Mickey Thompson/Kalgard SXS Stadium Series Presented by Skin Ind. Round3

By: Joey DiGiovanni / UTVUnderground.com

Another successful round of the Mickey Thompson/Kalgard SXS Stadium Series Presented by Skin Ind. is in the bag! Round 3 at the Perris Auto Speedway (PAS) turned out to be the best round for SXS racing all year with 17 SXS’s racing in 2 classes all on the track together at once.

This round marked the return of a few storied vehicles and the return of one hungry racer looking to prove that he and his new car had what it took to beat Round 1 and 2 winner and Pro points leader RJ Anderson in his Walker Evans Racing / XMF built Polaris RZR.

Having watched SXS racing since the 04-05 seasons at Lake Elsinore (LEMX), 2 vehicles in the pits stood out to me and really got me excited for round 3 at PAS. The green Yamaha Rhino built by Mafia Ind., originally raced by SXS racing pioneer Chad Mittag, was in the pits being prepped for battle. The other was the storied yellow Yamaha Rhino built by HRT Motorsports and known to race fans as the Flying Banana, usually piloted by SXS racing superstar Todd Arthur. Although these cars were still sharing pit space with their original drivers these cars known for their epic high flying battles would have new drivers behind the wheel. Due to a time crunch in getting his Mafia Ind. built Polaris RZR, SXS Stadium Series veteran Brent Fouch would be behind the wheel of the green Yamaha Rhino. The Flying Banana however would have a new racer in the drivers seat, Roger Stokes or now known as the “Jolly Roger” would be getting the opportunity to show off his driving skills after many years of assisting the HRT team in the pits and at the shop.

Coming back from missing round 2 due to the birth of his new son, Robert Vanbeekum in his fiery red XMF Built / R-N-R Steel Kawasaki Teryx was out to prove to the SXS Stadium Series crowd that he and his car could put together a complete run and put him a top the podium. As the prelims got underway it was easy to see that Vanbeekum’s car was the fastest but only a couple laps into the practice run the #64 Teryx was pulled off to the side of the track with a broken front axle/CV. Back to the pits for repairs he went with a positive outlook and a refuse to lose attitude. Fixed and ready to run the second heat of the day the cars filed back on to the track with Vanbeekum quickly asserting himself as the strongest car only to soon be off to the side again this time with a snapped rear drive shaft!

While the #64 Kawasaki Teryx was sitting broken Vanbeekum’s other SXS, his white Weller Racing /XMF built Yamaha Rhino was being ripped around the track by young gun Austin Kimbrell whose red #607 Rhino wasn’t able to make it to California after its new makeover. Kimbrell and RJ Anderson were dicing the track up turning off a couple of the fastest lap times all day in the qualifier. Not to be outdone, SXS Am class points leader Code Rahders was showing the field why he may be the next SXS racing star making his SDHQ built/ Weller Racing Yamaha Rhino the car to beat in the Amateur class. In another borrowed stars car, Tyler Winbury whose Wagon Burners/FUNCO built Teryx was sitting in the shop with a blown motor so for the second round in a row Tyler was behind the wheel of CORR racing champion Chad Geroge’s older FUNCO built Yamaha Rhino.

With the suspense building in the pits and the sun setting on PAS the crowd funneled in the gates, grabbing their hot dogs and cracker jacks getting ready for some exciting short track racing. Along with Trophy Karts, Single Seat Stadium Buggy’s, and 1450 / Pro Trucks the SXS Stadium Series produces some of the most exciting short track racing around. The crowd was primed for the SXS battle and as the Yamaha’s, Polaris’, and Kawasaki’s were led on the track I headed up to the top of the stands to try and capture the battle on tape. I quickly learned that I am not very good videographer!

After spending most of his day in the pits fixing his car Vanbeekum was in the line-up for the finals thanks in huge part to The Green Army’s team welder! The question all of us had was will the weld hold up to the power that Weller Racing motor produces and the torque it’s putting through that shaft to the wheels? It wouldn’t matter to RJ Anderson who knew he and his Kroyer built RZR HO Motor have what it takes! RJ Anderson, not to be fooled by his ear to ear constant smile will quickly put a whooping on you once he straps into his Walker Evans RZR.

Motors revving, stands full of anticipation, and the checkered flag waving the cars bolt down the strait away and into the sharp turn one. Vanbeekum and Anderson quickly jockey to the front but that familiar Flying Banana for the first few laps really held his own! The Jolly Roger as he is now known is recognized through the SXS community as the “Rainman” of SXS’s. Roger is always on UTVUnderground.com (07FJ is his handle) helping enthusiasts fix and tune their SXS’s to perfection. Roger earned his “Rainman” handle for his almost immediate and accurate responses to technical questions that most have to turn to a manual for. So to see Roger out there mixing it up with some of the best in SXS racing was really fun for us all to watch. But after the mandatory caution restart Roger got his first taste of racing bad luck as he got tangled in turn one with SXS Am racer John Dempsey in his C.O.D (Chad Mittag Built) Kawasaki Teryx. Dempsey’s front bumper lodged into the rear fender well of the Flying Banana and as the Jolly Roger threw it into reverse to try and get away the bumper then split the side panel open giving Roger his 10th nickname, The Banana Split! Another racer caught up in the turn one tangle up and bit by bad luck yet again was crowd and fan favorite Corry Weller in her Weller Racing Yamaha Rhino. Corry has had a rough go round at the SXS Stadium Series this year but we know it’s still early and Corry still has time to work her way up that point’s ladder.

While the rest of the field was fighting for positions the nights fastest laps of any class were being turned off in a battle for first and second. Robert Vanbeekum and RJ Anderson were doing exactly what all of us were waiting to see since Round 1 when Vanbeekum lost a wheel leaving RJ to blow the rest of the field away for an easy win. This time no such failure would occur and for the first time this season Robert Vanbeekum in that #64 Kawasaki Teryx would pull off the win with RJ Anderson pulling in an impressive second keeping himself #1 in points. Austin Kimbrell rounded out the podium finishing 3rd in his borrowed Yamaha Rhino powered by his own Weller Racing motor.

Yet again the Dirt Alliance and M4SX put on another successful round at PAS in the Mickey Thompson/Kalgard SXS Stadium Series Presented by Skin Ind. Congrats to all who attended and raced putting on another show for us race fans!

Until Round 4……………….

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