BLAIS RACING SERVICES RACE REPORT!
AVE Racing Pure 300 UTV Series
Round 7 – California City, CA
By: Chris Blais & Jeremy Gray, UTV PRO Turbo, 1st Place Overall and Overall UTV Championship!
This past weekend would be the final race of the AVE Pure UTV Series out in California City. This would be a double-points paying event and the longest race in the Series; 300 miles of desert to conquer with each lap being 75 miles long. After the previous round, I was sitting 2nd Place in class points and also in overall points. I would have to beat the team of Bradley Howe and Mitchell Alsup in the UTV Driver Magazine/ Cognito Polaris RZR Turbo. Both of our teams have had a solid year so I knew I had to make it happen for the last round. This is my first full season in my Blais Racing Services/UTVShocks.com UTV. I have been learning and figuring out the car all year and have been making major improvements.
Normally, I drive a safe and consistent speed and am able to finish on the podium, no problem. I wanted a solid chance at the championship this year so I have been taking it easy on the car and gradually going faster at each race to see what she could handle. This race would be different as I was going for the Overall Win and Championship. Between my Dad, myself, Co-Driver Jeremy Gray, and my shop helper Kyle Carpenter, we put in over 80 hours of prep before this race. The car couldn’t have been more freshened up and ready to go. I made the plan that I was just going to SEND IT for the final round and get it done in a dominating fashion!
We started the race out strong and were catching drivers by race mile 20 when we came up on a section that was literally “Booby Trapped” by a local that didn’t want us going down a certain trail. There were huge rocks, sharp metal pieces, barbed wire strung across the trail, metal stakes aimed at the tires, old mattress frames, etc. I made a mistake and clipped one of the big rocks with the right rear tire, puncturing the sidewall of our Kenda Mastodon HT. This is the first flat we have had all year but that was my fault. Jeremy jumped out of the car and started changing the tire. This was new for us so it took a good 5 minutes while I watched a handful of cars pass us. I was a bit discouraged but it was going to be a long race. Once we got that changed I started charging hard again.
We made a couple passes on the first lap and we were sitting in 5th coming back into the main pits. We put in a solid second lap and made another pass. My brother, nephew and parents were at the alternate pit for us and had our quick gas stop handled. It was great to have the family out there cheering us on! On lap 3, we would pass many cars in the main pits and then the leader about 5 miles out of the main pit. We were then leading the race overall and I kept charging. We held the lead and put in a solid 4 laps to take the Overall Win by 5 minutes and Overall Championship for the season!
Anyone racing a UTV knows how much work goes into prepping and preparing the car for each race. Pulling off a Championship and finishing 9 out of 10 races on the podium is a huge feat for the first year in a new car. I am really proud of the team of people/ sponsors that have helped us to have such a successful year.
As a Paraplegic driver and only having my hands to drive, poses challenges that we have overcome gradually. I hope others in my situation find inspiration that anything is possible if you really want to make it happen. I have a lot of great help working on the car but most people don’t realize I do most of the work myself from the wheelchair. Its definitely a lot harder and takes four times longer but I always find a way to get it done.
Special thanks to Gilbert Davila for coming out to every event to dump gas and run the pits, Kyle Carpenter for all the help prepping the car, Jeremy Gray for help on the car and brave enough to get in a race car with a guy driving with his hands, BJ for the welding and gusseting work, my Awesome wife and Family that supports all my crazy ideas and racing no matter what. Also, a very special thanks to my new friend Tom Morris from UTVShocks.com/ TM1 Motorsports. He has gone above and beyond to work with me on my Suspension. I think we are on version 15.0 now and it just keeps getting better. He has been my go-to guy on any problems I was having with setup, CV’S and everything in between. Thank you, Tom Morris for the huge amount of technical support and friendship. I look forward to a great 2019 season!
Special thanks to all our sponsors who jumped on board for our 2018 season without us having any racing results in many years. Thanks to everyone for believing in me!
Tom Morris/ UTVShocks.com (Best shock tuner I have ever had a chance to work with)
Eibach Springs (Best springs around that don’t sag!)
KWI Clutching (Kris Werth is the man! My car rips and not a single belt issue all year)
RJ Fabrication (For the best looking car & roll cage out there)
Kenda Tires (Mastodon HT’s kick butt)
Raceline Wheels (Not a single wheel problem all year)
Baja Designs (Best lighting around, my sponsor for almost 20 years)
Impact Safety (Best helmets a guy could ask for)
PWR Tune (Awesome performance and customer support)
EPowerSteering (HD power steering unit so I can easily drive one handed)
Safecraft (Auto fire suppression to keep me safe as it’s harder for me to get out of the car)
Rugged Radios (Great Radio equipment and dash mount setup for the car)
Zollinger Racing Products (Amazing quality knuckles & hubs to handle the abuse)
RokBlokz (Sweet mud flaps and trailing arm guards)
CT Race Worx (Great fitting gusset kit and lower a-arms)
Sector Seven (Mirrors that you can actually see out of and lights that work amazing)
Ultra Chiller (Cool Suit to keep me focused all year while staying cool)
Teixeira Tech (The best radius rods around)
Thank you again to everyone and I look forward to a great 2019 Race Season!
If your company is interested in working with us for 2019 let us know. With our race team, we are able to promote your products along with selling them in our on-line store and shop!
Thanks Jarad Cox for the race photos!