BITD: Robison, LaRoza 2006 season wrap-up

Robison and LaRoza Take 7300 Class BITD Championship With 3rd Place at Vegas Season Finale Phoenix, Arizona - Off road racing veteran Austin Robison of Chandler, Arizona, and LaRoza Racing team owner Steve LaRoza of Tracy, California closed out...

Robison and LaRoza Take 7300 Class BITD Championship With 3rd Place at Vegas Season Finale

Phoenix, Arizona - Off road racing veteran Austin Robison of Chandler, Arizona, and LaRoza Racing team owner Steve LaRoza of Tracy, California closed out a successful 2006 season by winning the Best in the Desert 7300 Stock Mini Truck Class championship with a 3rd place finish at the Henderson 400. The race was held the first weekend of December and marked the season finale of the seven race 2006 BITD season.

Robison and LaRoza lead the 7300 class championship battle from the first race of the 2006 season, and maintained that lead throughout the year. The #7313 Ford / BF Goodrich / LaRoza Construction backed Ford Ranger FX4 finished every race of the season, and the team's consistency played a major role in their successful championship bid.

Henderson 400 Coverage

Robison started the Henderson 400 6th in class, and with an aggressive initial pace, he was able to move to 5th in class before leaving the short infield loop. After making solid contact with a dirt berm only a few miles into the event, Austin adopted a more conservative pace to ensure that the LaRoza entry would survive the required three circuits of the course's 92 mile loop.

Robison, concerned that the contact may have damaged the truck, and sensing that the front suspension of the #7313 entry was softer than normal decided to pit with navigator Allison LaRoza at pit number two, to assess any potential damage. Robison, comfortable that the Ranger could continue, set back out on course and stopped again at pit three so that the LaRoza team crew could look the truck over more comprehensively. BF Goodrich pit support personnel were also available to help fuel the truck.

Robison continued his stint until approximately the halfway point, and then turned the truck over to co-driver and team owner Steve LaRoza and his navigator Matt Robertson. Despite losing several minutes while being help up by another truck blocking a choke point in the route, LaRoza and Robertson were still able to bring the #7313 white and blue Ford Ranger home third in class to clinch the 7300 class championship.

Austin Robison Quote

"I'm happy that we were able to secure the championship, but it definitely wasn't easy. We really worked hard to make sure that we finished every event, and looking back on it, we won it more on consistency than for any other reason. Everyone knows that you have to finish the race before you can win it, and in desert racing that can be a tough thing. I've always striven to ensure that I finished any desert race that I've entered.

There really were a lot of people that helped to make this possible including my cousin Kent Robison, Tresco Boutard and Matt Robertson. And of course I have to thank Steve LaRoza and his daughter Allison for keeping the racing effort strong all year. I can't say enough about Steve as he won two championships this year, and made sure that we had the equipment to get the job done."

Thanks for 2006

With the BITD 7300 class honors, Robison adds to an already impressive resume in off road racing. Austin, who is keenly aware of what it takes to mount championship efforts, wishes to thank all of the supporters and sponsors that helped in the 2006 effort.

-credit: jms

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Series Offroad
Drivers Rob Austin