The opening race of 2014 at the Best In The Desert Parker 425 was beyond an awesome
race for the Banning Motorsports team. The 1023 car started 38th in class with Lee Sr, Gary Williams Jr and Chris Godfrey. A great first lap was in the books with no flats or issues, just a lot of dust. The #1023 car managed to pass 20 competitors and when Gary got in the driver seat for laps 2 and 3, they were 18th on the road. The course continued to deteriorate every lap and after passing another 13 cars, Banning finished the race 5th overall.
General Tire has been providing support for Banning Motorsports since 2012 and with this partnership Banning runs the General Tire 33″ Grabber Red Label that takes them all the way to the finish. With numerous wins and championships in 2013 Banning and General Tire are looking for a repeat of success in 2014. Racing in the US and in Baja, the Banning team takes these tires through endless miles of the most extreme conditions.
“Having such a great tire to race on is key to having a great race.” Stated Crew Chief, Chris Godfrey. “This tire is strong through the rocky terrain and hooks up in the soft sand.”
When tire companies partner with off-road racing teams, it gives the company an opportunity to see how their tires perform and handle in all types of conditions. Not only is it great support for the sport of off-road racing, but it also gives the public the opportunity to see the capabilities and performance of these tires for their personal everyday vehicles.
Another Banning car with Steve Melton, Hayden Melton, Jake DeWitt and Bradley McFarlin took to the race in the #1178 car. Starting 8th in class, Steve managed to come in from the first lap with a five-minute lead in their class. Hayden took over driving responsibilities after the first lap, but at race mile 17, the car would be struck with bad luck. After breaking the rear trailing arm, the team managed to get parts out to Hayden and Jake where they would work hard to fix the issue. After over 5 hours they were back in the hunt for the finish when bad luck would strike again.
Around race mile 115 an 1800 car collided with the #1178 Banning car causing them to get caught in a fence. Assessing the situation the team worked together and pulled the car into the main pit. A good once over, fresh fuel and switching drivers, the #1178 car would go out on its third and final lap. A clean lap on the brutal course is what the team needed to make it and that is just what they did.
Lee Banning would like to thank the entire chase crew and team for a solid day of support and working hard to get the cars to the finish.
“Parker has been the home race for Banning Motorsports and our annual team party. Always going above and beyond to make this event special for family, friends, sponsors and supporters, I would like to give a big thank you to Brad, Gail, Kathy, Amy and all friends and team members for making it successful.” Stated Lee. “A special thank you to Jim Riley and the Azunia Tequila Bar and team along with the music provided by Ricky Ramirez.”