Ultra4 2020 Tear Down in Tennessee
Ultra4 Racing waved the green flag once again at the Adventure Off-Road Park in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. Everyone was excited to get back behind the wheel this weekend, after a long hiatus since the King of the Hammers in February. The 4WP Tear Down in Tennessee would be the one East Coast race that would be part of the shortened 2020 Season and racers were going to take advantage of it. With almost seventy racers in attendance, everyone knew that it would be a great weekend of racing.
The course at Adventure Off-Road Park would take the racers through trees, rocks, hills, mud and dust. With the weather forecast predicting rain each day leading up to the race, racers were expecting it to be a typical east coast mud fest, but with only a few small spots of water and mud, the problem now was dust. Part of the course would bring the racers out of the woods and onto a short course, which would soon look like a dust bowl after racers started making their way through it.
This race would also bring four past King of the Hammers champions out to come race through the tree and rock filled hills of Tennessee. Loren Healy and Shannon Campbell with the IFS cars, would come battle it out with Erik Miller and Josh Blyler in their solid axle cars. History would give the advantage to Erik or Josh who have more experience racing in this type of environment. But you can never count out other drivers in the 4400 class that would be showing up like Derek West, Levi Shirley, Paul Horschel and Bailey Cole.
The Friday Qualifying round would consist of a short loop through the woods and a few rocks to set the stage for Saturdays races. Jamie McCoy would make the fastest time in the UTV class, being the first and only UTV to qualify in under a minute, with only four 4400 class cars being faster than him. Casey Gilbert and Cade Rodd would qualify in the top spots in the EMC Class, and be able to lead the rest of the field at the start of Saturdays race. 4400 Qualifying would put reigning King Josh Blyler in pole position followed by his fellow Team Nitto members, Erik Miller and Bailey Cole, to round out the top three spots for the start of the final race on the following day.
Jamie McCoy in the UTV class would start off Saturday's day of racing in the morning. Being the fist one to take the green flag McCoy would run at an incredible pace staying out front the entire race to be the first to get the checkered flag. The four lap course proved to be challenging for the UTV class, with only four of the fifteen racers finishing on the lead lap.
As the 4500, 4600, and 4800 Classes took the green flag for the EMC race, the course was looking great with all the water and mud dried up from the UTV class racing through it. Battles would be forming around the course, but the day would soon change as the skies opened up and the rain came down. Not lasting long, but definitely changing the pace of the race, the slick mud and rocks would make the tight course more challenging to navigate. Jeremy Jones would make his way from starting thirteenth to battle it out with Cade Rodd and take the win in the 4800 class. Finishing in first in the 4500 Modified class would be Duane Garretson, followed by Jesse Oliver in second and Dave Schneider in third. The 4600 Stock class winner would be Jon Schaefer and Donnie Kehlenbeck in second. They would be the only two 4600 Stock class vehicles to finish the slick and muddy race.
Josh Blyler would lead the 4400 Class up into the rocky hills for the final race of the day. The 4400 class would be doing a total of eight laps around the course, with one of the laps being a joker lap that they would have to make there way down a technical rock obstacle. They would only have to do this on one lap and they could each choose which lap they wanted to take it on, so strategy would come into play.
As the race progressed, the course would prove once again to be too much for some of the vehicles. Derek West, Paul Horschel, Rusty Blyler, and Levi Shirley, Wayland Campbell would soon be out of the race with mechanical failures, all who had a great shot at taking the win. Loren Healy was running a great pace when one of his rags for wiping his visor would catch fire under his seat from the heat of the exhaust.
Luckily he was able to safely get out of the car and put the fire out and continue on with the race, but unfortunately it would put him far back in the pack of cars.
Erik Miller and Josh Blyler would swap positions and stay out front throughout the race, with Shannon and Bailey Campbell not far behind.
After the last grueling laps of racing, Nitto Tire Drivers would take the top four spots with Erik Miller coming across the line to take the 4400 Class win, followed by Josh Blyler, Bailey Campbell, and Shannon Campbell.