Part-Time Independent PRO-Light Racer - Chad Rayford Grabs Podium in Chicagoland Backs it up with a 4th in Round 10 Appleton, WI (September 1, 2010) - Independent PRO-Light competitor Chad Rayford did what some say would be impossible...
Part-Time Independent PRO-Light Racer - Chad Rayford Grabs Podium in Chicagoland
Backs it up with a 4th in Round 10
Appleton, WI (September 1, 2010) - Independent PRO-Light competitor Chad Rayford did what some say would be impossible for the part-time racer, to finish on the podium. The former ATV and snocross racer battled with his four cylinder Nissan powered Maxxis Tire PRO-Light against some of the true professionals in the sport, including the bigger faster V-8 powered PRO-Light trucks, to finish in the Top-5 during both nights of action.
Chad Rayford came down to Chicagoland with the help of the Flying Dutchman Off-Road Team and Independent Off-Road. The team set-up its limited pit area alongside the #77 PRO-2WD of Dan Vanden Heuvel, hoping that the team would have a solid two nights of competition without the need of any fabrication between races. This would be only the second time this year Rayford would compete at a TORC event, and was looking to build on his solid effort from his first event in Oshkosh.
The track was build on and inside Chicagoland Raceway's ½ mile clay oval. The .8mile track offered a variety of fast high flying jumps, moguls, whoops, and a sizable tabletop jump. The relatively short straightaways and the tight corners of the layout would favor the light more nimble 4-cylinder trucks like Rayford's Maxxis Nissan, which made the team hopeful for a strong finish.
Wednesday - Round 9
The twelve truck TORC PRO-Light field began with the two-wide rolling start. After starting near the back of the field, Rayford moved up to fifth place just before the mandatory yellow at the halfway point of the sixteen lap feature. When green flag racing resumed, the #29 Maxxis Tire made a quick pass to move into the fourth spot. Quickly Rayford began stalking #21 Hoek for the final podium spot. Then with three laps to go, he made the pass stick, but Hoek wasn't done racing.
On the final lap Hoek got along side Rayford as the two trucks headed for the final corner. Somehow as the two trucks were banging each other through the rhythm section, Rayford held on to finish in third place.
"We came to this race because the track would suit the four cylinder trucks like my Maxxis Nissan," remarked a relatively low keyed Chad Rayford. "I would lose a little sometimes going through turns one and two, but once we hit the infield, this truck was a rocket."
After some quick prep work and repairing the rear quarter panels, the blue and black Nissan was ready for round 10.
Thursday - Round 10
The second night of racing was less dramatic for Rayford and his #29 Nissan. After starting in the third position, thanks to the finish from the previous night, the four cylinder Nissan just couldn't catch the two V8 powered trucks in front of him. Then a late charge for #43 Caddell moved the Maxxis Nissan back one spot to fourth place at the checkered flag.
"Tonight's track was wetter than the night before and I think the torque for the V8 trucks had an advantage over the four cylinder guys," noted Chad Rayford. "Chicagoland was really good for us and I have to thank the Vanden Heuvels, Independent Off-Road, and Maxxis Tire for all the help at the track. It's pretty cool to run with guys like Casey, Ross, and Andrew."
The next race on the 2010 Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL schedule is the season finale September 4-5 in Crandon, Wisconsin.
-source: chad rayford PR/mtg