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Best in the Desert 2009 Season Puts Torchmate Racing 2nd in 7200 Class

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The BITD (Best in the Desert) Henderson Desert Classic was seemingly simple compared to the challenges of the Baja 1000, said Torchmate team racer Brad Lovell. “The BITD is still an extremely rough and dusty course,” he said. “It is a 240 mile, 4 lap race and the lap races cause the course to become extremely chewed up. The danger is also increased as the overall leaders will lap around the slower classes.”

Rookie BITD Season put Torchmate Racing in 2nd place overall in the 7200 Class, by Chad Jock Photography
Rookie BITD Season put Torchmate Racing in 2nd place overall in the 7200 Class, by Chad Jock Photography
Due to a random draw, the No.7231 with K&N products started nearly last in a field of over 150 in a class of 11 trucks. The first team of Torchmate drivers nailed the throttle but was stuck in the first turn. The silty sand had churned up enough to hamper the best 7200 class trucks. Team driver Greg Jones worked the steering wheel, freed the truck and sped off into the desert near Henderson, Nevada.
Henderson, Nevada BITD course is extremely rough and dusty, by Chad Jock Photography
Henderson, Nevada BITD course is extremely rough and dusty, by Chad Jock Photography

Torchmate Racing Team had some wins, some championships and some bad wrecks in the 2009 Best in the Desert Season, by Chad Jock Photography
Torchmate Racing Team had some wins, some championships and some bad wrecks in the 2009 Best in the Desert Season, by Chad Jock Photography

Jones worked his way around the first lap and gained several positions. “Our race strategy only included one stop for fuel and a driver change after lap two,” said Lovell. “The truck held up to the punishment remarkably well and moved at a blistering pace. Others were blowing tires, crashing and having mechanical issues but our team found the right pace. We were still climbing in the field when Bill Kunz and I relieved the first two Torchmate Team drivers.”

The sun dipped behind the mountains and the truck lights came on. “Racing at night is easier in some ways but it also creates a bigger challenge,” said Lovell. “The field thinned and plumes of dust still hung in the air which caused light to reflect in our eyes.” The No. 7231 truck soaked up huge bumps, but the even larger ones bounced the Torchmate Team uncontrollably in the air.

“We were careful in the rough sections and still fast in the smooth stuff,” said Lovell. “Other class 7200 trucks could be seen moving slow, fast or not moving at all in the cold desert night. Our confidence grew and we knew our truck would make it. Our K&N air filters keep the debris out of our engine and keep our sensors from clogging up. We need K&N on these difficult courses.”

At the finish, the Torchmate Team was 4th in class and 39th overall. The strong finish also secured their 2nd place position in the 2009 BITD Series. “That was not bad for our rookie season in class 7200,” said Lovell. “We are proud of our 2009 campaign. We had some wins, some championships and a couple of rollovers. We also had some bad wrecks and two trips to the hospital but fortunately no lasting damage. Best of all, we have a pile of trophies that memorialize our hard work and fun.”

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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail tech@knfilters.com, or visit www.knfilters.com.