|TORC 2014: Kleiman adds second Truck 2014 - keeps busy at Primm Valley|
Kleiman Off-Road Racing headed to Primm Valley, Nevada with two PRO-Light entries for the 2014 "TORC Series". Mark Kleiman will be entering his sophomore season driving the #42 Dodge while his sons Cody and Kyle will share the driving duties of the #48 Ford. The opening weekend of the season saw all three drivers show their potential, but due to various racing incidents the team had only one top ten finish.
The Kleiman Off-Road Racing Team is a true family affair. The two PRO-Light race trucks are driven, maintained, and prepared by Mark and his two sons Cody and Kyle. Meanwhile Mark's wife Reva, coordinates the affairs of the team while daughter Kyndra assists mom and handles scoring and statistics.
Kyle's girlfriend Sara Schram is team photographer and adds her talents to the marketing side of the operation. Cody's girlfriend, Brittany Klee oversees the hospitality duties for the group and Cody's good friend Jimmy Charlier, who puts in some really long hours working on the trucks, is also the team's crew chief. When the family isn't racing they are all back home working together at Kleiman Forest Products.
In 2013 the team began a relationship with Ponsse halfway through the season, and the manufacturer of cut-to-length method forest machines is back on board as the team's primary sponsor for the 2014 season. Also continuing with the team is as a secondary sponsor is Kenda Tires while Rotochopper is a new secondary sponsor for the season.
The family took a racing vacation and arrived in Nevada a few days before the race to take advantage of the two-day test session. This allowed rookie racers Cody and Kyle to get valuable seat time behind the wheel of the #48 Ford. Of course Mark was glad for the added practice time as well.
Saturday's season opening round of racing had Cody winning the flip of the coin and was first behind the wheel of the yellow and black #48 while dad Mark would be piloting the all-yellow #42 PRO-Light. Both trucks have Ponsse, Rotochopper, and Kenda Tires are their primary sponsors.
Mark Kleiman's weekend was over just after it began. As Mark was heading into the first corner of Round One when there was hard contact between several trucks. Unfortunately one of the chassis tubes on Mark's truck broke tearing apart an engine oil line. Before he realized what happened, the engine lost most of its oil, causing internal damage to the powerplant.
Cody was having a much better race. After qualifying eighteenth out of twenty-four PRO-Light racers, Cody was gradually moving up the running order. At one point the #48 Ford was in the eighth position when the truck lost first gear and then brake issues slowed the rookie's pace. At the checkered flag Cody finished in tenth place. Cody also recorded the sixth fastest lap of the race.
Later that night the prep work on the #48 was completed as Cody began thinking about his PRO-Light debut. Meanwhile Mark would be supporting his sons while waiting for Charlotte to get back in the driver seat.
Sunday morning Kyle went out for practice only tocome off track via a tow truck. A rear trailing arm broke taking out the driveshaft and transmission. Somehow the team was able to make to necessary repairs in time for the Round Two lineup.
With Kyle behind the wheel of the #48 Ford a great battle for position during much of the race with Luke Johnson and Jesse Johnson, the brother of NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson. Even with only third gear working in the transmission, Kyle was running in the seventh position. With only two laps to the finish, another truck made hard contact breaking the steering box. Officially finishing in twentieth position.
"Well, we sure did go through a bunch of parts this weekend," noted Mark Kleiman. "It's an awesome feeling to be on the same race track competing with my sons. Really having the whole family involved especially at this level is just a great feeling."
"We will have both trucks ready for Charlotte, it may take a few late nights, but we're in this sport for the long haul. I have to thank Ponsse along with their family of associate sponsors, Kenda Tire, and Rotochopper for giving us great support." The next race on the 2014 TORC Series is the "Showdown in Charlotte" April 25-26 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
2014/04/14 | 15:56 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/MIKE REUSCHE