Derek West takes 2nd @ the Ultra 4 East Coast Series race in Kentucky!
July 20-21, 2018: The KMC Battle in the Bluegrass was the last Ultra 4 East Coast Series race of 2018 season. The weather became an issue a couple times with heavy rain and tornado warnings making it an extremely muddy race. Derek came into this last series race sitting in the top three in East Coast points, so a good finish in this race was going to be key to staying in the points chase.
The other classes started about 10 am and raced until 3:30 pm, which helped to dry the course out…until the 4400 class lined up, then the rain came again soaking the course! This would end up changing the race in a way none of the competitors had ever experienced! Derek and co-driver, David Fox were third off the line. It was going time!
The team was on the short course making their way towards the woods, Derek was doing a good job at keeping the car under control in the muddy, slick conditions- until they got the first downhill. “I could see that both Levi and Jeff, the two cars in front of me were hung up in the trees on the first big downhill section. Luckily we had pre-ran the course and had a good line picked, which helped us make it down the hill without getting completely stuck”, said Derek. They did, however, get hung up for a short time, causing them to get passed by another competitor that was fast on their heels. Quickly the guys had their siren on because Derek knew there was a split in the road ahead that he could take if the other driver did not choose in an effort to pass him. At the fork, Derek took the open road and charged hard knowing they would meet closely at the bottom. He was wide-eyed as the course merged back together, the other car was there, but BEHIND him! They were able to make the pass and were in physical 1st position on course.
A short time later there was another downhill and Derek stuck to his pre-ran line, but this time it was wet and offered NO traction. The car spun out of control going backward downhill and was stuck against a tree. The team spent some time working it out of the trees sliding and bouncing off of them like a ball in a pinball game. Derek & David escaped the trap, but not unharmed, the drivers rear brake line had been ripped out of the caliper by a downed tree while sliding backward. The #20 car limped to the pit and made repairs, this was about a 5-minute fix as the brake reservoir was empty. Fixed and back on track the team continued to make laps on the treacherous course getting stuck in the trees many more times. On the last lap, Derek was able to regain the physical lead and hold it to the finish line. After the times were adjusted from starting positions Derek and David finished 2nd, only 13 seconds off of first place. “After all we went through I am so happy just to have this race car at the finish line instead of hanging off a tree out there!”, said Derek at the finish line.
The team has had an awesome year so far! In the just the Ultra 4 East Coast series they have had two- 2nd place finishes and one- 3rd place finish, which should situate Team #20 for a great finish for the East Coast Series. Next up for Derek and his crew is the 5th race of the Outlaw Racing Series at Moonlight Off Road Park in Sullivan, MO in August.
Thanks to Chris Beck, David Fox, BJ Hammer, Evan Engelhardt/Nicole Walas for all their help.
Thanks to Jimmy’s 4×4/Clint for all the pit support.
Thanks to my wife, Ashley West for managing all of the details of this race life.
Next up for Derek West:
Outlaw Racing Aug 11 Sullivan, MO
Race to Riches3 Qualifier & Survival Finals Aug 16-17 Oliver Springs, TN
Race to Riches 3 Sept 14-15 Rush, KY
Outlaw Racing Finals Oct 13 Tuscumbia, AL
Ultra 4 Nationals Oct 18-20 Reno, NV
SEMA Oct 29-Nov 2 Las Vegas, NV
Big Thanks to our partners that make all of this possible!
- Jimmy’s 4×4
- Nitto Tires
- KMC Wheels
- Spidertrax Off-Road
- Lazer Star Lights
- Airaid Performance Filters
- Yukon Gear and Axle
- Radflo Suspension
- Edelbrock Racing
- AEM Electronics
- Rugged Radios
- Griffin Radiator
- FK Rod Ends
- Warn Winch
- PSC Steering
- John’s 4×4
- Sho-Me Speed
- Trail Worthy Fab
- PRP Seats
- Branik Motorsports
- Eibach Springs
- Off-Road Solutions
- Valvoline Racing oil
- Metal Conditioner Squared
- Wilwood Braking
- Mega Hi9 Differentials
- ATI Perfomance Products
- Spal Fans
- Factor 55