PURE 150 -Report by Elias Vidal... Photos by Nathaniel Boone...
LET THE WILD PERKINS RUN!
Keeping it all in the Family
California City, CA – April 23, 2016 – Talking about sheer domination, the Perkins’ of Bakersfield brought their game-on to the PURE 150 UTV Off-Road Series and once again dominated the entire group of entrants by posting the Overall win, by Kent Perkings (Polaris), and then his daughter Christina, posting the fastest lap of the day with a 1:06:07, thus capturing the cool $200.00 posted by FIERCE OFF-ROAD. And if that wasn’t enough, Kent had the second fastest lap with a 1:07:47, to pick up another $100.00 from FIERCE OFF-ROAD.
You have to admit that the Perkins family walked away with all the contingency loot as FIERCE OFF-ROAD also posted $300.00 for the Overall win.
This makes it three races in a row for Kent in the AVE/Baja Promotions PURE UTV Series, and if you count a recent race that both Kent and Christina participated, they also won the UTV Class as well. These guys are on fire!
The PURE 150 – Let The Wild Horses Run, was every bit a wild race. Fast, really fast at some places but it also took its toll on some who later stated “I just didn’t see that gotcha” on the first lap.
In all, there were six non-finishers who did not even complete the first lap. Some rolled, some destroyed front arms or rear. The speeds in sections were truly fast so that when you hit something it would really hurt.
Among the more notable front-runners were Nick Nelson, Aaron Clark, Mike Lewis and Barbara Lokinski, who are always among the top five.
Missing from the action were also top runners such as Cain Smead and Bradley Howe (current points leader) and several other regulars who were down in Baja as part of the NORRA race that started on Sunday, April 24. They missed a good one, one of the regular racers commented.
The 26-car field, however, did just fine including several newcomers to the series. Ryan Rhodes (Spt 1000, Polaris) place a solid second overall and won the Sportsman 1000 Class, three minutes behind the leader.
Christina Perkins who has been concentrating on another series and has raced with AVE/Baja Promotions in the past, came in "on-fire" and posted the third overall spot, just a little over a minute behind Rhodes.
Fourth Overall went to another Sprt 1000 team of Dave Garber and Cody Burning, who finished 4th Overall and second in the Sportsman 1000 Class.
Rounding out the top five was young Ethan Paim with Chris Pemelton (Polaris – Team Jail Break, Off-Road Edition, Lusordi Motorsports, Indy Motorsports) as they completed the three laps in a time of 3:58:20.
On Friday, the day before the race everyone was worried because of the extreme winds that pelted the high desert of California City, and the chill that seemed to hit everyone, was also worrisome. Heavy jackets and hoodies were the order of the day.
By the time Saturday rolled around while Lou Peralta was holding the Driver’s Meeting, he assured (jokingly) that he had arranged for the winds to die down from the prevailing 35-mph-Plus to a pleasant 6.73 mph. Everyone laughed, but as soon as the race started, the winds ceased and in fact, at times, there was no wind at all, which made it a bit difficult for some trying to pass.
Race promoter, Peralta had warned that the faster you go the harder the hits and the more damage you can incur. And so it was that many who finished the race had a lot of work to perform during the race just to make it to the finish. Series regular top runner, Kimberly Dunn and son Hunter, and co-driver Matt Banuelos (Arctic Cat – D & P Perf, Raceline Wheels, PCI Race Radio, KC Hilites, Ready2Print, PRP Seats, Wildcat Will and Kim Shocks) broke down five miles from the finish. They were almost out except for perseverance, as the chase team drove to them with the parts and repaired as best they could and were able to finish. At the finish line, Kim was so delighted, you’d thought she’d won the class. “I want my finishing medallion,” she said. She got it.
Speaking with Race Director, Alan Bell, “We knew it (the 51-mile course) was going to take its toll on some. When we were going over the course last week, we were doing 40 to 50 mph, so we knew racers would be hitting 75 mph. But every once in a while there would be a bad section that you had to crawl over it, huge whoops and deep washes. We figured the attrition would be high…but we didn’t expect five of the top drivers not to even complete a lap!”
At the end, however, everyone who finished cited that the course was one of the best courses in the series and just “loved it.” Kent Perkins came over and flatly stated, “That was the best course ever,” a sentiment that was echoed by many.
Other Class winners were: Ryan Rhodes in the Sportsman 100 Class., with Dave Garber in second and Ethan Paim in third. In the Amateur Sportsman 900 Class, it was Dustin McKibben (Polaris), followed by Madeline Wedeking. The Spts. Bone Stock 1000 Class win went to newcomer, Ryan Ake (Polaris), with James Everson in second.
Next on tap for the Series is the July 16, PURE 125 Night Race. Already people can’t wait for it. The Baja Designed special “Midnight Romp at the Ranch” promises to be a unique event. It will start at 8 p.m. and should be done a little past midnight. Last year’s night race was rained out, so it was started at 6 a.m. on Sunday. There’s no indication that rains in mid-July will hurt the event. So get those light ready for the “Midnight Romp at the Ranch.”
Before that great event, however, there is the first of two races in Baja. The ENSENADA CUP will feature the first event, May 28, with the running of the Punta Banda “150 .” Motorcycles and ATVs take off at 10 a.m. for a two-hour GP and the first UTV takes off at 12:30 for a cruise over the most picturesque and scenic race course ever designed. All information can be obtained at www.averacing.com
No doubt that for the money and especially for the Pro Divisions, this Series is the best of the best. At this event, $2800.00 will be distributed among the top five Overall Pro Finishers. No bad for a $400.00 investment.
For more details, be sure to visit www.averacing.com .