|Austin, Texas driver Mike Voudouris roared to the victory April 14 in Ridgecrest, Calif.(Trackside photography)
Ridgecrest, Calif. -- It has been said that good things happen to people who refuse to give up, so when Mike Voudouris of Austin, Tex., won the annual SNORE PCI Radios 300 here April 14, the performance was proof that teamwork pays off.
The friendly Voudouris extended his long history with SNORE to win the event near China Lake and immediately thanked the crew at Collins Motorsports in Las Vegas for a victory captured during what proved to be a true horserace during SNORE's second race of the 2012 season.
"We had very few problems today," said Voudouris, who also thanked his father, John, for what was a true teamwork effort. "I can't thank Collins Motorsports enough for what they have done."
Voudouris didn't finish the Mint 400 earlier in the year, so he called on Collins Motorsports to recharge his Ford Trophy Truck heading into SNORE's second race of the year. This time on a rough and rugged course, the Zorba team had just one flat on a day when tires and wheels were destroyed time and time again.
Collins delivered the product and Voudouris responded by sticking his foot to the floor in machine that purred so loudly you could hear him for miles throughout the day. SNORE's rich prize money included a $2,000 payday for the overall winner with a total of $7,000 shelled out to the top finishers.
In country reminiscent of the Wild West, Vidouris piloted his Ford Trophy Truck to the overall victory with a time of five hours, 18.50 minutes. He wasn't far ahead of the next two finishers during a weekend that had everything from near-freezing temperatures and snow before winding up with temperatures in the 60s on race day.
In typical SNORE style, Ridgecrest featured plenty of action especially considering the victory mounted by Voudouris, who once sought imformation about off road racing out West when he called former SNORE president and the late Denny Selleck decades ago.
Voudouris heeded Selleck's advice to head West and this time finished ahead of spirited efforts by Kelly Mather and her husband, Tom; and Adam Householder, who finished second and third overall in the race run more than 200 miles west of Las Vegas. In atmospheric conditions that featured cold and wind the day before the race along with higher temperatures on race day, the PCI Radios 300 had a little for everyone including a rocky course that gobbled up tires and wheels.
"We joke that we get a divorce two times during each race," said Mrs. Mather laughed while adding that the course was very rough.
Married for about a year, the Mathers finished with a time of 5:20.09 while the Householders recorded a of 5:21.50 in what was a true down-to-the-wire horserace finish.
Mrs. Mather said she grew up around the sport of off-road racing. Proof that her family knows what it's doing when competing in the desert, her father, Richard Boyle, finished fourth in Class 1.
"This sport provides a real adrenalin rush and I love the speed," she said.
Las Vegas competitor Steve Olliges, who drove a UnlimitedTruck in the event, returned to Ridgecrest after winning in 2011.
"We were the fourth-fastest overall after the first lap," said Olliges, the president of Team Ford. "We had a great run and turned it up a notch to start making a move. Halfway through the second lap, we smelled something burning and it was engine oil. We made it to the pits our engine builder told us to turn it off.
"It was a great race. The town of Ridgcrest really welcomes the racers. The hotels and the restaurants were very accomodating. To have the start-finish line 10-15 minutes down the road is really cool. Those rock formations are unbelievable."
In virtually every corner, SNORE received praise for its efforts.
"When SNORE goes on the road, we intend to provide the area with a storybook event," said club president Brittany Burgos, who is in her first year of running the group. "We had a tremendous following in Ridgecrest and hope the people of the city enjoyed the race.
"We'll be back for as long as the people of Ridgecrest want us," she added. "This is a wonderful venue and we love taking the show on the road to this city."
show on the road to this city.""Nearly every driver I spoke with said this race was either the toughest or one of the toughest ever," said Freeman, a 54 year-old long-time member of SNORE. "One guy told me that next to the historic old Mint 400 course, this one was as tough as they come.
| Kelly and Tom Mather rocked in Ridgecrest.
SNORE's Race Director Kenny Freeman said the race was well-received by everyone.
"Everyone from the sheriff's department to the BLM was happy with the final result."
Freeman also lauded the support recieved from SNORE's course workers adding "we are an all-volunteer organization and every went beyond the call of duty to make this happen."
SNORE's next race of the rich 2012 season will be June 23 in Caliente, Nev. about 150 miles north of Las Vegas. Further information can be found by visiting www.snoreracing.net
SNORE PCI Radios 300
Official Final Results
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Overall: 1. No. 60 Michael Voudouris, 5:18.50; 2. No. 105 Kelly Mather 5:20.09; 3. No.124 Adam Householder, 5:21.27.
Unlimited Truck: 1. No. 60. Michael Voudouris, 5:18.50; 2. No. 51 Steve Olliges (one lap).
Class 1 Unlimited: 1. No. 105 Kelly Mather, 5:20.09; 2. No. 124 Adam Householder, 5:21.27; 3. No. 102 CJ Hutchins 5:49.25; 4. No. 156 Richard Boyle 5:55.04; 5. No. 121 Rick Boyer 5:57.53.
Class 10: 1. No. 1067 Roger Starkey 5:30.38; 2. No. 1014 Blain McDonald 5:55.55; 3. No. 1011 Mike McGee (three laps).
Class 12: 1. No. 1226 Paul Keller 6:24.04; 2. No. 1297 Kevin Martin (four laps); 3. No. 1212 Greg Crew (four laps); 4. No. 1228 Jeff Farshier (four laps); 5. No. 1215 Michael Benedict (four laps).
Class 13: 1. No. 1368 Jordan Poole 4:10.54; 2. No. 1300 Billy Shapley 4:17.19; 3. No. 1367 Evan Dixon 5:53.46.
Class 1450: 1. No. 1447 Darren Parsons 4:17.15; 2. No. 1410 Jeremy Smeltzer (three laps); 3. No. 1450 James Fuhs (one lap).
Class 15: 1. No. 1594 Frank Hines 4:25.05; 2. No. 1504 Dean Defreze (one lap); 3. No. 1509 Eric Trondie (one lap).
Class 1600: 1. No. 1612 Blaine Conrad 6:13.25; 2. No. 1677 Andy Grider 6:22.53; 3. No. 1690 Steve Achey (four laps); 4. No. 1623 Jason Coleman (four laps); 5. No. 1681 Todd Winslow (four laps).
Class 18: 1. No. 1803 John Pellisier 6:18.24; 2. No. 1801 Craig Williams (two laps).
Class 3000: 1. No. 3009 John Gould 5:44.45.
Class 5-1500: 1. Tom Bird.
Class 7: 1. No. 7270 Cronus Dillard 5:54.54; 2. No. 7288 Steve Albrect (two laps).
Class 9: 1. No. 923 Brian Caudill 4:58.15; 2. No. 992 Giti Gowland 5:15.50; 3. No. 919 Brandon Holly 5:16.27; 4. No. 997 Brandon Wright 5:34.40.
NAPA Chassis 7S Challenge: 1. Steven Marsee.
Stock Bug: 1. Robert Johnson.