Petty Cash Racing again raced their ‘89 Jeep Cherokee in the first event of the 2011 24 Hours of LeMons West Coast series. In an interesting twist, Dave Cole of Hammerking Productions, rock sports driver and longtime Raceline sponsored competitor joined Team Petty Cash as a driver for the event at Infineon Raceway (Sears Point). Dave has been racing on Raceline wheels for years, and his experience off road seems to have translated well to tarmac events; his lap times weren’t far off the leaders all day long. As Dave would later comment, “This was the most fun I’ve ever had in a race! Team manager Matt Adair has put together a great organization and I can’t wait to get back in the Cherokee and do it again soon.”
Petty Cash Racing, although a young team, has more than proven that they are a force to be reckoned with. A first in class win in 2010, while enjoying only their second year running, is a testament to the carefully selected components of the race car, the dedication of the support staff and skill of their drivers. Their 2WD Jeep Cherokee is modeled after the Richard Petty 1970 Plymouth Superbird, even sporting the iconic rear wing and the striking Petty Blue paint, thus earning the name “SuperCherokeeBird.”
It was through adversity at this most recent race that the team displayed they have what it takes to represent the Raceline Wheels brand; with just under three hours into the first day of the two-day event, the #430 Jeep spit a rod out of the side of the engine block, effectively crushing any chance of a win, let alone a finish. But, the story doesn’t end there for a team like this. Against the odds, the Petty Cash crew sourced a junkyard motor, pulled it with basic tools, and had it installed and running in time for the start of the race on Sunday morning.
To the surprise of everyone at the track, they still managed to finish with a respectable 114th out of 187 total entries. Before the motor let go, the team was as high as 30th. Even though the mechanical issues were a set back, that the team could rally and still finish the race is an impressive accomplishment, and made crossing the finish line and taking the checkered flag that much more satisfying.
The team is gearing up for the next 24 Hours of LeMons event at Reno-Fernley Raceway May 14-15. Dave Cole will again be joining the team as they battle through the night in their first full 24 hour endurance event.