Below is a first person account from Gordon Tarnow of his weekend at Primm for WORCS.
This weekend I raced at Buffalo Bills in Primm, Nevada. This was the final race of the season and my last race on my trusty Raptor 250. It was a little bitter sweet but after riding the 450 in practice, I can’t wait for next season!!
We went up for practice on Friday morning so I could get more seat time on the 450 and get a good look at the track before my 250 race. I purposely scared the crud out of myself on the first session just to see what the quad could really do and what I could do with it. I also worked on shifting because I had been short shifting really bad and wasn’t using all the power I had available. I wore earplugs too because my 450 is really loud when I get on it hard. I got really scared a few times but pulled out without any super close calls. I went out on the second session and started pushing it. At this point I was starting to fall into a rhythm but I wasn’t at my limit yet. On the third session was when I really started to pick up speed. I increased my speed but I was still riding in my rhythm and I had a lot left before I reached my limit. Even though I didn’t ride a whole lot, I made huge improvements over how I was riding in Mesquite. I was feeling very good on my 450 and am ready to run at AZOP in my home town next weekend. At the end of the day, I went out for unclassified on the 250. The first lap went great.
I got a really good look at the track and I was feeling good. On the second lap, I had a small issue. I was picking up speed and was starting to fall into a rhythm when my quad shut off in the middle of a turn. I thought that maybe I had just stalled it but I was in the right gear so I should have been fine. I tried to start it but it didn’t even try. I turned all the switches off and on and I still had no luck. Then, I thought to try and move the connector I had been having problems with. We had replaced it with a new one before the race but we hadn’t crimped the connector enough so it had slid back and broken the connection. I slid it back on and the quad immediately fired. I rode the rest of the lap and went back to camp. I crimped the connector a little more and when I was done, it didn’t move at all so I knew I was going to be good for my races.
Saturday morning came and it was agonizing waiting for my races. All of my friends had done both of their races and were done for the day before I was even on the line. When it was finally time for my first race, I got to the line early and got the last good spot which made me glad I went down early. It finally came time for my race and I was ready to go. I held the quad at the redline as I waited for the flag to go up. I was a little sluggish off the start and was third into the first turn. I closed back up in the next few turns and straight-aways but then I remembered my points standings. I only needed a fourth or better to stay in second but a DNF would mean that I would drop a couple places and wouldn’t be on the year end podium. I knew I could stay in at least third place without any real trouble so I slowed down a tiny bit, enough that I knew I wouldn’t crash but not so much that I felt I wasn’t going fast. The track was rough but I stayed with it the entire race. The quad held together very well and I lapped quite a few 450 riders on my way to the finish. I finished in a comfortable third place and still had a lot left for the next race. I only had an hour between races so I couldn’t even get out of my gear but that was fine with me, my body wouldn’t stiffen up before the second race which meant that I would be good to go off the start.
I was the first one to the line for my second race of the day so I got the best spot. I was more alert on the start this time and it showed. I was first off the line and second into the first turn. I quickly moved up to first place and roared off into the desert. Since this was my last race on the 250, I decided to go for broke and ride my butt off. I held first for 2 thirds of the first lap until I was passed getting onto a straight away because I had made a mistake on the exit of the last turn. I stayed right on his tail and tried everything I could to get ahead. The extra horsepower and suspension didn’t gain him any advantage over my sheer willpower and drive. I stayed with him until about the last half of the last lap when he started to pull away a little bit. I closed back up and passed him coming out of the next turn. I rode on the edge of what that poor little quad would do until I was in the scoring shoot. I was ecstatic and revved the thing to the moon in celebration when I pulled off the track. I was just happy that I was able to pull out a win on my last race on the 250!! I had also secured a second and a third place in overall points which made me pretty happy considering the amount of bad luck I have had this year.
-Gordon Tarnow 120