Randy Merritt and the rest of the Mongo Racing team recently participated in the "Parker Youth Off-Road Experience" at Pop Harvey Park, in Parker Arizona. The event lent the opportunity for youngsters from four area schools to meet the invited drivers and crews and get a close-up look at their race vehicles.
Randy Merritt, with Mongo Racing, finished more than eight minutes ahead of the second place driver in the Parker 425
"The Parker Youth Experience was very important," explained Merritt. "And that goes for any school. I figure these kids are the future of our sport, and if we can have a positive impact to get kids racing into the future, then I'm all for it."
The next two days of the event consisted of the "Parker Downtown experience, geared toward the racers and fans, followed by a full day of "contingency and technical inspection at the Blue Water Resort and Casino in Parker, Arizona."
Then it was finally that much anticipated day Randy Merritt and his crew had been preparing for - an exciting race. The Mongo racing team showed up at the starting line for the Best of The Dessert's Parker 425, eager to compete in what had been billed as the "Legend Lives On".
They had fire in their eyes and were prepared for a long hard battle. Although the course only consisted of three laps, the laps were long and trying. In fact, Merritt, the driver, would be deluged with a plethora of obstacles, and at the day's end would have driven his 7281 KC HiLiTes General Tire rig 425 gruesome miles.
With the Parker 425 win under their belts, the Mongo Racing team is anticipating a successful run in 2013
Starting the event fourth in a field of 19 official starters, Merritt remained in the top ten during the first lap. In fact, the driver was in the sixth position and only 16-minutes behind the lead driver. After a quick pit stop he was back on the route.
"I knew there was a lot of time left, and I just wanted to be patient and move my way up to the lead," recalled the driver. "I was very confident that I was going to win.I feel that way every race," he continued. "I have an awesome team and awesome sponsors, so that takes a lot of pressure off. Starting first would be better, but there were a lot of miles, so I really don't worry about where I start."
Merritt experienced a fast lap during his second round, and had managed to muscle his way into second place and only seven and one-half miles behind the leader, Shawn Giordano.
Going into the third lap, the driver would accept nothing but a victory, and after a quick pit stop he embarked upon the final 136-mile lap with vigor and his sites on the finish line.
With about 20 miles separating him from the checkered flag, Merritt managed to take the lead, and never looked back. When the dust had settled, Mongo Racing had cinched the championship title, as they had finished more than eight minutes in front of the second placed driver.
When asked his thoughts on winning the race, Randy Merritt said, "It felt great; It still hits me every couple of days and I get pumped up about it. I live in Parker and and have been on that course many times, and know the fast lines I suppose. Having a problem-free lap helped a lot. The weather was perfect, and dust was not a factor for a change."
Although Randy Merritt obviously sports exceptional driving skills, he is also quick to explain that his team is an essential component of success. "My team is great! These guys have been with me for over 15 to 20 years." looking back at the fruition of the team, he continued, "We all were young punk kids and now they are seasoned veterans. I'm proud of them!"
Mongo Racing recently walked away victorious from the 7200 class of the Parker 425
Merritt and his crew are also aware of the importance of keeping their vehicle perfectly maintained. "You can win the race in the shop, and you can lose it in the shop," ensured the driver. "So shop prep is everything. Having a great team doesn't do any good if they don't have a truck to pit."
That in mind, Merritt and his crew are strong advocates of keeping the internal components of their engine contaminant free, and in turn, depend upon K&N products for their filtering needs.
"I use the 14X6 round filters with foam outer wrap with winning results," he explained. "K&N has been in racing forever, and with their involvement in motorsports, K&N has become the biggest name. And as a result, they make the best filters. We are very glad to be a part of such success and hope to help the cause."
With a big "W" at the Parker 425 behind them, Mongo Racing is looking forward to a success filled run throughout the remainder of the season. When asked what fans can expect from his team, Randy Merritt said, "The big plan is to win the championship. I really want to win every race this year, and I think that's possible. And if we don't win every race...We'll sure give it our all!"
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Other K&N news stories about Randy Merritt and the Mongo Racing team include: Randy Merritt and Mongo Racing Finish Mint 400 in Debut of New Ford Truck and TrailReady Motorsports Teams with Tracy Rubio in the Trophy Truck Class