Brenthel Ups Their Game At Silver State 300
May 8, 2015
In off-road racing, success does not come easy. There are many ways to lose a race; poor preparation, bad strategy, the desert, the competition. Sometimes it’s just bad luck. Other times, you can beat yourself. There isn’t a racer out there who did not ask themselves “why did I do that?” at one point in their career. The truth is, a winning driver has to live at the limit. There have been drivers who play it safe. They plod along waiting for everyone to break but there’s no fun and little glory in that. If you look at the most successful drivers in the sport, they are all aggressive. At the Best In The Desert Silver State 300, Brenthel Industries grabbed a second straight podium finish; two podiums in just two weeks’ time.
With a string of championships to their credit, Brenthel’s racing success is not in question. Despite their accomplishments, they recognized they were beating themselves at times. The issue was being too aggressive. At their last race, the Baja Sur 500, both vehicles entered, suffered a crash. Jonathan Brenthel’s class one car was disabled after hitting a square edged ditch at 60 mph. Despite Co-driver Josh Rigsby barrel rolling 5 times, Jordan Brenthel’s truck was able to continue; finishing on the podium in third. Anytime you land on the podium it’s good but the crash might have cost them a win.
When the Silver State 300 came along co-driver Jamie Galles came up with a challenge. Jonathan Brenthel was driving the first half of the race with Brother Jordan navigating. At the halfway point, Jamie Galles would take the wheel with Lence Jorgensen calling out the turns. The pre-race challenge was that whoever caused downtime during the race would pay the other driver cash. Not an exorbitant amount but enough to make it a real wager.
“I really wanted us to get to the end with all four corners on the truck,” said Jamie Galles, “The Silver State course is not like any other desert course I’ve ever raced; it’s smooth. You are running flat out the whole way. If you go off course, you can end your race right there. It was fun sliding the truck around but I like it a little rougher. We had a slow driver change that cost us some track position and a fuel pickup problem that made us put in an extra stop for fuel. We had no flats to our Falken Wildpeak tires; it was a good run that will give us a good foundation for the Baja 500.”
“I was conservative during qualifying,” said Jonathan Brenthel, “Our times would be used for the Silver State race and Vegas to Reno. I just wanted a good solid starting position; I didn’t want to be last.” Jonathan qualified 4th. “Jamie told me before the race that we would have a wager. I didn’t want to do it at first but Jordan said we would. It worked; I caught the guy in front of me at mile 4. Instead of a risky pass in the dust I backed off a little and got him later when it was easy. 90% of our crashes happen passing in the dust. I could not put the truck up on two wheels or throw it into the corners; we were having a fuel pick-up problem. The pit crew was fast all day, we were getting record fast stops for fuel. We had a scary moment when I caught air off some whoops. The front end went up high and the wind caught us. I told Jordan if we were going any faster we would have blown over. Just then I caught Lofton’s Trick Truck wreckage on the side of the course. There were parts everywhere. He was probably going 120, we were going 90. We had a great finish with no big issues. The course was real quick with a couple of technical sections. I would not want to start in the back, it was tough to pass.”
It’s easy to be aggressive when you have a bullet proof vehicle under you. No other car builder submits their vehicles to the kind of punishment Brenthel does. Regardless if you are competing in the toughest races in the United States, Baja Mexico or the Dakar Rally; Brenthel has been there and put all the knowledge gained right back into their designs. Created in CAD and then proven on the race course, Brenthel Industries leads the way by design. Any job you have, big or small can benefit from Brenthel’s meticulous engineering and precise craftsmanship.
Go to http://brenthelindustries.com or http://www.bajakits.com to find out more about the many services, highly developed suspension systems and race-proven products available from Brenthel Industries.
Photography By: Bink Designs