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Old 02-11-2014, 08:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Team TTF/Nitto/King Shocks KOH Race Week

Not to short sell any other race program because I know they all work hard, but read this and tell me racing KOH is easy.



[QUOTE; EZ Rick Mooneyham]KOH 2014 Race recap Car #554 Rick Mooneyham, Trick Toys Fabrication, Nitto Tire:

We arrived on the lakebed late Sunday afternoon fully prepped and ready to race, minus a set of bypass shocks for the front of the car. Shortly after arriving we picked up the shocks that had been reworked by King Shocks in favor of larger bore and more bypass tubes. King got them all bolted on without a hitch, a perfect fit. Knowing that it would take some time to tune the car, we had an appointment with King's shock tuners for early Monday morning. Monday morning came early brought on by sleepless excitement! We met up with the tuners a little later than expected, and started in on a long day of tuning sessions that Monday. The car was beginning to take shape.

Tuesday we jumped in on round two of shock tuning and the car was still getting better, but just not where we needed to be. The Tuner decided to get in and go for a ride to help trouble shoot our concerns. Within a couple hundred yards he motions me to pull over and stops our tuning session. The King Shock tech then says that “we have been going the complete wrong direction’” and that “all the shocks need to come off and spring rates need to be completely changed.” This is a hard pill for all of us to swallow, knowing it’s only a day before we qualify and just days before the big race on Friday. We brought the car back and King Shock dove into working some shock magic.

While waiting for King, we load up into Scott Ward’s new 1000cc RZR 4-seater to go run the first lap. Low and behold, we lose a tire on the RZR, but all is not lost, we had a spare! Just needed to find a lug wrench and some wheel nuts to fit this different wheel! Of course neither were on board the RZR! We openly discussed who we were going to rip into when we got back for no lug wrench, now 25 miles out, cold and getting dark. A distant figure soon rode up and it was our friend Mark Matthews and some of his friends in a SXS. Lucky for us they had a compressor and plug kit and we were on our way again! Having now pre-run the course, I was feeling much more confident in knowing that the course would not sneak up on us during the race and that we won’t get lost. With that we set up another fine-tuning session for early Wednesday morning.

Wednesday morning came and our Shock Tuner ran out with us for a couple of bumpy high speed passes. After a few runs, he was tossing his cookies inside the car like a frat girl hugging the porcelain bowl. Not having packed any airline airsick bags, we soon learned that drinking till 3 in the morning can cause flu like symptoms when you hit a few whoops. For the team, the bad news soon became apparent that our major shock revamp was way off and we had qualifying in just a couple of short hours. Deciding that we would just make it work for qualifying, we opted to clean the car up a bit and get in line.
Go time came for our qualifying run during the power hour and our time to shine was dulled by a car that handled like a top-heavy pogo stick. Our time was good enough for a 46th position start in the main race. Not exactly where we wanted to be, but still decent for a solid KOH podium as we had started 86th one year and finished 2nd. Needless to say, we drove straight back to King Shock for a brief discussion that led to an entire dedicated team for tuning on Thursday.

When Thursday morning rolled around, the full support of King Shocks was on yet again! We worked from 8am till afternoon and had a car that was predictable, comfortable and fast in the desert! We all felt confident in the tune and departed with smiles all around knowing we now had a competitive car.

We opted to go back through the car the rest of the day Thursday as best we could when we realized that we had gone through almost 40 gallons of fuel tuning shocks, the equivalent of 200 race miles. Now dialed in better, I’m feeling much more confident about our 46th start position with our new found shock speed and comfort delivered to us by King Shocks, we were not worried and rechecked of the car from top to bottom.

Early Friday morning the crew rolled the car over into starting order and we join them shortly, meeting and greeting all of our friends along the way wishing the best of luck to other drivers, doing interviews, and posing for pictures with fans. Cool, calm and collected, Brian Smith and I climbed into our chariot ready for a 198-mile battle!

We left the line in 45th position overtaking our first competitor within 30 feet and we were off into a cloud of dust left by the other racers who had left the line up to 11 minutes before us.

Undaunted, we charged on through the dust of the first lap, passing nearly 30 cars before the first pit. We flew by the first remote pit and tell our crew to "go home, the car feels perfect!" We pushed on passing more and more cars until we came sliding through the starting gate where our main pit crew tells us we were in 9th position physically. As we got ready to slide into the corner bypassing "Backdoor," I looked up and saw it was empty and slung the car left. We rolled up to the falls and I gave it one good try and decided to back down and try again, which almost put us on our lid. I lined back up and crawled a bit but heard noise coming from the front end of the car. This made me nervous, as the car was "feeling" weird too. I told Brian to get out and winch us just as I heard a siren and looked ahead to see the trail Marshall tell us to move over and winch. Brian was taking out the winch line as the other car pulled next to me. I realized it was the Gomez brothers. I told Brian to stop and move back as I figured they were going to roll and I needed to back out of the way. Well, my premonition was right. They came tumbling back to where I was backing out of. Calmly, we rolled forward from there and winched up. It is good to know your competition well!

With Backdoor and Resolution now under our belt we pushed on even though the car didn't quite "feel" right and there were some new noises coming from it. We ran the rest of the desert and hit our first real rock trails at which point I realize we should have taken the new shock tune into the rocks. The car was rejecting every rock we hit with the tire and then slamming the shocks back out to full extension. It was essentially a giant slide hammer whiplash machine we were riding in. It didn't take long for this to break the rear sway bar off the axle, which made for a real exciting side hiller on the rock trails! The Trail Grapplers would take a beating like no other throughout this day of slamming rocks in an effort to overcompensate for suspension problems. These tires held up far beyond our expectations and proved their exceptional quality and design; they simply did everything we asked of them flawlessly!

Just when we thought the desert section was going to be a reprieve, we realized the car was completely unstable above 45 mph as well. Shortly after we missed Pit 2A, the broken sway bar link took out a brake line. Brian and I jumped out and capped off the line (we would finish the race on those three remaining brakes), tied up the sway bar link and trudged on through the miles of desert and minor rock trails before Main Pit. Now severely handicapped, we got in radio communication of our main TTF pit crew and they told us to stop at the Ruff Stuff pit, where Brian Kirby was going to weld our link back on, crank down the rebound on the shocks, and we would then take on some extra fuel.

The Ruff Stuff crew got it done quickly and we were so grateful for having the sway bar back working, shocks dialed, that we were now hooking rocks instead of the hammer action the car once had!

Now fixed and unfettered, we pushed on through the desert back into the rocks. By the time we got back into the rocks where we were facing the slide hammer crawl action yet again. This time we unfortunately broke the other side’s sway bar link straight off.

Co-Driver Brian quickly got out and tied the newly broken sway bar up out of the way so that we didn't smash another brake line, as three brakes were barely sufficient for the race and two would have really hampered our ability to safely finish. We trudged on in the floppy jalopy pushing as hard as we could and still passing cars, most of which had just passed us when we were stopped.

Just as we were starting to feel our bad race day luck was behind us, things took another unexpected turn. On the way up the first sand hill between the obstacle Sledge Hammer and Chocolate Thunder, driving the floppy jalopy directly into the sun’s blinding path, I nailed a sharp rock outcrop and wiped out the two left side wheels & tires, and about tore my left thumb clean off. Brian and I got out and quickly swapped the spare to the front and the front to the rear, as it was still on its bead, and we had five rock trails left till the next pit. We pushed on to Pit 2A again and swapped out our one bad tire and the guys welded on our other sway bar link.

Back in the hunt and on our final stretch, we pinned it for the finish line. I am pretty sure Brian and I were delirious at this point, as we were laughing and joking the whole time. As we rolled into Elvis we approached another car we had passed several times. As I tried to pass him in the rocks, the front ring and pinion exploded with a bang! Now just 30 miles from the finish, that final stretch was all in 2-wheel drive. "Squirrelly" is a good way to explain how it handled from there on out. We were grateful at that point that the rear axle was the Super 14 from Torq, filled with a giant 40-spline ARB locker so that we could hammer down on what was supposed to be 4-wheel drive trails, now only in 2wd. Somehow we made it in to the finish line to see our grateful families and friends and tied down the 6th place finishing position for KOH2014. A good start on a series championship title!

We look forward to working with King Shocks in the future, helping us to dial in the car for even better performance. We also look forward to a winning season now that we have a tire that can handle my lack of driving ability: the NITTO Trail Grappler!

Finally a big thanks to all my sponsors, Nitto Tire, Currie, Trick Toys Fabrication, TORQ Axle, ARB Airlocker, King Shocks, PSC Steering, and Raceline Wheels. Your commitment to our race program makes me faster driver! Looking forward to the rest of 2014!

Sincerely,
Rick Mooneyham
Owner/Operator/Driver Trick Toys Fabrication, Nitto Tire, #554 Ultra 4Car[/QUOTE]
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustard Dog
Me and my co driver were running across the Lakebed on our way to pre run when we saw :gary: walking his dog.

We didn't stop to say hi cause he's a fucking douchebag.

Last edited by Roc Doc; 02-11-2014 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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EZ was my pick for the win - hopefully the tuning issues will be sorted out shortly, and he can have a kick ass season.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It was a longshot for sure with the last minute shock changes, but he's always a contender.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustard Dog
Me and my co driver were running across the Lakebed on our way to pre run when we saw :gary: walking his dog.

We didn't stop to say hi cause he's a fucking douchebag.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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but read this and tell me racing KOH is easy.
Racing KOH is easy!
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
Change is good.
 
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Originally Posted by lxh0318 View Post
Racing KOH is easy!
Fuck you two time loser, er ah, two time winner.

Congrats on an epic battle won.

Edit; This is the view all else saw.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustard Dog
Me and my co driver were running across the Lakebed on our way to pre run when we saw :gary: walking his dog.

We didn't stop to say hi cause he's a fucking douchebag.

Last edited by Roc Doc; 02-11-2014 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks Doc!
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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And its not like he worked on finishing building another car leading up to KOH and co-driving that car at the Parker425 the Saturday before, going home packing and heading to the lakebed on Sunday.

Easy and his magicians burned the midnight oil building and prepping both cars for both races. Lack of sleep, and lack of downtime and family time takes a hefty toll.

Those guys are bad asses!



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Old 02-12-2014, 09:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BigWoodyWag View Post
And its not like he worked on finishing building another car leading up to KOH and co-driving that car at the Parker425 the Saturday before, going home packing and heading to the lakebed on Sunday.

Easy and his magicians burned the midnight oil building and prepping both cars for both races. Lack of sleep, and lack of downtime and family time takes a hefty toll.

Those guys are bad asses!



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Pretty sure he also prepped another TTF car in January for koh. #524 Mark Danzo. I hear #524 has great taste when it comes to choosing a place to vacation in Lake Havasu (shameless plug).
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Brutal race for sure. Even though a win is always better, congrats with the 6th place finish, especially with the attrition rate of this years race.

Cheers!

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Old 02-13-2014, 09:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Pretty sure he also prepped another TTF car in January for koh. #524 Mark Danzo. I hear #524 has great taste when it comes to choosing a place to vacation in Lake Havasu (shameless plug).
That too Ryan, that too!
I've got the bug in the wifes ear to come out and stay at your resort, shes only heard me brag about how gorgeous Havasu City is and wants to see for herself.
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