The HDRA, Eldorado Fireworks 500 race was an enormous test for Brandon Arthur and his team in their bright yellow HRT Motorsports/Competitive Metals #1456 truck. At the season opener in Primm, Nevada, they made it look easy with a dominating win Brandon’s first time out. The Fireworks 500 race was a polar opposite. It all started on a positive note with Brandon qualifying first in class 1400 by 25 seconds over Jeremy Deakins and the Isenhouer brothers, Chris and Nick.
During contingency on Friday, Brandon was a huge hit with the fans; signing posters and posing for photos. At times, they lined up in front of his booth, eager to get an autographed poster. Live On Dirt and Channel 4 News did interviews with him and he got some sage advice from Ivan Stewart who stopped by for a visit. “Contingency was cool,” said Brandon, “The fans were so friendly; it felt like a huge party. I talked to several people who had never been to a race. They saw my truck and stopped by to ask about it. Having the trucks parked on Virginia Ave. in front of the Eldorado and Silver Legacy casinos was a great idea.”
The following morning it was anything but a party. When Brandon and co-driver Donny Kerr set off, they knew it would be a tough day. The race would cover 500 miles of silty and rocky terrain unlike anything else. It was a broken car that caused a bottleneck in a narrow section of the course trapping Brandon and most of the field. He could have used some help from his newest sponsor Pro Traffic Services of San Marcos, California, a traffic control provider but unfortunately, they didn’t make the trip to Reno. He used his own initiative to get around the jam but lost an hour doing it.
On lap two, the punishment started to take a toll on the truck. The spindle snout on the passenger side of the truck broke. It isn’t a high dollar part, it’s a less expensive factory part that is plenty tough for most courses but was never designed for this level of abuse. Brandon and Donny hiked out to pit c for help. They found a part from racer Keith Minnicks and got a ride part of the way back from the HDRA recovery crew, (thanks guys!). They made repairs and resumed the race.
On lap three, after a splash of F&L Racing Fuel, they headed out one more time. They were making good time when you guessed it; the other snout threw in the towel too. In an incredible show of sportsmanship and class, Jeremy Deakins loaned Brandon a snout so he could finish the race and prevent a dnf (did not finish). Jeremy had already crossed the line for the win but his generosity helped Brandon immensely in his quest to win the HDRA class 1400 championship in his rookie season; hats off to Jeremy.
With a 2nd Place finish and the points lead in hand the team heads to Primm, Nevada, August 24-26 for the HDRA, Dusk to Dawn, night race, don’t miss it!
Photography By Brian Binkert
Bink Designs / www.binkdesigns.com
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