The road to Laughlin, Nevada for the Method Race Wheels Laughlin Desert Classic was not an easy one. After losing a motor in the General Tire "Vegas to Reno" race on August 16, Sven Ellstrom, Chazz Arenibas and the Ellstrom Racing Team discovered that a replacement would not be easy to locate.
According to team member Richard Corella, "We were told that Polaris motors were on back order and there was no way to get a new one in time for the Laughlin race."
The tech specifications for the Best In The Desert Pro Turbo UTV specify that all motors must be factory sealed, which meant that none of the teams used motors could be reinstalled.
According to Corella, "We had just about given up on making the final race of the season when we found a Polaris dealer in Nevada who had a good supply of the motor we needed. The problem was getting one to us in time to be installed for the trip to Laughlin."
Thanks to some special arrangements with Fedex, the motor arrived at the team's Edmonds, Washington shop in the nick of time. With the new motor installed and tested, the team headed for the final race of the season - a night race in the desert outside of Laughlin with the UTV Turbo class going off at 9:30 pm.
With the new motor performing beautifully, Sven and Chazz were gaining about 30 seconds per lap on the leaders on the 17 mile circuit. It all ended with just 4.5 laps to go.
Corella explained, "The car lost the right front wheel and most of the suspension went with it. The guys brought the car in on three wheels with Chazz hanging off of the side for balance."
So the season ended as it started, with the young team showing tremendous speed and endurance when things held together for them mixed with some very disappointing finishes due to equipment failures.
Team owner Erick Ellstrom summarized the season adding, "We learned a lot in our second season and the help we got from BF Goodrich, Sonic Tools, Aim Data Acquisition and our other partners - Walker Evans, Holz Racing and AZ West have all been a big part of building a really strong team."
Ellstrom added a special shout out to Baja Designs, the lighting company who came on board during the season and played an important role in events like the night race in Laughlin.
Ellstrom concluded, "We have already started putting together cars and equipment for 2020 and look forward to being back in the desert stronger than ever."