The 2012 off-road season was a strenuous one for Chuck Deakins and his Deaknbuilt/K&N Filters team. Deakins and his Ford Ranger competed in the new High Desert Racing Association series with varying degrees of success, all while facing some of the toughest competition and conditions ever seen in off-road racing. The result was a season full of memories and positive experiences.
The K&N sponsored Deaknbuilt race team competes in the High Desert Racing Association series
"2012 was a real stretch for our team," Deakins said. "The new series took us to El Centro in California as well as to Primm, Reno and Laughlin in Nevada. The logistics of getting a team of volunteers to these events was amazing. We carpooled, doubled and tripled our trailer loads, and in some cases probably had way too many guys in a single hotel room just to make it happen.
"The trade-off of running the new series though allowed the team to grow and learn to count on each other more and work better together. For us, that's a successful year."
The most trying moment of the year for the Deaknbuilt team was undoubtedly the Reno 500. The race had everything you want and don't want in a race, mixed into one long day. From fights in the pits, to track changes, mechanical breakdowns to a shortage of gas, the race seemed like one destined for doom for the Deaknbuilt boys. Instead, they rallied, never lost faith, and found a way to win the 12-hour marathon.
"It wasn't so much that we finished first, I was just happy we finished at all," Deakins said. "The entire team was exhausted, dirty and hungry, but when it was over, there we were standing on top of the truck at the finish. Not only had the team members that were at the race stayed with it for half a day, but all the family and friends that were watching and following us all day stuck with us as well."
"All the hard work, all the race prep, all the late nights for this one moment in time, looking out over the team raising their arms, cheering like a bunch of crazy fanatics, practically by ourselves in the middle of the night. I'd say it was worth it."
Deakins said the team is focused on the season finale in a few weeks, where they are all but assured a second place finish in points. The team is looking forward to the offseason, where some long awaited upgrades to the truck should put the Deaknbuilt team in prime position for a championship in 2013.
Eduring the challenges of off-road racing is tough but K&N products help the Deaknbuilt race team reach the finish line
One area Deakins said won't need an upgrade are the filters on his Ranger. Instead, Deakins praised K&N for their innovate, high-performance filters.
"We have been running K&N products since our first year of racing. For five years, they have provided extra horsepower with an easy to replace air and oil filter, a real benefit. We carry spares in case we ever over-dust the filters, but so far, even at the Reno 500, it has not been necessary to change them. This was the first year that we have run the K&N fuel filter and it worked flawlessly. The off-road pounding and punishment is intense on all of the equipment. Two things we can say for sure are one, if it was easy, everyone would do it, and two, you can always count on K&N."
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