2009 Year in Review

Written by on December 28, 2009 in News - Comments Off on 2009 Year in Review
When I look back on the wild ride 2009 had to offer all I can think about is how successful the year was for me on a personal level.
The year actually started in late December 2008 when I left for South America and the Dakar Rally as a member of Team Dakar USA. My job was to be the team manager and navigator of the T-4 Race Truck again. Tom Geviss was back as the driver as well and we were very lucky to have Glen Wheeler along for his first Dakar. Glen races thirty (30) plus races a year on the NASCAR team and he is a very dedicated and hard worker. The Dakar Rally is very tough both mentally and physically and Glen fit the mold perfectly, it was a pleasure working with him.
As previously reported our race in the T-4 Truck didn’t go to well with the crash but thankfully we were in friendly South America and nobody was injured. After a day and a half camped out by the truck in the Patagonia desert we were able to scramble back and catch up to the team on rest day in Chile. Our reward came a week later when Robby finished 3rd overall in rally. This was a huge accomplishment and congratulations again to everyone on the team. 

In retrospect my biggest moment came near the end of the Rally when Robby asked me to drive a car for him in the 2010 Rally. The plan was to modify his four seat buggy and turn it into a very fast chase and support car. To say I came home from the rally excited is an understatement. 
In March I traveled with the team to Mexico to work as support for the SCORE San Felipe 250. Robby finished 2nd and I had a great time because I got to go prerunning and test drive the buggy while I was down there.

Later in March it was time to shift the focus back to my own race team for the Mint 400, also known as The Great American Desert Race. For the first time in many years the event would be held in North Las Vegas which brought back many memories including my first desert race as a driver in 1983. Good memories went bad briefly when we broke an axle two thirds of the way through the race putting us back to 6th place in the end.
In June and next on the schedule was my favorite race the SCORE Tecate Baja 500. I always look at this race along with the Baja 1000 as a race that I have the best chance of winning. Also spending time prerunning in Northern Baja is definitely a key element.
Even though I finished in 2nd place it was a very successful race for me. The strong finish was a good rebound from the disappointment at the Mint and I was very happy with the way I drove the car because I really felt like I was on top of my game. I have driven the Baja 500 solo many times but I can’t remember feeling so good after a ten (10) hour stint behind the wheel.
Late in the summer I found out my seat for the 2010 Dakar was going away. Carlo de Gavardo with backing from the government of Chile put a deal together with Robby to run a third Hummer. This made running the buggy as a fourth car impractical and pointless. If the whole thing didn’t make perfect sense I would be really disappointed. Hopefully I can create another opportunity to make it back in the race and on the team again in the future. I have the utmost respect for Robby and I really enjoy working for him and his team.
I am very proud of all my accomplishments that took place this last year and I am looking forward to formulating plans for the future. Special thanks go out to Jake Johnson of Jake’s Fabworks for all his help.



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