between. After the drivers meeting, we took off to town to get checked into the hotel and try to get something to eat and a few hours of decent sleep.
The morning of the race we got up and headed to the ranch. When we arrived, the guys we were pitted with were already up and actually warming the RZR up for us. It was pretty cool out so this was a pretty big favor to us. As we got suited up, things were pretty quiet. I am normally pretty reserved before I get in the car. Doyle was going to start out driving duties and I was going to take over at the half way point depending on where we were positioned in the race. When we rolled up to the start line there wasn’t much said, our goal was to get up front by the end of the second lap and try to cruise from there.
The first lap we made up 25 seconds on the first guy to leave, and although we made up all this time on one of the other Pro RZR’s, I looked up at the 8 mile marker and saw that one of the sportsman guys was on our ass. I don’t know what this guy was doing, but he was fast. We got in some silt beds and kicked up enough dirt that we set him back a little ways. At the end of the first lap, we were only 5 seconds behind first place (which actually had us in first and 20 seconds ahead of him by corrected time) (there was a 30 second interval between starts.) We got just past the 3 mile marker and faced into a nice long straight where we hoped to pass the fist on the road, and that’s when everything went wrong.
The motor revved up on us and we quit moving, when we got pulled over to the side, we radioed in for help and went to assess the damage. The rear end was covered in gear oil and you could smell burnt metal. Upon further inspection, we found an axle broke and a belt gave way. Everything went wrong at the drop of the throttle. It was a rough course, rocks and woops sections like I hadn’t seen in a long time. We had a blast and hated that the day ended so early, but hey, this gave us the opportunity to hand out some Side By Side Stuff koozies and show off our shirts! (Everyone at the track wanted to know who you guys were. Don’t worry; I made sure that they knew the broken parts did not come from you guys. I made sure to point out that the stuff you guys hooked me up with stayed in one piece). EDITORS NOTE: THANKS DUSTIN!
As the day went on, the Trophy trucks in our camp had problems. The Geiser built truck had fuel problems from the start and wouldn’t get out of its own way, the other TT was flipped around the halfway point, but not until after it had caught and passed Jesse James. We were pretty stoked when our driver and Jesse raced into the pits and we beat him out of the pits by almost 30 seconds. Then came the flip. We got the truck back to the camp and we fixed one of the rear shocks, the light bar. and pulled some fiberglass off that was no longer needed. The Predator was the best showing of the weekend that we had.
With a 30 minute lead and two laps to go, Greg Wells and I climbed into the buggy. At 16 miles, we had one of the spindle bolts shear and it drove us left off the course into the side of a mountain. We were able to get the parts that we needed, and put the front suspension back together with a hammer and a pair of channel locks. The second place guy passed us shortly before we finished so when we took off we were in a hurry to catch them. With no front brakes, and a weak front suspension, we were both nervous, and at one point wound up shoulder deep into an oak tree. At 32 miles in, we mysteriously lost all power, with the light of a cell phone we found the relay that was causing the problem and used a rock to cut the three wires that were connected to it. After this it was on, it was personal, we didn’t even care to finish, we wanted to get the win back.
When it was all said and done we were one minute behind first place, and had a 10 minute faster last lap. We settled for second place but at that point we wanted out of the car so bad. It was some of the most fun I have ever had racing, but was also one of the most brutal races I have ever been a part of. I can’t wait until next year!
Thank you SideBySideStuff.com, you guys were great and an important part to us getting there and racing. Maybe next year I will be able to put together some better results for you guys. Thanks for all the help!
EDITORS NOTE: THANKS FOR THE AWESOME RECAP DUSTIN!