The Factory Racing traveled to Laughlin Nevada the weekend of January 14-16, 2011 to compete in the 17th annual Laughlin Desert Challenge. This year’s course was a 6.25 mile lap and the team had 6 laps to complete in 80 minutes both Saturday and Sunday. This race is extremely difficult to complete because of the shortness of the course and the allotted time to complete the course. It’s the “sprint” of the Score International series and there is no time to repair things if you break. The team has traditionally done very well on Saturday but had troubles on Sunday. But the team’s biggest goal for the 2011 Season is the Toyota Milestone Award given to the teams that complete every mile of every race. And many times the team has lost this in January.
Friday night was the Famous Laughlin Leap where the trucks compete to see who can jump the farthest. The team placed 3rd in their group with a jump of 99 ½ Feet.
On Saturday, driver Dan Chamlee’s only goal was to finish the course with a good time. Chamlee completed it in 50:06 with an average speed of 44.91 mph to place first. Saturday afternoon was spent checking over the truck to make sure nothing had been damaged during the race.
During reconnaissance on Friday Dan had found that the course was much smoother than previous years. The team always hopes for a rough course because their Kings Shocks give them an advantage over many of the competitors by Sunday when the course had been chewed up from Saturday’s competition. Dan was excited on his first lap as he passed many competitors in the classes that had started in front of him. But during his 3rd lap he began to hear loud grinding noises that could have been the transmission or the gears in the third member. He thought it was the third member. He radio’d to the team to have the spare third member ready to replace when he came into the hot pits. After finishing on Saturday the team knew they had approximately 30 minutes to make any repairs that might be needed. So as the team came into the hot pits they marked down the time to keep track of their time. They were able to remove the tires, the axles, and the drive shaft, drained the gear oil(which they found chunks of metal, letting them know they were replacing the correct part), replace the gears, put it all back together and get back on the road in 26 minutes. If they completed the laps in the same amount of time as Saturday they would be ok. They held their breath for the last 3 laps. They were able to complete the last lap with 1 minute 50 seconds to spare. The combined time for the two days was 2:08:16 with average 35:08 mpg and winning Class 7.
Dan Chamlee drove both days and his Co-driver was Amy Tate. The team included Laurie Chamlee, Thomas Chamlee, Heather Sherman, Stacy Chamlee-Jacobsen, Larry Jacobsen, Anne Jacobsen, Amanda Jacobsen, Dean Teague, Desi Teague, Don Taff, Stephen Taff.