GRASS VALLEY, CA MAY 14, 2010 Kevin Yoder has had an exceptional start to the 2010 racing season. His “fast red” PitBull Tires Rock Buggy made its debut on PowerBlock TV in front of 5million SpikeTV viewers just before he took on the 2010 Griffin King of the Hammers finishing a very respectable 13th. Yoder has already completed two short course VORRA races finishing 2nd in both, and finished 3rd at the BITD Bilek Racing Silver State 300, putting him in 2nd place in both the Grand Slam of Offroad Racing and VORRA series. All of these successes have come within 3 months in the same barn built buggy that he has built and raced over the last five years.
Courtney Hansen interviewed Kevin Yoder which aired on Powerblock TV in February consisting of the intermissions between four half hour shows: Xtreme4×4, Trucks!, MuscleCar and Horsepower. Yoder answered different questions about his racing career, current race plans and goals for 2010. It is also the premier of his “Fast Red” paint job! The car shined in the studio!
When Yoder pulled up to the starting line of the 2010 Griffin King of the Hammers February 12th, the most amazing race in racing today, he had a smile on his face and an air of confidence. After months of prep, countless hours and money spent to get to this point, he fired up the buggy, pulled it forward into starting position and the brake pedal went metal to metal with the floor: he had no rear brakes. With no option but to start the race, his pit crews worked at fixing the brakes at every stop, just to loose time and never truly fix the problem. The brakes finally played a crucial roll when he was on Sledge Hammer and rolled his rig attempting to do a rear burn. After he got untangled from another car that used the bottom side of the buggy as traction and got uprighted, Yoder and co-pilot Joel Swanson maintained positioning for the last 15 miles to the finish line. “I would have liked to have gone faster, and the car was certainly capable of it, but knowing that there was no brakes to stop it for the whole 135 miles made me settle into a comfortable grove,” said Yoder. The Barn Built buggy finished a very respectable 13th position in a field of 100 where only 43 in total finished. With his finish, Kevin Yoder has secured a position in the 2011 King of the Hammers.
A short five weeks after the King of the Hammers success, Yoder took the Rock Buggy to Prairie City OHV area to compete in the new Ultra4 class at VORRA. As the 2009 VORRA Sportsman Class champion, Yoder put history in the record books when his Rock Buggy competed in an entire desert series and walked away with the title. The first two rounds of VORRA are short course races, so with a change in the PitBull tire size and the newly tuned TurnKey Engine he knew he had a winning combination. The night before the race during practice he broke his front ring and pinion which lead to an all night parking lot fix to make it to the starting line the following day. The Ultra4 racing action was a crowd pleaser and Yoder was apart of some amazing front bumper finishes in the three moto day. At the end of the day, Yoder finished second overall.
One month later, he again showed up to the VORRA short course track with a mission on his mind: to take the win. He had adjusted the suspension more, and worked on the sway bars to help guide this massive vehicle on the technically tight course, but he still managed to get it up on two wheels more often that he would have liked. With the powerful engine giving him the holeshot, he again averaged out his three motos to a second place overall. “I love the starts, getting the holeshot is the most fun of the whole race,” Yoder laughed.
With only four days between the VORRA short course race and the BITD Bilek Racing Silver State 300, he tore down the buggy and prepared it for a 300 mile desert race. Yoder went to the start line with the finish on his mind, but it would have to be earned. Around race mile 65 Yoder stripped out one of the front sway bar arms and had to adjust his driving for the change in handling until he finally had his pit crew remove them. “I should have stopped and taken them off long before I limped it 100 miles,” reflects Yoder. Towards the end of the day, Yoder got nerfed in true race desert fashion by a Class 1 car that bent the rear mounted high lift jack into the air compressor causing an electrical short that would kill the motor intermittently. “We finally stopped to figure out why we kept loosing power. We saw the smashed jack and compressor, and then we cut the smoked wires out. We jumped back in the car and set our fastest pace of the race to the finish line,” smiled Yoder. With a great race, and adjusted time, Yoder crossed the finish line in 3rd place with his PitBull tires not even showing signs of wear. The Hammerking Productions group didn’t even have Yoder as a pick to be in the running for the win knowing he had raced the weekend before. Regardless of time, Yoder proves time and time again that he is a force to be reckoned with in the PitBull “Fast Red” Rock Buggy. This was the second race in the Grand Slam of Offroad Racing series, the first being the King of the Hammers.
With four races under his belt for the year thus far, he is continuing his zero DNF streak from 2009, and is maintaining a solid stance with 2nd place overall positions in both the VORRA series and the Grand Slam of Offroad Racing. He will continue to take the green flags with competitive spirit in the rock buggy that proves Yoder’s talents in building multi-function vehicles. The VORRA series leaves the short course and heads to the desert for 4 races starting with the Yerrington 300 and then the new Xtreme Outlaw Offroad 250 Race. The next Grand Slam of Offroad Racing event will be the Lands End Hill Climb in Colorado in August. Yoder will also open a new series this month competing in the CalROCs rock crawling competition in Reno, NV and will participate in the Tuff-Cup Pro Arena Rock Racing at the Octane Fest in Fallon, NV in June.