The Factory Racing traveled to Laughlin, NV to compete in the 18th Annual Laughlin Desert Challenge on Jan 13-15th. This event included two separate races one on Saturday and one on Sunday. The course was a 6.25 mile course and each day we were given the challenge of completing 6 laps within 80 minutes. Though this is a shorter course it’s very rough and a big challenge to complete with very little time to repair anything if you have break downs.
Saturday started with a bang, literally. The truck has a glitch an occasionally when starting the engine it will back fire. Those really familiar with the truck know to press the gas down when starting but someone didn’t know this trick and started the truck to head over to stage for the race a large explosion caused the intake manifold to shatter into many small pieces. Everyone’s hearts stopped until we were certain we only damaged the intake manifold and had a spare. It was quickly changed and Dan Chamlee with Co-driver Thomas Chamlee headed to the start line. Saturday’s race was flawless. Dan started in the lead and quickly gained time on those in our class, he then backed off a little to make sure he didn’t break anything. He completed his 37.50 miles in 48:48 minutes with an average speed of 46.11 mph and winning the first race of the season. Brandon Walsh placed second in 52:36 minutes.
After taking time to inspect the truck and fixing a few minor things the team felt the truck was ready for Sunday’s competition. Dan and his co-driver Whitney Chamlee-Saito was first off of the line for Class 7. But half way through the first lap the tie rod end bent in half making it very difficult to steer. Fortunately the team keeps a spare on the truck. Dan and Whitney were able to replace it and continue on. But this dropped them to third place and taking 24 minutes to complete the lap (average just over 8 minutes on Saturday) at this point the team wanted to just finish the race to keep their dream of the “every mile of every race” without a DNF still alive. When Dan and Whitney where finishing their 4th lap the message came across the radio that the other competitors in his class where stopped on the course and he’d pulled back in first position. The team quickly did the math to see if he could back off a little and make the time limit. He had plenty of time and finished in 1:06:40 with an average speed of 33.75 mph.
The team had a lot of support for this race: Dan Chamlee, Laurie Chamlee, Thomas Chamlee, Heather Chamlee, Stacy Jacobsen, Larry Jacobsen, Anne, Amanda & Ashley Jacobsen, Whitney Saito, Michael Buchmiller Amy Tate, Donald Taff, Danielle Taff, Stephan Taff, Dylan Taff, Sean Taff, Kathrine Taff, Brent Thompson, Kurt Kimball, Carter Kimball and CassidyKimball, Chase Kimball, Brian Webb, Jill Webb.