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Whiplash 2007 Season Opener. Vulture Mine, 2-19-07

I wrecked at ET Motopark MX track in October and seperated my shoulder. This caused me to miss a bit of work and a lot of softball. I also did a lot of rehab to get my shoulder strong again. To this day I still don't know why I wrecked on that little tabletop jump. For that reason I have decided to stick to desert racing and I have decided to try and do the entire Whiplash 2007 season. I was never that great at MX racing anyway. It is loads of fun but to be competitive you need to be slightly crazy to clear all the big jumps. :)

Here is my story from the Whiplash season opener at Vulture Mine yesterday. Along with a general quad update.

The first race for Whiplash was in Wickenburg which is good for me because I can just stay at my parents house. I showed up Saturday just to tech my bike. I was really sick on Saturday so it was really fantastic hanging out in the dust trying to get teched. The camping/pit area was packed. It was great to see a big turnout for the race. This was my 3rd whiplash race so I teched in for the ATV300 class which is novice. In my last race last year I got 2nd place.

So we pulled in Sunday and we had to find where my friend Eric had pitted because he had a prime spot and more importantly he had my number plates. As soon as we pulled into the pit area a guy told me the ATV drivers meeting was in 10 minutes. Great, so now I had to unpack, suit up, find eric and go to the meeting. Not to mention I had to take a giant dump. I hurried to unpack and went to the drivers meeting, luckily my dad and Adam were able to find and meet Eric.

Since my last race I had installed the twist throttle along with a precision steering stabilizer. I love the twist throttle because my forearms and hand doesn't tire out anymore. I had only used the stabilizer on one ride at the dunes and it was awesome, more on this later.

As the video shows I holeshotted the guy I started with and never saw him again and I past the guy who started in front of me in about 2 miles. I tried to warm up as best I could in the pits but going from 0 to 100 absolutely killed my arms. Both my arms and hands were cramped up and felt dead tired for the first 12 miles. I was asking myself why I do this shit. I saw a guy on a white quad who was catching me from behind. Somehow he never caught me and I didn't see him again. In the wash section I saw some big guy with his quad on its lid and he was walking around with his helmet already off. Looked like a nasty wreck but he was ok.

Finally after 12 miles my arms and hands came back and I was flying and having fun. THe middle part of the course is really fun, there is a high speed section where I was pinned in 5th for a while. After this section I caught up to a few guys and had to eat some major dust to pass them. One a-hole in the 500 (40+ expert) class held me up for a good 7 miles. While I was eating dust I exitted a sweeper and felt something bite my arm. Apparently I ran over or into a cholla. The little thorns hurt like hell and they really dug in. I could really feel it when I flexed my forearm. Some of them managed to get under my shoulder pad which felt great. At one point I tried to pull one out and I noticed it was just going to get stuck in my hand so I just kept riding until I hit the pits about 8 miles away. I wasn't schedule to make a pit stop until the end of lap 2 so my pit team was suprised. Eric said you are good on fuel and I was thinking no shit, how about you pull this crap out of my arm. I had started about 8th and I was now 3rd.

On lap 2 I nearly wrecked. About 200 yards past where I saw the wreck on lap 1 there is a turn in a wash with some giant g-outs (whoops) and my tail started wagging and the handlebars started into a tank slapper and one hand came off the bars. I was just about to bail when the handlebars just stuck in the middle so I grabbed on and took off. I was lucky and I attribute most of it to the stabilizer keeping the bars in check.

About 3/4 of the way through lap 2 I past the the 2nd place guy and I was hauling ass when I came to a hairpin turn I wasn't prepared for. So I tried to make the turn but wasn't able to cut it sharp enough so I locked them up and came to a hault about 2 feet from a palo verde. So I had to hop off the bike and push it back, while I was hopping on to take off the 3rd place guy was right on my butt.

So now I was in 2nd and feeling pretty good and I went as hard as I could on lap 3. I really wanted a 1st place finish. Each time I saw dust and caught a rider I was just praying it was a 300 but everyone on past on lap 3 was riders from other classes. I never saw the guy who was in first. I ended up finishing 2nd and the 1st place guy beat me by about 4 minutes. My finishing time would have been good for 4th in intermediate which is where I will end up.

The race had a lot of casualties I past a lot of people and I saw quite a few obliterated skid plates. I heard the number 1 pro jeff hancock wrecked and broke his collar bone and 2 other people were air evac'd. There were also quite a few flats. The course was a lot of fun and I had a blast.

They also announced we will be racing at the truckn nationals at firebird at the end of april in front of 30,000 people. That one should be fun. It will be a 1.5-3 mile short course GP race with a time limit.

Here is a vid of the pros lined up to start, my start, my pit stop and the end of the race which shows how I felt.


All rights reserved copyright © 2008, race photos by DGP Photography and Lagrand Studios
Contact: Trent Kendall: trelken at gmail.com