Brad Lovell gains foothold in 2012 TORC points battle
04.25.12 Colorado Springs, CO 4/25/12 - The TORC banners are now coming down at Charlotte Motor Speedway but the excitement of high-flying door-banging action will not soon be forgotten. Tensions betweens teams was evident as each looked to determine where they would fit in the 2012 pecking order. Looking to prove themselves as a top team, the AMSOIL / Lovell crew had a weekend of highs and lows.
Friday qualifying was a bit of a setback for the team placing 4th and down nearly a second from the pole-sitter. "We got a lot of practice and hit the track at 100%," said driver Brad Lovell, "I kept searching for the fast line because there was no groove worn in the track yet. I must have missed it." Fortunately, with the starting inversion, the #44 AMSOIL / Torchmate Nissan started in position 3.
Lovell got a huge run off the start to push through the first turn to take the lead. As the rest of the pack battled Lovell sprung free and led the race for 4 laps before pushing wide in a hairpin allowing 2011 champion Andrew Caddell through. Lovell then faced pressure from CJ Greaves who put up a fight for the whole race but was unable to get enough grip to pass the BFGoodrich shod Nissan. The 2nd place finish is a strong statement from the Lovell team. "We have made substanial improvements to the truck in the past few months," adds Brad,"It leaves a lot of time to wonder where you will end up once the season starts. We're getting confident and know we are a podium team. Once we get confidence from that first win - watch out!"
With the inversion for round 2 racing based off of finishing positions of round 1, Lovell found himself on the 3rd row. The aggressive nature of TORC racing is always higher on the last night of racing and there was a lot of bumping and banging with Lovell in the middle of the fray. "It seemed like I would climb up a few spots then get nailed or have a spun truck in my line. It was frustrating but I stayed patient right up to the last few laps."
Lovell was pushing on the bumper of the 3rd place truck on the final lap before an assault from Greaves sent him off the course and into a tire barrier. Undaunted, Lovell gained control looking to salvage a finish but got spun and pushed sideways off a jump by yet another truck. The #44 AMSOIL Nissan again went careening into the infield. Able to save a race ending roll, Lovell was forced to settle for 6th place. "Our finish was unfortunate but they wouldn't be taking us out if they didn't think we were a threat. We're clearly focussed on our goal and not going to be intimidated."
The AMSOIL hauler is back in Colorado with the team preparing to race two trucks in the CHCA Temple Canyon Hill Climb on May 12 & 13th in Canon City, CO. Roger will return to driving duties in the #232 rock racer after retiring the #4423 Ultra 4 in a violent crash on Pikes Peak last year. Brad will pilot his #44 Nissan pro-light in the high horsepower Comp Truck class. With class wins in this race, the brothers look to be highly competitive. The crew will then re-gear for TORC action in Red Bud, MI on Memorial Day weekend.
2012 TRAXXAS TORC SERIES PRESENTED BY AMSOIL
4/20 & 21 Charlotte, NC * Live on 4/20
5/26 & 27 Red Bud, MI
6/16 & 17 Crandon, WI * Includes Ultra 4 Racing
7/19 & 20 Chicago, IL * Live on 7/20
8/11 & 12 Bark River, MI
9/1 & 2 Crandon, WI * World Championship Racing
9/29 & 30 San Antonio, TX * Traxxas Pro-Light Cup
About Lovell Racing:
25 years ago, Brad Lovell was bouncing around in the back seat of his father's Bronco in the backwoods of Colorado. The family camping trips turned into a passion for Brad and his brother Roger. After spending a decade tackling the toughest off-road trails in the country the pair entered their first rockcrawl and went on to win 6 consecutive season championships. Since then the brothers have earned multiple wins while racing in nearly every type of off-road discipline - desert, rocks, hill climbs, and short course racing. The team's focus is winning the TORC Series where Brad pilots the #44 AMSOIL Torchmate Nissan Frontier. The 2012 season holds a variety of races for the team including King of the Hammers, Vegas to Reno, the 90th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and World Championship racing at Crandon. Follow Brad at Facebook / Lovell Racing.
Lovell Racing Team Partners:
AMSOIL, NISSAN, BFGoodrich Tires, Torchmate CNC Cutting Systems, Lincoln Welders, Spidertrax Off-Road, 4 Wheel Parts, Tailready Wheels, Aeroquip Performance Products, Fox Racing Shox, FK Rod Ends, Motive Gear, Eibach Springs, Robinson Construction, Powertank, Howe Performance Power Steering, Dynotech Driveshafts, and Proformance Unlimited