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Austin Kimbrell Just Getting Started as 2012 Season Wraps

Austin Kimbrell made huge strides in 2012 his first full season racing in the ultra-competitive Pro Lite class. He landed a great sponsor in LoanMart that supports his team through next season and has committed their backing and resources to the entire Lucas Oil Offroad Racing Series; becoming a title sponsor.

He and his Kimbrell Racing crew performed flawlessly keeping him on the track and in contention all season. Their years of racing experience helped them determine the chassis needed to be altered if they were to stay competitive. At Austin’s direction, they successfully redesigned, rebuilt and retuned the truck between races without a glitch.

The team had no greater test of character than at the season finale in Phoenix, Arizona. After a disappointing qualifying session, they were stuck back in the pack 14th out of 21 trucks. When the green flag dropped on raceday Austin was still headed in the wrong direction, dropping spots on each lap. By lap three, he had enough and started taking positions back.

It gets wild towards the back of the pack. Sometimes it’s so dusty you can barely see. You can’t run your own race; you need to take whatever openings are available. Austin gained five spots in two laps and dropped back three in the next two. By lap 8, he was back where he started in 14th. From there he clawed his way up through the free-for-all that was going on around him. He moved up six spots to place 8th at the finish.

With the final round completed, the season was over but there was one race left, the Challenge Cup. The Challenge Cup puts the Unlimited Buggies and the Pro Lite trucks on the track at the same time. They line up side by side for a no holds barred shootout for bragging rights and big bucks.

Shortly after the race began, Austin suffered a flat tire. He pulled into the hot pits where the team got it changed and had him back out on the track in seconds. If the final race was a free-for-all, the Challenge Cup race must have been an all-out war. A twenty-minute race took over an hour with eight laps under caution and two red flags to clean up the wrecked cars. Austin drove an incredible race picking his way through some scary crashes and big pile-ups.

“That was some of the most fun I’ve ever had,” said Austin, “It was crazy dodging cars and trucks flipping through the air but I had a blast.” At the end of the race Austin was one of only 14 cars and trucks out of 38 that finished. The crew’s quick tire change, his smart driving and quick reflexes netted the team a solid 11th place finish. “We had some high goals this year,” said Austin, “We didn’t reach them all but we still had a great year. We are already putting together stuff that is more incredible for next season. Look for the LoanMart, FiberwerX Ford Raptor bodied, Toyo Tires, Method Race Wheels, Rusty’s Off-Road Products, Hughes Performance, Xtreme Machine Fabrication and Ivy Trucking & Grading Pro Lite to provide lots of excitement in 2013.”

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Photography By: Brian Binkert
Bink Designs | www.binkdesigns.com

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