Ridgeline Rallies To Podium Finish At Ruthless Parker 425

Ridgeline Rallies To Podium Finish At Ruthless Parker 425

February 7th, 2017
Parker, AZ

Despite the challenging conditions they knew existed in Parker, Arizona for the Best In The Desert Parker 425 race, Jeff Proctor and his crew were anxious to kick off the 2017 racing season in their Team Honda Racing Ridgeline. The competition was sure to be adept, but any team’s greatest challenge in offroad racing will always be Mother Nature. The desert is well known for inhospitable terrain, but the Parker 425 course is as ruthless as it gets. With the exception of deep silt, it contains every truck breaker known including huge holes, big rocks, whoops, sand, and deep ruts. A substantial 425 miles in length, the race was run at an aggressive pace. Being the first race of the season, every team wanted to show the field they are the ones to beat this season. After overcoming the worst Parker had to offer, the Team Honda Racing Ridgeline finished on the podium in 3rd place.

Honda Ridgeline Off Road Team, Honda Racing, Jeff Proctor, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

After starting 4th, the Honda Ridgeline was in the lead after only 20 miles. They were running a fast but measured pace through some rolling dunes when they suffered a driveline failure. The power from their Honda twin turbo powerplant and the incredible traction they were getting from the team’s General Tire X3 Grabbers actually caused the splines in the driveshaft to yield.

General Tire Grabber X3, Honda Racing, Jeff Proctor, KMC Wheels

There are different types of sand; light powdery blow sand, and the heavy, dense sand that’s found in Parker. The deep heavy sand does not move easily. In fact, Parker is known for drivetrain failures because of it. They were able to make repairs but lost the time they had made on the field.

Once they made it to the pits for fuel, they lost precious time when they had a pressure build up in the fuel cell. The fuel going in had to push that pressurized air out, causing the stop to take longer than usual. It wasn’t a long delay, but every second counts when you are racing. Once back underway, the truck was performing incredibly strong. All the hard work testing, tuning, and refining the truck have paid off nicely. As it happens so often in offroad racing, there was another test of their resolve just around the corner. As they came around a deeply rutted, blind corner, two huge boulders were wedged into the bottom of the rut. With no place to go, the rocks tore into the sidewalls of both right side tires. Once again they hopped out and got busy.

Honda Off-Road, Honda Racing, Parker 425, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Honda Ridgeline, Bink Designs, STEEL-IT Coatings, KMC Wheels

As they were changing the tires, the Trick Truck of Rob MacCachren came around the corner and suffered the same fate. Jeff Proctor and co-driver Robert Zeman sprung into action on MacCachren’s truck, changing the spare tire so they could remain strapped in. Putting Karma points in the bank is always a good idea. After MacCachren took off, eventual overall race winner Andy McMillin hit the same rocks and killed his tire as well. Again Jeff and Robert helped to change their tire. From there to the finish, the Ridgeline was running at full song, tearing through the desert. Dirty and covered in mud, they both had huge smiles on their faces as they drove across the line for their first podium finish of the year.

Honda Ridgeline, BITD Parker 425, STEEL-IT, KMC Wheels, Race Car Coatings, General Tire, FOX, Rigid Industries, Bink Designs

“Overall it was a great race for us,” said Jeff Proctor, “We had some issues, but our Honda Ridgeline was running as strong as ever. I could really open the truck up and use all the power. Every system on the truck performed flawlessly, the cooling system, the suspension, the engine. We are always looking to win, but we are proud to get a podium finish after the setbacks we had. It was a battle all day and the course was very rough, but that’s why we love Parker so much. We can’t wait to take on The Mint 400 in March.”

The team’s strong performance is made possible by support from Honda Racing / HPD, General Tire, KMC Wheels, STEEL-IT Coatings, FOX, Rigid Industries, Sparco, Eibach Springs, NEO Synthetic Oil, RPI Racing, PCI Race Radios, Reel Driveline, Race Car Coatings and AEM Air Filters. Their next race, the Mint 400, will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 2nd through the 5th. It will also be a tough challenge, but the entire week is filled with special events that make it a one of a kind race that everyone should attend.

For all the latest on the Honda Ridgeline Off-road team go to: http://www.hondaoff-road.com/ or HondaOffRoadRacing on Facebook, Instagram: @HondaOffRoadRacing or Jeff Proctor on Personal Instagram: @proctor_race.

Photography By: Bink Designs