From all of us at Axial R/C, CONGRATULATIONS TO BAILEY COLE!!!
The 2017 KMC Battle in Bluegrass at Dirty Turtle Off-Road Park was an amazing event. It was the final race of the Ultra4 Spidertrax East Coast series. I was battling for the East Coast series lead, the National points lead, and a King of the Hammers spot. I would be racing both the 4800 and 4400 class. It was going to be a long couple days.
We started off with a little prerunning Friday. The course had the best short course I have raced on, tight woods, and huge hill climbs. The racing was going to be great. After a bit of practice it was time to qualify. We didn’t have perfect runs but did enough to earn 3rd place in 4800 and 17th in 4400 and, more importantly, we kept the car in one piece. We got a bit of sleep and prepared for the long day of racing to come.
Saturday was race day. I was a little nervous because I never have loved tree racing or water, but I trusted in my crew and co-driver keep us on track. The 4800 race started well. We passed 2nd place before the first hill climb. Then I started to track down Kent Fults. He flies through the trees. It was a great battle through the first lap. He pulled away from me after an early red flag situation. I saw him a lap later with broken steering after he hit a tree. We got past and set the car on cruise control. I had gotten about half a lap lead and wanted to preserve the car. Two laps from the finish I got a call on the radio that said Cade Rodd was gaining fast. I had to step it up if I wanted to stand on top of the box. We picked it up and set some fast laps. We were able to put one and a half minutes on Cade before the finish line. It was a perfect race. We were able to win the race and the East Coast Championship, winning my 3rd race in a row.
While I went to the awards ceremony, my amazing Trent Fab crew prepped the car for the main race. They were pleased that all they had to do was splash fuel. Lining up for the 4400 race was a very different feeling. We looked around at a lot of very fast drivers. I felt like a very small fish in a big pond. I had to put those feeling aside though it was time to go racing. I quickly got past a few cars and was on track to push for a top five finish. I saw Derek West coming up to pass me and I knew he was very fast so I pulled over and let him by. I was able to stick with him though and passed him on the short course. We battled for a little over a lap, however in all my excitement of racing with the big boys I managed to have two tire failures. I drove into a big rock and a big tree and since I was still on my DOT tires they could not withstand the impact. My crew got me back out on the track quick and we started passing people again. We fought our way back up into the top 20. With a few laps to go everything with the car was great. I was not so good. I was starting to lose feeling in my arms from working the wheel so much and bouncing around. My co-driver was able to keep me going fast. We didn’t let up and passed a car on the final lap to get 11th place in 4400. The car could have done more laps, however I don’t know I could have. Trent Fab definitely makes a car that will last far longer than you are able too. It was an amazing feeling. We were the first non qualified driver so I earned a KOH spot.
It was an amazing experience to race with the big boys, but the coolest thing I experienced was the day after the race. While helping clean the course we came across a boy, named Levi, and his dad wheeling. They were really excited to hang out and talk and Levi asked if I could sign his shirt when they got back to the campground. I of course agreed. They stopped by our camp as we were packing up and I signed his shirt. We talked for a little bit and he reminded me of when I was little and was talking to my heros Dustin Webster and Dean Bullock. They really helped me get a love for off-roading and I wanted to do something more for Levi. I pulled my trophy out, and asked him to take care of it for me. His face made my weekend. It was really great to give something to the fans that make this sport amazing. Without these races I wouldn’t have met some of my best friends and some people that are as close to me as my family. Family is what makes Ultra4 the best racing series out there.
I have to thank all the amazing sponsors who helped me get here. Griffin Thermal Products, Spidertrax Off-Road, Axial Racing, Yukon Gear & Axle, Fox Racing Shox, Nitto Tire, Wilwood Disc Brakes, KMC Wheels, WARN, Team 208 Motorsports, ATO Performance Transmissions, Douglas Machine Engines, and Factor 55. I also have to thank my dad for letting me be a racecar driver, my family, and girlfriend supporting me. None of this would be possible without all of your support.
#winning #bestsupport #teamwarn #propertuning #teamyukon #reliable #becauseracecar
Follow Bailey Cole: https://www.facebook.com/baileycoleracing/