Rayford Impresses the Competition at Perris
Fifth Place Finish in Round 13
Appleton, WI - (September 30, 2009) A relative unknown in the world of short-course off-road racing, Chad Rayford, fought for a fifth place finish in Round 13 of the Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL PRO-Light division. The fifteen truck field was stacked with the best Pro-Light drivers from across the country, and with only two races under his belt, Chad's performance instantly earned the respect of his fellow competitors.
The trek to the West Coast came off his TORC debut in Crandon. At the "Big House," the ATV racer turned TORC competitor, had finishes of seventh and eleventh places, respectively. Not only is Chad dealing with the changes of going from rider to driver, but the vastly different race tracks. The iconic track in Crandon, is all about speed and finding your rhythm through the turns and over the jumps, while the track at Perris Auto Speedway is tight and technical with varying jumps, bumps, and banking.
Friday afternoon saw the CR2 Motorsports #29 WaterFX AMSOIL Maxxis Tires Nissan Frontier qualify third fastest, out of the nine PRO-Lights that had their starting position based upon lap times. The top six racers in the point's standings automatically have their starting positions locked into the field.
The rolling start for Friday night's twenty lap affair had Chad lined up on the inside of row nine. The black and blue Nissan held its position the first few laps, as the field tried to sort itself out. Racing in this type of venue is truly a contact sport. Hard contact is not condoned, but the saying "rubbin' is racing" really comes into play. Chad really seemed to have a good handle on the track and was in sixth place, just before the halfway / mandatory yellow point of the race.
When the field went green, Chad quickly worked his way around #15 Hart and #33 Stephenson into fourth place. The spot didn't hold for long, as #9 Hord made his way past the #29 Nissan. Chad then fought off all other contenders during the remaining eight laps, to finish in fifth place.
Between rounds, Mark Hansen of Vehicle Dynamix continued to make adjustments to the chassis, looking for more speed through the technical infield portion of the track. It was great for CR2 Motorsports to bring Mark on board to fine tune the chassis for the weekend of racing.
The Saturday night race didn't go as planned for the WaterFX Nissan. Just after the mandatory yellow lap, Chad suffered a right rear flat tire, thanks to landing on a small boulder located on the backstretch. With not much time left in the race, the #29 Nissan retired from Round 14 in tenth place.
"As a team we learned a ton this weekend," noted Chad Rayford. "As a driver I'm getting more comfortable behind the wheel, and understanding the adjustments to improve the truck's handling. Friday's fifth place finish makes all the work it took this year to get the truck race ready worth while."
You can watch all the Round 14 action, including the PRO-Light race, Sunday, October 4, at 11:00am eastern on ESPN2.
The next race for CR2 Motorsports is the final weekend of the 2009 Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL is October 23-24 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
-credit: CR2 Motorsports