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ROGER LOVELL TAKES ON THE LANDS END HILL CLIMB.



We all need a second attempt at some things and I am no different. Unfortunately off-road racing is not a game of second chances. The Lands End Hill climb was the 3rd stop in the 2010 Ultra 4 Grand Slam Series; a series that consists of the top racers in the sport. The race is 5.5 miles long with a 2500 foot elevation gain along a twisting, turning gravel road. One miscalculation from the driver seat can send you plummeting off the side of the steep shelf road.

The 4432 Amsoil Ford was ready. I had stripped every bit of weight off that I could. I had new BF Goodrich All Terrain TA’s fitted and ready to go. I had chosen to run a tire that anyone can buy off the shelf of the local tire store, was it the right choice? The time to question myself was over, time to concentrate. As I waited in line for the green flag to drop my mind wandered, I was running solo, could I remember all the turns, what if, what if. The green flag dropped and I focused on my first run of four practice runs for the day. Each practice run I was able to better my time.

Sunday was race day and as the sun came up the jitters in my stomach followed. Why was I nervous? I knew the road, the car was working well, and it’s only as bad as I make it. First race of the day I ran somewhat conservative but pushed as hard as I dared. My tire choice had paid off and the BFG All Terrain tires held the road like glue as the Proformance Unlimited 347 Ford screamed up the hill. The run felt good and I laid down the 4th fastest time in the Ultra 4 class. Second and final run I was going for it, no holding back!

As I left the start line on the second run I had committed myself to pushing harder into the turns before mashing my Spidertrax brakes. The first turn was a reality check as the front left caught a groove and the right rear tire lunged into the air, as I pictured myself cart wheeling into the trees instinct took over and I hit the gas. No time to think, I had to prepare for the next turn. Each turn brought me closer to finish line, the temperature gauge kept climbing but I wasn’t about to back out of it. Drifting through switchbacks I knew I was fast, was I fast enough? I had bettered my time but my 5:58.80 was only good enough for 7th place. Finishing position was determined by only a few seconds but that doesn’t matter. As I packed up the trailer I found my mind wandering again, if I only had one more chance...

Video of my run is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FFwsUYb5c0 Brad had a very successful weekend in TRAXXS TORC Series qualifying 4th and taking 4th in both races – his best performance yet. Look for more news from the team soon with the next rounds of TORC racing in Chicago IL, August 25 & 26 and Crandon WI, September 4 & 5. We will then race the Reno Stampede in Reno NV on September 11th. If you are in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by our AMSOIL trailer.

 

 

 

For 2010, Lovell Racing is headed in an exciting new high profile direction – The Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL. Brad Lovell will pilot an AMSOIL sponsored Pro-Light throughout the 2010 season in hopes of capturing a piece of the $200,000 purse. Brad comments, “I have watched off-road racing since I was a kid and never realistically thought I would have a chance to compete. I’m thrilled and in awe that my dream is coming true.”
TORC carries a few similarities with the team’s roots but is more akin to NASCAR in dirt with added turns and high flying jumps. A two wheel drive Pro-Light can reach speeds over 100 mph and jump as far as 150’, all while holding position mere feet from other drivers. The TORC series starts in Tucson AZ on May 1st, then moves in turn to Charlotte NC, Bark River MI, and ends at the legendary Crandon, WI, track on Labor Day. Races will air on ABC and ESPN2 during the summer of 2010.


Capitalizing off yet another dominating year in rock racing, Lovell Racing was only able to make this move with the steadfast support from AMSOIL. Race Manager Jeremy Meyer adds, “Brad and his team have shown they can be successful in so many different forms of racing over the past five years and we believe that stepping into short course racing will be more of the same. They bring a great program to TORC and short course racing, and I can’t wait to see the new Pro Light on the track in Arizona.”


BFGoodrich Tires, another long-term supporter, also has confidence in both Lovells’ abilities to climb the ranks. Victor Angon of BFGoodrich Racing adds, “There is no doubt in my mind that Brad will catch on quickly to short course racing. BFGoodrich Tires has stood behind the Lovell brothers because of their dedication and commitment to racing and with Brad moving on to a whole new level of competition we have complete confidence in Roger carrying on their winning ways in the rocks. Congratulations to the entire team.”


2010 sponsors also include Torchmate CNC Systems, Art Carr Performance Products, Fox Racing Shox, Spidertrax Off-road, Robinson Construction, Proformance Unlimited, K&N Filters, DynoTech Engineering, ARB 4x4 Accessories, Howe Performance, Trailready Wheels, Motive Gear, Aeroquip, and CTM Racing Products.


While Brad’s focus on TORC will prevent full commitment in other series, Roger will race the entire King of the Hammers Grand Slam Series as well as XRRA. In the multi-discipline Grand Slam Series, Roger will take the wheel for his first ever desert race and rockcrawl. For these events, the brothers will switch traditional roles with Brad as navigator/spotter. Aside from TORC, Brad will enter select We-Rock rockcrawls, XRRA races, and CHCA hillclimbs. Lovell adds, “With the universal design of our current vehicles and entrance into short course, we should be doing just about every type of off-road racing out there. It’s a huge challenge and very exciting; I can’t wait to see what TORC is all about.”

Lovell

                

                                                                                                                        Lovell's New Fabtech Ranger is a True Dual-Sport Machine
                                                                                                                       by Harry Wagner printed in Dirt Sports magazine June/2008

While brothers Brad and Roger Lovell are no strangers to the winner's circle, Brad Lovell's wins at the 2008 Maxxis Xtreme Rock Racing (XRRA) season-opener in Moab, Utah, and the W.E.Rock season-opener in Perris, California, stand out from victories for a couple of reasons–not the least of which is this beautiful and efficient little Ford Ranger rock crawler, designed to excel in both rock crawling and rock racing.

Similar to the rear, prototype Fabtech Dirtlogic 2 1/4-inch air/coilover shocks with QA1 springs control the ride up front. The front axle is located by a Lovell-designed three-link system, while a Howe hydraulic steering setup keeps the Ranger on course. Wilwood 14-inch disc brakes provide plenty of holding power when the going gets rocky.

The new Ranger was created over the winter to replace Brad and Roger Lovell's venerable Fabtech competition vehicle, which is also a Ford Ranger. Instead of turning to a well-known shop such as Campbell Enterprises, Twisted Customs or Jimmy's 4x4, the Lovells once again chose to build it from the ground up themselves. After welding up the chassis, dropping in a beefy Ford stroker motor and adding a horde of other components, the new Lovell racer/crawler is very sweet, indeed. Still hot off their Maxxis XRRA U.S. Championship title in 2007, which was won with Roger in the driver's seat, Brad came out strong to win Moab in the new Ranger after using the King of the Hammers event in California as its only shakedown test.

Constructed entirely by Brad and Roger Lovell, the Ranger is set up to run on 37-inch tires, rather than the usual 40-or 42-inch tires used in rock racing. That's because W.E.Rock Pro Mod rock-crawling rules mandate 37s, and the Lovell's wanted this rig to be versatile. The truck wears BFGoodrich Baja T/A KRTs for racing and BFG Krawler T/As for crawling.

An Advance Adapters Atlas II 3.0 transfer case feeds power to the True Hi-9 third member located in this brawny Spidertrax Spider9 housing. The Lovells choose to run steep 5.14 ring-and-pinion gears front and rear.

Conventional wisdom dictates that to be successful in rock racing, you need a purpose-built vehicle with huge tires and lots of test time, but Brad's win in Moab flies in the face of that perception. And the fact that this Ranger has already proved its versatility by winning both in rock racing and rock crawling, makes it even more special.

Peering through the clear polycarbonate passenger "door," shows off the clean interior on the Lovell rig, including a MOMO steering wheel, Lovell Racing dash panel, Autometer gauges, Art Carr shifter and a Lowrance Baja 540c GPS.

For rock-crawling competition, the Atlas II transfer case is swapped out for a single speed Lovell (no relation) 3.57 case; the BFGoodrich Baja T/A KRTs are replaced with sticky BFGoodrich Krawler T/As (as shown in the accompanying photos); and the 20-gallon fuel cell is exchanged with a smaller five-gallon cell. Surprisingly, no changes to the suspension geometry or shock tuning are required.

The Lovells stepped up to much more serious power in the new Ranger: A beefy 347-cubic-inch Ford stroker motor from Pro-Formance Unlimited is good for 400 horsepower and 400 lb/ft of torque. It is backed by an Art Carr C-4 with a reverse manual valve body and 9 1/2-inch Super Torque converter.

A 20-gallon fuel cell is used for rock racing, but for rock crawling a smaller five-gallon cell takes its place. A twin-fan Ron Davis racing radiator keeps the Ford stroker motor from melting down in the heat of battle.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, the Lovells don't plan to build customer copies of their masterpiece "unless someone comes along and gives our wives a big bag of money," Brad says. In the meantime, you can appreciate this high-quality rocker on the pages of Dirt Sports.

 

LOVELL RACING JUST SHY OF WIN AT WE-ROCK FINALS

RAIN, ROLLOVER, REPAIR AND REWARD

The Lovell Racing Team showed up in Hannibal, Missouri ready to do battle at the 2008 WE-Rock Finals in the rain, mud, and rock of Hannibal Rocks Off-Road Park. Unable to make the trip was the teams guiding light – spotter Roger Lovell. For the first time ever, Brad would be competing solely under the guidance of longtime rockcrawler Sean Lazzelle. “Our team is about family and Roger needed to be there for his,” said Brad, “We have always competed together and while I think there will be some wrinkles to work out, I have a lot of confidence in Sean.”

That confidence was immediately put to the test as Sean had to guide the vehicle across one of the most treacherous courses ever created. Brad was forced to pilot the #232 Fabtech Ranger over a rock spine with a 12’ cliff on one side and 30’ cliff on the other. The spine was narrow enough the tires had to completely hang off of either side. If everything was navigated correctly, the inevitable crash off the rock could be saved with some throttle action. With great confidence the pair took to the course and flawlessly traversed the dangers. “It was a stressful test and proof that I made the right choice for a replacement spotter. We were able to work very well as a team on this course.”

Any racing team needs patience, teamwork, the right vehicle, and a little luck. You control as many of these factors as you can and just hope for the rest to come together. Hoping for luck does not always cut it and luck decided to leave the team after their initial success. On course A2, and with the finish gates in sight, the Ford powered Fabtech Crawler did a very innocent thing. It stalled. Not catastrophic in its own right, but it occurred just as the truck slid off a sizeable drop and precisely when Brad needed some horsepower. The result was an end over end roll leaving the Ranger helplessly turtled and unable to finish. Only able to register scores on 3 of 4 courses, Lovell Racing was tied for 7th Place at the end of day #1.

Rain, mud, and fog welcomed competitors on the second day so Brad and Sean concentrated on surviving the courses and taking cones when necessary. Brad launched the truck up the first rock stepped slope and found just enough traction to break the rear gearset and once again, not finish. “I was getting a bit disheartened but we never give up. Natalie got all the parts ready back at the pit and the BFGoodrich Tires crew jumped in and helped us out. We were so fast repairing the truck that we did not even have to go on breakdown time,” Brad recalls, “I can say without a doubt that we do so well because of the support in situations like this.”

#232 roared back to life on course A1 as Brad became the first and only driver to complete the course. The extremely long run required technical boulder crawling in mud, a huge climb, and a long race across the entire event site to the finish line. “I think most people out there would agree that we have the best climbing vehicle. The engineers at Fabtech have built us the best suspension out there and if you can keep the BFG’s on the rocks, they will keep you moving forward. While others found defeat in the mud, Team Lovell was patient and stuck to their plan. Their performance was good enough to gain five places in three courses and put them in 2nd Place with only the final round to go.

“Derek West had an unreachable lead so we really needed to concentrate on fending off the lower guys. We could have dropped to 5th place if we rolled or broke. The finals are the time to attack the guy in front of you or use your lead to ensure you keep your current position.” Brad and Sean gracefully launched up the bonus climb and made fast work of the remaining gates to handily finish the competition in 2nd Place. “This event was brutal on the truck and it seemed like every quirk we have been dealing with this season showed up at the same time. Our team, our family, our sponsors, even competing teams helped us out a ton. With two wins, a season championship, and three 2nd’s we are proud of our 2008 rockcrawling season.”

Lovell Rock Racing will compete in their last 2008 event on September 20th as XRRA holds their US Finals in Jellico, TN. Roger Lovell will defend his 2007 US Championship in the #32 Dirt Logic Ranger and Brad will hunt for the top spot in #232 after finishing the 2008 XRRA season in 3rd Place.

Lovell Rock Racing     Lovell Rock Racing   
Lovell Rock Racing     Lovell Rock Racing   
        
   
 

 

 

 

FABTECH VICTORIOUS AT XRRA CORTEZ

COMPETITION OUTPLAYED BY TEAMWORK

After a tough final round cost Fabtech driver Brad Lovell the win at the Colorado Springs XRRA race in June, he was able to reach the finish line as the fastest in Cortez. While fast and consistent driving poised him for a podium finish, tactics contrived by the team resulted in a win.

Behind any name, there is always a group of great people responsible for building it. For this race, 9 people showed up under the Fabtech Motorsports / Lovell Racing banner with the goal of putting #32 and #232 at the top. With this resource comes responsibility and pressure as a driver to perform. 4 runs at about 50 seconds a piece will get you into the finals but any one error sends you home. It creates intense, do or die racing.

The #32 Dirt Logic Shocks Ranger of Roger Lovell and co-driver Mike Foster started the race near the front of the pack which is exactly where you don’t want to be since much can be learned about the course by watching other racers. Two quick runs put Roger’s morning total at about 2:30 and in the top 1/3 of the pack. Because the #232 car was further behind in the running order, it gave the team an important edge as there was enough time to review Roger’s runs before the Fabtech truck took the green flag. With inside knowledge, Brad (with co-driver Mark Hayward) was able to bring in blazing fast times good enough to rank 3rd before the course direction was changed for the afternoon runs.

It instantly became apparent to the team that the race would be won or lost on a single loose rock hill that was extremely technical. The team inspected the rocks and chose the best of a bunch of bad lines for Roger. The Dirt Logic Ranger made quick work of the course and reached the hill with a lead but that quickly evaporated as piano sized boulders shifted under the tires. Between each rock lay a bottomless bed of loose dirt and Roger stabbed the throttle trying to reach the top. He kept working his way across the hill before a lot of throttle and a good bounce put him over the top. “Seeing Roger struggle and the rocks move changed our game plan completely. I had no idea what we were going to do,” recalled Brad. The Lovell team gathered again and their rockcrawling roots shown through as they saw a difficult and untested climb that bypassed the eroding hill. The risky call was eventually made for Brad to take the risk and try the climb. It went like clockwork as Brad easily shot up the rock and eclipsed previous fast runs.

Brad soon found himself leading the race as Brian Shirley (1st) had to attempt the hill several times and Shannon Campbell (2nd) broke on the hill and was unable to finish. From there, smart clean driving (what the team does best) handed the #232 Fabtech Ranger the victory. “We were fast and consistent, which anyone must be in order to win a race,” commented Brad, “But what put us over the top was creativity and teamwork. We regret not finding the right line for Roger but in the end, it did help the team get a win.”

While Roger finished 21st in a field of 42, his effort was good enough to qualify for the US finals in Jellico, TN (series ranking unknown) to defend his National Championship. Brad gained enough points from this race to finish 3rd in the Western Series. “The breakage I experienced in Albuquerque really cost us. This season, #232 has finished 1st, 20th, 3rd, and 1st,” said Brad, “If that 20th was only a 12th, we would have won the series. Regardless, we are thankful and proud of our team.” The team has only two events left this year, the next being the WE-Rock Grand Nationals in Hannibal, MO Sept. 5th – 7th. Stay tuned for more coverage!

    

      

WE-ROCK TITLE RETURNS TO TEAM LOVELL

BROTHERS SUCCESSFULLY DEFEND CHAMPIONSHIP                                                                                        


The Lovell Racing Team has focused for a little more than a year on one goal – build the single best truck for rockcrawling and rock racing. Well, hard work pays off. The team is honored to announce that they have once again been crowned the Western WE-Rock Pro-Mod Champions. Pro-Mod is now clearly the dominant class in rockcrawling and the accomplishment makes the Lovells the team to beat in 2009.

Brad and Roger entered the final regular season event with a series lead but needed a strong finish to come out on top. The first day’s courses were absolutely brutal and tested the durability of the FABTECH Ranger in new ways. After wedging and clawing through the first courses, the team lined up for B2. It had gotten extremely dug out and other teams were struggling to keep enough of the vehicle on the course to not be disqualified. “Our idea was basically to pop a wheelie and then slam the rear axle up and over the rock,” recalls Brad, “After a couple attempts the truck shot to the side and I had a bone jarring landing on the skidplate. We then tried a new line and bounced right up the granite. It made a great show but ultimately we want the best scores.” At the end of the day, the effort put the team 9 points behind leader Shannon Campbell.

In front of large crowds, perhaps the best of the year, the Lovells entered the final chapter of the 2008 season. Day two brought more difficult courses and a finals round. The pressure was on! Brad and Roger just needed to be smart and prevent any rolls or breaks. Through the courses they went taking chances when necessary and keeping the Ranger on it wheels. They matched Shannon’s performance but unfortunately hit a cone due to miscommunication. Entering the final round Shannon held a 17 point lead and the Lovells had a 29 point lead over 3rd place.

The finals round was created by WE-Rock to enhance drama. It certainly meets its goal and competitors walk away either loving or hating it. As luck would have it, a miniature rain shower descended on the Donner Ski Ranch just before the brothers had their shot at the course. Brad said, “I could see the rain drops hitting the rock and rolling away the dust for the guy in front of us. It was so dusty it didn’t even get the rock wet. When we got there it was raining harder and all that dust was turning to a coating of slick mud.” Brad absolutely hammered the Ranger on the courses most difficult climb. Each time, the wetness and holes in the rock won out. When the BFGoodrich rubber did pull him to the top, Brad had to return to the bottom to keep the truck within the gates. Time was running out and the team was racking up serious points. Finally, the Ranger roared up the face and brothers were back in motion. With less than a minute left, Roger guided the Ranger into the final notch and Brad mashed the gas. Having used up all their time and all but one point on 3rd place, the FABTECH Ranger cleared the end gates. By this time, of course, the rock had already started to dry and Shannon easily found traction on the rock climb but faced difficulty with the notch. Shannon struggled and maneuvered to make it to the end and firmly hung the rear axle on a rock. Unable to back up, running out of gas, and with the final seconds ticking away, Shannon found purchase and launched through the end gates to his first Pro-Mod win.

The 2008 WE-Rock series was a great success for the Lovells with two wins and two 2nd Place finishes. Only 12 points kept them from a perfect season. This is the teams 5th consecutive series championship and Brad was fortunate enough to celebrate it with a trip trough the famed Rubicon Trail before returning home. Brad and Roger wish to extend a sincere thank you to supporters, sponsors, and family for their dedication to the effort. The last regular season XRRA race is only a week away in Cortez, Colorado. Stay tuned for news as each of the brothers try and put another one in the win column.

Lovell Rock Racing Lovell Rock Racing
   
Lovell Rock Racing Lovell Rock Racing
   
Lovell Rock Racing Lovell Rock Racing

 

 

DIRT AND ROCKS – THE ROC ENDURANCE RACE

 

TEAM LOVELL TRYS A NEW TYPE OF RACE

 

The Lovell Racing team just finished their third race in as many weeks, two of which were a two truck effort. With some luck and plenty of hours in the shop, both Rangers were in top order for the ROC Race at the RAM Off-Road Park in Colorado Springs, but unfortunately a faulty seal would take out one of the trucks.

 

This was the first race of its kind – an approximate 2 mile course of sandstone climbs, rocks, gap jumps, and short course style dirt track. Each driver ran three timed laps starting in one minute intervals. The fastest combined time won.  

 

Brad’s day would start well. After having opportunity to pre-run the course twice with his co-driver (wife Natalie), most turns and challenges were committed to memory. The FABTECH Ranger was lighting fast off the start line and up the jumps to the climbs and into the dirt. The rehearsed run through the dirt went error free and the pair zoomed back into the rocks. Up the boulders, down the drops, over the jumps and back to the XRRA course from only 2 weeks ago; the Dirtlogic Shocks easily ate up all the destructive boulders and #232 flew across the finish line. The couple posted a 7:29 run which was one second faster than rival Shannon Campbell and would stand as the fastest official lap time of the day. On the second run, however, luck ran out. While on pace to best their previous fast time, a transmission gasket blew and Brad was forced to throw in the towel. “Its disappointing for sure,” commented Brad, “Natalie and I could still smile though because we had a great time practicing for the race and competing together. She did a great job and is already on board as co-driver if this race is held again in Sept.”

 

While Brad had a win or break type day, Roger did his best to test the limits of the #32 DIRTLOGIC Ranger while remaining in control. Fellow wheeler and friend Chris Richardson served as Roger’s co-driver and helped keep an eye on the vehicle while Roger focused on the course. The team suffered from rutted out dirt climb near the start of the first run but was clean otherwise and posted a 10:11 lap time. On the second run, they ran into (quite literally) lap traffic. #81 Brian Shirley was experiencing engine trouble and stalled at the bottom of a 15’ ditch. While a flagman was able to prevent catastrophic damage, Roger came over the top of the hill and tattooed Shirley’s radiator. Lovell was forced to maneuver a more difficult line around the stricken vehicle but even with the foul luck, he bested his previous time by 30 seconds.

 

Roger was now poised for a podium finish with a few more runs. His third lap was clear of broken vehicles and clean. He had been fighting overheating issues all day but the crew had tweaked the trucked and he was able to push it faster. This effort was good enough for a fast time of 9:06, more than a minute faster than his first time. Bearing confidence and a speedy car, the team worked fast to cool everything down for the final round. Unfortunately, and for unknown reasons, the promoter decided not to have a final round and Roger ended the race in 6th place. “I just wish I had another run to make up time,” commented Roger, “Everything felt better and faster as the day progressed. Getting bugs worked out of the truck and more seat time is really paying off.”

 

The next stop for Lovell Racing is Donner, CA July 18th – 20th for the final round of 2008 WE-Rock season were the team has a lead in Series points and hopes to once again claim the title of series champions.

 

Special thanks to Russ Kauk for the photos from this race.

 Lovell Rock Racing     Lovell Rock Racing

 Lovell Rock Racing     Lovell Rock Racing

 

LOVELLS PUNISH FABTECH ROCKCRAWLER

TEAM ALMOST VICTORIOUS AFTER HARD DAY

Lovell Racing has returned from the second round of WE-Rock action in Cedar City, UT. The courses at the 3 Peaks OHV Park are always challenging and there was plenty of terrain to make this competition entirely distinct from the last. This, the third event in a series of four, was important for the Lovells so they could cement their series lead going into the final round.

Day #1 always seems to be the roughest day for the team. This event would be no exception. While the last two rockcrawls have been nearly mistake free, the FABTECH Ranger nipped a cone on the first course. The second course, A2, started with the pair easily missing a cone that was taken by all others. Regretfully, the effort was for not as a bad bounce left the truck hanging over the second gate with no way out but a risky front burn. Brad gave it his best but ended up on his roof in need of recovery. “At that point we knew we needed our best effort and some luck to get back in the game,” recalls Brad, “In two courses we were about 50 points behind where we should have been.”

The brothers kept their heads and cleanly navigated the remaining technical courses. In fact, all the pair had to do was exit the finish gates on the last course of the day. The lure of a bonus line caught Brad’s eye, however, and he lined up for what would be another costly mistake. Off a ledge and end over end the Ranger went. While the ledge was not huge, the impact was hard enough to fracture the radiator, bend tube, and leave bruises. The rough day left the Lovells in 6th place and scrambling to repair a damaged vehicle. Brad adds, “The whole family chipped in and we were lucky enough to have Above All Rockcrawling weld our radiator. We were done in time to get some rest and focus on day #2.”

Focus is exactly what the team did and it resulted in a remarkable second day. Brad and Roger made quick work of the remaining regular courses making all the right moves where others had difficulty. The team made up enough ground to be positioned in 2nd place going into the final round, but still a far cry from leader Brian Errea.

The Lovells watched in dismay as the final course deteriorated and holes were dug making the first climb impassible for other contenders. “We did not have much time to make a plan and it looked bad,” commented Roger, “We fell in the same holes but luckily I found some decent rock.” Roger muscled rock into the enormous holes and it proved just enough for Brad to throttle trough before stabbing the brakes to avoid a cone. They went on to a successful run and even cleared a treacherous bonus that nearly caused yet another rollover. “I saw my wife jumping up and down at the finish line and I knew we had done well. We put the pressure on Errea,” recalled Brad. Errea was under the gun, hit a cone, and had a heart stopping roll through the bonus line. Luck was with him though as he landed on his wheels and finished the course with seconds to spare. His efforts put him a well deserved 3 points ahead of the Lovells.

The 2nd place finish gives Lovell Racing a strong lead going in the final round to be held in Donner, CA on July 18th. Stay tuned as the team competes in their 3rd event in as many weeks at the R.O.C. Rock Race in Colorado Springs, CO this weekend.

Team note: One of our friends, Tom Guaraldo, died this last weekend while driving a new rock racer near Colorado Springs. He was not wearing his seatbelt while testing the transmission. He made a sharp turn, rolled, and was partially ejected. After my hard roll in Cedar City, I have little doubt that my seatbelt saved my life. Please, value yourself and your family – wear your seatbelt. If it is a custom application, check it regularly for damage.

 

        lovell rock racing

 

TEAM LOVELL GOES TO THE TOP AND BACK

 

BY BRAD LOVELL

 

The question I have been asking myself for the last couple days is “How exactly did that happen?” A couple unusual things happened to our team at the XRRA Round #3 in our hometown of Colorado Springs that that left me scratching my head. The twists of fate during the day were almost as extensive as the turns, climbs, and drops at the RAM Off-Road Park course.

 

As luck would have it, Roger and I received back to back positions in the running order again. This reoccurring coincidence causes logistics challenges but did not stop both of us from bringing in respectable times for our first runs; mine was only 9 seconds off of the fast time by Shannon Campbell. I saw that I needed to ask more from the truck so I pushed it harder on the second run. My co-driver Mark Hayward and I crashed off of ledges to fast, brutalized the tires and wheels on boulders, and had little regard for the drive train when landing from jumps. I think we laid down the fastest time of the day but had no time to check as a clunk in the rear end signified a broken gear set. On top of that, our trusty set of BFGoodrich Baja T/A KRT’s was no more. After seven destructive races on the set and five years competing on BFGoodrich, I had my first flat.

 

As soon as Roger’s second run was complete (this one his fastest yet) the team headed to the pits. We furiously tore apart the rear axle and scrambled to find a spare tire. As we pulled the gears out, I was puzzled to see no damage but was intent on focusing on the job at hand. In less than 30 minutes we had the axle reassembled, a new tire, and a damaged brake caliper removed. We had about a dozen helpers from other teams that jumped in without being asked - we owe them greatly.   

 

Back to racing – I now lined for the dreaded gap jumps that have plagued me for years. Roger and I had both decided before the race - NO MORE! Time to face the fear - no longer would we bypass these jumps. Green flag – ease down the drop, mash the gas, 3rd gear, keep it straight, hold on…. Up and over sailed the FABTECH Ranger with the smoothest landing imaginable on the Dirt Logic shocks. Around we sped through the rest of the course to the checkered flag. As soon as we crossed the finish line my wife Natalie ran up with news that Roger’s truck would not start. Given our past ignition problems I focused on the distributor while everyone and anyone checked sensors and relays. Unfortunately, our 60 second window ran out and Roger was forced to take a DNF. We would later discover that high temperatures combined with the addition of fire shielding had caused the fuel pump to get to hot and loose pressure. Couldn’t it have happened any place but the starting line?

 

With Roger out of contention for the finals, I made my final run and discovered I had nearly a 40 second cumulative lead. Roger followed by clearing the gap jump and marking a fast time but the missed course would keep him from the final round. All Mark and I needed to do from here is be smart and play it safe. In the first round of the finals we picked up at least another ten seconds on second place. Only one run left…. We left the line and were consistent until we got to a dug out climb. I tried and tried but could not get the truck to transition correctly due to the huge holes. I kept trying spot after spot and finally spun up to the top but got tangled in a banner. We finished the course but it was all for not as we timed out. How did I loose it on what I do best - a climb?

 

The times were tallied and the FABTECH Ranger ended up in a strong 3rd Place. We are proud as a team to have a podium finish but I must admit I am a bit puzzled and disappointed by my performance during the last run. That’s why we race though, to test ourselves. Final placing has not yet been announced so we are not sure where Roger ended up. I should also add that upon further investigation, the gear set and ARB locker were fine, the clunk was coming from the damaged brake caliper.

 

We have quite literally no break in the schedule as we return to Cedar City, UT this weekend for WE-Rock Round #3 before returning to Colorado Springs for a race the following weekend. Stay tuned, more news shortly.

                    lovell rock racing     lovell rock racing   

LOVELL CLAIMS XRRA SEASON OPENER

 

 Double Win For Lovell Rock Racing

 

Proformance Unlimited rocked Moab, Utah with another winning combination. "We have put a lot of focus on this first race and have everything in place to win. All we need to do now is drive fast, states Brad Lovell." And fast they did. "We came from last place to first place. I am amazed by what this truck can do, it is blistering fast", states Brad. Lovell's Ford Ranger was backed by Proformance Unlimited's 347 with 400 horsepower race engine. Upon the Lovell's reaching the 20 point bonus ledge, Brad explains, "Down I went and opened up all 400 horsepower as the front tires landed. Without a bounce the rear tires contacted the ground and I knew we just raised the bar for everyone behind us." The WE-Rock victory gives Lovell Racing back to back wins and a season points lead in both XRRA and WE-Rock, all in the same vehicle..

 

    

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