Rippin’ with Roger: Crystal Bay Club Casino owner takes on Baja
May 12, 2010
Roger Norman, off-road racer exraordinaire and owner of the Crystal Bay Club Casino, reported another and#8220;Epic weekend in the deserts of Baja.and#8221;
After capturing first place last week in the three-day NORRA 1000 Alternative Fuel Class in Mexico, and then sixth in the Dos Mares race, there is no doubt Baja was good to the Crystal Bay Casino Norman Motorsports Team.
The NORRA 1000 was a three-day staged rally that was littered with the heroes of desert racing. The most popular desert racers could be seen everywhere one looked, preparing to race their vintage pre-1989 vehicle or trying their hand at alternative fuel technology.
The Norman Motorsports Team was just as star-studded, consisting of Norman and his Crystal Bay Casino No. 8 Trophy Truck driver, Larry Roeseler, legendary motorcycle racer and Crystal Bay Casino No. 8 driver, and Mark Post, Riviera No. 3 Trophy Truck driver.
Norman started the race on Day 1 in the 49th position before working his way up the field to fourth when he successfully handed off the truck to Post, who finished the flawless day in the first position. With the success of the first day under their belt, Norman was able to start first and challenge himself to read the GPS and Roadbook while driving solo with no co-pilot to help navigate.-
Post once again got handed a running truck but in La Purisima got a flat tire, which was the minor part of his problem. Somewhere along the way, the jack handle had fallen off. Post ended up waiting in the desert for almost two hours while the recovery was in process. But thanks to Brian Collins, who stopped to help, he was able to change the tire and continue the 8 miles to the finish line, taking 17th for the day.
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The third day, Roeseler started and Post again took it to the finish line. This time Post was resilient. With another flat tire on his hands, he decided to finish the last 20 miles on the flat. The KMC wheel took the brutal beating all the way to the finish line with no tire, and amazingly didn’t significantly damage the wheel or the brake rotor. The Norman Motorsports team ended up finishing about 120 minutes behind the overall winner, but proudly took first place in the Alternative Fuel Class.
and#8220;This was a gentleman’s race,and#8221; Norman said. and#8220;Everyone at the start line wanted to race hard, but there was no nerfing and a lot more courtesy on the course than there is in a typical desert race. The whole thing was cool. My favorite part was drinking Tecate and eating the most amazing lobster I have ever tasted with the legends of the sport in the heart of Baja.and#8221;
While Roeseler and Post were competing in the final day of the NORRA 1000, Norman was at Contingency for the Dos Mares 500, where he would be competing in the Zorro Racing Team No. 69 Camaro Trophy Truck.
Come race day, Norman started seventh and had a plan of taking it easy in the beginning of the race. But before he knew it he had made his way up into fourth place when they stopped for a fuel pit. Shortly after they left the pit, coming out of a silt bed, it seemed as if they had lost the transmission and called for rescue. As they were completing the install on a new transmission, they found that it was actually the rear differential that had broken, so they were back to waiting for rescue with a replacement rear differential on the way.
After countless vehicles passed them on the course, they finally got it all put back together and were now faced with the new transmission overheating and eventually losing first and third gear. Francisco Cevantez, the truck owner who had taken over driving duties for the second half of the race, did take the checker flag at 4:30 a.m. They finished sixth after driving by the oil temperature gauge that limited them to 87 mph.
and#8212; This article was e-mailed from Bower Motorsports Media.