|TORC 2014: Team Kleiman Off Road Racing - "Big House Brawl" Race Report|
It's all about keeping the faith for Kleiman Off-Road Racing and after its struggles at the "Big House Brawl" stop on the "TORC Series presented by AMSOIL" tour, the family based team knows better days are on the horizon. The two truck PRO-Light team continues to flash some of its potential only to have an issue get in the way of a strong finish. This story line continued throughout weekend at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway in the US.
The weekend of racing began with Saturday morning's combined practice and qualifying session. Unfortunately scheduled Friday afternoon practice session was cancelled due to isolated rain showers that seem to pop up whenever there's a race scheduled at the "Big House." The qualifying for the twenty-three truck field saw Mark Kleiman qualify ninth quick as Cody Kleiman was further down the list in fifteenth.
The Saturday afternoon Round 7 race that was nine laps around the 1.7 mile track that included Crandon's "infamous" land rush start. Infamous was the perfect word for the start as it took two tries, due to an incident in Turn One, before the race could begin. Once the race was put in motion, the track conditions were very dusty. Both Mark in the # 42 and #48 had serious problems with vision issues.
On lap two, Mark was hit from behind and spun in Calamity Corner. This caused the #42 PRO-Light to lose several position. The contact also seemed to bring more intensity in to Mark's driving style. The newly found mindset saw the elder Kleiman pass eight trucks to finish the day in eleventh place. This was not the best finish, but after getting spun and watching the entire field race by, it was a noted accomplishment.
The #48 PRO-Light had Cody at the wheel and it looked like an eighth place finish was in the making until a rear axle nut failed ending the race one lap short of the checkered flag in nineteenth.
The work on the #48 PRO-Light centered on the right rear axle nut. The component was replaced and both bright yellow Ponsse racers were battle ready later in the evening.
The phrase "keeping the faith" would be very appropriate for the Kleiman Off-Road Racing during Sunday's Round 8 race. The PRO-Light group needed three tries before all the race trucks could get through Turn One without a major incident. Mark Kleiman didn't have the opportunity. During the second restart, one racer made contact spinning the #42 and then two more race trucks made contact into the passenger door causing the truck to roll over. The damage was too extensive for Mark to even attempt to make the third restart.
Somehow with Kyle now driving the #48, had avoided all the Turn One carnage and looked to be on his way to a top eight finish. Then with three laps to go, the axle nut on the same right rear wheel failed and it quickly ended the day, officially finishing in the twelfth position.
"You know with times like this all you can do is look for positives," commented Mark Kleiman. "Once I got spun I Saturday something inside me gave me a different perspective and I began driving like I needed if I want to stay up with the leaders. Both Kyle and Cody have shown their ability and should have some better finishes, but we need to correct the axle nut issue."
"We need to keep looking forward as Bark River is only a few weeks away. Getting back to Bark River is always enjoyable as we get to race in front of all our family, friends, and fans. I have to really thank Ponsse for not only our team's support, but the support of our sport. Their partnership with Crandon is great to see. The logging industry is such a large part of the economy in Crandon and Bark River it's great that short-course off-road racing is a great outlet to market their equipment." The next race will be in Bark River, Michigan (USA) July 19-20, 2014.
2014/07/03 | 18:10 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/REUSCHE