July 12th, 2015 GLEN HELEN, CA: Both ULTRA4 drivers and fans lucked out last weekend with below average temperatures for the 5th Annual 4 Wheel Parts Glen Helen Grand Prix. The event continues to be the largest ULTRA4 regional race in the series with nearly 120 cars registered in 7 classes. Loren Healy continues to be the man to beat in the 4400 unlimited class. It’s been almost a year to the day since Healy debuted his new IFS #67 car with a win at Glen Helen, and Healy showed up in San Bernardino prepared to defend that win.
2009 King of The Hammers winner, #76 Jason Scherer had the fastest lap in qualifying by nearly 5 seconds winning the Billet Rifle Systems Hot Shot Award. #67 Loren Healy and #321 Tom Wayes both lead their prelims Saturday morning which had Healy on the pole and Wayes starting just seconds behind him for the 40-car main event. Early in the race, competition was tight with Healy leading the pack. Many cars succumbed to mechanical failures in the first hour of the two hour long race. Healy too had to stop for a tire change and Wayland Campbell took the lead in his new-to-him single seat IFS car. After several laps and Wayland experiencing some mechanical issues of his own, Healy regained the lead and never looked back. The Red Dragon once again proving unstoppable in a regional race. When the checkered flag dropped, it was #67 Loren Healy in 1st, #966 Jason Blanton in 2nd and #27 Jon Cagliero 3rd. This was both Blanton and Cagliero’s first time nabbing a podium finish in an ULTRA4 event.
Nearly 40 cars entered the track in the multi-class limited race which began with a moment of silence for two ULTRA4 team members that had passed since the last ULTRA4 race, driver for the #689 car, Cody McBride, and crew chief for the #4540 car, MoparNorm Layton. The limited race was lead by motocross legend Ricky Johnson in a 4700 spec car. He and fellow spec car driver Bailey Cole would battle it out throughout the race with #4748 Johnson taking 1st, #4703 Cole 2nd and #4708 Rowdy Trubenbach taking 3rd for the spec class. In the 4500 modified class, the Beast from the East, #4580 Jordan Townsend dominated and earned first followed by #13 Justin Hall and #4540 Mike Bedwell in third after overoming multiple mechanical issues to take his first podium in ULTRA4. In the 4800 legends class, the racing was tight throughout the hour and a half main event with the majority of the cars traversing the track in a tight pack throughout the race. Ultimately, Dave Schneider in the 4871 took the checkered followed by #4823 Jade Wickham and #444 Rick Waterbury in 3rd. In the 4600 class, #4612 Ben Varozza, who is no stranger to the podium, clinched another first place with #4696 Sean MacNamara in 2nd and #4672 Brian Hays taking 3rd.
17 UTVs raced at Glen Helen making it one of the largest UTV races outside of King of The Hammers for ULTRA4 Racing. John Duckworth took the checkered flag in the pro class, with Buzz Bronsema in 2nd and newcomer to the UTV class, JP Gomez clinching 3rd. In the UTV Sportsman class, Brendan Child scored his first ULTRA4 win, followed by Brian Hogue and Nathan Unruh.
In the Nitto National Championship series Derek West has continued to consistently finish in the top 5 maintaining a significant lead in points over Shirley and Wayland Campbell. Next week’s Sturgis Off Road Blowout will be the first time the majority of the series points leaders have completed 3 regional races. The Nitto National Championship consists of the Nitto King of The Hammers, 3 best regional races and the Nitto National Championship, and after next week’s race the race for the championship will be on, with the top drivers striving to gain points before Nationals in October.
The next race in the ULTRA4 Nitto National Championship will be next weekend’s Sturgis Off Road Blowout July 31st and August 2nd. The next Trail-Gear regional race is the Fallon 250 at the end of August. For more information on ULTRA4 Racing please visit www.ultra4racing.com