There is no greater punishment on a vehicle’s suspension than off-road racing, and short course racing is even more intense. Short course takes the punishment experienced in miles of off-road racing and condenses it onto a track where fans can witness the spectacle. Cars and trucks race door to door at breakneck speeds over terrain that is purposely designed to upset the vehicles. When they are not traversing uneven bumps or negotiating tricky corners, racers are flying through the air off of huge jumps. It’s in this crazy world where BILSTEIN chooses to compete. Not only does BILSTEIN’s shock absorber technology survive in short course racing, it excels.
Darren Hardesty Jr., who’s Pro Buggy runs BILSTEIN M 9200 Bypass and Coilover shocks, is a third-generation racer who has carried on the championship tradition. His Father Darren Sr. won in the desert on BILSTEIN shocks. BILSTEIN has been a part of the Hardesty family for a long time.
“We were 100% committed to winning another championship this season” Hardesty Jr said. “We worked really hard to be the fastest car on the track. You have to be fast and smooth to stay out front. During the final points race of the season, I got the holeshot and just ran my own race out front. We took the win and my spotter Matt came over the radio to tell me we won our second championship; it was incredible! Driving up to the podium, the fans lined up to give us high fives as we drove by. It was the most high fives I’ve ever seen, the fans are amazing! My eyes welled up with tears of joy. Our first championship felt amazing but the second one is beyond words. We worked so hard to achieve it and BILSTEIN is a huge part of our success.”
Jerett Brooks took his second straight Pro Lite championship title this season running on BILSTEIN M 9200 (Bypass) and M 9200 (Coilover) shocks. He did it by being consistently out front.
“We try to stay out front and run clean,” Brooks said. “If you get back in the pack, there is no time to wait; you have to move people out of the way. It’s important to qualify in the front and get great starts. BILSTEIN has been a big help to us for both of our championships. They helped us to set up our shocks and give us killer service between races.”
Brooks also races in the Pro-2 class; full-size, 2-wheel drive trucks with 700-900 horsepower engines. After winning back to back championships in the Pro Lite class, Brooks will be moving up into the Pro-2 class full time next season.
BILSTEIN racer Ryan Beat travelled to Crandon International Raceway in Crandon, Wisconsin, the birthplace of short course racing, to compete for the 48th annual World Championships. More than 54,000 fans showed up to witness the best off-road racers in the world competing for the World Championship title. It was Beat’s first trip to Crandon, but he left a huge impression. One of the most unique features of the track in Crandon is the land rush start. Beat and his fellow competitors lined up door to door and at the drop of the green flag; charged across an open field filled with bumps, mud, and slick grass towards turn one. Turn one is taken at full throttle as the trucks head to a jump before making a sharp left turn.
“Getting the land rush start right is the key to winning in Crandon,” Beat said. “We qualified fastest so we started on the pole. At the drop of the green flag it’s a drag race into turn one. My BILSTEIN shocks gave me the traction I needed to get off the line, and allowed me to stay on the throttle through the big holes off the start. We got the holeshot and never looked back; we led the race from flag to flag. Winning a Crandon World Championship is like winning the Daytona 500. It was a great experience, and I am grateful for BILSTEIN’s support and everyone else who helped us to achieve it. We made a few minor rebound adjustments to our 2.5-inch BILSTEIN external bypass shocks and our truck was perfect.”
BILSTEIN has been on the podium in off-road racing since the sport was invented. They continue to define the performance and durability necessary to win races and championships in the most demanding racing conditions in the world. Congratulations go out to Ryan Beat, Jerett Brooks, and Darren Hardesty Jr., three current BILSTEIN racers who, through hard work and determination, have added their names to the record books.