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John Stewart

Rest Day Comes Early For Fastball Racing

The Dakar Rally is a long, grueling race covering two weeks’ time and thousands of kilometers.  In each of those kilometers, there are opportunities and risks and the potential for your entire race to come to an end.  For Fastball Racing, that end came on Stage 6.  Just four kilometers into the day’s 478-kilometer Special Stage, Bobby Patton caught a rut in the sand while making a wide sweeping left-hand turn.  Momentum sent the truck into a barrel roll that did not end until the truck had been upside down three times, completely destroying it in the process. 

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John Stewart

Fastball Racing Rounds First and Second at Dakar Rally

In baseball you don’t always swing for the fences.  If the count is 3-0 you may take a walk, or if you want to advance a runner you may bunt.  Rally raid is no different.  Rather than swinging for the fences in his first foray into the Dakar Rally, Fastball Racing’s Bobby Patton has been taking a more conservative approach.  Patton and teammate Robbie Pierce have finished the first two stages of the twelve-stage rally, something that has already alluded seasoned wheelmen like Formula One champion Fernando Alonso and three-time 24 Hour of LeMan winner Romain Dumas; both out due to mechanic failure.

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John Stewart

Fastball Racing Throws Off-Road For A Curve

Fastball Racing to compete as the only American car entry in the 2020 Dakar Rally

Dodger’s owner Bobby Patton has been bitten by the off-road racing bug.  Bitten hard. In 2017 he raced the Baja 1000 for the first time, piloting a vintage Land Cruiser to victory for the 50th anniversary of the event.  In 2019 he finished every mile of every SCORE International desert race as driver of record in his No. 240 Jimco-built Fastball Racing Spec Trophy Truck to earn the coveted Rod Hall SCORE Milestone Award, a distinction bestowed upon only 46 other SCORE series racers competing in 18 different classes.  Covering 2,025 miles in a season is impressive and has helped prepare Patton for his biggest challenge yet: the Dakar Rally.

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Tom Severin

Are You Keyed Up?

Last month I impressed upon you the importance of storing the winch controller near the driver’s seat. This month I offer an even more important reminder: Buy at least two additional copies of the ignition key. Carry an extra copy when you’re out. Whether four-wheeling or just enjoying the great outdoors, there are numerous ways to lose a key or lock yourself out. Without a spare, you’re up a creek of a different sort. Until you experience it, you can’t imagine the sense of helplessness.
 
Where to store the keys

Keep one copy at home. When in need, you can ask a friend to drive you home. Alternatively, he could fetch it himself, or have a good friend bring it to you. (If you’re uncomfortable allowing others to enter your home, consider leaving the key with a trusting neighbor.)

Another key is on you, of course.

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Tom Severin

Where is Your Winch Controller?

Mt. Patterson was our destination that beautiful autumn day. Part of the Sweetwater Range and located on the western edge of the Great Basin, Mt. Patterson’s summit offers a commanding view of that area.

The drive entails a slow climb on a one-lane shelf road. I was leading a group of seven vehicles up the long switchback. The road can be a little dicey if you encounter anyone coming down. There aren’t too many places to pull off.

At one point a party of six motorcycles came up from behind. Being courteous folks, we let the cyclists slip past. To create additional room, one driver decided to back up. His intention was to aim for the trail’s edge. But he almost went too far, dropping two wheels off the side.

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