Lights! Camera! Drive! Defending Champion Merritt moves to top of leader board with "Terribles Town 250" win PAHRUMP, Nevada - It's been billed as the summer of the sequel, with "Spider Man 3" due out soon, and the third "Shrek," followed by...
Lights! Camera! Drive!
Defending Champion Merritt moves to top of leader board with "Terribles Town 250" win
PAHRUMP, Nevada - It's been billed as the summer of the sequel, with "Spider Man 3" due out soon, and the third "Shrek," followed by the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, to name just a few.
And Randy Merritt wants to get in the act.
He's working on Best In The Desert Racing Association Driving Championship II.
And the defending 8100 Class champion took a big step in that direction here Saturday (April 28), in the 2007 "Terribles Town 250", by taking home a thrilling, come-from-behind class win over Chad Hall. The difference between the two drivers at the finish line was 45 seconds.
"I really don't know how we did it," said an exhausted Merritt after crossing the finish line in the Mongo Racing KC HiLites Ford F-150. "At one point we were 10 minutes out of first place."
The finishing order in the class was the exact opposite of the season-opening "Blue Water Resort and Casino Parker 425", where Merritt finished second to Hall. And after adding the two finishes together, the two drivers find themselves tied for the top spot in the class point standings.
"(The season championship) is most likely going to be decided at the "Vegas to Reno" race," said Merritt's co-rider and technician, Chris Golding. "That's where we'll either make it or break it. It will be the deciding race."
The 2007 "TSCO Vegas to Reno" is scheduled Aug. 23-24-25.
Saturday's race didn't start out on a positive note. The big Mongo Racing Ford F-150 experienced a power steering problem 60 miles into the event, when the reservoir bracket broke. Golding made the hasty repair with wire and duct tape to get the truck back under way, only to then experience an over-heating problem.
"So, we had to baby it a little bit. But we kept picking (the other class competitors) off," said Merritt. "We had our own pace and we just kept with it."
On the positive side, the F-150's Goodyear tires held up on the new Allied Wheels, a new sponor for this race.
"We didn't have one flat, or wheel problem," said Merritt. "But then, that's what we've come to expect from our Goodyear tires."
Merritt made one pit stop for fuel, "and a little more duct tape around the reservoir," said Golding.
"After that, we knew we were 10 minutes down," said Merritt. "So we decided to pound it to the finish."
Hall actually crossed the finish line first, but on adjusted time, Merritt was 45 seconds faster.
"It was a great finish," said Merritt. "But we couldn't have done it without the usual, continued, hard-working support of the Mongo Racing Team, and our sponsors.
"It just doesn't get much better than this."
Maybe. Back-to-back driving championships might change that perspective.
"Yeah, that would be great," said Merritt. "It was great to win the Championship in 2006, and it would be incredible to win it again in 2007.
"But we've still got a very long way to go. We're not going to assume anything. As the saying goes, anything can happen between now and the end of the season.
"Fortunately, we have another long break until we race again, so we've got plenty of time to work out any other flaws we might have found this time around.
"Bottom line is..... we'll be ready for Vegas to Reno!"
-credit: mongo racing