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by Nick Olson

Okay, so my race days aren't exactly "over" for good. Just on hold for now...


Hey everybody Nick Olson chupacabra offroad and unfortunately this is a video i wish i didn't have to make but the racing dream has come to an end for now let's get into it so bad news everybody i did unfortunately put the chupacabra off-road razor turbo race car up for sale last week and uh she needs to go to a new home for the time being i'm gonna go ahead and put racing on hold so basically instead of setting money on fire and continuing to race i'm gonna go ahead and take that money that time and energy and reinvest into the business we're really in growth mode right now we launched a bunch of new products recently we've got some more we want to launch so i just need to get really laser focused so we can grow this business launch more products for you guys you know grow our sales grow our distribution grow our revenue and and racing can almost be a full-time job of running a business in itself so the question now is hey are you done with racing and was it all it's cracked up to be so from the time i decided to build this car you know i knew that i wasn't going to have the time and energy and money to really commit to racing whether that be a complete series or big races like you know racing in baja or even vegas torino but of course i wanted to give it a shot i wanted to you know have the experience of building a car document that experience you know race and then also just kind of live out that dream of trying to see you know how would i stack up as a racer so to answer that question yes i will be done for now but then definitely not done forever um and there might be some other opportunities to sneak in a race here and there and um i say that because it's kind of hard as you get into racing you don't really sneak in or do it you know kind of halfway you've got to go all in you've got to get a vehicle that you know is going to be competitive you got to spend the time to test to make sure it's competitive and then from there of course next thing up is sign up for some races some bigger races longer races which is something that i would like to do so that's definitely still a dream you know there's there's plans one day to raise baja maybe the nora 1000 vegas arena those type of things those big long tough races but i want to kind of go through and talk about what i learned through the whole experience and what i would tell some of you that have watched all these videos maybe get inspired or think about going racing yourself so let's get into the top four things that i learned through this whole process of building a race car and going racing all right so the number one thing that i learned was that for the level of time effort energy and commitment that i was able to put into this i wouldn't have started with a four-seat razor chassis i would have picked a two-seat chassis vehicle um mainly because for a lot of race courses that i did race and see in race series the two-seater i think is a better overall fit gives you more flexibility if you're gonna do something like a works race i think a two-seat canyon chassis is basically the perfect wheel base if you're down here in the southwest and you want to do an ama district 38 or a dp4 series um utv world championships is a great short vehicle course it's tight and twisty and even on some of these bigger faster courses with bigger whoops that vehicle works really well gets a lot of overall wins even races like parker it seems like there's been a little bit more of a shift towards a two-seat chassis they are a better overall package because they're lighter weight they're a little bit more nimble and when you're lighter weights you have better acceleration better braking and the less chance of overheating your belt breaking your vehicle so on and so forth so i mentioned the can mx3 just because that 102 inch wheel base is pretty much perfect for almost all train we would encounter here in the southwest from a racing perspective i think the razer pro two-seater would work really well i mean a two-seat turbo s is also it's a little short but you can still go fast you can still be very competitive with that vehicle as well speaking of vehicles you know the can-am i'm a little be a little bit concerned if i was to go buy one or build one the frame is so weak on those things that you might want to start with an all-new frame together or you have to uh really gus the hell out of it to make it hold up so your your car isn't a big pile of mush after five or six or seven races so a lot of pros and cons between the vehicles the pro xp really has the clutching dialed um and keeping the belt temps low and seems like the belts have been pretty reliable also too i mean the speed i think is definitely gonna be a real thing and i think that little two-seater the little bandit the short one that's 96-inch wheelbase i think that'd be a really good car i think the diablo is a 110 inch wheelbase it would also work well but i think the short bandit will be very beefy it's got all the same beefy components of the the el diablo and then the four seat but it's gonna be shorter lightweight 95 inch wheelbase like i said it's going to work well on a lot of races particularly with that extra beef you're gonna hope that the speed will require less you know maintenance less money to put into them you're not gonna have to buy double shear hubs uh you're not gonna have to buy double shear you know suspension components all that type of stuff is already on the vehicle so remains to be seen the bannon's probably still a year away but i think that's another good um car option if you're looking to go racing here the next couple years in the southwest so moving on to number two it's very important that whoever touches your race car the tuner with the motor the tuner with the suspension and also the parts that you choose based on the budget you have that you're picking the right people you're picking the best parts now time is money um you get the wrong tuner like i did you end up with a couple races where your car is not even competitive i ended up having my motor blown from the first tuner most likely and you know even the first suspension guy that touched it was way off it wasn't even competitive to even driving a car fast so i didn't have much confidence driving it fast so you know knowing what i know the people that i've mentioned mark queen is my new tuner wayne as you'll send it all tech these people really work with race cars they get it they bring a lot of added value on top of just uh tuning the motor just turning the suspension but overlooking the vehicle having ideas on how your specific vehicle might work because each vehicle is different each vehicle is going to have its own challenges with cooling suspension setup based on what you're running with your parts and accessories where you like to race how you like to drive all that type of thing so the right people and then also investing in some of the right parts you know something like investing in a really good steering rack is probably going to save you money in the long run you might not want to spend all that money up front but if it's something that you can rebuild and it might not cost you a dnf now all of a sudden you've saved money from all that time energy to go out to a race and break a component where you saved a few dollars and uh that's a challenge you know because everyone on some level has a budget and you want to try to make these decisions on what's going to get you the finish line what will allow you to be competitive without spending too much money so it's a very complicated matrix hopefully the video series we did here helps you with some of the parts that i've chosen the trials and tribulations of who i worked with and uh helps get you down the track of getting your setup dialed so you're saving time you're saving heartache ultimately you're saving money and you'll be more competitive when you do hit that starting line so part three test test and then test some more something that i wish i would have done more that i thought i did but didn't test hard enough to also ultimately save time effort and money so you're not having any mechanical issues during a race now i mentioned all these things getting the vehicle set up right and you think the easy part is just driving it well the harsh reality is that most of us aren't super fast talented drivers and you need time to gel with your machine to build that confidence to learn how to drive it fast so you're not making mistakes that either cost you you know a couple milliseconds in every turn um it's easier on your machine you learn how to flow with momentum same rules apply in off-road racing it's just like motocross right you've got a corner for dough you've got to use your momentum it makes it easier on the machine keeps your belt temperatures down allows you to just take that inertia and keep flowing around the race course which then makes you a better driver which makes your vehicle you know hold up better all those type of things and those are type of things you can learn when you do get that seat time testing you know you got to test hard one of my buddies told me who's a who's a fast competitive racer you got to test like you're racing that's the only way you're going to find out if your temperatures start to peak i didn't learn that until i got to my first race we spent all weekend trying to chase this gremlin and uh still had issues so you know there's getting to the finish line which is cool but there's also being competitive and you really have to allocate into your budget your budget of time your budget of money to be able to take your vehicle out and go run it on those test miles and keep track of how many miles you're putting on your vehicle so you can then prep it accordingly make sure you're replacing your hardware things that might wear out and you might end up putting a couple hundred test miles on your vehicle before you erase it and you need to factor that into your budget but i think that is time and money very well spent that's going to lead you to a lot more checkered flags the fourth point that i learned was that i really like the experience of a longer desert race um like i mentioned 2c vehicles some of these these races are shorter they're sprint races that's cool but the car that i built was really bigger and set up to do well in a longer race and i really think that's what the essence of desert racing is i think it's got to be longer than an hour or two so those short little races are sprint races and and you know it's there's a lot coming at you quickly when you're a newbie um when i did race to utv world championships it was about 150 miles but those laps were 50 55 minutes so it was a longer race and honestly that was a dream come true i mean we had some issues in qualifying my car was overheating and uh we lost probably 10-12 seconds and we still qualified fourth so that gave me a huge confidence boost that i had the driving ability to be competitive on just raw speed and once we got into the race day we made some changes to the car and we didn't have to worry about the temperature and uh you know we didn't get to pre-run the course but lap three and four we started to make time up on people we started climbing the ladder i mean we pretty much had a podium in sight had we not uh broken a bolt on our suspension could have would have showed up but either way that longer race to me is like the essence of what off-road desert racing is where you're you have a strategy you can't go wide open you've got to be you know thoughtful with each turn it's it's hard it was hard for me to figure out you know was i driving fast was i keeping the pace up you really got to have a lot of mental alertness for a long period of time and so you are flowing so you're not leaving those milliseconds on the table with each turn and you're putting together good consistent laps for your not being hard on the vehicle so that's what i think the the real essence of it is and and even if i you know i did it again with the two-seat short vehicle you know i think that's what i'd like to do is just some longer races unfortunately at parker we decided to go 250 miles but we had a dnf and when you're at these races you start to notice the last lap of the race the last hour of the race there's not near as many vehicles circulating so you know parker i wish i would have been a little bit more patient it doesn't really matter what happens in the first lap you know for most of us that aren't going for a win in the road turbo class you can kind of be patient and then work on upping your pace keeping it moving because these vehicles you know are not going to hold together if you over drive them um it's proven time and time again most recently at the utv world championships this last weekend where the attrition rate was really bad so um that's what i learned i think uh i think hopefully those things benefit you guys if you decide to go racing and again if this youtube series inspired you to do so so there's some lessons that i learned hopefully it helps you on your future racing endeavor if you're thinking about doing it and speaking of which here's a couple more tips if you say hey nick i watch the videos i'm going for it you know here's what i would tell you or tell myself if i'm gonna go racing tomorrow the first thing i would say is unless you really have an unlimited budget and you just want that experience of building a car from scratch i would seriously consider buying a used race car now i'm not telling you that just because my car is used uh and it's for sale but i'm telling you that because you guys have seen if you watch some of the youtube videos what i've gone through and what i've learned so the value of what i've learned has really been translated to a vehicle now that handles very predictably that has low temperatures that has the right parts where it's a lot of things checked off the list that you don't have to worry about so you can focus on driving so you can focus on tweaking the car to how you like to drive it learning how to drive it learning what the vehicle can uh would stand because anybody who's gone down this this rabbit hole of racing they've had these trials and tribulations at the first few races i guarantee it you know if they have had a good run they've also figured out ways to make the car handle better faster cooler etc so don't discount a used car you got to be careful know what you're looking for make sure you're not buying something that's hammered or been rolled a bunch of times or you know has really been rode hard and put up wet you can see some of the parts on it and get a good idea of how it's been maintained has it been maintained with the right parts and people aren't cutting corners look at how it's wired but i think that's a really viable especially right now it's a really viable path right now because if you do want to buy a new car builders are really backed up a ways out cost of raw materials etc you're going to save money you're going to save time and there's a big learning curve so the more time you can save the more you can learn about getting the vehicle to perform better the better you're going to do the more fun you're gonna have so speaking of buying a car you know nick what car would you buy what car should i buy um at this moment in time it's october 2021 polaris has a big release coming up with a new vehicle that could be in a different class um the x3 obviously we kind of it's been out we know what to expect with it its strengths and its weaknesses and also with the speed it's it's kind of hard to tell when people are going to actually get one which vehicle they're going to get i mean that's still a ways out so i feel like hanging tight and waiting observing right now is is not a bad idea particularly to see at least what polaris does um with the release of a new polaris or a new speed we all have this dream that the bar is going to be upped the reliability is going to be better so you're going to be able to be competitive without replacing near as many parts you know it's my expectation of course that the speed's going to be very reliable with how beefy the suspension and a lot of the components are it's also my expectation with some of the new polaris is that they're going to beef up a lot of these little parts that you can still race and keep stock because some of the fastest racers are still running a lot of stock parts there is something to be said for as running as many stock parts as possible of course they're cheaper they're generally lighter weight they're generally pretty well engineered and if you can get away with them without any failures it's the best way to go whether that's clutches knuckles you know wheel bearings etc so it's always the hope with a new vehicle release that we're going to get more for our money the vehicles are going to be tougher so there's less money you have to put into them to be able to go out and hammer your car on race thing one other point about kind of hanging tight and waiting to see what the market does in terms of vehicles i would also pay attention what's going on with different classes you know best in the desert is the premiere series here in the southwest they started the rally class as a budget class and now there's people in that class running 70 80 90 100 000 cars so you know um there's no such thing as somebody that can't kind of cherry pick or you know whatever you want to call it to to spend a lot of money in more of a beginner class and that will happen and for those of us that are maybe more budget racers but i think there's a lot of changes in the classes right now just kind of leveled out i think we're just kind of in this interesting space where i mean there's guys spending two 250 000 in the pro production triple class the best in the desert and unless you really have the time the resources effort and the money to compete with those that class with those top 10 teams you know good luck to you because they're very dialed a lot of them have the resources and they have the experience and see time that they're going to be very hard to beat and just kind of crack into the the top five so pay attention to the rules check out the race results best of desert is a good barometer because you can kind of see everyone's finish time at races and different classes and get an idea of how fast or slow one class is versus the next so it gives you an idea of where you can kind of get in where you fit in based on your energy effort you know budget a lot of these other smaller race series will just kind of show the position they won't really show the times but that leads into my next tip which is definitely go out to a couple races that you would like to race yourself whatever series that might be go help a team in the pits you're going to quickly get an idea of of which teams run fast what parts are on their vehicle you know what what the the hot setup is at one race or another one series or another and you're gonna learn a lot so there's a lot to learn there's a lot that the racers know the race teams know particularly teams that are consistently finishing and finishing in the top half or the top you know 10 of the class so it's a steep learning curve guys if you've seen anything with all my videos it takes a lot to to go from wanting to build a car to build it to actually being competitive and uh hopefully this uh video series has helped you uh maybe inspired you and like i said it's not it's not the end of it forever with me i'll be back with more but um getting out there getting your hands dirty working with a team you can learn a lot at some of these races very quickly and if you guys do get into racing yourselves you're gonna need those same people to help support you with pit stop people so it's always good to network and find people because it's gonna take more than a driver and a co-driver to show up you gotta have a solid person that can help you prep you have to have a solid person you can rely on for your fuel stops at least and then a logistics person so it's a team effort you got to have a whole team like i mentioned earlier it's almost like running a business in itself and takes a lot more energy on that regard than i ever anticipated you know you just focus on hey i'm gonna get the car i'm gonna get it dialed and i'm gonna drive it fast well you know it's it's it's more than that so hopefully um this pointer uh gives you something to think about hopefully if you're thinking about going racing you got a group of guys or people you can rely on that are can help support you on your racing venture so i hope these tips are helpful that's it for me on the so you want to go racing series but um don't count me out you know maybe i'll do a race like nora the nora 1000 for what i've heard is an amazingly fun race and it sounds like it's right up my alley where you know you can have fun it's not a long non-stop race but you go all the way down the coast of mexico or down the peninsula rather and you know get to have that experience with friends and family i could have my dad in the car my wife in the car you know friends that type of thing so i might do something like that also that's a race you can do in a stock vehicle so it's not cheap but you don't need a full-blown race car to do it you know maybe i'll show up in the next couple of years and do something like that or who knows maybe as we grow the business here i'll get back into it here in a little bit so maybe my my kids will get into it and i'll be the racer dad it's hard to say that's where we're at hopefully you guys like this content if you do please like and subscribe as always we've got a whole lot more content coming your way you.


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