The HRT motorsports team was on home turf when they lined up to race the HDRA, Imperial 250 held in Plaster City, California. Hopes were high for repeating the results they experienced at Primm, Nevada where they had a trouble free run to the victory; this race however, the team would be tested. They drew a tenth place starting position out of 22, “run whatcha brung” class 1400 race trucks. Right off the start driver Brandon Arthur began overtaking the rest of the field. Even with a thick layer of dust hanging in the still morning air, Brandon moved up to fourth after the first lap.
Lap two was more of the same; putting the team just behind the lead truck when they both hit the pits before lap three. That’s when the crew showed what they were made of beating the lead truck out of the pits, putting Brandon out front. With clean air and a victory in reach they increased their lead. That’s when the trouble started. The truck began to sputter and then died. Brandon made quick work of diagnosing the problem as a lack of fuel so he and co-driver Donny Kerr set about switching the wiring and hoses over to a back-up pump that was mounted in preparation for such a problem. After making the switch, the second pump was found to be inoperable but in the course of repair they discovered a loose connection that was the culprit all along.
The race course laid out by Roger Norman’s HDRA staff was a brutal one. Over half of the field of 1400 trucks that started did not finish. With the addition of huge 39 inch, B.F. Goodrich tires the team’s new forty spline, 300m, Summers Brothers axles were certainly getting a workout in the deep sand, huge rocks and big jumps found on the course. The tough conditions were breaking other team’s trucks left and right but due to the expert fabrication performed in-house by Todd and crew at HRT and quality of materials they get from Competitive Metals their Ford truck was holding up just fine. After making repairs, they set out after the now leading truck of Carlos Fonseca. Brandon drove amazingly; making up five minutes on Fonseca in less than a lap but it wasn’t enough to catch him in the end. The team got a well-deserved second place, put in the fastest lap of the day, built on their commanding lead in the championship points race and proved they could handle the pressure when it counted.
The team will need every ounce of their skill and determination when they compete next in the heat of the Nevada desert on July 4-8th at the 500 mile long HDRA, Fireworks 500.