Chris Raffo and the rest of Raffo Racing came to the Primm 300 in Southern Nevada looking to challenge the perennial Class 3 champs for a class win. Raffo Racing is a group of desert racing fans front various parts of the country that come ...
Chris Raffo and the rest of Raffo Racing came to the Primm 300 in Southern Nevada looking to challenge the perennial Class 3 champs for a class win.
Raffo Racing is a group of desert racing fans front various parts of the country that come together to drive, ride, chase, pit, repair, or whatever it takes to keep the Raffo Racing "old school" Class 3 -- California Tomato 1978 Chevy Blazer in the race for the class win. Chris Raffo from Chicago and his long-time co-driver Dennis Chencherick from Pennsylvania team up with a supporting crew that has included members from Northern and Southern California, Colorado, Missouri, and Florida. Raffo Racing is truly a grassroots operation.
After the reconnaissance ride on the 75-mile long limited access desert course on Friday, the team quickly realized the course would get increasingly rougher as all the 198 competitors make multiple passes over the already rugged Nevada terrain. The plan was to keep pace with the points leader of the class the first two laps and hopefully pick up the pace slightly halfway through the third and final lap.
The driving duties were to have Chris drive the first two laps, and Dennisrun the final circuit. Right from the start, the dust was heavy and the course already developed deep rutting by the time the five Class 3 trucks began their race.
About half way through Lap 1, the front axle trusses broke and a couple of the bumps stops were destroyed. This caused a lot of hard bottoming out putting additional strain on the truck's chassis and driveline. The deep rutting on the course also caused the truck to "slide" over rocks and boulders and take even more abuse. At the end of the first lap, Chris was in second place only 3 minutes behind the leader, Donald Moss.
The team decided to change drivers while the crew inspected the truck. At this point the team realized if they were going to finish the event with an already damaged truck, they would have to slow the race pace. About 15 miles into the second lap, co-driver Jeff Dolan radioed the crew that the front axle housing broke and caused terminal damage to the driveline. The team's day was done. At the end of the time only 85 of the original 198 competitors made it to the finish.
"We definitely found the weak link in the truck, the axle trusses just couldn't hold up to the punishment of the rough Southern Nevada desert. We have some work to do before the Baja 1000, but we will be ready. "-Chris Raffo.
Next event is November 17-20, the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
Raffo Racing has marketing opportunities available for the upcoming Baja 1000.