Clinical Racing headed to Barstow, California, for the last race of the 2023 MORE season took place on December 2nd and 3rd. The MORE Pro-Am Desert Championship race was all the Door Slammer Duel, which highlighted the steel cab classes of the series. Coming in three points out of first place in the Class 2000 standings, Clinical Racing knew it would be a battle all weekend long.
MORE had set up a unique race weekend for everyone racing the Pro-Am Desert Championship. The race would be two days on two different courses. The course on Saturday was 14 miles and took racers through the College Hills section of Barstow, along with plenty of fast sections and some silt. Sunday took racers south of Barstow Main and put them on a more technical 20-mile course.
The weekend started off bright and early Saturday morning with qualifying. This was one race where Class 2000 had the opportunity to qualify for their starting position. Five of the eight trucks entered in the race showed up to qualify.
“We did some late-night shock tuning Friday night to make the truck handle the rough Barstow terrain,” Clinical Racing driver Steven Olsewski said. “We used qualifying to get a good feel for the truck and ensure we liked the changes we made before our race. Everything felt great while we were qualifying.”
MORE had one more trick up their sleeve for the start of the race as they would be starting two trucks at a time. With a fifth-place qualifying time, Clinical Racing would start next to the sixth-place truck.
Clinical Racing set out with a good pace for the faster course of the two days. The team went out and ran their own race while really enjoying the last race of the season. The pace they set out with allowed them to make some time on the leaders.
The team had no issues on Saturday and put down solid lap times. At the end of Day 1, Clinical Racing was sitting in third place, having completed all four laps. The team was super excited for their finishing position and where they would be starting the final day of the 2023 season.
“The race Saturday was great we had a great qualifying run, and the late-night shock tuning really woke the truck up,” co-driver Travis Vallo said. “It was fun being on the hunt but also remembering to be smart about conserving the truck.”
Starting position on Sunday would be based on your finishing position the day before. This would place Clinical Racing off the line in the second pair. Just off the start, the team was able to move into second place physically on the course.
They battled with the no. 2007x of Tyler Pullen, but they knew they had a 20-minute lead over them from the previous day, so they decided to slow up a bit. After the first lap, the pit radioed in, saying something was hanging from the bottom of the truck and to bring it in on the next lap.
Clinical Racing ran a conservative pace until they could get it back to the pit. A crossmember connecting the rear lower control arm pockets together had broken off. With the crossmember not a part of the truck, 4 miles into the third lap for the day, the pocket on the driver's side of the truck did not want to be on the truck anymore.
The pit crew and team headed out to the desert to try and get the truck fixed in time to complete the race, but ultimately, the team could only make a patch and limp the truck back to the pit. The team did great being able to get the truck drivable again.
When the dust settled, despite being unable to finish the last two laps on Sunday, Clinical Racing ended with a third-place finish. It wasn’t what the team wanted, but any day you end up on the podium is a good weekend.
“Sunday went well, starting third next to the number 2007x of Bandito it was a drag race into the first turn,” Vallo said. “Everything was going great until it wasn't. That's when I dug deep into the bag of Baja MacGyver tricks to do everything in my power to get the truck back going again. Calling for a trailer is something I never like to do, and with help from fellow racer Casey Benito, we got what we could get done until our chase crew got there.”
“The race didn’t end how the entire team hoped, but I couldn’t be happier with how the team worked together this weekend,” Olsewski said. “It is never a good thing having to recover the race truck on the course, but the team still did what was needed to get us to be able to drive the truck off the course slowly.”
The 2023 season was great for Clinical Racing. The team raced five races and finished with five podium finishes. The team ended up taking home second place in the Class 2000 championship. Clinical Racing is gearing up for another action-packed race season in 2024. MORE announced that Class 2000 will be going Pro next year, bringing out even larger truck counts for the 2024 season.
Clinical Racing couldn’t have done the race without the help of our partners, Bend-Tech, Motul, Atlas Suspension, Mickey Thompson Tires, Raceline Wheels, FK Rod Ends, Rigid Industries, Hoodrat Manufacturing Company, Evans Coolant, JE Reel, PNDA Offroad, M Whips, Rugged Radios, Fluid Flow Performance, LP Engineering, and Derale Performance.