The 2009 XRRA National Championship belongs to brothers Brad and Roger Lovell, photo by Jud Leslie
The RAM Park in Colorado features some of the largest jumps on the XRRA circuit, photo by Jud Leslie
Team Lovell puts K&N on its vehicles and takes them through some of the worst dust imaginable and they remain confident K&N filters will work every time, courtesy of Chad Jock Photography
Team Lovell went to The RAM Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado with only one plan in mind, to win, photo by Jud Leslie
Torchmate Ford Ranger held up despite massive jumps, staircases and huge boulders in 2009 XRRA National Championship Race, courtesy of Chad Jock Photography
Team Lovell will compete in the Silver State 300 desert race before they head off to the Baja 1000, courtesy of Chad Jock Photography
Brad Lovell dethroned 2008 champion Shannon Campbell and reclaimed the XRRA National Championship 2009 title for Team Lovell. The effort was a repeat of Roger Lovell’s championship on the same course two years ago.
The brothers were forced to race one another at the RAM Park because of their 4th and 5th (respectively) place finishes in the Western Series. “It created a challenge to compete against each other in Colorado because we usually spot for each other,” said Brad Lovell. “But we took the setback in stride. During the first run I got pretty worked up and was really hard on the truck. I hit the same hole on both laps and was worried I hurt the suspension. I was surprised but everything held.”
Brad Lovell’s times were among the fastest as were Roger Lovell’s. On the more technical course Roger finished only a couple of seconds behind his brother. At the halfway mark, the brothers were sitting in 2nd and 5th place.
During the afternoon runs competitors faced a series of jumps that clear a 15 foot ditch followed by a 20 foot rock staircase. “Timing was crucial,” said Lovell. “The consequences for coming up either long or short were dire.” Roger was forced to work his way around the jumps, but Brad was able to clear all the jumps. “I overshot the staircase and almost went end over end,” said Brad. “I was in the air and kept waiting to land. The truck went nose down and I knew I was in trouble. I was just hoping the truck would hit the ground before it caught the bumper and it did. I hit the ground hard, but the Torchmate Ford lived through it.”
Roger had a worse fate when his wheel lugs sheared off in a rock notch. “I didn’t realize what had happened in the rocks,” he said. “I kept my foot on the gas and got out of the rocks before I knew my hopes of a win were gone.”
The brothers turned Roger’s misfortune into a team advantage. Roger could now act as a spotter and coach for Brad. At the start of the final round, Brad was seated 9 seconds behind leader Rick Dermo and a few seconds ahead of the rest of the field. “There was not much strategy,” said Brad Lovell. “We had three 2nd place finishes this year and came in 2nd at the National Championships last year. We wanted the win. We are usually pretty tactical, but this time it was win or break down.”
With Roger’s coaching, Brad kept a cool head and timed the jumps correctly. The Lovell’s had the lead with only one run left. “I kept thinking, don’t screw it up,” said Brad. “I knew I had a few seconds to burn and concentrated on a clean run. In the end I had a smaller margin than I thought but it was good enough for a win. I’m really proud of our family and our team.”
Brad Lovell will next compete in the Silver State 300 desert race on September 26. From there, Team Lovell will go onto the Baja 1000. “We are fortunate to be involved with some of the best companies out there and K&N is on the list,” said Brad Lovell. “K&N has the best air filter on the market. I put the K&N air filter on and forget about it for the whole season and know it will do its job. There are not a lot of parts I can say that about.”
Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.